Saturday, August 23, 2008

MHF - "A coach is a teacher"

Reading the comments on the article about Coaches, it somehow brought me back to my schooldays. My teachers had such great influence on me that till today the skills they had taught me has prepared me to take on the challenges in life. Obviously there were "ups" and "downs" but all that is part of the challenges. Everything is an experience to fortify ourselves to be stronger each time.

So when I read Patricia Cross's phrase on teachers i felt how right she was as she portrayed the essences of an "excellent teacher". I felt this could be adopted also to fit an "excellent coach" as both the jobs are very similar.

Replacing the term "teacher" with "coach" and "people" with "players" , Patricia Cross phrase would now read:

"The task of an excellent coach is to stimulate apparently ordinary players to unusual effort.
The tough problem is not identifying winners: it is making winners out of ordinary players."

Lets ask ourselves whether the Chairman of the Coaching Committee, the National Coaches for the Seniors, Juniors and Age Groups have such instinctive qualities in them. I ask this because I have not seen any "herculean" performances in any of the National teams i.e the absence of making winners in ordinary players.

Therefore in what categories are our National Coaches? This is best seen in a phrase of William Arthur Ward. It is about teachers which I have readopted for coaches. It is as follows:

"The mediocre coach tells. The good coach explains.The superior coach demonstrates. The great coach inspires."

Do I have to state it? Surely you should know the answer. I think it is just about "mediocre".

This probably explains why the various Malaysian National teams are not performing and Malaysian hockey is in this dismal state. What makes it sad is that MHF is not too concerned about all this or it is unable to comprehend the matter. Maybe, and maybe they may not have had great teachers.


suki said...

Some teachers my friend are just not made of the right stuff, i agree they are with you till a certain level but then when we reach a certain level some just don't have it.People may argue and say things but ask players who played on the national level and the truth will surface.
What we need is a person who can think and react to situations then i say this guy is a coach until then we are still in the wilderness of hockey.
Not to forget thanks to mhf terry walsh came to MAL and became a coach with a salary of what 20k, i might be wrong about the salary but not about the part him being made into a coach.

Anonymous said...

Mr Gandhi,

What an excellent description on the right roles of a coach!

First and foremost, the teachers in this case the coaches must love what they do before it can lead them to the right perspective of things. When coaches mix responsibility and ethics with personal interest, it is a very unethical cocktail. Their intention in trying to gain more that what they are contributing to the game will obviously expose their true character and reasons in taking up the job.

The scenario at the moment is very clear, the whole MHF coaching set-up, from the Chairman right up to the coaches are not acting in the interest of Malaysian hockey. The whole country knows what their motives are.

Besides their non-conformance to the job scope, they are often seen blaming the best players in the country to cover-up for their non-performance. Are the current coaches equipped with sufficient high performance knowledge or is it just by word of mouth that they have the ability to do the job hopping to deliver. It is most unlikely that we will take delivery of their promises as the basic role and principle in coaching have not been applied so far. What is the Malaysian concept and approach?

Mr Gandhi, William Author phrase cannot be the right description for them since the current coaches practise Leissez-faire style when comes to coaching and Autocratic management style when it comes to managing the players. Leissez-faire coaching style because coaches do not possess substance in coaching and hopping for miracles. Autocratic managements style because they are born politicians. This combination is reflecting on the current state of Malaysian hockey debacle, whereby the breakdown in the MHF coaching set-up is very evident and players’ refusal to play for the coach. No coach would want to continue in this circumstance as the biggest threat to any coach when facing the battle in winning or loosing shall ultimately be the player’s state of mind. The coaches days are numbered once the players have evaluated them and their mind set have been fixed on their ability and credibility as a coach.

