The central role of parents in youth sports

Drop off kid to badminton

“As coaches we need to recognise that the parents contribute a great deal and play an essential role. Without parental support, the opportunities afforded to kids to participate in youth sports become far more limited. In some cases participation is just not viable when parental support is not available or forthcoming.

There is however a sweet spot when it comes to parental involvement. On the one hand, parental support is crucial in affording the young athlete the opportunity to participate and pursue their goals in the sport. On the other, parental involvement can be a source of friction and may add to the pressure of competing, with adverse consequences in terms of both the young athlete’s experience and their participation in the long term.

The degree of influence that parents have on the young athlete’s experience when participating in youth sports is significant, and is akin to that of a coach. As talent identification processes become more evolved, notably the recent shift to consider ‘psychological talent predictors’, it follows that examination of parental support and the health of the athlete-parent relationship likewise represent critical factors for sporting organisations to consider for selection.

From my own experience overseeing academy and youth programmes in both professional sport and with national sporting organisations, we gave a great deal of attention to evaluating the parents as one of the critical success factors used to assess young athletes’ long term potential. Our evaluation of parental involvement and influence in different cases ranged from potential liability to major prospective asset.

Given the crucial role of the parent in the process, it seems nonsensical that whilst we cater for the education of sport coaches, we do not typically equip parents with the awareness and understanding to operate successfully in this space. More enlightened individuals and groups have started to make efforts to address the lack of resources directed towards parents, but this movement is still very much in its infancy.”

See the rest of the article here. The above post is written by Gordon MacLelland. Further information available at https://www.wwpis.co.uk/


We, at Sunrise Badminton Network, believe in the importance of this relationship and we would like to open up as many channels as we can to our strategic alliances. We are #strongertogether.


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Is badminton mindset equals tactics?

Hanebado-badminton-mindset

I have created a poll on Reddit to see what people think about mindset in badminton. Please take part in the survey and leave your vote here: https://www.reddit.com/r/badminton/comments/j9tmkj/is_mindset_tactics/


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Why you feel right after hit that your shot will be wrong or right

NitchaonJindapolBadmintonAthlete

When I first met this sensation long before this article on Science alert, I did not understand it. It confused me really. How is that possible that I made a shot, the shuttle just left my racket and I knew it will be out or in? I knew it before it passed the net towards my opponent`s court.

I was thinking about it how to make an advantage of it. I mean I could not describe it to anyone what it really is but I knew it is real. I felt it in every direction, at every type of touches to the shuttle whether it is a tap, push or a whip-like movement. I knew it before it has landed like at least 90% accuracy. Years passed and then last year this article came towards me and I felt like DAMN! I knew it! 😀

It has an undesired effect on mindset because your calculation based on your sensation is right most of the time so a mistake can pull you down even when still there is a chance to be wrong and carry on with the rally.

Anyway, it is real everybody, proven by science. Read their article below or check it out on their website here.


The Human Brain Can Locate The Sensation of Touch Even Beyond The Body. Here’s How

DAVID NIELD 30 DECEMBER 2019

Our brains are capable of detecting the location of touch even when it’s not directly on the body, new research shows. An intriguing new study indicates that we can sense how an object we’re holding comes into contact with something else – almost as if it were an extension of ourselves.

If you’re holding a stick that you then use to tap something else, for example, the brain appears to activate a special set of neural sensors to work out what just happened using the vibration patterns as they’re sent through our nervous system.

Of course if something we’re holding is touched, we can feel the shift in pressure as it’s passed on to our fingers – but this latest study shows how we can also figure out the exact location of the contact on the object.

“The tool is being treated like a sensory extension of your body,” neuroscientist Luke Miller, from the University of Lyon in France, told Richard Sima at Scientific American.

Across 400 different tests, Miller and his colleagues got 16 study participants to hold wooden rods, and asked them to try and determine when two taps on those rods were made in locations close to each other.

And the volunteers were surprisingly good at it: they could recognise two touches in close proximity 96 percent of the time.

During the experiments, the researchers were also using electroencephalography (EEG) equipment to record the participants’ brain activity. These scans showed that the brain uses similar neural mechanisms – specifically in the primary somatosensory cortex and the posterior parietal cortex – to detect touches on both our own skin and on objects we’re holding.

We can probably identify the location of a touch on an object before it stops vibrating, the researchers suggest; this could happen in as short a time as 20 milliseconds, based on computer models the team ran as a follow-up to the main experiment.

This isn’t a completely new idea – think of visually impaired people using a cane to sense what’s around them – but no one has previously looked into what’s happening in the brain in so much detail before.

It seems that the brain is able to decode the vibrations as they come through certain nerve endings in our skin, called the Pacinian receptors. By receiving information from these receptors in our hands, the brain parts responsible can then figure out where an object is being hit – and the researchers think we may have even adapted the way we hold tools to get better feedback on what those tools are doing.

One area where this research might be useful is in changing the way prostheses are designed: if we understand how objects between the body and the rest of the world can pass on information to our brain, we might be able to make them work better as sensors.

The work builds on previous research from the same team into how objects can act as extensions to our body, but now we know more about what’s going on inside the brain when this weird phenomenon happens.

“We show that tools are fundamental to human behaviour in a previously underappreciated way: they expand the somatosensory boundaries of our body at the neural level,” write the researchers in their published paper.

“Hence, rather than stopping at the skin, our results suggest that somatosensory processing extends beyond the nervous system to include the tools we use.”

The research has been published in Current Biology.


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Having a relationship within a pair

zhang-n-zhao-badminton-athletes

I think this is a topic we must take the courage to talk about. This can sensitively affect players’ lives but if we keep silent, even worse affections can happen in young people`s lives without any kind of narrative or control to direct them in such a decision. I am personally not against love or a relationship so please don`t get me wrong. I am the person who takes performance goals seriously and gets annoyed if someone wants to turn my passion in another direction. Badminton, as any other sports requires a clear mind and what love doing with us is just the complete opposite. This article is about doubles partners. Sometimes, they may start a relationship with each other and these always have side effects on their performance.

How do good mixed doubles pairs meet?

Have you ever wondered at any time of your career: How do good pairs meet?

And then you struck by a bunch of related questions, like Have they met at the same club? They must be very lucky if they are originated from the same club. Was that an easy and quick thing to figure it out that they`re a match? Who found this out? Was the coach or their parents? How much time they have spent with each other before they have reached their first big title? What if that no one is good enough to me in my club to thrive or what if I am not good enough to deserve a good pair throughout in my whole career? Is my coach good enough in finding someone could be my match or even find out the fact that I am special whether if I am currently performing low? How could I meet someone who is as determined as me in badminton?

I found a good example of a top-level duo here, read it carefully because it is mentioning some vital things:

(Yuta Watanabe, male player) “I started playing when I was seven because both my parents played badminton and baseball, so I wanted to try both. My badminton was better, so I decided to stick to that.

yutarisa badminton athletes
Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino – Badminton Athletes

I didn’t play very well in elementary school or junior high, but I became No. 1 in the whole of Japan in my first year of high school. That was a very special feeling; being No. 1 and I wanted to keep being the best, so I turned professional.”

“My mixed doubles partner, Arisa Higashino, and I went to the same high school but she’s a year older than me. We are really good friends and I can talk to her about anything… I don’t have anything I dislike about her. She’s perfect.”

I would be going to this idea that their respect level in each others direction is sky high and that sounds like a good start. Respect based on the Cambridge dictionary is admiration felt or shown for someone or something that you believe has good ideas or qualities. See more here. Another dictionary emphasized the word as the esteem of the other. I believe, first, you should esteem yourself and second, now you are okay to find another person who can reflect the same towards your direction.

What makes a mixed pair a good pair?

Their technical proficiency or their tactical intelligence?

Physical abilities are important to reach a good level of technical proficiency.

You must be able to perform shots with a sustainably efficient technique during a game to save energy but maintain accuracy. Physical abilities are also responsible for avoiding mistakes related to stamina and strength. There are things you can control, like racket carriage, movements, the orientation of the body, but you have limited impact on your other physical abilities like your vision (how your eye as an organ function) or other conditions which could affect your physical performance (ocular/visual migraine, asthma, lung or heart conditions, overall flexibility just to mention a few).

Tactical intelligence is rather a way of learning the paths in playing badminton to your favourite situations against any pair you would meet.

Where you can perform at your best. Whether the opponent is well-known by you or an unknown young prodigy. The lack of physical abilities can cause numerous tactical mistakes like impatience, overuse of shots, change of intensity or become defensive instead of maintaining an aggressive style.

But what I believe elevates a good badminton pair above average is a similar badminton mindset. Similar beliefs, similar goals and similar attitudes bring them together to reach higher levels, get great achievements and incredible titles.

Kim is married to his former mixed doubles partner Ra Kyung-min, and in July 2007 they had a son named Han-wool.

Strong mindset makes good pairs outstanding. If you have seen lots of badminton tournaments at some part of the world at International Challenge stages then you could see there are good players with beautiful and exciting techniques and admiring tactics but they are usually exiting the tournaments at early stages, or at least not reaching the finals. So they are never going to reach the top. Mindset is not thought widely at early ages so children often growing up without the correct mindset. They are not groomed properly by their coaches or their governing body is overlooked in this aspect of the sport.

Another topic regarding mindset not heard enough in badminton is the mental fatigue which eventually creates technical or tactical mistakes. If these situations are misdiagnosed, they are only creating more frustration and the player eventually decides to reduce stress and then give it up. This is how we squandering the next generation.

So when a good pair is met, how they think about the game, how much they respect each other will determine their relationship. You know, the human things, not the technical ones. Their current self may not a perfect match but it could change over time applying the right guidance. The coach`s job to understand its players on a deeper, emotional level and find a pair accordingly.

OMG , what is this feeling I am under when I play with him/her?

At my time at Budapest, we have had club nights at Uni every single weeknight. I remember once when I was going to training that some of the players started some gossips that someone seen someone else with another guy somewhere (you know how gossips are evolving..) and they have done some things with each other. I always ignored these topics as I thought that everybody is here to do badminton (falsely…). I was the badminton geek of them so I suppressed instantly every topic like that and started to focus back on badminton. I love the sport so much that I could hardly focus on anything else. That tells the story about my early relationships…

Anyway, when I played singles, I was fell in love with someone and I remember how did that affect my performance. When you are young and foolish, you think I play well/bad because the other, but later on (too lately) you realising that it was you all the time who ruined its own performance. When you made the decision that you will start a relationship with someone else outside badminton or a teammate, you need to understand that the other might slow down your development or might end your career, unconsciously.

Danish duo Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl are hoping that playing badminton wouldn’t become tough for them in countries like India, where homosexuality is a taboo.

But when love happens it is soooooo intense. You cannot think of anything else. You will turn into romantic on the court, instead of getting more aggressive and agile in your work during training. Love will block you to focus on things whether if it is important to you anyway. It is affecting every aspect of life requires focus. Your performance on and off school, even walking on the street could become unsafe.

I remember I nearly fell off from the top of a bunk bed in a training camp because of a teasing text message! [Author]

The excitement of a new type of connection shifting the ground and changing everything. Especially when there are girls or boys watching each other for a period of time and finally they just get a chance to open to a new stage of proximity. Because it is unknown territory, they think this is love – and it might be – but most of the time they are rather confused about sexual attraction. Which is not love. Believe me, for an athlete, it must be clear.

As I expressed it before I am not against love or a relationship at these ages, but if you have goals and those are important to you, you should consider whether you want a relationship or a career in badminton. Sooner or later it will affect your performance for sure. Life is hard and this situation will only make it harder. It is a different thing when you have someone, who does support you on your road, let you focus and train, no matter what and those someone will promote your goals in front of the relationship. So I believe it works better if nothing else considered serious in your life.

Of course, it does open up another chapter of an athlete`s life and it will be detailed in another post.

The effect of top-level badminton on us

The current top-level of badminton has a direct effect on the coming generations and how the conquering athletes behaving on and off the court, what they are doing with their lives creates thousands of followers. So top-level players can be inspiring and also unknowingly destructive.

I personally do not recommend to anyone who has dreams to perform at the highest level, to start a relationship with their partner. It eventually makes it hard to be with the other, losing your personal time and space, precious spots and a nice situation start getting into a choking one. It is vital to start discussing it early and teach kids this is not the way of reaching the top of badminton. For athletes, there are lots of things they need to focus on: nutrition, sleep times, personal recovery techniques, periods and their consequences on performance (girls/women), training preferences, sexual appetite, coaching preferences because of their own learning methods. If they start a relationship with the other then they will try caring more with the other in the sake of love and forgot their own needs.

“Owi is like a brother to me”

Quoting from the legendary Liliyana Natsir who paired up with Tontowi Ahmad and won the Olympics and many more top titles.

One thing to be attracted by the other, feel some vibe, can ease the pain sometimes and feels good. But it is another thing to start living with her/him with all the unknown behaviours which will eventually make difficulties within the pair and it will definitely affect their performance. It is okay if the coach and the pair find a consensus on how to manage this situation what can happen and cannot happen on the training sessions and at tournaments. If they set up all the rules early, and everybody agrees to keep them, then it could be okay for a while but it does not mean that these kinds of situations will not reappear.

Conclusion

Badminton is important. Such as love if it is real. It is confusing and you need to make the decision to give up your career and win love in turn or chase away feelings and focus on the thing you want the most. Avoid mixing them.

Try to know more about each other in line with respect, brotherhood, sisterhood. Cooperate, talk about strengths and weaknesses. Train together in a gym and on the court for the goal both of you want to achieve. Talk about mutual goals, the future steps and walk that road instead of a path through the swamp.

Having a relationship with a teammate or such is not the way to become a top player. Practice and commitment must come first to reach the top. In love, you may reach an incredible performance which is great but not consistent. Sorry, but it cannot justify the relationship.

As a first step, a relationship will take away from your recovery time and eventually start claiming your training times. Love is beautiful, so as high-performance badminton. Avoid regrets and ask your coach, mom or dad, whatever but speak up for help if badminton is precious to you.


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What athletes need to say about recovery

dotsiebaushplantbasedathlete

I have seen recently an informative documentary about how a predominantly plant-based diet can help you to reach your athletic performance and I realized I have seen this message before. In the first video below you can find a guy who is mad at nutrition and performance. In the second video, you can see the documentary about a guy who got seriously injured and looking after the ways how to speed up his recovery. Both are exciting! If you are keen on veggies and also keen on performance and its development factors then check them out!

There are many myths that are debunked in these videos about eating meat or being tired because of insufficient amount of nutrients, protein and carbohydrate consumed from plants.

I would like to emphasize that a healthy diet must be based on planning until it turns into good practice.

Do not turn your meals instantly plant-based without learning about it what is protein, why do you need it and the same with carbohydrates, nutrients, vitamins! You can and you may consume less meat periodically as you will find out the predominantly plant-based diet is actually serving your body and mind better.

All I am saying is to make the transition slow to bring out the best from you without injuries.

Find your athletic edge

Brendan Brazier at TEDxFremont finding the answer to how to become a better athlete.


The Game Changers

A UFC fighter’s world is turned upside down when he discovers an elite group of world-renowned athletes and scientists who prove that everything he had been taught about protein was a lie.
FULL MOVIE DOCUMENTARY #thegamechangers


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Support our teachers

badminton-teachers-2020

I found an inspiring content on LinkedIn which describes the difficulties of teachers these days. I hope they can all get into a position soon which will be less challenging on the virus and more challenging on fixing the climate.

