Testimonial from Nan Feng’s Student : Chia Baohui
Calling Nanfeng a great coach would be an understatement, for she was not only a good coach but an inspiration, motivation and a friend. What I admire the most about Nanfeng is that she puts her heart and soul into all that she does. She devoted time to understand our fears and aspirations, reading the letters we wrote in response to the questions she posed and taking time to reply to each and every one of our race reflections. Her replies never felt rushed, despite the sheer size of our team, but they were always uplifting and included mini-goals for us to hit.
I remember how she noticed that my division was not as bonded as it should be and how it greatly affected our team dynamics as well as our performance in canoeing, and took it upon herself to actively bring us closer together. She arranged a session during one of our breaks in school and spoke with us to understand what we were lacking, which was trust. After that, she came up with the most interesting yet meaningful water programs that repeatedly forced us to trust each other, while not neglecting our training in the process. And it worked.
Week after week, I could see the change in my team. We learnt to put our past differences aside and trust each other, eventually coming together stronger and as a united front. While trust and teamwork cannot be forced nor can it be forged by someone else, I felt that Nanfeng really gave us the much-needed push in the right direction and created the right environment for us to learn how to trust each other by tailoring our training to our needs.
Apart from that, Nan Feng also gave the craziest and hardest programs. I remember looking at the
programs sent down via our chats and thinking that they were impossible. However, what motivated
me, apart from my teammates who were pushing just as hard as I was, was the fact that Nanfeng did
every single one of our training sets with us. She was always on the waters, racing down the lanes with
us while shouting motivation after motivation, pushing us to do better and better, and hitting new
personal bests. She carried so much energy into each training that we all felt encouraged to give our
every best, as she was doing for us.
Her unwavering faith and belief in us, even when we doubted ourselves, was what kept us going and I truly believe that I wouldn’t be able to achieve this much or become half of the person I am today without her guidance and support. Nan Feng is truly an amazing coach, who has gone above and beyond what she is required to do, and helped to develop us into strong, resilient individuals and build a team that feels just like family.