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Promoting Best Practices For Stronger Mental Well-Being

Well-Being Week

The challenges our national athletes face are beyond just physical exhaustion. Their mental well-being also takes a hit whenever they are down with injuries or have to face critics from the public for their performances. These are challenges that our student-athletes will have to learn to deal with in their lives.

From 3 to 7 November 2022, it was declared Well-Being Week in Sports School to address the importance of mental health and well-being ahead of the year-end examinations. Based on the theme, ‘Harnessing Your Strength’, talks and activities were organised for student-athletes. All student-athletes and boarders also received specially curated care packs, prepared by student councilors and boarding captains, as a boost ahead of their year-end examinations. 

The highlight of the week-long focus on well-being was a sharing session by alumni Pang Sheng Jun and Yeo Jia Min on 4 October. Both of them shared useful tips on dealing with emotional pressure, handling the stress of competition expectations, and the need to have trusted support groups to bounce off pent-up feelings.

Former national swimmer Sheng Jun shared that he felt the pressure of not medalling in his first two SEA Games. Despite representing the country in the major Games, he recalled being a little embarrassed when he returned home without any medals around his neck while being greeted by family and friends at the airport. He stressed the importance of having a trusted support group to share his feelings and overcome his disappointments. With support from his family and friends, Sheng Jun spurred on and continued pursuing his passion for swimming – urging the student-athletes to do the same and not give up when not able to medal in competitions. He also shared that he shifted his mindset from just winning to enjoying the process and creating as many memories as possible. With persistence, he eventually medalled in the following major Games and competitions.

Jia Min, on the other hand, is still an active national badminton player. The current world number 20 shared that strong mental health is needed to compete and overcome challenges. She shared that she learnt to accept the different situations she was in and that change has to come from within to overcome challenges. In particular, she shared about her injuries and how she focused on her recovery instead of what the critics were saying about her. She also encouraged the student-athletes to refine their purpose, focus on what they are striving for, and find sources of motivation to help them overcome future challenges.

Besides their sharing, student-athletes heard from the School Counsellors on ‘Identifying Your Superpower.’ They shared tips on identifying their strengths and using them effectively to deal with challenges. They also conducted a ‘Calming Jar Activity’ with boarders to equip them with life skills to calm their emotional state.

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