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  1. #1
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    Default shaky when playing against good opponent/tournament

    sir, i hv this problem since i started 2 play local tournament . In our place we usualy have circuits /tournament often .usually most of the players in the tournament are my sparring partner in my training stint. I can say that im a much better than most of them and tend 2 win the mathches during practise. but the real problem is , when we meet in the tournament , i cannot play and loose easily. My body would be stift and my shot will be wild and full of errors. i feel really nervous that time and also worried that, it maybe influnce my future plan to be a national player. i trid to do meditation but it doesnt work . My coach also askd me 2 relax but it is worthless.so i hope u would gv me a direction or method on hw to overcome dis problem?

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    Relaxing is just something you have to do. Calm down, just don't think about who you're playing or the score and just play every point as a single point. Although I'm not Rasmussen, I feel that if you follow my advice, your tournament results may improve.

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    Yes you can try and relax , and before matches just think to yourself you can do it. Personally my coach taught me to walk off the court if I had a negative thought. And he tought me never to think negatively while playing.

    Lin Dan , was once asked what he can offer to other badminton players.

    He replied that he could offer mental strenghthening , due to the amount of tournaments he has played with thousands of people playing.

    Now I'm not saying speak to Lin Dan , but by playing more tournaments you will become used to it , and eventually gat less nervous (I hope)

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    Regular Member phaarix's Avatar
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    I know how you feel. I had exactly the same problem (I still do occasionally, but not so bad). It's very hard to "just relax" like a lot of people say. Of course if you can find certain things that help you to relax, then by all means do them. Personally I found that one of the reasons I'd lose to people I should usually beat comfortably was that due to my nervousness I would rush the points. I'd try to finish them as quickly as possible, and I'd take NO time between serves. I couldn't help being nervous. But what I could do was to make sure I took my time between points. Regain my composure as much as I could, and try to slow the game down. After a while I'd settle into the game, and it would become easier from that point on. Draw the match out as long as I could. Whereas when I rushed through the match, I'd make mistakes all over the place, and never quite settle before the match was over.

    Personally that's what helped for me. It's not easy when you feel nervous and stiff, because usually when you realise you're in trouble, it just makes it worse. Slow things down to a manageable pace, as often when you're nervous and your heart's beating fast you lose track of what's really going on as you're too busy worrying about winning. It took other people constantly telling me to "take your time on your serve!" for me to realise where I was going wrong.

    As for a more permanent "cure" to nervousness/stiffness, I think krisss is right. It's not something there is really a miracle cure for (that I ever knew of), as sometimes your body can just take over. It's just experience, and getting used to being in that situation. The more tournaments you play, the easier it will get. It's just a matter of time . So just keep that in mind and don't worry about it because it won't last forever! And in the meantime... just try and find out what helps for you. Hopefully other members have more suggestions that you could try.
    Last edited by phaarix; 02-18-2009 at 12:19 AM.

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    What you are experiencing is a mental block. It is similar to a student whose mind goes blank or someone experiencing stage fright. Symptoms include dry mouth, pounding heart, weak stomach, feeling nauseous, trembling of limbs etc.

    Since you mentioned that you lose to people who you usually triumph over, it means that the problem is not physical but psychological. The 2 things that ultimately decide the end result is the amount of preparation (physical and mental training) and your mental state during the game.

    You stated that you feel really nervous during the competition. This implies an anxiety within you. Try recalling the kind of thoughts that goes on in your mind during practice and during a competition. You should realise that they are significantly different. During training, you feel more confident and are faster to react. Why? This is because there are not much external factors influencing your mind. You just play the game the way you know and like it.

    What about your thoughts during a competitive match? Do you have fear(s)? Fear of losing, fear of making a fool of yourself in front of the audience, fear of disappointing your friends and relatives who came to support you, fear of underperforming and are you bothered by how the audience/friends/opponent see you?

    During practice match, does your body seem to be in auto pilot mode with your mind only focused on how and where to return the shot without much of any other external thoughts. You usually have no doubts after hitting a shot that it will be in and you will be quickly ready for the next shot. In this case, your mind is in so called ‘state of equilibrium’.

