Mountain Mama: How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety

first_imgDear Mountain Mama:I’m writing to you about fear. A week before kayaking I make plans and am excited. Then the doubts set in. My mind thinks of all the holes, undercuts, and hazards on a river and magnifies them. I visualize my head thrashing around, banging against rocks and my roll failing.All of a sudden the stack of laundry becomes pressing, and I think about how much I need to get some cardio in or go for a ride. “You’re too tired to kayak well.” My stomach churns on the way to the river, and I silently rehearse excuses for running shuttle instead of paddling.I fought fear. I ignored it. Nothing worked, so eventually I stopped paddling. But I missed the intoxication of nailing a perfect line and chatting with other paddlers in eddies.So I’ve started kayaking again. All that nervous chatter has resumed. How can I make all that noise stop?Yours, Anxious PaddlerDear Anxious Paddler:I had the privilege to attend Elizabeth Gilbert’s reading of her book Eat, Pray, Love and she spoke about her acceptance of fear.She compared the start of every new creative endeavor to a road trip and recognized that fear comes along. But she lay downs the law. “Oh I know, fear, you won’t shut your mouth. Talk all you want, but you’re not going to have a say in anything. You’re not going to touch the radio dial. You’re not even going to pick any of the snacks.”Fear comes along on my paddling trips too. And fear is like my toddler — the more I try to ignore it, the louder and more insistent fear becomes.So I decided to test out Elizabeth Gilbert’s tactic of acknowledging fear and creating healthy boundaries about the role it was going to play when I went to this year’s Boater Chic Fest.I’d been telling myself paddling and working and parenting were too much to balance. I’d stepped back my paddling, and like you, I missed getting out on the river. I signed up for the Cheoah clinic despite fear and his cousin, doubt, whispering in both ears. That night I had difficulty sleeping, imagining the water cascading over Bear Creek Falls.The next day I met dozens of friendly women, and we spent the ride to the put-in telling stories and laughing. Several paddlers volunteered to lead less experienced paddlers down. They clapped and whistled for us when we styled a boof. Their smiling faces greeted us at the end of every rapid.The biggest lesson I learned at this year’s festival had nothing to do with paddle strokes or boat handling. On the way to the put-in we talked about books we read and yoga studios, rivers we wanted to paddle and the brownie cookies we’d brought to snack on at the take-out. As we paddled we pointed out turtles, butterflies, herons, dragonflies, and, snakes. On the drive back to camp, we looked up their animal meanings and joked about which animal we most closely resembled.Between swapping stories and laughing with new friends, I was reminded that if fear is going to be a passenger on my paddling road trips, that I should make an extra effort to invite some other more positive voices too. And this year’s Boater Chic Fest introduced me to lots of great women who love to boat. There are few weekends where I return home and immediately mark off my calendar for the event the following year. Boater Chic Fest is one of them!Fear is always going to be part of your boating equation. Anxious Paddler, lessen fear’s input by surrounding yourself with fun paddling partners and find some other subjects to chat about on the way to the river.Paddle On!Mountain Mamakayaking-group-womenlast_img read more

