Carrying out day-to-day requirements is an easy habit to train. But when it comes to good work ethic, this is a trait that can be difficult to develop. In sports, because strong work ethic leads to success, athletes often already have that dedication.
To learn how athletes develop their work ethic, SMU Snapshots had a chat with SMU Sports Union (SSU) finance secretary, Amanda Yeap, who is also a national floorball player and competes for SMU Floorball.
Having represented Singapore floorball in countries such as Finland, New Zealand, and hopefully Slovakia next, Amanda is familiar with what it takes to become a professional athlete, and shares the lessons that she has learnt from taking the leap into the world of professional sports.
Floorball had not always been Amanda’s choice of sport. She used to play netball for external clubs, and only joined the floorball team when she turned 17 years old and wanted to try her hand at something new. She struggled at the beginning and insists that the reason why she was picked for the school team was her ability to run fast.
In her third year in polytechnic, Amanda was motivated by her floorball senior to become more committed to the sport. She shares how “it was inspiring to see her [senior] train so hard and make it into the national team.” This dedication made Amanda reflect on her own involvement with the sport: “only then did the realisation hit me – I had to do something about my own commitment.”
Growing with the sport
As Amanda became more dedicated to floorball, she naturally became more skilled, and started to truly enjoy the game.
“I like the intensity. From the outside, floorball might look quite effortless if played smoothly. But in reality, it requires a lot of coordination. I also like the fact that we have to work closely together as a team in order to score a goal. If you don’t pass the ball, you’ll tire quickly and very easily.”
Following in the footsteps of success
Amanda draws inspiration from fellow national team player, Jill Quek. The former coach of SMU Women’s Floorball now spends her time playing for, and coaching the national team. Amanda cites positivity and determination as Jill’s top qualities.
“She breeds positivity in the team. When Jill coaches, she always has inspiring words and constructive advice for us that are very encouraging. Her determination also inspires me. As a coach and also a player, she has to remain positive despite less favourable circumstances, and keep the team motivated. During the World Qualifiers in January, we were down 3-0 to Korea. But Jill never gave up on us. She kept our spirits lifted and kept encouraging the team to keep each other motivated. We won the game with a score of 5-3.”
Although Amanda constantly sings praise of the people she trains with, she doesn’t seem to realise that she, too, has cultivated the same traits as the people who inspire her.
The road to resilience
To get to the professional level, athletes have most likely failed more than they have won. Amanda is a shining example of someone who picks herself up and keeps pushing forward. This self-motivating resilience forges a will that always finds a way to succeed.
“When I first started playing floorball, I was not very good at it. I played defender for a short period of time at the SEA Games and actually let in a goal. When I watch myself back then I wonder what I was doing. This year when I play as forward, I feel much more able to contribute. So even though some instances might make you feel unsure, try to use them as motivation to become better. Always keep trying. I try to apply this resilience to my personal life, and with school and work.”
Practice humility and positivity
Humility is another trait that stands out in Amanda. Throughout our conversation, not only does she regularly refer to the strengths of others, she also attributes all her achievements to the people in her life. Humility allows her to stay level-headed in her successes as she finds inspiration in others, and aspires to keep achieving more.
Amanda always keeps a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances.
“In life, bad things can happen, but I always try to look on the bright side of things. For instance, during floorball selections, there will be people who constantly worry about being cut from the team because of a lack of stamina or skill. But I feel that a more productive thing to do would be to use the time to do your part and train hard. You need to prove that you can, to yourself – not the coaches.”
Be grateful for every experience
At the end of the day and with each achievement, Amanda is thankful for the support of her parents, the people around her, and her beliefs that keep her grounded and content.
“I come from a Christian background and my parents always encourage me to ‘do my best and leave the rest to God’. So when I achieve something that’s beyond my expectations, I am reminded to always be thankful. I realise that it is not by my own strength that I can come so far.”