Friday, November 7, 2008

Can a New (But Old) Korean Coach Really Salvage Malaysia's Pride in Hockey?

Rumour has it that NSC has finalised the terms for the appointment for a renowned Korean coach as Malaysia's National Coach. This Korean has just completed his contract with China after the Beijing Olympics. Prior to that he was the National Coach of Korea and had great success with them.

This Korean comes from the old school of thought in hockey. A fanatic in relation to discipline, fitness and courage, he tends to expect players to follow the latter of his instruction. He is not a great believer of the principle of mutual respect between Coach and players.There is only one way i.e his way and that is the respectful way. Very much a Korean way. Therefore dressing down players who fail to deliver or fail to follow instruction in the field is not an unusual sight.

The use of modern technology like lactic acid built up or recovery period or the presences of certain muscles for explosive runs are not very much of his forte. The demands of hockey has gone beyond certain levels and the use of Sports Science, Bio Mechanics, Psychology, Nutrition, Strength built-up and other related fields which contribute to player performance. This, Malaysia is totally lacking and any new coach must bring such expertise into the country.

This Korean is a close friend of the current German hockey consultant for the Malaysian national team and they two are of the same mould. Principally their views in hockey, i.e modern hockey, is a number of years behind. This explains why many better hockey nations do not solicit their help. Indeed even in their own countries they find them below the current level of coaching techniques and their services are not required.

Despite all these NSC still seek their services. Their tactics and style is too well known and their failure to re engineer their approach permits the better hockey nations to see through the holes in these Coaches strategy. If Malaysia want to remain in the lower end of the rankings i.e between 12 to 20, the Korean is the right person. His past records is good but that is the past and the game of hockey has moved on faster.

If NSC brings him, then Malaysia might as well forget the dream of being a world class nation in hockey. 102 Group on the request of the Minister had prepared a proposal and they had indulged on the issue of selection of Coaches. I advise NSC to read and then determine if what NSC is doing is for the future of hockey or another ad-hoc operation to fill the gap as temporary resolution to the problem.

I seriously think NSC themselves have to have a proposal on them to see if they themselves are doing the right thing. Maybe we should ask former internationals from various sports to put an "open letter" on NSC with a signature campaign. Maybe with that the Minister of Sports may seek a proposal and that could give an opportunity to serious review NSC's operational methodology.

Come! Come! NSC look at the bigger picture and the years ahead. Do not get caught with past big names. Look at the Australians, the Dutch and the latest Germans and understand how they got to the top and are sustaining it. Modern Coaches from these countries may help to salvage Malaysian hockey and sustain it at world class.

No comments: