Badminton has always been my favourite sport. I used to play as a hobby before I started taking it more seriously. Whenever I watched my idols play on TV, I was inspired by seeing them work hard to make Malaysia more well known worldwide as a force in badminton. I’ve also met so many of my closest friends from playing and travelling over the years.
When I was a young aspiring player, I always really looked up to Lee Chong Wei as a role model. He’s always shown me the right attitude for training and competition. His courage and determination have inspired many players to overcome their ups and downs, including myself. He’s also never failed to share his knowledge of the game with the younger players.
My favourite piece of advice is that your next shot is always more important than your last mistake.
This saying motivates me to think positively in all areas of my life, not just in sport. Wherever I’m playing, I always want to be better and be the best.
If I had to say what my career highlight is so far, it would have to be winning the 2018 Russian Open. Nothing beats the feeling of winning a whole tournament. Of course, my ultimate goal is to be Olympic champion!
However, my favourite tournament every year is always in Indonesia. The spirit of the supporters there is always extraordinary and very different from the others I’ve experienced over the years. I hugely enjoy it every time I play there.
On the other hand, I’ve had my fair share of challenging times too. Dealing with life as a professional player is my greatest challenge.
You only have yourself to rely on and so you need to be extra disciplined to make it work.
My day always starts with nutrition, supplements, training and exercise. My nutrition and supplements help to keep me full of energy when I’m training. Whenever I’m training on court, I tend to focus more on my speed, agility and endurance. But when I work out in the gym or go jogging that’s more just to improve my general fitness.
It’s so important to get a good balance between your physical and mental health. To me, mental health isn’t just about being in a good state of mind but also knowing and having the tools to help yourself when your state of mind isn’t so good.
For example, after a bad match I’ll calm myself down first. Then I can talk to my partner and coach about my mistakes so I can improve them for the next match. It’s ok to allow yourself to feel disappointed, as long as you don’t let it affect you for too long. I always try to get myself into a positive mindset: to never give up and not let any problems affect my performance.
I always think that to play well you need to understand your opponent. Make your opponent move and run around the court to confuse and tire them. Always plan your next move and force your opponent to play your style of game. It’s also really important to prepare your game plan well with your partner.
A lot of professional players don’t like the amount of travelling we have to do, but it feels routine and natural for me because I’ve been doing this since I was 13 years old.
When I’m not playing badminton, I enjoy watching football and Ultimate Fighting Championship on the TV. I also love to watch movies and get plenty of sleep!
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