Thursday, March 29, 2012

2nd last training session before the team leaves for Tasmania

Dear friends and readers

Tonight was another closed door training for the team. The time is drawing close for the departure to cold Tasmania.

My wife has been buying different kinds of beanies for the boys especially Tyzton who has little hair thanks to his Shave for a Cure.

Kay has been busy with last minute preparations and instructions for the team. She did manage to give me a copy of her impressive resume after I had requested the same from her weeks ago.

Modest as she is, you never can find out much info on her from a Google search as her achievements are pre the internet.

If you dig a bit deeper, you will find that she has quite a record in badminton.

She represented Australia in 3 Commonwealth Games and 2 Uber Cups from 1966 to 1975.  In 1966 I was only 5 years old.

She won numerous gold medals in the World Masters Games and the Australian Masters Games.

She has been an Australia's Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion for over 6 years from 1964.  She was WA's champion for many many years in all 3 categories.

Her crowning glory must be that she was awarded the Member of the British Empire Medal for her contribution to sports.

The Medal of the Order of the British Empire for Meritorious Service, usually known as the British Empire Medal (BEM), is a British medal awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown.

In fact she is to be addressed as Kay Terry MBE because of her British Empire Medal. Not many persons in Australia can claim an MBE.

So for the kids in the team who thinks Kay is a bit pushy and demanding, well , she knows what she is doing. It is not easy to be a champion and Kay's pedigree shows she knows what is needed to get there.

So when Kay MBE says "Jump", you kids have to say "How high? Kay MBE".

I am sure I will get to know Kay better in Tasmania. Good night.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The team goes behind closed doors

Dear friends and readers,

You might be wondering why I have not been updating the blog and reporting on the team training. Well, there has been a parent blockout for the forseeable future when the team goes into training. Apparently, the team has not been able to bond as well as expected. Perhaps it was the constant hovering of the doting parents that has resulted in this blockout.

I am sure it is as disappointing for the other parents as it is for me. We love our boys so much that we like to see them progress at every stage of the training and competition.

This Saturday, I had to drop the boys at Samson with the missus as she is helping with the umpiring.

I had to drive around for 2 hrs before returning to Samson.

On arrival, I was invited into the courts by YuLi  instead of waiting outside.

YuLi had been very busy with her coaching.  She had organised quite a few players to give the team a challenge. YuLi has trained so many players in WA that she can easily muster extra hands to help her.

I was asked by YuLi to thank the players in my blog as the Captain did not manage to thank every one at the end of the game.

The team and YuLi would therefore like to thank the following players who gave their time to give the team a challenge:

(a) Donald Chai
(b) Rachel Cheng
(c)  Benedict Xu
(d) Amy Lee
(e) Darren Soon
(f) Cynthia Tam
(g) Michelle (have to check her surname)
(h) Eddie Hung
(i) Angie Yang

Angie Yang is actually YuLi's daughter who plays off a scratch handicap at golf much to my envy.

Most of the other players are also ex state players. The team is lucky that these ex state players are willing to turn up during a weekend to help the team.

Tyzton and Shelby against ???? gee, I really need a better camera!!!

This must be Michael and Michelle v Phing and Jaz

Benedict and Rachel v Titus and Silvi

Coming back to the games. Apparently the team did not win as many games as the coach had wished. However, YuLi was happy that they were more serious in their games and had improved as a whole. Her comments were that the parent blockout was necessary as the players treated the training more like a social than a team building event when the parents are around. She is right, as the results were significantly better.

At the end of the game, I had to bring Amos and Titus back with the family as they are staying over for the weekend. We brought them for dinner with ToukKreei (Amos's mum) so that we could discuss how they had done for the day. Unfortunately Yu Li was unable to join the family.

There are only 2 more training sessions before the team leaves for Tasmania. Are they ready?

On Sunday, Tyzton had an extra training with his personal coach Paul Kong. Jazton was unable to train with his personal coach Nick Kidd as he was feeling the strain on his knees. He was however well enough to have a few doubles games with his brother.

Paul arranged for Chai, Anthony and Lee to challenge my boys. It  was a good day as my boys put up a good fight and won a few games.