Find the original post here on LinkedIn.


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Shuttle time!

Shuttle-Time-Badminton

I thought I need to start creating content for the future collaborations with teachers in South Warrington. There is an international initiative called “Shuttle time” which aim to “Giving every child the chance to play for life”.

In 2012 BWF launched Shuttle Time to the world. A schools badminton programme supporting the principle that children should lead a healthy and active life, both in and out of school. BWF’s goal is to make badminton one of the world’s most popular and accessible school sports.

Please see below their promotional video and find out more here.


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Anti-doping quiz – 10 of 20

wada play true badminton

How can you tell if nutritional supplements are safe to use?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: The supplement industry is not regulated and therefore you cannot be certain what substances/ingredients are in a supplement. Using supplements is always at your own risk. If the claims on the packaging sound too good to be true – it probably contains a substance prohibited in sport!


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Anti-doping quiz – 9 of 20

wada play true badminton

What if my physician has to treat me with some medicine?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: The physician should check if the medicine contains a prohibited substance. If it does, and if there is no other treatment possible, then the athlete has to ask for a Therapeutic Use Exemption with the documents justifying the treatment. Physicians do not always know about this process, so it is important you tell your physician that you are an athlete and that certain anti-doping rules apply to you.


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Anti-doping quiz – 8 of 20

wada play true badminton

Can my coach or someone I choose to come with me to the doping control station?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: An athlete can have someone, such as a parent, a coach, team official or physician, accompany him/her to the doping control station, if he/she wants. All minor athletes should have someone with them in the doping control station. If no one can accompany the athlete, the Doping Control Officer may choose someone to accompany him/her. An athlete can also have a language aid or interpreter if necessary and available.


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Anti-doping quiz – 7 of 20

wada play true badminton

Can I be tested?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: Anti-doping rules apply to all athletes, in all sports and all countries. Therefore, any athlete could potentially be tested.


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Anti-doping quiz – 6 of 20

wada play true badminton

What is doping?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: There is a list of all the substances and methods which are prohibited. Using any of these substances or methods is called doping. Doping is prohibited and sanctioned. A sanction can go from a reprimand all the way to never be allowed to compete in your sport again.


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Anti-doping quiz – 5 of 20

wada play true badminton

Can my coach or doctor be sanctioned?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: Under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), athletes and athlete support personnel alike may be sanctioned for an anti-doping rule violation. Athlete support personnel is defined as any coach, trainer, manager, agent, team staff, official, medical or para-medical personnel working with or treating athletes participating in or preparing for sports competition.


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Anti-doping quiz – 4 of 20

wada play true badminton

Who is responsible when a substance is found in an athlete’s body?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: The athlete is always responsible for what is found in his or her body, even if a banned substance was used by accident, or if somebody else provided the substance saying it is safe. This is referred to as the principle of strict liability. If an athlete is not 100% sure of the ingredients or not sure of the status of a substance – they should not take it before checking the Prohibited List, or asking their International Federation (IF) or National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO).


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Anti-doping quiz – 3 of 20

wada play true badminton

If a nutritional supplement is bought from a pharmacy (over-the-counter), it is definitely permitted in sport. True or false?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: All Samples may be stored for up to ten years and re-analyzed at any time during this period, which means previously undetectable substances may be found later on and athletes may be sanctioned and have their results disqualified well beyond the original testiTaking supplements and/or any substance is at your own risk. Many supplements contain prohibited substances. Because the supplement industry is not regulated in many countries, it is important to be completely confident you know what is inside the product. WORDS OF WISDOM: if it sounds too good to be True – it is probably prohibited! An alternative to using supplements is to adapt your nutritional program.


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Anti-doping quiz – 2 of 20

wada play true badminton

After I give a sample (blood and/or urine), for how long can it be stored and re-analyzed?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: All Samples may be stored for up to ten years and re-analyzed at any time during this period, which means previously undetectable substances may be found later on and athletes may be sanctioned and have their results disqualified well beyond the original testing date.


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Anti-doping quiz – 1 of 20

wada play true badminton

Why is doping banned?

Here is an anti-doping quiz to make all of you think how an elite athlete needs to consider what supposed or not supposed to be consumed to avoid a violation of the anti-doping rules of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency). Please do not cheat and test your knowledge before you see the answer below! Play true!

The quiz made by WADA, you can find it here and here for more quiz questions.


Clarification: Doping is banned for three major reasons: it is dangerous for the health, it is against the spirit of sport and it unfairly enhances performance.


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An example of ACL tear – Carolina Marin

ACL-Injury-Badminton

Carolina Marin is an Olympic champion (2016 Rio), three-time World champion (2014, 2015 and 2018), four-time European champion and former World’s No. 1 in BWF rankings for women’s singles. She holds the World No. 1 title for a record number of 66 weeks.

During the Daihatsu Indonesian Masters 2019, when Marin leads the finals with 9-2 against Saina Nehwal. She was retiring from the tournament as a result of ACL injury (tear of the anterior cruciate ligament). On clear observation of her play, the reason for the injury could be answered.

Below is critical analytics from a sports science perspective, done on her play and the contributing factors which resulted in the injury. Several times in the course of her gaming career she has been playing the attacking overhead shorts. But this time the result was ACL injury. The injury took place during an overhead attacking smash/ drive, but she has played these particular shorts many times.

Analytical description about the injury: Marin played a forehand attacking drive from the rear corner and opponent pushed the shuttle to right side midcourt. Marin went for an attacking smash with massive hop (about 1.5 meters) from the right foot from the midcourt to the right side of the court and landed on the right foot.

She landed on the heel with the extended knee (stiff leg landing), which produced the greater Vertical ground reaction force. Stiff leg landing with heel contact first along with knee extension are all the factors which contribute to a non-contact ACL injury. Another contributing factor is the flexion and abduction moment at the hip and forward translation of the body with shifting of weight to the right side during the landing created a resultant force. This resultant force and GRF (Ground Reaction Force) collectively caused for the more valgus (28°) at the knee joint. This collectively resulted in the ACL injury.

How can we prevent this injury?

When an injury occurring at top badminton players, it is often complex and cannot be explained easily. Lots of factors can happen like, not enough previous rest times causing tiredness, other mental factors causing loss of focus, nutritional fails (carbohydrate filling), overtraining. That’s all about top badminton. I am specifically not mentioning bad techniques at top players as these bad movements are already fixed in their early careers.

But, if we talk about amateur and leisure badminton players, this could be one of, if not the most relevant cause of the injury. When we are getting into the intensity of the game and feel forceful and unbeatable we tend to go above and beyond. Because we want to discover what else could be done, right? So we will try slightly new things which were not practised but look and feel awesome. But while we are flying in the air we realize, we do not know how to land and no idea how to recover. We also do not want to lose so we will improvise the solutions which also could end positively, most times it is. That`s all about the trained mind and muscles movements.

The other factor we tend to forget that our tendons, ligaments or joints also need the training, to make them stronger and keep them flexible which takes time. More time as training muscles. Means, when you try a new movement with full force, you often risking a major injury. It differs for everybody but my observation in myself that I need at least twice as many times as training a muscle. It also means that if I want to build muscles, I need to slow down, not using weights, only my body weight and try to find an exercise which carefully trains the movement supporters (tendons, ligaments, joints) whist you also train the movement triggers (muscles). Legs are usually getting the training quicker than my arms. Unfortunately, after the lockdown, I guess I`ve lost lots of flexibility from my beloved legs so I believe it will swap over. Or everything gets worse. 😀

Find out more about the injury here: https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/knee-pain/acute-knee-injuries/acl-sprain

Disclaimer

Stories shared on SBN Blog about injuries are for information only and those are a record of how did the author of the article get a specific injury. These posts cannot be used as a proposed treatment. Always follow what your Physio or Sports Doctor advising/prescribing to you. Sunrise Badminton Network assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered by the use or misuse of any of the information or content in the above post.


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It’s not like we are going to the Olympics, so there is no need to take this seriously

ayano-hanesaki-badminton-parents

“We” (parents) are not doing the sport. “He” or “she” is. And remember that 2 percent rate for NCAA scholarships? That statistic suddenly looks like a sure thing compared to the Olympics. So, you are correct, your child is not going to the Olympics. I say this not because I don’t think your child is talented. I say this because almost nobody’s child is going to the Olympics; so, the odds are that I am correct. Your child takes a sport seriously to learn discipline, how to be part of something bigger than herself and to challenge herself physically and emotionally. The process of taking it seriously is the gift of the sport. Joining a team teaches responsibility and commitment. Don’t lose that valuable lesson for your child.

See the rest of the article here. The above post is written by Anne Josephson. Further information available at huffpost.com.


Badminton is about to find joy in the shuttle, the racket and all the milieu it provides. Sounds, through body sensations, movements, the intensity of the rally, short breath, high blood pressure, sweating. Those all together make it fun, exciting and memorable. Minimum 2 people required to play the game means badminton is about connection. The sport itself can create lots of connections which could eventually become a friendship. It provides lots of time together with others you will remember for life. Through the training sessions, you will get disciplines which will help you through tough times even after your sports career. You may not be the best in the world, but you can become the person you always wanted to be.


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Helping our children navigate their return to sport

hanebado return to badminton

I found this and wanted to reblog this brilliant return guidance to sports by Gordon MacLelland. Please find the original post here. Below you can see the first part of the article.

I am sure in many houses around the world excitement is mounting as restrictions are lifted and some sports under new conditions are starting to allow children to train again. It has been a long slog and I am sure for lots of parents and coaches this cannot come soon enough.

There is no doubting that Covid-19 will have had an impact on all of us and our children, for some in a more positive or negative way than others. As we head back towards some form of normal routine, we should not underestimate the impact it may have had on our young people.

As they return to sport, some may be very nervous about seeing people again, some maybe anxious that their performance levels may have dropped, and some may well not display the same enthusiasm that they once showed.

I am sure there will be many young sportspeople who simply will get back and soon enough fall back into their usual routine and behaviours.

We all still have a choice however and just because restrictions are being lifted does not mean that it sits comfortably with everyone. You must feel comfortable as a family that returning to your children’s sport is the right thing to do, regardless of the pressure that you may feel from others.  This is difficult I know for both parents and children, but the choice is there for you.”

Want to see more? Click here.


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Layers of trust in doubles – My partner`s trust in me – part 5 of 7

Coach Frank plays Badminton

The end of the previous article: “I`m sure because we are all different, you would need other or more answers about your partner before a game. I would go with these and in the first 10 points, those answers will probably come and help to maintain a positive balance of trust.”

So it is my turn. I do not think it would be difficult. I know what I want from my partner so I just need to make sure I do the same thing. In rare cases, I might be right if I believe this. But there is a good chance that my partner`s requirements will vary compared to mine.

First of all, I do not think this could go without, at least, a slight confrontation. We need to understand that is critical to say to our partner: “Could you avoid trickshots at the net, we have lost the last 3 points so we need consistency now. Just make a netshot to force them to lift and we can control them with an attack.” You might think then: ” Does (S)he not trust in me, or my trickshots? But these shots do work and deceive the opponent and force a weak return at least so we can win the next rally! It will give us hope and boost up adrenaline and…” In this case, you are not listening to the opponent, your partner and your body.

Is that a coincidence that I missed those trickshots? I know I am good at those but what is happening with me? why those are not working, let`s give it another go, it must work! Are these shots not working against that pair? Should I play these shots later if we made them tired? If I continue those shots will that put our performance into risk? (oh yes) What if I not taking the risk and instead of, start working hard to create a winning situation without deception? Am I trust my current abilities enough to dare to play a basic but consistent and forceful game where I will feel more vulnerable? Does my partner lose trust in me if I continue those shots? What if I miss another type of shot? Would that mean that my partner will get frustrated and will make unforced errors because of me?

When you feel weak on the court and lost the trust in yourself. Tell it to your partner. Somehow. We are all here to connect. We came here to perform and everybody would like to win. It is fine if you lost connection with your best performer mindset. Your partner is here to support you and (s)he trusts you if you are drop in your difficulties. There is nothing shameful about having weaknesses. Your partner can accept if you are struggling and can give you advice or some inspiring words about how you generally play. Or simply just keep fighting with you an refuse to give up.

What our partner cannot accept if (s)he asked something from you and in return, you are doing the opposite. So there will be no teamwork after that for sure.

The next and a more advanced layer of trust is when you can talk about your weaknesses on the court to your partner. You no longer feel the need to show strength all the time. You will feel relieved when you play after that because you know your partner will help you out when you are in need. You can admit now that you have bad times and you need help sometimes. It is an extraordinary level and this is the birthplace of legendary performances on the court. There are people who will certainly never enter this level because of the imbalanced trust in their primary or secondary layers. The trust in the tertiary layer makes the miracle in all sports.

So to open the tertiary layer, you need to express your weaknesses to your partner. The hard part is to find a partner who can complete the weak parts of your performance. It is a deeper trust, not recommended to misuse it at all. It may cause a quick end to the partnership. Value what you get, learn to build trust, learn how to fight next to someone when facing a great challenge. It will make you stronger whether you have an occasional or a permanent partner.

End of part five.


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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Our network supporting #thisgirlcan

Sunrise Badminton Network supports This Girl Can

This is an official announcement that Sunrise Badminton Network became a proud supporter of the successful This Girl Can campaign. We would like to encourage young girls to join us and take part in the courts. We believe that girls can achieve, fight and they have high potentials. We are committed to providing an environment without judgements.

Sunrise Badminton Network supporting This Girl Can campaign
Sunrise Badminton Network supporting This Girl Can campaign

Also I want to mention that there is not much competition right now in Warrington so there are loads of opportunities for girls to get great experiences on local/school tournaments with a great chance of winning a medal!

If you think your child is interested in badminton then let us know and give it a go!

Oversimplifying learning of skill and the anger it could cause

Mia Blichfeldt badminton athelete

I was reading about a top women singles player on BWF`s blog and got a feeling that I want to talk about impatience on the court. The process of learning a movement or a quick reaction for a situation might be easy. For some of us, even complex tasks come easy. But what makes it so difficult sometimes? Why can we lose what we have learnt already? Why can we forget what we learnt yesterday and if I learn something new why is it affecting other skills I know and not in relation to what I just learn? Frustrating, isn`t it?

Learning new movements is a huge cognitive and also a physically tiring task. The right amount of focus, rest time and repetition can bring the required success. To understand what we learnt and how this could work out on the court is the next step. But to start using what you have in the right situation and the right time makes its execution artistic. To use the movement, the shot you learnt or applying the tactics means you are now in control of the skill.

Basic learning method

Nearly all people on this planet has a different pace of this learning method. Someone has a difficulty learning it, someone struggling to understand why or how to use it and someone is not ready to use it because the old method is still the most trusted solution despite it is causing unforced errors, inconvenience in a rally or can cause an injury. We are all different and that makes it exciting!

When we learn a new thing we are focusing to make it happen. What we previously learnt but it is on the way to become a motor skill might be failing when the focus drops on it. So a relatively “old” shot is still not coming easy if we are focusing on a new movement. Why? Because our brain wants to make sure all situation is covered and this situation when we have a relatively old and a new movement is at least 1 new situation. So it needs to be practised a lot of times. If you want to add something else, then you need to practice separately the 1st, the 2nd and the 3rd and then ideally all the possible scenarios with drills or during games. What you need here is patience. Let`s be honest, some of us already lost their patience at the 1st new thing. Right? Hell no, I won`t learn anything new until the next decade…

Aww, but it doesn`t make any sense. I was practising a lot, I think I understand and in control of it so why am I still failing sometimes and how can I trust in these new/old/relatively old/relatively new skills? It is so hard to get what is going on.

Here is the thing, the rewrite of muscle memories do not happen overnight, or during a session or two. You must give time to your body&brain to cope with the new demands. And at the end of the session, focus on stretching safely. And nourish well at home. And rest. And take good care of your body overall. And repeat this process of course. A lot. Not 3 times nor 12 times, as many times as you need to achieve the required change. Which could be over a couple of thousand times. Or less. Or more. It depends on how much your body needs and how badly you want it.

So the connections among your new skill and the rest are wired, even if they seem to not belonging to each other. For instance, the new shot could be at the net and you think it is causing unforced errors at another place on the court, despite it is a different shot with a different grip… but remember that these shots are all executed with the same body.

Still doesn`t make sense? Let me explain this from a different perspective. Artificial intelligence was designed in the same way as the human brain works. So the machine learning in the same way as we do. we all know one thing about machines and programmes. They do not make mistakes. They do follow what they have been told. So in this context, they are super learners. Well, this is not quite true.

The path of machine learning is as flawed as a human`s mind. That makes all of us unique.

In the above video, a neural network (a type of AI) wants to learn a difficult pattern. You can see how many times AI does the exact same mistakes. Doesn’t even want to slow down, just want to push it, to get going, “brainlessly”. It does need lots of tries before able to do a go-round at least with one car. You think once it has made it, it has learned it so that was it. Not at all folks, the interesting part is yet to come.

A pattern is learnt if the test cars can go around consistently. At least a couple of cars. In the video, at the 10th generation, there is a red car shows promise, from out of nowhere. And then loads of mistakes. You cannot believe how many times and how foolish it looks like. And you are just asking why it isn`t capable of making one round?! The miracle finally happens in the 31st. The 33rd is the most promising to date and it looks like soon, all the cars will survive with no crush. There are 42 generations all together in the video and we do not know how many generations it needs to learn the path perfectly. But see the performance of the 42nd round, you see that it is still making lots of mistakes. However, it somewhat learned the path.

How this is all connecting with the anger caused by learning or forgetting shots or underestimating a situation, or oversimplifying a shot, movements or reactions? What does this video prove to us? The paradox is that even the best learners need lots of repetitions at certain tasks, it doesn`t come easy and it can fade away with no practice.

We often think that we have full control over something and then punishing ourselves when the opposite turns out. The underestimation of the task, oversimplifying a shot/situation causing it. You know best which one fits for you. But one thing is for sure. After you are getting frustrated/angry by the mistake and telling yourself “Sausage, how stupid that (I) was!” is just making you slowly lose the trust in your own skill. As you read above these are all wired, so if you lose the trust in one of your shots, it is easy to lose trust in another. And another one, and another until your performance collapse. I`ve seen it many times and I found a great example of it. Here is the full match. But if you do not have time then just fast forward to the 2nd and the 3rd set. You will see that emotional rollercoaster I am talking about.

To make an end to this article and give hope to anyone struggling with anger on court I must say that there is a way out. You need to understand there are no easy shots, only relatively easy shots. Our emotions (fear, anger), the environmental coefficients (lights, shuttle differences, court, shoes, spectators, opponent, officials, etc.) and distrust in our skills or ourselves can make the easiest shot a difficult one. Learning movements is a slow process for most of us. Time, commitment and passion should determine the purpose of your fights and the awards and fame should wait.


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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 https://danabrahams.com/

“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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A legend in numbers

Lin-Dan-badminton-legend

I am personally not the biggest fan of any of them. I have rather enjoyed their matches and the fuss around their rivalry. But we are all different and some of you might be interested in the statistics of their achievements. In this special article, I`ve found is about Lin Dan but you can get an insight into other top players like Lee Chong Wei if you go through on their data tables. Enjoy the results of the legends era and click here!


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How forestry can relate to Badminton

Badminton Forest

I am learning about forestry and the layers of a forest. How is that resonates with Badminton? Let`s go through on my findings.

All forest layers have an important role to help maintain the soil, exchange nutrients with other layers so all can thrive in a close competition. A naturally occurring forest needs lots of time to build up, about 100 – 300 years. That is a long time but it is an inevitable process which needs to be done for a large forest with all its precious layers. What are these layers are? See it below. To understand how it is corresponding to badminton let`s describe the layers from the ground. All of them are important, no matter how big or small are they. They thrive slowly without each other.

Fans of the sport

The first layer from the ground is climbers. Climbers are the lovers of badminton and the media. Their contribution to the sport is huge as they follow stars, share an incredible amount of contents online and on social media platforms and fans also among each other in Whatsapp groups or other chats you can never access anywhere else. They are obsessively climbing up on the stories of emergent badminton players to get exposure of their own vision on the pinnacle of the sport. This group is enriching the soil of top badminton and good to have because they can further inspire “tall trees” to reach up higher.

Leisure players

These groups are everywhere. On the streets, beaches, gardens, playing at some other places you never heard of or actually hiring badminton courts. These are the recreational players. These groups are most likely adults, some with children. They can come from any layers around. They do not need exposure, are playing for fun and joy whether the conditions are right or insufficient for competitive badminton. They often do not know a thing about the bests, for them, badminton does not belong to any legends. For them, it is a stand-alone marvellous game which you need rackets, a shuttle and another badminton lover to play with. Those people and groups are undiscovered by associations and they do not feel the need to join a governing body to play badminton. In fact, these groups are the unconscious supporters and promoters of the sport and have a huge impact on all of us. They are most probably coming from another level or outsiders, like a parent whose child interested in badminton but never heard of the sport before.

School badminton

In my opinion, the school badminton makes the roots layer. After school clubs and school-related competitions are trying to create a fun and safe environment for all their children and their focus is to provide time for youngsters to play badminton. School badminton is a huge thing in Asia. They could have the ability to do motivate students to reach higher and achieve more. These are the places where children can meet with inspiring teachers/coaches who could amaze them instantly or direct them to places where the magic can happen. The competitive sport would struggle without this layer. If treated well by governments and governing bodies of the sport and the social/parental support is adequate, this layer can regenerate itself and provide benefits for many other layers.

Local clubs

In most cases, the herbaceous layers or club environments have the ability to provide safe, competitive training experiences to many age groups and abilities. They also compete in leagues, could prepare players to tournaments or organize their own tournament where all could be challenged within a well-known environment. Ideally, they can provide lots of time to be on the court for training or to play social games. No associations would survive without clubs.

County associations

Bushes and shrubs are representing a higher level of an area and they have the power and knowledge to help competitive players become stronger. They are most likely focusing on finding the right people to build up a team and also this could be a jumpstart of their badminton career. If a county is dense by local clubs, the competition will be massive. In turn, thin counties do not always prove the lack of competitiveness. This layer could have a deep impact on the whole sport within a nation. They need some more exposure from their governing body at least to survive and support other layers around.

International players

The under-story layer made by the players who decided to start a badminton career and going forward to achieve their personal goals. They are training a lot, travelling, competing, strictly following guidelines while eating, doing specific and non-specific exercises to enhance their body for quicker recovery and better performance. They are belonging to their governing body and representing their nation. They need some more exposure from the media, associations, equipment sponsorship to support their mission to reach at least the level of the national team. These players could bring their nation`s badminton body to a whole new level so their importance is unquestionable.

The top of badminton

The canopy layer containing all the badminton stars we all know well or can see them compete on the highest-ranked tournaments. Almost every layer would like to play like them. They are making the circus we want to see and feel like spectators. Most of the officials are made for this level. They can practice a layer below to become better and more professional for the most prestigious events on the planet. This layer is capable to change an entire nation`s mood for years. This layer got the most exposure from the media, associations and organisations. They help to enrich the soil of badminton with lots of “nutrients” (like fundings, opportunities, exhibitions, etc.) both when they rise and fall. Their “sequestration” (attracting focus from daily things to give us hope for life) helps us to believe in a better future by giving hope through their achievements.

In an ideal world, all the layers are respected and promoted. If those layers are engineered well then they can grow much faster then organic forests. The question is, what happens if the Canopy layer is dying out? Well, their climbers will disappear but their roots are deep in the soil of the sport and they will find the next “emergent trees” to rise once again. But it takes time. A lot. What fallen canopies can do is to release their “nutrients” (share their incredible stories, exhibit their skills to the public and make lots of impressions) to lower layers and further enriching the soil for the next generation of the players.

What we can all do to accelerate this method?

Badminton has lost large canopies recently. Focus on the ground and low-level layers. Be humble and generous with your time and contribute as much as you can. Make the sport denser to create competition among local clubs. Persistence, consistency and patience ought to characterize us now. Again, patience. And the results will come. #watchmerisebadminton


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How to tackle climate change in badminton

Badminton legends - Lin and Lee

I am watching a lot and learning about permaculture, rainforests and the Miyawaki method and found a close connection between climate change of the planet and our changes in the world of badminton. One of the legends in Badminton, unarguably the most successful in men’s singles has been announced his retirement a week ago. I have listened to and heard the voice of people about them recently and now I hear concerning voices over badminton which makes me believe that the fell and the decay of the legends will create panic and then ignorance in our beloved sport and this could change the sport`s environment for many long years to come. So let`s put down these thoughts and start building up the future of the next era of legends.

What makes the climate in badminton?

Well, forests have layers and all the layers have a crucial part for other layers to stay healthy and thrive. They are also enriching their own soil with nutrients and exchanging those among them. Most of us think that only the visible things are important in a forest but the magic is rather happening under the ground where all of the roots are settled. Like our feelings in badminton. In this context, the soil represents the collective mind and soul of badminton lovers. It means all supporters, officials, players, fans, representers of clubs, associations, countries who want the game get going. When a layer or two weaken then imbalance create opportunities for other layers to step up to make the weak part of the forest great again. Many people recently supported the Yonex Legends and they loved watching them and following their journey on and off courts. Their rivalry made the sport so exciting to all the top badminton followers. We have talked about them in the sports hall, on the streets, online, everywhere we could find a buddy who has an opinion. We felt we lived with them. We even started similar rivalries which further increased our excitement about the sport. We felt these for years and we were so glad about it. We thought that everything is just right in the world and felt less worried about things. The first Yonex Legend has retired in 2012 (Peter Gade) the second has retired in 2013 (Taufik Hidayat) and some of their fan bases went to support the rivalry between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan. Yonex, the sports equipment supplier has sensed the reduction of supporters (probably through sales figures or hopefully there is another sublime explanation) and made the Legends vision in 2015. So there was still hope to see incredible games off competition whether those ones are retired or active. This fanbase could still found excitement to watch LCW and Super Dan rise while the rest of the Legends started their worldwide promotion of the sport. After Lee Chong Wei retired in 2019 a huge fanbase felt totally defeated and demolished. Some of them followed and loved him so much that now they are feeling lonely and less interested in badminton as a whole. Lin Dan still chased his dream to compete for China once again in Tokyo 2020 Olympics. But shortly after the International Olympic Day he announced his retirement, so the last hope for the lovers of the Legends era has seen him fall down to the ground of the soil of badminton. Which is in fact, as good to badminton as when they were rising.

The climate is changing

So global groups of badminton lovers feel they lost their identity and now confused who to follow, what players/matches to see or trying to prove to each other online which player is not as good as the Legends were or actually starts discussions about which legend were the best. Most of the badminton buddies are still sharing lots of contents about the Legends involved while ignoring current emerging players. While at least, Yonex recognised another type of Legend coming outside of the Men Singles “species”. Lee Yong Dae, who has played all 3 disciplines professionally what a man could do, but only became a legend in Men’s doubles discipline. This is good that such potential is discovered and promoted by a company in badminton. In my humble opinion, it should better come by BWF but I`m still happy about it. What makes me sad is the dark side of the Legends’ vision. For some reason, Yonex did not recognise women legends. Despite there are. Some of them are supported by Yonex but most of them do not. Zhao Yunlei, Yu Yang, Lilyana Natsir, Huang Yaqiong are from the past but also won loads of tournaments and are closely behind Lee Chong Wei`s achievements (see here). We must embrace women to start the sport, promoting them with women examples and advertise them as much as men. We are struggling in the UK to find girls to play badminton, furthermore, women are rather not choosing any sport at all. The UK has launched a campaign called #thisgirlcan to promote sports in general as a form of joy in daily life. And guess what, it is successful. Don`t get me wrong, I understand that the pace of the game for women might not that fast but I doubt that it could not be that exciting, aggressive or intense. (Watch this or this or this)

Final conclusion

We must promote women. We must focus on the health of the soil of badminton. We must enrich it whether money involved or not. For every good badminton player, former or active on this planet, it does not a matter which country you are right now, this is the right time to be generous with your time and at least offer your presence and play for badminton communities who would benefit from your one-off appearance. Imagine if Lee Chong Wei would walk into a local hall to play no strings with some local guys, totally unexpected. The same applies to every good player locally. In a local community, you might be a star to them so you don`t need to be a legend to do such roadshow. Go for an unpaid tour for fun, locally, drop-in to local groups and clubs uninvited and amaze them with your skills through long rallies. Be respectful and show them your excellent accuracy and patience on the court. A friend can make a video about it and share it online with the hashtag of #impressalegend or make a post to encourage other good players. This is working, see here and here. Even a mediocre player can make an impression like me, so you can do it. You do not need lots of things for that but your will, attitude a racket and a friend. After the impression, invite and also introduce youngsters to local clubs where you are well-known. Literally, bring them in and show them how a training looks like. The amazement does not need to stop where you started. Your mission is to make the competition denser by encouraging more children to play. Girls and boys equally.

That is a good way of preparing the soil for the future of badminton and this will accelerate the process of getting more good players worldwide. Miyawaki San would be proud of us on this mission for sure if we could adapt his conception in badminton.

And as one of the legends said in this video, “You can create legends everywhere.” And it is so true.

So please offer your time, make an impression locally and pay tribute to the next legends rise. #impressalegend.


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Remember to enjoy the training

A S Ginting Badminton Athlete

No biggie for today, just a quick one from one of the best player on the world right now, Anthony Sinisuka Ginting having fun time at the All England and gave some important advice every one of you should consider if you want a badminton career. Work hard while you enjoy badminton.

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting had a good time with “Mind the shuttlecock” staff at the All England 2020 and gave a piece of important advice starts at 36:54

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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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Meet the trick in badminton doubles never been discussed a.k.a what PVD is?

PVD badminton deception

Ever wondered during a doubles game how your opponent could be there that quick at the net? Or how they could even hit the shuttle from that position? Wonder no longer, here are the answers.

What types of deceptions exist?

There are 2 types of visual deceptions or tricks exist. One is the well-known form of tricks which is spectacular and instantly eye-catching as it happens. The first and the most common what I call Focused Visual Deception (FVD). An FVD can happen when an athlete trying to anticipate the possible outcome of the movement of her opponent instead of keeping the focus on the shuttle and then react accordingly. This type of trick is very popular in all disciplines as it is spectacular. The other one we will excessively talk about is the Peripheral Visual Deception (PVD). A PVD can happen when the opponent memorising the position of a player or their racket position based on their peripheral vision and calculate their distance accordingly based on their opponents’ height adjustments and positioning. In doubles, there are lots of things to listen to while the game could be so intense so it is easy to believe in our peripheral vision and aim the shuttle where visibly there is free space. So again, it is not happening by our mistake, it is happening by our opponent`s consciousness of their body and racket positioning.

