It was 30 years ago that Kang Myong Hui was assigned to Sariwon Mangum Senior Middle School as a sports teacher after graduating from Sariwon University of Physical Education in North Hwanghae Province.
Not long after she came to the school, she was told that its students enjoyed swimming.
She thought over how to run a sports group.
At that time, the principal said to her: Our school has many students with an aptitude for swimming. They can become good swimmers if you lead them well. Let us try it together.
Encouraged by him, she decided to run a swimming group and buckled down to improving the students’ swimming skills.
She combined the training to practice perseverance through the sprint with the underwater training.
The group members, who improved the kinesthetic sensation and perseverance through the training of various sports events, began to make rapid progress in learning swimming.
But she began to be overwhelmed by anxiety as she could not teach higher skills to them.
So, she made up her mind to be a “student” first. She read many reference books on swimming while receiving assistance from coaches of sports clubs.
One year, her group members made a debut in the national students’ swimming contest, but to no avail. She thought that their training had gone well.
Suddenly, the conversation between students before the contest struck her. “Is it possible for us to win?”
She also recollected what her university teacher had told her: Success in a match is to be decided before the match. A player with no confidence can never win a match. If a player has acquired the ability to control his or her mentality, it means that he or she is ready to win.
She found the cause of their failure. So, she applied a method of controlling their mental state.
Her painstaking efforts began to be crowned with a success.
Her group took the first place in the national juvenile swimming contest in Juche 93 (2004).
Her school has come off a victor 17 times up to now and achieved three straight wins five times.
Whenever she was asked about the key to success, she said: We sports teachers are charged with a duty to bring up students with strong physiques. Such a high sense of responsibility inspired me with courage.
She feels the greatest happiness whenever her school ranks first in swimming.
Most recently, her son Jong Hyo Guk volunteered to work at the school after graduating from Sariwon University of Physical Education as he fully understood his mother.
Now, his mother is 57 years old. As he followed in her footsteps, the school is optimistic about its future as the “swimming champion”.