Monday, April 16, 2007

Going to Battle- Words of Encouragement to the VS Wushu Team

To the team,

"It is not whether we win or lose that matters; it's how we play the game."

In Victoria School, there are 4 things that we do not do:
We don't cheat, we don't lie, we don't steal and we don't bully.

So remember:
Play fairly, even if it means defeat; so that you can always hold your head high.
Always tell the truth, even if it falls on deaf ears and even if you get punished for it; because then you can be a man of your word.
The only time you steal is when you steal away from bad company so that you will not be influenced by them.
Protect those weaker than ourselves, protect the ones we love; that is what we train for.

Boys, no let me rephrase that, Men;
when you are out there on the floor, a part of me is always with you. I rejoice each day that I spend working and training with all of you for the common love of the art, for the desire to make something more of ourselves and for the indomitable pride we have for our school.

I have watched each and every one of you grow:
Lim Shi Xian- From the 'quiet', blur, blur little fella, it's been good to see you train so hard and so obediently. I am sure you will continue to do well as long as you manage your time well."

Tan Yu Da- I am glad that I chose you to be in the team as 1st CCA. Although there are others more talented than you, it is your willingness to work hard that will set you apart. Constantly remind yourself of your basics and stancework and you will definitely improve.

Ryan Goh Ming Sheng- One worry I have is on the continuity of the team as the older students move up. But I see a maturity and strong sense of principles in you that goes beyond your age- don't lose sight of that and you'll grow up to be a strong, independant leader.

Tan Xiang Ting- You are my mischievous little monkey! Sometimes I want to strangle you when you are so playful; at other times your openness, cheerfulness and just plain liveliness is so infectious. If you can hold on to your bubbling personality and yet be serious and humble when someone is trying to teach you, you will definitely make a name for yourself- the key to this is seriousness and humility.

Jin Zhen Yu- When you first started with VS, I believe your mother was very concerned about how you would fit in, how you would adapt. But look at you now- a true blue Victorian. You are beginning to build up confidence in your routines. Learn to look up when you perform- that will give you the confidence and strength that you need.

Fung Jin Jie- JJ, you have matured alot. You're still playful but I am glad that you have learnt and grown from all the scolding and nagging that we have given you. I am glad to see you start to take a more active role in guiding and coaching the juniors. This means that you are no longer just merely a good athlete, you are starting to become a leader. This means that you will need to exhibit good values to be a role model. If you achieve that, then you will have earned the respects of your team mates as well as your competitors.

Wu Zheng Feng- I glad you stuck around and decided to hang on with us. From the seemingly uninterested begining you have with us, you have continued to become an integral part of the team. Your continued training with your coach has also allowed you to benefit from both worlds as I see a marked improvement in your skills. Don't be afraid to look the world in the eye, keep your head up, for I see a strength within that will emerge if you just allow it to.

Chang Wei Liang- Your mischievousness is only second to small-txt! You have a habit of looking for excuses and clowning around but actually you have organisational capabilities and are able to rally people around you. You need to be serious. Learn to distinguish the time to be playful and the time to focus and you will find that where you lead, people will follow.

Kristanto Pramana- From having no background in wushu, and no understanding the language, you have joined us on this journey. It has been an intensive crash course and I am proud that you have stayed and not quit. Although you are the most inexperienced member, I am so very proud to see your progress. Stay with us and I guarantee that next year, you'll be even stronger.

Chang Jun Rong- Junrong, stop beating yourself down. You keep insisting that you have zero talent, and that saddens me. If I were to nominate a Most-Improved-Team member for 2007 (2006 was Wei Lie!), it would be you! You have worked as hard as the rest and improved as much- so don't sell yourself short. You owe it to yourself, to your team mates and you owe it to me, yes me; to stop seeing yourself in a negative light and begin to see yourself as you truly can be: a champion. Remember, there are no losers in Victoria School and definitely none in our team. Without you, Hongyun would have no lion-tail. You are an indispensable part of us and you make us complete.

Seow Jun Yan- Somehow I wonder how we ended up sharing the same surname. Haiz.. if you focus more on chasing the right things: i.e. training, studies, etc; rather than after handphone numbers from strange girls, then I'm sure you'll do well. Speaking from experience I can safetly tell you that is not how much you try to attract a girl that makes her fall for you; it's how much character you have that attracts a girl to fall for you. Build your character and learn to 'eat bitter' a bit more, that will give you more character and substance- the rest will fall in place (after your hormones have stabilised from puberty)

Wayne Kang Jian Kai- You have earned the respect of everyone in the team. You may be small in stature but you are big in heart and strong in dependability. I know that when I entrust something to you, that it is in good hands. When I picked a Captain, I didn't look for mere talent; I looked for dependability and reliability. You have never disappointed me or the team in this area. You only need to be less hard on yourself, learn to enjoy the work that you put in so that you function more efficiently and effectively. I see you working and training so hard for the team and for yourself; but most importantly, I want to see you enjoy your training. Appointment as team Captain is meant as a reward, not to pressurise you. Rest assured that even if the team NEVER wins a single medal, you NEVER win a single medal; the whole team, your parents especially and I, will still be as proud of you as our Captain as ever because you have earned it through hardwork and determination. You VS' and my first Wushu Team Captain and everyone else from now one comes after you- be proud that you have been a pioneer because nothing can take that away from you.

