It's been 3 years since moving to the USA, and I'm grateful for the adventure of working down south. I would have been there longer, but it just takes a couple of people to ruin everything. Ultimately, I learned that we should spend our time with those that matter. Let karma lead those to their own self-destruction. Thank you so much to those that came to play one last time with me. I know it was Chinese New Year eve too and it really means a lot to me to play one more time in Seattle 🙏🏼❤️ Special thank you to @coachadrenaline for making this even possible 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼 Here is a reminder of the final lesson: Technical: Grip strength, remember to relax! Physical: Strength = heavy weight, low reps, never to failure Tactical: Consider the opposite Mental: Anti-fragility > Resilience > Fragility Given the rumors that may be going around, I am moving forward and have been involved with Safe Sport in Canada to discuss concerns and issues so whatever happened to me will hopefully not happen to someone else. For the record, I had no temporary restrictions or Safe Sport violations. I know there are coaches out there who really care for their athletes like I do, and I'd hate for someone to play victim because they cannot deal with their own life issues and take it out on someone else. Life isn't fair. That's one of the lessons I teach my athletes. But that's the norm. The challenge is how to encourage them to keep trying, despite the circumstances. It's encouraging them to keep trying and supporting them through their efforts. It's making the most of the opportunity. You gotta buy a lottery ticket to win the lottery. So let me buy one too, and let me go all-in on those I come across so we win together or lose together. If I can't do that as a coach, then why even be a coach anymore? And if caring too much is emotional abuse, then it's time to draw a line in the sand. To all those I've met and worked with in Seattle, it was a pleasure working with 99% of you. To the 99%, all the best and perhaps we'll meet again someday! To the 1%, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for showing me what NOT to be like. I'm sorry for caring. I'm sorry for trying to help.
Time to move back to Canada 🇨🇦... It's valuable to reflect on the past and learn from it when possible. How else do you learn from mistakes? If you don't want to read all 10 lessons, check out the last one. It's the most important. Link in bio or here: https://towbsss.mli.st/p/lessons-from-2022-aAy6WNw
It was a pleasure playing once again with Jacqueline Cheung at the 2023 BC Senior Elite! The last time we played was at the 2020 Nationals and although we played a couple of times together, she's one of the only partners I wasn't able to medal with so I'm really happy that we made this one count! 🙏🏼 Despite a very close call in the first round, it was definitely fun playing at the higher level again 😬 However, my purpose for playing these past years still hasn't changed much. I am only playing to give people more competition experience as I transition into more of a coaching/administration role. The future of badminton is in the hands of the next generation and I do wish them all the best Thank you to everyone who came to watch and support the tournament at @c1_richmond! Special thanks to @justinthemelon for your support, and @chris.wiebe for being our hype man 😂 And of course thank you @jpycheung for playing and wishing you a wonderful 2023 in all that you do 😁 May your discipline bring you freedom 💪🏼 #clearone #yonex #badminton #athletelife #wait #retiredathletelife #coachlife #badmintonlife #fortis #fortuna #adiuvat #obstacleistheway #gratitude #eatingismysecondevent #goodtimes #goodcompany #amorfati
2022 was interesting and it wasn't pleasant scrolling through my photo album. In all my years on social media, I've never had to unfollow people until now. I didn't realize how toxic some people can be. I cared enough to listen to them and even try to experience things based on their perspective. Empathy, was it? That was a mistake. You should not empathize with toxic people, because it also makes you toxic. I finally understood but the damage was already done. That's my biggest takeaway of 2022: you can't help everyone. Wait, let's rephrase: not everyone deserves your help. If people are jealous that you are helping others and not them, then those are the most dangerous people to be around as they can't be happy for anyone. Maybe it makes them feel worse about themselves? I wouldn't know cuz I'm not like that (anymore 👀). Learning to be happy for other's success is a serious weight off your chest. Be inspired by others because if they can, why not you too? But of course, it's easier to complain and blame others. It's easier to be offended. So help those who appreciate your efforts. Instead of wasting time on those that can't be helped, why not help those that give you fulfilment so that you can continuing helping others? And if you have extra time, why not put that into personal development so you can help yourself too? I noticed I stopped learning as much when trying to help the wrong people. Now I can't help those I should have helped instead. Though I still do what I can if possible, I'm sorry it ended this way. But if there's a will, there's a way. 2023 is going to be interesting. We're moving back to Canada at the end of January and I'm not sure what the future holds, but I'll be in badminton in some capacity. As part of the DailyStoic New Year's Challenge, my mantra will be from John Wick: Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat "Fortune favours the bold". I lost so much already, so what can possibly stop me now? Hope everyone has a great year, and if you can turn obstacles into opportunities, nothing will stop you: The obstacle is the way. (I mean, they're kind of the same thing, right?)
