National Schools Canoeing Championship:
National JC wins A Div Boys’ title to break Hwa Chong’s nine-year streak
MacRitchie Reservoir, Thursday, April 5, 2018 — National Junior College (NJC) accumulated a total of 77 points to smash Hwa Chong Institution’s (HCI) hopes of attaining a decade-long streak as the A Division Boys’ champion in this year’s National Schools Canoeing Championship.
NJC won over HCI’s total of 66 points. Last year, NJC had lost the championship to HCI by one point.
For NJC, their efforts to overcome the traditional powerhouses proved fruitful. “It doesn’t matter how many times we fail, as long as we don’t give up, we will succeed one day,” said NJC’s A Division boys’ captain, Austin Law.
— – An extract from Red sport
Coaching is more than just a job, you can’t learn it on paper nor through a 3day course to get yourself ‘certified’. Neither is it about just physical training. To sum up my definition of coaching, it’s about changing lives, changing them for the better.
To me, winning is a bonus. If we have it, great! If we don’t, what have we gained? I’m sure there is a lot more than what my students have gained in their many years with me, their teachers and the team.
Regardless who(adults, kids) or what(kayaking, general fitness) I coach, what’s important is, I’m making a difference in the lives of the people I’m coaching. In the process, we pick up values and skills which will eventually help one another in life.
A little background:
In 2014, I was little but an Ex-student who volunteered to assist NJC Coach, Denes Szaszak in coaching the team of over 80 students. Slowly, I found my passion in this field because of the interpersonal relationship between coaches and students and the opportunity to develop students in terms of values and character. From there, I understudied Denes and the current senior National Team Coach, Balazs Babella to learn many valuable lessons in coaching techniques, skills, program designing and exercises specific to the sport of kayaking. As I was a former National Athlete under Coach Balazs for 4 years, it did not take long before I confidently grasped those skills.
Little by little, I progressed from a Volunteer coach to an assistant coach to many schools such as Damai
Secondary, Crescent Girls School, National University of Singapore and NJC. Over the years, I earned the trust of teachers, students and coaches from all these schools which eventually brought me to where I am today, the Main Coach of NJC with close to a hundred students in the team.
The source of my motivation is the students themselves. The teachers and I work together to help them grow mentally, physically and emotionally to become mature and independent adults who can contribute to the society in the future.
How did we do it?
Winning is only considered after their foundation for values have been established.
In NJC Canoeing and Dragonboat team, we focus on Values and Character. The Core values are :
Fortitude, Integrity, Gratitude, Humility, TeamWork, Endurance, Resilience and Selflessness.
Before we even speak of the Championship Title, all these values have to be first practiced and delivered.
At the age of 13, C division, we focus on their academics, technique, skill and values. Races are a form of exposure and enjoyment for them. As they move up to the B division (Age 15 & 16), these students will train with their A division Seniors and learn from them in terms of attitude, effort and leadership skills.
Over here, the learning curve will be a little steep as they learn to manage the leadership roles given to them, coupled with the mental training and tougher physical training given to them. The increase in intensity and volume of training will require much more effort and discipline from these students which will aid in their growth as an individual.
Having a certain expectation of themselves and their team. Eventually, they learn to manage the personal expectation and desire. For this instance, its the championship title when they enter the A division.
In the A division, physical and water training alone is insufficient as there are stiff competitions. Races between the schools are very close making the point system for the competition very close as well. The difference between the champion and the 1st Runner-up can be just a point away.
Due to the nature of the race and competition, we teach our students in-depth mental skills as they progress on to the A division. These skills include finding their “drive”, Visualising, Positive thinking and affirmations, Stress management, and lastly, getting into the ‘ZONE’ where they can unleash their full potential. Now, our students prove that these skills undoubtedly served them well and helped
them win their races and eventually the team title.
Proud to announce the scores of my gritty kids! Keep this up through the years!
2018 National School Games Results:
A division Boys – 1st
A division Girls – 2 nd
B division Girls – 1 st
B division Boys – 4 th
C division Girls – 4 th
C division Boys – 4 th
https://www.redsports.sg/2018/04/20/canoeing-national- junior-college- hwa-chong/