Beach outing 2012

Its been a long time since i hit the beach to enjoy the sun, sand and games… Let alone mention to have the awesome company of my sports science course mates. How else would sports students spend some legendary time together right? :)

It was a very liberating feeling to put aside all assignments, essays, reports, exams and our personal work to sweat it out through fun filled games.

Often the issue w such a day is the lack of photos as everyone is fully participating in all activities and i guess that is all that matters.the mental image we all have will be for us to keep, to remind ourselves to “work hard, play hard” to have a “balanced work-life” and to give each other a very pleasant experience.. =]

It was a pity that not everyone managed to turn up for this particular outing, however, we have new additional in put from the other cohort, which in my own opinion is very important as it serves to prove that we have an open mind. Adding new dynamics, breaking out of our usual comfort zone is the challenge we all have to live up to, if we wanna survive in this society. So. Thumbs up to everyone. Kudos.

And here comes the pictures everyone’s been waiting for!! :)

Beautiful clear sky! Giving us a little too much heat and sun… Haha!

I buried my classmates shoes while he was in the toilet! Awesome… Haha. Treasure hunting for your own shoes is exciting right gary?

Some of the peeps after we showered!

Cant wait for the next sentosa beach party!! Heehee.. But till then, i needa work hard-er-er-er…. Hahaha

Is the athlete suitable for his chosen sport?

