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Discussion in 'China Professional Players' started by RedShuttle, Nov 26, 2012.
XXZ has no experience coaching girls.
Let's be fair and honest, if you're the Head Coach handling her match, and she showed such an attitude during such a important match, how would you react seeing her teary-eyed and complaining about the noisy crowd affecting her game in the decider when she had earlier won the opening set under the same stadium condition, the crowd was just as noisy from beginning to end ?
Is the noise as bad as in the INA Senayan stadium where HBJ advanced to the final against TTY ? Why blame the Chinese crowd who is here to cheer for her as the host nation of the Nanjing WC ? Who is acting strange,unreasonable, HBJ or XXZ ?
But he has been a positive influence, motivating and inspiring the CHN WS at the last two tournaments prior to the WC with good results to show for. Inexperience, maybe, but not negative at all.
What about Zhang Ning who is reported to be often scolding her players during training ? Remember how she told Gao Fangjie off as I've posted about it before.
To confront an athlete with reproaches at a very critical and deciding moment in an ongoing match is nothing but bad coaching, period. Ever tried starting a similar discussion with a doubles partner that is going through a bad phase and has just messed up some shots? Good luck with that!
Good coaching is to give positive guidance and motivation to the athlete, knowing and respecting the mentality of each individual. HBJ is clearly not what one would call a big fighter when things become hard and difficult (to say the least) - so either this was the final desperate attempt to provoke a defiance reaction, or he already knew what is going to happen and got carried away by his own frustration.
Regarding the HBJ vs Marin match, in the 2nd set when HBJ was trailing far behind, looking beyond redemption, the score was as bad as 5 - 15, she said she originally thought of giving the set up to save herself for the 3rd set but changed her mind as she didn't want to lose face going down in humiliation by a single digit score in front of her home crowd.
She soldiered on bravely and fought tenaciously to narrow the gap substantially but in vain to salvage it. As a result, she admitted it drained her considerably. In the decider, she was practically running on empty, amd stressed out as well. Perhaps, that's why she behaved in that manner during the mid-game interval, which caught XXZ by surprise and strained his patience as well, hence the heated exchange of words.
Normally, I'd fully agree with you as I've expressed similar views before about never telling your players off publicly during a match.
But I'm trying to understand the context of what happened in this particular case, not see it in isolation and consider the background of what might have led to the outburst. Then, I can understand why, XXZ , being human, reacted in the way he did to his disciple whom he has always taken good care of and been doing his very best to groom and nurture for career success. That's my perspective.
To add, I believe their Teacher-Student or Master-Disciple relationship must be quite good for HBJ to express herself so freely, almost without restraint.
As the author of the article said, HBJ was smiling again in the interview area when reporters talked to her. I guess nothing serious or she wouldn't be able to get over it or hide her unhappiness.
Haven't we read of a certain KOR coach who slapped his WS player after she lost the match and not for anything else, such as being rude or something ?
Even if all these assumptions and scenarios were true, it doesn't change the fact the he messed up in that specific moment. He's supposedly one of the best coaches on the planet - he just must remain professional and control his own frustration. You cannot change a person's mindset during what was most likely the most important match of her career so far.
Have you ever done any sports on any sort of competitive level? Believe me, the last thing you need when you already feel that a crucial match is slipping through your hands and you don't find anything left in your armoury is someone shooting accusations at you. That's the final nail to the coffin.
This is blown way over proportion. HBJ has the tendency to sulk over tough stretches. In the previous game when she lost 2nd set badly to TTY, she also complained something to XXZ (either court or shuttle). In that case XXZ was mainly consoling her, but still didn’t get any response from HBJ. So, XXZ could have said something more positive, but I seriously doubt it would make any difference. It was totally up to HBJ to get out of her funk (she did find a way in the TTY match).
