Second Best

Malaysian are very tolerant and forgiving. Not like they are not good virtues. But it is because of this attitude that we have to always, conveniently settle for the second best. And live with it. Though the thorn sticks out from under our mattress and causing us much distress and discomfort.
It is not only about badminton that we have extended this attitude. It is also about our government, our system, and the slip—shot finishes we get from our renovation contractors. We even compromise our own education system preferring to issue harmful racial quotas, than to give it to the deserving. So, what are all these reassurances about when nothing good comes out of it?
Words of encouragement can be crude, or it can be comforting. But when words gets too cuddly, the players will continue to bask themselves with self consolation and always think that they are right. But are they?
Why are we forever hoping that the second best can become the best by slow nurture and words of comfort? We habitually reassure each other that we are fine, thinking that would be helpful, but pay for our mistakes continuing to believe in the reasons our mechanic gave us when our car had broken down thrice because he is really not competent enough to fix our car. Yet we let our ‘take-it-easy chin chai’ attitude compromises our expectations that it has become affixed into our culture, glaring enough especially amongst the Chinese community. Why don’t we make more effort to pick the best then chuck the rest? But rather, hung on as usual to bygone players? Why can’t we inculcate succession plans in every sport not only one? And what happened to Shalin Zulkifli when we comforted her with a datukship title ? Why didn’t we hang on to Nurul Huda Abdullah? We have formidable world class football players in the 70s. What happened to the likes of Chow Chee Keong, Santokh Singh and Mokhtar Dahari?
Why aren’t our former national players be tasked for national service to nurture the younger ones full time like what the Chinese and Indonesians does? Overbudget? No. I thought perhaps just like politics, we are all too caught up with glorifying one race, than to breed patriotism through sports. The same way we did to education and the rest.
It’s our sickness that fan pages are swarming with more words of encouragement than punishing them for their underperformance. As three time Olympians, can I also assume that their losing is deliberate since many of you can assume that they have tried their best?
In the words of Datuk Lee Chong Wei :—
‘Every sportsmen suffers from injury at one time or another. But the most important thing is not to carry this to your opponent’s knowledge and do your best to hide it and also not to aggravate the injury.’
Well said.
Thus, to me, if they really feel they are not up to it, why put their own self at risk? So as to tarnish their own good record and risk the confidence of their sponsors? That is being childish. And why aren’t yearly allocations in sports covers the players and athletes well being? Instead of finding them searching for personal sponsors, and the need to break off from national hold? As usual, it’s about race isn’t it?
To the players, think hard and discern even harder.
The name of the game is to attack in the first game and widen the gap. Then put pressure on your opponent by maintaining that winning gap. When it comes to the second game, it is time to attack and end it. You have a better chance winning by attacking than to play a defensive game in the second. And finish the opponents off in a straight game. But if by chance your luck is not so good , you still have the rubber. Get it? This is so simple, yet both of you are playing three consecutive games losing six conservative sets with the same kind of tactics? No wonder lah. If you could call that a mistake, I can also regard it as immaturity. If not, I am so surprised considering an Olympian both of you are, that you only have one tactic up your sleeves throughout three qualifying heats. What a load of nonsense!
Well, both of you can continue to drown in the sweetness of your loyal fans, if that is the purpose you keep your fans for. If you ask me, I’m afraid you are catching the wrong end of the stick. The number of likes does not translate to support. Most of the time, they are but obligatory, and swarm with opportunists. The rest are sex maniacs trying to seek attention by being tolerating. And if you think my advice is kind enough, it is high time you learn how to distinguish between numbers that work and numbers that gives you a sense of false hope.
Otherwise, do consider retiring.
Mistakes and experiments are for off—court training purposes. But when you are on court, mistakes and experiments are no longer tolerable, especially in the Olympics , because at the end of the day, the end result doesn’t need explanation. You don’t need to give reasons why you lose. It shows in the result. That’s all there is.
And do not console yourself that you have lost to a better pair. They are all underperforming pairs to reckon a fight if you ask me. And both of you are expected to sail through. But both of you underplayed and your fitness level as athletes are questionable. Not like you weren’t given sufficient time to realise the game’s schedule. If you need to train, you could have appealed to our Olympic committee to be given a chance to prepare despite the lockdown. If our government cannot understand this, then down with the government as well.
But if you guys still wanted to be counted as a formidable pair and repair the dent on your record, overhaul your attitude, recharge your physique, train your mind, and start focusing on constructive criticism to win.
But to me, as a three time Olympian, to make mistakes like this, I think it’s better you both make way for younger players.”