Soo Yeon Lee: Table tennis star turned Hollywood celebrity coach

The Inspirational Women Series is a sequence of articles by the ITTF Foundation that helps and celebrates girls’s participation in sport, in addition to the braveness they exhibit in difficult custom gender roles and stereotypes.

Soo Yeon Lee is a model, an entrepreneur. She appeared within the famend TV sequence Entourage and is the model ambassador for the desk tennis membership SPiN. She is a six-time Korea Republic National Junior Championship winner, and coach for Hollywood star Susan Sarandon.

Though she has given up her athlete profession, she has discovered a technique to indulge her ardour for desk tennis by way of teaching.

FEMpowerment articles typically encourage girls to pursuit their goals, however only a few say the story after. What occurs when your dream doesn’t come true? Former desk tennis star Soo Yeon Lee speaks concerning the stress to succeed, realising her expertise and answering to her true callings.

“I like the sensation of successful.”

Soo Yeon entered the world of desk tennis accidentally.

“I’ve at all times been an athletic child. I began to play desk tennis at school. As the coaching and competitors developed, I fell in love with the game.”

Training might be harsh for younger expertise and Soo Yeon was no exception.

“I skilled so exhausting. A number of instances I might barely really feel my physique the subsequent day. Even so I’ve by no means considered giving up. I like successful. The feeling of successful makes every little thing value it.”

Her competitiveness and perfectionism have been the driving drive behind her early success, but in addition foreshadowed her later escape. At age 12, Soo Yeon has gained her first National Junior Championship in Korea Republic, and 5 extra to adopted. She later skilled underneath the supervision of Olympic Gold Medallist Hyun Jung-Hwa, and finally joined the nationwide staff.

Everyone was comfortable for her, besides Soo Yeon herself.

“I misplaced religion in me. Doesn’t matter how exhausting I attempted, I felt I used to be by no means ok. The mounting stress took away all of the enjoyable in taking part in and I knew I needed to cease. So I did. I packed my baggage and went to New Zealand, and later to the US.”

“There’s no disgrace in giving up.”

The society encourages us to stay to our goals and expects us to achieve success. We develop into cynical about different’s achievement and the fixed pursuit of perfection is inflicting a large amount of hysteria.

Soo Yeon refused to let the society say her what to do. One of the best classes she has learnt as a professional athlete is that true braveness means figuring out one’s restrict, selecting one’s path even when the bulk factors to the opposite path.

“There’s no disgrace in giving up. When one thing brings you nothing however stress, go away it. Take care of your psychological well being and be open to different alternatives that come your approach.”  

When she packed away her rackets, Soo Yeon thought she would by no means play once more. It was not till she began to educate within the US that she realised the empowering nature of desk tennis.

“People respect me extra once they observed how a lot effort I’ve invested within the sport to get to the place I’m. Men would take a look at me and say they might beat me very quickly, and the way I benefit from the look on their face as they swallow the bitter defeat.”

Meanwhile, and far to her shock, Soo Yeon additionally made her debut into the modelling and leisure world.

“I by no means loved the highlight, however this was an incredible alternative to make use of my expertise and legacy to advertise the game. Table tennis is my ardour, it’s for everybody no matter your age and gender. I wish to share the advantage of the game and this was my technique to keep concerned.”

“You can have multiple dream.”

So what occurs when your dream doesn’t come true? Soo Yeon solutions the query along with her private journey.

“It’s alright to have multiple dream. When one among them doesn’t work, transfer on to the subsequent one. Finding new goals or passions as a result of the primary one didn’t work doesn’t make you a coward or a failure.”

Soo Yeon is now a star coach within the US, not simply because she coaches Hollywood celebrities like Oliver Stone, Jamie Foxx, and Susan Sarandon, however due to her dynamic teaching fashion.

“I’ve a level in Sport Psychology and Physical Education. I tailor my teaching fashion in response to the scholars. Coaching is a really private factor. You must know what your college students want and what could be one of the simplest ways to show them that.”

Even although she will not be competing professionally anymore, Soo Yeon stays lively within the desk tennis group by way of a distinct approach. She is the founding father of SOO&PONG, the kid of her two passions – desk tennis and style – and is acquainted face in fundraising campaigns that use desk tennis to advertise constructive social change.

She is the position model that we’ve all been in search of, one that’s not afraid to confess her weak point and shortcomings and stand up sturdy and tall to a brand new starting.

Do you’ve gotten an analogous story that might assist us empower our feminine viewers? Tell us about it at [email protected].

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