On the XXZ-HBJ episode, even if his harsh words can be explained away, that he did not applaud for HBJ later showed that XXZ lacks the emotional intelligence to be a good coach. In the video footage, you can see that while the other coach was applauding enthusiastically for HBJ, XXZ was stone-faced afterwards. That is just not how a good coach should behave.
It was interesting that HBJ was complaining about the crowd' yelling rather than CM's antics. To be fair, when the crowd is yelling something you can understand, it can be more distracting than their yelling something you have no clue and can easily block out as white noise.
CM was in top form and was the deserving world champion. HBJ has miraculously recovered from her injuries and doldrums. She did extremely well in this World Championships. HBJ should draw inspiration from her great performance against TZY and secure her spot in the top echelon in WS today.
In a normal condition where only the match is important, I would agree
But I extremely wonder whether that this will actually be a good thing for He Bingjiao in the future
For instance, maybe she just realized to not be distracted in any condition during a match, thus toughening up her mental games
In sports, what's considered usually is more than that single match, of course some cost-benefit is done in this matter
If HBJ mental games increased in the future, we can actually say that this is a good coaching
XXZ acts at the right time for the better result in the long term
Of course he might even not know this, but managerial (especially in sport) is such a complex matter where some momentum can be gained or loss at certain moment. So I still include some of the action, even though not deliberately, as part of the manager's skill and ability
I've already said I'd very much want to agree with you but I make an exception for XXZ this time, because I believe there's more to it than meets the eye, I repeat, it's cumulative effect.
Are you aware of how the players performance during competition, esp crucial matches or stage, affect the coaches? They, XXZ and ZN, esp, have both openly admitted, are so psychologically invested and personally involved with their charges that they suffer the whole gamut of emotions while sitting there watching the entire proceedings.
Let me put it this way but please don't take it personally - imagine the WC was held in Taipei and if TTY were to blame her home crowd noise for affecting her game with HBJ and caused her to lose the match , what do you think ?
I'm a bit more sympathetic to your view. HBJ had some time ago admitted, shyly, in answer to some reporters questions that the coaching team has been talking to her, heart to heart, pep talks, showing her a lot of concern and encouragement, and in response she promised she would change (no details given).
I mean, it's not like XXZ suddenly chided her over an isolated incident when she blurted something casually under tremendous stress. Her behaviour looked minor and understandable on the surface but I believe XXZ had his patience tested by her to the limit and his pent-up emotion got the better of him.
The crowd was rooting for her, applauding vociferously whenever she scored a winning point, or expressing disappointment and concern whenever she committed an unforced error or simply lost a point. I also heard some spectators shouting for TTY in support. Or , perhaps, as RedShuttle hinted,certain voices was heard making remarks that HBJ viewed as negative when she was trailing badly in the 2nd and 3rd set , which got under her skin, I don't know.
Perhaps, the two of them should, or maybe they already have, talked to each other privately to clear the air for I believe there isn't any ill feeling between them at all, quite the contrary.
It feels like you are mixing up who plays the lead and who is the side character in that situation. During a match, it's the player that is having the full priority. The coaches' only role in that moment is to give support and advice to guide the athlete to get them to play their best. Their own feelings and frustrations are irrelevant in those moments. XXZ simply lost his self control there - and even if it's understandable for everybody with a working common sense, it doesn't change the fact that it was a mistake. Nobody's perfect and this surely doesn't make XXZ a bad coach per se so there is no real need trying to justify that minor issue to that extent.
I don't expect that this has any major effect on their general chemistry though. They know each other long enough during good and not so good times to know how to cope with these situations.
Even if that kind of what-if game doesn't make any sense whatsoever, I am sure that Lai Chien-Cheng still would never confront her in this manner.
Good point, it may turn out to be a good thing in the long run for HBJ if she realized that it's best not to allow whatever the crowd does, as she has no control over them, esp overseas, affect her too much but to simply concentrate on her own game and be totally focused while oblivious to everything else.
As XXZ advised her sternly, just think of what tactics to use and how to beat the opponent, that should be the focus.
