How impatience made me patient

badminton player in an emotional valley

I found an interesting topic at my LinkedIn Feed where Dan talking about what costs we need to pay if we want to take an opportunity. I remember when I was on the journey to get closer to my physical best, I did not consider whether something costs too much energy or not, I just did it on my careless way. I was battered many many times. I thought it will become better if I trying to push my limits further by repeating the same craziness more. Well… You might already know guys that it did not end up well.

I have always crashed out in the 1st or the 2nd round, competition after competition and my frustration just got bigger and deeper. My impatience caused me to behavioural issues. I have started yelling, losing focus and accidentally I broke a racket (not proud of it). I felt strong but mentally so fragile and seemed like there is no way out. That`s made everything even worse. I was so nervously tried to perform shots to win that I did not see that winning is not about perfect shots. This helicopter effect went around for many long years.

I realised later that it does not a matter that a single shot could be effective, isolated if it could not be applied against a decent player. A strong smash saved is just an average smash. A good netshot returned is just an average netshot. I was missed the moment when I did step up a level where everybody else could do things that I did. I became average – which now I know was not a problem at all – and that felt disappointing. It was so disarming and felt like I cannot attack anymore. My play was full of neutral shots and I did not like that. All my early years in badminton told me that my superpower lies in my thunderous smash and it is all gone.

So I have had to change all of my movements to an energy-efficient version which took years of search for the right techniques and lots of practice. In turn, as a side effect, it made my whole game different. It allowed me to think clearer and gave me more options. It provides me time, vision and opportunities which were hidden before. After many years, while my body cannot cope with my past physical performance, I became smarter. I can feel more secure on the court alone or with a partner and – most of the times – I can carefully taking a risk not to pay too much cost for opportunities.

It was a long fight alone against impatience, but it brought me the long-awaited patience to be able to smartly dominate the game. Let`s see what Dan have to say about it!

The below post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at

“Looking out of my office window I’ve just seen a face in the cloud. I see those faces all the time. Why? Because we have evolved to distinguish faces…to see the face of a foe in amongst the woods, the trees or the shrubs…or to read the signals a face displays.

Our nervous system is an old, old beast. It’s designed to intertwine with our environment…to spot opportunity AND the costs within those opportunities. And this is a key message…the costs within the opportunity.

So when a full-back sees an opportunity to make an explosive run down the sideline to get on the end of a cross field pass the full-back will likely take this opportunity. But when it’s the 80th minute and the metabolic cost of exploiting such an opportunity feels high…then the full-back might be slightly slower to take that opportunity or may not even take it at all.

Can you see what I’m saying? Can you picture it? Can you see it with reference to your sport…whether that be soccer or rugby or basketball or football…or any other sport.

“I know I need to tackle more aggressively”…”I may hurt myself”
“I know I need to practice with greater quality”…”That feels hard to do”

Within every opportunity lies cost, something your body is constantly scanning for. This is why you need mental skills!”

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