What it is?

It is a level of consciousness of a player who deliberately positions itself low at the net or coming unexpectedly from rear visibly covered by the other player or off the sight of our vision to confuse us. Shots from different places made the players orientate their faces to the shuttle which creates a mild or vast vision loss of the opponent`s side. That is when the peripheral vision steps into the equation and then the visual memory of where the players were before my shot or which direction they were moving to. When the shot happens and the player quickly get back the contact of the opponent, the player in front could catch the shuttle higher and faster as expected, creating an unforced winner situation to them which will be hard to challenge. Furthermore, deliberate low racket positioning can also confuse the opponent and make an unexpected end of a rally. In Zen terms: Subdue the opponent without a long fight. It is common in disciplines where a male player is incorporated as the fast pace of the rally builds up the confusion and creates a good soil for the flower of deception. It is rather rare in singles and women`s doubles.

See some examples here or here or here or here or here or here or here or and make observations. After it has been deployed it is often lead to a win the point:)

How can I avoid PVD happen to me?

First of all, based on the above video links, what observations have you made?

  • What position the trickster hold before the trick?
  • Where the other opponent was before the deception?
  • What made the player think that the opponent cannot make the shot?

This is most likely happens when a player holds a nice low position close to the net and from their opponent`s peripheral vision, it looks like he/she is far enough to hit the shuttle crosscourt at the net, make a slight push to the midcourt or just make a table-turning netshot of the rally. What can you do to avoid? Hit more straight shots at tense situations would be a good idea for first, it could dramatically reduce the chance of PVD, however, it can slightly increase the chance of other tricks. Keep it low, keep up the pressure or dare to lift when in struggle (sometimes you better lift it up).

How can I do it?

Well, position yourself low but as low to still be able to react fast. You need to know how to rotate on court with your current partner. You need to have a very fast arm if you want to try position your arm low and then intercept successfully. You need to be aware of your own direction of movement and anticipate your opponent`s possible direction and their shot. It`s easy. 😀

I would make a side note of my observations that a lefty or funny looking clothes can increase the chances of PVD. Just saying.

On the videos above, you may see lots of tall guys and you think it only works for giants, think again and click here, here, here or here. 🙂

Without any doubt it can also work for women, see here, here and here.


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Layers of trust in doubles – trust my partner – part 4 of 7

trust my partner in badminton

The end of the previous article: “If all the layers underneath the tertiary layer are strong, it could allow the person to fight to achieve its dreams, which is impossible right now.”

In the previous article, we went through a situation of mutual trust between the players. In this case, trust has 2 sides. One is mine towards you, the other is yours towards me. Both of us need to put in our own to achieve a mutual goal, together. In this article, I want to break down what do I need to do to trust my partner. I want to make a brainteaser before I jump to the needs of mine.

I have played with many partners throughout my career and still. Sometimes hard, sometimes easy to synchronize with a new partner but also a well-known partner could cause confusions. What I found out, if I understand my current limits, I can understand what I need from my partner. First of all, I need a couple of points or a game where I can test the limit of my current abilities while I can see what my partner can cover independently. A training environment is a good place to try but if it is not available then allow yourself to make mistakes without being too hard on yourself or your partner. You can let your partner know in advance if you want to risk your performance at the altar of success. In this way, your partner will see what you are able to do in an ideal or a competitive environment and if you succeed, your partner will allow you to exert more dominance in certain situations. Or the opposite, when your partner will step closer to you to cover a part of your area, but with that, (s)he is risking his/her own territory.

Now let`s stop here a little bit to talk about the importance of dominance in mutual trust and address relevant questions. How players with good abilities decide who is more dominant? What if both of them think that they are rather rear-court players in doubles? Who will take charge in the front then? Or the opposite, if both of them think they are so fast and agile to intercept at drives, or at the net and do not feel strong enough to smash, then who will take charge over the rear court then? If they agree who is the dominant one, does that mean that the less-dominant player will concede some territory or some shots at every situation? Is the dominant player will always exert dominance in both situations, in attack and in defence? Is there a time when both of them needs to be equally dominant? What if we have no time to figure out dominance and need to trust blindly in our partner? Does all of that mean that every player on the court has more dominant and less dominant positions on different parts of the court and we need to see how our partner will react on these positions before we decide to maintain our trust to them? The level of complexity is enormous and the variations are close to infinity. That`s why it is beautiful and fascinating when it works just right. Especially when it works well for the first time. That`s rare indeed.

So a mutual agreement can form on the court based on the badminton knowledge and capabilities of the players with no words. Furthermore, your partner would feel entitled to follow you and try the same risk-taking challenge for the same reason. Or maybe not, but this is also good feedback that your partner rather would like to perform safe and consistent. Differences can make their unity stronger if they are valued. If your level of abilities is much different, it will come to light quickly and after that, there should be no question about dominance in most cases. You can evaluate your matches in a long chat with your permanent partner during stretches or after the training session. If you had an occasional partner and there is no time to talk about the match, you can still evaluate your performance and ask yourself if you could help your partner better to thrive together on court. Of course, communication is important on the court if you keep it short and informative, but agree on dominance is not the kind of topic that should be discussed on the court. If a pair decide to talk through a situation to release pressure, it will destroy their current performance. But, it might save the unity in the long term fight to become the best pair around. One thing is sure, you should not take any kind of mistake, misunderstanding or disagreement with your partner as a confrontation against your persona.

In short, for the first time, we give our trust blindly. Maintaining trust during the game means of hard work. I want to know if I am the stronger one and also want to know if (s)he accepted that or I want to make sure (s)he is aware that I am weaker and I need support under pressure. I want to know if my reactions with the racket and footwork pace are better and (s)he is aware of that or the other way round. I want to know if (s)he follows the rules of rotation. If not, then what does (s)he prefer to do so? I want to know if (s)he will go to the front or rather stays mid-court. I want to know if (s)he is aware of the consequences of lifting in doubles. I want to know if (s)he has alternative shots at every corner and not easy to read the path how is (s)he plays badminton. I need to know if (s)he wants to fight or playing for leisure so I will apply the correct manner.

I`m sure because we are all different, you would need other or more answers about your partner before a game. I would go with these and in the first 10 points, those answers will probably come and help to maintain a positive balance of trust.

End of part four. Click here to part 5.


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


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Layers of trust in doubles – Describing mutual trust – part 3 of 7

Badminton athletes for life

The end of the previous article: “If you continue using the currently failing layer, it may create an avalanche of unnecessary risk-taking and loads of bad decisions where you will lose your precious focus on the game and the most important thing makes you strong. The trust in you, overall.”

In the previous article, we went through on what kind of and how many layers of trust exist. It can differ for everybody as someone has less or more primary and secondary layers based on their personal preferences. Now we are ready to take the next step where we can see what mutual trust means between two players. To make it simple, I would use a common example of level doubles.

An example story

Alicia found a partner to play doubles with, her name is Sarah. Sarah is an occasional partner from the same club, they have played sometimes before and this player is about the same age as you are. None of them thinks that the other is good nor bad. They are neutral. During today`s training match, there was some sensitive situation where Sarah expressed dominance which made Alicia feel a bit frustrated but relieved. And also happened the other way round. Alicia felt lighter, the match felt easy and inspiring. This was the moment when they decide that they want to try it again together or at least they will store a nice memory of this match related to this player. Then the two girls start talking about things and discover that they have common interests and topics important to them. After some sparring and matches, they told the coach that they want to play together because they feel stronger with the other.

Behind the curtain

Let`s say Alicia is coming from a mentally balanced family. Let`s say Sarah isn`t. (means that their primary level is different) But both of them are open-minded as they love the game, wants to compete and eager to win. Their motivation can differ a lot at the beginning of their foundation and this is normal. Both of them has good trust in their partners` abilities but at the moment they have better trust in their own as in the other one. This is the case, trust has 2 sides. The trust Alicia has towards Sarah and the other way round. They are just realising that they no longer should only trust in their own abilities. This thing can create a ground-shifting experience, creates a loss of confidence so it is vital to building it up together. They need to transform their unity into another entity by talking through strength and vulnerability of theirs which is now become the weakness or strength of their team.

Summary

The trust has layers. Your personal trust builds up your primary, secondary and tertiary needs. Eat, sleep, play badminton and to be able to repeat that loop is considered as a primary need as well as keep your body and mind healthy. Secondary layers make a person trust in its knowledge and allowing the person to believe in possible things. If all the layers underneath the tertiary layer are strong, it could allow the person to fight to achieve its dreams, which is impossible right now.

End of part three. Click here for part four.


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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Score driven focus makes you lose in badminton

pressure of scores in badminton

This is a paradox in sports competitions. The winning and losing determined by the scores. If you are not a top athlete, you need to count scores. How can you not affected by the scores if you need to keep them in your head? Here`s an advice: Just count it but not think about it.

What is making the problem then? When the narratives start saying: “This is not a big gap in the points, I can catch up” or “I still can catch up” or “My chances are bad, will I lose?” or “I usually lose in a situation like that” or “I will most probably lose so what`s the point to focus anyway?”. Anyway, your focus will drop a bit or lose it completely and it is hard to get back to it.

Focus on your game and things you can control, focus on counting the scores if you need to and forget to calculate your chances. That kind of analysis can happen after the match. I personally do not recommend to do it before as it may negatively affects your mindset and eventually your overall performance.

Below you can see what a sport psychologist has to say about it. Cheers Dan!

The below post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


“Sport is the all about the score…and that is why it is preferable to ignore it. Sounds weird, right? But this blog post will explain. I firmly believe the quickest and fastest way for you to develop a winner’s mindset is to ignore the score as you compete. Sure not every gold medalist does this – but for most competitors ignoring the score lends itself to an optimal mindset. So let me tell you why…

Because the score is one of the primary stressors when you compete. Thinking about the score as you play or perform can cause a stress response. If you’re losing you can become despondent or angry, worried or fearful. If you’re winning you can become complacent or tentative. Trust me…the score is a killer…focusing on it or thinking about it as you compete can be destructive.

This isn’t particular to one single sport. A golfer who focuses on being under par can become steer-driven in an attempt at trying to avoid dropping shots. A tennis player who is thinking about being a break down can become angry – muscles tightened, coordination lost, intelligence squashed. The footballer who overly cares about being a goal up (and not losing the lead) can be too cautious with her play. She can become tunnel visioned and miss vital runs and movements that the opposition make as the game plays out.

The score is one of the biggest killers in sport. It’s a silent assassin. It can eat away at your ability to compete intelligently, with effort, making great decisions, with focus and with coordination.

And you know what the tricky thing is? Your brain loves you to focus on the score. It loves you to resonate whether you’re winning or losing at any given moment. Why? Because the brain is a prediction machine – it is constantly scanning your environment to predict what is going to happen in the near future. And it craves certainty – it loves an environment that says “Yes, I’m safe”. So it nudges and shifts you towards the score – the message that says “I’m winning I’m safe” or “I’m losing I have to change something”.

And in my opinion you don’t want to hear either message. I’m safe can mean ‘protect’ while changing something is rarely necessary (although thinking flexibility is a very useful skill in sport…but there are other ways to apply this without bringing the score into the fold).

The key to managing your brain’s innate wish for certainty (and subsequent focus on the score) is to quieten it. How?

1. Have in-game tasks to focus on that are related to what you are trying to achieve in your game and within your role

2. Keep talking to your brain. Stop listening to it and start talking to it. “Forget the score just focus now, in the moment. Come on stay focused. The score isn’t relevant stay focused.”

The sports competitors who takes control of themselves, who manage their brain, are the ones who gives themselves the best chance of winning (or at least being the best they can be on any given day.) Now that is all you can ask for…that is great sport psychology!”


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Why you should enter a badminton competition?

Badminton Becky - Blogger

Guys, please listen carefully to this lady, I must say I totally agree with her.

Enter into a competition when you can, try yourself even if you think you are not ready for it. Losing in front of a crowd is hard for first, but it is part of life and you should also dare to lose. When people watching me playing is rather inspiring than demotivating. The thing is that it is fun, whatever your level at the moment.


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Rotator cuff tendonitis

rotator cuff tendonitis badminton injury

What it is?

Rotator cuff tendonitis (tendinopathy) is an overuse injury causing gradual onset pain in the shoulder. It is common at racket sports and badminton means no exception.

How did I get that?

I was about 33 y when I first experienced it, it felt like my shuttler arm is weak and tired. Could not keep it up in the air for long to be ready for the next shot. My racket was hanging, reactions were slow and inaccurate. It is hard to play with. Taping can help a lot. You will still feel it but can play with it for sure. Your teammates would not say that you are injured at all! I still have this one, very hard to get rid of (if it is possible at all). I already set up my strategy on how to slowly strengthen this muscle group. Unfortunately, I cannot post any videos about how to tape it as every pain is different and there are several types of taping techniques exists to treat this diverse injury. However, if your diagnosis supports taping techniques, I would only recommend KT tape videos with Chris Harper because he professionally describes how to apply them.

Recommendation

If you have a good Physio, get an appointment as soon as you can or contact your coaches on the session, they can direct you to good doctors near you. Treat an injury as fast as you can is important. But if you treat it wrong, you may cause harm which can halt your badminton career for months which is a lot or can get disability for life. Be smart. If you feel acute pain or worry about your health, do not try to find it out yourself. If your Doctor advised safe to train, tell it to your coaches and they will find an exercise where you won`t use the injured body part but still doing something badminton related. Most of the cases can have a solution to training. Particularly in these times, doing exercises slow is key for fast recovery.

Find out more about the injury here: https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/shoulder-pain/chronic-shoulder-injuries/rotator-cuff-tendonitis

Disclaimer

Stories shared on SBN Blog about injuries are for information only and those are a record of how did the author of the article get a specific injury. These posts cannot be used as a proposed treatment. Always follow what your Physio or Sports Doctor advising/prescribing to you. Sunrise Badminton Network assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered by the use or misuse of any of the information or content in the above post.


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Badminton player`s elbow

badminton player`s elbow

What is it?

Golfer’s elbow is also known as medial epicondylitis, thrower’s elbow, or little league elbow. It causes pain on the inside of the elbow, which develops gradually over time. Here we explain the symptoms, causes, and treatment of Golfer’s elbow. I call it badminton player`s elbow because anybody with a bad backhand technique in badminton can get it easily.

How did I get that?

When I started to learn how to hit a big one on the backhand side I had no idea how my arm should move during the stroke. A couple of people gave me advice but it made no sense at all to me (16 y old me). So I used the whole arm with an elbow snap as a backhand which made the trick to midcourt but it never reached the rear court. As a result, I have got an acute pain and could not perform backhand with that technique for a while. Then I tried it again with the same result. And a couple of more times.

Years have flown by. Then I`ve got some videos about some Indonesian and Danish players and wanted to learn their technique. And I did it. It made everything better for sure! It brought the required strength, length without accuracy and that was fine for start. But the pain came back sometimes which made me curious. I thought I have learned the technique properly so theoretically it was hard to find out the mistake. So I used my good old kinesthesia and found out that I still fully extended my elbow during the stroke. In my humble opinion, the golden rule to avoid this kind of injury in badminton is this: Do not fully extend your elbow during the stroke. Find out more about common backhand mistakes here to stay healthy and play without pain.

