Thursday, July 17, 2008

National Hockey Juniors Debacle

National Juniors Coach's reasons for Malaysia's poor performance at Hyderabad are:
* Lack of fitness of players,
* Interference in the team by others,
* Not much time to work with the team, as he only took over a few months ago,
* Lack of good forwards, and,
* The squad consists of the best players available.
The only recommendation I can give the Junior Coach and MHF is to look for "androids" i.e human robots created in a factory. What sort of excuses ! A good joke !

If these reasons were all there when he took over as a coach, why then did he continue? He should have sounded the warning bells early and if nobody was listening , he should have got out. It is probably not his style to do that. Fair, then he has to face the consequences.

The excuses given clearly show that MHF is "directionless". All the excuses given sound very perennial. The same problem at all levels i.e Seniors, Juniors and Under-16. It principally displays that nothing concrete materialises at MHF and their various Committees. It would seem that Malaysian hockey is in a "death row" waiting for its day to come. That's the feeling I have and many others seem to share this morbidness.

To date the hierarchy in MHF is silent. Only the Coach and the Chairman of the Coaching Committee have spoken. Mind you they too are clueless. As for the President or Deputy President, I think they prefer the maxim "silence is golden". This may be right for themselves but their leadership has pained many people's hearts. These are people who are shocked at the state of hockey today.

If the Juniors are the future of hockey then the MHF leadership have absolutely failed in their duties. They should know what is the right thing to do.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Ghandi,

In response to your above comments and the recent local paper, article heading “Officials clueless as problems mounts” - Sunday Star July 13 2008.

All that I can say about this whole issue is that, the many medical series aired like CSI Miami, CSI New York has created a high level of forensic science awareness to the general public.

Hence, we frequently see many individuals in hockey trying to out smart others and play that role even before death, to have a perfect crime.

We regularly see this in the Malaysian hockey scene, what we call the ‘mortician(s)’ and “coroner(s)” who regularly gets into action at the wrong place and time!

For example, even before the Junior Asia Cup could reach the second round of the tournament, certain quarters in MHF has started their usual post-mortem through the local papers. It is just like a way of putting into action a self-defence mechanism when the team is performing badly.

When the team has just lost the 2nd game, 3-1 to India, it is obvious that the chances for the semis do not look promising. A win against Japan can only see the team through the semi. I am sure, it is possible with proper planning!

Out of the blues, the Coaching Chairman was quoted saying from Klang before the Japan match in Hyderabad, India:

“The players have a fixed mindset and rarely have the ability to change tactics during the matches.”

As we are aware the standard response and parties at fault, as usual will be the players.

“The officials have done their best” as he was also quoted saying:

“It is easy to blame the coaches but one can only do so much for the outside”

Well it may be true that a coach can do so much from outside once the game starts. But mind you, if the team’s preparation, in terms of tactical and technical aspects has been clearly defined, the strategies against the opposition teams would have been easily executed. Given that we knew who the teams in the grouping are, simulation dry-run in Kuala Lumpur and the many practise matches during the tour would have been vital.

The timing of hurling this unconstructive and bias comment is not a smart thing to do, as the players can have excess to the internet, hence read the “rubbish” that is being said about them.

The saying ‘Silence is Golden’ is befitting at that point of time. These remarks would probably distract them further into the tournament, especially when it is coming from the Chairman. As it is, they already have a handful with the coach.

With that episode over and now that Malaysia has played and lost to Japan 3 – 1, where did we go wrong?

It is probably the “fixed mindset and rarely has the ability to change tactics” due to no tactical training and the demoralising remarks that are now the root(s) of the problems!

I guess it is our culture to frequently bark at the wrong tree!

Not long ago, over a cup of coffee, one wise old man said that there are no bad students but there are poor teachers (not financially poor). He added that in the case of development, it is the skill and knowledge needed to treat and polish an uncut stone, and turn it into a beautiful diamond that counts.

Hence how the team perform on the field is actually the product and it is the mirror image of the coach’s ability. What level of quality training and match simulations he has prepared the boys before the tournament will be the hard judgement upon him.

It would be unfair to say that the players are not able to think and change tactic during the course of the match. Changing tactics is the responsibility of the coach, even if the team have been briefed before the match on the tactical options available, rightfully it is still the coach’s decision and he shall be equally accountable to make the call during the course of the game.

What if we allow the boys to call the shots in the run of play?

Would it turn the match into chaos when the eleven players makes a call to change things?

The on-going Junior Asia Cup Tournament, the Head Coach was quoted saying during the post-match, Malaysia versus Singapore:

Juniors coach V. Muraleedharan described the Malaysian match as "rubbish".

