Yesterday, i took the opportunity to narrate a few lines on our World ranked No 1 Squash Queen - Nicol David. The key to her success seem to be consistency in performance. I put it down to her mental attitude and the passion to remain on the top. The question being, if she can do it, then why can't our other stars, also in the World rankings, who seem to find it difficult to achieve or maintain it? Here i am really addressing the badminton players.
Squash similar to badminton, has the same players in the international circuit and it is inevitable that the top stars meet one another quite often. Nicol, like the Chinese badminton stars, seems to have consistency in her performances. However, our regular badminton stars on one day become World Champions and on the next day they cannot even become semi-finalist in another tournament. Sometimes they are heavily criticised and referred as "jaguh kampung".
In an earlier article, I referred to Guus Hiddink and the wonders he did with Korea and Australia in relation to football. He had attributed it to the players who had the passion to win as the key contributing factor. In simple terms the "hunger" to succeed and sustain it.
Are our badminton players lacking it? Surely, being amongst the top itself would mean that they have all the necessities in them to succeed. Then why the inconsistencies? They lack the mental strength to maintain the level of remaining on the top. Could that be the answer? I am no expert, but the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) must address this.
There is certainly something we can learn from Nicol and lets look into this and see what can be done so that our badminton players are consistent enough to become World Champions and sustain it.