The right mindset is vitally important when dealing with tricky opponents or when you're under immense pressure, such as when nothing you do seems to go your way, even lucky net cords at crucial stage favour your opponents, for example. As Lin Dan said in his autobiography, having a bad day is no excuse for giving up, you must still fight on, never say die, and do your utmost to play yourself back into form. Very positive words, wise advice, but, I must say, difficult to do for almost anyone.
My thought on this.
As a girl and could possibly be in some phase called hormonal imbalance, it would be really hard to hold herself together especially in this kind of situation emotionally. Well, it depends on the person of course. She could be probably just too stressed with everything going around her, she was physically and mentally drown in later half of G2 and G3 I could understand her if she was under really huge pressure and almost down to tears. She couldn't go on but she didn't want to give up hence she was torn.
Those who has never gone through that kind of phase in their life in monthly basis (yes, you guys!), should not try to criticize anyone especially female's mental capacity and how they handle any difficult situation. I could tell she felt much better and was able to pull herself together after pouring her stress to her coach and maybe cried a little in the interval. So it might just be her way to release her despair and stress in the moment of heat, if it worked for her why criticize it? Maybe the coach knew it and just wanted to look as if he was being stern or giving advise in front of the camera, I couldn't tell. I muted the sound so I didn't hear his tone when he said those words. But one thing I know, at the end of the match her expression didn't show that she was that weak mentally. It was just some moment of collapse which is understandable.
Some people, like Marin, would just annoyingly scream or shout, walk around the court talking to herself ALL THE TIME to keep herself up, distracting her opponents with her serves etc etc. I wouldn't mind a girl whining a bit and cry for a few seconds to be honest. Much less annoying. And to see HBJ's relief and childlike expression after the match finished was quite a bliss for me after all those tension and some unwelcome behavior displays by the opponent.
OK, OK, Xia Xuanze lost his cool, went overboard, no matter what happened before, he should restrain himself and put on a smiling face, continue to encourage her as he has been doing all along as seen on TV in previous matches, not only with HBJ but other of his charges too.
So HBJ has every right to blame her home crowd for affecting her game but the coach has no right to tell her off not to let it bother her and stay focused. Xia Xuanze is only being human and his accumulated pent-up emotion should be kept under control, no matter what.
I mean, when foreign players sometimes let the local crowd get on their nerves supporting their home opponents boisterously and even booing at them occasionally, though as experienced professionals they ought to know better- that I can understand. But your own crowd behind you all the way ? Haven't HBJ been subjected to worse crowd than that, rowdier and more deafening against her when playing overseas, say, in INA ? No wonder XXZ was so taken aback by her gripe that he had to say his piece there and then within reasonable limit. I would to.
Anyway, forget about my hypothetical scenario, it was meant to just make a point, we will never know for sure if TTY's coach would've reacted in like manner.
We can agree to disagree. As I've said, I repeat, I'd normally agree with you but I made an exception for XXZ in this case. I can imagine if he tried too hard to control himself, despite being only human, what internal injury it might cause him. Also I can't imagine how Li Yongbo in his shoes would have reacted, luckily for HBJ, perhaps.
I sincerely hope HBJ learns from the experience and treat it as part of the growing up process, and matures over time.
HBJ definitely has to learn to not let little things bother her game. Home crowd too supportive? Opponent crowd too harsh? Flash go off in the crowd? Insect flying around? She has to learn to ignore all distractions and just focus on the shuttle.
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It could have been anything or everything and she just wanted to talk it out to let all the distress out of her mind. It can actually help rather than keeping it built up in her. But the problem was: the camera was there, it was live and everyone would have heard what she said and unfortunately to her coach's dismay, she blurted out "crowd being noisy". What would a coach do? Maybe that was his concern all the time. It had been said, it was already out for everyone to hear nothing could be undone lol. I wouldn't want to be in his position.
Exactly. Well said. That's the hallmark of a true professional, a top player.