On Seizing Opportunities.

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You know the funny thing about life sometimes, is that even though you might start off on a journey with nothing you need to complete it, chances are that if you try hard enough, you’ll pick it up along the way from places you least expect it.

Was invited to attend a coaching seminar last week conducted by a visiting Japanese Professor from their National Training Center, a place where they centralize all the training for their various Olympic teams. It just so happens that he was himself a decathlete who moved on to be the head combined events coach for Japan (coached two 7900 pointers during then) before moving up to higher positions.

The seminar itself was extremely educational and with a very hands-on approach to learn the concepts and philosophies he had to share.

However one thing struck me throughout the seminar, the attendance was rather poor and other than 2 of the coaches who organized this, the translator (who was a half-Japanese local athlete as well), nobody else was particularly committed or aware of the opportunity in front of them.

I mean all of the other national athletes are my good friends, but sometimes I feel they don’t appreciate the opportunities in front of them and are not eager enough to take advantage of it.

Yes the seminars took out entire days from 8.30am in the morning till 7pm at night, and that they are located at Singapore Sports School which is at the far edge of the country, but I made it a point for the 3 days that I went, I was to be there on time in the morning and stay on till the end to learn as much as I can. The rest of the athletes mostly only came for the evening sessions.

And because the organizers were stretched I also volunteered to host him for one of the evenings to show him the sights and sounds of the Marina Bay area (which never fails to make me proud of what Singapore is able to achieve in such a short amount of time).

I did not originally planned to be involved in any of these, in fact I was only told of it a day before it was conducted. I’m only back in Singapore for 18 days and everyday is precious for me to reconnect with my friends and family. I had to reschedule some of my meet ups with my friends and to be honest didn’t sleep very much for those few days as I had to catch up with my work in the evenings.

But I always believed for you to reach where most people do not, you got to be willing to do what most people will not.

On the last day, I happened to be heading in the same direction as him after the seminar, hence I gave him a lift in my car and as I drove we chatted and I showed him my current performances, together with the past and upcoming training program for the next season.

You see I never actually had a decathlon coach ever before, I’ve just been working with all the single event coaches and together with my training partner, Max, we formed our own training program to fit around the other training groups. Max has been instrumental in my development as a decathlete but now he has left Loughborough and I’m on my own.

A well thought out, structured training program is everything and it is something that I was always missing.

After taking a brief look, Prof. Kobayashi asked if he could keep all that I have written down and said he’ll pass me a sample copy of their training plan they use in Japan so that I could refer to and improve my own.

I suddenly found myself another missing piece of this puzzle, now it’s time to go ahead and solve it.

I don’t sleep, till I got the opportunity to turn the dream into reality.


  1. wordsfallfrommyeyes says:

    You sound extremely dedicated. YOU got the best of it all 🙂

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