CDG Reflections

Christian Chua Tan–Ching (Windsurfing), National Coach at Singapore Sailing Federation, was awarded the CDG in Feb 2014. Here are his reflections on his experiences.

The CDG enabled me to broaden my knowledge of coaching with my mentor, multiple Olympic medalist, Bruce Kendall from New Zealand. The 1st event  was the New Zealand Nationals held in Whangaparoa from 11th to 16th February 2014. Bruce was coaching the pair of T293 New Zealand windsurfers heading to Nanjing for the YOG.

What I learnt:

  • Coaching – Always brief the windsurfers on the session.  Keep it Short & Sweet.
  • Permit the windsurfers to share their plans with the coach.
  • Do not get distracted by some windsurfers trying to occupy all your attention. Keep to the topics planned for that session.
  • Know your target audience, do not teach techniques which are way above their skill level. Tailor your coaching to their level of windsurfing.
  • Make training interesting, explore ways to hold the windsurfers attention. Too much repetition may result in boredom.
  • Motivation - Too often negatives are used to describe a bad situation, stick to positive affirmation and thoughts. Create a positive environment so that the windsurfer is able to assimilate whatever is being taught.

The 2nd event was the ISAF world cup series held in Hyeres, France from 16th to 24th April 2014. Bruce was coaching Olympic females from Hong Kong & Netherlands. What I learnt:

  • Log book - a very important tool for athletes & coaches to use.
  • Implement correct processes for high level windsurfer. Tailor their training to suit their expertise.
  • Versatility, windsurf the Now! If there is a change in condition during windsurfing, and the plan for that session has been shared, windsurfer shall sail the current situation even if it does not conform to the plan.
  • A coach that is patient would produce patient windsurfers, this allows the windsurfer to think clearly and methodically.
  • Know the Rules & Regulations
  • Emotional hijack - be wary of it. Athletes can transfer all their frustrations onto their coach. This is mentally tiring when the coach accedes to the athletes whims and fancies. Positive measures imposed to tackle the issues. Sports psychologist can alleviate the situation.
  • Encourage, encourage, encourage! A kind word goes farther than one that hurts.

This grant by SSI has broadened my knowledge of coaching from Junior to Olympic level. I am very grateful for this opportunity as well as sharing experiences with other coaches.

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