Malaysian shuttlers to be consulted in managing goals for upcoming events

Malaysian badminton players training under the national stable will now be given an avenue to voice their thoughts in setting goals ahead of upcoming tournaments.

Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM) chief executive officer Michelle Chai said this was part of the BA of Malaysia’s move to empower the shuttlers and manage expectations.

“We’ve been trying to do a number of new things, mainly looking at the quality of what we are doing, and not doing something for the sake of doing it,” said Chai.

“We’ve trimmed down the sizes of the various squads, and in trying to be more transparent with our planning, we are getting the players actively involved.

“We have met with some players but will be organising sessions between the shuttlers and coaches when most of them return from Ipoh.”

The Malaysian International Challenge, which starts today and ends on Sunday, is being held at the Arena Badminton Perak in Ipoh, Perak.

“These sessions are where the management and coaches will articulate expectations and hear their views so that everyone is on the same page.”

Chai added that it was high time for such sessions to be formally organised and documented, ahead of a series of tournaments next year.

In a restructuring exercise, ABM now oversees the senior and junior shuttlers and the Malaysia Open, as well as the Malaysia Masters tournaments.

The BA of Malaysia, being the national body and the guardian of the sport, will focus on the development of badminton in the states, organise national championships, and look into legal and disciplinary issues, among others.

“The planning stage is still with the coaches. But the main idea is to empower the shuttlers. I believe they should have a say.

“Also, the players get their salaries on time, receive good treatment, but perhaps, we have not been clear with our expectations.

“Most likely, some players may say that they want more money, but it’s not often you hear players telling you: ‘I need to improve my mental strength’, and as such, we need to hire an expert.

“While no such request has been made during our initial conversations, we will certainly look into it.”

Chai added it was also part of the education process, guiding Malaysian shuttlers to be professionals.

“Look at professional footballers. They don’t just depend on their respective clubs. They train outside of their clubs. They need to look after themselves, that’s what being a professional is all about.

“In short, if you want to be the best, you have to give your best,” she added.