KUALA LUMPUR: Former international Razif Sidek knows how to win the hearts of the national badminton coaches.
On Friday, Razif, who was the captain when Malaysia won the 1992 Thomas Cup, announced that power and authority has been given to the national coaches in the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) set-up.
With power, though, the coaches will have to be accountable for every decision they make.
Razif, who is the BAM’s head of assessors unit, said that the coaches have been given free rein to draft their training programme and tournament schedule, which will project their plans on a quarterly basis.
Their main goal is to prepare a solid team for next year’s major tournaments – Thomas Cup Finals, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
Razif said that his team would monitor and assess their coaches’ plans. Currently, the only other member of the unit is former doubles chief coach Tan Kim Her.
“Our job is to assess the coaches’ programmes and the performances of players and coaches. We will not interfere with the day-to-day running of their programme,” said Razif.
“We will give opinions and review the coaches’ programmes but at the end of the day, the coaches will have to call the shots and justify their decisions. They will be accountable for the decisions they make.
“We will report to the president (Tengku Tan Sri Mahaleel Tengku Ariff) on our assessments. The coaches have targets to meet and they will have to prepare their plans towards achieving excellence in several major tournaments.”
Tengku Mahaleel is currently acting as the Talent Management Group (TMG) director following former international Tan Aik Mong’s decision to step down after 18 days on the job.
To show that he means business as an assessor, Razif said that he would not interfere in the men’s doubles coaches’ decision to mix and match the doubles players.
The future of the country’s third pair Lim Khim Wah-Goh V Shem is uncertain but Razif said he would let men’s doubles coaches Paulus Firman and Pang Cheh Chang make the call whether the pair should be split or retained.
“The coaches will decide who will partner whom but they should justify it and set a goal for these new pairs. It is entirely up to them. We want the coaches to take ownership and not allow players to dictate terms. Players should respect their coaches’ decisions.”
Razif said it was important to put a proper system in place.
“I believe, under the current approach, we will tighten our coaching and training programme. All the coaches are chosen to be in the national team and they know their responsibilities. Now, our job is to encourage them to be creative in their methods and produce results. The results of their players in international tournaments will show whether the coaches are doing things the right way,” he added.