Thursday, June 26, 2008


I am not a stanch believer of god, but I believe in attitude. This is something interesting I'd like to share...

Take a look at this...


From a strictly mathematical viewpoint: What Equals 100%?

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to GIVE OVER 100%.

How about ACHIEVING 101%?

What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help answer these questions:

If: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is represented as: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

If: H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K
8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%

And: K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E
11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%

But: A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E
1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%

THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:
L-O-V-E-O-F- G-O-D
12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that: While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there, It's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Start early, start right.

This post is dedicated to all young aspiring cheerleaders... You have what I always hope to have, that is time.

In the past few months, I got the opportunity to move around quite a bit and got in contact with some cheerleaders from secondary schools. They are very young (compared to me) and some just started cheerleading. Whenever we did some partner stunts, it never fails to amaze some of them. The guys being still quite small sized might be thinking I can never do this, but what I want to tell them is that they can too, I am not saying that it is going to be easy, but they do have time on their side.

If one is really passionate about cheerleading, they will be willing to sacrifice a large portion of their time for it. I spent the last 5 years of my life dedicating each and everyday to cheerleading to be where I am now. Shall not go into details, but it was very tough, and each time I wished that I had started when I was younger, when I was still in secondary school. This is because your body tend to be more receptive and learn things faster when you are still growing. If I had started younger, I probably will be much better now.

Because of my experience, I want to urge young cheerleaders who aspire to be good in cheerleading, to start training proper techniques and body control while they are still young. It would be even better if they got the chance to be enrolled in gymnastics lessons. To be a real good cheerleader, like those you see on videos, you really have to start from young, or be prepared to endure tougher times when you are older. Do not only think it is impossible when you see others do higher level stunts, stop drooling over them and start putting in the effort. Seek proper guidance and start young, results do not show immediately, but by the time you reach their age, you will be magnificent.

In alot of my previous posts, I always state the importance of gymnastics to cheerleading, it gives you overall body strength and flexibility for stunting, other then just tumbling, and by now I think all can agree with me on that. So back to the point of are we too old to start learning gymnastics? Personally I was 23 when I first got introduced to gymnastics, and I feel that now at the age of 26, I have achieve sufficient for me to be proud of myself. I believe that if you want it, no one is too old to start, just that as you age, the effort required has to increase too. Below is another abstract from addressing this topic.

This is a common question that we see often from gymnasts most often ranging in age from 12 and up. Can I still get good at such and such an age? We would never be the ones to ever say no to that question. We are firm believers in the ability of humans to do whatever they set their mind to. So yes, you can still get good at floor exercise, at the other gymnastics events and increase your flexibility at age 20. There are gymnasts your age and older who have or are competing at the international level. There are collegiate gymnasts your age who are making some of the best gymnastics progress of their lives at your age.

This is not to say that it will not be difficult and more difficult than if you had started at a much younger age. There is scientific evidence that very difficult gymnastics skills are more easily learned and much better learned at a younger age, say 8 – 11 years of age. Younger gymnasts also do not usually have any fear of doing gymnastics skills and they adapt to hard training regimens more easily. This does not mean that you cannot learn gymnastics skills at your age.

Many older people who have not done gymnastics at a young age do not understand the amount of work and effort and the large amount of time that it takes to get good at gymnastics. Even a highly talented young athlete is going to take 3 – 5 years to get really great.

At any age, strength and flexibility are the two most important prerequisites for gymnastics success. Older gymnasts can take advantage and gain more benefit from weight training than younger gymnasts can. Weight training is a good all-around progressive method of increasing strength. Train all strength building activities to the point of momentary muscular failure to gain maximum strength most efficiently.

Gymnastics is not a sport that can really be learned without a coach. You can perhaps do some of the preliminary strength and flexibility training on your own, but when it comes to really learning gymnastics skills, you will (as all gymnasts do) require quality coaching.

The primary impediments to someone your age training successfully for gymnastics are likely to be time, money and commitment. To become really good in gymnastics, you need to train every day. When you are playing catch-up like you will be, this is even more true. Daily strength and flexibility training can take an hour or more. Daily gymnastic skills training will take from 45 minutes to 1&½ hours per day per event.

Gymnastics coaching is not inexpensive. Your initial training will likely be in an adult or teen plus gymnastics class and they do not usually meet daily. Team level training often costs hundreds of dollars per month.

If you are working, going to school or socializing a lot, you may find it difficult to find the time and energy to train.

None of what we are saying in any way means that we don’t think a 20-year-old could not get really good in gymnastics. We believe that they could. We do believe that, like a gymnast of any age, they will have to be willing to pay the price, physically, mentally and financially. That price, especially physically and mentally, goes up as you get older.

We really love this sport, and if you do also, then we believe that you could reach your gymnastics goals through hard work, regular practice and with good coaching. We wish you luck and if there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know.

So to all younger cheerleaders out there again, start young and get a real headstart, to give you an edge over others, to become the best in the business few years down the road. You do not want to regret in future for not making the grade as you progress down the road. I have seen many cheerleaders give up and quit when they step up to the next level because they feel they are not good enough and cannot cope with the trainings, I am sure you do not want that. Your journey starts RIGHT NOW!

