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 still an old one could cause confusion. 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 development. 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.

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, 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 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 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 he/she accepted that or I want to make sure he/she 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 he/she is aware of that or the other way round. I want to know if he/she follows the rules of rotation. If not, then what does he/she prefer to do so? I want to know if he/she will go to the front or rather stays mid-court. I want to know if he/she is aware of the consequences of lifting in doubles. I want to know if he/she has alternative shots at every corners and not easy to read how is he/she plays badminton. I need to know if he/she 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.


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 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 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 with each other because they feel they are stronger together.

Behind the curtain

Let`s say Alicia is coming from a mentally balanced family. Let`s say Sarah isn`t. 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 and creates a loss of confidence and 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 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 the possible. 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. A lot. 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. Into 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 enter the room. Those are the basic reasons we can trust this place. If one of those conditions’ change, because the cat is hungry and become annoying, or we still can smelling the dinner roast in the bedroom or the noisy fridge turn 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 wonders 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 is a layer. 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 a secondary or a tertiary layer 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 layers during a stressful situation, it can turn into mistrust of self and in this case, your mind 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 places, your relatives, teammates and coaches, so it is not limited to the physical environment where you perform. So you do not need to worry about existential threats.

An easy example for the above: If one of your shots does not work out for you at that 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 lose it. In other terms, if one of your layer of overall trust is failing for some reason, just replace it with a trusted layer. 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.

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 when 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 an inspiration. Your respect for the 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 a good example 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. 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 side 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 realise what could happen at the frontcourt and you will freeze from little bit of a shock of losing. And then, for a fraction of a second, your muscles got a bit tight so wherever the shuttle goes, you will be behind. Your opponent will score.
  2. Let it happen, move forward. Accept your vulnerability and TRUST your partner`s abilities. So the front will be covered and when you move forward, the rear court becomes covered by your partner.

End of part one. Click here for part 2.


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References and external links

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


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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

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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