Friday, 5 December 2014


"...some defeats are instalments to victory..."
Jacob Riss
I was analysing Ryan’s game over the many tournaments he had participated poorly this year. Most of the local tournaments adopted standard 30 points system in the early rounds. I noted Ryan’s game tended to dip after 20 points even though he took the early lead.  In numerous occasions, his opponent would catch up and some managed to snatch his game away.
My suspicion would be his biological clock being tuned to 11 points and 21 points system as standard issue in his training sessions. I didn’t realise it as much until his routine trainings started to adopt 11 points sparring system (in tandem with the BWF trial of 11 points x 5 set system) that this short fall in him became quite evident. We will have to change their sparring routine to 30 or 35 points where possible henceforth.
In the case of little Aaron, here’s an analogy of what he is made off. He is like a diesel engine. He needs to be given time to allow the engine oil to heat up to optimum temperature and flow throughout the engine system in order the get the best out of him. This may have passed by as a cursory travesty, but I realised almost every time he catnapped before a competitive match, he would performed poorly. A case to point was a late evening match drawn against the hard hitting Yap Juin Ann in the recent MSSWPKL tournament. I took him back for a shower and a nap and rushed him back just in time to register for his game. He should be fresh and well rested right? Wrong! He started cold as if his body was still asleep and lost miserably. No doubt the tactical mastery from his father’s input also contributed to Aaron’s drubbing, but he was clearly not at his best. After the match, he walked off disgruntled as he was not even tired.  We will have to remember the diesel engine analogy.
I was mulling over this troubling predicament about the consequence of night trainings. After their sessions, the hungry boys will inevitably pester me for supper. That is already close to 10.30pm or so and we don’t get back home until after 11pm, pack-out their stuff, shower and straight hitting the sack. This unhealthy routine has made Ryan gain Body-Mass-Index “BMI” noticeably. I even had to negotiate with him to reduce his portion but it is quite a daunting task to limit a growing up boy this way. As far as possible, I will get them to share a meal between them – if at all it’s possible.    
Here is another delicate situation. What do you tell your kids when they are to meet their own close friend in the next match? More so if it’s their regular doubles partner? Coaches normally practise impartiality out of respecting the sensitivity of both parents. Who doesn’t want their child to win? This is especially so if the stakes are high i.e. in a qualifying match or winning a prize in the semi-final onwards. Yes, our message is they are to play not any lesser than their other opponents and we want both the fight it out tooth and nail and may the better player win.

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