Made with Medalist
Writing may not be the best medium anymore, but it still helps me think through the problem as I can edit my thought process and remember the key lessons. And as long as I can consolidate my thoughts in a meaningful and coherent way, it will at least be a benefit to myself. If it helps anyone else, that's a bonus, but I always believe that to make any change, you must first hold yourself accountable. https://towbsss.mli.st/p/told-you-so-vKwPdk4 Link in bio.
It was a pleasure playing with Ella for the 2022 NWBA Yonex Cup this past weekend! Thank you for playing and I hope you had a good experience! I know you were probably really nervous but I admire your courage in taking the challenge and you played really well! It was really fun playing with you and best of luck in your future tournaments 😁 It's always great to see familiar faces and I am grateful for the local badminton community for their support in hosting tournaments like this where players of different levels can interact and compete against each other. Thank you to Northwest Badminton Academy for hosting this event and providing prize money! 🙏🏼 Thank you everyone who came to watch and cheered for us (mainly for Ella... you know who you are 😁), and thank you Ella, Dennis, Scott, and Carmen for the 📸 this weekend 🙏🏼 #badmintonlife #badminton #yonex #amorfati #tournament #nwba #northwestbadmintonacademy
Thank you Jackson and Annie for partnering with me for the 2022 Washington Open! 🙏🏼 Some really challenging games and it's always fun to play with new partners and new opponents 😁 Special thanks to Adrienne and her team for running the tournament as best they could given the power outage, and of course thanks to Bellevue Badminton Club for helping with the tournament on Saturday. This is the kind of community support that's great to see when people put aside their differences and support one another 💪🏼 With that said, Bellevue Badminton is hosting an exhibition November 19th with Viktor Axelsen, which is good for all of badminton (FYI I'm no longer affiliated with Bellevue Badminton, but I'll promote it because it's a badminton event 😌). It was nice to see many people again and reconnect, even for a brief moment. I do appreciate the overwhelming support (you know who you are 🙏🏼) and I will continue to move forward despite the obvious obstacles I have to face. That's pretty much the secret to getting better at badminton. You have to risk losing for the chance to win. Sometimes people watch your game and hope you lose. They cheer obnoxiously for your opponents. They take pride every time you make a mistake. Or so it might be happening. I wouldn't know unless someone told me after (thank you Carmen 😬). Regardless it doesn't bother me because if doing that helps someone feel a little better about themselves, so be it 😌 As always, the best revenge is not to be like that. Time will tell. The drama will continue and find other people. I'm glad I'm out of it so I can focus on helping the right people. The bubble has burst. Onwards and upwards ✌🏼
Had a great weekend in Vancouver at the 2022 VRC Masters! Thank you to my partners, Mickey and Daisy, for playing and also to all of our competitors! 😁 Special thanks to my cheering squad for trying to embarrass me with their clappers (life lesson: you can't be embarrassed if you don't care 😛) but I appreciate the support and I hope everyone had a good time. I know sometimes matches got a bit close, but that was purely unintentional and I hope you will lower your expectations in the future 😅 It was great to see family and connect people through sport, and I'm grateful to be part of a wonderful community. I know people have their differences and we also compete against each other, but ultimately, I hope it's healthy competition in more ways than one. On to the next one... 💪🏼 Some matches are now on YouTube. Thank you Carmen for filming 😘
As I took another step towards the next decade and enjoying my 2nd non-badminton vacation by plane, I had some time to reflect on the 7 predictors of being "happy-well" in old age from a recent book. They include: 1) Don't smoke. 2) Don't drink. 3) Healthy body weight. 4) Exercise. 5) Adaptive coping style. 6) Education. 7) Stable, long-term relationships. The most important happens to be the last one, and I'm happy to have spent some time in Hawaii with Carmen on our belated honeymoon. It's been difficult to keep long-term relationships especially as an athlete, but there are always those who stuck around and saw you through the process. That ultimately has been the driving force in a lot of my actions, transitioning into coaching, but perhaps I have failed to adapt to the changes of today. However, if things have not changed for the better, then would it be so wrong to do things in the most effective way? Not all change has been good. I've been going strong on the first four habits, though I've been missing a lot of badminton, but in time, I'll get the chance to play more regularly to stay lean and strong year round (gotta keep the 6-pack when I turn 40 😬). Ongoing education has given me options with adaptive coping styles, which has given me opportunities to work on stable, long-term relationships. Treating others well usually does the trick, but I have learned first-hand that there are always exceptions, but that doesn't mean it's the rule. Hate begets hate, and that's no way to live. So why not turn the other cheek? It's okay. I'm fine. Now, THAT, is a position of power. PS. If you're getting Gokushufudou vibes, you would be correct 😌