It has been decided that Paul will organise a last training session for my boys. Paul actually train Edmund and Amos too on Sundays. Since Amos and Edmund are staying over again next week, we have also invited Titus to stay over. That means the whole State team boys will be staying at my home next week ready for a final training session organised by Paul for next Sunday. Man, that is dedication for the players.

Sorry to Annie who has to organise breakfast next Sunday for the boys.

Good night.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The team play against Perth Badminton Club

Dear friends and readers

We had YuLi organise a competition setting for the team to play against Perth Badminton Club.

This was to see how the players would cope on a tournament setting.

Of course all the players from the Perth Badminton Club are much older than the Under 17s team.

Manager Kay addressing the players
The state team sans umpire Annie

Here are the Perth Badminton Club players and the State team.

The state team with Perth Badminton Club players

We need to thank the following players for giving their time to provide the State team with a dry run.

Unfortunately I do not know the names to all the faces but the players were:

Tom Lim, Martin Wong, Katherine Ong (State player), Eunice Lee (State player) Beth Hollett, Cynthia Tam (State player), Teck Lim, Alan Lam, Benjamin Yan.

 The final score was about 5 games to the State team and about 9 games to the challengers.

It was not a good start for the State team but they were fighting against strong and experienced players.

Silvi against Eunice

Shelby v Beth

Silvi and Jaz

Martin Wong v Titus Tan

This experience will help them understand what they have to improve on. Their games are good, but they all have to improve on their mental games.

Teri Milne, learning the ropes re recording of scores. She should be doing an umpire course next or she might run out of liquid paper.

The team had their first team huddle with the chant:

The team's first huddle
The team chant:

Who are we: We are the best:
What are going to do: Beat the rest:
Where are we from: From the West:

They need a bit of work on that.

This has been an interesting dry run for the team and the coach. The placing of each player in their specific category is a real art as the placement could make a difference between winning and losing.

There is still lots of work for the team to bond and gel into a strong fighting force. They did their best today against a stronger team. Although they lost, this experience will help them become stronger for the national competition.

Till the next blog. Good night.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The team get their uniforms sponsored by Li Ning

Dear readers and parents

Judith Cousins the president of BAWA attended today to present the WA Under 17s team with their uniforms sponsored by Li Ning. The players especially Shelby, Alexandra, and Titus must have been excited as this is the first time they have received  a sponsored uniform from Li Ning. Alexandra and Titus did play in the Under 15s team in 2010 but they had to buy their uniforms as there was no sponsors yet. Thank you Li Ning. Can we hope for more from Li Ning?

The players should be proud that they are wearing the gold state colours of WA. Gold is always striking as a colour compared to boring white for Victoria and blue for New South Wales. That is why their players love to trade our uniforms.

President Judith presenting the uniforms to the players and officials at All Saints

Sadly, I have yet to recieve a state uniform even though my wife as an umpire has received one. I am supposed to be the team driver cum cook for Tasmania but unfortunately no uniforms. Sigh!!! Irene, I am sure you know what I mean. Irene who is Titus's mum will be helping in the kitchen (maybe managing and not helping) during the Tasmanian trip.

For my sons Tyzton and Jazton, these are their 3rd state uniforms.

I am sure the players will honour the state colours with their performances.

After the presentation, it was back to training. John Botha and I were tasked to train Alex and Silvi. They did great work on learning to smash and intercept crosses. They are getting stronger as a doubles pair.

For the last 2 sessions, John , myself and Daniel Xu have been drafted to play against the State team. We try our best.

Today, Benedict Xu, who is the elder brother of Captain Edmund Xu also turned up to give a hand. Thanks to the volunteers including may I say, myself?

At the end of the session, the players were asked to do skipping exercises. Some did better than others and Judith was concerned that the players should be better skippers. Maybe we should have asked Judith for a demo.

Skipping girls all the way to Tassie

Amos and Tyz skipping unco-ordinated

Next week will be interesting as a game has been organised for the team to play another team of volunteers. Heres to the next blog.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2nd day of training

Dear readers and parents,

Today was another good day for the team. They were joined by Michael Chiang, Donald Chai, Eddie Hung and Shaun Lee  to give the team some added competition. Daniel Xu and I were also drafted in to play against Phing and Silvi.

The training session are always well organised by YuLi. Bringing all the extra players into training is great for the team experience.

