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  1. #1
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    Post don't see myself improving anymore

    I've started playing badminton in high school, and I've played for a good 4-5 years now. At this point, I feel like I haven't improved much lately. I constantly feel like I don't improve. The main reason I feel this way is because I keep losing to a doubles pair at my college every time I play them. After a year of continuously challenging them, the results are always around 21-17. Yet every time I compare to my previous self, I know I'm better than I was 1 year ago.

    Regardless, I feel like I've hit a plateau and can't seem to improve. In my region, I'm stuck at C level. I don't exactly have the time to train, as studies does take priority for me. And when I play at club, there are no free courts to just train in. What can I do to improve given these conditions? Can I only improve through playing more games, which I don't feel is working? I'm not planning on becoming some national player, but I do want to get better. What can I do?

  2. #2
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    Sorry if I'm not much of a help, but if you still haven't, you could watch videos of how the pros play, and maybe learn a thing or two(like their movement). Besides that, there's quite a few things you can also do. Maybe you could work on your fitness, arm strength or so.

    But TO ME, playing a lot definitely helps, especially against people you can't win. You get to know what your opponent will do if you play a lot of times with them and if you're observant enough, you can find out their weakness. But remember that you're not the only one who's improving.

    Yeah, I may be just a recreational player but that's what I'd probably do if I'm you.

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    I could not agree more, practice and more practice will make you better and help you to analyze your game and how to improve. Watching Zhao Jian Hua and Xiao Jie's training video could help.

    Or else, employ a coach to improve your technique

  4. #4
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    It will be good to hear the advanced players' advice, but here is some more recreational level advice:

    I was in same situation as you....no improvement for years playing the same people once a week.
    The first obvious answer was to play more. Time is hard to find, but a little can help a lot. Especially good to play other folks to see variety.

    The second is to read and watch to get ideas.

    But the best thing is to get a better player (or coach if you can afford one) to critique your technique and strategy and then practice.
    That is what made the modest difference I was looking for. (now I gotta find that elusive 'time' thing to practice....do they sell 'time' on eBay?)

  5. #5
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    You talk about Doubles and "I", I guess you have a partner too?? Second in our country we have club for students where you can go and play just for an hour and with a coach/trainer. I think you need some feedback on your game!!!

    But first you need to be clear about how much time you want to spend on it?
    One hour only playing games or one hour with 15 minutes training for yourself and 45 minutes playing, or maybe two hours playing and one hour training?

    Then you know what you have time to do. You can record yourself playing and you might see things that you where not aware of. You can train footwork in a park, and so forht. You can try to selfcoach yourself - think and then keep asking questions to your mind, is it really so, any alternatives, why and what!!!
    Make a socalled SWOT-scheme, that is your Strenghts and Weakness, Opportunies and Threats. From this scheme you can see where to focus, and what is realistic according to your priorities and ressources. Make SWOT in relation to subject like: physics, tactics, technics, mental, ressources and euipment and so on.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potato View Post
    After a year of continuously challenging them, the results are always around 21-17. Yet every time I compare to my previous self, I know I'm better than I was 1 year ago.
    Have you considered the possibility that they could be better than they were a year ago?

    You're not the only player with a licence to improve.

  7. #7
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    good point Gollum. not only that, often improvements come in waves where you will burst onto the scene with dramatically improved all round play and at other times, you'll play at around the same level. that doesn't mean you're not improving. it just might not be clear yet.

    it's a pain trying to balance school work and badminton. after my injury recently, i pretty much stopped playing badminton besides the occasional club games. my grades have improved immensely since then. at the same time, i've found badminton more enjoyable as i'm playing less, hence i enjoy each time i play instead of badminton becoming a routine of 5 trainings a week.

    you can always improve. if you don't get court time, work on stamina and power. when you do get the court time, you won't have to worry about whether you're stamina needs work or not. when you are waiting in line to play, find a wall and play against it. it's frustrating trying to find court time, i know for a fact. but sometimes, you gotta do the best you can in given situations. i'm not sure about in CA, but here the local university has a rec center with courts that you can book as well as a club. you can always stay behind after club and see if anyone wants a game.

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    What college do you go to? Just curious...

  9. #9
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    You play doubles. Do you play well with your partner? 'Coz here's the thing ... no matter how good or improved you are, if you don't have a good rotation with your partner, then for sure you're gonna lose. You have to find a partner that you jibe with. Besides, losing doesn't mean that you're not improving. It's just that your opponent are also improving.

