Meditation to help athletes

Bangkok Post, Oct 15, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand -- An initiative to help Thai athletes improve their performance will be launched tomorrow with a monk as trainer. Deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptapanlop and Sports Authority of Thailand governor Santiparb Tejavanijja have unveiled the scheme prior to next month's Asian Indoor Games.

Phra Khru Paowana Waranusat of Nonthaburi's Wat Pai Lueng will lead a group of around 300 athletes in meditation practice, said Mr Suwat.

The scheme, which incorporates parts of Buddhist practices into sports, is aimed at sportsmen and women who will be taking part in the Indoor Games and the Asiad.

Athletes will learn the correct way of breathing and how to develop and maintain patience, which is essential in competitive sports.

Mr Suwat said Thailand will be the first country to take a serious approach to adopting sports meditation.

Phra Khru Paowana said athletes who practice meditation will have an edge over their opponents in competitions.

In a split second that an athlete becomes nervous, he or she can lose the match, said the abbot, who is also a meditation mentor for Fiji's golf player Vijay Singh.