Mental game of PH bets needs to be addressed
National athletes may have been enjoying more perks than ever before, but there are still a few boxes that need to be ticked as far as athletes commission head Nikko Huelgas is concerned. For the two-time Southeast Asian Games triathlon champ, there is a need to address an issue that he feels is embedded in the Filipino psyche—literally—for ages.
“I think this 2021, we could send one of our biggest contingents to the Olympics in decades,” said Huelgas. “[And] I really believe Philippine sports is getting so much better and we just need to keep the momentum. But we need to invest in the psychological aspects to fight the inferior mentality that we’ve adapted centuries ago.”
He said that a defeatist mentality in international competitions keeps the Filipino athletes from performing up their full potential in the face of foreign competition.
“The concept that when you are training and competing here [in the Philippines], you are all set but, in world-class level competitions, we get intimidated,” said Huelgas. “Game time, it’s all mental.”
As athletes’ representatives Huelgas and Olympian swimmer Jessie King Lacuna raised that issue as they sat down with House committee on youth and sports recently. The hearing dealt with the needs of the Filipino athletes.
Among the topics in the committee, chaired by Rep. Yul Servo of Manila, was the status of implementation of the Republic Act No. 10699, or the incentives act for athletes and coaches. INQ