Monday, 8 June 2015

WALKING ON THE EDGE


Ryan took a 7 day break from badminton during the mid year school holidays. As far as his training records are concern, he has never taken a break this long since he started competitive badminton 3 years ago. Not even during his school exams. Normally during long breaks like this, he would at least put in 30 minutes sessions or two of leg exercises or racket drills if not jogging and hill sprinting out in Taman Wawasan. Somehow, he let this off as well.

How has this affected his badminton programme? Negligible I would say BUT it has impacted his interest somewhat. When he was to resume his training again, he announced that he wanted to stop training all together.  I was not sure where this came from - whether it was because of the holiday mood or perhaps he was coming to terms with harsh reality of competitive badminton. Was it a lost cause?

I was certain he understood U13 was not his year, what more when he has not attained puberty yet compared to the rest of the U14 field. All he needed to do like everybody else was to be patient this year and see through this formative year with regular training. I reasoned with him that Aaron needed a strong sparring partner to keep him stretched. At least he has to keep pace to help his brother. Furthermore, both his mother and I took great pains and sacrifice to get him an ID. It is something money cannot buy. Clearly he does not understand the value of it.

Be that as it may, Ryan like many other mid level players who are walking on the edge, will somehow go through the same dilemma - cut loss now OR continue biting the bullet? Thinking about it, it is not easy and if they still stick to it despite the odds, they are truly resilient  players!

So how did it end? I think all Ryan needed that time was some assurance and encouragement despite the bitter truth. I ended up talking to both of them about the how their body will inevitably undergo the metamorphosis around this age for boys (about wet dreams etc.) and girls (having periods etc.) and that is it worth sticking around when that happens to see how that will help him in his competitive badminton.

He resumed training again.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

MMOA - WVN Inter Team Badminton Championship 2015


Standing L to R : Team Mgr Yvonne, WVN Organiser Wilson Chiew, Chief Coach Waheeda, Asst Coach Calvin.
Squatting L to R : Bryan Goonting, Ng Ee Hern, Lee Qi Hong, Haris Sufian, Aaron Wong, Kaiser Tan, Tan Yan Yi, Dylylva Saha, Odelia Wong
Wilson Vision Network (WVN) launched this inaugural team competition for U12 and U16 in Forum Pudu, KL during the mid year school holidays. Team-16 run by coach Waheeda invited both Aaron & Haris from Wira Tangkis to complete her U12 team. The U12 team comprises of :

Lee Qi Hong 12, Aaron Wong 12, Haris Sufian 12, Ng Ee Hern 12, Bryan Goonting 10, Kaiser Tan 10, Tan Yan Yi 12, Dylylya Saha 12 & Odelia Wong 12.

Team-16 which was fully sponsored by Protech Sports & OA Hyperstore was quite a refreshing departure from the conventional knock-out competition which the boys have been accustomed to over the past 2 years. The match categories were XD, BSU10, GS, BS & BD using the now defunct 11 points best of 5 sets system.

Here, team strategy, depth, balance and team work comes into play which is what coach Waheeda is at her best. A strict and astute strategist, she meticulously moulded the team comprising of average rank players (with the exception of Tan Yan Yi) into a team to be reckon with. I have to admit, I learnt a few tricks form her and found myself relishing the challenge from this inter- team event.

 Team-16 was grouped together with Rising Sports and SHBC. Only the group leaders advance to the semi-finals. While I see no threat from SHBC mainly comprised of underage players, our serious challenger was Rising Sports.

In the first game of mixed doubles, Aaron was paired with Odelia against his old rival Wong Vin Sean and Maria Ngoh. Aaron/Odelia scrapped through in a 3-2 thriller. The fifth set was won by the skin of their teeth 11-10.

In the BSU10, Bryan Goonting started with a cold engine and found himself trailing against a pint size David Liew. However, when he had warmed up, he romp him with a 3-0 win. Team-16 was 2 up at this stage. So far so good!

Next was BS where Rising Sports unleashed their Selangor State ace Kenny Khiew against Lee Qi Hong and Rising narrowed the score back to 1-2.

In the GS, Team-16 had our own ace in the circuit champion Tan Yan Yi from Melaka. She had no trouble to win in straight sets against Beh Chin Hui and sealed a 3-1 win for the team.

