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Phuket Sports: Breaking free from the fear of choking

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Sports: Breaking free from the fear of choking | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: It’s been an eventful few weeks with Sumitra “Dear” Basnyat winning the inaugural Sugarpova contest and playing events in Bahrain and Bangkok.

Sumitra concluded a major change with her equipment sponsor, which means for the next critical phase of her career we will be using and promoting Pacific racquets/grips and strings.

Maria Sharapova launched her Sugarpova candy brand a few months back and each month someone wins free candy. Sumitra was the first winner and she was delighted to have Maria hold up her name.

For this article, I would like to address a common problem, which affects many people (including Sumitra) and causes distress in several areas of their lives.

The effect is commonly known as “choking” and it is a tightening feeling, which results in poor performance and can make people panic when under stressful situations such as: public speaking, interviews, exams and pretty much anything that involves you wanting to perform or make a good impression.

At the start of tournaments, you see many young players practicing well, hitting it hard and looking very strong.

Parents and coaches look pleased and everything seems in place.

Once the event begins, however, it can be like watching different players. They often get caught up in the emotional pressures that come with the knowledge of sacrifices and commitments that have been made for them to be able to play. It can just become too much to cope with.

At the professional level, possibly the most famous “tennis choke” ever was the Novotna v Graf Wimbledon final of 1993. Novotna was 4-1 and 40-30 up in the final set, but her serve simply deserted her; she lost and wept on the Duchess of Kent’s shoulder at the awards presentation.

It was really pleasing to see her win years later in 1998.

And even the great Federer suffered in the Davis Cup semifinal in 2003, losing to Hewitt 6-1 in the 5th after holding a two set lead and a break in the third.

Many top players discuss “choking” in their autobiographies as just something you have to go through as a young player. It’s just that some struggle and take longer to conquer it than others.

Many people think it only affects shy and unconfident people, but this isn’t true. It can affect anyone at anytime, and even confident people, who have taken a knock back, can then be concerned about future scenarios, and that worry could then potentially lead to a ‘choke’ performance.

How to solve the problem?

The four key areas are breathing; visualization; creating a good environment; and to focus on the task in hand.

Regulating your breathing pattern is crucial to controlling emotion and that in turn will help you to keep a clear head when needing to make decisions at critical times.

Visualization, is the process of mentally rehearsing the situation and replacing negative reactions and thoughts with the positive responses you wish to occur.

To create a good environment is key to being able to relax early and having a good experience. Even top athletes and performers sometimes build situations up too high and then can’t control the situation/environment that they themselves have mentally created.

Last but not least, is to focus on the task in hand. The best way of not being affected by past experiences and previous mental baggage, is to just focus on the moment and deal with things instinctively and naturally.

You don’t have to live in the grip of choking, it can be dealt with. You can break free!

Darran can be contacted with questions or comments by email on darranferre@hotmail.com.

— Darran Ferre

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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Tourism

Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs

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Phuket airport ready for tourists after finishing Covid screening labs | The Thaiger

Phuket Airport is officially ready for tourists as authorities say they have finished installing Covid screening labs in an effort to welcome international travellers. The 5T Model for Covid-19 is being used at the airport with the goal of screening large groups of people in a quick and efficient manner. The Phuket health chief says the 5T’s stand for Target, Testing, Treating, Trusting and Tracing.

Phuket has one large airport at the north end of the island but is separated into two separate terminals – a domestic terminal (the original airport terminal), and a new international terminal opened in 2016.

The target category refers to the target groups of tourists while the tracing stands for software that will be used to monitor their movements. The testing category refers to Covid tests that will be implemented to travellers upon arrival along with the treatment and trust categories signifying the readiness of resources for medical treatment and confident communications between all parties respectively.

The Covid-19 lab container module has been set up at Phuket airport’s Terminal X (the terminal opened for charter flights opened in 2014) and will be tested tomorrow with its operation to start on September 30. As large groups of tourists could arrive (later in the year, the lab is reportedly capable of testing 96 people at a time with test results becoming available in 6 hours. What the airport would do withe tested passengers whilst waiting for 6 hours, has not been detailed at this stage.

Such a readiness plan to welcome foreign tourists originally singled out Phuket due to its popularity with travellers, and as a so-called guinea pig model to test in a controlled environment (Phuket is an island joined to the Thai mainland by a single 300 metre road bridge). Once dubbed the Phuket Model, authorities have proposed to rename the plan to “Special Tourist Visa” due to the confusion and opposition it reportedly caused. The scheme is reportedly now being proposed for all areas of Thailand but only allowing foreigners from specific countries.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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