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  1. #1
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    Default Deliberately taking a long break

    Last time I took a break from badminton was several years ago when I finished uni, and since that time, my badminton has never gotten close to where it was before I took the break. Being generally a social player it never really bothered me that much since I didn't need great skills and placement to have fun but recently my abilities have gone from bad to downright appalling.

    It's just really annoying and I'm thinking of taking six months off badminton from the end of the year and working on my general fitness, strength and reflexes. Badminton definately moulds your body in a certain way and I don't particularly like being lopsided (I'm sure you all know what I mean).

    Also I'd also like having more time to spend with my friends and play some team sports with my friends, sports that I've never tried seriously, or never been good at so there's no expection from myself or others to do well.

    What happens after six months? Well I reassess where do I really want my badminton to be. If I want to be good again, start back at basics, reassess my technique, pick out the mistakes, and train. If I'm happy just to play at the intermediate level then so be it.

    Has anyone taken a break as long as this and reached their old level of skills again?

    PS To all those people who are going to say that I'm being a wuss and just whining, well in a way I am, but I'm just annoyed and grumpy that I can't play properly, and I'm tired of it.

  2. #2
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    I can't because the withdrawal effect will be agonizing and canadian Health Care doesn't covers this type of sympton

  3. #3
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    I think you have a very good point.

    My problem is that I am stronger than I used to be and after an 8 year break I am nowhere near the form I had as an 18 year old. I have spent the last 2 years or so slowly building up but the game has changed so much over the time I have been away that my old playing style and bad habits are hard to shake off.

    Recently I have been getting some coaching in when I and my coach can find the time and he agrees that I have to work on general fitness and that my habits are going to be difficult to break.

    I was thinking about taking a few months off to get into shape and also to mainly do drills and get coached so that I can concentrate more on the technical side of the game. As the saying goes "you should get fit to play sport, not play sport to get fit"

  4. #4
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    i know what you mean. i myself have also taken a break..although it's nowhere near as long as yours, the effects were clear when i returned to playing. It took quite a long time for me to get back into the playing shape i was prior to taking the break (nearly a duration of 2-3 months). The basic shots were still there, however my timing was out and sometimes it got frusturating.

    Your situation is a little different due to the fact that it's been a few years since your break. I can't say you'll get back into 100% form "just like that," but with dedication and concentration, you'll be able to come close or even reach you're previous mark

  5. #5
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    Yeah i know what u mean too..
    Altough i am not deliberately taking a long break, i have no where to play!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Deliberately taking a long break

    Originally posted by Pecheur
    Has anyone taken a break as long as this and reached their old level of skills again?

    PS To all those people who are going to say that I'm being a wuss and just whining, well in a way I am, but I'm just annoyed and grumpy that I can't play properly, and I'm tired of it.
    I took a over a year out due to finals at Uni. It was definately very hard to come back. It took me 8 months before actually getting any feel for the shuttle. Bear in mind I had had no coaching before and no real idea of playing the game except for watching some videos..

    Everybody adapts differently - Wong Choong Hann took a long break because of a wrist injury with a subsequent operation. I think it took over half a year before he managed to get the feel of the shuttle back again (he told me this over dinner)

    After playing for many years and getting fed up of not improving (also work commitments in the way), I decided to get coaching. Mainly emphasizing on footwork first. Prepared to change strokes as well and suffer the embarassment of losing more games for the greater good. Had to take private lessons though and twice a week initally to break the old habits (cost me a fortune!). The physical torture was horrendous - used to do smash, approach the netshot for kill, run back, next smash, run in for the kill etc, for an hour. All for footwork!

    If you want to start from basics, you had better speak to a singles coach Mainly because my belief is footwork is where one should emphasize upon initially. You should also make this clear to the coach....

    You need the right attitude - I knew it was not going to be easy but I impressed the coach by commitment, training diary (noting down my faults and the corrections needed), videotaping, questions and frustrations. At first I was just another student but with my active learning attitude, it kind of encouraged the coach to give me more.