Excelling in a specific sport: Is the athlete suitable for his chosen sport?
In a mobile field sport like soccer, different playing positions will require different physical demands in order to excel in that specific position. The role of an attacking midfielder is to be able to control the flow of the team’s offensive play, and is often involved in passing the ball intelligently, which leads to scoring goals. This is a complex task achieved by linking up both the defense and offence of the team by stringing in passes. To excel as an attacking midfielder, one has to possess excellent ball control techniques, creativeness, motivation, intelligence to move without the ball and to analyze the game.
Elite athletes have common trends that give them advantages over non-elite athletes. Using elite athletes as a standard, identification of potential talents in that particular sport is made possible. The common trends are based on six main physical capacities: height and weight, body composition, proportionality, flexibility, strength and power. The tests can be further broken down into: height, body mass, sum of eight skinfolds, brachial index, crural index, relative sitting height, arm flexion-extension, leg flexion, grip strength, leg extension strength, jump and reach, agility run and the somatotype.
The client is a soccer player who plays the position of an attacking midfielder. He wishes to improve his performance in soccer. Interpretation of results will be done based on comparison of tests results against other elite soccer athletes. Remedial actions will be given to the participant to help improve his physical capacity.
Tittel (1978) states that a lean physique and minimal body fat can give a competitive advantage in sports in which the body weight must be transported. Weight-height indexes are used to calculate the body mass index (BMI) of an individual. The BMI is used to determine the ideal weight for an athlete. However, it does not distinguish the body composition of the athlete. Hence, the skinfold test, which is a common method for determining body fat composition, will be used. Skinfold test results are also being used to calculate the endomorphy of an individual. As an attacking midfielder, taller players tend to win headers more readily due to the height advantage. Having a larger body mass will mean there will be more inertia and hence more reluctance to fall down during a challenge. Using Heath-Carter method, the client’s somatotype is 4.5, 6.0, 1.5 whereas the elite athlete’s somatotype is 2.5, 5.0, 2.5 for endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy respectively. The client’s body type is relatively close to that of the elite athlete’s. The client is ranked 10th percentile for height, 30th percentile for body mass and 10th percentile for sum of eight skinfolds.
Using test results, the client’s BMI is 24, which is slightly above the acceptable region for Asians and has an endomorphy score of 2.0 above that of the elite athletes. Client should have a slightly lesser food intake and more energy output from exercise in order to lose body fat. At the moment, the client is not suitable for elite competitions.
The brachial index is the ratio of forearm to the arm. John and Peter (2007) also state that a larger brachial index provides athletes an advantage in fast movement of the arm. The crural index is the ratio of tibia length to the femur length. John and Peter (2007) state that a larger crural index provides an athlete the advantage in jumping and running. Bramble and Lieberman (2004) also state that greater leg length reduces energy expenditure as a result of lower cadence and a higher stride length. Brachial Index is not as significance to an attacking midfielder as hands are not required unless when making a throw-in as stated by Bloomfield and Sigerseth (1965).  The relative sitting height is the ratio of the upper body to the height. Abernethy (1996) states that the trunk contributes 70% of the energy needed to do a jump. Hence individuals with longer trunk length will be able to produce more force. The client is ranked 40th percentile for the brachial index test, 90th percentile for the crural index test and 20th percentile for the relative sitting height test. The disadvantage of the sitting height could be neutralized by the advantageous crural index, which is more important for the soccer athlete. Hence, client is suitable for his chosen sport, soccer. 
Techniques should be modified to effectively change the lever lengths to enable the client to perform the skill in a more mechanically efficient way. Client should flex the forearm at the elbow, to shorten the lever to produce a more powerful throw-in. The following remedial actions for strengthening the trunk are prescribed. Five sets of five repetitions at an intensity of 85% of 1RM (repetition maximum) for each exercise during each session with one minute of rest between sets. Three sessions should be done each week, with at least one day (twenty-four hours) of rest between each session. Exercises prescribed are:  abdominal rotation, trunk extension and high pull.
Brad (2005) states that flexibility is defined as the absolute range of movements in a joint or series of joints that is attainable in a momentary effort with the aid of a partner or a piece of equipment. In any projectile motion, the releasing speed is the primary determinant of the distance traveled. Barfield (1998) states that swinging of the limb passively stretches to allow a greater transfer of force to the ball during the downward phase of the kick. With greater flexibility around the joint, maximum stored elastic potential energy is achieved, which leads to maximum kinetic energy. To achieve the greatest possible distance in a throw-in, a soccer player should release the ball with greatest possible speed, via an overhead throw by the arms, with the greatest possible arm and forearm flexion. Likewise, to achieve the greatest possible distance via kicking, the leg should be at its maximum flexion in order to kick the ball with the greatest possible speed. The client is ranked 50thpercentile for the arm flexion-extension test, 90th percentile for the forearm flexion-extension test and 60th percentile for the leg flexion test. From the flexibility tests results, the client is suitable to play soccer.
To improve flexibility of the arms and legs, we provided the following remedial actions: static stretch for thirty seconds, three repetitions per day over 5 days per week.
            Bangsbo (1994) states that muscle strength and power are required for dynamic movements such as headers, tackling, sprints and kicks. The grip strength test is a measure of general strength while the leg extension test measures the maximal strength of the leg. The client is ranked 10th percentile for the grip strength test and 50th percentile for the leg extension strength test. The validity of the grip strength test as a measure of general strength has been questioned, as the strength of the forearm muscles does not necessarily represent the strength of other muscle groups. Furthermore, the importance of the leg is more than that of the arm for the attacking midfielder. Hence, despite the low grip strength test result, the client is still suitable for playing soccer.
            To improve overall strength, the following remedial actions are prescribed: each session should contain five sets of five repetitions at an intensity of 85% of 1RM (repetition maximum) for each exercise. One minute of rest between sets. Three sessions should be done each week, with at least one day (twenty-four hours) of rest between each session. Exercises prescribed are: Ballistic leg extension, ballistic triceps extension, abdominal rotation and ballistic bench press.
            Knuttgen and Kraemer (1987) state that power is defined as the applied force multiplied by the speed of movement. Gollnick and Bayly (1986) also state that maximal instantaneous power is the highest level of power output, which can be produced in one or two muscular contractions. Young and Bilby (1993) states that maximal power output is the main determinant of performance in activities requiring one movement sequence with the goal of producing a high speed at release or impact. The agility run test involves short sprints, change of directions and good acceleration speed while the jump and reach test involves maximal output power. The client is ranked 60th percentile for the agility run test and 90thpercentile for the jump and reach test. The client is suitable for soccer.
            To improve on the agility, the following agility drill is prescribed. Place 4 cones to mark out a square of side five meters. Next, place a cone in the center of the square. Give each cone a number and have a teammate to call out a random number (cone). Sprint to the specific cone that was called out and sprint back to the center.
            Using Heath-Carter method, the client’s somatotype is 4.5, 6.0, 1.5 whereas the elite athlete’s somatotype is 2.5, 5.0, 2.5 for endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy respectively. The client’s body type is relatively close to that of the elite athlete’s. Hence, the client is suitable for soccer.

prepared and written by Zac Leow

My take on running

Alot of people do not realise why endurance runners are so different from “normal” people. Why they seem to be this calmness in them and why do they go through all these suffering when they could have just spend time relaxing.

