10 July 2017
“We have all the support we can get from coaches and sports science. Now it’s up to myself to focus and just keep working hard.”
– Clarence Chew
Clarence sees KL as both a platform to prove himself, and a signal of his intent:
“The SEA Games is my most important immediate target as KL is where I hope to showcase my improvement and my readiness to achieve even higher goals,” he explains, adding, “from there, I will be focusing on competing in the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.”
Luckily for him, Clarence has all the support he needs to get there.
#ICYMI: What does being a full-time athlete mean for Clarence?
Never alone on his quest
A life of an athlete is not just about the individual. It’s about how much work, how many people help make him successful. There’s so much effort to create a champion.
With both his parents playing at the pro level back in their days, they are a constant source of inspiration and expert advice. Dad encourages him to have self-belief, set clear goals, and be confident in himself. Mum, likewise, supports him all the way, discussing long-term table tennis goals with him, and how he can achieve his targets.
“My parents inspire me, motivate me and give me confidence. They are fully supportive of me,” says Clarence.
Beyond immediate family, Clarence also has a formidable ‘secret weapon’: A family of coaches, mentors and sports science support he can always count on.
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His extended table tennis ‘family’ is behind Clarence all the way
His training partner is none other than Singapore’s top ranked male player, Gao Ning himself. Gao is mentor, coach and big brother combined during their sessions. From eight in the morning to the afternoon, the two of them are hard at work – first with a series of warm-up rallies, then on to specific drills to further hone Clarence’s technique. Watching them, you can see the sweat gather on Clarence’s temples, his every muscle tensed and ready to explode into action as he responds and rallies rapidly with Gao Ning. His full focus is on the ball – to spin, serve, smash and swerve it to his will. It’s the only way he’ll rise further up the ranks.
When that training session is done, Clarence and co will move on to other forms of training. His coaches take him through strength and conditioning, or he gathers with a team of analysts to watch videos of his opponents’ matches and his own gameplay to plan out winning strategies frame by frame. It’s a holistic approach to help ensure Clarence gets the best footing for his KL campaign.
“Nowadays, with sports science, strength and conditioning, video analysis, and support from physiologists and psychologist – our training is a complete package,” says Clarence, “it helps us not only on the court, but leading up to the matches, while we are preparing.”
#ICYMI: Check out Clarence's canvas on Facebook (only on mobile)
Power the dream
Clarence aims to serve up his best in KL and do us all proud. To power the dream and catch every thrilling rally, explosive smash and cunning sidespin, come support what could be the making of a Singapore table tennis legend LIVE in KL as #OneTeamSG!
Click to find out two ways you can show your support for Clarence AND stand a chance to witness the sporting action LIVE in the spectator stands!