How to keep concentration during games?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by BadmintonDave, Nov 7, 2023.

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  1. BadmintonDave

    BadmintonDave Regular Member

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    Hi All, I have a question regarding concentration

    To cut a long story short, I play badminton a lot (12-16 hrs a week) and have been described as "advanced". But can struggle with concentration and decision making during ralleys. Or I could be described as lazy and don't push myself to be that bit faster, that bit more aggressive etc.

    Last night though, had a great evening at my social plastic club. Won almost every game and was playing at 95% of my potential it felt like. What caused this change? I had a Monster Energy drink about 6 hrs before playing.

    I don't drink tea or coffee, hate the taste. And I donated a kidney this year so I have to be very careful about dietary things and substances (35 yr old male).

    I don't want to rely on this for an increase in performance. Are there any safer things I can consume or things I can do to get the same effect? (UK).
     
  2. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    For me, how i rest well & how my diet affect my concentration, aside from environtment stuff.

    I play on routine schedule every Sunday & other occasion after workdays.

    On Sunday, if i dont rest well, i turn dumb. Yup coffee help abit to keep up my concentration.

    On my workday schedule. Afterworks due to brain & body fatique after works i notice i cant perform like on my Sunday schedule. Also as the time is somewhat ackward 6PM, havent had dinner also makes me like had no energy to goes all out. Eating chocolate or bananas due help tho.
     
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  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Sorry to say this and it won’t come across well. Better to assess yourself with feather shuttles and more competitive players.
     
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  4. BadmintonDave

    BadmintonDave Regular Member

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    Don't be sorry, it's fair to say that. There's at least 4 people that are better than me there and my pair finished third out of 8 in the friendly tournament we had a few weeks ago.
     
  5. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    As far as I'm concerned coffee is a performance enhancing drug, and the effects are quite noticeable. It just gives an effortless concentration for me. The only other consideration when playing is to make sure I have enough sugar in me.

    I don't think anyone likes the taste of coffee the first time they have it. I don't know if he brain eventually links the taste to the caffeine-induced-dopamine, but somehow I've come to absolutely love the taste. However, not all coffee is created equal. In my home instant coffee is affectionately referred to as dirt-water, and if I am out I won't ever order any coffee. Most coffee in restaurants or cafes is based on espresso mixed with extra water. I find filter coffee made with a simple filter machine, pour-over, or aeropress (anything where water goes through a paper filter) tastes better. It might not be the case for you, but I've served people coffee at home, who didn't like coffee (likely because all they know is bitter dirt-water), and they found that it was actually pretty good, or at least far more tolerable. Keep in mind I make it pretty strong. It just tastes much cleaner.
    There can be differences in taste depending on the kind of coffee you get. Anything that says french style is usually a safe bet for me at the shops, but of course you may differ. But I think the greatest difference is simply in the brewing method of using a paper filter.


    Of course you can always commit the sacrilege of drowning the coffee in sugar and milk.

    If you make it work somehow, you need to learn your dosage. If you get too much, your performance goes down and you will feel terrible.
     
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  6. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    Hello

    I would argue the safest stuff would be water with ORS (my personal favourite).
    In a 2-3 hr session, I easily consume about 2-3 ltrs (depending on the climate).

    An energy drink 6hours before couldn't be fuelling you for the games imho.

    As far as coffee is concerned, you would definitely need to know the dose that works for you. I once took a double and ended up having palpitations & a headache. (I was driving & getting sleepy).
    Dark chocolate can also do the trick if your palate allows.

    Hydration & energy should be your main focus I think.
     
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  7. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    Somewhat Agreed.

    Playing good with feathers is very different compared to plastics. It will take considerable amount of time, effort and money.

    It's like playing Tennis ball cricket. You can be really good / allrounder. But playing with the red leather ball or kookaburra turf white ball is completely different game.

    As long as we continue playing in the same league there is little incentive to change.
     
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  8. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    Since you asked for something safe to try, may I recommend an experiment for 1-2 weeks?

    Perhaps play only half the number of days than your usual. During this time focus on eating healthily, stretching, staying hydrated, and (most importantly) getting enough sleep.

    If this rest doesn't help, you can still go buy energy drinks, amphetamines, or any other chemical self-flagellation.
    But is just possible that the concentration and decision issues could benefit from a period of less intensity.

    Beyond that is the realm of sports psychology. Good luck. :)
     
  9. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Also, perhaps don’t judge how well you play by the number of games you win. It’s better to look at the shots in the rally, your movement, timing etc.
     
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  10. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    If I train intensely and in a concentrated way it carries over to games. Having to stay focused when exhausted doing a routine. Same in the gym. I don't think there's anything else that influences my performances in any meaningful way than the quality, intensity, and volume of training I do. If I could buy a coffee or energy drink instead that would be lovely as it's a lot easier than putting a heavy barbell across my back and feeling it pushing me into the ground, or having to finish a routine when I feel my abs turning to mush and can't breathe properly.