    During a competition, is your mind cluttered up by a lot of thoughts. “I want to impress the audience.” “I want to show the audience I am superior to my opponent” “Oh no, why are my shots so lousy today” “Is my clear going to be in? I hope so” Do you have doubts just before and after hitting a shot? During games, do you have so much useless thoughts going on in your mind that it distracts you and bring down your mental state, which results in underperformance?

    So how do you rid yourself of such unwanted or negative thoughts so that you can concentrate solely on the match? Easy, see a sports psychologist, therapist I am serious, It is the fastest way you will learn how to rid yourself of unwanted thoughts and learn to condition your mental state especially since you said that you hope to progress to the national level. If you can’t afford it or there is no such specialist in your area, then you have to do it by yourself the long way. The next better way is to pick up a book with titles like ‘Your subconscious mind’, ‘Strengthening your mind’, ‘How to win’, ‘Winning in Sports’, ‘Winners’ Minds’ under the psychology section and follow what they teach inside.

    I hope the tips below can be of help

    1 - Mind and Breathing Control
    Learn to control your breathing and free your mind of all thoughts and tell yourself ‘I am in a state of calm’, ‘I am totally relaxed’, ‘I am free of worries/distractions’, ‘I am in total control’, ‘I am not affected by anything external’ etc. Practice such thoughts as when you can, whether before your sleep, on the public transport, in the toilet, while waiting etc.

    2 - Visualise games
    Do visualisations of the competition setting; rehearse all details of the competition in your mind before going for it. It will be good if you do a Reece on the sports venue beforehand so that the environment will not be totally alien to you. Try Imagining the crowd noise and everyone’s eyes on you; if you can get nervous just by visualising, tell yourself you are in a match and your mind is cluttered with uncertainty. Then try to snap out of it by telling yourself ‘I am not affected by anything external’ ‘I am in total control’ ‘I am mentally very strong’ Visualise all kind of shots your opponent can make and also all your movements on court. Visualising helps yourself acclimatise to the tournament conditions and takes away a big chuck of uncertainty from your mind, freeing your mind of unwanted burden during the actual thing.

    3 - Negative/unwanted thoughts.
    Because I do not know what the unwanted and negative thoughts are during your games, I can’t really offer in depth suggestions as how to counter them but as a general rule, keep your focus on the task ahead. In your mind and eyes, there should only be you, the opponent, shuttle, net, court lines. The moment you notice your mind starts to drift to the audience, noise etc snap yourself out of it by telling yourself the magic words – ‘I am not affected by anything external’, ‘I am in total control’ etc. You must be oblivious to anything else – how good you look, the court reaction, whether your shoe laces are tied properly, whether your hair is messy, whether you are sweating profusely, whether the audience likes you or not etc.

    4 - Learn to trigger your competition mode
    Some people listen to music, some pray to god, some just sit there and stare in space, some meditate before the competition starts to free their mind of thoughts and to relax themselves. You can choose a pre ritual that suits you and just before a match say to yourself stuff like ‘No regrets’ or ‘Let’s do it’ or ‘The world’s mine for the taking’ etc. Practice to on this trigger in everyday life. The next time you feel embarrassed or your heart starts racing due to excitement from anything use the magic words ‘I am in total control’ ‘I am not affected by what others think’ etc to compose yourself instantly. Make use of any situation that can create anxiety in you to practice the controlling of your mental state.

    Last but not least, as what everyone says, take part in more competitions to put yourself under pressure and anxiety and hope that you can learn to cope with it as you get more exposure. I hope you can relate to what I wrote and it helps a bit in off setting your nervousness in your next match

  6. #6
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    I experience a similar problem, but down one competitive level. When I'm rallying with someone, I can be better than them, but when I'm playing a match (at training) I always lose. I've never played in a competition, but I expect that I'll be even worse..

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    Default thanks

    thank u, i will try 2 folo ur touts

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheemao View Post
    What you are experiencing is a mental block. It is similar to a student whose mind goes blank or someone experiencing stage fright. Symptoms include dry mouth, pounding heart, weak stomach, feeling nauseous, trembling of limbs etc....
    Great post! That reminds me of a friend I had that used to listen to music to prepare himself for a game. Not relaxing music or anything, but really full on stuff. I think his way to deal with stress before the match was to get fired up which I think would get rid of any fears he had of losing and he'd just go for it! So I guess it just shows it's different for everyone!

