The Will of a Champion

“Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: A desire, a dream, and a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, and they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.” -Muhammad Ali

The punch of that quote is in those eight last words: “the will must be stronger than the skill.” Skill or its development thereof, has some basis in talent. However, the real message of that quote goes way beyond sheer talent, and even the skills for a sport. The will must indeed be stronger than the skill.

There is no doubt that the “will” can be seen through the eyes of Don Japheth Teves, a junior Education student who joined the Philippine Lacrosse Association (PLA) Team in the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship (WLC) last July 10-19 in Denver, Colorado, USA. Don was among those individuals who first experienced this new sport in the university during the lacrosse sports clinic sponsored by the PLA, September of last year.

Let us get to know Don better as he answers the questions we are eager to ask.

Q: Why do you play this sport (lacrosse)?

A: “I decided to play lacrosse because I immediately enhanced my skills [in lacrosse], when the first clinic came here in Silliman University, and then I fell in love with it.”

Q: You’re a #1 fan of whom?

A: “Paul Rabil. I like him. He’s like the Lebron James of basketball.”

Q: What makes your sport (lacrosse) unique? Is it difficult to learn?

A: “It’s unique because it’s first in the Philippines, and it tests your temper and attitude as a sportsman. Yes, it’s difficult because the opponents are intimidating, especially when they play defense. And handling the ball is actually hard.”

Q: What is your biggest dream?

A: “I dream that lacrosse will be known not only in Dumaguete, but also in the Philippines. My dream is also that I will be able to play again at the World Lacrosse Championship.”

Q: What are some of the challenges you have had in playing lacrosse?

A: “I get challenged when the opponents are bigger and taller than me because they’re usually foreigners. And I also get challenged by the fact that they have complete equipment and longer experience in playing lacrosse compared to me. It reminds me to do my best whatever the conditions I am facing.”

Q: Who gives you inspiration to do your best?

A: “My inspiration and role model is my dad. I’m a papa’s boy. But of course, I also love my mom.”

Q: How do you see yourself years from now?

A: “I can see myself to be a professional lacrosse player in the future. I am willing to sacrifice many things for my future in the field of lacrosse.”

Q: What is something not a lot of people know about you?

A: “I am emotional when it comes to talking about my father, and I am humble.”

Don emphasizes that Lacrosse enhanced his sportsmanship skills, since he also plays flag football, ultimate frisbee, and tennis.

RG Olasiman, also a lacrosse player of Silliman University, shares what it’s like to have Don around as a teammate. “As a lacrosse player, he is hardworking and dedicated. He’s willing to work on any task that you give him. He’s also very supportive to his team members. He’s good in motivating others, and what’s great about him is that, he can easily catch up with new kinds of sports,” he shares.

“He’s a nice person to be with, because he’s that kind of friend who doesn’t leave you hanging. Even though he has already played internationally, he’s still humble, and keeps on motivating us (his teammates) that maybe soon we’ll be able to play abroad like him,” RG added.

The temporary lacrosse team adviser of Silliman University, Asst. Prof. Dionesio V. Pinero II is also very pleased to have a talented player like Don. “I am very proud of him because of his natural skills in playing lacrosse. At first, he was in doubt whether he could play in the WLC. He even keeps on asking me if it was true, and when the confirmatory came from the PLA, I informed him and he was happy. He is a well-disciplined guy and he’s very athletic. He knows how to play almost every sport. He is very committed. He has the heart, the passion of being a sports guy,” he said.

Currently, Don has been training tomaintain and improve his skills as a preparation for upcoming tournaments. He is anticipating the Asia Pacific Lacrosse Championship (ASPAC) in Thailand July next year, and a year after would be the preparation for 2018 Manchester World Lacrosse Championship.

In life, we handle many challenges, and learn to overcome them. Don had a collarbone injury just last year, but he doesn’t mind it at all because of his love for lacrosse. “I have no complaints with the training because I know it’s all for my improvement,” Don said.

With his hard work and sacrifices during training, his future is bright, and it’s not impossible to soon see him as the next Paul Rabil of Lacrosse.

**With some notes from http://su.edu.ph/article/1288-Education-Major-Play

By Kimberly Limpahan

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