However, in the pre-match/tournament interview, the coach was very confident and was quoted saying:

"Even if Singapore field Under-21 players, I believe we will win three points, and then we will have to beat either Japan or India to qualify for the semi-finals."

"I am confident that we have the material to beat Singapore, and we will then have to give our best against Japan to qualify for the semi-finals," said national juniors coach V. Muraleedharan.

As usual the ‘overconfident syndrome’ will be the downfall for both our junior and senior hockey teams going forward. The NO PROBLEM…LAH .. will be the cause for the coaches “inability to think and change syndrome”. The Chairman has correctly raised a pertinent problem in Malaysian hockey but it will be more accurately describe the coaching aspect of things, rather than the players’ ability in this case.

Sadly, as a hockey fan one would have notice, that all the present coaches have somehow skipped the initial stage of coach education. Whereby, working and early involvement with this age group development would have sharpened their coaching skills. This shortcut to success has actually placed them in a very disadvantage position. In fact they have actually propelled themselves into their misfortune without realising.

Please think outside box and not play the “mortician” or the “coroner” role at the wrong place and time.

Malaysian hockey needs thinking ethical professionals, where the role would best be described as a specialist or M.D with medical knowledge, carrying out examining to diagnose the patient when the patient is still alive and kicking. Correct protocol in the examination and prescribing the correct medication for the patients, will ensure that the patient’s life is saved, and not allowing them to suffer.

The “head” mortician or coroner, if he discharges his responsibility without politics would have identified the root of the problem after the events by now, considering the number of similar failures he has to “operate” on.

May God bless hockey and all those who love hockey!

ss tangaval said...

let me take a wild guess..is anon 10pm SS Dhaliwal?

He craves CSI...and i wonder why..hmmmm

Gandhi, said...

Anonymous commentor had posted the following (editted due to personal attacks in posting):

Hockey fans of Malaysia,
Just for your information,the Junior Chief Coach will not step down. The following reasons:
1. (deleted - personal attacks)
2. (deleted - personal attacks)
3. (deleted - personal attacks)
He blamed that someone is calling the shot for the selection of players. He only others but not himself. Following are the truth:
1. He only released the Sukma Players 4 days before Sukma not one month has he has said in the papers.
2. He got between the big guns in selecting the Junior palyers whereby 7 Johor players were forced to be selected. No standard also select because Johor needed International Exposure to beat K.L. That was somebody's strategy. K.L only had 3 Sukma players.
3. Why did he choose the 4 nations tournament. If had all committed ok. but why choose the Belgium and German tour. I blame MSN for this. He wanted the tour and he blamed the others.
4. He has already taken the team more than 6 months and he says the players are not fit.Why? Because hi is not confidence of himself .He only can coach a ready made team like SSBJ where all the cream comes in the seniors taech and he only stands. Very easy.
5. I don't know wether he has got a proper training schedule. MSN please check.

What you sow you will reap.
He was the man behind in plotting to get rid of the former Junior coach.Now you are paying the sins.
He has to learn .
MHF and MSN please look around there are lot of good coaches.K.L beat Johor in Sukma so why don't call up the K.L coaches to help the team.That is the best choice.

Gandhi, said...

Anonymous commentor had posted the following (editted due to personal attacks in posting):

Hockey fans of Malaysia,
Just for your information,the Junior Chief Coach will not step down. The following reasons:
1. (deleted - personal attacks)
2. (deleted - personal attacks)
3. (deleted - personal attacks)
He blamed that someone is calling the shot for the selection of players. He only others but not himself. Following are the truth:
1. He only released the Sukma Players 4 days before Sukma not one month has he has said in the papers.
2. He got between the big guns in selecting the Junior palyers whereby 7 Johor players were forced to be selected. No standard also select because Johor needed International Exposure to beat K.L. That was somebody's strategy. K.L only had 3 Sukma players.
3. Why did he choose the 4 nations tournament. If had all committed ok. but why choose the Belgium and German tour. I blame MSN for this. He wanted the tour and he blamed the others.
4. He has already taken the team more than 6 months and he says the players are not fit.Why? Because hi is not confidence of himself .He only can coach a ready made team like SSBJ where all the cream comes in the seniors taech and he only stands. Very easy.
5. I don't know wether he has got a proper training schedule. MSN please check.

What you sow you will reap.
He was the man behind in plotting to get rid of the former Junior coach.Now you are paying the sins.
He has to learn .
MHF and MSN please look around there are lot of good coaches.K.L beat Johor in Sukma so why don't call up the K.L coaches to help the team.That is the best choice.