TOBY NG

Sticking Point

In resistance training (think lifting weights) there is a point where the lift becomes the most difficult and is likely the cause of failure: the sticking point. I think this is a great metaphor for transitioning. Although there is very little movement in the lift, there is still a lot of effort being made to move through that sticking point. Stakes are high because failure is also a high possibility. I think we all have sticking points, but some of us are better at handling it than others.

I know I haven't updated here in a long time and I do apologize, but I have been trying a different platform for a short period of time. I do write in different places, so here is a brief list of places where you can find possible updates:

- BALLPRK (www.ballprk.com/profile/towbss⁠…). Posts here are usually targeted more to an athlete audience.
- Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/TobyNgBadminto⁠…). Can be longer than a post, but shorter than a blog.
- Instagram - linked to my page here.

I have recently updated my page on Medalist and I do keep to continue to use the platform to communicate my ideas. The only problem I have is that posts do not allow comments, and I do like to get feedback. The best way to work around this is to share the post to my Facebook Page and take any comments there. That's the best I can do at the moment and since I'm not getting too much feedback, it's probably good enough for now.

But back to the blog! I feel like I'm in a bit of a sticking point in life because of all the transitioning that needs to happen. I understand that if I keep pushing forward, I will eventually get there and that is also one of the reasons why I love strength training over endurance training. For those who need a quick refresher, think of strength as the maximum force that can be moved, whereas endurance is more about the number of times a force can be exerted. To throw in power into the mix, it would be the product of force and velocity generated on something. For example, in badminton, endurance would be how many times you can repeatedly half-smash. You're not using full force, so you can last much longer than if you were full smashing. That's where power comes in. You put everything into your smash with the intention to finish the rally. You make your best attempt to maximize the amount of force you put into the smash, and how fast you can swing your racquet. Strength is a bit hard to consider in badminton because there aren't many instances where you require maximum strength. However, the best example I can give you is when you go in the wrong direction because your opponent deceived you. Having that strength to change directions to go the other way is likely where most people get caught and fail. In fact, it's a sticking point!

The thing about a sticking point is that there will be times of struggle. If there is no struggle, it's not really much of a sticking point then, is it? You only get stuck if the challenge is sufficient. However, you won't know where the sticking point is until you try. When you try, you'll find that the sticking point is something that you put all your effort into, but you barely move. It's slow, seemingly painful, and it's always easier to give up. But often times, we don't need to struggle alone. We just need to ask for help. When you do heavy weightlifting for strength development, it's always better to have someone else there to spot you. For those unfamiliar with what a "spotter" is, it's basically another person who can help you through your sticking point in a heavy lift. These can be friends, family, mentors, or even random strangers at times. It's often better to have some help because it's far too difficult and dangerous to try and proceed alone.

However, asking for help is something that is necessary because you can't expect others to help you if they don't know you need help. Usually we all have to deal with our own problems first, but most will lend a hand when you need it. However, the best way is to try to give more than you take. Giving is often valuable in itself because it actually feels pretty good to be generous. Receiving is also nice, but its often more of a bonus. The reason is if you learn to desire less, you will need less and have more to give.

And what we give back is going to be different for different people. I don't have money to give, but I can give back by being involved with badminton programs and developing future badminton players. I can give back by writing and sharing my experiences in hopes to inspire others. I can give back by trying to lead an example and connecting with more people to promote badminton. I can give back by using my strengths to help improve the system in ways that few people may be able to, or know how to do. 

As I'm working to complete my fundraising campaign (www.gofundme.com/36ffw9-world-c⁠…), I would like to take this moment to thank all those who have contributed in helping me past my financial sticking point. I asked for "spotters" and many people came to my assistance. It's an incredible feeling and all I hope to do is to work hard with the things I do and find a way to help others in their own sticking points. For me, it's time to work on a different lift as this campaign is to help spot me in my last "rep" as an athlete: I've maxed out that lift and it's time to move on to a different area. But it doesn't need to go too far. If my athlete career is like a maximum bench press (chest), then perhaps my coaching career is like a military press (shoulders): still have to push, but in a slightly different direction 😉

Thank you for being my spotters.

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