NSI to provide more help for struggling doubles pair

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Institute (NSI) have commended doubles shuttler Koo Kien Keat for his honesty in admitting his struggles as a badminton player.

NSI chief executive officer Ahmad Shapawi Ismail said yesterday that they would provide more help for Kien Keat and his partner Tan Boon Heong so that they pair can put up a decent performance at the World Championships in Guangzhou in August.

Former All-England and Asian Games champions Kien Keat-Boon Heong are ranked third in the world but the duo risk suffering an early exit at the world meet due to their tendency of losing to unheralded pairs.

It’s common knowledge that Kien Keat-Boon Heong lacked speed and power in their game. A distinct lack of discipline and commitment has further stunted their progress.

Shapawi said that identifying one’s own problem was the first step towards recovery.

“We’re happy that Kien Keat has been honest in acknowledging his problems. It’s good to be open so that we know where we can help out. We will stand by him,” said Shapawi.

“We can guide him to have good rests after training and overcome his insomnia problem too. We have our physical trainers, led by Sean Sturgess, who know exactly how much training is enough for the players.”

The NSI, he said, have been providing support services to the shuttlers “but some have not been too receptive to our efforts”.

“The NSI have provided support services for the players but our attempts will be futile if the players choose not to make use of them. It takes a lot of self-discipline,” he said.

Shapawi stressed that their support for athletes through sports science would only be “half successful” if the coaches were not involved or committed.

“The coaches should also encourage and motivate their players and have an understanding of how sports science can fully tap the potential of their players,” said Shapawi.

“We had a meeting with the BAM (Badminton Association of Malaysia) last month and made it clear that the coaches should be proactive agents in this partnership with NSI.

“The coaches need to be involved and not leave it all to the athletes and support service. No wonder there are cases where the coaches are unable to control their players.”

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