Life Life

19/11/2017 - 10:07

Teachers on the practicing fields

In sport teams, coaches not only provide training, but also have to play the role of parents to their students.

Head of Karate Department, Le Van Loc, directly checks the young athletes’ techniques

Coaching and parenting

We arrived at the provincial Sports College a day after the flood water withdrew (the first flood in November), and the story we heard most was of the care of staff and coaches for the students. Coach Dang Nhu Ha, Head of Department of Badminton, said the flood rose quickly and caused the roads to be inaccessible, so the nutrition staff could not reach the campus. In order to ensure meals for the athletes in the boarding house, the staff and coaches went directly to the market and into the kitchen to prepare meals for the athletes. "There are also ready meals such as instant noodles or canned food but because of their care and love for the athletes, the staff and coaches went into the kitchen to prepare nutritious meals," said Mr. Ha.

In addition to making meals for athletes, coaches also took turns to ensure safety for athletes. Mr. Ha said that the floods happened at the weekend, so many athletes had returned home, and the residence had only 6 athletes. While the school calendar is flexible, most coaches arranged their affairs to be present at the school. During the day, the coaches made sure to keep the athletes from going in the flood to ensure their health. At night, they checked the sleeping situation of athletes. In addition to caring for the athletes at the school, the coaches also repeatedly phone the families of other athletes to grasp the situation of their students.

This story is just one of the many stories of the teachers’ care for their students. Le Van Loc, Head of the Provincial Department of Karate, said that most of the athletes were recruited from rural areas, far from the city center, so when the parents let their children pursue sports, the parents also ask the coaches to take care of the kids for them.

The common point of the athletes in the talent recruits is that they are often young (10 years and older). This is the stage when the children are still learning in school and often get sick, so the responsibility of the coaches is quite large. For those who live far away and have to live at the boarding school, the coaches are assigned the task of going to parent-teacher conferences and monitoring the students’ school work. They also have to solve any problems (to their best ability) so that their parents do not worry. In cases where the young athletes are sick, the coaches also stay in the hospital and take care of them. "My most memorable experience is taking care of an athlete hospitalized because of a high fever. The fever lasted from day to night so I and the coaches in the coaching board forgot to eat to stay by his side. We had to call for other people to help with our other affairs,” coach Le Van Loc recalled.

Le Minh Kiem, the father of athlete Le Minh Thuan (the athlete who won a gold medal in SEA Games 29) admitted, it was the teachers in the Karate department who shared with him a part of the burden. "My wife died 14 years ago. I have seven children to raise. Besides Thuan, I also let Le Minh Quy (Thuan’s brother) and Le Thi Hong Bich (Thuan’s sister) join the Karate team up to 5-6 years. Our family is poor and is far away from the city center (Loc Dien - Phu Loc), so the coaches are all replied upon when the children get sick or in their studies,” Mr. Kiem said.

The achievement of the students is the greatest gift

When asked about the gift that students gifted them on Vietnamese Teachers’ Day November 20th, many coaches answered half joking, half-truth: "Are you asking about real life or on Facebook ?. There were a lot of flowers and gifts sent through messenger, but in real life, we told the students not to buy anything.”

According to coach Nguyen Van Hien, Head of Shuttlecock Kicking Department, the teacher on the training ground has a process of sticking with students longer than at the normal school. Athletes recruited only retire from the sports industry after 10-15 years, even 20 years. This long period of time help teachers and students understand and see each other as family. So not only the Shuttlecock Kicking Department, but also in many other departments, students are advised not to stress on the formalities on occasions such as Teachers’ Day. They are only asked to study hard and put in effort in training and achieve prizes in competitions.

Wrestler Nguyen Thi My Hanh in the wrestling team shared that so far, she has spent 7 years with wrestling and has also gone through six seasons of Teachers’ Day. Teachers’ Day every year, the members in the team often call or text messages to send good wishes to the coaches. "There are times when the whole team buys a bunch of flowers or a small gift but we always get told off. In the past, our coach always repeated the familiar sentence telling us to try to practice and win the medal as a gift for him. That is the most meaningful gift,” Hanh recalled.

Many parents confide, because of the difficult situations of many families, the formalities on the occasion of 20/11 with the coach is a rare story. However, the genuine appreciation for the coaches parents and students are in no way reduced. "Every time they meet us, they even encourage us to trust them with our kids, because every athlete is a gift they receive," Mr. Kiem said.

Sharing emotions before November 20, many coaches expressed, every teacher wants his students to remember him during Teachers’ Day, but the emotion can be expressed in many ways. 2017 is the season that many athletes of Thua Thien Hue have won many medals in both domestic and international competitions. That is the most valuable gift for November 20.

Story and photo: Huu Phuc