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:
- Intimate knowledge of the game including the rules.
- Coaching qualification and the requirements follows the level of coaching.
- An experienced coach must have a success profile.
- Working knowledge in:
- Physical Education
- Sports Science
- Sports Information Technology
- Motivational Sciences
5. Knowledge of:
- 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.