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  1. #1
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    Default Mentality problems

    Hi my name is Robert, I am from sweden and 20 years old. I have played badminton for about 4 years, but only 2 years seriously (with feather ball, multiple pratices and coaching). My game has improved very quickly and people say i have great potential but i have a very big flaw in my game.

    When playing tournaments (i do that a lot):

    When i play against good people or people that are actually better than me i play my best game, sometimes i win and sometimes i loose, but its still even.

    But when i play against players who are worse than me i loose (or play very even, like 22-20), i even loose to players that i should win with 21-7 against. It feels like i lower my game quality very much and change my game to their game quality. How do i keep playing good against worse players?

    In my mind i think "this match i should win easily", its like i already start to look at who i will face in the next match. I think i need to concentrate on the current game/point, more, but how? Any other tips?

    /Robert

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobertSid View Post

    In my mind i think "this match i should win easily", its like i already start to look at who i will face in the next match.

    /Robert
    Then don't think like that!!!! Sounds easy I know, but you need an alternative, why not think like when you don't play tournament. Work with your concentration. See ever game as possiblility to learn, even when playing against poor players, you need to learn e.g. analyze there patterns is good practice! As long as they can win over you in a tournament, they are actually not that bad, right. You need to play at your best every time, not only at better opponents. Or you can think, okay normally I win like 21-10, 21-7, but at a tournament I will try to do it better, like 21-5, 21-3!

    Another problem can be the shift between playing with different players with different styles and speeds.

    At least you need to be in the correct "mode", there are many theories about that.

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    Not mentality problem, experience problem.

    Usually, we look at skills ,mainly , to say this guy is better then that one ,so should win.

    But really if the gap is not very wide , then the point getter is the the one who made less mistakes, the one doing better 4 corners that day, the one who have more stamina.

    Your's opponent's game plan is the above. It's will be difficult if he does these basic well that day.

    After you realise you are not wining. Immediately switch gear, forcus on the quality rally game , no mistake, patience playing. If you can match his rally, the bleeding will stop. If you have better skill his error will come out sooner or later.

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    Thanks for the tips!

    This weekend i played a tournament again. In the first game i played against a player who was way worse than me, he won in two straight sets. This time i didnt lower my overall game quality so much (so atleast that part has improved), although in the begining of the game i did alot of errors, i felt very nervous, since i was playing against a player i should win against. I hitted out alot, i also hitted in the net and did unforced errors, sometimes i even missed the shuttle! (has almost never happened) Due to these errors i lost my confidence in lots of shots, and instead of playing my normal game (clearing, dropping etc, moving the opponent around, and when he recovers badly i go for a winning shot) i started to play winning shots alot earlier, i felt very eager to finish the points very quick, since otherwise i would hit the shuttle out or do an error.

    I think that this must be due to my mentality, mainly beacause i get so nervous and do many errors, i start attempting to finish the points more quickly. So im wondering if anyone has any tips on how to relax during a match (especially when playing against weaker opponents), and some other tips regarding my issue?

    /Robert

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    Yes, mental is important. For example, I saw the Danish Open 2008 Ladies Finals between Zhou Mi and Wang Lin. Zhou Mi makes a lot of mistakes in the 2nd set. She was feeling the pressure because she is playing against the underdog Wang Lin whom she has beaten before in the China Open finals. She is the hot favorite. When she attack, Wang Lin was able to retrieve all her shots...I mean she got nothing to lose and play without any pressure. She was determined to win. Determine to revenge. Determine to learn. Zhou Mi was opposite...she was expected to win. She was the senior. She should win..Wang Lin is just a junior...and when her shots was not working, she tried very hard to play tough shots and you can see the number of un forced errors!!! Huge compared to Wang Lin who was the underdog...Yes...mentality is important...Also stamina...don't forget they also come hand in hand. Normally when stamina depletes....mentality also drops...focus also drop. But for this case, I am sure Zhou Mi is very experienced player...and yet she still makes a lot of mistakes...due to the mental focus...She felt the pressure when Wang Lin was able to retrieve all her shots and she became impatient to finish the rally....and makes tons of mistakes. You should see this match...Learn to play like an underdog...nothing to lose...go in and whack your opponent ...learn well...even if you lose try not to lose it due to unforced errors..Lose only points that is really due to your opponent..like being smashed by opponents and you cannot retrieve it...fair enough... Not due to yourself...like sending the shuttles to the net or out of play. Try it...enjoy the game...play the underdog game. You will enjoy without feeling the pressure...Cheers!