One theory is that When u are out on a long run, u are out alone. It is just u and urself. U and ur problems, u and ur innermost demons. Its either u solve the crap or u get eaten up from within. It is a battle of survival. It is a battle Of physical endurance as well as mental endurance. Every step is a battle against urself. Every step could be hell or it could be the happiest moment of ur life. when i doing my race in japan, i was so overwhelmed with emotions, i started crying while racing.

The other view is based on the fact that Physical suffering is nothing compared to the sufferings felt from the heart. There are neither bandaids for the broken hearts nor medications for speedy recovery. There is no date line when one will ever start to feel better and let alone being fully recovered. To make things worse, no one knows when the “relapse” might hit the victim. Thats why, in my personal point of view, endurance athletes are great masters of escape. Endurance athletes escape into the trails only to create so much pain to their physical body that everything else seems insignificant. Endurance athletes run fast.. To escape..

No matter how you look at it, endurance athletes definitely burn more energy as compared to other athletes and in lay man terms they are often considered as “too tired to get angry”.

With all these in mind, i shall continue to run.. To run my hearts out.. To hopefully, one day i can be alright soon and defeat the demon within..

My mother the warrior

It all started 27 years ago when my mother went to the temple to pray for a baby boy despite her almost being 40 years old. The gentle wife prayed “god, please let me bear my husband a son. I will take up all responsibility, even if it means that it will bring me poor health.”
God heard her prayed and granted her wish, including bestowing poor health upon her.

My heroine, my mother, went through numerous cancer events, none of it having the odds in her favor. All of it was discovered in the late stages of cancer.. But yet she took up every single medication possible and fought through the chemotherapy, the radiation therapy. She fought through every single day of her life while taking care of me.

I have never been able to be appreciative of everything she has done for me till now that i am older. I was such an ass. I was never filial enough. I put my girlfriend in front of her. But yet it is her who stayed by my side and it is the pretty young ladies that left my life.
I will not Let her be the second fiddle in my life anymore.

Just a while bck, my mum felt lumps at her abdominal area. This was fucking bad news to my ears. I prayed hard that this is not what it may seem to be yet again, cancer. After medications and diagnostics, it has been confirmed that my beautiful mum is well and healthy. Praise the lord.

I never knew how much an impact my mum was to me till my one of my classmates told me “bro, u are just like ur mum. A warrior, a fighter that never gives up. Determined and focus. Never giving up on life” thats when i realised how true it is. Am i glad i took after my mum.

I will fight till my death if it is for my loved ones. I will fight till the end of time if its for my dreams and i will fight till the end if i know it is right.
Every single day i fight the pain in my heart.
Every single damn race, i fight the temptation to stop.
Every single day i fight to be the best i can be without being an asshole.

Mummy. I love you. May god bless u. <3 Am i glad i realised all these before its too late. Love ya!!
Zac Leow

SRJC Basketball.. Moving into a new era

2002, was the year SRJC last went into round 2 for the A division Basketball. In fact, that was the only few times in SRJC’s history that the basketball team had qualified for round 2 in ANY sport. 
It has been my honor to be able to have a bunch of great team mates that have allowed me to participate and challenge others in the A division. Till today, i still have such fond memories.
The loses were tough and the victories was nothing but sweet. 
But most importantly, the memories are here forever. 
Making me smile whenever i think about our glorious past.
It was no easy feat. 
It was tough work.
Let’s be honest about the situation. We had our fair share of fights with the opponents as well as within the team. In fact, some of us do not even see each other eye to eye. So this was when Ms Rivera invited Ms Ortega to conduct a sports psychology session for us, to motivate us and to try to gel us as a team.
During the session, we were asked what was our goal as a team and how we will move on from there. so in the end, my captain said “if we have to play, we might as well be the champion!”
everyone giggled. who was in the right mind to think that they can win HCI or RI or SAJC (who was the champion then)?
Ms Ortega went “Very good. so now thats the target and we will move on as a team!”
We were a little stunned by the reaction but at the same time it really hit us hard. 
and so, we signed our names on a mahjong paper and we focused ourselves towards a common goal. Regardless of what personal issues we have against one another, we will put it aside on court and we will work hard for each other to bring home VICTORY.
The day that got us all started

My wonderful team in malaysia

We were really having fun every single day as a team. no joke.
This was the day we qualified for 2nd Round. The day we won from a come-back fight against TPJC.
This was photo we took after we were 2nd for alumni games 2002

Such good memories.
Such good times.
Such sweet victories.

