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After that, Dai Li's life took a very substantial turn. Besides the training of athletes on the training base of the national team, Dai Li also took part in several state-level track and field matches by following Li Xue.
It was no wonder Li Xue was the top track and field coach in the country. His theoretical knowledge, practical training, and coaching experience were the best among all the coaches Dai Li had ever met. Dai Li could clearly feel himself making rapid progress everyday under the instruction of Li Xue.
Two years ago, when Dai Li had been temporarily transferred to the Beikou Training Center, he had participated in the training of Feixiang Lin by following Coach Jihai Ding. At that time, Coach Jihai Ding had not actively imparted his training knowledge and skills to Dai Li, who had to learn and observe on his own. Because Dai Li had temporarily transferred to do odd jobs, the opportunities for him to ask questions had been very few and far between.
In contrast, Li Xue was more of a teacher. He imparted all the knowledge and training skills he had mastered to Dai Li, and even shared the experience he had accumulated over the years with Dai Li without any reservations.
Li Xue was almost sixty. He had been in the sprinting world for over forty years, and had accumulated thirty years of coaching experience. He had also been acting as the deputy head coach of the national team for almost ten years. Li Xue had witnessed the development of the domestic track and field sports. His expertise and experience absolutely made him a great teacher.
Compared to self-teaching, instruction from a teacher was far more efficient. Under the instruction of Li Xue, Dai Li was making amazing progress in sprint training.
The resources of the national team were far better than that of the provincial team. The national team had a specialized data room that subscribed to all the newspapers and magazines related to sports training in the world. The newspapers and magazines would then be stored and summarized. The coaches of the national team could look up the most advanced training concepts and know state-of-the-art techniques for the track and field events here.
Although not every coach could read English newspapers, professionals could understand the data analysis in them. Just like scientific papers, professionals did not care about the end result; it was the lab data they were interested in. The scientists could get what they want from a data table.
Dai Li's English was OK. Although his oral English was poor, he could read some words in English. For Dai Li, the Data Room of the national team was like a big treasury. Almost every day he would spend one or two hours in it, and each time he would learn something new. Because of this, Dai Li entered a crazy learning period. He felt like he was back in his college days.
It was quite often for people to ignore the importance of learning in college. It was very normal to occasionally cut classes. Many people led lazy lives, and only began studying when exams were near.
However, as soon as these people got a job, they began to realize the importance of knowledge and learning. Then they would begin learning to develop themselves. That was also the reason on-job postgraduates and adult education had been popular in recent years.
Dai Li was like that. Over the years since his graduation from university, experiencing new things, meeting various coaches and athletes, and especially the confrontation with Xuexi Zhuang had all given Dai Li a growing sense of the importance of developing himself. Knowledge could be entirely possessed by him. The more knowledge he had, the further he could go as a coach.
Because of this, Dai Li cherished this opportunity very much. He worked very hard, which also gained recognition from Li Xue.
"Dai Li, I plan to send you to Tsinghua University next month." Li Xue paused, then continued, "You will go to Tsinghua University and represent the national team."
"What will I do there? Does Tsinghua University also need coaches like us?" Dai Li asked, puzzled.
Tsinghua University was the highest place of learning in China. Dai Li had an impression that Tsinghua University was a place for scientific research, with a lot of professors wearing lab coats and wire-rimmed glasses who were immersed in laboratories. As a physical laborer, a coach should have nothing to do with a lab coat and laboratories.
"The Sports Department of Tsinghua University. You don't know it, do you?" Li Xue asked.
"The Sports Department of Tsinghua University? I always thought Tsinghua University was a place to for scientists." Dai Li felt like he was out of the loop.
The university that Dai Li had been admitted to was neither included in "Project 985" (a project to promote the development and reputation of the Chinese higher education system by founding world-class universities in the 21st century, and eponymous after the date of the announcement, May 1998), nor in "Project 211" (a project of National Key Universities and colleges initiated in 1995 by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, with the intent of raising the research standards of high-level universities and cultivating strategies for socio-economic development. The name for the project comes from an abbreviation of the slogan "For the 21st century, to manage 100 universities successfully."). His university was only a second-tier school, and was not a quarter as good as Tsinghua University, which was an untouchable university for Dai Li. Therefore, it was impossible for Dai Li to have known about a sports department in Tsinghua University.
"Tsinghua University does indeed have a sports department that is very competent. They have even achieved outstanding results in some world-class matches." Li Xue continued, "In the Sports Department of Tsinghua University, there are twenty-six events and thirty-six teams. They not only have the traditional events like track and field, basketball, and soccer, but also have a Go team, a chess team, a rock climbing team, etc."
"It should only be a club in the university, then. I thought it was a specialized department for sports!" Dai Li realized he had misunderstood Li Xue's introduction. He thought it was a specialized department of PE in Tsinghua University.
"A student club? It is n ordinary student club. Among their athletes, there are many first-class talents, some of whom even make the national team jealous! More to the point, the Sports Department of Tsinghua University has established the Sport and Health Research Center and the Sports & Human Body Science Laboratory. Several professors, and dozens of associate professors, were assigned to these institutions, which also have over ten doctoral supervisors and master supervisors. More importantly, these institutions are research bases chosen by the General Administration of Sport of China!" Li Xue explained.
"Awesome!" Dai Li was surprised by the teaching resources they had at their disposal. They were sufficient for a first-tier subject in universities included in Project 985 and Project 211.
No wonder it is Tsinghua University. It sounds awesome! Dai Li said to himself. He then asked, "So what is my task in Tsinghua University? There are so many professors and doctoral supervisors whose academic levels are much higher than mine. I can do nothing for their research. Am I the thing being researched?"
After hearing Dai Li's joke, Li Xue laughed. "There are so many athletes in Tsinghua University. Even if they did want someone to research, you wouldn't stand a chance. You are definitely being sent there to train athletes. As a coach, what else would you do?"
Could this be considered providing assistance or training for real? I hope this time will be different than my experience as a handyman at the Beikou Training Center! Dai Li couldn't help but remember his days at the Beikou Training Center two years ago.
"Here is the thing: the national team has established a partnership with Tsinghua University. Tsinghua University also has a small number of coaches, whose main duties are still teaching, not coaching; in addition, the coaching level of their coaches is not as good as ours, so they always 'borrow' coaches from us."
Saying this, Li Xue sighed with a little bit of embarrassment. "Actually, the cooperation between us and Tsinghua University is mutually beneficial. You should know of the middle school attached to Tsinghua University, right? It is also a famous school. The coaches of the national team also want to send their children to this school for education. Each year, Tsinghua University offers several spots to the children of the coaches of the national team in its middle school. We owe Tsinghua University a favor for this. Therefore, when they are short-handed, we always send our people over to help them."
After the explanation, Li Xue continued sternly, "Normally I always send official coaches of the national team to Tsinghua University. However, you have been following me for several months. I'm betting you have learned a lot during this period, so I decided to send you there for some practical work, which could also be considered an examination of what you've learned so far.
"Remember, you are representing the national team. Also, I have bragged about you to Tsinghua University, saying that you are the last disciple who has acquired my coaching essence. So just achieve some good things in Tsinghua University. Don't embarrass me!"
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