    Most likely in the games you weren't under pressure. Going from under pressure from little pressure can make you think you're playing better than you are. Easy to feel like a monster under those circumstances. If every shot you play is coming back hard and fast at you then you dont even have time to concentrate anyway, it's just instinct and muscle memory at that point in time which can only be gained from training over and over again.

    I think the last time I played with plastic shuttles was around 12 years old btw so I doubt there was much pressure on you in this environment.
     
    #10 UkPlayer, Nov 19, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2023
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  11. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    Oh but it's a real answer and the world needs far more of it in these times.

    There's become a huge market for optimum nutrition/energy support but there's also become a frightening amount of people using steroids as part of this modern culture which goes along with it. The message needs to be clear that there is no substitute for honest hard work and while nutritional supplements may help give a slight edge in this process it's too easy to end up thinking that they are more important than they are. A good nights sleep is far too underrated these days.

    Your pre-post game and daily stretch, and your warm up routine on and off court will affect how you play 100x more than switching from water to some kind of energy booster. If you haven't asked the question on what the best cycle of warm up strokes, movement routine and stretches are pre-game then you shouldn't have skipped onto this question.

    As a practice for me a light meal about an hour before and a decent amount of fluids 30 minutes before are generally helpful. Some people like to have a heavier meal 2 hours before. But it's best to work out what works for you and there's a ton of information around out there.
     
    #11 UkPlayer, Nov 19, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2023
  12. BadmintonDave

    BadmintonDave Regular Member

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    As an assistant coach, I am aware of these thank you :)

    I am working on the sleep and eating healthy. I've lost ~3kg in the last month and am maintaining ~73.1kg bodyweight.

    Have match tonight. I played well in a 6's match last week (but still lost). Have a 4's tonight and am hoping for the best.

    Thank you everyone so far
     
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  13. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Straight to the point.
     
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  14. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    That's great, give yourself a massive pat on the back for that and keep it up.

    Any daily 10 min stretching routine on YouTube will pay dividends too if you haven't got one already.
     
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  15. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    All players go through good and not so good phases of play. Obviously we want to get to good phases better. However, sometimes, we go through a great phase where everything clicks and then revert back to average.

    This phenomenon is called regression to the mean. You can statistically have a good day (or bad day) and it happens to all people.

    Then question becomes more of how to improve the mean for which it’s training, sleep, nutrition.

    How to keep concentration during games? Simply speaking, practice maintaining it. You have to notice when you tend to switch off. Is it on the receiving serve, third shot , after five points in the match etc. once you start noticing the pattern, you train yourself to maintain your concentration at those junctures. Theoretically, with the benefit of life experience, you should be able to self analyse and train this better yourself compared to junior players.

    It’s a gradual process so don’t feel you need to go from zero to hero overnight. One common thing we do in Asia to force us to maintain concentration is to play for drinks or small amount of cash. Incentives other than just winning a game are good for your objectives.
     
    #15 Cheung, Nov 30, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2023
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  16. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    I can vouch for the drinks/cash bet game.
    Cash incentive works better I have seen.. only problem is that the losing team keeps raising the stakes.
    :D
     
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  17. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    A back squat however heavy, should not ever feel like that!!! Not only that, but putting it on your back should be the easy part. Before even doing a squat you should feel very comfortable with it on your back. Moreso if you build some muscle for it to go. But some people use a pad. But to feel like you are being pushed into the ground is just bizarre. You are supposed to feel strong!
     
  18. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    As you say, there’s a lot to be said for training with intensity.

    There are numerous videos on social media of fast repetition feeding. If you’re doing sets of these, then grooving in the muscle memory, you’re probably going to be playing better and moving faster without thinking. Then, you’ll be able to concentrate better on parts of the game where you really need to be focussing better.


    You could probably do training with your sets of reps being at higher pace at first and see how that goes.



    For decision making, a lot of doubles play is about how to setup and anticipation of likely returns. If you are able to move faster to the shuttle, the patterns of shots you have trained previously with a doubles coach will help your decision making because you have trained the appropriate replies.

    For example, if you’re right handed on the right side of the court , you can smash down the tramline. The opponents will lift straight and a bit short. Your follow up shot is to smash cross court to the diagonally opposite corner. Your partner should already be moving back just before you hit the cross court smash and you follow in to take the forecourt area. After four or five of these, you change the cross court smash into a drop to the middle for variation.

    You could try to practice this routine by playing games but if you are doing specific training for these set patterns in practice, decision making in games will become easier.
     
  19. BadmintonDave

    BadmintonDave Regular Member

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    Thank you :). I'm playing more consistently and actually am starting to win more games than I lose in matches. My last 2 mens 6 games me and whichever partner I am with have been winning 2 out of the 3 opponents. Which is a big improvement over none.
     
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  20. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    But still with plastic shuttles :)
     

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