ARIF Latif, a national back-up shuttler, has been touted as one of the young stars of local badminton but to date has yet to make the grade and this does not augur well for his playing career.
Arif, 20, has not been performing to expectations despite being pushed to the limit by national singles coach Rashid Sidek.
He started the year by failing to make the main draw of the Proton Malaysia Open in January, but showed some promise in the Korea Open (January) where he reached the last 16.
Arif failed to build on the momentum in following tournaments where he failed to get past the first round of the German Open and India Open, both last month.
"I admit that I'm rather weak in the mental aspects of the game. I do really well in training but find it tough to make things happen in tournaments," said Arif yesterday.
"I was one of the top juniors in Asia but now I'm nothing as a senior player.