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  • Writer's pictureDaphne Li

Finding a balance between being an athlete and working a full time job

My name is Daphne Li and by day I am a full-time Senior Account Executive at Yello Marketing and after work and on weekends I am an athlete training for the 2021 World Lacrosse Women's World Championship. 

Sports have always played an important role in my life. I started out as a swimmer at the age of eight and also took part in cross country and track and field events. I first picked up lacrosse when I was 14 years old, as part of an extracurricular activity while studying in the UK. But it was not until I completed my university studies and decided to return to Hong Kong to start my career, did I pick up lacrosse again and decided to train seriously. 

After my first job of working in a global advertising and marketing agency in the consumer public relations sector, I decided that I wanted my next job to be something related to the sports industry as I thought it would nicely complement my interest and passion in sports. Yello Marketing came across as the perfect choice. 

Since I started working at Yello, I have continued to maintain my training as a lacrosse athlete. A typical week would consist of 5 days in the office from 9.30am-6pm, a minimum of 2 gym sessions a week and 3 field sessions a week. Outside of our normal training sessions, we are also expected to work on our stick skills and watch lacrosse games online to increase our lacrosse IQ. Friends and colleagues would sometimes ask me how I have the time to do both things and after some thought, I have come up with three qualities that I would like to share with you, in which I believe has helped me to achieve my goals both in the office and on the lacrosse pitch, including:

1. Have discipline

There are times when I completely don't feel like training due to tiredness or simply just not being in the mood to train. But having discipline is one of the most important characteristics that can help push you to be consistent. Waking up early to go to the gym or going to the field to work on my speed before heading into the office is a habit that I am very fond of. A workout session in the morning not only puts you in a great mood to tackle the day, but you are also guaranteed to have completed your workout in case the day gets too crazy later on. 

Having discipline also means I have to prioritise my lifestyle choices. If I am spending my weekdays working and training, then I know that for the weekends, I cannot plan too many social activities otherwise I will get too tired and burn out. I always remind myself what is important to me, which may mean I have to give up on doing some other things.

2. Have good time management 

Time management is another hugely important habit that has enabled me to stay on top of my work in the office and be ready to train for my sport. By planning ahead and making daily to do lists has definitely helped me to stay organised and meet deadlines. Furthermore, being extremely focused on the task at hand has also helped me to get things done quickly.

3. Have fun and enjoy the process 

I always remind myself to be grateful for being able to live a healthy and able life. To have a job in the field that I am passionate about, whilst being able to train and compete at the international level with my teammates is something that I will not take for granted. I won't be able to be an athlete forever, so whilst I still have the chance to do so, have fun and fully enjoy the process!

Lastly, I am a firm believer that even if you are working a 9am-6pm job, you should still try to find the time to fit in a good exercise routine, which is so important for your mental and physical health.

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