Recommendation

If you have a good Physio, get an appointment as soon as you can or contact your coaches on the session, they can direct you to good doctors near you. Treat an injury as fast as you can is important. But if you treat it wrong, you may cause harm which can halt your badminton career for months which is a lot or can get disability for life. Be smart. If you feel acute pain or worry about your health, do not try to find it out yourself. If your Doctor advised safe to train, tell it to your coaches and they will find an exercise where you won`t use the injured body part but still doing something badminton related. Most of the cases can have a solution to training. Particularly in these times, doing exercises slow is key for fast recovery.

Find out more about the injury here: https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/elbow-pain/medial-elbow-pain/golfers-elbow

Disclaimer

Stories shared on SBN Blog about injuries are for information only and those are a record of how did the author of the article get a specific injury. These posts cannot be used as a proposed treatment. Always follow what your Physio or Sports Doctor advising/prescribing to you. Sunrise Badminton Network assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered by the use or misuse of any of the information or content in the above post.


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Ganglion

ganglion-cyst-badminton

What is it?

A ganglion cyst or wrist ganglion is a small lump which appears in the wrist. It is often attached to a ligament. Some are not painful, but others restrict movement and are painful.

How did I get that?

On my wrist, I`ve probably overused it with push-ups. The joint wasn`t ready for it and I`ve forced it. It was painful at net lifts on the forehand side and at overhead shots. Lost the power of them. taping, ice and rest helped to recover, it took months. For me, longer warm-ups, working much smaller weights which were raised gradually helped the joint prepare for bigger loads.

However, during lockdown, I`ve got 1 under my right ankle for no reason. No pain, so no treatment required as they say on the below website.

Recommendation

If you have a good Physio, get an appointment as soon as you can or contact your coaches on the session, they can direct you to good doctors near you. Treat an injury as fast as you can is important. But if you treat it wrong, you may cause harm which can halt your badminton career for months which is a lot or can get disability for life. Be smart. If you feel acute pain or worry about your health, do not try to find it out yourself. If your Doctor advised safe to train, tell it to your coaches and they will find an exercise where you won`t use the injured body part but still doing something badminton related. Most of the cases can have a solution to training. Particularly in these times, doing exercises slow is key for fast recovery.

To find out more about the injury here: https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/wrist-pain/chronic-wrist-pain/ganglion-cyst

Disclaimer

Stories shared on SBN Blog about injuries are for information only and those are a record of how did the author of the article get a specific injury. These posts cannot be used as a proposed treatment. Always follow what your Physio or Sports Doctor advising/prescribing to you. Sunrise Badminton Network assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage suffered by the use or misuse of any of the information or content in the above post.


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Badminton injuries and conditions

badminton injury

Have you ever wondered when you felt a new type of pain somewhere in your body if it is serious or will it go away naturally? Have you had an agony when you felt you have a condition but not sure if it requires medical attention? Well, I have, a lot and could not ask anyone around. As a child, I could not even describe what was it. To avoid this for the next generation of badminton players I want to make a series of posts about all my injuries and conditions I have had or I know someone has it. To back these post up with sports science, I will find the relevant description of the injury or condition on https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net. You can find their causes, possible treatments and some taping techniques where applies. I also want to tell how I got it if I knew the cause, this way you can avoid at least one of the ways to get them.


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The layers of trust in doubles – How layers build up – part 2 of 7 (reviewed)

Layers of trust in badminton - Sigit B.

The end of the previous article: “Let it happen. Accept your vulnerability and TRUST your partner`s abilities.

So what layers am I talking about? When we talk about trust, we often thinking about it as a big, intangible cloud which we have or not have at all. Believing this could not be further from the truth. The thing is, that it has layers. And all layers have lots of components. Let`s put it into words what we all feel but not thinking about it deep enough.

For instance, we are going to go to sleep at home. In our bedroom. It is most likely an environment we can trust. We know how it looks, smells, what sounds can happen and who or what can usually enter the room. Those are the basic reasons we can trust this place. If one of those conditions’ changes, because the cat is hungry and become annoyingly attacking, or we still can smell the dinner roast in the bedroom or we hear a strange noise and after 5 mins it turns out it`s the fridge turned on, we`ll start fidgeting. Our brain starts calculating chances of any possible outcomes (positive or negative) and as a result, it will create lots of hypothesises and worries about things important to us and won`t let us sleep.

There are primary, secondary and tertiary layers. It is easy to replace quickly a secondary or tertiary layer, but it is hard to replace a primary one. It needs time and effort. Let`s see an example. If you are on a tournament and your string torn during a rally, it is easy to replace it with the same racket and string tension. Why? You know you have trained with this racket. You feel it. This is the perfect extension of you. Your muscles have been trained how to drop at the net, how much effort your whole arm needs to use to a drop shot or a cross-court drop. You built up the trust of your motor skills. Now it works like a charm with this racket, with this grip and at that tension.

But what if you have only one of this racket with these abilities? So what will happen inside your mind during the match? You`ve got loads of narratives like “How much different is this racket comparing to mine?” and “Ohh, the clears are better! That was a terrible net shot. Good smash, drives are consistent, I`m not slower! Another terrible net shot. Come on, you are better than this! Why this one landed in the net? Another mistake! And missed it again. I can`t win with this one. This racket is awful!” A change is like that doesn`t look big but it may turn into a whirlpool of misery, depending on how different the replacement racket is, how the player trusts its own abilities and how much distraction this situation causes on the focus of winning.

Every little thing and condition building up the overall trust in the layers. If anything changes, you need to build it up again. Building overall trust could be a long run. But when you are on an overall reliable level, replacing things in the secondary or the tertiary layers doesn`t take much time but the effort (change the t-shirt, a grip, look out to the coach or someone important to me to get feedback). If you try to replace too many things in the layers during a stressful situation, it can turn into mistrust of self and in this case, your might wants to escape to get back into an emotionally “safe” environment.

Trust is the most important mental skill in badminton (probably in all sports). The trust in your body parts. One by one. The trust in your certain shots. One by one. Trust in your decisions, in your focused and peripheral vision, in your hearing, in the perception of the shuttle through your racket. Trust in the supply of your basal needs, your coach, officials, relatives, teammates or people representing the public. These are build up your trust in yourself and your environment. And by your environment, I mean your nutritional sources, your own personal places, the environment where your relatives are, where you meet with teammates and coaches, so it is not limited to the physical environment where you perform. If you can trust all of the above, then you do not need to worry about existential threats which are desired.

An example for the above: If one of your shots does not work out for you at this moment, then avoid hitting it and replace it with a simpler alternative to keep up the overall trust in You. Otherwise, you are risking to weaken it or lose it. In other terms, if one of your layers components is failing for some reason, just replace it with a trusted component. If you continue using the currently failing component, it may create an avalanche of unnecessary risk-taking and loads of bad decisions where you will lose your precious focus on the game and the most important thing makes you strong. The trust in You, overall.

End of part two. Click here for part three.

Ps.: A final thought to this post about singles players. Their situation is different. Not easier, not harder. It`s a different thing. They need to trust every layer of themselves on the court alone and for first it sounds easy. Comparing to doubles where one suffering with performance and the other can inspire, so they can pull up or down each other`s performance. In singles, the inspiration needs to come from inside, or, you can accept your opponent`s performance as another source of inspiration. Your respect for your opposition can allow you to accept their good performance against you. It works even stronger if the respect is mutual between the players. Please see good examples of getting inspiration from your opponent here and here.


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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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The layers of trust in doubles – Discovery – part 1 of 7 (reviewed)

Cai Fu Badminton Athletes at their best

On 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 an 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 it, you can do it with everybody!” 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 perform it on a Legends’ vision but it still counts as it represents this agony which lead you to untrust your partner or overtrust in your skills.) I believe this situation representing it pretty well of 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. In this situation, you need to accept your vulnerability and let the trick happen to you. Stay at the front otherwise, you will lose. Imagine, you are at your base position in the middle of the half-court prepared to defend your half. You have 2 options:

  1. You choose to be in an 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:


#badminton #badmintonmindset #badmintonparents #badmintonface #sbnblog #gameface #badmintonmindsetfirst #badmintonplayer #badmintonclub #sunrisebadmintonnetwork #badmintonadults #badmintonspectators #badmintoninjuries #badmintonparadox #badmintontrust #badmintonscores #badmintonparent #badmintonpressure #badmintonfocus

Bouncebackability

Chou Tien Chen Badminton Athlete

“We tend to forget how good we are when we are not successful, and it’s important that we mind, until now, that we have done very well.” Arsene Wenger


Said Arsenal boss`s on a television interview to BBC a day before his team going to play against Man UTD. On their last match, they have lost to 5-1 against Liverpool at Anfield road. What we can learn from his words in Badminton?

It is hard to evaluate your own situation without external feedback. Every player, from beginners to top athletes needs feedback about what went well (or what goes well) and what could be a point of learning for the next training period. It is crucial to support every social badminton player, children and adults at every age. Remember you have good shots, you can score and you have a good trust in your own abilities even if you lost the match or could not get as many points as you wanted. Sunrise Badminton Network would like to support all the badminton groups and communities within the network to keep everyone motivated and increase our bouncebackability. Hopefully, our posts will help you realise your potential and create a need for play when the time has come to return to the courts after lockdown. Finally, see Dan`s thoughts about the interview above.

The below post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


“Let`s say Arsene Wenger in the video, coming off the back of a thrashing from Liverpool. How can a coach’s help a team bounce back from an emphatic defeat? Here’s my thoughts.

1. Emphasise what went well – this sounds incredibly obvious, yet in my experience at all levels, coaches tend towards communicating the failures, the weaknesses and the bad points. Try to rid yourself of the emotion of defeat and let your players know what they did well as a team and, if you can, as individuals.

2. Turn negatives into practical solutions – avoid dwelling on what your players did wrong. Tell them what they need to do better next time. Time and again in soccer I’ve stood by coaches who ranted and raved about the mistakes players have made, but without providing a contribution to what a solution looks like. If there was a positional mistake tell your players what positions you want them in and teach them how to get there. If sloppy passing was their error explain to them the value of focus and teach them how to improve their attention.

3. Get back to basics – If you have some clips available show your team footage of them playing at their very best. Reinforce in their minds what they do when they’re playing well. Ask them to re-create these plays on the training pitch. Video this session. Let them to watch the new footage to show that they ‘can’. Give them an injection of certainty – that is what you’re there for.”


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Strive to stay in Game Face

Anatomy - glands - badminton

If you practice your badminton face at home in front of a mirror, while meditating, at training or at a competition, remember to feel the advance of it. Remember the reason why you do it. Believe that you can perform at a decent level because you have trained hard and now is the time to gain success. This is your time, this is your chance. Feel it, love it, live it. Badminton England has similar advice which I also love.

The below post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


So how does power affect your brain? And what relevance does it have for competing in sport?

How you think, feel, behave and subsequently perform is dominated by the hormones you release. Science has demonstrated that as we start to perceive ourselves playing well, and as we start to believe we can win, our bodies begin to release a powerful combination of performance and feel good chemicals. As success starts to hit you testosterone and adrenaline, your performance hormones, charge through your bloodstream giving you strength and alertness. You breathe deeper and provide the brain and your muscles with oxygen rich blood. Dopamine and endorphins, your feel good chemicals, give you a profound sense of well-being and you will feel less tired and more euphoric.

When you’re competing this blend of performance and feel good hormones supercharge your mindset. You can make better decisions. You find it easier to rip through the ball with complete commitment. Targets appear bigger and you will feel you have more time to get back to the ball. You will feel unbeatable.

So here’s the skill…irrespective of how you’re playing strive to maintain the same mindset (Game Face) no matter what. Strive to OWN yourself. Strive to DOMINATE yourself. Strive to stay in Game Face.”


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Instead of statements, ask questions

hanebado - famous badminton manga

I remember my teenage career when I thought there are our Local tournaments and World Championships and nothing in-between. I`ve had lots of questions about the sport, the movements, my thoughts and feelings but have afraid to say them out loud. And there was barely anyone I could speak to about them. Hence I found Dan`s short article valuable and important to display below. I hope it could help someone on the way to becoming mentally balanced and prepared to compete in badminton and in life.

The below post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


The craft of asking yourself great questions to mediate your feelings and subsequently your behaviours…

“What does my best look like?”
“What does my best feel like?”
“What do others see when I’m at my best?”
“What sensations do I experience when I play at my best?”
“What went well today?”
“Is there anyone who’s achieved this before?”
“How?”
“Is there another way?”
“If this problem miraculously went away what would it look like?”
“What if I did know the answer?”
“Is that really true?”
“Have I covered everything?”
“Am I being too extreme here?”
“Where can I find the answer to that?”
“Who can help me?”

People tend to make more statements than they ask questions. And this may well prevent them from finding the next level…whatever that may be…


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Guess the badminton player!

Badminton match

First of all, I am not a betting company agent and has no experience calculating the chances of players. But, I am really into analytics and I wanted to check some things just for fun. Just to play a bit with numbers again. I am not a sport psychologist but a lover of general and performance psychology. I had some thoughts on the other day and wanted to check out 2 of my hypotheses. They are overlapping so I do not want to separate the description of findings. Here they are:

1. Can I classify players based on how many times they won a rally when serving or when receiving?

I mean here if I can say about a player that it is better at serving or also good at receiving.

2. Can I predict the outcome of a match between two players by their previous serve-win and receive-win ratio?

I have found a popular badminton athlete who has sufficient records of performance which potentially could determine the mental preparedness of the player for a match. That`s an important part of justifying the hypothesises. So I checked the performance of the player on the Princess Sirivannavari Thailand Masters 2020, the athlete has played on the 22nd of January.

Okay, so what we can see down here. That`s my method. I think it`s one from many. I bring you through on it. XX and XXXX are representing the names of the players. First 2 columns for ‘Serve’ showing when they`ve served, second 2 columns for ‘Win’ shows when they`ve won a point. Next 2 columns for ‘Serve-win’ when they`ve won a point from their services, and the last 2 is the opposite when they`ve won a point from their oppositions serves.

What I needed at the end is this.

It shows that 4X and 2X have been close to each other`s performance in the first and in the second set the differences grew bigger. Now we are done with the numbers, let`s move to the mental side and give meaning to the math!

What if everybody expected 2X to win and that made an unbearable pressure? Why 2X`s motivation could not bring`em through on that obstacle? What if 2X feels anxious about this result affecting future results and that had an effect on 2X`s decision making? What kind of mental distractions could happen to this player on that day? What other distractions could 4X provide? Is it possible that the environment made an impact on this match? What other circumstances could raise the level of distraction or even frustration? Is 4X better than 2X? Well, on that day at least, yes. There is 1 thing sure, 2X`s performance has significantly dropped after losing the first set. 4X won to 21:18 and 21:9. To me, it seems like 2X no longer wanted to perform. Maybe 2X felt like this fight is derogative in the second round? Hmm, we don`t know for sure.

