Morado credits meditation, Coach Tai's 'happy happy' mantra for mental toughness

Jia Morado credited Tai Bundit and his style of coaching in achieving a healthy mindset not only as a volleyball player but also as a person outside of the court.

Jia Morado (left) hugs coach Tai Bundit in this file photo.

Morado, arguably one of the best setters in the Philippine volleyball scene, recalled how coach Tai introduced them to both meditation and his iconic "happy happy" mantra when they first met as part of the Ateneo Lady Eagles.

"He (coach Tai) believes that we play our best when we're happy and that's something that I take to life also," said Morado during the #UnderTheArmour webinar Saturday, Sept. 11. "So whatever I do in my life, I make sure that it makes me happy, it's something that really matters to me, and something worth my time."

"Going back to coach Tai wanting us to play happy, there's also a level of -- kind of happy that he wants us to achieve. He doesn't want us to be 'too happy' either because it will make it harder for us to make split-second decisions during the game."

Coach Tai's instilled mantra not only applied to Morado's volleyball career but also outside of the playing court.

The 26-year-old skipper said meditation helped her "focus on the task at hand when things get tough" especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, on the early days of the coronavirus oubreak in the country, it would be recalled that Morado and her family donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to numerous hospitals.

"That's something that helps me get through things that I have to do in life aside from volleyball also," said the multi-awarded setter.

As for volleyball, Morado and the Creamline Cool Smashers ended their 2021 PVL Open Conference campaign with a second-place finish last month while coach Tai, also Creamline's head tactician, resigned from his post as assistant coach to the women's national team due to family reasons.