But all these are in the past.
Tomorrow, it will be a new chapter for team SRJC.
Tomorrow will be my first game in the A division as the coach for SRJC Boys team.
Tomorrow will be the day that i will have to battle my wits against a another coach.
Tomorrow will be a day i will remember forever,
as i officially transit from a player to a coach.

Will i be successful??
It will totally be dependent on this series.

I think back at all the trainings we have been through.
All the injuries
All the pain
All the crams
All the suffering
And this is all going to pay off in a series of basketball game.
It shall all be justified.

The guys that will do me proud. The guys that have put in so much effort. The guys that will fight for the best.

These are the guys that i will bringing to war tomorrow.
These are the people that made me believe that basketball is fun again.
You guys are the one that made me play basketball all over again.
Fall in love with the game, all over again.

Guys, i urge you not to conserve any strength,
not to hide your talents and
not to be shy of being yourself.

Together, we will make things happen.
So long as we believe we can.
Coach believes YOU CAN.

my last words before A div

Great moments.. are born from great opportunities
thats what have here, right here, right now.
thats what u have earned. 
to be here to prove your worth.
If we played the any top teams ten times, they might win 9.
but, not in any games.
Not this A div.
for this A div, we will hunt them 
for this A div, we stay with them
for this A div, we shut them down. BECAUSE WE CAN
for this A div, we are the greatest basketball team in the world.
You were born to be basketball players.
everyone of u.
and you were meant to be here today, to play in the A div.
this is your time
a new era is about to begin.
the past is over. let us not be bonded by it.
i am sick of how people say we will never win.
i am sick of people not giving a damn about us.
I know you are much better than this.
GIVE ME 100% 
Only stop when the final whistle goes…
its all or nothing.

some words to my team..

Lennard: from the first day i saw you, i knew you were special. I know that you can achieve the impossible, provided you have a bunch of good team mates. this is the time. the time has arrived. This A div team is unlike the previous one. This is the time to win. its time to lead this band of brothers into the A divs and emerge victories to justify what belongs to you. 球隊靠你了。
Marcus: Strong as you are, physical as you may be. You are now the driving force of our inside game. To torment the opponents not just by physically punishing them but also mentally torture them. Am i glad to have you in the team. 籃底靠你了。TIME TO CUT THROAT!
Yida: so much has happened. From the boy that cannot dribble to the boy that wants to dribble the ball up the court for the fastbreak. The one person that doesnt foul to become the Foul Out King. The well tempered apologising boy to the one that scolds his own team mates. Just for one reason. TO WIN IT ALL. 籃板靠你了。
Zhan Chun: you are one hell of a wild card for me. To have you in team, u have unchain marcus from the burdens of being a point guard, to let him excel in his favourite position. I ought to thank NYJC for releasing such a good player for me. I hope you will pride yourself in this team, for this is the team that i will battle with and WIN BIG for this and up coming A div. PROVE TO THOSE TEAM THAT THEY ARE BLINDED NOT TO HAVE YOU.
Jason: U have impressed me since the trials and you have went through certain ups and down. Nevertheless you have overcome your anger issues and your lack of aggressiveness. Play your hearts out, play harder than you have ever hard. I need you to give me 100%. your team mates need the 100% too. I know that you and Zhan Chun will make a great team. But for now, lets just get ready to kick some ass in this upcoming A div. BE AGGRESSIVE!!!! BE VERY AGGRESSIVE!
Jay: Remember your arrogance. If that is what drives you through to be a better player. Work hard for your team mates so they will work hard for you too. Be more patient with yourself and be focus. You have been playing well on the defensive ends and you will be a threat down on the offensive end as long as you get back to who you truly are. I have faith in your jump shots. Prove me right. SHOW THEM WHAT YOU ARE MADE OF.
Kajin: from the shy boy to someone that i personally admire. You may not have the best decision making skills at the moment but you definitely have the potential of being a good player. Have confidence in yourself as I, together with the rest of the team, have in you. Pop the shot when u are open and i believe they will drop. I have never doubted that. but when u doubt yourself, i doubt you too. Up your game to be mentally strong. Show the world what you are capable of. I BELIEVE IN YOU.

