Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Do our local hockey coaches have the necessary knowledge? If not, is there a "pathway" for them to acquire such knowledge?

Lately there has been much talk of coaches and part of it relates to local coaches against the appointment of a foreign coach. People have taken sides while others may be more concerned with the standard of hockey. While the debate continues, it is all about names that are being floated around, not about what qualities the coaches should have or have. This is where we miss the obvious aspects and straight jump to personalities. More often than not we start the whole exercise with the wrong end of the stick ie we do not list the needed requirements of a coach and then find the candidate to fit the position.

It is this failure that demobilises us from searching for excellence. Once excellence is compromised, we have lost sight of the concept of being world class. This eventually means that we are a mediocre set-up that are happy with the "crumbs". It is the lack of a vision and also determination in MHF to implement the concepts of excellence that has kept Malaysian hockey in a dogma. Coaches come and go but there is no clear pathway or infrastructure to develop coaches with the right qualities embodying the appropriate knowledge so that they inculcate the principles of excellence in their DNA. If this is achieved than everything they do carries with it the trademark of "excellence".

Today if we take the coaches involved with the various national teams and also with the teams in the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL), it is glaring that all sorts of people are involved. The question is whether they have the requirements to coach the top teams. Maybe if i list some requirements, people may appreciate my views.

A good coach needs to have the following:

  1. Intimate knowledge of the game including the rules.

  2. Coaching qualification and the requirements follows the level of coaching.

  3. An experienced coach must have a success profile.

  4. Working knowledge in:
  • Physical Education

  • Sports Science

  • Sports Information Technology

  • Psychology

  • Motivational Sciences

5. Knowledge of:

  • Bio-mechanics

  • Bio-medicine

  • Nutrition and Diet

6. Some understanding of "kinanthropometry" ie interface between anatomy and movement.

7. Analytical outlook to appraise the opponents style of play and tactics.

8. Communicating skills.

9. Sense of justice ie fair play.

10. A strategical mind.

It is a tall order but so is "excellence". This is where the coaches' hunger for knowledge comes into play and how they equip themselves is fundamental. If one pursues a Sports Science degree in reputed Universities, most of the subject matter would be covered.

Unless the coaches are made up of such mentality, it would be difficult to expect the players to strive for excellence. After all the definition of a "coach" is to train someone. If the trainer is not adequately knowledgeable, how can he disseminate the finer points of the game to his charges.

Time and time again MHF has overlooked this point. What is more disturbing is when they had the foreign coaches, MHF did not put in place a system to get the rightly qualified local coaches to be part of a broader training programme. The failure to properly train the "trainer" reflects the current status of the decline in standard of Malaysian hockey. Fundamentally we have not kept in pace with the changing phases of hockey over the years.

Now, it is rumoured that we would be getting a highly recognised foreign coach. I hope that with such a coach not only our players would benefit but also our local coaches. A detailed programme must be developed with the foreign coach taking every key facet in hockey which coaches must know as a sacrosanct rule. This programme must become the "core" syllabus for training our new breed of coaches. The programme must be continuously re-engineered to take account of the prevailing changes in the game so as we do not lag behind. This is a challenge MHF has to take up if they want to make the paradigm shift to excellence ie become a world class hockey nation. Maybe it should start first with the Coaching Committee.


Anonymous said...

All what you have mentioned in your blog is very relevant.

However we must stop to think,this is only part of the whole picture.

The very essence of this issue starts from the upbringing of a child in a family and how he behaves and is trained at home to respect people at home and to the outside world that will eventually lead him to gain whatever knowledge you have listed in your article. That respect for others and integrity must be inculcated right from home. We can have all the foreign degrees to our names but it is our inner worthiness that takes us on in life . it is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to the diameter of the circle that matters

That inner self must be strong or else we are fitting a square peg in a round hole.People willnot respect such a coach whether he is trained in Malaysia or overseas.

Perhaps with the next generation we can start looking and preparing them early

Recognise the weaknesses and try to make the changes for these young children- for a better tomorrow not only in the sports field but also as a responsible and dedicated and trustworthy workforce for the nation.

Anonymous said...

To be honest with u, i strongly feel that we must have coaches who are highly educated & are mentaly strong.

Just look at KLHC, If they had a highly educated coach, we will be seing them lifting the throphy come this friday.

We must have coaches who analtical minded.

Anonymous said...

On a lighter note:

There was once a businessman who told a politician

I tak belajar I jadi jutawan

You tinggi belajar you curi makan!!

Dalam negeri i mencari jalan

You luar negeri pandai berwayang

....striking a balance in the eyes of the world

Anonymous said...

What a rant! Are you running out of ideas to write? They say ignorance is bliss and that should apply to you. Please name a coach that possesses even 60% of the requirements you listed and I will be the next national coach. In this day and age we have support staff specialised in the areas you have listed (God knows from where). A potential national juast does not appear from thin air. He would have started off as a player although not necessary and learned the rudiments of coaching formally or otherwise. He would have to graduate from coaching grass root to the elite level. Along the way he would have picked up the basics of the requirements stated. It would not be his fault if he didn't as the coaching certification would then be questioned. All fundamentals of the coaching knowledge are in place in the respective levels of coaching course. The problem is how many coaches are interested in learning these areas (its another topic of discussion then). Are you trying to frighten the aspiring but gullible coaches with your suggestions? The best candidates that meet your criteria at the moment would be the teachers who graduated in physical education or sports science. Look around and name them.