With cricket season in full swing, it’s not surprising that cricketers and their families are in the news every day for one reason or another. While most sports stars are caught on camera being super aggressive and extremely competitive on the field, their off-the-field moments with their children display quite the contrary image, with several showing off their softer side as doting dads.
Be it M.S. Dhoni dancing with his daughter Ziva, cricketer Rohit Sharma writing a poem for his daughter Samaira or cricketer Suresh Raina playing with his daughter Gracia, are these sporty dads trying to send out a message to their fans by sharing such precious moments with their kids?
Rohit Sharma with daughter Samaira
Here’s where social media kicks in, making them much more relatable to other ‘normal’ dads of the world. To an extent, it helps them cope with their high-pressure work life, points out Mumbai-based psychologist and life transformation coach Kashish A Chhabria, who says, “When faced with high demanding outputs in a competitive field like sports, it becomes hard for people to be just themselves in the public eye. But in a private comfort zone, these rough and tough players can shed their inhibitions and relax with children and family. This helps their brain get distracted and it rewires into happiness; where they giggle, laugh, love and care freely. This is what is called a happy space or a stress-free zone. Everyone deserves to be happy.”
Although most cricketers try to protect their family members from the media glare and prefer being away from the news, they are quite happy to share pictures or videos of their children on social media themselves. Senior sports journalist and blogger Siddharth Vishwanathan explains, “When sports people are with their babies or families, they become mortal. When they are on the field, they have the gladiatorial adrenaline flow which makes them aggressive, ruthless and calculative. These factors are important in winning. However, with kids, they transform into the normal, loving daddy in the house, which is why getting kids for the game relaxes the sportsman more after a tough, grueling day on the field.”
Interestingly, sportsmen cannot help but undergo a change in character when they become parents, displaying an unknown soft side of themselves. Well-known psychologist Anuja Kapur agrees and remarks, “Sharing highlights of their lives today is a way of putting a beacon out to the fans and people who care for them to say: ‘Yes, I have been going through some rough patches on the field, but things are alright at home’. People in the sports fraternity are always looking to spend as much time as possible with their kids and spouses to help them blow off steam and maintain emotional balance. No doubt this is a difficult task, but somehow the players prove they can do everything to make it possible as we see on their respective social media handles.”