Abraham: Though i know you might never read this, I wanna thank you for every minute you have spent on this team. I still believe in your shooting and i believe they might come in real handy for the team and that is the reason why u were chosen ahead of others. Please continue to work on your shots and believe in your shooting. Because i believe in you. HAVE FAITH IN YOUR SHOOTING!

Sherman: Thank you for putting your body on the line. Thank you for aggressively harassing the opponent. You are my trump card to change things around in times of need. I appreciate your patience and your faith in my words. It has given me the freedom to try things out. Thank you. This A div, i will need you to once again do what you do best. For this team that we love and i believe you will do it, and YOU WILL HUNT YOUR OPPONENT DOWN.
Benjamin: Yes. You might be one of the slowest player on court. But your fast break timing is PERFECT. I will be looking forward to more fast break points during this A div. This is the time to prove to the world that you are meant to be a basketball player. this is the time to shine and to play your hearts out for the team, to win it all. RUN YOUr HEARTS OUT.
Xingyong: To be honest, i had my doubts about you during the appeal trials. But i believe God has sent me the right person to cover the hole whenever my top 2 gets too tired. You have played hard and you are willing to do the dirty job for the team. For this, i truly respect you for the guts and for the commitment you have given to the team. I look forward to you doing well during this A div, to prove to me that i was blinded to not see the shining star in you. TIME TO SHINE.
Jeremy: My dear boy, from the first session till now, havent you improved alot? physically, technically and mentally. You ought to have the confidence. Not everyone could have withstand my training. Just look at the fall out rates and the people who pontang. You came for every single one of the hell session even when u were not physically strong. This is the time for you to acknowledge yourself. This is the time for you to believe that you have the ability to tear the opponent apart. Because, im sure they would have fallen out from my hell trainings. BE STRONG. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF.
Guys, it has been my honor to be your coach.
But, i am truly honored to be able to lead you guys into the A Div, To the battle field.
For i know, we will create a storm.
we will take everyone by surprise and we will go in for the cut throat kill.
“SRJC” is just a team name.
We are who we are. 
We will be proud to be who we are.
We will win to let the world know that we have arrived in this A division.
to hell to those who put us down. 
those who played us will wish they have never been alive.

Tokyo Marathon 2012

its been a while since i blogged. my apologises to everyone to keep u guys waiting on my tokyo marathon post! *bows*

As many would have already known, i left singapore for tokyo on 17 february 2012 to compete in the Tokyo Marathon 2012 on 26th February 2012. It was a well calculated time to depart, giving myself 7 days to acclimatize to the much colder and drier conditions in tokyo. Lets not disregard the effects of radiations as well.

My tappering began in singapore and it followed through in tokyo till the actual race day.

so here are some pictures from my fantastic trip back ‘home’, the land of the rising sun, the place that keeps me motivated and sane every single day, Japan.

hiding from the cold inside the hotel lobby before we head out to embrace the cold..

im all set to all the pain, love and peace. oh.. yap.. THANK YOU ASICS JAPAN. =)

this is the view of the starting line before its packed with people. 

road marshals blocking out the road.

we kinda regretted exposing ourselves to 3 degrees a little too early.. ha

a picture of Hiro and I after our warm up. Btw, hes really a japanese. LOL

ok. that makes having 2 japanese in the photo. HA!

Hiro, Me, Luke at Tokyo.. All ready to race!!

check out the crowd heading to the starting line~

doing some last minute discussion on our race strategy

i know right! i am damn excited to race =)

Me looking stress and Hiro enjoying his Banana Breakfast before the race

The moment we parted and went to our starting pen.

and the race starts and there i went. Trying to break away from everyone else. eyes on the money baby.
Thank you tokyo. For bringing me back to life. For making me fall in love with marathon racing <3

Finished with a gun time of 3:32:20.. haha.. shall keep the race time a secret. hee..

I am really glad i managed to break the goal set out by myself despite whatever nonsense my prof has told me. Claiming that it is impossible to go below 3:30 at this race for my standards..

So i shall continue to train hard, to race well.

Disciplined I shall
Motivated I’ll always be
Doing my very best, I will ever be.

Till the next race. Cya peeps and god bless =)