The final game was academic in BD where Aaron/Qi Hong lost to Kenny/Vin Sean 2 -3.

In the match with SHBC, I was not with the team as I had to be in office but Team-16 won comfortably with 5-0 trashing to top the group for a semi final clash with Art Sports Spritzer Orange mainly comprising of Penang BA team B.

I just had to watch the semi-finals although I didn’t apply for leave. How can I miss it? The first draw was XD where Haris was paired with Dylylva against Ooi Yi Hern and Cheng Su Hui. The Northern duo was a tad more skilful and we were 0-1 down.

The second match was GS where Tan Yan Yi found her match in another Penang ace Tan Zhing Yi. Tan Yan Yi dropped the first set but found her winning rhythm in the next 3 sets to level the team score to 1-1.

Next was BD where Aaron teamed up with his Putrajaya mate Haris to have a go against Poopathi and Ooi Yi Hern. After taking the first set, they eventually lost steam and threw away the next 3 sets and we were down again 1-2.

The forth match was BSu10 which I predicted a given point to Art Sports Spritzer but the courageous Kaiser Tan turned the table around to upset favourite Eogene Ewe to level the team score back to 2-2.

The decider BS now fell on Aaron’s hands as he was chosen to play against Beh Choon Meng, another GP qualifier from Penang. Unfortunately Aaron floundered uncharacteristically and lost in straight sets. A sombre mood overcame our team. It was not because he lost the match but the way he lost the match was damaging to the pride. The pressure and the expectation proved too much for him to handle.

The team took home a 3rd place medal with a badminton bag and some cash winnings. In the aftermath, all of the parents supported the idea to maintain the team for future team events and hopefully we can do better next time. As for the boys, we will now take a long break from badminton since its school holidays and we have arranged for a 3 day family camp at Radiant Retreat in Janda Baik. Happy holidays everyone.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

PREVIEW ON NATIONAL JUNIOR CIRCUIT ZONE B (2nd LEG) 2015


The return leg was in Gan Hong Hoe Badminton Hall, Melaka. I was overjoyed to get my leave approved and thus was able to join the team down to Melaka.

This round,  Aaron was seeded 3/4 and had some advantage with the draw, having to avoid the top 3 seeds and half of the 5/8 seeded players. Unfortunately he cannot avoid the much improved Melaka stalwart, Yong Bing Yan where he was in scintillating form during MSSM competition. 1st Leg Champion, Liew Xuan and a determined Justin Hoh were also in Aaron’s half.

Aaron again opened his account against Negeri Sembilan’s Roslin Fozi which after this match would have a head-to-head of 4 -0 in favour of Aaron.

Next match against KL Tan Zhen Tseng was quite tricky. We ran some videos of his play in the early rounds  and from there, the coaches were confident Aaron could get a handle of him. Aaron won in straight sets but was a little slack in the second set due to some discomfort on his foot and sole, probably due to over exertion in training.

There were two upsets in the quarters. Fast rising Ng Yaw Ping squeezed past Derrick Eng of Johor and took home the match in rubber game. 11 year-old Justin Hoh was also in serious form upsetting favourite Liew Xuan in straight sets.

Two years ago,  Aaron lost to Yong Bing Yan in a private tournament. We knew from the video footage, the Melaka no. 1 has been solid in his game during MSSM and in the circuit leg 2 preliminary rounds. Aaron dropped the first set after staging a come back late in the game. However, his fight fizzled out in the second set after he complained about his foot aches. Despite this defeat, he has accumulated enough points to qualify for the GP finals.

In doubles, it was a disappointing first game knockout to a scratch pair from Johor, Liew Xuan/Ng Tze Chian. The game was riddled with uncharacteristic errors until both coaches were flabbergasted  starring blankly at an empty court after the game was over. Truthfully I was embarrassed at the way our boys handled the game. After a quiet talk with the chief coach, we concluded that Aaron’s mind was already hard-wired for his singles game which was not his fault in all honestly.  It’s just that we did not  expect the game to have ended the way it did.

