Winning isn’t everything for this coach
Written by Isaiah Joven Yip; Artwork by Tanya Shroff
This article is part of Active Parents’ Meet the Coaches series, brought to you in collaboration with Republic Polytechnic, School of Management and Communication.
Meet Shirley Ng, head coach at the ActiveSG Basketball Academy, who first fell in love with the sport when she was 10. She has led both Woodgrove and Christ Church Secondary School Girls’ teams to multiple zonal championships in the past 10 years. Having coached various schools and teams in her career, her favourite moment was leading the Asia Pacific All-Stars team at the Jr. NBA Global Championship in Orlando, Florida back in 2019.
To Shirley, despite the various accolades and achievements she has received from playing and coaching basketball, the best takeaways are the valuable life skills and values that she has picked up over the years. "Basketball has taught me to work with others despite the differences. At the end of the day, we still have to come together and play as a team", she shared.
With over 15 years of coaching experience, Shirley has had her fair share of ups and downs in her career, but nothing can stop her burning drive to spread her love for the game. She lives by the belief that everything starts from yourself and with a positive mindset, everything else will fall into place. She also often reminds her students that winning is not everything. "It's not all about winning, or how much playing time you get, but knowing that you have done your best and enjoyed the game," she said.
Shirley is a mother of two and as a family, they often play the sport as a form of family bonding over the weekends. Her older child participates in competitive basketball and was a member of the winning team that clinched the National Championship back in 2016.
As an Active Parent, Shirley supports her son by going to his games whenever she can and refrains from coaching him in the sport. She hopes to give him the freedom to make mistakes and to learn from them. After all, what matters most is not the result but the valuable lessons he gains from the process.