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Sport Psychology in Badminton

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by macazteeg, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. macazteeg

    macazteeg Regular Member

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    Hi guys! I just recently graduated, I have a degree in Psychology and im also a varsity player at my school, well if you have any questions or Psychological problems or maybe court tantrums, you can ask me and i'll try my best to solve your problem using the concepts of psychology. Well, I still dont have a masters degree in Sport Psychology but answering your questions will also help me prepare for my future work, we can help each other this way, just post your questions and i'll reply with the answer.. :)
     
  2. OSFcross

    OSFcross Regular Member

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    Ooh, nice. And a varsity player too! I'd rather have you solve my problems on certain badminton strokes ;)

    Q1: How have you applied your degree in Psych to badminton? I'm really interested.

    Q2: I may be too critical of myself at times, and end up getting frustrated easily. It doesn't really hinder my play much, but it's sort of a bad habit. How do you work around this?
     
  3. macazteeg

    macazteeg Regular Member

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    yes actually, one theory in psychology is that you cant help others psychologically if you cant even help yourself. I also have the same problem as you, and what's bad is that it really affects my game, not only my game, but my partner's game as well (especially in doubles), I end up having three opponents, the partners on the other side of the court, and my partner. Actually I have a column on a badminton magazine in the Philippines, but it just recently fold up. My last column is about positive thinking, getting away from frustrations. I'll try to post in here in BC.

    Anyways to answer your question, there are many ways to work around it, actually what i suggest is that you make use of that frustration for you to improve, since it doesn't really have an effect on your game negatively, then you can you use it positively. Frustration is like a fire inside you, it can either burn you or fire you up even more. The way I see it, the cause of your frustration is that you are a perfectionist, in everything you do, that's why I frimly believe that you can excel in whatever you do, specially in sports (regardless of you being a club player/ varsity or whatever). I suggest that you train, not just play but somehow take some time to practice your strokes or footwork. Just the thought of training will ease the feeling of frustration, thinking that you did your best in training and improving even though you commit some errors or be defeated in a certain match or tournament, just train, remember, not training to win is training to lose.
     
  4. vittorio790

    vittorio790 Regular Member

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    if you entered into a competition and you know that all your matches are going to be against tough/superior opponents, what kind of mindset should you have before and during the game
     
  5. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    ok,here's 1.
    is a person psychic born or learned? If both, can a weak psych person be trained to be as good as a person with great psych.?
     
  6. macazteeg

    macazteeg Regular Member

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    Well, there is a technique in sport psychology called performance segmenting, in which an athlete has the mindset of focusing on internal factors instead of external or uncontrollable factors. When applied to badminton, external factors/ uncontrollable factors may include the court or place of a competition, umpire, line judges, and of course, your opponents. Since you cant control really who will be your opponents are for a certain tournament/ match or competition, it maybe worth focusing not on your opponent and who your opponents are but in your own game, that's a factor you can control. Always have a certain mindset when you enter games that "whoever my opponents are, I will do my best" and when I say whoever, I really mean whoever, it may be against Taufik, Lin Dan or anyone, just do your best. Lee Chong Wei has this principle of always doing his best in matches, even if his opponent is far lower than his level. This attitude is what made him a great player today. Excellence, or to excel, is not just a one shot deal, it's a habit of doing your best in anything you do, or any match you play.

    During the match you can do positive self talk, instead of being frustrated against better opponents, trying saying positive words like "i can do this" or "i will not make errors" or "i can do better than this", stuffs like that, elite athletes do this positive self talk. One thing you should do is to really say the words to yourself, not just to think of it. If you have watched the film Rocky 3, in between rounds rocky and his coach said "no pain", that way he won't feel it. What you think is what you feel, if you say "im tired" it will make you fell tired, however if you say "im not tired, bring it on!!" that must really pump you up. And most importantly, to constantly think and focus on what to do instead of just actin on your instinct, no matter who is against you is human, must have a weakness. Michael Jordan said " If I can't break a wall, I go around it" always find a way, and never give up until the final point is made. Give em hell even if the odds are against you!
     
  7. macazteeg

    macazteeg Regular Member

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    I hope what you mean by having a person with great psych or weak psych is the mental toughness of a person. That is how a person reacts on pressure especially during sporting competitions. Like when a person is under pressure, on how he/she will react, either to be challenged by the situation and do whatever it takes to get out of that situation, or to just give up.

