Problem summary: I train hard and to my limits. I have put more than 20 hours this week but my regular opponents are getting closer scores to me whereas before, I would beat them easily. What should I do?
MSeeley: I don’t want to ask a stupid question… but why does it matter? You are training hard. Your focus should be on YOU, not on them. Who cares how they do against you? The question is: how are YOU performing?
Notice that their performance changing does not affect you. If they improve, that’s fine. Your focus should be on your game, not on theirs.
But it sounds like you are focusing on how easily you can beat people. That is pointless – you should be focusing on how well you are moving, how well you are playing your shots, how well you are strategizing, how well you apply your strategy etc.
If you get beaten, or come close to losing, most people will ask “Am I too tired? Should I take a break? Why am I struggling”. Instead, you should be asking yourself the following – How did I feel during the game? How was my footwork? How many mistakes or unforced errors did I make? What shall I improve in training next week to eliminate my weaknesses? What is it about the way they played shot X that made it difficult to return?
nbonkowsky: If you play with the same people a lot, they will learn how you play and how to counter your game. It could have just been an off day as your body was tired from all the badminton. They could have had a great day or improved their skills. There are many factors but what matters the most is how you played, you cannot measure your success based on how many points other players get on you – it has to be on how you played.