What was the fitness secret behind Sachin Tendulkar’s longevity?

Despite being blessed with innate skills and talent, Sachin Tendulkar kept a lot of fitness ideas in mind to ensure consistency and longevity in his career.

There’s a popular saying that the man affectionately known as the God of cricket keeps going back to every now and then. “Excellence is not an extraordinary act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly over the years.”

There is no better embodiment of the above maxim than Sachin Tendulkar’s miraculous cricket career where he remained the outright best in the world for as long as he played. Bursting on to the scene as a prodigious 16-year-old talent facing the lethal pace of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis to conquering the sport and winning everything there is to win and riding into the sunset with his name on top of every single record, Tendulkar’s career has been an outlier.

While he did not possess a towering physique and was not shaped like the sculpted cricketers that are increasingly becoming common sight in today’s game, Sachin did spend a lot of time cultivating his physical fitness and also attended to his mental doggedness in order to bring the best out of his game.

More importantly, he practiced more than he preached and always showed his face. Win and losses are a part of the very nature of the sport but what matters most is how a sportsperson carries himself. Tendulkar did that with dignity, pride and professionalism.

He was, is, and will always be the standard bearer for any young cricketer growing up in India or abroad and he was a symbol of defiance. Very early on in his career, Tendulkar had been advised against using a heavy bat in order to avoid lower back issues. However, since lighter bats affected his natural swing, Tendulkar worked on his posture and dynamic stability instead in order to continue using heavier bats.

By the end of his extremely long career, the little man had the last laugh as he defied sports scientists and self-proclaimed experts in the strength and conditioning field.

Remaining at the top of any field, let alone professional sport for 24 years is a scary proposition to think of! Most players’ careers have small bursts of excellence but Tendulkar understood that it needed support and help from everyone around him to maintain the same standards.

He counted on every supporting personnel in the team and what was required from them professionally. He also designed his own ankle-toe support guard and taping technique in accordance with his foot mechanics, be it for batting or bowling.

It was this instinctive ability to think out of the box that helped Sachin achieve the status of a God in a game for nearly a quarter of a century and make history.