    In elite sporting competition, this is what separates a winner from a loser, they may have the same amount or intensity in training, or even if a person do a higher intensity of training, it will be useless if your not mentally tough. "Sooner or later, the person who wins, is the one who thinks he can", this quote was from the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali.

    In psychology we have a theory called tabula rasa, or clean slate. That is, when a person is born, he/ she is like a clean bond paper with no marks on it. What im saying is, being mentally tough is learned, your not born with it, its just a matter of choice, to give up or not to. This choice can be motivated by the factors around you, especially the crowd.

    To answer you first question, again being mentally tough is not hereditary, its a matter of choice which depends on external factors or your past experiences. But yes, being mentally tough can be learned, any behavior can be learned or manipulated, as in "any". It's just a matter of "who" are "what". Who, who are the people that can give you motivation? It maybe your coach, my coach used to be a very good motivator, and my coach is my dad. Or it maybe people in the crowd, like chinese people in sporting events shouting "jia you!!" (more oil). And what in terms of What are your goals, if you want an Olympic gold medal, go get it, dont let anyone stop you, which is in reality the only thing that can stop you is yourself. Being mentally tough or having a good psych can be trained, remember, its just a matter of "who are the people who can train you or motivate you" and to always remember "what are your goals".
     
  8. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Thanks macazteeg for all your encouragement. ;)
     
  9. macazteeg

    macazteeg Regular Member

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    Welcome bro!! I got lots of it, just say if you need some :D:):):)
     
  10. Loh

    Loh Regular Member

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    Okay and thanks.

    I have one for you.

    What is your approach as a coach to a group of about 10 young teenagers who are just starting out on learning to play badminton? :)
     
  11. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    thx for your reply.
    Although i don't have the thorough training in psychology as u do, i do not believe or buy the theory tabula rasa, that everyone start with an equal clean slate, no way jose:D We r all born with different abilities and attributes. We humans don't asexually reproduce ourself, therefore, gene permutation and diversify exist and is the strength of our human race.

    Yes, i do agree with your part that mental toughness is largely shaped after birth. HOWEVER, if one is dealt with a good set of genes at birth, traits that are desirable can be learned faster or ahead of others who were dealt with poorer genes of that particular trait ( i don't mean poor genes equal to a dumb person, i mean on a particular trait). Again i stress that i have no psychology training but i do believe strongly that the so called mental toughness is not 100% mentally driven but rather is driven by 2 forces, mental being one of them. Here is where a branch of science that man called human psychology (not a science by my standard:D) fail to capture the full essence of a man's drive. Of course, i admit i never studied psychology, there might be explanation or extra information on this subject that i haven't encountered yet.
     
    #11 cooler, Mar 30, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  12. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    oops, i forgot to attach this pic with my last post
    just one more smash from cooler:p
     

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  13. Break-My-String

    Break-My-String Regular Member

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    Welcome to BC Macazteeg.

    Here's one, what's your analysis and approach...

    You have a 12 year old male student who:

    - has natural abilities for badminton aka diamond on the rough
    - loves to play badminton and often wins against kids of simular age
    - a constant talker and often interrupts/chats during the demonstrations
    - listens for 2 minutes, then back to old self
    - when one-on-one, will grasp the concept and technique very quickly and does it well, but after 1 minute, goes back to the old style or don't bother trying

    Would you take this student further into the sport of badminton? and how would you approach this? :)

    Cheers!
     
  14. macazteeg

    macazteeg Regular Member

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    Anyway thanks also for your opinion bro! I may have studied psychology but I cannot say that I'm 100% with regards to the theories, their theories by the way it's up to you whether to believe it or not, Thanks for the insight, I learned something from that.
     
  15. macazteeg

    macazteeg Regular Member

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    As a coach, I would start them out with simple concepts in Badminton, that is, if they really want to be good, to follow two basic concepts:

    1. Never Let the shuttlecock get passed you, and
    2. Return each and every shot in whatever way you can

    With these simple instructions they can develop different traits like having a never say die attitude on court, persistency and perseverance and other positive attitudes that will serve as the foundation for them to be good.
    One thing you should know is that teenage athletes are mostly the hardest to train, because one attitude most of them have sometimes is to think that they are perfect, thus getting mad at them or scolding them will just make a certain situation worst, instead give certain rewards or punishments which will make their game better. Ex. Instead of scolding them on court, make them do additional shuttleruns, sit ups and other drills, enough to make them realize that every wrong move they make will have a certain consequence, specially on court. Again, with players who are just starting out to play badminton, as a coach you have to create a good foundation for the players to excel with the sport, like the early stages of life, these are the most delicate part for this will determine whatever attitude they will have for the rest of the playing lives, this will either break them, make them quit, or make them, make them play better and excel.
     
