Badminton: Jones gives the thumbs up for Finals prep

KUALA LUMPUR: High performance director Dr Tim Jones has given the thumbs up on the team’s preparation for the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals.

The former National Sports Institute (NSI) senior physiologist Jones has been juggling with different tasks to keep the team together since he was appointed by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) on April 1.

He designed the centralized training camp for the teams for the Finals, scheduled from May 8-15 in Bangkok, Thailand.

“It has been a good experience for me to see how everyone works together. There are different groups, with independent players, including Lee Zii Jia, Liew Daren, Ong Yew Sin-Teo Ee Yi coming in and out but all are friends here, ”said Jones after the final day of the camp yesterday.

“We tried to be as open as possible. Zii Jia and Daren had their specific training plans. As we have the Asian Championships in between (before the Finals), we had been flexible to allow different kind of schedules.

“But when we get to Bangkok, all of us can be really focused as there will be less distraction on individual event.”

Jones, however, admitted there were challenges when he took over.

“One of the challenges was time, I had a short time to prepare this camp. We had to deal with different players, different coaches and different priorities. Of course, there were headaches but I’ve learned to be flexible a bit, “he said,

“I had to look at different areas, like the Covid-19 SOPs, the preparation for the Thomas-Uber Cup Finals, Vietnam SEA Games, and there are other players in the squad too.

“I need to deliver results but it can’t be done without the right processes, so I’ve been focusing on several things, especially to keep players safe so that they can perform at the highest level.”

The presence of Jones has also lessened some of the administrative burdens on singles and doubles coaching directors Wong Choong Hann and Rexy Mainaky respectively.

“I’m able to take some of the responsibilities in terms of the team’s preparation so that Choong Hann and Rexy, who are specialists in their respective fields can focus on coaching the players.

“By getting the structure right, we will not waste time on other things and, all of us can be more efficient in our respective roles.”

One of the new things that Jones will be implementing is to record players’ heartbeat in tournaments and he plans to start with the Asian Championships in Manila next week.

“By doing this, we can have better understanding of our players. We will know whether our players are training at the right level or not, ”he said.

We can use the information to eventually ensure that they will be able to maintain their fitness level consistently. Just look at how Thailand’s world No. 1 pair Dechapol (Puavaranukroh) and Sapsiree (Taeratanachai) have been consistent at the top level. ”

Briton Jones is a qualified sports scientist, having done a PhD thesis on the development of Olympic youth sailors.

He previously worked with the world renowned British sailing team as the physiologist and sports scientist.

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