But I have got rather curious about 2X because I know this player could play much better formerly. So I wanted to compare a match and I went back to 2008. Here`s another match result from a final of 2X:

In the first set 2X shown a great dominance based on the numbers and when I`ve seen the match, I would tell the exact same. The player had controlled the game from the beginning to the end. There was no doubt about 2X`s mental preparedness. This match only gave me 1 question: What happened with 3X`s mental preparedness? Both of them reached a great tournament`s final, both of them physically prepared and prodigious. So what could not work out for 3X? Were the situation/environment/game abilities were different for 3X? So I`ve checked another match between them from 2012, in a final, again.

Both of them are prepared. 2X lost the first which is something we have seen in the first match. Nothing`s interesting. 3X felt even more confident as won the first set, it is a good sign for 3X, isn`t it? But then in the second, multiple things have happened which made a great impact on 3X`s mental performance. 3X`s Serve-win ratio has dropped from 48% to 9%. Means, from 11 of its own serves 3X could only win 1. How mentally demolishing this could be? Imagine, your opponent is constantly taking nearly all your chances away. It felt choking. 3X is now mentally downwards steeply, lost the 2nd set in 20 minutes, finishing the set with an effortless, unforced error. 3X needed a plan to mentally recover from that state. 3X reached a good score, it was 18 all. At 19:18 to 3X, 3X made a mistake and let the opponent`s shot drop in. An easy mistake in a tense situation. it was the moment when 3X has got mental fatigue. And then, 3X mentally collapsed. There was no turning back. 2X won, again. If we take a look at 2X`s first match, which was not in a final at all, this is odd, right? It was in the 2nd round where the pressure was much less and as a good player, 2X could definitely risk a bit more to win.

Hypotheses turn into Theories

  1. Can I classify players based on how many times they won a rally when serving or when receiving? The answer is yes. If you have large datasets about their games against others and each other as well, you can create clusters of all the players like ones have serve-win and receive-win ratios about 100-71%, 70-61% 60-56% 55-36% and 35-0%. Just for start and then fine-tune it. After that, you can also calculate real-time chances with this or a similar method, based on their previous records. Because you know the average results of the player in the first, the 10th and the 29th rally of a match. I believe this is how betting companies calculating their chances. Furthermore, you`ll be able to say that which player will collapse or creep back and at which part of the match this will most likely happen. Funny isn`t it?
  2. Can I predict the outcome of a match between two players by their previous serve-win and receive-win ratio? Ohh yes, I can. The more matches they`ve played, the more accurate predictions will be possible. Theoretically. But that is why we love badminton because it is not that simple. A line judge can make a mistake or a service judge or someone`s flashing with a camera and pissing the player off. Or getting an injury because of all these things lured them away from their focus. Nothing is sure but there are numbers we can work with.

And finally, guess the players 2X – 3X – 4X!


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Golly, my kid wants to play badminton! 😱 What to buy now?!

Shoe and racket for badminton

We, parents, are aware that our child could potentially try lots of sports which may require lots of different equipment before they found their favourite activity. This could be an expensive journey through the years and I would like to give you some advice on what a beginner badminton player needs.

There are essential items for a good badminton experience from beginners to advanced levels. Get the most important things without buying tons of expensive but unnecessary kits which does not keep them safe, only provide the feeling of pleasure.

ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT FOR A BEGINNER IN BADMINTON

There is one thing important to buy to your kid if they want to join us. For first you would probably say it is a racket. But we can lend one until the child realises what he/she needs. Furthermore, it would be wise to do some research before buying any racket. The child should try some rackets on our sessions with different weights, grips, balances to be able to find out which one suits best and get some advice from our coaches as well. I would suggest to do not buy any expensive racket until the child gets at least 1 type of strong overhead shot. A relatively strong swing can determine the right racket depending on the power generation method of the child. As they are getting stronger and become more technical, you can consider buying a decent one or 2 if you can afford. Why two? In a competitive situation, it is vital to play with a racket having the same abilities if the string tear. Even some professional player`s performance could drop if they need to play with a racket with different abilities as they`ve got used to.

The most important thing from a safeguarding point of view to a beginner and you might already has it at home.

It is a good badminton shoe.

Badminton shoes are like tires for cars. It is important to buy the right tire for the right conditions, otherwise, you eventually got a puncture, the car can slip and cannot be controlled. So it is something to avoid. A running shoe won`t do. It is increasing the chance of many types of the ankle, knee injuries from minor to major, even for beginners. Most shoes designed to use indoors are relatively good, but the best would be to buy one which is designed to play badminton. You can get a basic one from Decathlon at the price of about £30 and it will definitely do. This is an investment which pays off even in a short term journey in badminton. My opinion is that it is more important to have one before a good racket. We can provide a racket for new starters but we are not able to do the same with shoes. If they would like to replace badminton to another indoor sport, you already have a shoe which could be good for it. If you want more information about selecting a good shoe, click here.

Summary

We want to encourage all our parents in badminton to buy a good shoe first if the child has none good for indoor sports and leave the purchase of the racket later. With time, we can help to find rackets with the required abilities. We also have some rackets to sell, they cost up to £30. So a starter kit for a beginner would cost about £60 to have a great experience with us safely.

You can spend your money later on for them if they could reach the County level and even more if they will start their journey at the International Challenges.


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Be the very best individual you can be on a match night

Alfian Ardianto Badminton Athletes

When it is a match or a game night I am no longer worrying as I did before. I know what I can do if it goes well, I know what is the most important now to me (Health over all, I`m a father of two, a coach of this network, I need to stay healthy). I no longer want to perform at my best as it only has a little chance to happen. I can accept that. I understand mistakes will happen unconsciously and also deliberately to achieve a win. I know everybody expects a win from me but feel happiness on the court during play is simply more important that results. I can smile in and out when the opponent could fool me and admit it was a good shot. Below, Dan is making a good point and how I feel about it is this: give up the illusion of the total control, distraction will come, try to adapt and remember to enjoy the game. Feel no fear of the outcomes.


“Footballers (and competitors in all sports)…

Ultimately all you can do on match day, on game day, is to be as close to the very best version of you as possible. Some days this will be the best version…other days it won’t be quite as good. And that’s ok. Just as long as you’re striving to be just that.

So ask yourself “What do I look like when I’m at my best? What is the best version of me? What does that feel like? What do others see?

Describe this to yourself…in detail. In colour. In pictures and emotions and bodily feelings. Create an inner image of this and blow it up in your mind…making it big and bold and bright.

Then go do it…go do the detail…with passion, with focus, with determination, with resilience.

In this way you help yourself be the very best individual you can be and the very best team mate you can be. And ultimately, this is all you can ask from yourself…”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


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Using sport and working in partnership to equip children with skills for life

Badminton BWF Shuttle Time Australia

I have recently translated an article about the ideal collaboration of the parents and coaches. I do recommend you to read the full article, it`s a long read but well worth it. Lots of situations explained about the needs of children among circumstances their sport could provide. Below is a summary of the article written by Paul Gamble, the full article was published on WWPIS blog.


The parent-coach relationship has a major influence on the young athlete’s experience. Nobody is more invested in the success and happiness of the young athlete than their parents. Our task should be to harness and help direct these energies to favourably impact the young athlete’s trajectory, and allow them to enjoy the significant ancillary benefits of participating in youth sport.

Jaded coaches are often quick to distance themselves from parents. I have even heard reports of a youth soccer coach who instructed his players they would be dropped to the bench if they spoke with their parents once they reported for duty with the team on match day. Rather than excluding parents we should seek to enlist the parent as a partner in the endeavour. Attempts should be made to engage them in the process. We need to equip parents with the tools to assist with the young athlete’s preparation, and with the knowledge to understand when to step back and allow them to be independent. It is however crucial to establish expectations and clear boundaries from the outset. There should be explicit agreements made on matters such as channels for communication and protocol for the practice and competition environment.

The parent-coach partnership is also a reciprocal relationship. The coach can be a key ally for the parent. My own experience is that one of the aspects that parents of young athletes I work with enjoy is that they listen to me; and what I am telling their child is often repeating what they themselves have tried to convey but met with resistance. This is particularly the case with teenagers. The coach can thereby provide a conduit for communicating messages that parents endorse.

Coaches and parents share a role in providing guidance to assist the process of helping the young athlete to acquire the necessary elements of emotional intelligence. Parents likewise play an integral role in providing support and direction when the young athlete inevitably makes mistakes.

One important aspects that parents and coaches can work together to instill in their athletes is the importance of being a good team-mate (or training partner), and upholding high standards of conduct towards others, including opponents and officials. Importantly, this will impact not only the athlete themselves, but also those around them.

Finally, both coach and parent are crucial in supporting and reinforcing a long term perspective. It is vital that both coaches and parents do not fall under the thrall of chasing short term wins, to the detriment of the long term mission. Both parties share a great responsibility to be the grown ups in the room.


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Random thoughts from Viktor Axelsen

Viktor Axelsen as a child and as a badminton champion

Dear parents in badminton. I strongly suggest you read the below carefully. This is a piece of advice from a world champion who has been a child and remember that a happy, emotionally balanced childhood is more important than a childhood full of pressure, anxiety and shame for a success the child doesn`t want. We all want the best to our little ones, but do not forget, this is their life and not your second chance.

You can find the original post here. The comments are precious!


“I have been getting an increasing amount of messages on social media from parents all around the world, who has a kid (or kids), who plays badminton. The questions are usually something like “How many times a week did you practice when you were 7-11 years old?”, “How many personal training sessions did you have growing up?” “My daughter/son don’t have the right mentality when playing, what can I do?”, “What racket should I buy for my kid?”

Every time I get questions like these, it makes me think. Therefore I thought I would share a few of my opinions with you all. Obviously, I’m not a parent and I’m not saying that I know how to be a good one. Still I would like to share some random thoughts and stories from my early days as a badminton player 😉

When I was a kid never ‘paced’ by my parents. First of all, it wasn’t necessary, because as soon as I stepped into Odense Badminton Club I fell in love with the sport. I would go to the club after school and play around with the shuttle before my session started. If there weren’t any players at the club when I arrived, which was usually the case, I would play up against the wall or throw the shuttle up in the air and whisper to myself: “This is the World Championships match point” and then smash the shuttle to the other side of the court, which was empty. If I were lucky my dad would go with me and play a bit, and when my sister started I enjoyed playing with her and teaching her some tricks.

The amount of private training sessions I got when I was growing up can be counted on two hands. Not much! What I would often do though, is go to the club together with my friends from the club. We usually went some time before our practice started or during the weekends. We would play small fun games, or do some skills where we tried to play the same shots we had seen the best players do when we watched them play on the television. We would play a bit, go to the cafeteria and eat, take part in our scheduled 2 hour training, eat again, sit behind the court and talk and laugh. I would usually stay in the club until dinner was served at home, and if I were allowed, I would go again and see if I was lucky to get invited on court by some of the older players who were training in the evenings. My training definitely wasn’t seriously monitored. Odense Badminton Club was my second home.

My fear is that more and more parents are trying to take control of their kids training way too early. And that It gets way too serious, way too soon. The most important thing for my parents was that I enjoyed badminton and that it was FUN. I’m not sure that I would have fallen in love with the game the way I did if my parents would have paced my to do 4 private training sessions a week at age 7,8,9. There is of course a place for private sessions, strength training etc.! This is of course important, but it is not the most important thing during that age in my opinion. When your kid grows up and starts to take their own decisions, it is my experience that the chance of them quitting is pretty big if they were paced from an early age.

I’d always make me sad when I saw other kid’s parents get angry with them for not doing well in practice or loosing matches at a U9/U11 tournament. The worst thing would be a parent who would go to their kid practices from time to time and sit behind the court and look like the world was going under if their kid didn’t live up to their expectations. Luckily it didn’t happen often in my club. But it never helps. I’m not saying parents shouldn’t go to their kid(s) training sessions, I’m just saying that there are many ways to do it.

I totally agree that if a kid is just wasting time and look like she/he doesn’t want to be playing or behaving poorly, parents should react somehow by talking to their kid. However, if this scenario happens often, there is probably some underlying reason. It could just be be that your kid doesn’t enjoy badminton as much as you would like them to. You can’t push your kid to deeply love something if it doesn’t come from within.

I have been very fortunate to have really supportive and awesome parents. They would come from time to time to my practices, but it wasn’t to take notes so that we could evaluate my training over dinner later that day. They came to say hi and tell me what time dinner was, or make sure that I had enough food with me. The only time they would get really angry with me, would be if I behaved badly by yelling bad words or throwing around with my racket. Of course this didn’t happen often, but I did have quite a temper… And I still have, haha!

Some of the best conversations my sister and I had with our parents have been on the road when we were going to badminton tournaments around the country. We would pack up a big cooler bag with all kinds of food and snacks we could bring. We often would sleep on air mattresses after crazy days with around 10 matches. We always had a great time together with all the other players and their parents. I was fortunate that my mom or dad took time to go with me or come watch me play tournaments whenever they had time. I’m aware that this is not always possible for some parents due to a hectic schedule. I just know that it was important for me that I got the support from my family that I did (and still do) and it is a time I will always think back on with a smile on my face!

I know this was a random bunch of words, but I hope at least some of you found it worth your time (if you even got this far, lol). And seriously – It probably doesn’t matter what racket your kid has when they start out (as long as it is a Yonex racket of course! 🙂 )

Support your kid and motivate them the best you can! No matter if it’s badminton, soccer, playing music or something totally different.

(I apologize if there are some typos by the way)


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Why talents are disappearing and a way to keep them

hanebado - famous badminton manga

“Let’s take a young footballer (but it can be a competitor from any sport). This footballer has ability…lots of talent if you’d like to use that word. And this footballer loves the game…loves nothing more than to have a ball at her feet. And she loves playing with friends. Her team mates are everything to her…and she’s incredibly loyal. She’ll do anything for her mates! And here’s the thing. She’s in her mid teens and coaches are telling her how good she is. They’re excited for her. The sky’s the limit. This girl is gonna be great… a sure thing… But these messages are so confusing. She just loves to play the game, but suddenly she feels pressure to really WORK at her game. Coaches want to give her drills to do. They want to show her HOW she’s gonna get better. A few agents have made enquiries. They’ve told her she could have a very lucrative career. Top dollar! But this is causing some inner turmoil. Their well meaning message is making her sweat about the future. She feels like so many people are starting to rely on her ability…on her ‘talent’. And she’s scared. She doesn’t want to let them down…or herself down. So you know what she’s gonna do? She’s gonna skip training. This will reduce her anxiety. She’s gonna skip training…and that’ll feel good!”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


There is a growing impatience in current badminton empires to create the next generation of legends. But you can also feel the frustration of the spectators online that they are missing the blood boiling intensity of the game. We are having good players in every discipline, don`t get me wrong. But we should wait until the current players could become legendary. Another thing. Everybody is missing the legends, no doubt about it. And it looks like right now that no one else is good enough to watch. But this is simply untrue. I believe we do have legends currently but it looks like it`s shifted away a discipline. We do have quite a lot of women players with spectacular techniques, fighting spirit and resilience. How they play is just amazing. Is it funny that all the badminton organisation are craving for women players but #yonex only have male legends? It`s a badminton paradox! Anyway, believe in current players game style can reform and just let them enjoy their time and encourage them. Support women in badminton wherever are possible. Dear parents in badminton, please do not put unnecessary pressure on the young ones. They mean the future of this sport, their mental balance is key.

