Tuesday September 18, 2012
Youngsters have talent but need guidance to fulfil potential
By ASHREENA PILLAI
KUALA LUMPUR: The glimpses of brilliance shown by the junior shuttlers at the Maybank Malaysia International Youth Under-19 championships last week prove that there are some diamonds in the rough.
Soong Joo Ven, Lim Yin Fun and the women’s doubles pair of Chow May Kuan and Lee Meng Yean showed promise.
However, relying on talent alone will only get them so far. They need proper guidance to realise their potential.
The championships, the first junior international tournament held in Malaysia, was a great platform for the youngsters to prove their mettle but it proved to be too big a task for some. The one thing evident, as in so many of their predecessors, was their lack of mental toughness.
This was all too apparent as Malaysia’s only representative in the finals was the mixed doubles pair Chua Khek Wei-Joyce Choong Wai Chi as Joo Ven, Yin Fun and the others fell by the wayside.
Khek Wai and Joyce took the first game of the final raising hope of a Malaysian triumph, but the pair lost their bearing and allowed their Korean opponents, Choi Sol-kyu-Chae Yoo-jung, to storm back for victory.
The fact that the Korean pair had each played in two other finals that day only underlined their superior mental strength and temperament.
The lack of a strong mentality continues to be the bane of Malaysian shuttlers at all levels as they tend to spontaneously combust under pressure. That has to change if they are to be world beaters anytime soon.
Diamonds are formed under pressure and need the perfect cut and polish to glitter. Those are qualities still very much lacking in our juniors.