Olympics 2024: ‘I’m no magician, I just want our athletes to succeed’, says S’wakian sports psychologist

Frederick Tan

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Feb 23: Sports psychologist Frederick Tan asserted that he is no ‘magician’ as he only wants to see the nation’s athletes succeed.

With over 30 years of experience under his belt, Tan, who was brought in by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) to assist their athletes competing in the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, has been involved in prepping many top-class athletes, including badminton legend Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

Tan said despite his short working period with the shuttlers, he hoped to instil positive magnetic energy into their mindsets and boost their confidence.

He said that there is no ‘Midas Touch’ to succeed with five months to go to the much-anticipated international sporting event. Instead, it will be regimental, with sacrifices, commitment, and discipline from the athletes.

“It is important that athletes have the mental strength and willpower to walk along the pathway of a champion,” he told DayakDaily when interviewed.

Tan emphasised as time is of the essence, he needs to work hard to instil mental strength into the athletes and gain their trust.

“Then, I will spark the fire in them, and through this, I hope to give them that solid mental strength to be the ultimate athlete,” he said.

Tan stressed that mental strength comes from within and is more than just the talk of winning.

“As high-performance mental coaches and psychologists, we see many things, athletes winning or losing, so there is always a goal and a window of opportunity open for them.”

Tan believed athletes with positive mental strength would ultimately be winners.

“Accept the pain and give 110 per cent commitment. If you fail the 10 per cent, you still have the 100 per cent commitment there.

“As a Sarawakian from the small town of Kapit, I am glad I could contribute to the country. I hope it makes the people and badminton fans of Kapit town and Sarawak proud, too,” he said.

Tan obtained his degree in psychology in the USA and is currently a partner in a Miri-based electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) training centre specialising in mental performance. — DayakDaily