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  1. #1
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    Default When you feel that age is catching up on you

    Have you ever felt that your age is catching up on you? You used to be able to play much quicker games and lasted longer in rallies. And then you play against a much younger player and you feel that you lost because you were slower and ran out of gas quicker than you would before?

    At what age would one, on average, generally see such a turning point in life? Assuming that you are on plateau on your skills level, what else can be done to arrest the aging factor? Or there's absolutely nothing we can do to stop the inevitable?

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    I feel your pain, my friend. I played a guy half my age today in singles and I have never felt so pathetic.

    Every one ages differently depending on their genetics and their committment to fitness (both factors are important). The professionals are considering retirement by their early thirties. By 40 even the 'youngest' souls start feeling their decline at a social game level. The best you can do is keep on going the best you can.
    Do not go gentle into that good night,Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    -Dylan Thomas

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monster View Post

    At what age would one, on average, generally see such a turning point in life? Assuming that you are on plateau on your skills level, what else can be done to arrest the aging factor? Or there's absolutely nothing we can do to stop the inevitable?

    I think a complete plateau of skills level is unlikely, even if you are declining physically your mental game can still grow. Shot choice, placement, tactics all can help to hold back the years.

    Also the level you play at massively influences when age really starts to bite.

    I asked Gollum this question after a coaching session, I was 39 at the time;

    He explained it like this; he put his hand out at head height and said that was the level of a professional player, then lifted his foot a couple of inches of the ground and said that was my level, and that my age was in no way a limiting factor served me right for moaning!

    He was right though, a year later despite having effectively aged massively due to a knee injury I believe I could happily batter my old self off the court!

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    As forgeron said, it really does depend on the level of play.

    The best players in the world inevitably experience a decline with age. By the time they are 30, or even 25, they have almost nothing left to learn. Their technique is flawless, their tactical understanding honed by the toughest tournament experience, and they have pushed their physical training to the limit. They are as good as they're ever going to be.

    The slow decline of fitness with age means that these players gradually lose their ability to play at the top level. There's always someone else with the same skill and tactical ability, but who is also five or even ten years younger. And if you've been playing at that level for years, you've probably accrued some nagging injuries.

    The most extraordinary case I can think of is Zhang Ning, who won the 2008 Olympic gold in women's singles at the ripe old age (!) of 33.

    But that's what it's like at the top. For us amateurs, things are very different. We are mainly limited by our technical and tactical weaknesses, and a lack of basic fitness. Most ordinary badminton players have the potential to improve throughout their active life. Age-related fitness decline is not the limiting factor.

    Of course, injuries are another issue, but let's not talk about that. It's so depressing.
    Last edited by Gollum; 03-09-2010 at 06:35 AM.

  5. #5
    Regular Member 1984AllENGLAND's Avatar
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    Yes, it is depressing when it comes to injuries.
    I so desperately want to get fit again but with niggling knee injuries,
    i find myself in a catch 22 situation.
    My jump smashes are sometimes comical to watch cos i just can't reach
    the height that i could before.
    Turning 50 next week and still enjoying good hard games but these injuries
    are killing my games.
    So i would say, yes, age has most certainly caught up with me.

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    Going back to the original question, I think around 40 for most guys is when their bodies start to weaken dramatically. For one thing, your testosterone levels start to drop, by a few percent a year or something like that. This means less lean muscle, more fat storage, less energy, and a whole host of other changes, all bad for athletes.

    For me, I'm 39 and about 3 years ago, I noticed I was soaking my t-shirts in sweat whereas before I hardly sweated. I could play a whole 3-hour session in a cotton shirt. Now I need to wear dri-fit shirts and still soak them with sweat. I'm not tired or out of breath, I can play singles for 90 minutes and not feel it too much, but even an easy game of slow mixed doubles will have me sweating. The sweating seems independent of my exertion level, it's annoying. I've read that it's something that just happens to you as you get older.

    I try to do a couple of hours of aerobic exercise everyday, either running or swimming, and play badminton for 2-3 hours 4 times a week. But whereas when I was younger, I could push myself as hard as I wanted and the only thing that stopped me was the pain barrier, NOW I have to stop myself long before I hit the wall because I can feel my muscles starting to cramp or tear.

    And when I do get injured, it no longer takes 2-3 days of rest to heal. More like a couple of weeks of physiotherapy and complete rest. That's the worst part of all

    In terms of how it affects badminton, I've been to clubs and played with ex-pros who are in their 50s. They don't bother smashing much anymore, because they dont' have much power or the stamina to keep hitting like that, but all other areas of their game are so solid, especially at the net. They are lightening fast and accurate. I guess everyone adapts through necessity, you play the way you still can.

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    i dread the time and age most of you gusy who posted a re currently at,but i'm still playing and enjoyuuing the game in my current younger age.trying to have fun and exertr as much as possible.don't be jealous y'all.

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    I don't feel that the age is catching me I'm 12 LOL

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    I just had some games earlier. I had 2 singles (with less than 2 mins break in between) with 2 different players. Before that I had 6 Men's Doubles (with rest between each sets). We played for about two hours including the breaks. I was soaked wet and tired. I felt slower than, say, 5 years ago. But I am 3kg heavier today from where I was 5 yrs ago.

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    I did not play badminton in my teens or 20s.

    I played once a week in an open gym with a closed group of people in my 30s. I was good in that group. However, others in the group were recreational players my skill level was quite poor.

    Now I am 44 and last year I joined a badminton club. My level of play was pathetic compared to the rest and many refused to play with me. I took the rejection as a challenge and started playing 3 times a week and focused on learning new skills like using proper grips (thanks to Gollam). Now after one year, my level of play is above average in this club with about 250 members. Except may be the top 10% of the players are now happy to play with me.
    The bottom line is that, as others in this thread already stated, you can learn well into late ages as long as you were not a professional in your earlier years.

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    vinod81, enjoy the game while you can.

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    Without smashing, I've seen some golden agers in their late 60s early 70s take on some players half the age. You just have to be smart to choose only doubles games, and play tactical well places shots.

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    I am in my late 40's n played 2nd singles for National Junior College in Singapore Under18 National Championship in 1980 Finals in Spore Badminton Hall. That was my 100% n now just picking up the game again after 5-6 years, feel i only have <50% physical ability n still 80% of skills (the other 20% is too physically demanding)
    Thus, I have to change my doubles tactic into more of placement n accuracy of shots. Also have to try aim my shots to the weaker opponents. He..he..he..

    Also, find a less demanding racket to use. Preferably an all-around racket rather than offensive, head-heavy cannons. Wear good n comfortable shoes also helps. Most importantly, don't OVER-EXERT yourself, can get injured more easily in older age. Enjoy the game n do more socializing as well.

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