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    Happens to me too. Important thing is to always play seriously and play smarter than your opponent. Don't feel pressured to win because you're obviously better, just play your best and be mean.

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    I also have the same problem. I feel the pressure, but I'm getting better at coping with it. But last Sunday I played a tournament, some of the opponents I played against were far less than my skill level. In a normal game, I could have easily won 21-5 or less against them. Instead, they scored about twice as that. Especially, during the finals, during a normal match I could have supposedly won 21-8 or less, but the opponent scored 14 points. My coach was disappointed since I could have played better, but I still won anyway. My main problem is that whenever I play with opponents of lower skill level, I tend to play at their level, likewise, against strong players, I could play much better. I guess I'm not used to the pace that lower skill level players play. Do any of you have tips on how to solve this problem besides playing more tournaments? Are there any training methods I can use to correct my mental problem?

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    I think most players encounter such problem and there is a saying "it is easier to be a champion than to maintain/defend it" ..... The better player you are, the greater the presure. Why is it so? Because everyone expect the better player to win and to live up to everyone's expectation, you HAVE to win.

    When your focus is on worrying about consequences of not winning the game, you are not concentrating on the match/how to win. If you have given your best in preparation and training, what do you have to fear? There is no way you could avoid expectation and pressure if you are playing competitively.... you got to learn to face it. Any sport psychologist/ mental trainer will probably give you this advice - " Change the pattern of your thoughts"

    Players often experience this when they worry too much of what other think/expect rather than how they perform. They put too much importance of the expectation of others because we want to be regarded as good player in other people's eyes. We want to feel good about ourselves and winning will certainly boost our self-esteem. Why do we fear of losing? - Our ego(maximize pleasure and minimize pain). Our defence mechanism will protect our ego and avoid anything that will threaten our being. A classic example for that,...- players tend to give 101 reason after they lost.

    It is important to recognise your game own game... sometimes players tend to follow their opponent's game. If you are better player, you obviously have the upper hand in controlling your opponent.... so let your opponent follow your game instead.

    Most top players will do mental preparation, game analysis and visualization before their matches. It will help a lot during the actual match as they know what to expect and how to overcome. They have rehearse it in their mind before the match. Logically, no one wins all the time... and losing doesn't mean failure. Think about it, if you have trained so hard but yet you lose a match because of your fear of losing, then you lose to yourself not your opponent. Why are you training so hard then?

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    My two cents...
    I also suffer from the same problems that all of you have expressed. Still trying to... "play one point at a time" theory that your mind should only concentrate on the point at hand and not think too far ahead of the game, that you should be 21-10 or whatever.
    It does help as this takes the strain of trying too hard, that leads to mental frustration = rush shots to end rally quick. Cramping your own shots, trying so hard that your muscle contracts harder and makes you tired faster.
    There is a thread out in BC that talks about visualizing your shots and movements before going to bed, which reinforce your mental game. can't find the thread when you try to find it...

  10. #10
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    I think yo uguys are putting a bit too much stock on how much you win by... A win is a win. Be more focused on your performance. There are times when the score is misleading.

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    Default Mental training

    Quote Originally Posted by cheekygen View Post
    When your focus is on worrying about consequences of not winning the game, you are not concentrating on the match/how to win. If you have given your best in preparation and training, what do you have to fear? There is no way you could avoid expectation and pressure if you are playing competitively.... you got to learn to face it. Any sport psychologist/ mental trainer will probably give you this advice - " Change the pattern of your thoughts".

