'Know your whys': How Hidilyn Diaz mentally prepared for Tokyo Olympics

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 02 2021 09:36 AM

MANILA—Knowing her ‘whys’ helped Hidilyn Diaz, the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medalist, mentally prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, her sports psychologist said.

In an interview on DZMM TeleRadyo, Dr. Karen Trinidad said she asked the weightlifter to list down her ‘whys’ amid the hardships of training for the world’s biggest sporting event.

“I always ask her yung why. What is the reason why you are doing this? Is it--ano yung pinakareason mo? So pinagawan ko siya ng parang flag. Yung flag na ‘yun, nandoon ‘yung mga items na very important sa kanya.”

“So nandoon si God, nandoon yung flag, nandoon yung weightlifting, nandoon yung family, so laging naka-post yun sa cellphone niya, naka-post din yan sa may malapit sa bed niya, kasi when we work with athletes, they are very visual people,” Trinidad explained.

The psychologist also said it was important that Diaz rehearsed in her competition outfit—including her socks and shoes, and even her ponytail—every Monday, because her competition was set on a Monday.

On the day of the competition itself, Trinidad said she asked Diaz to count on fellow Olympian Margielyn Didal for good vibes.

Didal went viral for her sunny disposition in the skateboarding finals, even in her defeat to Nishiya Momiji of Japan.

“I let her watch that kasi maganda yung emotions na pinapakita ni Ms. Didal, na kahit nahuhulog siya she’s smiling and then she’s waving, and according din sa pag-aaral when you’re smiling, lumalabas yung confidence mo. Nagiging relaxed ka, nagiging komportable ka, and yun yung kailangan niya during that time—for her to be relaxed, and just focus, one lift at a time.”

“Kay Hidilyn, nari-release niya yung emotion niya when she’s smiling,” Trinidad said.