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The More You Play, the Worst You Get

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by tonten, Jan 22, 2003.

  1. tonten

    tonten Regular Member

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    I played two games at one of my local community centers today, and lost. Then, I followed my partner outside to relax in the cold air and he started saying how he wished his "friend" was here as his friend knew him much better in life and on the courts. Then my partner went on saying how we should not have lost and how it wasn't fun and how embarassing it was.

    He was absolutely Right.

    It was my fault. We were losing very bad, but we caught up at the end and he scored most of the points. But still it was a long shot and we lost. The problem wasn't him. It was me.

    Before I mention my problems, I would like to mention a few things about myself. I've been playing badminton for 5 years and only have been playing more seriously for the past 3 years. I have coached the badminton at my local highschool 2 years ago and they made it the farthest in the finals than any other badminton team has in my school's history. I'm 20.



    Before, about 3 years ago, I was known for my smashes at the places I played. My smashes used to be hard and sharp and in the past year, I have had at least 10 people ask me whatever happened to them? I used to be able to smash so hard and I used to be so much better.

    I also used to know knew how to drop. The friend who I was playing today was the same friend who I taught my special drop technique to 3 years ago. That was not the only thing I taught him. When he first started playing badminton 3 years ago, I trained him and helped him and even got him onto his school's team when no one else did.

    But now I have been reduced to nothing. I cannot smash anymore. My smashes aren't hard and they don't ever go at an angle anymore. Most of the time when I try to smash they aren't smashes but very slow drives (alot which the opponent can easily smash, drive or netshot back) and I cannot drop at all. I fail my drops 90% of the time.

    There were also 3 other techniques which I learned last year (that I cannot do anymore) which lasted me a couple of months before I lost them as well. They were

    Attacking the Serve (Rush and hit the birdy straight down of your opponent serves low)

    Hitting Downwards in front of the net (I seem to can't hit downwards anymore when the birdy is coming at me close at the net. Whenever I try to return shots you can easily smash down, they either hit the net or become net shots)

    and

    Good serves (When I serve low nowadays, the opponent can easily netshot or drive it back. When I serve high, they are able to smash or drop it back with ease.)
    I had a fancy serve which I was able to do back then too which was swirve the birdy as it looks like it is going through the wrong court but then curves inwards towards ur oponent's backhand.


    Is this true with any of you? Does a person really get worse the older he/she gets? I mean, you do learn a few things on the way (For example, my backhands are way stronger than they use to be and I can actually clear now)

    My friend told me that it is probably because I have gotten so many different advices from so many different players, coaches, and sources that it has screwed up my natural flow of playing. Most of the good players I know (Who have even played less time than me) have never gotten coaching in their life of if they had, it was very little.

    (I'm feeling worse right now because an opposing school's team mistaken me for a manager today when I am actually the "Coach" for my school. I am so embarassed because we had a horrible junior team this year and they were talking about it.


    We didn't have a compelte juniors team anyways this year, but I was the one who coached them. Now that I think of it, I didn't teach them as much as I did when I coached the former junior team 2 years ago. That's because I had lost what I used to be able to do)
     
  2. Yong

    Yong Regular Member

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    Tonten !

    Well, good thing is that you actually learned how to clear, and, from what i followed on the board, you re-learned most of your shots, based on proper techniques explained on this board by experienced players.
    Re-learning shots is difficult, as old habits die hard.... but form your explanation, your playing style thus old habits has changed 180 degrees.
    Seems that you are now in a phase where you fail to fall-back to your old-learned techniques and the new techniques are not stabilized yet to give you a proper gameplay. I think you are on the right track. Learning is two steps back, one step forward. With re-designing so many of your shots, you automatically have to go through this phase. So hold on, watch your technique, keep practicing.
    I'm already looking forward to your post where you'r telling about your improvements!
     
  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    When a person searches for improvement in their game, things are likely to get worse. If you have no guidance, then the harder you try, the worse it gets!
    Remember, badminton is a highly technical game. It is easy to know when a shot is played correctly, but very difficult to spot exactly where some shots go wrong without proper trained eyes.

    I don;t think you can go on past successes as a barometer of your coaching abilities. Other schools will have had a varied mix of players or some players in your school may have dropped out.

    In the last half year, one guy in the club casually came up to me. He said I was smashing much better than the year before. I thought "Strange. my smashes aren't as hard as before". He said the improvement came from WHEN to use the smash. However, my singles game still wasn't too good. Another guy came up and said, after I smash I don;t seem to be running fast enough to take advantage of the net kill. Hence, lost initiative.

    Other times, people try too hard and the arm cannot flow properly.

    So don't despair, relax, enjoy yourself and later start trying again but slowly.
     
  4. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Personal experience: When I start to learn proper footwork (just recently), after watching some vcds, I found my game was just such a mess. Always miss the shot, or miss the proper spot. I think it's because all the old stuff and new tac just mixed up at this moment. Therefore, when I over concentrate in thinking about proper foot steps, I might lose the "sense" of moving timing.

