[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Sunday, June 03, 2007

[The finals]
I guess one of the reasons why the championships involved the word 'paddle' is because there's an added element of kayaking this time. A paddle is the instrument that you use in dragonboating as well.

So apart from dragon head and tails (and boats of course), you get to see the occasional kayak here and there travelling up and down the paths in Bedok Reservoir.

Well before I start my story on our performance today, I shall preach.

1. Decision making
The decision that one makes is important. The decision that you make can make or break someone, something and cause different outcomes. It's just like the words you use. Words are like glass. Words can cut and can hurt a person. It is not easy to stay calm and collected and make important decisions in a split second. The repercussions are tremendous. But it is this test of decision-making that sieves out the leaders. It is how you react to circumstances on the spot and not the way you flare up when everything does not go right.

2. Winning is not everything, the process is more important
Our team scored the silver last year in a similar race. But this year, we didn't do as well. However, the success is worth a mention. We didn't have as much young players this time but our co-ordination as a team for the training sessions complemented each other. Through the many mistakes that we make, we learn. We learn who to trust, who does what best and who can perform.

3. Leadership
Leading a team to success is not easy. The administrative part is easy. Managing relations is not too difficult. The crunch comes when it is the motivational part. In any sport, motivation is necessary. I think I will need to learn how to motivate a team well.

4. Teamwork
Teamwork is an important key in dragonboating just like in soccer. There are no solo players. Each one has to keep up with his/her mates in front and beside. Going solo does not pay off.

Many had felt that our entry into the finals was a surprise. I thought so too. But since we managed a place, we would give off our best. In fact, within the whole of Aljunied GRC, our team was the only team to make it to the finals. That itself is worth mentioning.

I think that during the final race today, our co-ordination needed an additional boost. We were totally off key. Paddles clashed front and back. Synchronisation was totally off beat. There were no shouts of victory. The tune was just unfit to be heard.

But I guess sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes. How can one learn if we do not make mistakes?

Even though our team emerged the fifth out of six boats we were cheered on by onlookers. Many of our other rowers came up to us and gave us handshakes. It made me felt like I achieved something big as I flashed a megawatt smile. It was a good race.

Although when I receive my medal soon (I did not stay for the prize presentation) and see that it is not gold, silver or bronze, I will remember the effort, the blood and the sweat that I put to win it.

Winning is not everything. It is the process that counts, really.


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