    I think your post may also be able to help me in the future .

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    great to know that the post is helpful but it is still advisable to seek the help of a sports psychologist or a coach trained in mental conditioning if you are a competitive player. Otherwise you can also get the relevant books for reference.

    Phaarix, your friend is a good example of those having a pre ritual before a game which helps them clear their mind of unwanted clutter before the match and also serve to help focus on the task at hand.

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    Have a mental game plan~

    Imagine,, this court is your house~ are you going to let just anyone walk in and all over you~ !!!!


    After the game is over , a win is a win. GREAT and be humble about it ~!! A loss is a loss.. lose with dignity, you lost to a better player for today ONLY~

    What do you all think of this~ agree or disagree~


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    honestly its nothing to do with what people are saying. Sometimes yes it could be this or that from the above mentioned. But the blatent truth is you have a self confidence problem.

    When your in a relaxed mindset at training it doesnt even occur to you that confidence is flowing through your body due to a lack of pressure and importance. You will comfortably make shots which sometimes you didnt even know you could pull off.

    As soon as its a competition match where everything counts, without you even realising it your saying to yourself. Ok this is it. 1 mistake and i lose a point. I gota be perfect. That first mistake you make and the subconcious comments turn to. There goes a point. I shouldnt have ****ed that up. Now hes winning.

    You get more and more nervous as the points are dropped.

    Only way to overcome it is to mentally think those comments differently. Even if you stand there and say to yourself, Ok now lets get the next point and take it from there. Or ok hes only 1 point in front im gona beat him.

    You need to take control of your subconcious mind and get rid of the selfdoubt and fuel your confidence levels.

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    Another fact. " If you have the mentallity to see what is happening around you, you have the brain power to fix the issue."

    EG you hit a smash and it goes out. You say to yourself man my smashes are going out. I just cant get there fast enough to hit over it.

    1 You know the problem
    2 you know why its happening
    3 open your eyes and make the adjustment and effort to fix the problem.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheemao View Post
    What you are experiencing is a mental block. It is similar to a student whose mind goes blank or someone experiencing stage fright. Symptoms include dry mouth, pounding heart, weak stomach, feeling nauseous, trembling of limbs etc.

    Since you mentioned that you lose to people who you usually triumph over, it means that the problem is not physical but psychological. The 2 things that ultimately decide the end result is the amount of preparation (physical and mental training) and your mental state during the game.

    You stated that you feel really nervous during the competition. This implies an anxiety within you. Try recalling the kind of thoughts that goes on in your mind during practice and during a competition. You should realise that they are significantly different. During training, you feel more confident and are faster to react. Why? This is because there are not much external factors influencing your mind. You just play the game the way you know and like it.

    What about your thoughts during a competitive match? Do you have fear(s)? Fear of losing, fear of making a fool of yourself in front of the audience, fear of disappointing your friends and relatives who came to support you, fear of underperforming and are you bothered by how the audience/friends/opponent see you?

    During practice match, does your body seem to be in auto pilot mode with your mind only focused on how and where to return the shot without much of any other external thoughts. You usually have no doubts after hitting a shot that it will be in and you will be quickly ready for the next shot. In this case, your mind is in so called ‘state of equilibrium’.

    During a competition, is your mind cluttered up by a lot of thoughts. “I want to impress the audience.” “I want to show the audience I am superior to my opponent” “Oh no, why are my shots so lousy today” “Is my clear going to be in? I hope so” Do you have doubts just before and after hitting a shot? During games, do you have so much useless thoughts going on in your mind that it distracts you and bring down your mental state, which results in underperformance?

    So how do you rid yourself of such unwanted or negative thoughts so that you can concentrate solely on the match? Easy, see a sports psychologist, therapist I am serious, It is the fastest way you will learn how to rid yourself of unwanted thoughts and learn to condition your mental state especially since you said that you hope to progress to the national level. If you can’t afford it or there is no such specialist in your area, then you have to do it by yourself the long way. The next better way is to pick up a book with titles like ‘Your subconscious mind’, ‘Strengthening your mind’, ‘How to win’, ‘Winning in Sports’, ‘Winners’ Minds’ under the psychology section and follow what they teach inside.