  16. macazteeg

    macazteeg Regular Member

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    Depends of course on the kid, if the kid wants to train more, good, if he decides to quit, the you got nothing to do with that. but as you have said, the kid loves to play, so taking that statement, i'll be talking from a standpoint in which the kid loves to play.

    Actually that motivation is enough for him to keep on training, keep on playing and probably excel on the sport. It's just a matter of getting the right responses you want at the time, as i've said before, behavior can be controlled or manipulated with the use of the proper stimulus to create the needed response. It's just like training a dog how to swim, dogs are natural swimmers, but what you want them to do is to swim when you want them to. You do this by giving them food or a good belly rub after they swim. Same theory applies to humans, you must give rewards (in psychology we call it reinforcments) when certain responses are maid. For example, giving a simple "good job!" or a tap on the shoulder will do. Like when he grasps concepts he had learned from one on one training, capitalize on the proper response by giving good feedback. Its just a matter of finding the right reward, or reinforcement in each proper response that the kid gives. This way he'll be motivated to train even harder. Like "do ten backhand serves, do it correctly and i'll give you ten bucks". Always remember to just give rewards or reinforcments with good responses that are made, or else you will be reinforcing the wrong once. Never get mad at the kid or same thing happens, you'll be getting the wrong responses and it will be a never ending cycle.
     
  17. venkatesh

    venkatesh Regular Member

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    Congratulations on finishing your degree :)

    So where's the grad party?

    You're most welcome to celebrate it in our court.

    I hope we get to play.

    Here's my question: What's the best way to psych your opponent out? :D
    What's the most effective way to distract you opponents without breaking the rules? :D:D:D:D
     
  18. Oldhand

    Oldhand Moderator

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    A few special methods:

    You could be Cai Yun and wipe non-existent sweat off your face at least once after every point won or lost. Remember to use your non-racquet palm and flick the (non-existent) sweat beads in the general direction of the service judge.

    You could be Taufik Hidayat and pretend to be more interested in what's going on elsewhere than on the court you are now playing on. Remember to point your racquet at invisible pools of sweat on your side of the court and get the umpire to signal the moppers to come in so that you get a longer break between hard-fought points.

    You could be Chen Jin and walk around with a perennially grumpy and dour look as if you are supremely tired of being Chen Jin. Remember to prepare for a serve by staring at your opponent and then serve the shuttle abruptly and furiously. (Remember also to occasionally clutch your back whenever you are playing Lin Dan so that it doesn't look that bad when you finally give up the game.)

    You could be Lee Chong Wei and pretend to look totally dejected and morose when winning handsomely. Remember to throw up your hands, whip your head back, raise your eyebrows at least six inches and let your jaw hang whenever the line-judge rules against you on a close call.

    Well, you could also throw a racquet and be as effective, if not better, as any of these worthies :p
     
  19. venkatesh

    venkatesh Regular Member

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    Can I be like Lee Yong Dae and tap my racket to the umpire's chair?

    [​IMG]
     
  20. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    hi:), it's me again.:D
    let continue where i had left off. After having some or most of the right genes for that particular task or role, external influence will shape that athlete. What you had described is democratic conditioning if u excuse my poor use of psychology wording. That process is slow and still may not get the result desired after exhausting all your resources. Veteran badminton countries like Canada, US, UK are some examples of this democratic conditioning as described above in your post. Canada, for ex, have good players but not great players. If that kid example use by break-my-string was in china, he will be plucked by a badminton scout and put into the 'china system'. The stimulus employed is a little different. If the subject student do bad, he'll get punished, not status quo. If he/she does good, the subject escape punishment, unlike democratic conditioning of getting tummy rub and treats.

    So, on the subject of external conditioning, which system do u see to get the best result, the china military system or the democratic conditioning system? As for the break-my-string's case, IMO, i think that kid is gonna plateau not too much from here where as in china, he could excel to a provincial level (or higher) which he could beat the best national of canadian players who were trained under the democratic conditioning process.

    In this an open discussion, not a knock of anybody's background;)
     
    #20 cooler, Mar 30, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009

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