Sean Ho Kai Jie- Despite juggling your Scouts and Wushu, I'm glad to see you have continued to stick with us. Like Wayne, I feel that you are another pillar of the team. In order for you to grow, you need to learn to take ownership of your own actions rather than get people to speak for you or use other people as reasons or excuses. Champion your own causes and take responsibility for them; rather than be influenced by people or use them to fight your causes. When you achieve that, you know that you are you own man and can stand your ground.

Terence Kwok Guan Hui- Kwokster, I know you struggle to keep up and manage the demands of training with your Scouts and AEP but I see the tremendous effort you put in and the improvements you've made. I know it's hard for you to do certain moves and certain stances that come more easily to other but I know you try and I know you try very hard. That is all that is important to me- don't ever give up Terence. Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can do or can't do. We each have our strengths and weaknesses; and as you work on strengthening those weaknesses, you can only get stronger.

Muhd Azhri- The 'Huat-ster' of the team, because of you we need sub-titles now. But it is a strong testament to VS and to the Team to have you, a non-chinese, as our member. I was doubtful in the beginning whether you would stay long and you proved me wrong. I'm so happy for that. Learn to be more serious and I'm sure the language barrier was never be an issue here in VS- after all, you're the one who started the 'Huat-ster' phenomenon.

Tan Xiang Tian- Like a transfer player from another football team, I was always concerned about how you would fit in and how you would cope academically. Your progress and work both in the team and in studies have been good and I am glad to see that you have become a Victorian in such a short time. Many of the seniors look up to you as a comrade and guide because you have a wider store of experience and are willing to share with them. However, don't let your past experience box you in and make you only want to be content doing things that you are familiar with. Open your mind to new experiences, even if they seem strange or not something you may be comfortable with. Rather than limit yourself to perfecting things that you can already do well; start to move beyond your comfort zone into areas that you have not tried before and that you may not do well- this is what will stretch your capabilities and make you more all-rounded.

Laird Agus Winata- I'm glad to see you and Kristanto join the team. Coming from Indonesia, this is a good way to get back in touch with your Chinese roots. I hope that learning Wushu will teach you more than a few routines, rather I hope it will allow you to discover who you are and be able to push yourself further. As a scholar, I hope this will allow you to make the best use of your time in Singapore, become a truly global citizen in this day and age.

Pang Hong Yun- Our 'oldest' member. Undoubtedly, you are one of the most all-rounded members. Me and Sifu Loh see so much potential in you. I know that you are older than most of the guys in your class, so especially now in upper sec, it is important for you to act YOUR age; not THEIR age. As long as you remain willing to learn, you will progress. While JJ, txt and TXT are do well in the modern wushu; you are the one that will keep tradition going in Lion-dance and traditional styles. Each of these has its own path. Open your mind and remain humble and willing to learn, and you too will have the tools to walk a path of your own one day into uncharted territories.

Tan Lye Huat & Liu Wei Lie- Both of you have graduated, moved on to JC, started a new academic life, with new friends and environment.
There is no need for you both to come back week after week. Yet you do.
There is no reward for coming back: no CCA points, no money, no benefit. Yet you return.
In fact, you end up doing work for the team: helping the juniors, helping out, giving morale support. Sometimes, weeks go by without you learning anything from me. And yet you come.

Weilie, you are the most improved student I've seen. You could hardly kick when you first came, now you can help me teach the C-Div Dagger routine. Same for Lye Huat, when we first started push-hands, you could hardly hold your balance; now we're doing flow drills in stick fighting!

Everytime, you come back, I feel proud that VS instilled the right values in you and that the team has become a place where you belong. We are always a part of us.

Sleep well boys, and think of who you are now and what you train for.
Sleep well boys, and think of what you can be and what your future holds.
Sleep well boys, for tomorrow I'll call you Men because we go to battle together.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Coach,
I have not known of a coach like you--so encouraging
so appreciative
so personal
so inspirational
so fatherly (with all the sleep tight lullably)
You shd be considered for
2007 Coach of the Year.