This quarter, we have the opportunity to talk to some members of the Singapore Women’s Floorball National Team to get a deeper understanding of their sporting journey on a more personal level. Earlier in August, Nexia Citizens had the opportunity to participate in a floorball try out and we unanimously agree that the sport isn’t as straight forward as it appears to be (we were totally fooled by the Women National Team’s fluid movements and graceful strokes!).
Originated from Sweden, Floorball is an intense sport that requires a high level of agility, precision as well as loads of teamwork. In this issue, we’re excited to have Amanda, Felicia, Shannon and Yeo Xuan share their thoughts on what it is like to be a national sportsperson.
Additionally, we may also learn a few secret tricks to being a local Wonder Woman.
Floorball – a sport that requires agility and as well as precision
Hi ladies, tell us a bit more about yourselves so our audience can get to know you better.
Amanda: Hi everyone! My name is Amanda and I am currently pursuing a degree in Accountancy at the Singapore Management University. Well, I first started playing floorball during my polytechnic days and it has been about 6 years now.
Felicia: I’m 25 years old this year and I picked up floorball Since I was 13. I am currently working full-time as a Human Resource Executive.
Shannon: I’m 23 this year and I just graduated from university. I like playing sports in general.
Yeo Xuan: I am Yeo Xuan, turning 20 and I’m currently playing for my school, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), NUS Titans (club) and am part of the national team selection squad for WFC 2017. I have been playing floorball since 14 years old.
“The best part about floorball is that things can look effortless when everyone works hard to support each other.”
What made you dedicate yourself to floorball and what do you like best about it?
Amanda: The reason for my dedication is mainly because I enjoy the sport and the people whom I have met through the sport. The best part about floorball is that things can look effortless when everyone works hard to support each other.
Felicia: I enjoy the intensity and quick transitions of the game. The thrill of the game and my teammates are what keeps me going.
Shannon: For me, it actually happened by chance when I picked up floorball in my junior college days. For the better part of it, I’ve continued playing floorball in university and then finally, I made it to the National Team. If I really had to pinpoint what made me stay on in Floorball, I would think it’s the people I’ve met along the way. I like the intensity of the sport and that it is a game that requires teamwork.
Yeo Xuan: I came to know about floorball through a friend in Secondary 2 when I was making my co-curricular activity switch. Since then, I grew to love this sport. To date, I still find it amazing how playing with a floorball stick can be so much fun and there are so many tricks one can do with it. What I like best about this sport is that it is an extremely fast-paced team sport.
When I was 17, I went to try out for the National Women’s Team and had my first opportunity to play at an international competition (SEA Cup 2014, held in Singapore). I will never forget what it was like to wear the Singapore flag on my chest and how much I wanted to win the competition for our country. Since then, I have been extremely motivated to keep training to improve my skills. Being able to represent Singapore does not only give me a sense of achievement but it also spurs me on to develop into a better person.
“In general, I also think that sports teaches you lessons and builds character beyond the classroom.”
We read that there are now about 15,000 players from more than 100 schools and 100 clubs, according to estimates by the Singapore Floorball Association (SFA).
How do you feel about the emerging popularity of floorball in Singapore, and how do you feel about it?
Amanda: I am really amazed at how floorball has been gaining traction throughout the years. I have heard about the history of floorball in Singapore and it is really exciting to see how far the sport can go in a small country like Singapore. I used to be the only one carrying a floorball stick on the trains, but now I see more and more people doing that too. It’s really cool!
Felicia: When I started floorball 12 years ago, many of my relatives and friends had no clue about what Floorball is. It is heartening to see how floorball has grown so quickly in the past few years and has continued to gain visibility from both the young and old.
Shannon: I think it is a good starting point for the younger generation to be able to pick up the sport at an earlier age. In general, I also think that sports teaches you lessons and builds character beyond the classroom, which is vital that the younger generation get to be exposed to sports.
Yeo Xuan: Floorball has indeed been growing in the recent years and I am really happy to see that. With more people starting to play floorball, more talent will be discovered! It’s truly a sport that is very enjoyable so I am really happy about the increasing popularity of floorball. With that, I also hope more sponsors will be able to come on board to help the floorball community as well!
“Someone once told me before that ‘Leadership is action, not position’, so a positive behaviour and mind set is important, particularly in a team setting.”
Being a national sportsperson, we are sure that there are a lot of transferrable life skills. Would you like to share some of your insights with us?
Amanda: One of the most important thing I have learnt is that the biggest obstacle is yourself. Being part of a team, there will always be instances when you compare yourself to your teammates, and even feeling like you might fail to meet the coach’s expectations or face the possibility of not making it to the final squad. However, none of these really matter because the only thing you can control is your body and mind. Therefore, I always remind myself to focus on the process and worry less about the outcome.
Felicia: Floorball has taught me values like teamwork, time management and mental toughness. As sportspeople, we constantly find ways to win a game or pick ourselves up when we are faced with a defeat. I feel that I am mentally tougher and can perform under pressure. It has also moulded me into a well-rounded and disciplined individual as I learnt the importance of time management skills.
Shannon: I think it mainly stems from being able to work in a team. Someone once told me before that “leadership is action, not position”, so a positive behaviour and mind set is important, particularly in a team setting because that’s when you can see how each individual can contribute to the overall well-being of a team. Additionally, there is also the focus on having the individual mental strength to overcome different milestones so as to not affect the people around you and also to do the best out of your own potential.