Michael Chiang, Shaun, Ray, Donald, Eddie and Daniel

While sitting and chatting with the Milne's I found out that I had missed reporting on the girl's results at the Be Active Competition. I do apologise. So the blog will be updated. Shelby was first , Silvi 2nd and Alex 3rd in the B division singles.

BTW, I am not infallible. If I have not said something that should be said, the readers can always make a comment. And I do encourage the readers to do that. I also encourage the readers to facebook this blog.

Coming back to the training, I was surprised to find a Malaysian player also joining in.

Who is this Jimmy Tay from Johor?

For the uninitiated, most players that take part at these national competitions like to swap T shirts at the end of the tournament. That is why sometimes, you see our State players wearing a T shirt with another player's name, state or country.

I still remember the Under 15s in 2010 when my 2 boys participated. That was a comp where the parents paid for everything including uniforms. So, 2 sons playing in the team was not a cheap affair.

Anyway, the boys were asking me whether they could swap their T shirts with the other state players. My answer was, basic economics. Supply and demand. The NSW and Vic teams had more players than the WA team. Therefore the exchange rate should be 2 T shirts of theirs for one of ours. Gee, I mean , the parents paid for the T shirts. I am pleased to say that the market rate was set favourably for WA players.
Eddie sparring with Amos

YuLi giving the girls some tips

The team ending the training with stretches and sprints

At the end of the training, Captain Edmund thanked the coach, manager and all the parents for the day of training.

It is so easy to forget to thank all the people who are involved in the Under 17s  team. YuLi has sacrificed quite a lot of time and also income in coaching the team.  We all have to thank her for that.

This is the first time she is coaching a state team. There are lots of talented and selfless coaches in WA. We are all so grateful that they have been able to sacrifice their time and money for the good of the state. And all because they enjoy the sport of badminton and wish the best for our children.

I was speaking to the Milnes today and they informed me that tha draw has already been done for the team competition at Tasmania. We are in Box A playing against NSW's No. 1 team and Tasmania. It will be a hard slog as the winner will go to the next stage to fight for 1-4 spot. There are 4 Boxes with a team from New Caledonia. Who are they?

The excitement mounts even tho the comp starts in April.

Till the next blog. Good night.

Friday, March 2, 2012

First day of training as a team

Dear readers,

The WA Under 17s team has been selected. The hard work begins to build the team into a strong fighting force.

Under the guidance of YuLi, the coach and Kay, the manager, the first day already looks promising.

The first training session was conducted at All Saints College at Bullcreek. My boys are familiar with the courts as they have been training there for over 1 year with Nick and Himanshu.

The training session started with stretching and warming up.

Warmup properly or you risk injury

YuLi arranged for Donald Chai and Shaun Lee to come in to give the team a hand. We always need to be thankful to all the volunteers who pitch in for no reward other than some tired bodies at the end of training.

Here's a picture of Donald and Shaun. Shaun is always a bit shy. His mum calls him CBB or "Cannot Be Bothered". We are glad he could be bothered to turn up to give the team a hand.

Shy Shaun and Donald, our eveready volunteers

The training session was well organised and everyone was pushed to the limit. YuLi has been trying out various combinations for the doubles games.

I believe the depths of the players is quite strong this time. Most of the players have taken part in National tournaments before. Shelby is the newbie but she looks strong and ready to fight for WA although she has just migrated.

At the end of the training session, YuLi made the team do their footwork training. It is always hard doing footword training at the end of the session as the body is about to give in. Great spirit was shown by the team.

Titus, Edmund doing their footwork.
The girls doing their foot work
Cannot see who it is.

I really need to get a better camera to get the action shots of the players. They just move too fast.

With the level of support and training planning put in by YuLi, I am sure the team stands a good chance at the Nationals.

My boys have been training their doubles game on Wednesday with Paul Kong. I have been Paul's partner for the last 3 weeks. The first week, the boys got 1 set out of 7 sets. I played my best and kept my boys honest.

The next week, the boys got 2 sets out of 7 sets against Paul and myself. They were getting better and pushing my 50 year old body.

Last Wednesday, the boys managed a 4-3 win over Paul and myself.

I could see this coming and I had the foresight to arrange for Martin Wong to turn up for training next week to take my place with Paul.

Planning and delegation is everything one must learn in life.  Martin should give the boys a run for their money. Till tomorrow, here's to my readers enjoying the blog. Night.