    I hope the tips below can be of help

    1 - Mind and Breathing Control
    Learn to control your breathing and free your mind of all thoughts and tell yourself ‘I am in a state of calm’, ‘I am totally relaxed’, ‘I am free of worries/distractions’, ‘I am in total control’, ‘I am not affected by anything external’ etc. Practice such thoughts as when you can, whether before your sleep, on the public transport, in the toilet, while waiting etc.

    2 - Visualise games
    Do visualisations of the competition setting; rehearse all details of the competition in your mind before going for it. It will be good if you do a Reece on the sports venue beforehand so that the environment will not be totally alien to you. Try Imagining the crowd noise and everyone’s eyes on you; if you can get nervous just by visualising, tell yourself you are in a match and your mind is cluttered with uncertainty. Then try to snap out of it by telling yourself ‘I am not affected by anything external’ ‘I am in total control’ ‘I am mentally very strong’ Visualise all kind of shots your opponent can make and also all your movements on court. Visualising helps yourself acclimatise to the tournament conditions and takes away a big chuck of uncertainty from your mind, freeing your mind of unwanted burden during the actual thing.

    3 - Negative/unwanted thoughts.
    Because I do not know what the unwanted and negative thoughts are during your games, I can’t really offer in depth suggestions as how to counter them but as a general rule, keep your focus on the task ahead. In your mind and eyes, there should only be you, the opponent, shuttle, net, court lines. The moment you notice your mind starts to drift to the audience, noise etc snap yourself out of it by telling yourself the magic words – ‘I am not affected by anything external’, ‘I am in total control’ etc. You must be oblivious to anything else – how good you look, the court reaction, whether your shoe laces are tied properly, whether your hair is messy, whether you are sweating profusely, whether the audience likes you or not etc.

    4 - Learn to trigger your competition mode
    Some people listen to music, some pray to god, some just sit there and stare in space, some meditate before the competition starts to free their mind of thoughts and to relax themselves. You can choose a pre ritual that suits you and just before a match say to yourself stuff like ‘No regrets’ or ‘Let’s do it’ or ‘The world’s mine for the taking’ etc. Practice to on this trigger in everyday life. The next time you feel embarrassed or your heart starts racing due to excitement from anything use the magic words ‘I am in total control’ ‘I am not affected by what others think’ etc to compose yourself instantly. Make use of any situation that can create anxiety in you to practice the controlling of your mental state.

    Last but not least, as what everyone says, take part in more competitions to put yourself under pressure and anxiety and hope that you can learn to cope with it as you get more exposure. I hope you can relate to what I wrote and it helps a bit in off setting your nervousness in your next match
    I must say this is great advice.....In fact a lot of the things suggested in this thread are really good ways to look at a tense and nervous situation be it on or off court. The good thing about learning how you react in stressfull environments is that you may transfer these technics to oher areas of your life......Whenever I feel anxiety or nervous I know that I´ve handled worse situations and I try to transfer my "gameface"

    Sometimes you may try to learn how to deal with fear or bad performances by reading about it or getting advice from others. This is of course very important to do, otherwise you wouldn´t develop, but my advice is to find your own way by listening to your fears and accept that they will always be there. They will not go away, but you may learn how to make them sort of pass through your mind without paying too much attention to them and instead replace them quickly with more comforting thoughts.

    There are numerous ways to do this, but it´s my opinion that there is no right way to do it, but your OWN way. This is where the good players are seperated my the BEST players. If you could go into every topplayers mind and read it, I believe you will not find any perfect match in the way they do things. The thing that works for me is that I´m really good at learning from my mistakes, but I don´t fear to make mistakes........The best players are those who have made the most mistakes and not letting it affect them......

    This is of course a process which requires time and a lot of patience, let alone blood sweat and tears, to master......Therefore, don´t be scared to fail, it happens to everybody and it is actually a good thing because it allows you to develop

    Hope this helps

    Kind Regards

    JR

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