Andy Wright – Sky Bet – The increasing influence of player props

first_img Premier League looks to broadcast every behind-closed-door fixture August 28, 2020 StumbleUpon EFL announces that all non-Sky Sports fixtures will be available to stream August 27, 2020 Share Related Articles Submit Share David Lampitt, Sportradar: F1 presents betting’s most sizeable opportunity August 14, 2020 Team and players statistics are playing an increasingly integral role within the global sports wagering sphere, with the changing role of fans and the rising need for a deeper level of data seemingly having a direct knock-on effect.With a major change being undertaken in recent years, sports analytics firm Opta are one of the driving forces behind sports data going from being a relatively niche offering, to being widely available and utilised across various broadcasts and in media outlets.One such example is Sky Betting and Gaming (SB&G), with the firm striving to offer player style betting markets both pre-match and in-play.Andy Wright, Head of Sports at SB&G, has been addressing what drove this decision, processes involved and the overall product offering: “At Sky, like everyone else, we are trying to find exciting innovative markets that will appeal to the younger audience, and really step away from the homogenised betting product, that I think, football particularly, has fallen into the trap of.“I think over the last few years we have all moved away from that, and really player props was always the next step, we needed the mainstream media to really get involved here, the likes of Opta and Sky Sports, we had conversations with them probably 18 months ago, trying to understand what they were going to do to continue with the success of Monday Night Football.“I think with the rise of that available data and putting it into people’s minds, in the narrative of a sporting event, then customers will start to be interested in the product.“All these new ideas will only really stick if customers actually want them, we as operators can put ideas in front of customers but really they need to be driving these things forward, with request a bets and the like.“Really it was a combination of mainstream media picking these things up, us having the spectrum of data to be able to price them, by offering them in play and being able to offer these more short term markets.”“We are trying to find exciting innovative markets that will appeal to the younger audience”Before adding what customer reaction has been like through the early stages, and when the realisation came that this was something that could work: “Around this time last year we had a semi-launch night at a pub in Leeds, when this was at a conceptual stage.“It was Barcelona vs Juventus in the Champions League and actually the penny dropped, I was a bit cynical previous to the night, because we gave a load of free bets and beers away and everyone was getting all excited.“But whenever anything happened in that game, whether it be (Leonardo) Bonucci making a tackle or whoever would make a pass, and there’s a cheer from one corner of the pub or the next corner of the pub, we started to think ‘hang on, there’s something in this.’“So, we sort of ran with it from there really. “More recently customers are interested, a certain type of customer are interested, and you can’t hide away from the fact we have had plenty of negative sentiment around it.“There’s been a couple of high profile examples of their being a cross, but in the customer’s eyes because they have £200 on it they think it was a shot on target, but it wasn’t a shot it was an attempted cross.“So again, lots of learning can come from this, I think between Sky Bet and Opta we have to work through a few operational issues, I think OptaJoe got a bit of a kicking on twitter from some unhappy Sky Bet customers.“So there’s appetite, but its baby steps with this.”The nature of offering such markets would always require a process of ironing out the kinks and dealing with disgruntled punters, with points of view about whether something was a cross or shot being heightened when there’s money riding on it.Wright is quick to point to complete transparency with customers regarding such issues, being upfront with terms and conditions and explaining that ultimately any decision made by Opta is final.“That’s the challenge in itself, that these markets aren’t mature, and there’s loads of data available”With plenty of challenges and opportunities encapsulated what is the future from a product point of view? What markets should be offered in the future? And how are customers engaged, to ensure that they have all relevant data available to make an educated bet? Wright addressed these varying issues: “It is about content, it is about customers being able to see that (Mohamed) Salah had X number of shots on target for the last seven weeks running, why is this 6/1 or 4/1?“And hopefully that will just introduce it to more and more customers. “From a marketing point of view, we have had more success with some of the markets we are offering compared to others, we thought offsides was going to be incredibly popular when we first went live with it, but it actually just turned out to be a terrible price. “But that’s the challenge in itself, that these markets aren’t mature, and there’s loads of data available but teaching traders an algorithm about which parts of that big data are important can become very difficult, and there’s a lot of back testing going on.“But with regards to new markets, I think that the World Cup will be of interest, where we will have certain matches that will have players people will recognise, but not perhaps teams that people recognise, and therefore these kinds of player props can take more of a starring role in that.”Wright was speaking alongside Shane Gannon, SVP of Perform Betting, and Duncan Alexander, Opta Chief Analyst, at the recent Betting on Football conference at Stamford Bridge. Forming part of the Betting on Innovation track, their panel was titled ‘Opta and Sky Bet’s blueprint for player props perfection.’last_img read more

Southgate ready to protect troubled Sterling

first_img0Shares0000England boss Gareth Southgate will protect troubled star Raheem Sterling © AFP / Ben STANSALLLONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 2 – Gareth Southgate claims Raheem Sterling justified his decision to protect the troubled England star despite his booking for diving against Nigeria.Southgate kept faith with Sterling after a troubled week for the Manchester City winger and he responded with a mixed performance in Saturday’s 2-1 win in the World Cup warm-up at Wembley. Sterling had been forced to apologise to his England team-mates after turning up to their training camp a day late following a flight mix-up on his way back from a holiday.Adding to Sterling’s woes, the 23-year-old endured criticism for unveiling a new tattoo of an M16 assault rifle on his calf that he said was a tribute to his father, who was shot dead when the City star was a child.Southgate had considered dropping Sterling for the Nigeria clash, but after what the England manager perceived as unfair criticism of the tattoo, he decided it was right to stand by his man.Sterling partially repaid Southgate’s faith with a lively first-half display which included setting up Harry Kane for England’s second goal.But that was overshadowed when he was booked for an embarrassing dive in a failed attempt to win a second-half penalty.Southgate said he hadn’t clear seen the incident so he didn’t want to publicly reprimand Sterling.“I’ve not had a chance to see that back again, it looked a very tight call from where I was sitting. He was travelling at such speed,” he said.Asked whether he was relieved to see Sterling give a committed performance following his difficult week, Southgate said: “It wasn’t about getting a response, I knew with the form he was in he would play well.“I had a decision about whether to play him when he turned up late, but once he started coming under fire from all directions it wasn’t a difficult decision.“The most important job for me is to protect the players. The lateness was 10 days ago, how long do you go on with something?“The situation was one we didn’t want to happen and one we don’t want to see again.“But I think that was the best way to deal with it. You have to balance the message to the group.”A contrite Sterling insisted he had no complaints about Southgate’s handling of the incidents.“He is honest. I completely understand where he’s coming from. I have to go out there and show him what I’m capable of,” Sterling said.“People will see stuff in the wrong way. It’s a distraction you don’t need, but it’s one of those I’ve learned to deal with now.”– ‘Real competition’ –England have only one more friendly against Costa Rica in Leeds on Thursday before they jet off to Russia and Southgate hinted the team that started so well against Nigeria — with Kane’s goal proceeded by a Gary Cahill header — could be the one that opens the World Cup.Southgate’s men face Tunisia in their first group match on June 18.“We were pretty clear for a fair while, but there is real competition for places in certain areas of the pitch. Everyone has to maintain their level,” he said.“My experience of these tournaments is these things will evolve as the matches progress.“It won’t necessarily be that the team that played today will play Tunisia but it won’t be far away.”Southgate was especially encouraged by the solid showings from Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard and Sterling.“We were really good with the ball. Dele and Jesse made some fantastic runs. That was as good a half as we have had,” Southgate said.“Second half, it took us seven or eight minutes to come to terms with their change of formation.“It was a really good test for us. It could have gone against us, but we got our composure back.“We have to learn from it, because in a tournament that spell could be enough to put you out.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more