Sachin Teldulkar with his childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar

Legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday said that he is obliged to his childhood coach Ramakant Achrekar as the veteran coach made him realise the importance of fitness at the start of his career.

“All I am trying to tell you here is my coach (Ramakant Achrekar) was instrumental in making me realise that fitness is going to be a key factor. But he made things enjoyable for me. I never once felt that why am I doing this,” Tendulkar said in a programme where he was named the face of the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Marathons scheduled to be held in Mumbai, New Delhi, and Kolkata.

“At the end of the day, my coach had to literally interrupt a net session and say, ‘That’s it, it’s too dark, you’ll get hurt’. And that’s how he would stop our session. I didn’t feel like running through after that. That is how I felt I became strong and it’s not just about being physically fit.”

Tendulkar said that you always need to push yourself mentally and physically to achieve the success.

“Once you learn to push the boundaries, then it also makes you mentally strong. Because there have been times where I felt tired while playing international games. But it was the mental strength and training at a young age which sort of I could use and put that into practice,” he said.

Talking about how he kept himself fit and the level of training during his long playing career, the 42-year-old said,  “Fitness is from within. It’s not about how you look. What the body is actually able to do. Without any doubt, with more awareness, more knowledge, I think the team is really, really fit.”

“So without realising I felt the foundation was becoming more and more solid for me and then after that there were a number of marathon innings I played, at the school level as well. When both Vinod (Kambli) and I created the world record, I scored 326 not out, bowled a little bit and hopped across to play another match because there were two matches going on simultaneously in our school itself. So I went there and scored 178 not out again in that match, followed that with another triple hundred,” concluded Tendulkar.

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