P.S: Do you only want to take/be the elevator for your whole life?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

So if gymnastics is so great, are we too old to start learning?

What's so great about gymnastics.

Below is abstract from The author is Nancy Thies Marshall, also a ex-gymnast. I found the article quite useful and would like to share with everyone.

1. Gymnastics is a multifaceted sport.
This is a sport that develops physical strength, speed, agility, nerves of steel, and competitive prowess. Additionally, women must wrap that package of athleticism in grace and personality. Not many sports draw upon such a wide range of ability. Within the three main gymnastics disciplines (Men's and Women's Artistic and Rhythmic), there are as many as 15 different individual events, each with unique challenges and thrills. Add General Gymnastics and Trampoline and Tumbling, and opportunities in the sport are endless.

2. Gymnastics is a challenging sport.
Walking, let alone flipping, is hard to do on a four-inch balance beam. It takes more than a few push-ups to master an iron cross on the rings. Leaping through a moving hoop is not a cake walk. Gymnastics is "difficult." But the very qualities it takes to master these skills - courage, perseverance, risk, determination, vision - are the qualities that foster excellence in any endeavor. Dealing with the "difficulties" will translate into valuable life skills and strength of character. Bolstered by unconditional love from parents and skilled guidance from coaches, gymnasts are better prepared to handle the "difficulties" of life because of the challenges faced in the gym.

3. Gymnastics is a socially interactive sport.
The unique social environment in the gym provides for healthy growth. In gymnastics, a nine-year old trains with older and younger athletes. Self-esteem is boosted by camaraderie with older teammates. Maturity and perspective is nurtured as she then turns to relate to the younger athletes on the team. Few sports provide the opportunity for kids to work so closely with teammates of different ages. The social maturity gained within the sport is far healthier than the "social immaturity" forced on kids spending aimless afternoons at the mall or watching television.

4. Gymnastics teaches individual responsibility and courage.
Though there is a team element, gymnastics is an individual sport. When practice is over and the green flag is raised, the athlete faces the apparatus alone. To execute a routine successfully, under the scrutiny of judges, coaches and spectators, it takes concentration, determination, endurance, and often courage. Confidence to call upon these qualities is nurtured every time a child attempts another routine. Life requires us to take personal responsibility for the choices we make. Courage to take that responsibility and make right choices is developed with each mount and dismount.

5. Gymnastics enriches childhood.
After my Olympic experience, I was often asked if I felt like I had sacrificed a normal childhood for my athletic dreams. I was always a bit confused by this question. I did gymnastics because I wanted to. Sports was not a sacrifice, it was a choice. Granted, that choice meant sometimes I was also choosing to forego other activities. But thanks to guidance from my parents and coaches, gymnastics opened doors and enriched my life. Victories, defeats, travel, relationships and much more combined to teach me the joys, difficulties and realities of our world.

And I'm not alone. Traveling the country to develop the Athlete Wellness Program for USA Gymnastics, I've had the privilege of meeting former gymnasts who now have careers in counseling, medicine, advertising, law, youth ministry, coaching, emergency response, environmental engineering and parenting, to name a few. All agree their gymnastics training better prepared them to tackle the challenges of the adult world.

It takes wise coaches and parents to translate gym lessons into life lessons. But most gymnastics clubs are founded on the belief that the sport has the potential to be a health-enhancing experience for all who participate. If anyone is looking for fertile soil in which to grow life's champions, you might start at your local gymnastics club.

Nancy Thies Marshall is a 1972 Olympian, five-time national team member, former national Vault and Balance Beam champion, and collegiate All-American. She is currently the developer and manager of USA Gymnastics Athlete Wellness Program and a freelance journalist. Nancy and her husband have three children and live in Salem, Oregon.


Below are some fun fact which I found at

-At the University of Kentucky the average female cheerleader is 5'0" - 5'1" and weighs 97 pounds.

-About 98% of all female cheerleaders were former gymnasts, compared to just 20% of all male cheerleaders.

-97% of all cheerleaders are female, however, almost 50% of collegiate Cheerleaders are male.

*BTW 97 pounds is equivalent to 43.9Kg.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moving Forward

Both Ian Rush and Eric Cantona are greats in the soccer scene, both of them are legends in their club. So what is the main difference between these 2? Eric Cantona retired when he was at his best, even though he could have carried on for at least a few more years, while Ian Rush moved on to other clubs after his peak, and hang on for few more years, playing below his peak form, with lower level teams.

So in cheerleading terms, would you choose to follow the path of Ian Rush or Eric Cantona? Would you move on to another team that is less competitive and more passion driven, stay there and enjoy the fun with little stress, compete in but have no aims to be champions of Cheerobics team category anymore? Or would you retire at your best, not compete in Cheerobics team category altogether, leaving the scene on a high?

Personally I would choose the path of Eric Cantona, to leave on a high, then maybe venture into another wing of cheerleading, such as group and partner stunts, just like Cantona ventured into another wing of soccer, beach soccer and still be the king there.

