KUALA LUMPUR: It is an old story. But National Sports Council (NSC) Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad just had to reiterate the fact that attitudes have to change if athletes aspire to win at international level.
Yesterday, he said athletes were not willing to change their ways to reach the top but when things don't go their way they will not hesitate to criticise the system.
Talking specifically about the national hockey team where their fitness level has been of concern, Mazlan said it is no secret that local players have the habit of not working on their own to improve their fitness.
We see many top hockey playing nations in the elite group of the world because their players work at it. The South Koreans are one such team. We are hoping to emulate them in the fitness aspect.
Their entire working philosophy is different and they do not leave anything to chance. They do not do things in any half measures but put their heart and soul into it. It is not surprising that they are among the top hockey teams in the world.
Let us learn from them. But the players need to do more. They have to make sacrifices and endure the hardship as well.
Copy their work attitude along with their programme and I'm sure there will be benefits, said Mazlan.
Mazlan said he is pleased that two of the national players have decided to train with the South Korean hockey team.
He said such an attachment programme will also be beneficial and said that the NSC's objective to players to Germany is also geared towards improvement.
You can only improve when you play with the best and train with them. It is therefore important that you also look at the training structure and see how they do it.
We must study the lifestyle and training procedures of the foreign players to get the maximum benefit.
So hopefully the two players going to Korea will bring back more than just a training programme. They have to come back with new attitudes and also be able to show our players here what is the difference in the two training styles,'' added Mazlan.
Mazlan said every foreign coach who comes here to Malaysia is impressed with the facilities here and yet our performance at international level is nothing to shout about.
We have good facilities and yet we are not competitive enough.
Mazlan said it is good that South Korean hockey skipper Kang Keon-wook is playing here in the Malaysia Hockey League for Sapura.
He is a fine example of the Korean hockey player and hopefully our players pick up some training tips from him. Such exchange will benefit both sides but for me I want our players to to work more on their own,'' he added.
Keon-wook joined the national hockey players in a workout at the gym on Friday and showed how the weight training is done the Korean way.
National hockey coach Paul Lissek said watching the Korean training was an enlightening experience.
When we instruct the players to do these exercises they don't seem to get it right. Now, with Keon-wook showing them the way, I'm sure the players will benefit. I'm glad that the Koreans have agreed to work with us. We should never be shy of learning from the best if we want to improve, said Lissek.
National skipper S. Kuhan and Mohaned Amin Rahim left last night for Seoul to join the South Korean hockey team in training for two weeks.