Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Do the Haiku!

Overcast sky.
A mosquito in late august.
Thankfully I'm scratching it's bite.

Welcome to the Team Wales family!

With the Opening Ceremony now just days away, I wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate every single one of you; athletes, HQ and support staff, on your selection into the Team Wales family.
The Isle of Man is ready and raring to welcome us onto the island for the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games, and this year we’re proud to be taking a full team of athletes.
Everyone who has been selected to compete for, or represent Wales, has been chosen to do so not only because of your recent achievements but also because we believe that you can go on to emulate the success achieved by Team Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010.
Pune 2008 changed things for us; it was the first year that we used the Youth Games as a development tool, and we’d hope that come Glasgow 2014 or in 2018 the names on those Welsh shirts and the scoreboards will be yours.
Use the Isle of Man as a stepping stone; as an opportunity to get as much experience as you can. And above all enjoy it! The focus is very much on young people and the cultural day on the 12th September is something not to be missed.
Don’t forget to keep checking Zeus for the latest Team Wales updates and information, and make sure you’re signed up to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Throughout the Games we’ll be posting exclusive videos and interviews with athletes as well as some behind the scenes footage.
Thank you to all those supporters and friends who have consistently got behind Team Wales; we’ll be hoping to do you proud out there and look forward to seeing you all at our Welcome Home celebration.
On behalf of all of the Team Wales support team I wish you every success at the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Chris Jenkins
Chef de Mission

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thank god! The summer is still free!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sorry, no english translation because of wordplay.

Role of psychology after a sports injury...

With injuries hitting the Wales rugby camp, we tracked down Sport Wales’ Dr Joy Bringer to discover what role sports psychology can play in rehabilitation...
Joy is a Sport Psychologist, working full-time with elite athletes and coaches at Sport Wales in Cardiff. She is a Chartered Psychologist and is accredited to the High Performance Sport level with the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences.
In her role, she has travelled to the Athens and Beijing Paralympic Games supporting British athletes., and has been appointed as the Lead Sport Psychologist for ParalympicsGB for London2012. She has also been an integral member of Team Wales at the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.
How traumatic can it be to have an injury?

If the injury is career threatening, it can have a massive impact. Often you find athletes whose whole identity is sport. If that is suddenly taken away from them, it can be devastating.

That’s why we recommend a life balance in which studies, career or hobbies also play a part. So when things aren’t going so smoothly in sport, there are other things to focus on. And that’s true for anything – not just sport. If you’re 100% devoted to your job and you get made redundant, it’s understandably a huge blow. For those that have other interests, it is easier to adapt and move forward.

It all really depends on how serious an injury it is and the perception of the injury. If you have the confidence and belief that you will come back from the injury, it’s more likely that your recovery will be quicker. So confidence is vital!

What sort of issues crop up after suffering an injury?

·         The loss of confidence – questions pop up like, “am I going to get back to where I was before?”, “Are my competitors getting ahead of me?” “Will I be as good as I could have been?” “Am I going to recover in time?”

·         The fear of losing out on your dreams. If you’re moving towards the Olympics for example, there is the fear of not being selected and that may have been something you’ve been dreaming about and working towards since you were a child.

·         The fear of re-injury, especially in similar situations.

·         The feeling of isolation. Teams can be like a tight knit family. If you get injured and you’re not able to train or compete, you can be taken away from that and leave you feeling like you’re missing out.

·         Lack of motivation – if you’re constantly getting setbacks, and there may well be setbacks within the rehabilation programme, you can feel that you’re never going to make it happen and then you it’s easy to lose motivation and think “ why bother?”

How can psychologists play a part in overcoming these issues?

By working closely with the rest of the support team – coaches, physio, nutritionist, strength and conditioning coach, psychologists can help athlete set realistic and appropriate goals. If your focus is just on getting back to where you were pre-injury – that can be a too distant goal. It’s important to give yourself credit for little improvements you make every day.

We can also help an athlete stay in touch with the rest of the team so they don’t suffer from that feeling of isolation.

Psychologists can also help athletes believe in the rehab programme as well as the athlete’s ability to successfully complete it.

How do these issues impact on physical recovery?