In spite of this setback,  both Aaron/Jie Yang have accumulated enough points to qualify for the GP finals in the doubles as well, thanks to their semi-final feat in the 1st leg. Having said that, the boys have an almost insurmountable task now to shape back their performance to the level where they are capable of and we have less than 4 months to achieve it.   

BSU12

Round 1 :             Aaron Wong vs Bye

Round 2 :             Aaron Wong (PJ) vs Muhd Roslin Fozi (NS)                           21 – 12, 21 - 11

Round 3 :             Aaron Wong (PJ) vs Tan Zhen Tseng (KL)                              21 – 16, 21 – 18

Qtr Final :             Aaron Wong (PJ) vs Yong Bing Yan (MK)                              18 - 21, 7 - 21

 BDU12

1st Round :           Aaron /Jie Yang (PJ)  vs Bye

2nd Round :          Aaron /Jie Yang (PJ)  vs Liew Xuan / Ng Tze Chian(JH)      21 –9, 21 – 7

 
Provisional BSU12 GP Qualifiers

Thursday, 9 April 2015

MSSM 2015


This year’s MSSM badminton is held in Arena 89 Klang. Only state finalists are automatic qualifiers in this national school annual games funded by the Ministry of Education.

Already there were familiar faces in the draw, many of which have participated in the BAM organised National Junior Circuit 1st Leg  held two month back. There were some big upsets notably , Circuit Zone B champion, Liew Xuan (Jh) was cast aside in the opening round by a Malaccan debutant, Ng Yaw Pin (Mk).

 Zone B Runners-Up, Pahang ace, Chia Jeng Hon (Ph) was also in the casualty list, dismantled by another Malaccan rival, Yong Bing Yan (Mk) in the second round. The thing about school coaches cum care takers which has been the talking point here, was that the cikgus were not their regular coaches and therefore fell short of bringing the best out of the players.

While some hearts were broken, entry warriors like Ng Yaw Pin (Mk)  and Anson Cheong (Pk) have begun to get noticed after reaching the semi-finals. But none were more outstanding than the formidable Ong Zhen Yi (Pg) as he stood on the top podium and has consistently been doing so.

Aaron was unfortunately in the war path of Ng Yaw Pin and was visibly not at his best. It could have been due to fatigue after competing in the TM Sports tournament especially after the gruelling final match with his Putrajaya club mate, Haris Sufian.

Nevertheless, this has been an interesting precursor to the National Junior Circuit 2nd Leg which will be held in Malacca next month since the top two finalist of the first leg has been toppled. This has given a huge psychological boost to the chasing pack which could throw the championship race wide open.  

PL Bawah 12

Pusingan  1 :       Aaron Wong (PJ)vs Soh Chin Sze (Ps)                      21- 14, 21 - 12

Pusingan  2 :       Aaron Wong (PJ) vs Ng Yaw Pin (Mk)                      9 - 21, 13 - 21

BL Bawah 12

Pusingan  1 :       Aaron / Jie Yang (PJ)vs Kang KX / Kang WS (Kn)  21- 16, 21 - 17

Pusingan  2 :       Aaron / Jie Yang (PJ) vs Joshua/ Pui WY (Sk)         21 - 15, 10 – 21, 12 – 21

The rest of the results here...

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Kejohanan Badminton Terbuka Remaja TM Sports 2015


L to R : Kelvin, Hadrian, Aaron & Haris

I was hesitant to enroll the boys for this tournament because firstly, it overlaps with Aaron’s MSSM. However, the club coach encouraged us to go for it as the Protech sponsored prizes were attractive. Although both venues are about 15 minutes apart in Klang, it will require some astute planning to orchestrate a delay in the quarter final as this game clashed with his first round contest in MSSM.

His 2nd title of the year


 
Secondly, this also meant that I will had to forego my company’s annual badminton games in University Malaya, all held on the same time and day on Sunday 15th of March. Can the boys ever understand how much sacrifice their dad had to go through just for their badminton sake?

Fortunately, despite all the anxiety and mad driving around Klang Bt Tinggi area, Aaron rewarded me with his second title of the year as he pocketed RM150, a Protech racquet, a badminton bag, a winners cert and a nice medal.

