Ryan took a 7 day break from badminton during the mid year school holidays. As far as his training records are concern, he has never taken a break this long since he started competitive badminton 3 years ago. Not even during his school exams. Normally during long breaks like this, he would at least put in 30 minutes sessions or two of leg exercises or racket drills if not jogging and hill sprinting out in Taman Wawasan. Somehow, he let this off as well.
How has this affected his badminton programme? Negligible I would say BUT it has impacted his interest somewhat. When he was to resume his training again, he announced that he wanted to stop training all together. I was not sure where this came from - whether it was because of the holiday mood or perhaps he was coming to terms with harsh reality of competitive badminton. Was it a lost cause?
I was certain he understood U13 was not his year, what more when he has not attained puberty yet compared to the rest of the U14 field. All he needed to do like everybody else was to be patient this year and see through this formative year with regular training. I reasoned with him that Aaron needed a strong sparring partner to keep him stretched. At least he has to keep pace to help his brother. Furthermore, both his mother and I took great pains and sacrifice to get him an ID. It is something money cannot buy. Clearly he does not understand the value of it.
Be that as it may, Ryan like many other mid level players who are walking on the edge, will somehow go through the same dilemma - cut loss now OR continue biting the bullet? Thinking about it, it is not easy and if they still stick to it despite the odds, they are truly resilient players!
So how did it end? I think all Ryan needed that time was some assurance and encouragement despite the bitter truth. I ended up talking to both of them about the how their body will inevitably undergo the metamorphosis around this age for boys (about wet dreams etc.) and girls (having periods etc.) and that is it worth sticking around when that happens to see how that will help him in his competitive badminton.
He resumed training again.