SHAH ALAM: The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) will bring in psychologist Frederick Tan to help boost the confidence and mental strength of the country’s shuttlers ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games scheduled from July 26 to Aug 11.

Academy of Badminton Malaysia (ABM) administrative director Michelle Chai said with the appointment of Frederick, it will help build the will power of the players, despite psychological services already being provided by the National Sports Institute (NSI).

“We did have (experts) psychologists before but we depended on NSI and now BAM has its own (psychologist) who is primed to the RTG (Road To Gold) programme. We are always looking for ways to improve (what is lacking in the national team).

“Frederick’s selection is based on his experience. So in these four to five months, we will redouble our efforts to help the national players,“ she said at the Setia City Convention Centre yesterday.

Frederick will start his full-time duties from Feb 23.

Michelle also added that the well-being and welfare of the players is also very important in every decision made by the governing body.

“Different players (have) different reaction, if we say we send you (player) to China, Japan or whatever country, some players might be mentally affected because it is a different (environment). So (in addition to) discussing with the coach, we also discuss with the player.

“Their (players) mental tenacity is important. Some players will say they are game to try but some players may not (be mentally tough). I mean there are quite a few things to take into consideration but it’s actually one of the discussion points as well,” she said.

Meanwhile, ABM coaching director Rexy Mainaky hopes Frederick can hold a four-eye meeting (one-to-one) with the players who are on the list of the RTG programme to unravel the mental problems that has been plaguing them.

Currently the country’s top men’s doubles who are also the 2022 world champions, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (women’s doubles), Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (mixed doubles) and national men’s singles Ng Tze Yong are in the RTG programme.

“In the Olympics, (with) multi events, we need to work things out ... if we don’t work out the players’ thinking, what to achieve, whatever we do in training is not going to work. On Feb 23, (we must) make sure Frederick sits with all the players to find their wavelength (what is needed).

“... (players need to have the right mindset) I want to play in this court, (what) I want to do and make the Malaysian dream, win the first gold medal in Olympics, happen,” said Rexy.

It is understood that Frederick has served with the national badminton champion Datuk Lee Chong Wei before.

Asked if the national team will undergo training abroad, Rexy informed that he needs to touch base with the national players first before making any decision.-Bernama

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