Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Females the stronger gender?

Did some training last night. I trained till I could not even do a proper toss to hands, and my entire shirt was drenched with my sweat from top to bottom. However, Snow's shirt was still completely dry, and she told me this: "She got nothing from the training at all, except hurting knees and ankles from all the pop down; she did not felt that she had trained at all."

Today on my way to work, as usual I would take a copy of My Paper and read. I read this article from the chinese section about "我国体坛为何女强男弱?" This article makes me go into deep thoughts.

In summary, the article explores reasons why females are dominating Singapore sports scene at the moment; with the victory of our female table tennis in the 2008 Olympics as the most notable example. The article also mentions for the first time, since the establishment of Singapore National Olympic Committee(SNOC) Awards in 1967, the "Best Male Athelete of the year award" has zero nomination because no single male is deserving of that award and hence not awarded.

As reported on the paper, some reasons given that may be attributing to the senario now is due to the lower international standards for females as compared to males and also the higher participation of males in competitions. Another reason stated is the disruption of training for males due to NS commitments. Another reason that I picked out is the fact that females can receive more help in training from males but not vice-versus; for example a female table tennis player can spar with a male player to maximise and bring out her potential by playing with the quicker and stronger male player. The paper also said that this phenomenon may just be a temporary one, with more male atheletes up and coming.

After some thoughts from reading the article, coupled with last night's training, I start to seriously agree with the statement: "我国体坛女强男弱" Are the reasons given by My Paper a true reflection or are they just excuses for our under-performing male atheletes? To me, I start to think that they are all but excuses, it is either you succeed or you fail. Don't tell me that the female atheletes mentioned in the paper did not train hard for their competition? They may be where they are now because they put in so much more efforts than their male counterparts. And please do not take the credit away from them by saying stuff like there is less competition and lower international standards for females, they deserved to be right where they are now.

I resoundingly think that for the cheer scene in Singapore, the guys are much weaker than the girls in general, maybe with few and far between exceptions. Let me talk in terms of partner stunting, if the guy is not good and strong enough to base the flyer, there is no way the flyer can do her stunts or try any new tricks. Now I know why Snow did not even break a sweat last night; the stunts that we were doing are so "elementary" to her. It is not like she was doing something new, it was stuff that she had done 2 years ago when the Taiwanese came down. Then all the Taiwanese bases had to do was to mention and explain to her a few details of the stunt and there you have it, she did it on the first or next couple of tries with them; stuff like full up, full around, tick tocks, pop overs (It can all be seen from her videos). It took me 2 years to be doing what they had been doing back then, and still I am less consistent. People sometimes are amazed or wonder how come Snow can take a 1 year break without training and yet come back and do all the stuff as if she had been training hard and that she had not been away. The reason is that it is all very simple stunts for her, which I must elaborate again that she already did it 2 YEARS AGO and the only variable comes from the base that is me.

The point I am trying to make is that all, every single one of the bases in Singapore are weak, if not they are strong but have no techniques! In the My Paper article, they mentioned about the male table tennis players playing and helping the female players reach a higher standard. To me, this does not apply at all to the males in cheerleading, we do not help the females of our sport to reach higher standards or maximise their potential, instead we are actually impeding them. In all my years of experience, from what I see from all the different trainings at different places in Singapore, it is always the bases who said lets take a break, or complained about having no strength; yes when I say this it includes myself. When is the time we as bases in Singapore want to start to buck up? If we know that we are way off the mark, shouldn't we be working doubly hard? or much harder than the girls?

So is this phenomenon really a temporary one, with more male atheletes up and coming, like what My Paper says? I think not in 1 or 2 years time. In cheer, what I can see from the new generation of bases is promising in general at the moment, but to say, for example, that we are going to have even 10 sets of flyers and bases doing Pop Overs together, I think we are still way off the mark, unless all bases have a radical change in their mindset. Bases who felt wronged and aggrieved by my stinging accusations, that we are all below standards, feel free to prove me otherwise, I will be more than happy to be able to eat my words one day. Myself as a base, I will like to make myself eat my own words too, no matter how much I do not like the feeling, I have to accept it. Improvements only starts after acceptance.

P.S: Maybe this is why there is only 1 base nomination compared to several flyers nomination in Chaang's top 20 - There are just no base deserving of that accolade.

No comments: