How to handle your feelings if you`ve been tricked in badminton

Greysia Polii badminton athlete

Have you ever been tricked and been frustrated or angry after that? Do you feel foolish because of it and cannot manage your feelings? You liked what happened on court but don`t like that it happened with you? This article will help you understand and manage those feelings to overcome your frustration and focus on the next rally. Deception at its best is spectacular for spectators, unexpected for the opponent and it can be finished with a winner or at least increase the chance of winning the rally. When it happens, spectators might say that it was a misread of the movement but I would rather say it was a correct read of an irregular or illogical movement. It is a big difference if I made a mistake or my opponent was outsmarting me.

What a trick is?

A trick is a break of the pattern you are reading from your opponent. An unexpected move from a position you would normally not receive from your opponent or a quick racket movement you are not familiar with and not sure how this could happen. One more aspect of a trick, when you have seen such a trick, you are also using it but does not ready for it for some reason. It could happen if you are out of balance, getting into a position too late or too early, or, the opponent slowing down or breaking its fluent move and keep waiting while your muscles get tight and cannot move anywhere.

The psychology behind

When it happens to us, we instantly feel shame and fear. Shame is alright because we may think “Ohh how could I be so dumb?!”. Of course, with years shame will become irrelevant. But fear is more interesting. What do we fear? If it happens before a large audience or in front of our team or our people, the person could feel fear of losing connections. Because this is why we are all here, to be connected with others while playing and competing in badminton. Furthermore, if a person coming from an environment where respect is given by authority and not earned by actions can take it personally. In this case, pride does not let them overcome this feeling. So if someone starts being rude after a trick happened with them, now you know what`s going on, so please do not take their frustration personal. Be smart and focus on the next rally. Their frustration could become your advantage if you keep focusing on the game.

What should I do after it happens to me?

Important to keep your thoughts positive, even if it`s praising your opponent`s shot. If you made the mistake then you need to take more care of your previous shot(s) to avoid getting into this situation again. Otherwise, learn the pattern, remember how your opponent could do this and prepare to respond for that shot. Apologies to yourself and accept you can be vulnerable. You are allowed to make mistakes. Accept that you cannot be at your best every time and you can be better next time. And lastly, accept the challenge your opponent gave you and when the right moment comes, deceive them then.

What I would not recommend to you is to try to return the favour in the next rally. It is less likely to succeed and only creating more frustration, then the feeling of being defeated comes too early, even if the match is still ongoing.

Final recommendation

Smile. the best thing you can do. It was a good one. Admit you have been fooled and understand it does not mean that you are a fool. Do not take it personally as it creates loads of unnecessary feelings which taking away your focus. Remember your original goal, why you are in this competition or team match and keep your thoughts on this track. Remember to trust your abilities and decisions. All the hard work and commitment you did to being there on court playing this match. You supposed to be there no matter what others have seen. Believe you are worthy of love. Stay strong and smile.

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