Mahendra Singh Dhoni or “Mahi” to millions of cricketing fans, is a role model to look up to! ParentCircle presents five life lessons that children can learn from the cricketing legend!
Hundreds of pages have been written about Mahindra Singh Dhoni's extraordinary prowess in the game of cricket and his magic with the bat. But, what people most admire about him is his extraordinary qualities, not just on the field, but off it as well. The former Indian captain has reached great heights only because of his determination, resilience, optimism and his humility.
MS Dhoni's transformation from a small-town boy to a cricket legend is indeed remarkable. It is the journey of a boy who started as goalkeeper for his school football team and ended up as one of the most successful cricket captains of all time. Known as Captain Cool for his calm, unruffled demeanour, Dhoni is immensely popular among youngsters and older generations.
As a doting father to his beautiful little girl Ziva, we have often seen that he is quite hands-on. A little after the recent IPL final, Dhoni spoke about how fatherhood has changed him as a person. In fact, children can get valuable lessons from the cricketing icon's life and, imbibe his admirable traits.
Here are 5 important life lessons from Dhoni's journey that you must teach your child:
Dared to dream: Dhoni never shied away from dreaming big. Coming from a small town with no proper cricketing facilities, Dhoni dared to make it big even though there was little infrastructure to support his ambitions. Lesson: Encourage your child to aim high even if there are hurdles on the way.
Self-motivated: Dhoni does not come from a cricketing family nor was there a player of national calibre around him in his younger days. He is completely self-motivated. He was not born with a silver spoon but with sheer hard work and dedication, he has made a fortune for himself. Considered as one of the richest sportspersons, according to Forbes, MS Dhoni’s net worth is $30 million. Lesson: Children should learn that dedication to the craft you are pursuing, and self-motivation are of utmost importance. It is vital to stay focused and driven, under all circumstances.
Resilient: An eternal optimist, Dhoni never allowed early failures to derail him from his chosen track. Dhoni scored a duck on his ODI debut against Bangladesh in 2004 yet went on to become one of India’s most successful captains. As luck would have it, he led India to 27 test victories and 163 one-day victories. India won the World Cup after a gap of 28 years under Dhoni’s captaincy. Lesson: Children should not let failures bring them down. They should learn to be resilient and bounce back from adversities.
Determined: There have been situations where he came under fire for his decisions, but he came back stronger and more determined, every time. He worked as a ticket collector for the Indian Railways from 2001 to 2003. But despite a steady income, he left the job to concentrate fully on his cricket. And as they say, the rest is history. Lesson: Dhoni is a classic example of how determination can take you places. Teach your child to not give up on his dreams easily.
Took ownership: Dhoni always owns up and takes decisions based on the situation. The 2011 World Cup final is a case in point -- he promoted himself up the order as he was confident of facing opponent bowler Muttiah Muralidharan. He then went on to score 91 not out that day. He clearly knows his strengths. Lesson: Children should be taught to take ownership of their mistakes and decisions early on, and act on their strengths.
Also read some quirky facts about Dhoni that are not widely known.
Here are 10 interesting facts about him:
On his India debut, Dhoni had shoulder-length hair. It drew much attention and even former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf admired the style! Incidentally, Dhoni went on to sport many eye-catching hairstyles through his career.
Number 7 is considered lucky for Dhoni. He scored a century against Pakistan in 2012 while batting at number 7. He is the only captain to do so.
Last year, Dhoni was one of the highest income tax payers in the country.
There is a sniffer dog named after Dhoni with the Punjab Police. The canny canine has helped them many times in cracking cases!
Do you know that your favourite cricketer is a Lt Colonel with the Indian Army? Joining the Army was one of his childhood dreams. It came true in 2011 when Dhoni was given the honorary rank of Lt Colonel to recognise his excellence in cricket.
Dhoni’s unique helicopter shot was hugely popular among masses. When he used his bat to strike the ball overhead, it would send spectators into a tizzy.
Dhoni is a huge fan of adventure sports, he has tried skydiving too. His love for fast bikes is legendary. MSD also owns a motorcycle racing team, Supersport World Championship team and has named it Mahi Racing Team India.
Dhoni is also known for his love of dogs. He owns two -- Zarah, a Labrador and Sam, an Alsatian.
MS Dhoni's story is a truly remarkable one. His cricketing acumen, dazzling skills, levelheadedness, sportsmanship and complete commitment to the country and the team, make him an enduring role model, now and always.