Mr Desmond Wong
Teacher, Physical Education & Computer Applications
Assistant Coach of Combined Schools' Volleyball (Girls) Team
When I was approached to take up the role as Assistant Coach of the Combined Schools' Volleyball (Girls) Team at the beginning of the year, I hesitated. Even though I have been a volleyball player for almost 18 years, I have little coaching experience. However, the desire to coach and develop the youth of our nation drives me to take the leap of faith. I have learnt that it is important to have strong faith in the things we do, so that when the going gets tough, we can look back and remind ourselves of the belief we had at the beginning.
We are one of the earliest teams to commence training in January this year. We believe that ample practice is a form of respect to the opponents and the supporters of the team. Training was originally once a week on Saturdays, and has since increased to 3 times a week as the Games draws near. The team had also participated in an Athletes' Camp during the June holidays to get to know athletes from other sports and also to foster camaraderie among the players.
It was really tough at the beginning as the coaches only get to meet the players once a week. The fact that the players all come from different institutions did not help as rapport building was extremely difficult. As the coach, I also faced resistance in persuading the players to buy into our new training methods as they have been training previously for almost a decade using methods taught by their own coaches. Arguments and unhappiness were unavoidable when both the coaches and the players refuse to barge in their beliefs. However, both the players and the coaches did not give up as we understood our common goal and purpose of being in the team. Despite our many differences, everyone was willing to open up to one another eventually and we started to accept each other's ideas and proposals.
As a coach, I find motivation when I see my players learn new things about the sport they love and find joys and friendships in their pursuit to be an outstanding volleyball player. 'Believe before you can make others believe' has been my biggest learning from being a coach in this team. It is about believing in the ultimate goal and purpose of what I do, and most importantly, the potential of the youth.