Philippines’ Joseph Arcilla EnduresLeg Cramps To Pocket Soft Tennis Gold Medal5 min read
Joseph Arcilla proved that mental toughness is just as important as physical strength when he clinched the gold medal for Team Philippines in soft tennis at the 32nd Southeast Asian Games despite experiencing painful leg cramps halfway through the contest.
While physical strength and endurance are essential, athletes like Arcilla understand the importance of psychological preparation, particularly in high-pressure situations.
In many sports, athletes are often trained to focus on their physical abilities, neglecting the mental aspect of the game. However, Arcilla’s experience shows that psychological fortitude is just as crucial as physical fitness.
The 35-year-old soft tennis player Arcilla, the younger brother of retired Filipino tennis ace Johnny Arcilla, pushed himself beyond his limits to claim the victory in the men’s gold singles match, thanks to his regular sessions with the team’s sports psychologist.
He stated that he takes his sessions with their sports psychologist very seriously. He recalled the discussions they have had, particularly about the importance of positive thinking and mental toughness, which he found helpful during times of pain.
Arcilla attributed his ability to keep going despite suffering from cramps and difficulty standing to his mental toughness. He expressed gratitude towards their psychologist, who consistently emphasized the importance of positive thinking whenever they stepped onto the court.
Arcilla quickly grabbed the upper hand in the first set, 4-2, but Anugerah from Indonesia equalized going into the third set. However, the Filipino swept the next two frames to secure the gold medal and save the Philippine delegation from a near gold shutout.
Bambi Zoleta, on the other hand, wasn’t as lucky after dropping a 4-3 decision against Indonesia’s Dwi Rahayu Pitri in the women’s gold singles match.
Arcilla’s gold was the third for the national soft tennis squad after topping the women’s team event and the women’s individual doubles. The women’s team of Christy Sañosa, Fatima Ayesha Amirul, Noelle Conchita Mañalac, Noelle Nikki Zoleta, Princess Lorben Catindig, and Virvienica Isearis Bejosano won gold in the women’s team event by sweeping Indonesia, 3-0, to secure a silver medal finish.
Mañalac and Catindig also won gold in the women’s double category last Sunday. Meanwhile, the men’s team of Adjuthor Moralde, Dheo Talatayod, George Mendoza, Joseph Arcilla, Mark Anthony Alcoseba, and Sherwin Ray Nuguit lost 2-1 to Thailand in the men’s team event semifinals and settled for a bronze medal.
The Philippines’ success in the soft tennis event has been impressive, with the team securing three gold medals, one silver medal, and one bronze medal. The team’s achievements demonstrate the value of teamwork, dedication, and mental toughness in sports.
Despite suffering from cramps, Arcilla’s mental toughness and determination secured the gold medal for the Philippine soft tennis delegation. The team’s psychologist has played a crucial role in helping the athletes to develop their mental resilience, and their success is a testament to the importance of sports psychology in sports.