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  1. #1
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    Default Pre-Game exercises?

    I'll be doing tournaments pretty soon and I would like to know some of your guys pre game rituals whether it's stretches or perhaps if you eat something. I ask this because I usually never ever stretch before I get onto court which is obviously wrong and I feel like I'm not eating well before I get onto the court. anything is truly appreciated!

    also some tips and techniques to keep myself warm and active while waiting for my next game! thanks

  2. #2
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    Here's what I do:

    Phase 0: Preparation one or two days before

    Remind your partner and coach that you're playing tomorrow. Play a couple of matches in the same discipline. Pack your bag(s) the day before. Review the tournament's prospectus, guidelines, and emails to make sure you are going to the right hall at the right time. Make sure you are aware of any advertising and fee payment guidelines. Plot a route through the tournament venue. If you take public transportation, check that you've selected the correct day. Don't forget:

    • Travel hygiene products (for me, glasses cleaning, toilet paper, hand sanitizer)
    • Backup sport pants, underpants, socks, glasses
    • Numerous shirts (at least 1 per match + 2)
    • Sufficient shuttles (even if shuttles are included in the tournament fee, since they may not be available during warm-up)
    • Sufficient rackets (at least four, see below)
    • Backup grips if the grips are not perfect
    • Water
    • Two pairs of shoes if one pair breaks
    • First-aid kit, tapes, bandages and the like, even if not needed all the time - you never now what happens
    • Umbrella, jacket, long trousers unless it's 30+C
    • Smartphone for navigation to the hall
    • Wallet
    • Court cleaning kit, tripod, camera, extra batteries (optional)


    Phase 1: Preparation at the day of the tournament

    Make sure you sleep well and enough and eat a good large breakfast before the tournament so that you're not disadvantaged before entering the hall. Prepare food for the day.

    Be on time - for me this means entering the hall about 45 minutes before play starts.

    Register at the tournament desk (another reason to be early - there won't be a queue then), switch into Badminton gear and apply any band-aids/taping. I wouldn't do anything special to warm-up. Instead, do the full warm-up ritual you do whenever you enter a hall. I remember a recent study that showed you don't need to stretch if you don't do it usually. For example, below is my warm-up ritual. I know what I can and what I can't skip if I'm late.

    Phase 2: Warming up body, feet, and mind

    • Run slow and then faster until I reach a heart rate of 155, if I feel tired 160. This makes sure I'm fully awake and warm for the next phases of the warm-up to prevent injuries. I've found stopping by heart rate instead of length more effective. Usually, 160 means about 250m for me, but it can vary wildly. Make sure to run a straight line instead of laps. After the first 100m, I do a lunge with every change of direction. Some people like rotating their arms in this step, but for me that feels too early.
    • Run 2*50m sidewards, in opposite directions. Often once through the hall and then back looking in the same direction.
    • 50m knees up (also called skipping)
    • 50m sideway steps at 45. 2 steps to the right, 4 steps to the left, 4 steps to the right, 4 steps to the left.
    • Run ~100m backwards. Start slow and become faster. Be aware of your surroundings.
    • 50m sideway steps at 45 backwards. This needs quite a lot of space - if you're early, there's often a whole row of empty courts you can use.


    Phase 3: Strength & stretching

    • I incorporate a couple of strength training exercises in here, like pushups. These are specific to my deficits and change from time to time. In a tournament, reduce by at least half.
    • Calf stretch is the most important for me.
    • Quadriceps stretching.
    • Gluteus maximus
    • Abductors
    • Hamstring
    • Shoulders
    • triceps (to save time, start going back to your equipment here)
    • wrists


    Phase 4: Get accustomed to the hall - and discipline

    If you came in early, you'll still have plenty of time. Fetch your racket and water(optional). Look for basketball hoops and the like over the courts. Look for windows that let light through. Bear in mind the time of day - if the windows are not North-facing, you'll get blinded eventually. If you think it's really problematic, contact the tournament organizers and ask them to cover the window. Otherwise, take note of the problematic spots.

