Ajinkya Rahane, a middle-order batsman, is currently the vice-captain of the Indian test cricket team. He's the first Indian to bag the ‘Player of the Match’ title in the World Test Championship and is part of Indian Premier League's Delhi Capitals team. The right-handed batsman shares his thoughts on mentors and mentoring.
Who do you consider your mentor and why?
I am lucky to have a lot of people mentor me at different stages of my life. Rahul bhai (Dravid) has been a very valuable mentor to me. Since the beginning of my international career, he helped me hone my skills and instill important leadership qualities in me. Pravin Amre (former Indian cricketer) sir too has had a key role in shaping me as a player. I still ring him up for some inputs or advice ahead of important tours.
Prayagraj Hule sir (Vendanta Academy) as a mentor has helped me understand the Vedanta philosophy better, which now constitutes an important part of my life. His guidance also helped me shift my mindset and have more clarity of thought in complex situations.
What is the one major insight/change you implemented/worked on with our mentor's guidance?
At the beginning of my career, I had to wait for a considerable period of time before getting my first break in the international circuit. My mentors motivated me back then and instilled a sense of confidence that I would get an opportunity sooner rather than later. This has taught me the importance of working hard even during a lean patch.
What does being a mentor mean to you? How do you mentor colleagues?
Being a mentor quite simply means lending out a hand of support to youngsters in the team. When you are new or unfamiliar to any setup, it naturally takes some time to adjust to the challenges and circumstances. As a mentor I try to share my experiences with the youngsters in the team on how to adapt to situations and also give them confidence to back their game. I have realized being honest in your communication with them helps a lot.
What's your morning routine like?
I am a morning person and wake up relatively early. The first thing I do after waking up is meditate. After which, I spend some time centering my thoughts and visualize the rest of my day. The pandemic brought in a lot of uncertainty, hence, planning my day while I was at home constituted an important part of my daily schedule.
What's the one positive work routine you have developed during the pandemic?
I’ve never been a long-distance runner. However, during the pandemic I was able to work and improve my running abilities, and it’s something I continue to practice and enjoy now. Another positive routine I developed is the practice of gratefulness. The pandemic has taught all of us to have an attitude of gratitude, for everything and every moment.
Any book/podcast/app/videos you would recommend about mentorship and workplace growth? Why?
The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Coach Carter, The Last Dance. Although all of these are sports oriented movies/docuseries, the central theme is not sport. These movies teach you lessons about the importance of a good mentor, team work, shifting mindsets, etc.