New Delhi: Badminton players and coaches are a usual sight on the court, especially in the singles category. Although one player is breaking this notion for four years now.
World number 5 Chou Tien-Chen plays without an official full-time coach for nearly four years.
After leaving his coach, Chou has reached more than 10 finals in this span and won a bronze medal at the 2022 World Championships.
The decision to not have a coach is surprising among Asian players as most of the top players in present and past have their coaches. Although the move of not having a coach is working well for Chou given his recent success.
Talking to the Olympic channel in a video, Chou said, “I know I can strengthen my mind. Sometimes it is difficult for me to see or control what coaches are saying.”
Using belly dancing and pilates
Chou Tien-Chen instead of a coach works with his physiotherapist, Victoria Kao.
Operating without a coach, Chou has incorporated belly dancing and pilates in his training regime given the nature of both physical routines. Talking to the media at India Open, Chou said,” Both these routines have similar movements like badminton and it helps me with my footwork and body control.”
Working with Victoria Kao has improved his reach on the badminton court. Talking to AFP in an interview Victoria said, ” My primary role is to maintain his health and character on the court so that he can keep pushing himself.”
Victoria can be seen cheering vociferously for Chou during his matches.
“I also act as his motivational assistant. I am always there to lift him emotionally and help him control his emotions when needed. Win or loss, I try to keep him in a good space,” the physiotherapist told AFP.
Life Beyond Badminton
Chou is known for his work beyond badminton in his native country of Chinese Taipei. He has been actively involved with kids with special needs.
Apart from helping disabled kids, Chou has taken badminton to the far islands of Taiwan and children who are living away from the big cities.
He hopes that through his work more kids take up badminton and Chinese Taipei can produce more champion players like him in future.
Chou Tien Chen crashed out in the quarter-finals of India Open 2023 after losing a marathon match against World number 4 Jonatan Christie which went on for 75 minutes. He will feature next in Indonesia Masters 2023.