For a professional basketball player like LA Tenorio, cultivating mental and physical toughness is crucial to winning a championship.
His team Ginebra may have suffered a loss during the previous conference, but he’s determined to get back on track in the ongoing PBA Governor’s Cup.
“I’m not gonna be satisfied with my performance.
“I always find a way to turn my weaknesses into strengths.
“I can't be satisfied kasi ‘pag gano’n, mawawala yung hunger ko sa game, at eagerness to practice and work out,” says the veteran point guard in a recent interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal).
INTENSE TRAINING. Part of his game plan is to aim for the win, whether he’s playing on the hard court or training by himself.
“For me, the most important thing is hindi ako titigil kahit na pagod na pagod ako sa ginagawa ko.
“I practice my mind, yung mental toughness na tinatawag. During the game, yun ang magiging kakampi mo.”
LA further explains that the normal duration of a basketball game is around 48 minutes.
He usually plays for 38 to 39 minutes, which means he has to bring his A-game.
Asked how he practises mental toughness, the newly launched Fitness First ambassador says he trains himself to keep going no matter what.
“That’s why when I’m doing cardio exercises, like when you’re on the treadmill, it’s easy for you to pause dahil pagod ka na.
“But I refrain from doing just that. I really push myself kasi sa game hindi ka naman pwede mag-pause, e.
“So might as well do it na lang in preparation for the game, para ready ka ‘pag sa mismong game na.”
LA has been working out at Fitness First for the past five years. His physical training includes a combination of body conditioning, strengthening, and core exercises.
How often does he go to the gym?
LA explains, “Dapat at least three times a week yung workout aside from our basketball training na seven times a week.
“Some of the players do weights after practice. But I prefer to do strength and conditioning exercises before our basketball training.
“Para afterwards, I can relax in the pool. Rest and recovery period na.”
FAMILY LIFE. Despite his tight schedule for basketball games and rehearsals, LA shares that spending time with his family has never been a problem.
LA married Chesca Bugia in 2010 and they have two kids, Santi and Sian.
“Sometimes, kapag nadyi-gym ako, nand’yan wife and kids ko, nag-aantay sa akin.
“After ko mag-gym kasama ko na lang sila kumain. Gano’n lang.
“During night time, medyo bagsak talaga ang katawan.
“That’s the hardest part of being a professional athlete— maximizing your time for your family and for your work.
“Mahirap talaga pero kailangan talaga.”
The 30-year-old adds that his wife has been very supportive and understanding of his chosen career from the start.
As for the common stereotype that basketball players tend to be womanizers, LA maintains that it was never an issue between him and Chesca.
It’s simply a matter of making his wife feel confident and secure about their relationship even when he’s busy at work.
“Kaming basketball players, hindi maiiwasan talaga na maraming nagpapa-picture na babae.
“So we won't be stereotyped [as womanizers], we have to be careful.
“Hindi rin kasi namin alam kung saan dadalhin yung picture, kung ano’ng magiging istorya ng picture.
“Unang-una, nag-iingat rin ako. And as much as possible, gumagawa ako ng paraan na kahit saan ako magpunta, palagi ko siyang kasama with our kids.
“Like sa game, nandun sila. In a way, doon makikita kung gaano ka-intact yung family.”