I've just got home from the AE. A fantastic tournament. I saw most of the games for the last three days. If there are any Chinese, Malaysian or Indonesians who are on this forum I have to say your chanting did your teams proud, especially the kid who was shouting "Lin Dan Jai You" all through the semi-final yesterday! What really struck me more than anything else was the psychology of the players. On Friday night I watched the Malaysian pair Abdul/Gan up against the Indonesians Hadiyanto/Yulianto in a thrilling match. The match went to three games and, to a neutral like me, it seemed really even until the last game when the Indonesians heads dropped after going behind and you could just tell they expected to lose, they almost seemed to give up (I have to admit, this was at about midnight!). The same thing happened today in the XD finals. This was a really evenly matched final with Robertson/Emms taking the first game and leading something like 14-7 in the second only to lose the second game and then walloped 15-1 in the third. The most bizarre thing was that Nathan Robertson just seemed to give up in the third game. His head went down and you could tell that he wanted to go and no longer believed they could win. How can champions lose 15-1? The answer to this must be having the technique in your head as well as in your shoulders, your pronation/supination and wrist. It's not something I've thought about much before to be honest, but seeing these two games, especially the XD really made me think. We're all coached how to win games, but just as importantly I guess we need to learn how to lose a game and move on. I saw Lin Dan almost go out to Lee Chong Wei but claw his way back to win. In todays final Lin Dan went down injured got up and in his next point smashed the shuttle down with such ferocity you knew that he would give everything to win!! I've been reading this forum for a long time and you've all shared some really useful techniques for physical preparation, but does anyone have any mental preparation techniques or exercises to focus whilst actually playing? No-one who has ever coached me has talked about mental toughness but perhaps coaches only do that for elite players of which I am certainly not one!