Badminton was not always in Ho Yen Mei’s sights, in fact, it was swimming class that she was attending before she got influenced by her dad to play badminton when she would wait for him to end his badminton session after her class. The more she played it, the more she fell in love with the sport. Slowly, but surely she made progress in the sport by initially playing for her school, then district, states, nationals and then representing Malaysia.
Yen Mei was the champion in the 2014 Under-19 Games. She thanks her teammates and coach for aiding in her preparation for the tournament and notes that without them, she wouldn't be on that podium.
One thing she's learnt over the years is to prioritise mental health and stability over physical strength. She has learnt to be aware of when to give her mind and body a break. Most times, she has anxiety when she feels as though she does not push herself hard enough, which can lead to negative side effects in her performance. So, she has learned to work on mindfulness to allow herself rest and remind herself of her purpose and strength.
In the Hong Kong Team Event 2019, she lost a match against Japan which changed her perspective of the sport. She felt bad for her team for losing, but her teammates and coach helped restore her hope by evaluating the match and encouraging her to get back in the training ground to work harder. Her upcoming tournament is the Ruichang China International 2023 and she's preparing by training daily and fueling her body with the right food.
For any OVERACHIEVERS who want to pursue a badminton career, Yen Mei encourages them to write down what they want to accomplish, create a vision board and break each goal into smaller steps. She also says to learn from failure and adjust accordingly and stay positive even from setbacks.
Being an athlete has taught her the importance of being a team player. Not everyone can be a superstar, but a supporting role is just as necessary and important. There's A need for everyone to contribute to the success of the team and to always value your team as they will shape who you are. The strength of the player is the team, and the strength of the team is the player.