Updated: Nov 22, 2018
As coaches, our learning journey is a continuation of different factors; from being in the stadium practising, going for workshops and self studying, I believe we learn the greatest deal just by watching. As a fledgling coach, I am continually looking to be around experienced coaches to learn from. An opportunity for that I couldn't miss was the Asian Games 2018 which this time, was held right at our own backyard in Jakarta. I booked my flight to Jakarta expecting to see some of Asia's best compete and boy, it was an eye opener.
This is by far the biggest sporting meet I've ever been to and I’m extremely thankful and honoured to have had the opportunity to tag along with Malaysia's top sprints coach, Coach Poad, whom which many don't know a couple of months before the games was battling for his life in ICU. Thankfully, he made a miraculous recovery in time for the games. Three of Coach Poad's athletes competed in the individual events and 4x100m relay. Namely, Malaysia's current top sprinter Khairul Hafiz Jantan (100m, 4x100m), and Badrul Manap (4x100m) whom are consistently clocking -10.5s. Incredible consistency! Coach Poad also runs his own Poad Sprint Academy for budding sprinters.
A very calm and passionate man, he is generous in sharing his views and opinions freely. Here are a couple of Coach Poad's values that resonated with me.
While having to manage his athletes is part of his daily routine, Coach Poad is a keen believer in discipline, and he sets a standard. The athletes are in charge in taking care of their own time and their own training. He believes that even the most talented of athletes, if he/she is not committed to this, he/she will not go far. The result, his current group of excelling athletes right now.
Effectiveness of the training matters. Do not over overcomplicate training just to put your ideas across. The most important point is the quality of practice, and how much quality you get out from trainings is what really matters. Also, rest! The most vital part of a track programme!
Some snippets from the Games below:
Learnt a great deal by watching, but gained the wisdom of it through his advise on training methodologies, coaching experience and encouragement. The standard of competition at this level is beyond what I’ve seen in the flesh, and as a fledgling Coach I am thoroughly encouraged. On a more personal note, to reach that level as a coach will be a dream, and I hope to have my Athletes fulfil their true potential to be competing at this level. From the look of things from our neighbouring countries, there’s no indication that Singapore athletes aren’t able to vie for medals at this stage. Let the dreams turn into reality.