  10. #10
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    I'll tell you my little story

    I played since high school, was the best at my school. I was full of confidence, thinking no one can beat me. Basically, i was a frog in a pond. I then discovered the ocean, and how tiny i was. I gradually improved over the years, but not that much. in 5 years playing matches with a friend, i maybe improved from D+ to C, at best... (yes, i was in a *very* small school )
    then last year i decided to devote more time to practice. I tried "passive training" for example jogging to college instead of walking. In spring and summer, i would walk a bit before talking the metro. I devoted more time to do drills... a few hundred smashes, drops and clears doesn't really take a lot of time, especially if you have a good partner to lift them back for you. And in a year, my learning curve skyrocketed so now i am around a B level player, maybe B+.
    So yeah, while matches are great, drills are helpful to improve consistency, while games help build up tactics and sustaining pressure (there is a world's difference between a tigh drop in practice and a tight drop when you are losing 19-20!)

    Oh, and i also discovered badmintoncentral and gollum's badminton bible

  11. #11
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    Well, since you're playing doubles, ever tried this drill?

    Your partner as the feeder stands on one half of the court and drives back and lifts shuttles to you which you must smash and drive back in return. You can either feed with multiple shuttles or if your partner has a good strong hand then use one shuttle and get him to deflect your shots in all sorts of directions.

    You can also do the above for dropshots and light pushes, and your partner is not supposed to lift it up too high but rather make the returns fast paced. But not too fast paced as to make the training unproductive. You ofcourse gradually increase the speed.

    Those are some good training drills for doubles that we do here in Singapore and Indonesia. Don't know about other countries. Also, you might wanna work on your basic strength. You never commented on doing push ups, sit ups, back raises, squats, squash racket exercises etc2. There's a plethora of physical exercise that you can do over the course of half an hour that can seriously help improve your condition to play much better if you'd just commit to doing it 5 times a week. Ofcourse I don't mean the same ones 5 times a week, that would be more than half an hour I guess. But working out on different parts each day. I would say doing 15 minutes of play against the wall would help you a lot in your defense and forearm strength for driving and flick smashes But you must push yourself beyond your physical limits in these exercises ofcourse.

  12. #12
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    Fitness wise, I guess I'm pretty fit. I run 2 miles 2-3 times a week, on top of badminton. I probably only get to play 2-3 times a week though. I do crunches, push-ups, and I bench. Unfortunately I don't really do squats (which I really should).

    Just my own opinion, but I feel that I don't lose because of fitness. I'm not that tired when I lose to those people. I feel that I'm being out techniqued, and they smash through me often, and I can't smash through them. Even though I bench and do push-ups, my smash don't seem to increase in speed at all. I don't smash 100 times for practice, but shouldn't benching and push-ups help in some way (which I believe hasn't gotten faster for the last few years)? My partner is someone I've played with since I've started badminton, so he knows where to cover me and I know where to cover him. Any tips with this much info?

  13. #13
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    You know, you don't need to smash hard to win points. You're probably not losing cause of your smash in the first place, its probably because your opponents have more experience game wise. My smashes are fairly weak when I play and I still manage to get some points here and there without it.

  14. #14
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    Well, keep in mind the double partner you usually play and lose to are also constantly improving. So, you guys are improving at the same rate, except they were better to start out with. So don't feel bad!

  15. #15
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    You could train with a Squash racket, or a heavier Badminton racket to increase strength.

  16. #16
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    if you're being out techniqued, benching and weight training might not be what you want to focus on. focus on correct technique, most importantly, focus on correct technique under pressure.

    some people have beautiful technique, but when pressured and rushed it all falls apart. you need to learn to do the right thing under pressure. practise playing at an increased tempo. if you can, get a friend to stack up 16 shuttles, as many stacks as you can. have him multi feed to you (he hits the stack of shuttles one after the other to you. the pace should be that as soon as you hit the shuttle, he's hitting the next one over). you can get specific doing multi-feeding. make it you have to attack and smash every shot and be aggressive. or clear everything. feed 3-4 stacks, then swap so your partner can do the same thing. if you're training stamina, lengthen the stacks and rest periods. if you're looking at explosiveness, shorten the stacks, shorten rest period and increase feeding speed.

  17. #17
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    I also don't improve well, i have played for 1,5 years. Because everytime i play badminton, we never practice any shots. We just playing each other..

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