JONG Uichico was a guest speaker in the opening ceremony of the Las Pinas Schools Athletic Association (LPSAA) Season 17 on Friday morning, urging coaches and athletes alike to “think before you act.”
In his speech during the opening rites at the Don Carlo Cavina School, Uichico told the elementary and high school players and coaches present to avoid letting their emotions dictate their actions.
“Think of positive thoughts. The mind is really very powerful in every sport you are in. Instill in your mind positive thoughts and emotions will follow. Do not let your emotions control your action especially in sports that involve physical contact like basketball,” said Uichico.
Uichico knows where he is coming from after getting involved in the brawl that erupted between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia last July 2. The Gilas Pilipinas assistant coach was caught in a viral video hitting Chris Goulding with a chair.
The usually mild-mannered Uichico has since apologized, although he didn’t escape sanctions as he was suspended three games in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Uichico said he has learned from the incident, telling the players and coaches one emotional outburst could change their life.
“I'm telling you this because I experienced it. It can change your life. One more thing that experience has taught me is if you make a mistake, forget about the mistake, but do not forget the lesson that you will learn from that mistake. Instill that in yourself and in your body formation,” said Uichico.
Uichico told coaches in attendance to keep their players away from possible trouble by thinking of the consequences of each action they make.
“Stay out of trouble. Don’t do drugs, stay in school. Every decision that you make may have a corresponding consequence. Players, students, make sure you think before you act. That’s important. Coaches, teach your players to think before they act and they would make the right decision,” said Uichico.
In a brief conversation with a handful of reporters after the LPSAA opening ceremony, Uichico said he is focusing on his role as head of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) coaching commission where he and fellow coaches Ryan Betia and Mark Solano go around the country to hold coaching clinics.
Recently, Uichico was in Cebu were hundreds attended their workshop. His SBP coaching clinics will have five more stops this year.