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In the world of sports, achieving excellence is not solely about individual talent or physical prowess. It’s often the collaborative effort of a team and the dedication to enhancing one’s abilities that propels athletes to greatness.

The sports arena is a harmonious blend of individual prowess and collective effort, and my conversation with Azurin Mazlan, a national football player, who is the first national female football goalkeeper to play abroad for Misaki United FC, delved into the intricacies of how the synergy between strength training and teamwork has shaped her remarkable athletic journey.

How has incorporating strength training into your routine improved your performance on the football field?

Azurin Mazlan: It helps me to increase in power and explosiveness on the field. As a goalkeeper, engaging in strength training that focuses on exercises targeting the muscle groups used in football, such as the legs, core, and upper body are really important.

Balancing football commitments and strength training can be demanding. How do you manage your time effectively to excel in both areas?

Azurin Mazlan: I wanted to excel in both areas, hence I dedicate myself fully to both classes and training, adopting to study smart strategy instead of just studying hard. Additionally, ensuring that I get adequate rest also plays a significant part in helping me hone both skills.

How has your mental toughness, developed through strength training, helped you overcome a tough situation during a match?

Azurin Mazlan: The pressure and stress of strength training can mirror the pressure of a match. Standing by Under Armour’s encouragement for athletes to “push your limits”, I developed a mental toughness in the weight room and I am able to manage my stress better during a match. With this in mind, I can maintain a clear head and perform under pressure.

How do the camaraderie and mutual support you share with your teammates during football matches help in your physical performance?

Azurin Mazlan: As an Under Armour Ambassador, I stand by their motto of “Protect This House”, which heavily emphasises on the importance of teamwork. I believe that when you have a strong bond with your teammates and have a “team over everything mentality”, it is easier to stay focused on the game and its goals.

During football matches or training, what are the biggest challenges that you’ve faced with your fellow teammates, for example, miscommunications or disagreements, how do you overcome them?

Azurin Mazlan: In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges is miscommunication within the team. It can be inevitable to have misunderstandings about our positioning, passing intentions or game strategies when we are out on the open field and in the midst of a game. This is why I believe we need to constantly practise having clear and open communication. Players can develop signals, use verbal cues, and ensure that they have a shared understanding of tactics and formations.

How do you believe the teamwork dynamics developed on the football field or any other sports contributed to the success of the UA Combine?

Azurin Mazlan: I believe it is important to have the right support especially from your team as it helps us motivate each other during both our training and matches. Similarly, having a positive and supportive atmosphere at the UA Combine fosters an environment where participants are encouraged to give their best and enhance their overall performance.

If you are competing in UA Combine, don’t forget to bring your supporting team or cheerleading squad to come and support you so you are inspired to do your best on game day! Invite your cheering squad to UA Combine 2023 to sign up at the UA Combine Spectators link: https://uacombinemy.com/spectators/

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