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I don`t walk onto the badminton court I stride

Tony Gunawan Badminton Legend / credit/removal - shuttlers.com

“I don’t walk onto the pitch I stride… I stride because I know that from the moment I step foot on the grass I have to manage myself…I have to take control of myself…I have to own my thoughts and feelings. By doing so I can determine every action, every motion, every movement I make…I can influence my game to the fullest extent… I cannot let the opposition dictate how I feel. I must refuse to let the opposition dictate how I feel. My feelings are mine and only mine. Nothing and no one takes me away from my best possible mindset. Nothing and no one dictates my game other than myself. Nothing and no one stops me from playing my best possible game. I don’t walk onto the pitch I stride…”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


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Remember, put mindset first in badminton

Mindset of badminton

“Remember, the key is to help a player, a competitor, put mindset first. Not second, not third…but first! This is because it’s mindset that will be the most susceptible under the pressure on matchday. The brain and nervous system will fail first before the body. Although of course this is just in my opinion! And that’s all I can do is give you my opinion. But this seems to work well with my clients…I help them become passionate about developing a framework for the mental side of the game, a passion for practicing that framework, and a passion for setting the execution of that framework as the very first objective they have come Match day. I can’t speak for others…and no doubt some coaches reading this will feel very differently. And that’s ok. I understand that. For them, in their coaching culture and coaching context, the mental side of the game isn’t paramount. And that really is cool. All I can say is I love it when I work with competitors in all sports and they say to me “Dan, I just never thought of it like this. I always knew the mental side of my sport was important, but I never considered putting it first in practice and play” And of course that may not be something for every player. And that’s fine…they’ll find their own path to wherever they want it go!”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


I love every minute of the game nights. From the moment I realise I gonna depart from home in an hour to play badminton, till the end of the session, when I do some stretches, help to dismantle the courts, saying goodbyes to fellow badders. I like the mental change I experience when I arrive, during changing the shoes, during warm-up and then during practice. It differs from each other. That`s how I can manage my feelings. If I make a bad shot, I can let hard feelings go and smile. I can apologize to myself. I accept that I am vulnerable. Also, I trust in my knowledge and my body and conscious if I try it again, it will be better. I can make it better. If someone could explain this to me when I was about the age of 10, probably I could become a much better player, a much mentally balanced person as I am today. As an adult, I still feel the importance of it, especially now, when you really need to focus on your mental resilience (#lockdown2020). So yes, I agree with Dan. Put mindset first!

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How being aggressive can work on the court

Caro Marin Badminton Athelete

“Anger on the sports field is tricky! It’s tricky because it can work for a player or against a player. Let me explain why… Negative emotionality (neuroticism) can, in simple terms, be split in two:

  1. Fearfulness/behavioural inhibition.
  2. Irritability/strong responses to frustration (anger).

We’re interested in definition number two. A strong response to frustration can cause athletes to express agitation and engage in physical hostility… AND… A strong response to frustration (anger) can induce behaviours related to positive emotionality and approach motivation. I get angry and I can foul (not good) and fight (not good) and play distracted (not good). The distraction alone is really bad…leading to tunnel vision, slower anticipation, poor decision making and reduced physical functioning… Or… I get angry and I can feel more energised combined with a behavioural need to execute my actions positively, decisively and assertively. The key? Players who are prone to agitation and hostility need to learn to direct their feelings towards executing positive behaviours on the pitch. Feel the energy from anger and use it to be first to the ball or quick into space. Use it to lead decisively. Use it to assert physical presence. Use it to work harder AND smarter.”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


Badminton can be an emotional rollercoaster. Players often are yelling/shouting as a form of celebration and also when they are putting effort into smashes. These can release stress, anger or anxiety and it has a counter-effect to our opposition. Well-managed anger can move things forward but it can easily go beyond the line of fair play. Systematic winning celebrations can be frustrating for the opponent. Both parties feel there is a mean of it depending on whether you winning or losing. It can further amplify for both players if they are close to the end of the game or the match. Casual winning celebrations are often a sign of a hidden message to the opponent. If you play with a systematic shouter and you win a strategically important point, you want to express that you can be dominant without shouting with a casual winning celebration shout. A casual winning celebration can occur if a great amount of effort pays off for the winning player after a long rally and want to release pressure. Furthermore, a casual winning celebration occurs when all of the above combined plus a big crowd cheering against you and you won the point against your opponent. All in all, it does not work for everybody, nevertheless, it is not a good solution for every end of a rally. Overdoing it rudely is against the rules and against Fairplay. Please use it wisely and always respect your opponent.

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Recover quicker, perform better – ATHLETE 365

athlete365 - badminton

Just a short post for today about a free online course created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about tips and good practices for quicker recovery after training sessions or competitions. They are giving out lots of useful information not limited to the adaptation cycle, the importance of cool down or sleep and nap methods.

Highly recommended to all the members and sympathizers of Sunrise Badminton Network. Here is the link below to access the course after the login.

https://www.olympic.org/athlete365/courses/recover-quicker-perform-better/

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It starts when she puts her shoes on

wang shixian badminton athlete

“It starts as she puts her boots on…before she sets foot on the pitch. It has to! It has to start early so she can build momentum…a momentum of mindset and a brain ready for problem solving. A focus attuned to flexibility. Flexible because she knows there’s an 80/20 rule out on the pitch. She knows that 80% of time she’ll play on instinct…she’ll just do it. But she also knows that there’s the 20% that other players can get so wrong…the 20% that require solution finding and mental skill. She knows that this 20% is vital for a footballer with ambition. She knows that the opposition bring with them problems to be solved…problems she’ll have to consciously meet. And she knows that her own game and her own brain can get in the way…she’ll need mental nimbleness to deal with mistakes, tough to handle moments, as well as her natural propensity to switch off. But she has solution finding and mindset sorted. How? Because she puts the mental side of the game first…she puts mental skill first! That’s her primary objective…be the best on the pitch mentally. Get into a Game Face…use self-talk and body language…leave mental space for problem solving…lead others where necessary. Quite simply…be mentally outstanding! And that process starts when her boots slip on…”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


I`d like to mention only a thing before every one of you start wearing a superhero face until it hurts. Game face is a mental state. You need to practice how to wear yours and when. And when you do not need to wear it, be you, put on a silly one if you like and enjoy life.

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A short video about the practice of the game face

michael p. game face recommended for badminton players
Credit: Global Soccer Development

The above video is a good representation of how a game face can work for young children. Remember, when you start creating/realizing yours, you are doing it to keep focus on the play. If you overplay it, your performance will fall back. It is not a problem if you are having lots of tries at the early stages of your career, but… In the phase of creation, limit the practice to training sessions and talk about it with your coach. If they cannot give you the answer you need, don`t be afraid. Find out here.

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A game Face works

Viktor Axelsen Badminton Player

“It’s always the same… It really is! Time and again sports competitors underestimate the importance of having a Game Face… being deliberate and intentional with the type of personality and mental state they want to display in their performance environment. So often they can simply forget about it: “Yeah, Dan, nightmare… I just forgot about my Game Face out there!” And that’s ok… I understand that. You’re there to perform. You’re focused on performance. But, in my opinion, you have the capacity to perform in the style of your Game Face. You have the ability to execute every action in the style of your Game Face. If you so choose. And of course there are coaches who may say that this gives the player too much to think about. “Just clear your mind and play”. And that philosophy is fine. I mean, I don’t want players to over-think. But I do want players to execute with positive intent. I do want players to be in a mental and physical state that optimises their attention and their intensity so their physical and cognitive game thrives. And I do want players to manage their internal biological and psychological drivers that so often get in the way. The anxiety, the distractions, the frustrations, the self-consciousness etc I’ll whisper it and shout it…a Game Face works”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


How did I discover what my game face should reflect? Well, it took a couple of years to realize what kind of a player I would like to become, what kind of a person I wanna be. Every international tournament I`ve seen or have played on had changed my game face. When I have seen lots of incredibly good player styles, it has simply impressed me and I`ve naturally adopted them. In almost every year. From the age of 14 – 23. At about the age of 23 (Which is very late), I understand how to fight for a goal, how to be mentally relentless and how to solely focus on the game using my game face.

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The uncovered narrative can end a career

Neymar

“A young player…an 11 year old…loves Neymar. He watches Neymar all the time. He dreams of playing like Neymar. So he practices Neymar skills. He practices and practices. When he plays with his club team he pretends to be Neymar. And he gets better and better. Suddenly, at the age of 16 he finds himself winning a scholarship to a Premier League Academy. “Wow!” he thinks. “I’m going to work so hard at my game that I’m going to be as good as Neymar” And it starts well. He shows similar skills to Neymar, and he scores some goals as well. But then the head coach has a chat with him. The coach says “I really love your skills, but we need to get you working on your movement and positioning. We need you playing more intelligently. At first this seems ok to the player. He just thinks “Sure, like Neymar.” But as time passes, and as the coach becomes more infuriated with this player as he struggles to implement what needs to be done, so the player becomes more frustrated. The coach gets him to watch video. The coach instructs. The coach is patient one day then shouts the next day. But nothing changes. The problem? Players have a narrative…a set of beliefs about their sport that influence their behaviour. Uncover this narrative and use these beliefs to help your players.”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


How many good players with incredible skills we can see in the world of badminton who will never get to the top because of their uncovered narratives. It can cause lots of overplayed trick shots or lots of favourite situations which makes our game easy to predict. We love what we do but at some point, we need to decide if we want to change and win and or stay the same and stuck. Both will create frustration and inconvenience. I remember when I first saw Tai Tzu Ying playing on a video. She had shown incredible skills but when she got close to a title, someone defeated her. I`ve seen it many times. It was so sad to see. I`m not sure if that was the case to her. But, whatever she has struggled with, she could overcome on it and now she`s one of the most spectacular players on this planet ever had.

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Is it the biggest killer of performance?

Lin Dan - Badminton athlete in a mood

“Perhaps the biggest killer of performance? Mood! “I’m not feeling it today…” “I feel a little flat…” “I feel lethargic…” In my humble opinion, mood is one of the biggest killers of performance. The biggest? I don’t know. But I know it’s one of the most frustrating for coaches. At the competitive level (lets say 14 years and up) players tend to be inconsistent. Why? In part because sports are complicated. By that I mean sports are hard to play…they’re difficult. But another explanation is because people are complex. They work on several levels…biologically, psychologically and socially. The deepest level…the biological one…is enormously powerful, and that is where mood emanates. Mood emerges from the depths of competing hormones. It shapes itself as negative feeling that sticks like super glue. It throbs…sometimes from head to toe. It saps energy and rocks a competitor back onto their heels. Aggressive, front foot play becomes impossible with mood. So my friends in coaching, put Psych-Social first. If you want to help players manage that horrible, sticky feeling that be mood, you need to master the ability to help players regulate themselves. You need to master the ability to help players master themselves. And that needs a Psych-Social plan..”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


When I was about 17, I remember my coach said to me, whatever happens to you, come down to training. If your cat dies, if you are feeling ugly or just broke up with your girlfriend. Come down to training. When I read the above, I can relate to his words and it was not a matter what mood I was in. Now I know, he knew he could make a turn of my mood.

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Provide space for negative thoughts and feelings

Mental preparedness can win over doubts

“It’s not a necessity to motivate players…it’s a necessity to help players motivate themselves (and each other!) Read that line. Have a think about it. A slight twist on the ordinary? A slightly different view of motivation? In my opinion a modern day motivational climate, a Millennial motivational climate if you will, is optimised when players themselves are enlisted to self-motivate and motivate their team mates. How? In many ways that will go beyond this short post, but here’s a few ideas: – Less instruction and more empowerment of players to come up with solutions (“That small sided game could have been better. John take your team mates away and brainstorm some ideas to improve. Come back and execute your ideas”) – Ask players to articulate the behavioural standards of the club and team…then assign leaders to police these – Provide space for negative thoughts and feelings…there’s nothing more demotivating than an autocracy that ignores vulnerability – Develop coach-athlete relationships by seeking out conversations daily with players. Help them with their game…help players establish meaning behind what they’re trying to achieve – Balance stretch and support on and off the pitch to tap player interest and enjoyment. Motivation emerges from both sweat and smiles.”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


The above lines are about a team where the coach encouraging players to work independently. There is only one thing can stop this good method if the players have no experience how to work independently. The coach needs to be aware of the maturity of its players and good daily interactions could potentially move this relationship fast forward.

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Prohibited list in force

WADA prohibited doping list - badminton

Doping is something we do not support. We would rather like to educate every one of our competitors to educate themselves on this topic instead of banning it, making it a taboo. It only drives people to curiosity. They may occasionally try it and then suffering from its consequences. Here is a famous quote from Andreas Krieger (Alias Heidi Krieger) we agree with.

“The question is, what kind of sport do you want to see? The type where there are the normal ups-and-downs, with tears and the rest? Or do you want to see a freak show, where it is all a pure fake?”

Please find the most up to date prohibited list here.

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Badminton players learn to control the shuttle, but…

Master and Padawan

“Footballers learn to control the ball but they don’t necessarily learn to negotiate with themselves… Golfers learn to strike a ball but they don’t necessarily learn to negotiate with themselves… Tennis players learn to get across the court quickly but they don’t necessarily learn to negotiate with themselves… Basketball players learn to peel away into space but they don’t necessarily learn how to negotiate with themselves… Sports competitors in general learn the skills required to compete in their sport but they don’t necessarily learn how to negotiate with themselves… …so they don’t necessarily become great competitors despite their technical and physical skills. Because the ability to negotiate with yourself…to talk back to (and talk through) the unhelpful and sometimes destructive thoughts and emotions that you experience is vital in the ever changing competitive sporting landscape. To negotiate with yourself…to brainstorm solutions. To negotiate with yourself…to make that last lung busting run. To negotiate with yourself…to be accepting of the current situation…to be patient…to get up earlier…to rest more…to try harder…to try less. Competitive sport is as much about the skill of negotiating with self as it is technical and physical skill.”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


Only a sentence from me here, that the above pretty much sums up why my career has ended quickly.

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The third eye of a coach

Badminton coach gives advice to its player

“You don’t know this but I saw you… …I saw you take some quiet time to yourself before the game. What were you doing? Were you picturing your Game Face like we discussed? Were you picturing the personality you wanted to be, the attitude you wanted to portray? Is that why you were able to shrug off that mistake you made in the first five minutes? Is that why you kept your head up when we went a goal down? I saw you in the warm up enacting your Game Face. I saw you moving…alert, alive and lively. I saw you setting the tone for the game ahead…demonstrating great body language…an empowering physical presence…not just for your team mates but for yourself. Because as we discussed, that’s what great body language is for, right? It’s to make the experience of being present in your body as you compete as energised as possible…as positive as possible…as determined as possible…as brutally committed as possible. That’s why you approached the game in the manner you did. That’s why you looked like you did. And that’s why you competed as you did. You used your inner pictures and your outer projection to help you to dominate yourself…to help you to own yourself…to help you to control yourself…to help you to take charge of yourself. You were in charge…”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


When I was young, about 16 years old, the game face I fell in love with was the “Barbarian”. Which is later on with the years behind me further evolved into the “Relentless expert”. For me, it doesn`t matter if I fail sometimes against a stronger/currently better opponent, but I rather go up on the court as “Frank the Hun” instead of having a blurry picture of my game and eventually become idle on the court. I have learned 1 thing here: Don`t be afraid to become the thing you think you are.

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Tell me about you at your best

Badminton players on court

“Tell me about you at your best” “I score goals” “No…tell me about you at your best” “What do you mean?” “Tell me in detail about what you’re doing when you’re playing your best…the specific actions…the specific behaviours” “I’m making runs and finding space…I’m all over the defenders…I’m linking up with the midfield…I’m driving forward to the six yard area” “Can you see those things?” “Yes” “Now give me some action based words associated with you at your best…linked to those behaviours…like sharp, alert, alive, lively” “I’m sharp and brave” “sharp and brave…can you see yourself being sharp and brave on the pitch?” “Yes” And as the person…as the player…starts to envision the specific actions, the specific behaviours related to them at their best…as they start to picture those action based words you’ve elicited from them…so feelings start to emerge…so sensations start to rise. “Sharp and brave…can you see yourself play like that…can you feel yourself be sharp and brave…are those sensations surging through your body?” “I can…” The player…the person…can! And this is vital because high performance is so often a feeling…a personal, private feeling that is sparked by an individual’s own personal, private brand of excellence!”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


It is hard to express how do you feel yourself at you best because when it happens the first time, you really do not know what went different comparing to the previous experiences. I remember my first time at the age of 17. I was actually confused because I thought if I prepare carefully, sleep enough and practice the shots and movements, it will determine the success. But I`ve failed many times and haven`t got a clue why. Once it happened, I won a local competition and really did not understand what happened, but I remember I thing clearly, that I do not wanted to stop! So they`ve left the hall open to some of us and we could play until late night. I will never forget that night. I felt quick, strong and confident.

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You have to create a memorable silhouette for the character you are going to play

Tom Hardy for mental development

“Tom, when you play the prince or the king, I want to see a king walk onstage before you even open your mouth. What does that look like?” This was what a teacher told Tom Hardy at school. He told him he needed to BE the character to play the character…to embody it…to enact it…to become it. To stand like it, to walk like it. Today, Tom chooses to draw the character he has been employed to play…to bring the character alive for himself. To scratch it into his brain and sketch it onto his mind. “You have to create a memorable silhouette for the character you are going to play” he said. And this is what I want for every sports competitor. I insist on it! I want every sports competitor to know with exact precision the character he or she wants to be, do and act on the court, the course or the pitch. I want them to start in this character and stay in this character. I want nothing and no one to take them away from the persona they’ve chosen…one that can deliver excellence. And if that’s being authentic then so be it. But don’t bull**** yourself. Don’t pretend that your natural temperament is the one that helps you be competitive if it isn’t. High level sport, especially in the acute performance moments, requires a character that works for you!”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


How can we help for you at Sunrise Badminton Network to create this silhouette and achieve it? You need to spend lots of time on the court to get to know yourself better, leave more time to your coach to observe your personality and your physical abilities and after couple of months we can visualize a picture of how your silhouette should look like.

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The power of words in sport

Ratchanok Intanon Badminton Athlete

“The power of words in sport… Let’s take a word. A controversial word perhaps. Let’s take the word ‘Aggression‘. Aggression is a controversial word because it contains connotations of unfair play. Of fouling. Of injuring someone. But we can we play with the word aggression and marry it to suit our needs. “I’m going to be aggressive on the pitch. I’m going to execute every action with aggression. Every run, every movement will be aggressive. I’m going to be aggressive with my play non stop…” Of course, the use of this word can be blown out of proportion, I admit that. But the point is this…you can take any word and you can choose to act like that word if that is what is required to improve your game. You can embody a word and you can enact a word. You can carry out game instructions and processes in the style of that word. Let’s take another word…free! “I’m going to swing free” “I’m going to pass free” “I’m going to box free” “I’m going to jump free” What do these look like? What do these feel like? Sport may well be a physical endeavour. It may well be about actions and interactions. But these behaviours can be enveloped in action-based words that describe the manner in which you want to execute the behaviours. Words matter…they’re powerful!”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


This particular word Aggression is crucial on the court if you want to compete in badminton. It doesn`t mean you cannot be humble, respectful or fair. It only means you must focus on winning, yell, shout and attack thoroughly until you won the match.

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I play my best when I don’t think

Iskandar Zulkarnian Zainuddin Badminton Athlete

“Players often say “I play my best when I don’t think” They don’t understand! They don’t understand that they’re not thinking of nothing. When you quiz this notion of nothingness…when you tease them into thinking about their thinking, they actually have thought. They have feelings as well…feelings they pay attention to…feelings shaped as thought! Because high performance doesn’t have a relationship with NO thought. It’s not simply a case of ‘blank your mind and play’. What a player high performing experiences is LESS thought. Perhaps it’s a thousand bits of thought rather than five thousand. Perhaps it’s 5 different sensations rather than fifteen! I don’t know! But what I do know is that high performance isn’t a vacuum. The ‘zone’ isn’t a black hole of nothingness. Competitors need a Game Face. They need self-regulation techniques. They need a strategy! They need intention to have attention. They need language – vocal and body. They need emotion and expression. They need effort and will and determination. They need cognitive processes that will help their body get the most from the environment around them. Those are the things that players need. Not nothing, but not everything. Not silence, but not noise. It’s thought…but less thought!”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


When I am playing at my best, it feels like most strokes are just right, most rallies are driven by me and emotions are flowing unobstructed. I can only see the signs of strength and weaknesses on the opponent, I can read most of their shots and make them idle without a fight. And I am conscious that I reached my best and controlling positive thoughts are key to keep it up. Only focus on winning a rally, be vigilant and read the messages coming from the other side and let adrenaline to bring a bit more risk in the game.

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How a legend thinks about its beloved sport

Diego Maradona

“This is probably my favourite football picture… It epitomises The Man in the Arena…a famous section of Roosevelt’s speech: “It’s not the critic that counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled…the credit belongs to the man IN the arena.” It reminds me of a sketch in a magazine I may have read as a kid…a make believe ‘Roy of the Rovers’ scene brought to life. I wonder what he’s looking at? What’s he thinking? What feelings tear through his body as the crowd encircle him, watching on. Whatever he was experiencing, here’s my (brief) thoughts on becoming Maradona:

  • 1. Learn to love the ball first, then learn to love the space. As Xavi Hernandes said: “I’m thinking about space all day long.” My point? Football requires the capacity to scan constantly.
  • 2. In line with the above…when you scan, work on paying attention to your environment. The subtleties of movement…body weight, shape. Learn to be able to notice when space emerges and then dissolves
  • 3. Dance! Young Brazilians learn Capoeira (a mix of dance and martial art); Vasyl Lomachenko, the world’s greatest boxer right now, stopped boxing as a child to learn traditional Ukranian dance. My point? Learn to move with balance
  • 4. Always play big, bold and bright…with fun, freedom and focus!”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


I believe Lee Chong Wei or Lin Dan, Susi Susanti or Camilla Martin are no exceptions here. They all still in love with the shuttle. They are also masters of finding spaces on their opponent`s courts. Every one of them has an identical move but they also capable to find a good balance within their games. And finally, whenever I`ve seen them live or on a video, they are always went on court to play based on 4. on the above list.

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How can I practice the mental side of the game?

Chocolate for badminton

“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.”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


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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How to grasp a sport mind

Sport Brain for Badminton related article

“A hypothesis: Our brain evolved to help us solve problems in order to survive in an unstable, outdoor environment, and to do so in nearly constant motion (thanks John Medina!) So what does this mean for sport? Here’s some more hypotheses stemming from the above statement: – The brain works in milliseconds and directs us more powerfully than we can direct it. Thus every sports competitor would do well to have a mental skills framework – The brain is constantly scanning for threats. Thus sports competitors have a tough job staying ‘on-task’, dealing with emotions and internal feelings that influence performance intensity, and finally, retaining a positive intent with their actions – The brain is constantly scanning the body for it’s capacity to ‘carry on’ functioning optimally in order to move and accomplish tasks, thus it will turn a sports competitor’s focus inwards, often (distracting them away from their competitive environment) – The brain’s frontal lobe functioning is scarce (just 4% of the brain) thus it feels hard to use this area (in order to scan and make decisions). Thus a sports competitor will often experience a drop in attention (attending to the environmental cues and clues). The brain is complex, powerful and (may well be) destructive for sports competitors.”

The above post is written by Dan Abrahams. Further information available at https://danabrahams.com/


In badminton, we are getting behind or into advance by making decisions in milliseconds. You can only beat your mental beasts if you know them well. Spend more time in competition or in practice, so you can build up a tactic to keep your focus on your target.

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Cool Down After Badminton Is Necessary, Here’s Why

Stretching after badminton

When it turns into badminton training, I always emphasize the importance of warm-up and cool down. I have found good content on Playo, which I would like to share with you about cool down after badminton. This is a long post to read and to see all the videos it has. Here`s a part of the article:

“The game of Badminton is quite physically challenging. It requires the body to use its muscles continuously in order to support the player. Since it is so strenuous, at the end of the play, a good and thorough cool down is required. Skipping the cool down can be quite harmful in the long run. Injuries are at a higher risk when the body, muscles, and joints haven’t been stretched properly after play. Before I get into what is the best cool down, we would like to note a brief on the benefits of the cool down.

  1. Helps in the reduction of lactic acid build-up. This is very important to note.
  2. It helps prevent injuries.
  3. It helps in the recovery of the muscles, which can aid in us performing the same routine the following day.
  4. It has a positive effect on your cardiovascular system.
  5. It ensures that the muscles are flexible and remain flexible.”

So what is the best way to cool down post badminton?

Find the answers here.


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Anatomy of a badminton athlete – Marcus Ellis

Marcus Ellis and Lauren Smith badminton athletes

I have found this video couple of days ago online and would like to share some thoughts on it. First of all, it is a state of preparedness which is achievable by other humans. You can see a photo about Marcus in the video that he wasn’t always a skinny guy. This is an important message to all the youngsters, that it is not a problem if you excess some weight whether you`re a girl or a boy. With a constant focus on your body, you can turn it into lean. It won’t affect your speed or stamina in the long term. This state is achievable with persistence within couple of years, and most importantly, to have a goal to reach.

See the video here.


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The foundation of the three amigos in badminton

Three Amigos - Sunrise Badminton Warrington

I believe many of our badminton parents have seen the movie Three Amigos which debuted in the `80s where the three actors,  Lorne MichaelsSteve Martin, and Randy Newman have shown how friends could face with real-life situations. They were unprepared to go against a bandit, they lacked the skills needed in a fight, but together they could have done it. There is a method in software development which called the Three Amigos. Learn more about the method here.

In software development, a software developer, a software tester and a representative of the business called process engineer or owner collaborate to define what to do and agree on how they will know when it is done correctly. They are the 3 Amigos. They are the key to an excellent product.

Transform it to badminton development, in my understanding, the software developer is the child itself and what they are developing are their achievements and reputation. A brand which can determine their future achievements beyond sport. The software tester is the coach. Now, what software testers do? Their role is to see what scenarios were developed and how it is affecting all the other functions and the system as a whole. Their job is to find the limits of the product and see how the software behave under pressure. Software testers using limited training environments to test before they are releasing a new version of software to a live environment. The process engineer is the parent(s). What does a software engineer do? It defines what new functions we want to see here. The owner has loads of ideas about how the software should look like, act like, feels like for the end-users (to teachers, coaches, relatives, generally for the public, etc) and they hold a crucial political role in this collaboration. The other amigos’ job to describe what they can do to create this new function work in the software and also the tester can already see what challenges the software will face during testing. But a weird thing still does not let us believe that this could work. The overlap among the roles. Because there is. Over time, when we get to know each others needs, we can start thinking with the others` head and take proactive steps to make the other`s work “easier”. We need to be careful with this because if we go too far the whole process will be counter-effective. Let’s turn the above into a badminton example.

So there are 3 parties, the child, the coach and the parents. They are holding different perspectives about sport, sports achievements, their child`s performance in sport and a good method of training. They need to collaborate to achieve the desired result. The result could be various depending on what the child would like to achieve without external demand. For instance, it is an achievement if the child likes the moves on court, like the game as is, execute good shots or movements in action, win over someone under pressure or can compete on a tournament. Defining achievements and goals should be things under the child`s control. Therefore, without the collaboration of all parties, there will be frustration from one of those Amigos as they think the other making obstructions or using a wrong method of development. This article is to describe what would be the optimal role of all “Amigos” in the sport’s development of a child.

The Child

Children are the most important part of this partnership. Ideally, they will decide what sports they want to do and for how long. They naturally would like to become better and will do whatever they can if they want to achieve. But almost every situation will be new to them and most of the times they will be confused by new sensations, feelings and situations what a competitive environment could create. They will feel emotionally and physically imbalanced and they may also lack confidence. If the support from the parents and the coaches are satisfactory to them since the early years, they will perform better and better, year by year and could become high performers in badminton and their academic results could also show the same promise.

The Coach

The coach`s task is to identify the learning method of the child through the years and motivate them to contribute more time to the sport, also want to be updated of the academic results and will show a mild interest of their life but keep a healthy emotional distance. The coaches should teach the rules and the basic shots and movements of the game to give a shape to the training sessions. Later on, when the child wants to get a deeper knowledge of the sport, they will be invited to a more competitive environment with chances to compete on a tournament or as a part of a team. Coaches are also the most relevant to decide if someone has stepped up a level and need a different intensity of training. In this role patience and being determined is key, so the children will feel comfortable and can trust the coach even during the most challenging times. Warm and fair treatment is the most desired for most ages.

The Parent

I believe this is the most undervalued and abandoned role of the Amigos. However, this role has less part in this collaboration, but I believe it is equally important emotionally as the role of the coach, but off the court. Parents are the most important in their children`s lives. How they feel about their sports performance and what they say about it will determine the outcome of the children`s emotions about the whole sporting experience, no matter if the child previously evaluated badminton as a good one. Even a short communication with the coach will increase the trust in the child towards the coach and would like to contribute more time as it feels like the parent supporting it. This person will make sure about the good results and could make a decision to end the sporting activity if the child`s academic performance drops below the desired. Parents are naturally overreacting on their children`s performance outside the court and could make statements which creates struggles for them. Furthermore, it is not expected from any parents to become an expert in the sport their child does. What a parent in sport need to do is love and support their child no matter how hard it is to them to perform in school or on the court. Love sort these out.

As you can see, all the roles are important and one cannot work without the other efficiently. I hope all parties could find the right way to collaborate and we will see lots of happy developers on our courts.


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Two parents talking

A friend of mine asked me “Why do you pay that much money for your children to do sports?”

I do not pay for sport – I said.

– I pay for the moment, when they are tired but off for training. I pay for them, to learn what is discipline and concentration. I pay for them to learn how to save their body and health. I pay for them to learn how to work with others, how to be a good team member, how to bear defeat graciously and how to stay humble during success.

– I pay for them to learn how to how to handle disappointments if they did not achieve their aims. But despite that they will go back, week by week. I pay for them to learn how to how to reach their goals. I pay for them to respect not only themselves but their team mates and coaches!

– I pay for them to do the hard work for hours, weeks, months and at the end they could become a champion. They may not but have the chance. I pay for them to learn that success does not happen overnight. I pay for them to be proud of their results and have long term goals.

– I pay for them to make friendships and have memories for a lifetime. And I pay for them to be on the pitch, gym or court instead of in front of the tele. I pay for the opportunities what sport can provide.

I believe it is a good investment…


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