Ryan’s performance woes continues this year as he failed to get pass his Putrajaya team mate Rahman in the first round of the U14 category. He was equally frustrated and wanted to give up badminton. I had to think hard about his way ahead but after consulting with my wife, we decided to take him off external trainings for now but still train him on our own. He will have to stop going for competitive tournaments this year before he self destruct. We will assess his situation again at the end of the year.

Contrastingly, Aaron’s trail is blazing as he is at his peak in his U12 category this year. He will have to grind on to prepare for his Jr Circuit 2nd leg coming up in mid April and a very possible opportunity to book a place in the National Jr Grand Prix sometime in the middle of the year. So his job is far from over for now.
 
 
 

BOYS SINGLES U12

1st Round :           Aaron vs Dylan Yeoh                      30 – 16

2nd Round :          Aaron vs A Vinash                           30 – 19

3nd Round :          Aaron vs Wong Khee Chun             30 – 6

Qtr Final :             Aaron vs Santos                               30 – 12

Semi Final :         Aaron vs Kevin Liew                        21 -8, 21 - 14

Final                       Aaron vs Haris Sufian                    21 - 17, 21 - 14 
 
BOYS SINGLES U14
1st Round :           Ryan vs Rahman                               28 – 30

Sunday, 15 February 2015

ANALYSIS ON NATIONAL JUNIOR CIRCUIT ZONE B (1st LEG) 2015

Putting together all the eight semi-finalist of the two zones, we can see them in a better perspective how the eight players compare to each other in the 1st leg. The point to note is that the finalists will obviously play more sets than the semi-finalists.

One of the traits of a top player is his steadiness which can be correlated to low % of points loss compare to points won. (See row 6). This can be interpreted as the player has lesser unforced errors and are generally playing a "steady" game throughout.

Liew Xuan has the lowest % Points Loss / Points Won @ 69% and it is no coincidence as he is in top form upsetting Chia Jeng Hon in the Zone B final.

Zone A
 Finalist
 Finalist
 Semi-Finalist
 Semi Finalist
 
Ong Zhen Yi (PG)
Kenny Khiew (SL)
Goh Boon Zhe (PG)
Anson Cheong (PK)
Sets Played
13
12
12
8
Sets Won
10
10
8
6
Sets Loss
3
2
4
2
Points Won
258
243
232
165
Points Loss
214
191
202
118
% Pts  Loss/Won
83%
79%
87%
72%
Ave Pts Loss/set
16.46
15.92
16.83
14.75
     
   
Zone B
 Finalist
 Finalist
 Semi-Finalist
 Semi-Finalist
 
Liew Xuan (JH)
Chia Jeng Hon (PH)
Derrick Eng (JH)
Aaron Wong (PJ)
Sets Played
13
12
9
9
Sets Won
10
9
7
6
Sets Loss
3
3
2
3
Points Won
261
242
167
171
Points Loss
181
180
125
151
% Pts  Loss/Won
69%
74%
75%
88%
Ave Pts Loss/set
13.92
15.00
13.89
16.78
         

Although Anson Cheong had good statistics on paper but yet he bowed out in the semi-final against Kenny Khiew of Selangor. Perhaps he had a bad game against Kenny or had a mental glich. Be that as it may, a player has to make it count when it matters most. You can see why Aaron's game is erratic and it reflects in the statistics.
  
Rank
Zone
Name
% Pts  Loss/Won
1
B
Liew Xuan (JH)
69%
2
A
Anson Cheong (PK)
72%
3
B
Chia Jeng Hon (PH)
74%
4
B
Derrick Eng (JH)
75%
5
A
Kenny Khiew (SL)
79%
6
A
Ong Zhen Yi (PG)
83%
7
A
Goh Boon Zhe (PG)
87%
8
B
Aaron Wong (PJ)
88%
 
 
Rank
Zone
Name
Ave Pts Loss/set
1
B
Derrick Eng (JH)
13.89
2
B
Liew Xuan (JH)
13.92
3
A
Anson Cheong (PK)
14.75
4
B
Chia Jeng Hon (PH)
15.00
5
A
Kenny Khiew (SL)
15.92
6
A
Ong Zhen Yi (PG)
16.46
7
B
Aaron Wong (PJ)
16.78
8
A
Goh Boon Zhe (PG)
16.83

You can see from the Average Points Loss per set, the difference between Derrick Eng and Goh Boon Zhe is only 3 points difference. Every point loss is rather significant to the game. For just 3 points per set on average, it means you are either a champion or ended up a semi finalist.
 