    However, I think I can take this fact in a more positive way, since in a long run, it will surely benefit me somehow (hopefully). ;)
     
  5. plaYer

    plaYer Regular Member

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    don't worry too much about it. play your game. or take a break. taking time off for 3 weeks really helped me. i found that i was playing too much (is there such a thing) and not giving myself enough time to recover. So i was slower on court and my form was poor because i wasn't focused enough to move properly. taking time off let my body recover and this year i'm playing a lot better than i was at the end of last year.

    so if you're feeling burned out or stressed, take a break - then restart from first principles - perfect clear, perfect drop, perfect smash, then tactics. trust me you haven't "forgotten" anything. It's all there, it'll come back if you give it a chance. And please don't feel bad - a negative attitude will simply mean that it'll take you that much longer to get back into form.
     
  6. fadeaway

    fadeaway Regular Member

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    Restring your racquet and replace your grip. Also, if you can afford it, buy some new court shoes.
     
  7. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    hmmm...

    But I still think skill/style change and mental issue play the major factors in this case.
     
  8. tonten

    tonten Regular Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions



    Or it could be the mental issues. Back then when I played, I always smiled and had confidence. I remember when I played against experienced players twice my age back then, I was also fierce and competitive.



    Now, whenever I miss a shot, I always say "sorry". Whenever I hit accidentally with the birdy, I apologize. I get mad at myself whenever I am losing, thus I keep constantly changing the stratedgies in my mind such as Rely on Smashing for the next point or Aim for a particular spot next Point and etc etc.

    When I play against people who I Know I can beat, and even when I tell my partner that we will beat them, most of the times, I still end up losing.

    I guess I have to find a balance in the middle. I cannot be too mad and furious and I cannot be too calm and defenseless.

    Goodness, I need some sort of emotional management course or something heh
     
  9. JChen99

    JChen99 Regular Member

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    Frustration(and also over-relaxation) kills the game

    A while ago I used to be able to smash hard, and drop well. Now only occasionally can I do either.

    Smashes hav gotten flatter and slower whereas my drops hav gotten too long(past the service line) and the time the bird travels in the air is too great

    However, to my surprise, one of my friends(who've been playing for quite a long time, at A-ish B levels) told me I hav improved in general

    I complained to him that my smashes are slower and drops gotten worst

    but his reply was "most of your smashes are jus as fast, and some even faster, it's just that you dont notice it" and also you've improved in other areas(ie footwork, shot placement, etc etc, and I was told improvements in other areas usually cut back on ur "expertise" a little, which you will be able to build back after a while)

    I know my reflexes hav bettered, and my net shots aren't as high as they used to be, so I assume wut he says is true.

    In fact, when I learened the "proper grip" i lost my skills so much I stopped smashing at all! because all that my smash did was turn into a flat drives(incrediably slow too!) but after a while the smash came back

    Some Personal Experience.. hope this helps?
     
  10. modious

    modious Regular Member

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    While doing my project, our supervisor told us about Murphy's Law.


    It's kinda depressing but true! Here're some lines of Murphy's Law....

    Just when you think things cannot get any worse, they will.

    Whatever you want, you can't have, what you can have, you don't want.

    When things go from bad to worse, the cycle repeats.

    If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway

    Your best golf shots always occur when playing alone. The worst golf shots always occur when playing with someone you are trying to impress.


    But on a "brighter note", Don't worry about Murphy's Law, you know it's gonna happen anyway, so just get on with it and get it over with!

    Our supervisor told us this Murphy law to remind and also tell us that in everything that we do in the project, make sure everything is done and prepared well.... because if you fail to plan, you plan to fail!!

    Well actually, the topic tittle can also be classified under Murphy's Law. The more you play, the worse you get. Sorry I'm not mocking at anyone whatsoever.....
     
    #10 modious, Jan 23, 2003
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2003
  11. Lefty

    Lefty Regular Member

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    I don't know if this is what's happening to you, but two things can make you become a worst player after playing for a long time.

    1. Take the game too seriously. Winning is definitely fun, but focusing on the shots is more important than keep thinking about winning the game. Play one good shot at a time. Who cares of losing a game? That's why it's call a game.

    2. One reason that make you lost your smash is probably that you got stronger. Since you're stronger, you feel that you can always pop the bird up even if you catch it late. Therefore you're not trying to catch the bird fast, end up catching it late most of the time. Not being in position is always the number 1 reason why you can not smash hard.

    About your partner's comment, don't worry about it. When you play doubles, you need to win as a team and lose as a team. Never blame on your partner. If a player is truely good, he can bring up his partner's level. It's okay to say you're sorry but instead of saying sorry all the time, you should think about how not to repeat the same mistake.

    I hope this helps!
     
