June winner: Shayna Ng (bowling)

She can still bowl them over

ST Star of the Month Shayna Ng with ST sports editor Lee Yulin (left) and F&N Foods managing director Jennifer See. The bowler accepts that ups and downs are normal for a professional but the key is bouncing back from setbacks.
ST Star of the Month Shayna Ng with ST sports editor Lee Yulin (left) and F&N Foods managing director Jennifer See. The bowler accepts that ups and downs are normal for a professional but the key is bouncing back from setbacks. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Veteran Ng plagued by self-doubt over poor Asiad but PWBA title brings relief

In the months before her second Professional Women's Bowling Association (PWBA) title, Shayna Ng frequently found herself questioning her ability.

An underwhelming campaign at last year's Asian Games in Indonesia, that saw the Singapore women's team finish seventh as they relinquished their title, knocked the confidence out of Ng.

Recalling the disappointment, the 29-year-old said: "That took quite a bit out of us. The Asian Games only happens once in four years and we messed that up. It was really hard for all of us.

"I was questioning everything, going up to my coach and asking what's wrong with my game.

"My thoughts were everywhere. When you think like that, there's a lot of negativity."

So, winning the PWBA's Sonoma County Open in California last month was a critical boost for Ng's confidence.

IN LOW SPIRITS

I was questioning everything, going up to my coach and asking what's wrong with my game.

SHAYNA NG , on her self-doubts after the bowling team's poor seventh-place finish in the Asian Games last year.

"I've been working hard on my game and trying to find myself again and now that I've won Sonoma, I'm happy but, more than that, I'm very relieved that I still have the winning game," she said.

For her achievement, Ng is The Straits Times' Star of the Month for June. The award is an extension of ST's Athlete of the Year prize, which was launched in 2008. Both are backed by F&N's 100Plus.

Said ST sports editor Lee Yulin: "It takes more than talent to succeed consistently at a high level in sport and to bounce back from a major disappointment as Shayna did.

"Perspiration, patience and persistence are key, and Shayna has these attributes in spades.

"We are pleased to be able to honour her for her victory in California."

Winning her recent PWBA title required Ng to maintain her focus, blocking out the crowd and any distractions as she steered herself to a 259-237 victory over American Missy Parkin in the final.

That was crucial for Ng, who said: "In bowling, it's just us against the lanes. I'm in charge of my own strikes and I can't control how my opponents bowl."

Managing the pressure of competing has been something she has had to learn over the course of her career.

She first understood its importance in 2012, when she won the AMF World Cup title and expectations to win every tournament were suddenly piled on her.

Now, she understands that disappointments are inevitable. While it is not always easy to deal with setbacks, she believes that the most important thing is not to give up.

She said: "You just have to accept it but the main thing is, we are willing to get back up from where we fell.

"That's the key and with that spirit we can go a long way."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2019, with the headline 'She can still bowl them over'. Print Edition | Subscribe