Friday, August 12, 2011

Mind Coaching

I feel like I need to start taking this selection for "Mind Coach" for MCF more seriously. After all, I am a self-proclaimed master of mind games. I am a self-proclaimed manipulator, qualified logician, educated scientist with a broad knowledge base, an analyst, a strategist, and most importantly, a real chess player. I think all this makes me more qualified to be a mind coach than certain other mind coaches in Malaysia. Perhaps MCF should have a written selection criteria for that.

In any case, just read this article in the Star today. Yeah, it is not about chess, but about badminton. Rexy Mainaky is one of the better mind coaches of the game if I ever saw one. His comments about the players very often refers to the mindsets and attitudes of the players rather than their playing styles. This is not to say he does not focus on the technical skills. All of us should know who Rexy Mainaky is. World Champion, Olympic gold medalist, All-England Champion, need I say more?

What caught my attention, or at least, what I hope caught your attention was the following comment that he made about Mohd Zakry and Thien How's lost at the World Championships yesterday:
"Yes, I was disappointed with the way we lost.

“There were mistakes which should not have happened. They just did not want it as much as the coach, I guess,” said Rexy.
Yeah, that's right. The first criteria of being a champion. How badly do you want it?


  1. Zaki is still there for one reason only. This reason is not normally talked about. His old partnership was broken up and he paired with this Thien How. Pity Thien How, you cannot have much success if your partner is not up to the mark.

    And coming back to the mind coach thing. Yes, some sports have such coaches. But they are only for the top players to give them the extra edge. Do they need a mind coach for the junior badminton players? First get some results and when you are on the level of Lee Chong Wei , then talk about mind coaching.

  2. Well, Fairuzizuan, Zakry's partner, was a disgrace in last year's Thomas Cup. After the vulgar incident, he was basically gone from badminton. I don't think he ever recovered from that embarrassment.

    As for Thien How, apparently he is satisfied with the partnership. I don't know how long Rexy can take it but his success appears to be slowing down in recent years. Technical-wise Kien Kiat and Boon Heong are right there, but they are often held back by Kien Kiat's poor attitude. I don't think they can be World Champions through technical skills alone.

    There is insufficient mind-coaching in Malaysia's badminton scene. I think it is a well-accepted fact that mind-conditioning is crucial to being world class. But it is also a double-edged sword. If done incorrectly, it could end up being very destructive.

    Agree that certain level of results are required before focusing on the mind-coaching stuff. But I think you don't have to be Chong Wei to do that. I think representatives of the country should at least be exposed to things like "How To Think". This is very lacking in Malaysia today.

  3. Maybe we can recommend a certain mind coach to BAM and it can be win-win situation for chess and badminton:)

    Sorry dont agree with you on Thien How. Basically I do not think he is in a position to question it. It is likely that you will be out of badminton if you disagree unless you are too talented to be left out.

    Its hard to be in doubles if one of the players is the aggressive and out-spoken. This makes it hard on the partnership when the aggresive one tries to dominate coz the other will have to be submissive else the partnership will break up.

  4. 2011 Chess World Cup, Khanty Mansiysk, 26/8/11-21/9/11
    Which Asian player will advance furthest amongst 128?

    17 GM Wang, Hao CHN – GM Ivanov, Alexander USA
    20 GM Le, Quang Liem VIE – GM Megaranto, Susanto INA
    21 GM Adams, Michael ENG – GM Paragua, Mark PHI
    27 GM Wang, Yue CHN – GM Fier, Alexandr BRA
    32 GM Movsesian, Sergei ARM – GM Hou, Yifan CHN
    50 GM Bu, Xiangzhi CHN – GM Adly, Ahmed EGY
    53 GM Yu, Yangyi CHN – GM Parligras, Mircea-Emilian ROU
    54 GM Korobov, Anton UKR – GM Zhou, Jianchao CHN
    55 GM Harikrishna, P. IND – GM Rodshtein, Maxim ISR
    56 GM Li, Chao b CHN – GM Nguyen, Ngoc Truong Son VIE
    58 GM Akopian, Vladimir ARM – GM Negi, Parimarjan IND
    61 GM Ni, Hua CHN – GM Khairullin, Ildar RUS
    64 GM So, Wesley PHI – GM Ding, Liren CHN