My interest in psychology began in high school when I was unintentionally drafted into the Counselling & Guidance unit. Although I did not provide counselling to my fellow students, I had the opportunity to observe the counselling teacher giving motivational seminars to students. Once, I even decided to try out the counselling service to resolve some of my personal problems. Although it wasn’t what I thought it would be, I still benefited from the sessions and had a different perspective on my problems. As such, I was very intrigued with this field and decided to explore more into this area of expertise.
My venture into psychology began with a diploma in counselling at Tunku Abdul Rahman College. I completed my undergraduate degree at Liverpool John Moores University in Human Psychology. My first job was in a human resource company dealing with foreign workers and I had the opportunity to counsel foreign workers who were facing anxiety due to acculturation difficulties
Eventually, I moved into education counselling. During this time, I was exposed to students and parents from various backgrounds. Initially I found it tough but eventually I was able to assist students in choosing the correct pathway and field of interest to further their studies.
Two years later, I decided to pursue my Masters in Sports and Exercise Psychology at Northumbria University in Newcastle. During this period, I was privileged to have been able to learn from various sports psychologists and athletes. I also had the opportunity to collaborate with Sunderland Football Club’s Under-21 Academy players in exploring various psychological aspects of football during my research. In addition, my participation in the university’s Kendo club provided me a better perspective of the martial arts world and first-hand experience of the mental aspects involved in sports. I was also able to assist some of the members in improving their game via the usage of cognitive skills such as visualisation, imagery and goal-setting. The time spent with the Kendo club was a valuable experience that helped me to appreciate the application of sport psychology.
In 2013, I returned to Malaysia and rejoined my previous education counselling company. There, I had the opportunity to administer the Holland codes (RIASEC) test and discussed their education plans based on the psychological reviews.
Although I was not actively engaging in sports and exercise psychology on a professional level in Malaysia, I still kept in touch with the field by engaging various sports and exercise professionals in forums, seminars as well as informal meetings. The exchange of ideas in the sports and exercise knowledge is crucial as sports psychology is just a part of a very broad jigsaw puzzle in the world of sports.
I recognise that sports and exercise psychology is still a very new and niche branch, both in the psychology and sports realms. When it comes to sporting events, it is just natural that the physical aspects are more focused upon. As such, I am keen to promote the mental aspects of sports, including performance enhancement, anxiety management, motivation and expectation management. I am also keen to work with the individuals and coaches who are in need of leisure sports and health interventions in their daily lives as well long term planning of sports and exercise programmes.