Woman of the Hour: Coach Haydee Ong
While watching her team practice, Enderun Titans basketball coach Haydee Ong recalls how she had difficulties showing her love for the sport in her early days, and the motivation that drove her to pursue it.
“It was difficult for me to play basketball because back then, it was rare to have girls my age play what was considered as a ‘men’s sport.’ Coach Haydee was inspired by his father, a basketball varsity player, to play even though her mother was opposed to the idea. She would sneak out of the house to practice and play.
After graduating high school, Coach Haydee was given an athletic scholarship at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). “I got to play for the National team of the Philippines from 1987 to 1993. My mother eventually accepted that I was passionate and happy about playing basketball and she became my number one fan.”
After graduating, I spent two years working as a pharmacist. I got to travel but, eventually I decided to go back to my first love– basketball. I started coaching our Women National team in 1998 until last year. I still renew my Pharmaceutical Licence from time to time, and when I am free I would attend seminars to update my knowledge on the latest medications in the market. Being a Pharmacist is a sideline job for me, but I still practice this knowledge on my basketball players when they are in need of medical attention.
Coach Haydee says that parents should encourage their daughters to play basketball. “I am the coach of Enderun’s Women’s Varsity Team, the Athletic director of Immaculate Conception Academy High School in Greenhills, and the coach of Discovery Perlas Team.” She maintains a good and balanced relationships with her team, she is a coach in the court but, a mentor once the games are done.
Coach Haydee has a simple training strategy: Self-motivation.
“My players have to motivate themselves before coming for practice. They have to motivate themselves because it’s hard to balance study and playing sports.” She has different levels of expectations from everyone because she wants to be fair. “Every athlete is different but, I will push ash person to their limit so they can reach their highest potential.”