    Play shadow badminton, 1-3 rallies each on every side of every court (you can skip warm-up courts). Make sure your movements are discipline-specific to get a feel for the discipline. Imagine opponents and what they do after your shot. Make sure to win most rallies . Get a feel for the grip of the hall - if it's extremely slippery, ask the organizers to mop and make sure to bring your cleaning toolkit (other people prefer wet towels) to court.

    Phase 5: Play with a shuttle

    By now, you shouldn't be the only player in the hall. Look for your partner in doubles. In singles, just ask someone you know. If you don't know anyone, just ask someone at random and repeat until you succeed. If you want to make sure you won't play against each other eventually, pick someone who's not competing in your discipline, i.e. one better or one worse, or pick someone of the opposite gender at your playing level.

    1. Play drives, but not to win the rally, just to get awake and warm up your racket skills. If nobody is in the hall, you can do this step against a suitable wall. Make sure you don't cheat by standing still, standing on your whole foot instead of your toes, playing forehand at your backhand side or not looking at the shuttle.
    2. Play drives to win, or at least switch between left and right side.
    3. Clears. Make sure their length is sufficient. Start with easy short ones, progress to full power and then hit just before the baseline.
    4. Drop vs lift, about 25-50 shots each. Can be played on a full court.
    5. Play smash-drop-lift for a while to get moving and get full-power shots in.
    6. Short net play. Start with simple shots and progress to full court and feints.
    7. Practice serves, especially in doubles. If you don't have a full court available, you 1. came in too late 2. can use the single's sideline as center line. 10 serves are sufficient for me, but then again I'm feeling that serves are my strong suit.


    Phase 6: Play with an opponent

    Play a game (until 11 if you want) against any opponent. If your friends/training partners are there, play against them. To avoid weirdness, see above - challenge a men's team if you're ladies and the other way round. Don't go all out, but try to get a feel for the game, especially if you haven't played with your partner for a while. Feel free to discuss situations with your partner or opponents.

    Phase 7: Match

    By now, the tournament should get started. Always make sure to bring everything you need to court. For me, that's

    • Rackets (always plural. If you come with one, your umpire should promptly send you back). I've found 4 to be a good number so that I can switch without worrying if it breaks or the grip gets too wet.
    • Water
    • Shuttles if necessary
    • match sheet if playing without umpire
    • First-aid kit or band-aids as necessary. I know I'm prone to bleeding fingers in some situations. Vary to your predicaments - for example some people always bring ice spray.
    • Tripod and camera if I want to record the game
    • Coaches should come by themselves . I really like playing with a coach and often coach others, but rarely get the fortune of a friendly player helping me.


    Phase 8: Between matches

    Directly after the match, make sure to eat something. Personally, I like eating small portions constantly and will have eaten one or two before the first match already. Drink enough, refill/buy bottles as necessary.

    Between matches, coach others, prepare rackets (grips), have a good time with your friends and fans. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the other players in your group, discipline, and any other disciplines. Preview recorded videos and analyze what went well and what did not. If you notice any technical deficits, write them down and work around them during the tournament.

    If the rest times are long (>1 hour), pay attention of when you get called up. About 20 minutes before, go to the toilet. Afterwards, start a small warm-up (reduced phase 2/3). Use the practice court immediately before your game. If there is no practice court, play in the hallway - I never found a hall where one couldn't play at least drives somewhere off-court.

    Phase 9: After the tournament

    Do some stretching if you're accustomed to it, see phase 3.

    Thank your coaches, fans, umpires, officials and organizers, no matter what position you got. If you are in the top 3, don't be late to the victory ceremony. If the organizers take pictures, make sure to show up in appropriate clothing and not with street clothes and wet hair. Even if you're not top 3, be a good sportsman and (if feasible) stay and applaud during the victory ceremony.

    Analyze videos and modify your training plan when you get home.


    At least's that's what I do. Everybody has their own plan, so you should modify this to your preferences.
    Last edited by phihag; 08-25-2015 at 02:21 AM. Reason: formatting, typo, extend phase 0

  3. #3
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    wow thanks for that really helpful and informative. Will try those as soon as I can thanks.

  4. #4
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    Another post to be framed as part of FAQ, or as sticky...

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