    ...Players often experience this when they worry too much of what other think/expect rather than how they perform. ...
    ...Logically, no one wins all the time... and losing doesn't mean failure. Think about it, if you have trained so hard but yet you lose a match because of your fear of losing, then you lose to yourself not your opponent. Why are you training so hard then?
    Well said Cheekgen. I wish to add on to your point of view.

    When you are facing mental pressure from fear of losing, Change the Pattern of Thoughts. How? Concentrate on your game, proper execution of the shots and using the right strategy. By doing so, you concentrate on the positive aspect of your game and avoid the negative e.g. fear of losing. The coach must play his part in allaying the fear of losing. Win or lose, the player must perform correctly accordingly what he is trained for. Meaning to say losing correctly is more important than winning sloppily. A win is never a win unless you do it correctly. This should be inculcated by the coach to improve the rate of success. The idea is to have a sizeable lead to wrap up the game or to reduce the deficit such that you have a chance to upset the stronger opponent. That is the mentality well practised and mentality well won.

    Players should concentrate on playing to their fullest potential, day in day out so that it becomes a habit. This will build their mental strength for the future. Win or lose, it does not matter. If you already played your best for your country, fear not. Let the coach defend you and take the burden.

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    i have a question: how do you evaluate whether a player is "better" or "worse" than you? is it because of their techniques, or power, or variety of shots? i think in singles consistency and footwork is also very important. so if a player may not be very fancy, but is very consistent and rarely makes mistakes, he/she is a pretty good player.

    also, get this "oh he's worse than me" or "oh he's better than me" mentality out. no one is better or worse than you until AFTER the match. honestly, if a player can beat you, then he's not worse than you. if for some reason he can force you to make more mistakes, that's skills.

    like people already said, it's a nerve thing, and also a rythem thing. if half way through the match you find yourself behind, then you need to probe and find the opponent's weaknesses. you can't just go in and keep doing the same thing even after losing. maybe if you like fast speed matches, and your opponent goes for off speed, and that puts your rythem off which makes your style of play awkward and forces you to go for harder shots which forces the mistakes.

    also, are you physically fit for singles? if you get tired, that's also a reason for more mistakes.

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    Personally I'd say I'm the opposite in a tournament, when I play people that I should beat easily I like to make a point and try to beat them as convincingly as possible.

    You say you're making alot of errors, this may be because you are trying to play shots that you don't really need to play to beat the lesser players. I find the best way to start off against weaker players is to hit alot of attacking clears into each corner and when smashing smash more at their body - you are less likely to make mistakes this way.

    Also don't worry about looking good while you play or impressing people, just play to win.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Athelete1234 View Post
    Happens to me too. Important thing is to always play seriously and play smarter than your opponent. Don't feel pressured to win because you're obviously better, just play your best and be mean.
    That's right, "be mean in all of your games" and remember people would never think you are a friendly guy by loosing the game, actually they want to play with you more if they loose!

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    I had this problem to in a tournament. We were playin doubles against a man and his partner who had a problem wit his eye and he cudnt c the shuttle that wel so he missed it a lot. We went in thinking piece of cake, easy and we lost the match!! We were shocked, we expected to win, every1 was expectin us to win and we lost!

    U have to ave same attitude for each match no matter who ur playin, that ur goin to play ur best, its goin to b a hard match and ul look for ur chances to win the point in each rally.

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    there is no such thing as losing to a player way worse than you in two straight sets. If someone can beat you in two straight, then obviously they are the better player. the only result that matters is the score at the end of the match. That determines who the better player is. So, I feel that perhaps at times this "playing worst against weaker players" is not even an attitude problem, it is more of a lack in skill..and sometimes...perspective.

    i agree that sometimes if you play someone who you feel is weaker..you might end up playing a worse game...make more mistakes...but in the end...you still have to win to be the better player......certainly, this is not the case when you are losing two straight.

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