Last month some of the lads from the local South Lancashire football teams headed down to South Africa for some much needed rest after a grueling season of non stop action. After a bit of squabbling and some careful deliberation, the blokes voted unanimously on making Cape Town the number one destination on the itinerary. The goalkeeper from South Lancashire county has a niece working at a place called Ashanti Backpackers in Cape Town, nicely situated right at the foot of the world famous Table Mountain, and within walking distance from all the tourist attractions and vibrant Cape Town nightlife. There was some apprehension about staying in a “backpackers”, just the term brought up images of some of the dirty and run down hostels I’ve stayed at in my younger days.
The blokes were completely blown away by the quality of the accommodation they arrived to at Ashanti Backpackers. The building is a converted Victorian mansion with some top class facilities. Wifi, crystal clear swimming pool, festival bar area where you can catch all the latest football games, a travel center that you can book a trip to some seriously exotic African destinations, a tennis court adjacent to the property and a convenient internet cafe close to the main reception. Ashanti Lodge is far more than just a Cape Town backpackers , it’s a luxurious home away from home at a very affordable price. The views of Table Mountain from the upstairs pub are spectacular, not to mention the views of some of the scantily clad beauties at the swimming pool below on most sunny days. Ashanti is clean, well run and has an adequate compliment of cheery staff willing to help with anything that needs getting sorted out. We spent a very satisfied week there, exploring Cape Town’s tourist attractions by day, and then venturing out into the wilder side of town in the evenings, partying hard and sleeping till late the next mornings.
It was only toward the end of our stay that we realized that we had not yet experienced the famous Cable Car ride which takes you from the foot of table mountain right to the very top in a matter of a few minutes. It was not something we possibly leave Cape Town without having done, so we scheduled it for later that day. We met at the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway offices and bought our tickets. The journey to the top of the mountain was quite thrilling, as were the views from the top, so I’m glad we didn’t miss it. Although somebody recalled a UEFA Cup match being played soon that day so we made haste and bustled off in the direction of Ashanti Backpackers in Cape Town again (via Cable Car), so that we would make it in time to catch the game in the Ashanti Pub, enjoying a couple of lagers as the sun slowly dripped into the sea. Ashanti Lodge Backpackers in Cape Town, far more than that, a real jewel in the Cape Crown. The lads had only good things to report when they returned home. Sun tanned faces and full of shenanigans.
Anxiety and stress can wreak havoc on people and footballers are no exception. The pressure to continuously perform at peak levels and succeed at all costs is extremely demanding on football players, both physically and mentally. Stress and anxiety affect the young and the old, and those experiencing these conditions will often feel tense and overwhelmed. Obviously these feelings do not serve professional footballers and other sportsmen. The best thing an athlete can do, is as soon as they recognize that they are struggling to cope, is to make an effort to seek professional help in the form of a clinical psychologist or qualified counsellor. Treating anxiety and stress early is important in order to avoid it leading to long term depression. There are ways to reduce anxiety and stress provided it is not too severe and that your lifestyle allows for it. This would include:
- Taking time out to relax. Walks in Nature, relaxing hobbies
- When feeling overwhelmed, pause and count to 10 slowly
- Talk to somebody about your feelings
- Concentrate on your breathing. Breathe deeply.
- Ensure that you are eating a well balanced diet.
- Reduce you Caffeine and Alcohol intake
Some of our local footballers that have been contracted to play for Cape Town based sides have struggled with stress and anxiety. Being a professional sportsmen often requires you to be away from home for extended periods of time which only adds to the problem. Southern Suburbs psychologist, Anita Prag, is well know psychologist that has years of experience in helping people cope with anxiety and stress. Stress can manifest itself in many forms. The psychological symptoms include, feeling unable to cope, irritability, being fearful, having anxious thoughts and low self esteem.
There have been several articles written recently about Anita’s successes in helping patients navigate through difficult periods of their lives. There is saying that says “It’s always darkest before dawn”, well from all accounts, Anita is the psychologist that will help cast light onto your problems, helping you grow through your difficulties. As a psychologist in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, Anita has client base that extends from the City Centre right through to Simonstown. Anita is not just a psychologist that is capable of treating adults. Dr Anita Prag comes highly recommended as a psychologist for children and adolescents too. She offers “Play Therapy” sessions for children where she performs behavioral and emotional assessments, as well as performing IQ assessments and helping children with learning difficulties. Anita’s practice in positioned on the Main Rd in Bergliet. There are several Cape Town psychologists that are registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa but Dr Prag is one of the few that we can report as having a high standard of service. If you do find yourself struggling with anxiety, stress or depression and are in need of a souther suburbs psychologist click here for more information about Anita’s practice. So much attention is given to the physical well being of footballers and sportsmen that their psychological well being is sometimes overlooked. It should be a priority for trainers and coaches to ensure that all areas of their well being are being attended to.