“I’m often asked by a sports competitor “How can I practice the mental side of the game?” My response is simple and I hope a little eye opening. The psychology of sport is continuous. It never stops. It happens every second you play and every second you practice. It beats away in the background as you compete and as you take the time to develop your skills. You are ALWAYS practicing the mental side of sport. Every response you have counts. Your inner reply to action is duly noted by your brain and body…every single time! Every time you choose to focus on the present moment counts. Every time you succumb to distraction counts. Every time you pass with confidence counts. Every time you shoot with hesitation counts. Every time you use your self-talk counts. Every time you use your body language counts. Every time you give in counts. Every time you accept what’s out of your control counts. Every time you’re patient counts. Every time you fail to utilise the positive stress that flows through your body before competitive play counts. Every time you fail to find that intensity sweet-spot counts. Every time you etch the negative play into your brain and nervous system counts. It all counts! Everything counts! The psychology of sport is continuous.”
What the above means for a badminton player would be like every shot you make, every step you make, every good shot or your faults counts. Focus on the task until the session is over and then evaluate. Because you make some mistakes it does not mean you are bad. Every top player makes mistakes, some of them make tonnes of mistakes caused by taking too many risks, unnecessarily. But you cannot see those because they have learnt how to manage to be behind the shuttle and can escape and win. All these things require patience. A lot. So be resilient, put up your #badmintonface, accept self-pity is just a thing and beat it with little rewards to your soul. A bite of chocolates would do.
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