Monday, April 1, 2013

The winning mindset.

I was servicing my car a few days back and I bumped into a friend from our local paper and we starting talking about sports. She was very excited about a hockey event that we just had in Ipoh. I don't remember her as particularly "sporty" but she was so upbeat about how our hockey boys came back in the last 40 seconds to take a draw against a vastly superior opponent, Australia. Mental strength. She said it was such a breath of fresh air to see our athletes display that kind of fighting spirit. Ref: Here.

I have argued many times in the past that this is something that chess can also contribute to the rest of Malaysia's sporting endeavours. We are a purely mental sport and so we should have much deeper insights into developing the winning mindset. This would be beneficial for the development of our business people as well as for our other sporting athletes.

But what do we have in Malaysian chess today to contribute? We are afraid of competition. We find ways and means to knock out our competitor by the use of banning without grounds, we are even afraid of proper selection by choosing selection criteria that prevent our strongest players from making their mark or bypassing selection altogether. We are experts in backdoor maneuverings and we have a penchant for declaring strongest players from PR campaigns before the fact; intimidation of stronger players who are children and all sorts of other ingenious ways to avoid competing on a level playing field.

So we really need to face up to this weakness. Hopefully the new MCF will have the strength of will to do that.

A question. If we are afraid of increasing internal competition; if our senior player train for SEA games by playing in the veterans, if our "strongest" Junior avoids playing at National Junior then how do we compete against outsiders who don't have this handicap?


  1. Just Mental Strength?

    Do you know that Malaysia had many coaches of International standard? With Paul Lissek being the most prominent.

    Refer here ;

    My point ; Malaysian hockey excels because we do not abandon the technical side of it (by copying Australian's Sport Science), mental strength came after having lots lots of defeat. We do learn from our mistakes.
    And unlike Malaysian soccer, there are not that many fanatics claiming to be experts to spoil the hockey development. I have been following Malaysian hockey since playing the game in the 80s, as Minarwan Nawawi, the great Malaysian hockey forward is my peer.

  2. Lets put it this way. Technical is just the tip of the iceberg. The winning mindset explores all that is below the water line. Yes, I was also informed that it is the lack of politics that enabled Hockey to progress the way it has. Another is the quality of leadership.

    In chess, we have too many destructive forces attacking our players. The measure of how sick things have become in chess is that the attacks are all in the open and under the protection of the previous MCF committee. This needs to stop or we wont see the same type of progress as in Malaysian hockey.

    Lets see if we can get proper selection criteria from this new MCF committee. That will be a strong indication of whether Malaysian chess will progress or not.