KUALA LUMPUR: Should the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) engage a full-time chief coach?
This will be one of the hot topics that will be discussed at the BAM’s coaching and training committee (CNT) meeting today as the national body look at ways to revive the fortune of Malaysian badminton after the team failed to return home with medals from the recent Asian Games in Jakarta.
Besides the Asiad, Malaysia also fell short at the World Championships in Nanjing, China (last month), the Thomas Cup Finals in Bangkok, Thailand (May) and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia (April).
From three silver medal winners at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games to nothing outstanding in majors this year – it sums up a drastic drop in the standard of Malaysian badminton.
What has gone wrong?
Is it the management of coaches and players? Is it the players? Are there meddling hands? Is the training environment hostile or are the decision-makers at fault?
One thing obvious is that BAM’s five-head national coaching structure set up last year is not bearing fruit.
BAM appointed five head coaches after coaching director Morten Frost of Denmark left in September last year.
The current five heads are Datuk Misbun Sidek (men’s singles), Datuk Tey Seu Bock (women’s singles), Paulus Firman (men’s doubles), Rosman Razak (women’s doubles) and Pang Cheh Chang (mixed doubles).
The men’s doubles probably took longer to settle down as they had too many changes.
The five head coaches should be answerable to one full-time chief coach. The chief coach should be a visionary and monitor the progress of other teams such as Indonesia, Japan, China, India and Taiwan.
He should decide whether the coaches’ training methods are outdated. He should put on his thinking cap together with the head coaches to draft long-term plans for the players and not make wishy-washy plans as he likes.
He should revamp the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) junior programme altogether.
Currently, the BA of Malaysia do not have a calibre chief coach like Park Joo-bong who is the head coach of Japan.
The coaches report to the CNT, led by chairman Ng Chin Chai. Chin Chai and other council members are not full-time workers as they have other commitments outside of BAM but the committee should exist as the monitoring body. BAM president Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria is also stretched because of his duties as the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president.
Other issues are also likely to be brought up at the meeting today such as coaches’ commitment, players discipline and lack of initiatives from states.