Take a chance on Fred

A familiar face: Mental trainer Frederick Tan giving a pep talk to the national players before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

PETALING JAYA: What has pop group ABBA got to do with sports? Plenty, if you ask psychologist Frederick Tan.

He is a fan of the Swedish group and will be using one of their 70s’ hit “Knowing Me, Knowing You” as a message to unite the national shuttlers under Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM). The players are now under the microscope as they prepare for the Olympic Games in Paris in July.

Frederick has worked his magic before. He was the man behind former great Lee Chong Wei when he went on to win his first Olympic Games silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Now, Frederick has been called up to come to the rescue again.

“I will not be able to work with the shuttlers if they don’t trust me.Frederick TanFrederick Tan

“That’s why I will have to sing to the tune of ABBA’s song ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’. The first goal is to get to know these shuttlers and for them to know me,” said Frederick, who will report for duty at Academy Badminton Malaysia (ABM) today.

“Time is short as the Olympic Games is around the corner. I need to build rapport with them, make them comfortable and speed up the process.”

Those under the Road to Gold programme and set to compete in the Paris Olympics are the top men’s doubles and former world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah (women’s doubles), Chen Tang Jie-Toh Ee Wei (mixed doubles) and national men’s singles Ng Tze Yong.

The independent shuttlers hoping to make the cut are Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi (men’s doubles), Goh Jin Wei (women’s singles), and Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie and Tan Kian Meng-Lai Pei Jing (mixed doubles).

Frederick has taken up the job upon the request from Chong Wei, national coaching director Rexy Mainaky and BAM president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria.

In fact, the Sarawakian in his 60s, even deferred his plans to migrate to Australia to help the Malaysian team.

“I just love the sport. And I have postponed my plans to be with my daughter in Perth,” he said.

Frederick has a high regard for the national shuttlers and believes teamwork will take them to success.

“I know these shuttlers are under pressure from all sides but they are working hard to bring glory to the country. They could be lacking in some areas, and maybe struggling with personal problems,” he said.

“I will do my best to help them. Right now they have to put all distractions aside and focus on their game for the next five months. It’s not just the duty of the shuttlers to be best prepared for the Olympics.

I believe, everyone – the coaches, sparring partners, the management, the support team, doctors, physiotherapists, strength and conditioning team, nutritionist and even those handing the biomechanics - must also do their best.

“If everyone can work as a unit, we will do well at the Olympics.”

As he said that, there were two other ABBA songs that came to mind – “Take A Chance On Me” (which is what BAM have done with Frederick) and “The Winner Takes it All”.

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Badminton , Frederick Tan , Olympic Games


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