The layers of trust in doubles – Discovery – part 1 of 6


The other day, I was listening to a badminton podcasts where the participants have discussed that a good relationship is important in doubles between the players.

I found that vague and I want to break it down to you to understand HOW you can define and then build a good relationship with your doubles partner.

The way I have learned

When I was 17 I was amazed by a local duo who could cover all the little corners of the court. A skinny and athletic guy, they have had no brutally strong smashes nor lots of tricks.

But they were consistently everywhere. I was wondering about how they could do that? Everyone has said: Because they have played so much with each other.

But it did not make any sense to the 17-year-old-me as I knew already there are rules of the rotation in doubles.

“If you keep these rules, you can do it with anybody!” I thought.

It was an unquestionable theory from my point of view at that time. But reality put me back to my place and shown several times how it won`t work.

After that, I started studying the relationship bond between players for many many years and have tried many things but those did not bring me the required clarity.

During these times, I`ve done level 1 coaching qualifications in 2 countries and still have not found answers.

Also started to read psychology textbooks for different reasons but learnt a lot about myself and my thoughts and feelings.

And then someone asked me about…

And then someone asked me about a situation of what to do. (Lauren Smith performed it on a Legends’ vision but it still counts as it represents this agony which leads you to untrust your partner or overtrusts your own skills.)

I believe this situation representing pretty well what is the most important mental skill for doubles. Here is the situation.

I said to the guy:

“You will not be able to cover this alone. You cannot cover both, the front and the rear. You don`t have time to do anything.

Accept your vulnerability and let the trick happen to you, in this way you can neutralize it.

You must trust in your partner who needs to cover this. Stay at the front. Otherwise, you will lose the point and eventually your partner`s trust, which will lead you two to lose the match.”

Imagine, you are at your base position in the middle of your half-court and prepared to defend that half. You have 2 options:

  1. You choose to be in the agony of losing control over the rear so you won`t move forward. Then you realize what could happen at the front-court and you will freeze from little bit of a shock of losing. And then, for a fraction of a second, your muscles got a bit tight so wherever the shuttle goes, you will be behind. Your opponent will score.
  2. Let it happen, move forward. Accept your vulnerability and TRUST your partner`s abilities. So the front will be covered and when you move forward, the rear court becomes covered by your partner.

End of part one. Click here for part 2.

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References and external links

I am a vivid psychology lover and always interested in how performance builds up and my interest is not limited to sports. Below I wanted to make a collection of links which are helped me to understand the layers of trust in Badminton. Please see links to the articles here:

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