Always grateful to get the chance to compete, once again with Mickey in MD, and with Thalia in XD 🙏🏼 It hasn't been easy getting a chance to play these last couple of months, but playing again makes a great birthday gift 😬 (the soreness is still a price I'm paying, but it's all good) This has been the first time running a ClearOne tournament all the way through and I took it on for a few reasons. My dad used to run it back when it was just a Junior 'B' tournament, and it has certainly evolved over the years. I also want to learn the process of running a tournament via TournamentSoftware, and despite having new difficulties that arose (i.e. TS not recognizing the PayPal payments), I'm grateful for all the help that I got from people who shared their organizational tips with me. Most of all, I think this tournament is great for the badminton community and to have such a massive turnout of 500+ players, 700+ entries, and 900+ matches over 3 days, I'm grateful to be a part of it all. Even though we may not always see everything eye to eye, we can agree that we all love playing badminton 😌 For those that have gifted me the opportunities to compete for so many years, I'm only gifting things back. I remember playing against competitive adults as a junior, and here I am, now in the other role. The younger players are getting better, and I'm not. Of course it's frustrating, but it's part of the process. The next gen has to be better than yours, otherwise no progress has been made. I'm grateful to all those who have supported me and continue to support me. I'm only trying to do my best to give back to the badminton community. I don't always get it right, but I learn and get better. Looking forward to new opportunities in new places, but still contributing where the help is appreciated. Time is the greatest equalizer.
Took better notes for badminton than I did for school 😅 Wait, my grades did go up after my first Olympic journey, so maybe I learned to take better notes through badminton 🤔 Maybe I'll publish my training notes with Kim Dong Moon one day 😌 If it's really important to you, I hope you took notes. If not, start today because it helps with thinking. Why do you think I'm such a technical coach if I didn't draw out and annotate each part of the technique?
Here's an old checklist I wrote for myself when I was training with the legendary Kim Dong Moon. I had recently read Atul Gawande's "The Checklist Manifesto" and used the idea to write down key things to remember. Although I had a coach scold me once, "No technical advice," in the match we were coaching, I disagree with them if it's a cue that has been used in training, because it would be more of a performance cue. Sometimes that foundational technical change makes all the difference, such as: - stay low - second shot - racket up - hit & step (& recover) - short swing However, a couple of pointers here: - Focus on the most important thing (not all 5!) - Know what you need to do (i.e. tactical objective) - If you know what to do but can't do it, consider a technical cue to help - If you focus on a technical cue, know what you're trying to do unless you're waiting for your opponent to make a mistake. That works surprisingly well sometimes. - Change things up. Sometimes this could be a rally or two before going back. Most importantly, don't use any of this advice if it's not working for you. It's your time to compete, so do what's best for you. Good luck to those competing at this weekend's tournament! I know many of you trained hard this summer and I wish you all the best! You can do it! Without me.
This was the first international tournament I went to outside of Canada. It also happens to be one of my favourite places to compete and I went every year for the next 11 years. The tournament got stronger over time, but there were some years I did fairly well, especially in 2012 where we lost to Japan in the semi-finals, 21-19 in the third game. But I would have none of these experiences if I gave up too early. This first tournament I played was extremely short. It says we only lasted 12 minutes and we didn't even get 12 points total. You may recognize our opponents, especially one of those names, and it was definitely an opportunity, albeit a short one. The other opportunity I took advantage of was watching the rest of the tournament. I had a chance to see some great players and matches, and that made a big difference because it helped me find direction in what I wanted to practice for next time. At some point, you will have seen it all and there may be more important things to do, especially if you're still in the tournament, but watching stronger players play should be captivating if you want to improve. There are many layers to the game, and you can unpack it to a level that best suits your needs, whether trying to analyzing someone's technique, to simply enjoying the game as a spectator. The game is different now in that it seems more aggressive and wild, making it more unpredictable. I don't know how I would do if I was playing in this generation, and I'm not going to speculate because it doesn't matter. All I know is that I still love the game and I hope those who have a chance to experience higher level competition continue as best they can. Like me 15 years ago, it's okay to feel discouraged, but it doesn't mean you need to give up. Take advantage of opportunities as they come, and see where they take you. Good luck on your journey.
[How To Decide] Every now and then, I ask myself: do you want to be a generalist or a specialist? What do you want to do? Or perhaps the question to answer is, "What do you want to be?" That's not an easy question but something to reflect on periodically. Well, if that's the case, it's an easy answer... https://towbsss.mli.st/p/how-to-decide-7Jl456O Link to blog in bio ✌🏼