Tuesday, 25 September 2012

September - Taking Stock

Wrist Strengthening
Mum used to do this too

The boys were back at MBA training every Sunday evenings. My wife felt that the boys needed a change - to strut their stuff among their group of peers. After two months of polishing rough diamonds, there was a telling gap with the rest of the basic level group. I sense that the head coach would very likely upgrade them to Intermediate level in a matter of time. This was good progress but it also meant that the boys will be exposed to a new level of competition among the new cohort.

September was another record with 14 training days. We continued to supplement their formal training with our own brand of personal touches in Bukit Jalil. I also made a point to come back from work in the evenings to take them both to Taman Wawasan for a jog, push-ups and rope skipping. They kept score of it and now could get up to 15 push-ups, jog two rounds in the park and skipped up to 50 times. Our approach was more holistic, gradually dabbling into their minds steering them towards self motivation and positive thinking. I also picked up something new in the area of sports psychology from the net and attempted mental visualization exercises.

Our emphasis for the first three months was to improve shuttle placement, correct footwork and building strength. Aaron has acquired all three well and was applying them in his game now. Already Aaron has beaten Ryan regularly and he has also given me some hard time chasing his shots on court. He however lacked match temperament and control especially when he was under pressure. Ryan’s footwork technique remained poor. He makes good stiff shots but at the expense of the flexibility to place the shuttle. I was determined to further polish him up with more court movement drills and shuttle placement.

Incidentally, at Bt Jalil, the boys found a new sparring friend, a 9 year-old girl whom had started badminton since she was 5. She has a personal coach and she plays for her school. She has good footwork and overhead strokes which will be a good for the boys to spar with. We also learnt that she will be participating in the annual BAKTI Badminton Junior Open Championship on 1st November 2012. My wife insisted that I checked this out. Last year, this tournament attracted 1,566 participants age 16 and below from all over Malaysia. This is going to be a good measuring stick where our boys will stack up against  the rest of the country.

Towards the end of September, as the school final exams approaches, we shifted focus towards their academics. I can’t wait to resume training the boys again after their final exams in October. We have only three short weeks to prepare them for BAKTI Badminton Junior Open Championship on 1st November. Thereafter, Hooi Yee Junior Badminton Championship on 16th November and Bukit Jalil Golf & Country Resort will organize a Junior Badminton Tournament on 24th November.

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