I do not believe in living in mediocrity, I shall always seek to be the best in whatever I do, if it is not to be in the team event, it shall be the group event. The day I feel that I am past my best, is the day I shall retire, I will not hang around to be just another man, nor will I go down to a lower level, if I compete, I only compete with the best and to win.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Would you rather be Ian Rush or Eric Cantona?
I guess it depends on who it is, and what you had become. It is there, maybe only you cannot see it. You reap what you sow.

All it takes in a moment...

The action itself was not wrong, it was not the reason for what happened, but being the only ones, it was used against them. You are still young, and will need time to learn and adjust, it is not easy, hence it shall be forgiven. Humans are petty and jealous creatures, no matter how they hide it. Trust me, it shall not be the last of it, and when it happens, you can only watch.

Friday, June 20, 2008

We tend to only see one side of the story and condemn the other...
I guess I was too naive to think that a single solution will solve the problem

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trainings (Team)

I have been in ACES for 5 years, and have been through different trainings together as a team in each year, under 5 different captains. I would say that none is perfect, but all has their merits. It is tough to be a captain, often being under the scrutiny of everyone, and never failed to be bad mouthed from time to time, especially when things go wrong. I would also like to give a little personal opinion on how I think a captain can plan and execute a training, and also how as members of the team to give support to the captain. (I never been a captain before so ignore me if you think I am not suited to give my opinions on this issue.)

Lets say you are a very fit person, and if you are the one planning and conducting the training, how will you plan it? Will you plan it such that everyone does what you can do, i.e you can run 2.4 in 8 mins, and you make everyone run that fast? or will you access the average standard of your teammates before you set a target pace? The answer is obvious, as a good leader or captain, you will plan the workout to tailor for everyone, to meet most people's standards, instead of setting one where only you can achieve.

As cheerleading is a team sport, we do out warm ups and trainings together, and because we do not have the luxury to impose a thing such as "if you cannot run 2.4 in 8 mins you are out" policy, trainings have to be tailored to the average. In such a system, there are bound to be those who feel that its too easy, not tough enough and its a waste of time; there are also bound to be those who struggled and feel that it is a tough training. Well it is hard to cater to everyone, and its easy to say all have to reach a equal standard, however the chain is as strong as the weakest link, no matter how strong the strongest is, it is of no use to the chain, therefore trainings should be tailored such as to help push the weaker ones up, while the stronger ones should help motivate, instead of feeling it is a waste of time. Try being in the shoes of the captain and you will understand.

In order to maintain discipline and harmony, no individual should do their own workout, but rather when doing the same workout, they can push themselves more when they run, jump higher or lift heavier weights. For example, If you complain that running is useless, that is because you never push yourself, or you think that you are too good already, or you do not even want to put in the effort. The same goes to all other workouts, not giving your max equals to a waste of time and energy. Changing the workout will not help if you are not going to put in your max anyway.

It is a never ending, or should I say on going process to find the optimum training workout, and it varies from time to time. As the captain, your job is to monitor your team mates and modify the workout here and there, from time to time to stay current with them physically, physiologically and psychologically, keep them interested with new variations at times. As team members, your job is to stay at your best all the time and do your utmost during the workout, listen and follow your captain and not to give unnecessary comments or jibs. If both parties does their job with due diligence, trainings will become more enjoyable.

I hope to see less tears being shed in future.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Spark

I think I am onto something new. I finally felt another part of my body muscle which I could not control before. I am now beginning to be able to control it and feel it bit by bit. Its just like the feeling when one fine day I was able to do single liberty, it just came out of the blue. But it was due to the many trainings before that and the body finally gets it, just like that.

Now i know how the gymnast are able to hold themselves stationary while doing handstand. The crux is the part of your body where when most people do handstand will stick out, the chest to the abs. How often when you do handstand and someone is telling you suck in your chest or suck in your tummy? I used to get that alot too, and I will always reply, "I did, I did." or "I tried, this is the max." This is because I was not able to control that part of my body muscles yet.

If when you do handstands and your hands feels tired very fast, you are probably not doing it correctly. With what I discovered, the body gets tired faster than the arms. You should be able to feel all of your weight at your body centre, somewhere in the middle of the heart and chest. I am not very pro at this yet, but finally I am able to control it a little. With lots more practice, I hope that I can get better.

This is going to be the key for me to improve on my stunting and strength control. And this is also the reason how come small size guys like the "idol" in Braves and Xiao Gao from Taiwan are able to stunt so well. Its all about maximising your body, with the right posture and control.

Friday, June 6, 2008

From Japan

At Changi Airport

Touched Down in Japan

First night - On way to Shibuya

First Meal in Japan

Sashimi and Sakae!

Day 2 - Warm up day

After the Warm-Up

Going to Harajuku

Sashimi again

Competition day 1

After Competition Day 2

Went for celebration Dinner with lots of drinks

Last Breakfast in Tokyo

Before we leave the hostel for the last time

Harajuku again

Met some guys from Braves

Our final meal in Japan at the Airport. Total of 3000 over yen.

Overall it was one nice trip.