To openly declare what is not the truth would be a suicide as the hockey community is very closely knitted. How can some coach demonstrate when the coach himself can’t hold the stick properly but claimed to have represented a state team? How to plan effectively when they are not “qualified”? Does the Level 3 coaching certification hold any value? Coaches in the setup may possess the MHF Level 3 certificates but does it help them to get the job done? Rumours are that some did not attend the full during of the course and assignment submitted was written by a third party. The Malaysian Level 3 certificate is just a mere piece of paper considering the appointed instructor and the running of the course. A refresher course would be appropriate to enhance their coaching skills. How can the coaches inspire the team when the players know that they are bluffing? Can the coaches gain respect from players?

In the Malaysian team’s case the signs are telling that the players have decided and could be protesting in silence. The team looks like probably having a split of two groups, one group of players who are pro coaches (cronies) and the other group of players intelligent enough to weight what is right and wrong not only in hockey but ethics in life also. Patience is running at an all time low as talent and 100% efforts by some individual players are not recognised in the selection process. With the Olympic coming to a close, the Malaysian ranking is expected to slide further. I hope the authorities can read between the lines and respond to the players S.O.S. Great understanding and know how to tackle the root of the problem can only then lift Malaysian hockey out of this rot.

Malaysia Boleh !

Anonymous said...

Coaches are people who go to the proper channel in coaching. That is Level 1,2 & 3. They should start from the grass root level in coaching. They should know the science and art of coaching. In the 60's you need coaches whom were ex internationals because there was no IT but now because of the science we need only intelligent and wise coaches whom have gone through the school of coaching.
To name our ex coaches 1975- Datuk Ho Kock Chye, Datuk Yogeswaran whom were teachers. Terry Walsh a teacher.
Asia , Malaysia, India and Pakistan only belief in ex Internationals as coaches. That is the down fall. Almost all the Malaysian Coaches who were players in their playing years were problem kids. I don't know why asians still belief in ex internationals but if they had gone through the proper channel than its ok.
Now the modern hockey we need coaches who are good tacticians and planners for the elit group and coaches with skill demonstration to the grassroot level. So it goes that ex internationals should start to teach kids first than when they are wise enough than come to the Elit group.
Hockey is changing . Please keep tracking with the new approach

Ex Teacher.

Gandhi, said...

I had to edit the comment and delete certain words so as to permit the comment to be posted.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Viewpoint: "MHF National Coaches"":

anonymous said...


For your info,we have a national coach who did not even pass his SRP examanination.But surprisingly this person can go around freely and (deleted) every malaysian in his way.I wonder how blind we can be?
How do you expect a person of this quality coaching any team?Modern coaches must be sound in technology and able to be on par on what is going on with the world's latest hockey.Can this clown do?Impossible!!!Why is so difficult for the Hockey guardian to realise the fact?Be honest and straight, you would never even consider him for a u-12 team.The only thing he is good is to (deleted).So stop talking about this clown.Just get rid of this clown and find the correct person to run our national team.I think once you get rid this black part of Malaysian Hockey we should be able to get back to top hockey.We need to make sure the team in mhf and all coaches invovled to work as a team with one goal in our target.

Another thing is please do not be so personal about his assistants,yes i agree about their capablities but they are innocent people.A (deleted) needs weak people around him,if not every one would know his (deleted)and abilities,right?So this people were brought in by him so we cannot blame them,for them is a oppourtunity and for him is he can be there for a long time without anyone realising his abilities.

So fellow hockey lovers,wake up and start doing something to get rid of this clown.He is so thick skin that u might need to drag him out of bukit jalil even though he knows people dont want him around.
Where is he going to get a job with this qualities?No where so open your eyes and realise the fact about this conman.
Lastly, as we know the election is around the corner and i see this clown busy campaigning for his future and not about malaysian hockey's future.All voters please remember this if u were a Father who has a son and he is interested to play hockey in this country with the current people in power,Would u allow your son to pick this game?Definately NO!!So please dont do a sin that kills this game.Two years is good enough to put us permanently buried in grave.

God please save Malaysian Hockey