PETALING JAYA: Adapting to a new role as a coach at a young age can be daunting for many athletes, but Chang Yee Jun (pic) is not one of them.
The 22-year-old Yee Jun was one of the shuttlers dropped by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) in their trimming exercise to achieve better results this year and ensure that players do not stagnate.
Yee Jun partnered Yap Roy King to reach world No. 64 before forming a new partnership with Low Hang Yee (No. 291) to compete in the Malaysia International Series last month.
Yee Jun has decided to take up a new duty as a full-time coach at the CPS Badminton Academy and he is looking forward to grooming more young talents.
“Last December, I partnered Hang Yee for a short period of time, so some might think that I’ll become an independent player to continue our partnership, but I didn’t,’’ he said.
“I returned to my hometown in Perlis to rest and that’s when CPS (Badminton Academy) approached me with an offer to become one of their coaches.
“I will focus on coaching and sharing my knowledge with the younger generation in hopes of developing new talents and taking badminton in Malaysia to a higher level.
“I was reluctant at first as I wouldn’t have the opportunity to compete anymore, but there’s no other choice and I couldn’t stay as a shuttler forever.
“So, I’ll just chalk it up to changing roles earlier than expected.”
Yee Jun, who joined the senior squad five years ago, admitted that he was sad when he was dropped and it took him some time to adjust to his new daily routines.
“Of course, I felt sad but I had no choice but to accept it because there was nothing else I could do.
“At first, I couldn’t get used to it because I’ve been doing the same thing for years, waking up early and going to the court to train.
“I still get up at the same time, but I’ll sleep in and only play badminton for fun now.
“I don’t have any special coping mechanism, all I did was try not to think about it too much,” Yee Jun explained.