Friday, March 9, 2012

Interview with Vincent Fok

Throughout my 7 years of cheerleading journey, I’ve met many teachers, coaches and mentors. Some taught me, some coached me and some mentored me, while among all these; there are a few that really helped me to be who I am today. And one of would be Mr. Vincent Fok, Assistant Coach of Wildcards Cheerleading Team back then.

Vincent has always been the counter balance of Chaang, Head Coach of Wildcards Cheerleading Team. One applies HARD approach, the other SOFT. Vincent has always been the one having the image of being soft, gentle, patience, communication expert and the ‘mummy’ of the team. He always has this, very ‘close’ feeling, whenever I see him, I just want to hug him.

Today, I’ve had the honor to be able interview him, as the Head Coach of Singapore Polytechnic Cheerleading Team, Gusto (SP GUSTO), for his views and opinions about the team’s recent win in the 3rd SNCC 2012.

Below is the transcript.

Ken: First and foremost, congratulation on your team’s winning in IHL Category and being crowned Overall Champion.

Vincent Fok: Thank you. It’s not my effort, it’s the team’s effort.

K: Today, I only have a few questions for you, approximately about 12.

V: Ok.

K: How do you plan your training usually? Do you plan the routine in your mind and push your player to acquire the ability to hit it? Or training your people up and choreography your routine according to their ability?

V: Well, you must first know the player and player’s ability well and then plan the routine, while being aware of the latest market trend. Stunt difficulty will always be the first, but should player’s ability have fallen short, put your creativity for modification.

K: How do you start the season? Do you set goals together with them?
V: We do set goals together especially during post training activities. For Team A, they are the senior team and more or less they already know what they want to do. Team A had 3 modifications in total; they’ve completed the first version by Dec 2011. Before they go for their exam break, they managed to upgrade to second version. While after they came back from their break, the third version, which is the final one. For Team B, the junior team, they still need guidance and in fact, we changed flyer TWICE for this routine.

K:What’s your training style or approach?

V: It really depends on the players. For example, Team A, they are more independent and opinionated, therefore, they wouldn’t require as much attention comparing with Team B. My role is more on cleaning up, brushing up and facilitate their training. While for Team B, they are new and therefore, there are more opportunities to explore for more options. Well, if you pull your players by their nose, they wouldn’t last long.

K: What’s your secret of dealing with players effectively?

V: Empower them.

K: How do you empower them?
V: I don’t know how to tell you, but it’s just in the culture of communication of the team. When everyone first started, definitely because they are interested, therefore, whatever the player will do depends on how you build and handle their interest.

K: What’s your aim and plan for the next season?

V: More than half of the seniors from Team A will be graduating this year and I’m left with 5 players from Team A. Team B would be shouldering the responsibilities to carry on the team’s legacy of being crowned Overall Champion consecutively. I still would like to send two teams for competition next season, three would be ideal, in order to help the industry to grow. Definitely, the most important thing is to remain clean state, injury free. The big thing is still SAFETY FIRST.

K: How do you manage your time between the 6 team you are involved with? Namely, Wildcards, SP Gusto Team A, SP Gusto Team B, ITE College East Genesis, Spectrum and Team Lions.

V: Well, Wildcards is more or less settled by the rising coaches, Bi Yi, Jen, Gary, Ochi and others. Team Lions is handled by OWC and my role is to touch up and brush up their specific skill. Spectrum’s work load was shared with Hann Bin and others. I relied a lot on communication and empowering the leaders in each team, and also I believe in giving >100% in each team whenever I am around.

K: What do you think that you have done well and what are the areas you can improve on?

V: For things I have done well, first is definitely managed to introduce Gusto Team B. Then, set up my company Invincible Cheerleading and getting involved with FCS and Team Lions. Areas to be improved on, as I was transiting from being a SOLO, operation coach to a managerial coach, I need to improve on my management skills. Therefore, it would be better to have more support and advices, nonetheless, thanks to all those that have supported me. (He did mentioned A LOT of names, shall conclude in the other question)

K: What are your TOP 5 criteria that determine a good cheerleader?

V: 1.) It is a plus if you are talented, but you still need hardwork.

2.) Willpower

3.) Never lose sight of your goal

4.) Good team player

5.) Communication

K: What are your TOP 3 criteria that determine a good coach?

V: 1.) Passion

2.) Dedication

3.) Perseverance

K: Do you have anything to say to your team or anyone?

V: There are a lot to name.

K: Just name a few major ones.

V: From WCT, Chaang and the team for helping out at Spectrum during HO.

Ms. June and Ms. Linda, the teachers-in-charge from ITE College East.

OWC for engaging me to be involve in FCS and Team Lion and guiding me to be a better coach and better at management.
Lenny and James, without them, I would not have loved cheer this much


Poh Kang, Wei Han and Clement – they are the pillars of the team and helped push the team to upgrade the routine three times.

Ling Yao – For doing the administrative works especially when I’m busy dealing with both Team A and B.

Dominic and Song Rong – Thank you for coming back to assist especially during the final phase acting as a super strong support team.

Helmi – For agreeing to send the second team. Nothing can be done without the support of the school.

Last but not least, my parents, for always supporting me. Even when I choose to build cheerleading as my career.

K: What’s the one thing that you feel that you can do and that after doing it, Singapore cheerleading community will be propelled to another level?

V: Getting the support from government.

K: Last question! What is that one sentence that you would like to give to the cheerleading community if you know what you will be passing on tomorrow?

V: Wah, this one is quite difficult and I never thought of it before (XWonder agreed)

------ After 5 minutes -----

OK! Cheering is a way of life. When we step on the mats as cheerleader, we've taken on a culture, and the embodiment of being a cheerleader which is, all the qualities I've mentioned. And we do not wait for things to happen, and we don't wait for people to cheer us up. So if this is my parting words, I would say 'Do things not for yourself, but for others'


Vincent’s Profile

Vincent, a veteran cheerleader now, started his cheerleading career from Ngee Ann Polytechnic Cheerleading Team, Magnum Force. He had won countless of medals and awards before officially embarking on his coaching journey in year 2008 with Victoria Junior College. Since then, it is a journey of no return. Click here for more info.

Recently, Vincent had started his own company named InVincible Cheerleading. Below is the company’s profile. Please do visit the company site and like their Facebook group page.

Invincible cheerleading was founded in 2010, with the aim of providing a holistic cheerleading experience for the sports and education industry. Our success has been based on bringing together a team of stunts, gymnastics and fitness training experts, with strong relationships in the industry. This team has enabled Invincible Cheerleading to win major projects with the most prestigious companies in the sector.

Our events and performance team has been delivering deft-defying performances and impressing the audiences since 2005. Delivering excellent results, on time and to budget, has ensured repeat business and built Invincible Cheerleading a reliable business partner.

Check us out on and

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