We know that chronic stress can impact on physical recovery. Your body doesn’t heal as quickly. If you’re lacking motivation, that can then result in you not sticking to the rehab programme and you won’t see as much progress.

Stress can also result in emotional eating or maybe drinking which leads to weight gain and not eating the right things. So you’re not helping the body to heal itself.

If an athlete has a fear of re-injury, they may change their techniques to protect the injury. This may also result in tension around those muscles and can actually increase the risk of re-injury. But it does depend on the individual and the injury.

What happens psychologically if an athlete misses a major competition?

It really depends on what the competition means to the athlete and how the athlete interprets that. If they (and their support team) can keep it in perspective and believe that it’s not the end of the world – then it is not so devastating. It is a normal response to feel depressed, angry, frustrated, to consider retirement – or it can make an athlete more determined than ever!

How can you help an athlete focus on recovery and rehabilitation? What sort of things will you suggest and put in place?

We look at goal-setting that fits in with the rehab programme so we work closely with strength & conditioning, physio and so on.

We work on Emotional Coping and Problem Focused Coping– In terms of Emotional Coping, we  often deal in stress management, the responses to stress – helping an athlete to reevaluate the situation in a way that is going to help, not hinder them.

Relaxation strategies are also important –we can explore what helps them relax and encourage them to do what they enjoy – going to the cinema, listen to music etc – whatever it is that puts the athlete in a better mood.

Breathing techniques and progressive muscle relaxation are also useful techniques – we can help teach the body to notice the difference between tension and relaxation. This can help an athlete to actively relax.

We use a lot of imagery with the athletes – if they’re feeling stressed, they can imagine a relaxing, safe place. Imagery is also used to motivate – if you imagine yourself fully fit and back competing again, it can have incredible results.

Steve Backley is a perfect example. Three months out before the 1996 Olympics, he’d been on crutches for six weeks. He used visualisation techniques. So he imagined himself throwing a javelin and throwing a personal best.

He won the silver medal and says: “It proved to me how powerful a tool the mind is and how the body just follows it. That's what I like about the championships, it's not only about the physical tests. There are 8, 10 guys, certainly in javelin, capable of throwing the distance necessary to win, but it's the one who handles the pressures of a major championship better than the others who will win.”

We talk to athletes at Sport Wales about those that have had successful comeback stories so they know that it is possible.

Imagery is also a good way to maintain technique. There was a famous study involving a group of rugby players and a group of ballerinas. When the rugby players watched the ballerinas on TV, there was no significant change in their brain activity. But when the rugby players watched a video of other elite rugby players, it activated the parts of the brain that scientist think are related to those same movements.

When an athlete gets injured, it is common to become overly worried about being in the same situation that they were in when they got injured. If an athlete can watch themselves successfully perform the movements in which they sustained the injury, this can also help lessen the fear of re-injury. Basically, it helps to remind the athlete that they have performed the movement many times without injury, and it increases the belief that they will be able to perform the movement again successfully, without injury.

What should family and close friends do? Do they play a part?

There are many, many research studies that show that family and friends are really important to making a successful comeback.  In psychology we call this social support.

It’s important to find out from the athlete how you can best support them. For one athlete, phoning them five times a day might be exactly what they need – for another, it might stress an athlete out.

And remember to support the athlete not just the week after injury – the support might be needed more than ever three months, six months or nine months later.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hari Raya Special!

Buy the *1st pair of footwear at regular price and the 2nd pair at half price!

Terms and Conditions apply.

-*Promotion only applies to DVS, Lakai, eS and Emerica footwear.

-50% discount on 2nd pair applies to lower priced product.

-No reservations allowed

-Cash payment only at *SCAPE.

-No *SCAPE or GOSSIP vouchers allowed.

-Promotion runs from 23 Aug 2011 – 29 Aug 2011.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Pro Wood Restocked!

We have the following prowood products back in stock. They are available at *SCAPE and Redhill outlet.

Prowood Fingerboard Blank Deck @$20 each
-Exotic Zebra

Prowood Fingerboard Graphic Series @ $25 each
-Two Finger Blue
-Two Finger Red

Prowood Fingerboard Pro Trucks @ $18 a set

Prowood Fingerboard Classic Wheels @ $32 a set

Prowood Fingerboard Speedsters Wheel @ $42 a set

Prowood Fingerboard Twin Bearing Wheel @ $52 a set

Prowood FingerboardTuning Kit @ $7 a set

Prowood Fingerboard Protape @ $3 a piece

Gunther 2

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Chinese weightlifting team makes uplifting visit to North Wales

The Chinese Weightlifting Association brought their world beating weightlifting team – including three current Olympic champions – to Bangor for a pre Games training camp in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games from 4-10 August 2011. Arguably the world’s greatest weightlifting team, China won eight gold medals from 15 available at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and are hotly tipped to continue their dominance at London 2012.
Welsh Weightlifting Federation Head Coach, Ray Williams, worked closely with the Welsh Government to bring the Chinese to picturesque North Wales. He spoke to Sport Wales about what the visit means to the area and how he hopes to learn from the experience and use it to lift Welsh Weightlifting to even greater heights.
Ray Willimas, Welsh Weightlifting Coach
“It was a hugely exciting event for the country to have the best weightlifting team in the world based here in North Wales. Sport Wales have been terrific with their support to make this a reality. Bangor University have also been superb in every respect. They provided an executive chef and total autonomy of the gym. The Chinese delegation could not get a better package.
“It was a very timely visit now that we have the re-branded Holyhead and Anglesey Weightlifting and Fitness Centre. It’s an education for me and our other coaches to learn from the Chinese and I’m hoping to get some time in Beijing with them in return, which will be fantastic! Welsh weightlifting can only benefit.
“It’s the icing on the cake to have the greatest weightlifting country on earth visit our beautiful little country that’s produced so many great champions. A lot of hard work went into securing their visit but they applied to come to Holyhead (as well as Leeds Carnegie’s World class Lifting High Performance Centre). The good thing is that we got them here to this beautiful area and I have had the chance to take notes and dilute some of what they do and apply that to our training.
“They have 500 weightlifters in their national team. It’s professional amateurism to the extreme. We are doing our best to support our best athletes – and we’re not far off in some sports – but weightlifting has always been a performance rather than a participation sport, so our talent pool is much smaller. People confuse Olympic Weightlifting with Power Lifting but things like Cross Lifting are making the sport more accessible. It might take a few years to catch on but hopefully more and more people will be attracted to this brilliant sport.
“It’s my dream to one day provide a closed, total environment for lifters living in Holyhead and to be able to pay them. It’s the only way. Malaysian athletes go into residential training from the age of 12 – Gareth Evans (62kg Welsh weightlifter), on the other hand, is a painter and decorator. If we can offer total vocational training we’d be on a much more level playing field. The Pacific Rim countries and Canada all train in a total environment and the gulf is a million miles away with what we’re doing currently.
“It was a great coup to have the Chinese team here in Bangor. They could have gone to Leeds (where the GB Team train) but we’re rightly proud that they chose us instead. I think, without a doubt, that they’ll come back and base themselves here in the run up to London 2012. We can offer an environment for total concentration and immersion in what they do, without any distractions – which is what you need when you’re preparing for a major championship.”

The Chinese Olympic Weightlifting Team’s visit to North Wales was made possible thanks to the Welsh Government and Anglo-Chinese Sports and Culture Association (ACSCA) in partnership with Bangor University, Welsh Weightlifting Federation, Gwynedd Council and Sport Wales.
For all your sporting needs and interests visit us at www.sportwales.org.uk and follow us at www.facebook.com/sportwales and www.twitter.com/sport_wales.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Longing for old bad habits...

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Oasis of inspiration"-tea...
...I can keep on blogging now!....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


No ersatz, but better than my drugdealer-hood in the rain.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New This Week!

8th Aug Update;

There was a mistake with the graphics for the latest zero decks. The correct graphics are below this update

Rock'n Roll!

Last april Lilli came to my reading in Hannover and stayed for the garden-party, too.
She brought wine that's still unopened because I don't like red wine so much.
As soon as the day broke and while everyone was asleep she decamped.
"Boah, Lilli is so cool!" Maybe Lilli should allow only older boys for her comic-workshop.
Thanks to Jeff Chi!