Featured Coach

Featured Coach – Jackson Ho (High Performance Sailing Coach)

 

Jackson Ho, a high performance coach in the Singapore Sailing Federation, started coaching at a tender age of 17. At that young age, Jackson decided to put his studies on hold to pursue coaching as a career. When he was taking a break from his own competitive sailing, he picked up coaching by accident when he was asked to coach Victoria Junior College. In 2010, Victoria Junior College won all categories in that regatta and Jackson never looked back. He really enjoys helping sailors excel in the sport and becoming a more confident athlete.

Coach Jackson Ho with his sailors (1)

From 2005 to 2012, Jackson worked with youths (7-18 years old) in the ‘Learn to Sail’ Programme, teaching them valuable life skills through participation in sports. Later in 2012, he became part of the prestigious Singapore Sailing Federation’s High Performance Team. He was put in charge of developing high performance athletes aged between 14-18 years old in Double-Handed events. Till today, it is uncommon for locals to want to become a high performance coach.

When Jackson first started coaching, he aspired to not only be a coach to his sailors but also their mentor and friend. He took advantage of the small age gap between him and his athletes to relate to them and, soon enough, he was regarded as their friend instead of their superior. Aside from teaching his athletes sailing techniques, he also shared his own competition experience and strategies.

Over the past three years, he has been to numerous overseas regattas with his athletes. Through these competitions, he managed to build stronger relationships with them. As he accompanied them through their time overseas, it became natural for his athletes to see him as a friend and as someone who they can confide in from sailing-related difficulties to non-sailing related ones like family problems.

Even after 10 years of training and involvement with sailing, many of Jackson’s athletes are still pursuing their dream as competitive sailors. Some have even started to contribute back to the sport they love. He strongly believes that sailing is not just a tool to develop athletes with character but it also imparts long-lasting life skills.

As cliché as it may sound, he would still put emphasis on his belief that winning is not everything. Rather, he highlights the importance of the values inculcated through sports - sportsmanship and respect for their competitors. Having been a sailor himself, he understands that it is extremely easy to lose focus during high-level international events, where there is immense stress and pressure to do well. Thus, he would always remind his athletes to enjoy the process of training and competing instead of focusing on the results.

“In every competition, just remember to do your best and not get caught up with the idea of winning. Because eventually, all the hard work you put in will show.” This is a simple yet difficult concept to grasp. But it has helped many of his athletes achieve great results and enjoyed every bit of the process instead of doing it for the sake of doing it.

Jackson is indeed the coach, mentor and friend that every coach should aspire to be.

After years of coaching, Jackson  has learned that coaches have the power to shape lives – as a coach and mentor, he is not only tasked with the responsibility of making his sailors better athletes – it’s not just about winning medals, but it’s also about instilling good sportsmanship and values in them. Like other jobs, coaching is not an easy one. Jackson said that “Watching my sailors improve and seeing them blossom into the outstanding athletes they are today.” motivates him when he is coaching.

Coach Jackson Ho with his sailors (2)

In the years of his coaching career, Jackson has had many proud moments as a coach but the most memorable was last year, at the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds where his team competed in the 6 different events, 2 of the events were boats that they do not normally sail. The sailors raced against the world’s finest and they came in 5th overall in the Nations Cup out of nearly 30 countries (best position since their participation in the event). This was memorable because it was a collective team effort. They also ended winning the 420 Men’s Event and bronze for the Laser Radial Men’s Class.

Jackson has advice and tips for younger coaches or those thinking of becoming a coach: coaching is not for everyone. It doesn’t mean if you are a good athlete, you will become a good coach. It is important that budding coaches are sure that this is the career path they wish to embark on; if not they might find themselves detesting what they do.

For those who are sure they want to become a coach, it is important to have discipline and to be a good role model, so that they will be able to earn the respect of their athletes.

Jackson’s Achievements as a Coach

Coach Jackson Ho at Singapore Sports Award 2014

He is proud to say that many of my sailors have been recognised as role models in the sporting arena:

2015 –

  • SNOC Sportsboy / Sportsgirl Team of the Year (Event) (Loh Jia Yi / Jonathan Yeo)
  • SNOC Meritorious Team of the Year (Event) (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)
  • Sportswoman of the Year (Raffles Institution) (Yukie Yokoyama / Samantha Neubronner)
  • Sportsman of the Year (Raffles Institution) (Jonathan Yeo)

2014 –

  • SNOC Team of the Year (Event) (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)
  • SNOC Sportsboy Meritorious Award (Jonathan Yeo / Tan Jen E)
  • SSSC Overall Best Team Boys (Loh Jia Yi / Jonathan Yeo)
  • SportsWomen of the Year (Raffles Institution) (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)
  • Raffles Diploma with Distinction in Sports & Health (Kimberly Lim)
  • Sportsman of the Year (Raffles Institution) (Tan Jen E)

2013 –

  • SportsWomen of the Year (Raffles Institution) (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)

Achievements by the athletes he coaches:

2015 SEA Games 420 class

  • Gold (Yukie Yokoyama / Samantha Neubronner)
  • Silver (Loh Jia Yi / Matthew Scoot Lau)

2014 Asian Games 420 class

  • Gold (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)
  • Bronze (Loh Jia Yi / Jonathan Yeo)

2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Championship

  • 420 World Champion (Loh Jia Yi / Jonathan Yeo)
  • 420 Overall Girl 4th (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)

2014 420 World Championship

  • Girls’ Under-18 World Champion (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)
  • Silver medal for Overall (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)
  • Overall Boys 7th (Loh Jia Yi / Jonathan Yeo)

2013 SEA Games 420 class

  • Gold (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)
  • Bronze (Jonathan Yeo / Tan Jen E)

2013 420 World Championship

  • Silver medal for Girls Overall (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)

2013 ISAF Youth Worlds Championship

  • 420 Overall Girl 4th (Kimberly Lim / Savannah Siew)

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