Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable: Wei Yu Turns Her Passion into Quest In Beach Volleyball
Wei Yu started her beach volleyball sports journey with the intention to lose weight, but her talent and her school volleyball team contributed to her rapid rise in becoming Singapore’s top beach volleyball player to play on the international stage. She’s formed a formidable team alongside Eliza and has represented Singapore to win in 29th Southeast Asia Beach Championship, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, Philippines BVR on tour and VAS open competition and more.
We are pleased to invite Wei Yu to our MOA Sports Night 2 Livestreaming show in July where she shared more about herself and her beach volleyball journey.
Wei Yu was sharing about her journey in MOA Sports Night 2 Livestreaming Show
How did you get into beach volleyball from the beginning?
I actually started when I was in secondary school. I went into Dunman secondary school with Direct School Admission with volleyball sports, which I thought was supposed to be netball instead. So that’s how I started getting into indoor volleyball sports. After I graduated from secondary school, the beach volleyball coach asked me to join the beach volleyball team. I decided to join because I wanted to lose weight at that time. I was really lazy and I really didn't move or do anything. My friends were too lazy to exercise and run. I was growing horizontally after my secondary school studies because after I completed my O’level examination, I didn't really do any exercises but just worked part time.
Were you in any sports before you did volleyball since you got to be selected to go to secondary school with Direct School Admission?
I was active in netball, track and field and violin in my primary school.
Did you lose weight in the end with beach volleyball?
Yeah. So then when I came and joined that time I was like, oh okay, it is actually working. So I stayed on in beach volleyball and it is because of vain issues, I guess as I started to see changes in appearance and how beach volleyball changed my life also. Before that, I was feeling very sluggish. Once I joined beach volleyball, I felt more energetic.
How do you transform from a person who was sloppy and lacking confidence to becoming someone who is so confident that you can bikini in front of a huge crowd?
Oh, initially I was as afraid as everyone else. My beach volleyball partner, Cleo, who is still studying in Australia right now, encouraged me to take out my clothes to just wear a bikini and bottom to take part in competitions like other players. We only had one month to get used to playing without the shirt. It was quite intimidating at first. I used to be super conscious of how I look and everything. But now, I don't think I care about it that much already even my mom always complains that I am getting dark and tanned.
Wei Yu, Singapore National Beach Volleyball athlete was active in various international level competitions
Do you have any tips for the ladies who would like to wear a bikini but are conscious about their body appearance?
Cut bubble tea, fried food and be conscious of what you eat.
What is your ultimate goal in this journey?
I want more people to understand that beach volleyball and indoor volleyball are two different separate sports and entities. For example, you don't have to start with playing indoor volleyball first to play beach volleyball. You can also start with playing beach volleyball straight away. My ultimate goal is to get a medal in the Southeast Asia (SEA) Games. But I'm not sure whether it's going to happen this year.
What are the challenges that you are facing along this journey?
For now, it's motivation. I have had no competition for almost one year. In the past, when there were competitions, there were a lot of experts and foreign players that came to Singapore to help us to level up our play. But it's different now. And if we got to play in overseas competitions, the overseas vibes were different. When you were there, you could be super focused and had more discipline in your training and routine.
What’s your training routine like?
Five days a week. I train on ball training for 2 hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and do gym training for 1.5 hours on Tuesday and Thursday.
You worked very hard. Do you think that Singapore players like you should actually deserve more rewards?
Actually I think all Singapore athletes work very hard even though they don’t win a medal. They also work equally as hard as us. I mean, for beach volleyball, we have some incentives given to us after a few years of fighting for it. But for other sports, they don't really have those incentives yet. I am not sure how it works behind the scenes. But, I came into this sport right without wanting to get rewarded. I just want to see how far I can go. Yeah, I came into this sport wanting to play in SEA Games but I still haven't got the chance to play in it so I hope I get to play this year.
Wei Yu and her team mate were featured as Singapore representatives in The Straits Times newspaper
How has beach volleyball shaped you as a person?
I think volleyball has shaped me into a more organized person. Since I was studying in polytechnic I had to juggle between school, beach volleyball training and representing the school team. So if I had to submit my work beforehand, I would submit it at least one week before I fly off to another country to compete. I also learnt how to prioritize things and make decisions.
What inspired you to become a coach?
When I go into a career, I don't really see money as a top priority because I had worked with different past jobs and had been offered enticing rewards. However, I got sick of the work after a while. When I joined Revolve as a coach, I realized that coaching someone and introducing the sport to someone who is new to the sport is enjoyable. I fell in love with coaching.
Wei Yu was guiding Evelyn, Founder of MOA on how to do the underhand pass
What's your advice for people who would like to pursue their passion as their career?
My friend shared with me before that your job does not define what you are. In Singapore, it wouldn't be wise to say you can go straight into passion and just forgo your career because you can't survive on passion alone, honestly I can’t survive just playing volleyball for life.
What keeps you going?
I think it's the adrenaline rush and my teammates as well, they are really fun people. I'm passionate about volleyball, volleyball is a sport. So I chose a career that is in the sport, so it is still interrelated. At least, you won’t feel so jaded.
If you are curious of the full sharing and demonstration from Wei Yu, you can access our Facebook Livestreaming with a simple click here: https://bit.ly/MOASN2E3
If you would like to get access to video for the step by step beach volleyball tips from how to grip your hand, serving, spiking, diving and underhand passing skills, you can click here to redeem free access to the videos for a limited time only!
Written by: Evelyn Chew