TOBY NG

[Special Thanks!]

After about 5 months, I'm happy to say I've completed the Google Data Analytics certificate on Coursera. I've always enjoyed the opportunity to learn online at my own time and pace, and this has been no exception to that. But with every certification, it feels like the start of something, not the end of it, and now it's time to get real world experience where I can. I've spent almost two decades in and out of post-secondary education, and all I can say is that it's very different on the other end than my previous beliefs coming out of high school. I know I kinda stuck in an Olympic run (or two actually) in between, but that's kind of like getting a PhD in badminton in a way, with the OLY designation. So what's next? Well, unfortunately, it feels like it was more of an introduction to many tools, including Google Sheets, SQL (BigQuery), Tableau, and R (mostly Tidyverse). I'd love to learn more about statistics and statistical testing, and perhaps find a way to do more sport analytics in badminton. I'm still a badminton coach, so why not be a better one with some new skill sets. Despite hoping I would feel more competent after adding another certificate, it feels no different really. I learned a lot, but I learned that it doesn't get any easier when you try to learn new things. But I guess that's just the way it is. There are no shortcuts to learning, unless you're trying to create the shortcut. If you create the shortcut, then you're learning. If you're taking the shortcut, then your learning is cut short. #lifegoeson #coachlife #athletelife #dataanalytics #google #coursera #certificate #badminton #data #learning #noshortcuts

I recently did a Turkish Get Up (TGU) with the 70lbs kettlebell. It's not really that amazing, relative to the things other people can do, but to me it was special because it created a mindshift. I always thought it was too heavy. I didn't think I was ready. I wanted to wait til I could press the weight first. I wanted to workout more consistently before I attempted it. I was afraid to even try. I just rationalized that I wasn't ready yet. So the other day, I was a bit frustrated with life things, and I told myself that I wanted to be better. It's not the first time this has happened though. Every now and then I'll just get the drive to push myself further. In those moments, I tell myself I could be better and I just stop thinking about it. Just do it. Just do something. I figured I'd try, despite an irregular training frequency. It's a lot harder when you're coaching full time and not training at all. Regardless of every single excuse I gave myself, it just kind of happened. As I progressed in each section of the TGU, I realized that I could do it. And then I did. Perhaps I need to take my own coaching advice that I tell my athletes: Just give it your best effort with what you have. Don't worry about the outcome. Just try and see, and take things as they go. And life goes on... #kettlebells #PR #turkishgetup #TGU #simpleandsinister #strongfirst #effort #growthmindset #strength #resilience #antifragility #lifegoeson

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Thank you for the surprise "birthday" gifts, balloons included! It's been my pleasure working with this group of athletes this past year and I'm super fortunate to get the opportunity to coach this amazing group of young adults! However, I must give a lot of credit to those who have helped me in the past in their own ways, because it has taught me the power of paying things forward, and how to help others because it's the right thing to do, not to get something back. No matter where life takes us in the future, I know you will find success in your own ways, and I hope you can all continue to help others and give back where you can too. But please remember, we can control our intentions to help, but not the outcome of our actions, or the reaction of others. WAIT, summer training isn't over yet! So let's enjoy the time we have together and deal with other things as they come 😬 Thank you again. I'm truly honored by your kindness 😊 #thankyou #gratitude #ilovedonuts #butnottoomuch #ilovebooks #nevertoomuch #balloons #coffee #matcha #candy #chocolatebars #cardswerethebest #donutforhannah #waterforangela #ballooncontrolfordavid #whoreadshashtags #uhoh

I made some of our players write a 500 word essay about what they learned at Junior Nationals. The reason behind this is that you need to know something well enough to write about it. However, "leading by example" is a large part of my coaching philosophy, so I should probably write something too. I learn through writing in a similar way, because if I don't understand it, I probably can't write it. Doesn't mean I write, just because I'm right. No. Doesn't mean it's right, just because I write. Ego is the enemy. Link to my blog in bio. #coachlife #badminton #stoicism #youcontrolhowyouplay #lessons #reflections

Happy World Olympic Day! Still blessed to have the opportunity to compete in London 2012 with @grace_gao10 for πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Good luck to the eight Canadians competing in Tokyo next month! Congratulations as well to @badmintoncanada for sending their largest team in history! And yes, I'm posting this while I'm at the 2021 Junior Nationals in πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡² πŸ™ƒ #worldolympicday #badmintonlife #coachlife #badminton #olympian

It's been a year of coaching at @bellevuebadminton and it's been an incredible experience! Despite the global pandemic, I've been fortunate to be able to work the majority of the time and be fully vaccinated due to the efforts of Washington state. I'll be coaching at the 2021 USA Junior Nationals with a small team next week and I'm looking forward to the experience. It's been very different coaching versus competing, and I hope to combine my past competition experience and current coaching methods to help our athletes perform their best. And yes, though it seems like I'm coaching athletes from another country, I've previously extended my support to Canada if they need me, but I haven't had any requests except for some help with Badminton BC. In the meantime, sometimes you just gotta do your own thing. #badminton #badmintonlife #coachlife #Yonex

No wonder I nearly flunked the Coordinated Science Program at UBC! This book wasn't published yet πŸ˜† From "Learn Like A Pro" - Barbara Oakley & Olav Schewe #notthesnowmaninfrozen #learninghowtolearn

To those who are students, here's another piece of information to cram into your mind πŸ€ͺ Excerpt from "Think Again" by Adam Grant.

