KUALA LUMPUR: Old-timer Tan Aik Mong is ready to give Malaysian badminton a facelift by managing players and coaches using a “hip and happening” approach.
On Saturday, the 63-year-old Aik Mong, a computer whiz, said that he was looking forward to assuming the heavy responsibility as director of Badminton Association of Malaysia’s Talent Management Group (TMG) on a full-time basis.
For a start, he is set to computerise all the coaching and training methods. The coaches’ reports, match analyses and videos will be documented, recorded and made accessible to the states.
“We will develop four systems. Computerisation is my expertise ... I have been at it for 40 years,” said Aik Mong, who has a vast knowledge in information technology and had served as a systems analyst and computer manager in two major companies.
“The ISN (National Sports Institute) has done well to capture many videos of our players in action against their opponents. I will dedicate all my coaches to the ISN to analyse and come up with strategies to win and we will document it,” he said.
“We will also set up a player’s performance training tracking system. What a player does in training will be recorded and it will help us monitor their performances and progress. The coaches’ training plans will also be converted into coaching manuals and the whole country can access it with just a press of a button. Other coaches from states can learn from these models too.
“Even if I leave, we will have a proper documented system which my successor will be able to use for the betterment of the game.”
His other focus will be players’ fitness, unity in the national team and motivating players and coaches to excel.
Aik Mong agreed that many have a misconception of his presence and his role but he was clear that his mission is to take Malaysian badminton to greater heights.
“They say that a ‘dinosaur’ has joined and that I am old-fashioned. Well, they are right in a way but they are wrong if they think I am coming in as a trainer ... just look at me,” laughed the chubby Aik Mong.
“I am not here to teach anyone to play badminton. I was a badminton player and have managed big companies before and I have enough knowledge and experience to assess, supervise and monitor. And I will be working with Razif Sidek to come up with a plan together with 28 national coaches. I also have two coaches in every state and a total of 121 players ... it is a huge set-up.
“Some may not like my way of doing things but if I do it correctly and am humane in all that I do, people will eventually see the light. I will do away with people who are not hardworking and not ready to sacrifice,” he said.
On his five-year time frame to deliver a winning team, he said: “In the next five years if I cannot get the Olympic Games gold, I will say goodbye. I have been given the authority and responsibility, and there is no restriction to what I can do - so, naturally, if I fail, I am the only one to be blamed.”