  12. TOmike

    TOmike Regular Member

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    just a thought
    maybe you wanna take a break for like a week, get your mind off it

    then go back and do pure training, rework allyour shots,
    (find a good friend that can feed you the shuttles)
    stay away from games maybe?

    then go back and use what you've trained on in the game

    i know it is frustrating but its really good if you have a supportive friend who can show you some tricks and feed. I have a friend who doesn't really mind feeding often, so i can train my smashes (pathetic in my eyes) and drops/slice. take it as a week of retraining yourself, prolong the period if neccessary..

    i tried watching lots of videos, and that helped with the theory part. Application is still the most important. The advantage you have is that you have played competitively, so you do not need as much experience.

    goodluck!
     
  13. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    here is a little story that i have experienced. back in the college days, i was a teaching assistant (TA) for a circuit design course. during the end of the semester, students need to design and build some pretty complicated circuit, and if they cannot get them to work, they will fail the course. needless to say, they spend tons of time slaving away in the lab and we as TA's are there to assist them (but not do it for them).

    the second day before the circuit is due, one student came up to me, obviously been spending many long hours in the lab, stressed and also very stuck, not making any progress for the whole afternoon. he needed some inspiration. instead of telling him what to do, i asked him to take a break, go outside, pace around the block/building and come back to work on it. he was a little bit confused but was cool enough to do i said. after he finished pacing, inspiration sparks and he figure out the solution and completed the project.

    i think there are a lot of similarities. very often, one gets "stuck in a corner" when one spend too much time focusing on something. your body and brain takes a long time to digest thing. take a break, step back and you will automatically look at things in a different persepective. and strangely enough, you will find that you suddenly plays better.

    this has worked for me in badminton.
     
  14. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    A break now and then will do good for everybody. In Cantonese there's a saying, translated literally is turning into the bull's horn tip - that is a dead end, not able to find solution.

    It happened to me in the past. In the club team I was the weakest player. In order to improve and trying to beat my team mates, I focused on different aspects of my game: backhand cross court clear, fast drops - direct and cross court and half smashes. My net play was good - to a point when in doubles, I could play a net shot with my opponent right in front of me and not able to smack it back. Then I focused on speed. I though they were good but kept losing and badly. My coach told me that in playing a fast game, faster would the shuttle return.

    I then just wanted to win and practiced even faster and more aggressive shots. Then I was losing by wider margins. Until I got injured and had to stop for 2 weeks. When I came back I had to start slower and get back to my fitness level. I noticed I was giving my team mates a harder time playing slower shots. All of a sudden my coach's words came to my mind. Made adjustments to my game and from then on I was able to give my team mates a better fight. I was even able to beat them all on a good day - and bad for them of course.
     
  15. Pete LSD

    Pete LSD Regular Member

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    ALL GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME TO DIGEST.
     
  16. Some Person

    Some Person Regular Member

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    After reading all the articles posted up, i agree to most of the factors.

    Although I havnt had much badminton experience, (maybe just 3 or 4 yrs) i'm not an extremely good player around my area, because there simply aren't many good coaches and opponents around my area. and cheap courts around to practise my skill on..:(

    I find it that every now and then, if you just go off and play with some friends, play casually and have a good time, sometimes serious, some times just hitting for fun, more socially really helps. It brings in the fun and tells you why you even decided to play the sport in the first place...:)

    I guess now I just gonna have to go and work on my shots, and perfect them well enough to come up to my friends that go training with me and beat the coach...
    (although I doubt it very much...! He is a former world doubles champion!)
     
  17. LazyBuddy

    LazyBuddy Regular Member

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    Sounds like we are facing the same issues. In certain nations, badminton is just a minority sports, which most ppl don't play, or even understand about it. I can feel ur pain about not easy to obtain good equipment, facility and coaches.

    BTW, where's ur location? Want to share? ;)
     
  18. Some Person

    Some Person Regular Member

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    ok, fine..
    I live in Australia (huge country, no polpulation)
    Melbourne, along with Vancouver got no.1 place to live in the world.
    in the eastern suburbs.. =p
     
  19. Yodums

    Yodums Regular Member

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    Yeah, that's how things work.

    After finding this forum, I attempted to improve my game but this time I couldn't hit, couldn't drop etc. It was one of those bad nights. Then on Friday I played normally and I regained my skill with an additional bonus haha.

    Moral: Get a coach.

    Yodums
     
  20. Californian

    Californian Regular Member

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    For tonten and anyone else in this situation,

    Sometimes bad habits creep into our games. It happens in all sports and even to professionals. These flaws can enter our games so gradually that we don't notice it as it happens. Other times, it can come about more abruptly because of injuries, fatigue, lack of play, or changes in playing facilities, or psychological conditions such as over-confidence or lack of confidence. Badminton is a complex game that uses many different muscles and motions, so there are many places for things to go wrong. We may gradually develop the habit of dropping the elbow, or not focusing enough on the shuttle, etc. etc.

    When this happens, athletes take time off from competition and go back to work on the basics, paying attention to the details that aren't noticed in the heat of competition. It helps if you at least have someone who has seen you play well and can point out specific details that are different. If you have videos of yourself playing, you can watch those and maybe pick up something that has changed.
     

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