KUALA LUMPUR: Some were in tears. A few vomited. And there was pain and humiliation for some too.
But, at the end of the three-day motivation and training camp in Kuching on Sunday, national badminton chief coach Rexy Mainaky only has renewed respect for his doubles players.
For Rexy, the camp for the 16 men’s and women’s doubles player was a success.
He felt that the players had come out of it with more confidence and showed strong character in enduring hardship.
And that, he said, would take the players far as they try to establish themselves as reliable players for the country this year.
All his four elite players — Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong and Mohd Fairuzizuan Mohd Tazari-Mohd Zakry Abdul Latif — received the thumbs-up sign yesterday.
Rexy said Boon Heong had finally come out of his cocoon.
“He has been in the shadows of Koo. This time, he took the lead. He showed positive traits in his attitude,” said Rexy.
“In team activities, he would always choose Koo as his partner. He showed that he has complete trust and faith in Koo. And that is good for their partnership.
“Koo was the captain. He showed great confidence and did his best to lead the group. He joked and said that he understood the job of a coach better.
“There was so much of improvement in Zakry and Fairuzizuan too. Zakry showed that he had the self-belief that anything was possible while Fairuz gave total focus.”
Rexy highlighted a few activities planned by National Sports Institute (NSI) psychologist Frederick Tan that tested the true characters of the players.
“On the day they arrived, all the players had their faces painted in black. Then, they were sent to have meals at a shopping mall. It was quite embarrassing but the players went through it,” said Rexy.
“Fred placed several packets of RM1.50 in several rubbish bins at the mall.