Juggling work, training part of daily grind for PH underwater hockey teams
MANILA, Philippines—Athletes, for the most part, are usually focused mainly on their craft but there are times when sporting heroes have to live their alter egos.
Just is the case for the Philippine national underwater hockey teams whose members have to play the balancing act of being athletes before sun out and fulfilling their day jobs in the time in between.
“It’s very challenging knowing that we can train after work, some of us train before work then go straight to work,” said Jappy Parulan, part of the 10-man strong Philippine team for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“I think you need to manage your time well and wisely.”
Parulan, a silver medalist in the 2017 Asian Underwater Hockey Championship, said squeezing in the time to train to their daily duties as professionals take toll on their health but it’s all part of being a national team athlete.
As Nike Philippines’ Sports Marketing Executive, Parulan’s job requires him to travel and he said that finding a hotel that has a pool to train in is a must for him.
“Some of us have jobs that involve or demand travel so you need to travel for meetings and we need to bring our gear on our trips abroad,” said the 34-year-old Parulan.
“I have to find a pool in the hotel and that’s where we train.”
Underwater hockey requires players to don swimwear, mask, snorkel, fins, and a cap while using a short stick to control a 1.5-kilogram puck around the bottom of the pool.
And with the team competing in the regional games, Parulan said the biggest thing they’ve had to let go of is sleep.
“The most challenging part is getting enough sleep, and at the end of the day work is still a priority,” said Parulan. “After SEA Games, you go back to your normal lives and you cannot take for granted your day jobs.”
“It’s balancing work and training is very tricky, you need to be smart and you need to have priorities. I think time management and setting a priority list is very important.”