It’s amazing what a coach can learn from our athletes’ feedback!
Joan Hung was recently invited to share what effective coaching practices look like from an athlete’s perspective, at the recent Youth Coaching Conference (YCC) 2022.
I have been coaching Joan since 2015 and am proud to share her candid and light-hearted stories about her Goalball journey, and my coaching practices. There are many lessons here on resilience that can be generalized to any sport and anyone.
Joan and I are also grateful to the National Youth Sport Institute (NYSI) for providing us with an opportunity to share about disability sports, and to Brenda for helping Joan put the presentation deck of slides together.
“I did not choose to be blind but I can choose how to live with it…”
Joan Hung, National Goalball Player and recipient of Goh Chok Tong Enable Awards 2021
I borrowed this title from Joan’s Facebook post. Joan’s a visually impaired athlete and the top scorer for the women’s national Goalball team. She was reflecting on a 1 v 3 modified Goalball game where she competed and won against three sighted athletes. This happened just before the circuit breaker.
She was pondering about who would be considered “disabled” should the tables be turned – in a context where the sighted athletes had to operate in a “blind” environment instead. You can read about her thoughts and watch the game here. While you are at it, do send her a friend request!
“Is disability a result of one’s condition, or the result of the physical and social environment?”
I thought that Joan’s sharing connected really strongly with the Social Model of Disability and there is an important message here to be shared with my fellow coaches and the public.
‘Control your Controllables’ (CYC) is a resilience program facilitated by the blind and experienced through the Paralympic game of Goalball. Earlier this week, my team conducted the program for a group of junior college students who did not manage to progress on to Year 2.
During the session, the students were asked to reflect on possible barriers that could stop them from putting in the necessary effort to pass their exams. Many of them alluded to some version of the same problem – the lack of motivation.
Does the problem really lie with the lack of motivation?
I asked the students if they were disappointed that they did not pass their exams, and why they wanted to progress on to Year 2. Indeed, these may seem like redundant questions but I was trying to get them to understand that they do not lack strong reasons nor motivation to strive for better results.
“The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.” Steven Pressfield
The problem here isn’t about the lack of motivation. The problem lies with the ability to direct their motivation towards the goal of passing their exams. The problem has to do with procrastination, specifically, they were motivated to do something else rather than to study.