KUALA LUMPUR: When the chips are down, you do what you have to do.
This is the advice national badminton head coach Datuk Misbun Sidek has for under-pressured Lee Zii Jia.
“In life and in sports you must have confidence to overcome your difficulties,” said Misbun.
“He (Zii Jia) must have self-belief. Win or lose he has to be brave and push on.
“Once he realises this, only then he can find a way out of his predicament.”
The former international thinks that due to the 21-year-old shuttler’s gradual rise on the world tour, he has become a target for other players.
“For now I can see there is a lot of pressure on him because other players are gunning for his scalp,” said Misbun.
Misbun added that Zii Jia must also be more versatile in his game.
As an example, he pointed out that after having beaten world No. 3 Chou Tien-chen of Taiwan in the first round at the Indonesian Masters in January, Zii Jia failed to repeat the feat when they met in the German Open quarter-finals.
“In Germany, Tien-chen countered all of his (Zii Jia’s) shots. Zii Jia was at a loss which puts undue pressure on himself.”
Misbun also thinks that the youngster has become a victim of his own success.
Zii Jia has made a good start to the season entering four consecutive quarter-final appearances at the Thailand, Malaysian, Indonesian Masters and German Opens.
“After the fine performances, he feels that he has to maintain that form,” said Misbun.
“With those expectations there will be pressure.
“But this is something he must go through to become a better player. You must keep the faith,” he added.