 

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Badminton’s future in the country starts in schools and the mindset of parents

By Jayaseelan Anthony - The Star

This is a period of inter-school district sports throughout the nation.
Sports such as badminton, cross country, sepak takraw and athletics, among others, will be organised by district education offices.
MSSD badminton tournaments are being held now so that the district teams can be formed for the Selangor Schools tournament (MSSS) due to be held from Feb 4 for 7 in Petaling Perdana.
Hundreds of players from primary and secondary schools will vye for 36 places in each district teams.
Often, districts will choose these players and conduct a centralised training for them for a couple of days before the Selangor meet.
Nothing much can be done in a few days in terms of improving the skills or fitness of players.
The sad part is, most of the time, we the coaches of these district teams, will know who would be selected before the district tournament starts! Bias? No. Cronyism? No. It is due to the lack of new unknown talents in these meets.
Around 500 players would be taking part and the maximum number of unknown talents that can match the established players is one! Most of the time, it’s none!
Only at the primary level can an above average player penetrate into the district team.
Even then, that player would have been trying for years to achieve it.
They then carry on to secondary level. That is a reality in many districts in Selangor.
Players such as R. Sathiestharan, M. Thinaah, Zulfadli Zulkifli, Azryn Ayub, Ng Pui Yee, Soong Joo Ven are some who conquered this game from primary to secondary in recent years.
Sathiestharan of Selangor and Cheam Jun Wei of Penang played in the boys’ singles final in the MSSM Badminton tournament every year until last year.
One will be surprised to know that it happens in the district level too. For instance, Kunaal Dev versus Ai Wei Jian was the line-up in the boys’ singles final in MSSD Gombak from the year 2008 to 2011 — a four-year continued rivalry with Kunaal winning it every year.
Now Kasturi Radhakrishnan is repeating that in the girls’ singles category. Perhaps this scenario is insignificant for some.
I wondered initially. How could it be that there are no newcomers to challenge them or to give them a decent fight in the tournaments? The answer is obvious. Everyone knows it. Parents.
Yes, parents who love the game and make arrangements to train their children properly under a professional coach consistently for a long time. The parents of the above-mentioned youngsters are a shining example.
They sacrifice their time, money, energy and leisure time by sending their children for daily training and taking them for tournaments. Worse still, they kill many hours sitting in the badminton hall.
I personally know some parents who quit their well paid jobs and start their own business so that they can be with their kids whenever they want — for training and tournaments.
Most of them do feel the pinch in terms of money spent on their badminton playing kids — coaches’ fees, equipments, food, travelling and supplements.
Don’t be surprised if a parent says he or she spends RM3,000 a month on average. I am not sure how many people realise the fact that Malaysia will never have good players without these parents.
Schools and district education offices can never produce a good badminton player. Believe me, not under the current conditions.
Many schools and districts have good badminton teams. However, we the teachers, acknowledge that we do not produce good players unlike other sports.
Why can’t we? Look around in schools nearby you. How many schools have playable badminton halls? A necessity. Even if a school has a hall, does it have expertise in coaching and guiding badminton players?
How many school heads are interested to build strong badminton teams?
I could create tens of questions explaining why schools can’t do much when it comes to badminton.
Malaysian stakeholders should know that these things must change.
Many parents and students are less involved actively in badminton due to many reasons.
No problem if badminton is played as a leisure sport in a family. But to get involved actively is a major decision for them.
Sooner or later when the economic cake gets smaller, when other priorities take over, fewer parents would do the same as before. Consequently, the nation suffers.
I admire Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. I really hope he will find ways to help schools produce good players by creating the proper infrastructure and expertise in badminton coaching and sports science.
By doing this, we can supplement the role of parents who are passionate to train their kids.
The Government can also create more sports’ schools and assure parents that there is indeed a future for badminton playing kids. Though we have “1Murid 1Sukan” (1 student 1 game) programme in schools, the purpose of every student taking part in a game is significantly different from producing skillful students in a game.
Quality is needed to excel in the sport of badminton!