Yeo Xuan: Being a national sportsperson has taught me many values. One of the values I have found to be more valuable is respecting one another; always think of how others would feel and how your actions would impact the people around you. We tend to put ourselves above everyone when we are tired or when we have bad days but it’s always good to keep in mind that we have to be considerate to others as well.
I have also learned how to better take care of my body. As there are many training sessions within a week, my recovery rate has to be much faster. Hence, I have to be much more disciplined in pacing and taking care of myself in order to give my best each time I’m on court.
In your opinion, what do you think are the crucial ingredients for successful teamwork?
Amanda: Communication and trust.
Felicia: Communication, trust and commitment are keys to successful teamwork.
Shannon: Effective communication and a sense of pride. Effective communication is important because you want to bring your message across in a way that generates the best positive outcome without putting other people down. A sense of pride will allow the team to work together towards a common goal.
Yeo Xuan: One quote I have learned from many teams is, “Team above self”. This quote has been really beneficial. Apart from putting in maximum effort during trainings and games, successful teamwork requires every single person in the team to be on the same page. At times, the team may be doing really well and everyone gets along well. However, during bad times, it is more important for everyone to put the team above themselves and filter out all the negative thoughts and to be there for the team. One important aspect to bear in mind is that this is a team sport and the overall performance of the team is more important than an individual’s.
Training as a national sportsperson is never easy. What are the challenges that you have to face playing at a national level while juggling your studies, work and family?
Amanda: Time management and discipline. Due to the various commitments that I have, I do struggle to make time for my family and friends. On top of that, I have a habit of procrastination which does not sound good but it actually helps me because when I know I have a lack of time, I tend to focus and get things done. On the other hand, if I had plenty of time, I would just be chilling out and doing things outside my to-do list.
Felicia: Balancing frequent training sessions and the long hours of work can be very draining. It requires a lot of discipline and commitment to juggle both work and floorball. There are days where I struggle to stay awake in the day due to the lack of sleep and body aches from my trainings. Thanks to my supportive bosses and colleagues, I am able take time off from my busy work schedule for my trainings and overseas competitions. Without a doubt, the biggest sacrifice would be time with family and friends.
Shannon: I think one of the main challenges would be to achieve a balance, of which I think it actually applies to everyone. Also, balance is subjective, so I mainly just try to do my best within my ability to manage everything on my plate without sacrificing too much of each aspect.
Yeo Xuan: It has been a tough journey ever since I embarked on this journey. Having to cope with the heavy study load and training sessions every week are really challenging. Recently, after entering NTU, I was really stressed about having to balance both studies and trainings that I felt so tired every day. Indeed sacrifices have to be made and I actually have very little social time with my family and friends. However, I always keep in mind to continue to love what I love doing. In order to achieve excellence in all that I do, hard work has to be put in as well as certain sacrifices have to be made. This has helped me through tough times.
“Wherever you are, be the best you can be.”
What is the best advice you were ever given, and how has this impacted you, both as a national player and in your personal life?
Amanda: A quote I once heard that resounded so deeply with me is that, “You have to fail enough in order to succeed”. There were several unforgettable moments in my sporting career which I am not so proud of. However, by remembering and learning from these lessons, it has become my motivation and a reminder to strive to become a better player.
Felicia: Always have the right attitude, passion and willingness to learn.
Shannon: I think I read this somewhere that “Wherever you are, be the best you can be”. I think it really struck me that you always strive to be the best version of yourself in whatever circumstances you are thrown in. This has helped me quite a bit as I move along in life.
Yeo Xuan: “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.” We all have been through tough phases in our lives but it is in these moments that make us stronger and tougher. Just like during our trainings, our coaches push us to our fullest potential so that we will be at our best during games. However, we can only perform our best if we have gone through the tough trainings in preparation for the competition. Just like balancing studies and floorball, it’s tough, tiring and many sacrifices have to be made. However, I just know that at the end of the day, it will be worth it.
Lastly, where do you draw your inspiration from?
Amanda: I draw inspiration mainly from the people around me like my family, friends, teammates and coaches. It is inspiring to see how much effort is put in to working towards their goals, at school, in their career or in life. That being said, I owe it to these people whom I have crossed paths with. They believed in me even when I did not believe in myself, and for that I will always be grateful.
Felicia: I draw inspiration from my teammates as I see them wholeheartedly trying to improve themselves.
Shannon: I think I draw a lot of inspiration from the people around me because I believe that everyone you meet has something to teach you, even if your encounter might not be a very positive one. I draw inspiration mainly from the coaches I had and my teammates, whether in the national team or not, because these people have shown me what it is like to play/coach with all your heart and it really inspires me to want to do my part for the community, and in a larger scheme of things, the society.
Yeo Xuan: I draw my inspiration from different people. Some of the student athletes in Singapore inspired me to strive to balance both student life and sports well. If they can do it, so can I. I also look up to certain individuals in the National Team who are very disciplined in terms of taking care of themselves and others who give their best at every training despite their tiredness. To represent the country is a privilege and each time I am given the opportunity, I would do all I can to perform my best.
Ms Grace Lui
Mr Daniel Chen
Ms Tiffany Tan