  7. #7
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    I had taken two major breaks. The first one was for 7 years but that was early in my badminton playing days so it wasn't bad for me in terms of getting back into the game (no bad habits to break as they didn't have time to form yet)

    The second break was about 3 years and I had by that time, play socially for about 7 years. This one was harder as I wasn't able to hit the shuttle properly (timing problems) but luckily was playing recreationally so making a fool out of myself was easier. I think it is like riding a bike. You don't forget the mechanics but it is actually getting your body to remember the strokes/footwork, etc and actually willing them to go through those motions. Getting coaching definitely will help you recover better and faster but like Cheung said, it's expensive.

    I wasn't too concerned about getting back to same level of play as when I took the break but rather look at the coming-back experience as the base and to improve from there. This I did by reading/watching/asking and generally chatting to other players/coaches about the game.

    Good luck and the only advice I can give is not to have high expectations but rather be realistic.

  8. #8
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    i have taken to break the first 3 yrs, the second 1.5 years, however i think that i play better now, more power, more mature and a better understanding for the game. For some reason before the break i felt that my play was not improving and after the break i seem to find something to help my game.

    has any one here gone through the same phase?

    both break yielded me some improvement once i con't to play again.

  9. #9
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    Hmmm...

    I started playing badminton when I was about 20 years old. I played off and on for a total of about a year, and then took 4 years off for school and other pursuits. Then I played for another year, got injured really badly, and took 5+ years off out of discouragement and a busy career. I took it up again about a year ago and before I knew it, I was over 30 years old. This past year I've learned a lot about all aspects of badminton, more than I have in all my previous years combined. As some others have mentioned, my game is more mature now, I play a smarter, and my technique is much better. However, I don't have the physical fitness I used to have in my early 20's... not even close. And because I still have nagging injuries, I'm even worse off than ever. So even though I love badminton more now than I ever have, and practise more, and harder than ever, I can't do half the stuff I really want to do, nor can I truly play the way I want to play. So do I regret taking all those long breaks? Yes... very, very, much so. Techniques, strategies, etc. can be learned at any age... but being able to physically perform at your optimal level cannot be done once you've accumulated a bit too much physical mileage, wear and tear, etc.

    So if you're going to take a break, I suggest taking a shorter one, and organize your activities during the break to help you reach a specific goal. In your case, you want to improve your badminton, so perhaps a combination of strength and endurance training, some badminton feeding drills to hone your skills and touch, while staying away from games, will do you some good. I don't think taking a break without a very good reason is a positive step toward improving your badminton skills. You might regret it since you're not getting any younger, and you never know what could happen to you before you get a chance to play again. Compared to my fitness level and physical abilities of my early 20's, I feel my current injuries cripple me so much that I now believe any day that I can play badminton pain free, or that I actually feel "strong or healthier" is a truly blessed day. Those days don't occur very often. Most days I feel some amount of pain, and I'm constantly reminded of what it was like not to be able to play badminton at all. Those are the days that I thank God I'm given one more chance to play. Some people always wonder why others are so passionate about something they "get into", but they have probably never known what it's like to lose the ability to do something you love so much. Live life to the fullest, be smart about it, but definitely don't waste it. Any day that you can play badminton, is a good day.

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    I also wanted to mention, if you want more time to play other sports, I think cross training is a great idea too. When I was younger, I almost never stuck to one sport at a time. Cross training in other sports during slow/off seasons is a good way to keep in shape and keep your interest up in sports. Multiple sports help to round out your body's muscle usage better since most sports have particular demands on certain muscle groups. You may even learn new body mechanics, and can apply both physical and mental strategies, and techniques, from sport to sport. All while having fun with friends. There's no love for badminton or sports if you're not having any fun!

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by timeless
    Any day that you can play badminton, is a good day.
    Amen to that!!! It's comforting to know where one's passion lies, and enjoy the social and physical benefits derived from an active lifestyle. Times when I made tremendous strides in my game are truly blessful. The boost to confidence from playing a good game whether won or lost is truly enjoyable.

    Alas, it's becoming rare these days as my body slows down and my development plateau-ed. Incidentally, I was playing more than before. Perhaps more drills and practices would improve my situation. Unfortunately, it's harder to find an empty court at a time of my choice. Oh well, can't always win them all...

    It would be good to take a short break once in awhile to prevent burn out/boredom. I actually knew former good players who got out of the sport because it just didn't stimulate them as before. So for those of you who took long breaks due to circumstances beyond your control, perhaps it's better to come back and appreciate the sport in all its glories than not come back at all.

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