Finished my first two books of the year! Finally a bit more time to read as I'm no longer taking any classes. My goal for January is to read a bunch of books from my Kindle collection. Over the years, I've amassed a small personal library which includes more than 400 books. The goal for the month is to select a bunch of books to read (I've selected 64 books) and I would randomly select books. I just used Google Sheets with the RANDBETWEEN() formula to choose 4 books at a time. The goal is to read broadly and see what interests I might uncover and possible to add to my coaching. "Wooden" has been great and I will definitely revisit that one. "10% Happier" was surprisingly interesting and it has me wanting to try meditation again, even if it's just 5 minutes a day. "Factfulness" is also interesting, as I have done some programming tutorials which have used the GAPMINDER data set. It's also nicer to think on a global perspective, despite American news often front and center for me. Last but not least, "Range" is exactly what I'm hoping to do, being more of a generalist, but I am often trying to find where I stand on the continuum between being a generalist and a specialist. Maybe I will have a better idea after going through more perspectives this month. Or not. I have no idea πŸ˜‚

I think what drew me to coaching was the concept of "Doing the right thing". But then I learned that things often aren't simply black or white, so I had to adapt: "Doing the right thing for the right person." However, it wasn't enough because I realized that not all sports are equal. But that's out of my control, so in the end, it is simply "Doing the right thing, for the right person, with whatever is available to you." So, simply, "doing your best with what you have" has taken me here, and it will continue to keep me moving forwards, integrating whatever I can come across. "Good artists copy, great artists steal." - Picasso But of course, I'm grateful to be here and having the chance to learn from some of the best. And I'm still learning, as cliche as that sounds nowadays. I do hope the sport grows in North America someday. One step at a time.

Happy birthday to my lovely wife (@harrokittie) and welcome to a new age *cough* 30s *cough* and you'll find it's filled with more responsibilities, less instruction, and more uncertainty. But that's okay, because you have me. Not because I'm great (because you already said you're the best), but think of it like... an additional burden πŸ™ƒ All jokes aside, I hope you have a wonderful day and that we can celebrate next year with more people when things get better! Love always, your husburden. I mean, husband 😬

This bookshelf is keeping me feeling grounded on the situation that I will buy more books and not read them πŸ€”

This was a sobering read especially when taking my finance course. Although we haven't touched investing yet, the biggest takeaway is not to always think that everything conforms to the bell curve. There is quite some discussion on fractal geometry on financial modelling, but I'm afraid there are limits to my understanding based on my limited applied math ability. However, the book is meant for the "average" person, so there are still benefits to non-finance people like me in reading it. One major concept I've taken from this book is considering parallels of financial markets to athlete development. Talent identification sometimes feels a bit like picking stocks, and though they measure different things, how do we really know that the measurements give an accurate representation of reality? Do we also make the same mistake and put athletes on a bell curve as well when it may be closer to a power law? I suppose more knowledge reminds us how there is always so much more to learn. I will have to revisit this concept.

I thoroughly enjoyed Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin, and The Dichotomy of Leadership was insightful as well when considering the principles of Extreme Ownership on a continuum rather than always a hard rule. This book seems to be much more of a practical guide, and I'm glad I got a copy as I know I will be revisiting it in the future, likely multiple times. One of my favourite additions from the Expanded Edition is: "Don't do what makes you happy. Do what makes you better." I suppose this is exactly what I chose to do by replacing video games with reading and online courses for the month, but then again, we haven't even started November yet... My other favourite from the Expanded Edition is: PUT THE DONUT DOWN.

Giving up video games for a month to try a personal learning challenge! (TBH I'm just forcing myself to actually make use of all the educational resources I've spent money on πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ) #informationhoarder This will include books I still haven't read as well πŸ™ƒ I've also decided to take notes only if I have a reason to do so, instead of writing down whatever is interesting but not necessarily practical. Some of the more useful formulas have been COUNTIF, SUMIF, AVERAGEIF, and their plural counterparts for my personal budgeting, and additional statistical testing such as CORREL and T.TEST will have their uses analyzing badminton training data! Thank you @datacamp for hosting a great course! πŸ™ can't wait to learn more!