Friday, 19 October 2012

Meeting With MBA Head Coach

L : Head Coach Pak Budi, Coach Andre & Coach Tony
In October, MBA invited parents to meet with the coaches over dinner to discuss the progress of their child. It was also an opportunity to meet their newly appointed head coach, Pak Budi Rijanto whom had over 30 years of badminton experience behind him. He was previously a senior coaching staff for Badminton Association of Selangor. This move was lauded because both my wife and I could get close and personal with him to share his thoughts on our boys.

He was candid about how serious we want our boys to progress as it involved lots of sacrifices on the part of parents and players. To progress, he put parents first, followed by the player, then came the coaches. If the parents dropped off their kids for coaching like a tuition class and rely 100% on the coaches to turn their kids to play like Lee Chong Wei, then, forget about it, he put it bluntly

In fact, most of the attendants were parents of players from advance level. Many of these parents were former players themselves and are passionate about the sport. Understandably so, as they were more equipped to guide their kids to be better players.

As the first logical step, Pak Budi encouraged the parents to aim for Bukit Jalil Sports School. BJSS boasts to have the best academic and training facility to produce world class athletes with brains. It was said that not anybody can be admitted into BJSS. Instead, the school will select those who is worthy to be admitted into BJSS. More about BJSS here…

In order to get the attention of BJSS, the main stream route is to be selected to represent under-12 state competition called “Majlis Sukan Sekolah Negari” or MSSN. Let all be warned that the competition level especially in the boy's category is extremely competitive.

Pak Budi spoke to me that if I was up for it, he will prepare Ryan from next year on. As Ryan will be 11 years old then, we have only a year to turn him into a state level player. His advice was to expose both the boys to as many tournaments as possible. If opportunity permits, he will recommend MBA to send selected junior players to compete in overseas junior tournaments. Finger crossed.

Doing sit-ups under the watchful eyes of Pak Budi
Pak Budi also touched on the career path as a professional badminton player and life after competitive badminton. He explained a career in badminton is just like any career in other fields. If you are passionate about badminton, you can do many things and it can be equally rewarding as in any other careers. Many ex-player turned successful coaches eg. Datuk Misbun Sidek earned RM30k per month when he was with Badminton Association of Malaysia. Some international coaches eg. Park Joo Bong was even earning more when he was the chief coach in Japan. Many ex-players and back-up players came out of BAM to start their own badminton academy and business as well.

Finally, we asked Pak Budi’s opinion on how realistic it was to turn our boys worthy to be selected into BJSS. He could see that our boys had high work rate, coupled with our support and guidance, he expressed optimism and worth to take a shot. Though it was an encouraging note for us but we were well aware of the tough roads and many uncertainties ahead. Nevertheless, we will do our best to make this journey with the boys a memorable one. 

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