Sarawak boxers need more than skills to win
by Lester Mekan Baha, email@example.com. Posted on September 12, 2012, Wednesday
KUCHING: Sarawak boxing coach Fred Mandagi refuted claims by critics who pointed out that the state boxers were unskilful as compared to their opponents and this was the main reason as to why Sarawak failed to win any gold medal in Sukma XV.
Like any other athletes, Mandagi informed that his charges have gone through the development process to be champions but was lacking the emotional intelligence to challenge.
Mandagi added that in boxing, apart from mastering fighting skills, an athlete needs to develop emotional intelligence as it provides them with an understanding of their specific emotional competencies, and therefore a better understanding and awareness of how to use emotions in sport would trigger them to give their opponents a brave fight.
“In boxing, the root of the development of expertise is challenge, regardless of the outcome of a competition, the athlete that feels challenged learns the most, develops in a timely manner, and enjoys the process.
“On the other hand by giving a gifted young athlete extra sparing time in order to assure a team victory, does little for the athlete’s development as it is not challenging for this athlete to
excel over his peers,” he stressed.
“Conversely, the gifted athlete who has to support lesser skilled teammates from the bench, lift them up through cooperative means during play, and perhaps even, lose a competition is challenged and taught the most.
“Out of such instances, teamwork, leadership, and winning and losing alike are learned. Differently, lesser skilled athletes that are spared the stresses of competition in order to preserve a victory, does little to prepare these players for future competitions,” Mandagi explained.
He continued to say a coach can instruct and drill athlete’s immeasurable amount of skill, but none of it is a substitute for just letting athletes “play”-in order to develop emotional intelligence and confidence to challenge.
“Coaches are just like great leaders in society understand that stepping out of the way and taking on a permissive form of leadership helps followers develop initiative that will lead to future successes.
Thus great coaches understand that allowing athletes to struggle with healthy challenges makes champions.
“Boxing, in particular, is thought to require more individual commitment than most other sports due to the nature of the training and competing itself.
“The logical inference, then, is that with other sports, an athlete can go to practice or a game, and then go home to relax. Boxers, due to the weight class requirements, have to maintain their focus and drive around the clock for years at a time.
“In addition, boxing is an individual sport and the athlete experiences both failure and success as an individual.
“As a result, the boxer endures more physical, emotional, and psychological stress, both positive and negative, than an athlete in another sport,” explained Mandagi, who is a former Indonesian boxing champion.
Currently seven potentially talented trainee boxers are training in Sarawak State Sports Council’s (MSNS) Elite Sports Development Programmes to prepare them for the 2014 Sukma in Perlis.