Updated: Oct 4, 2022
In the previous blog here I spoke about ‘5 Ways To Train Smarter and Improve Faster in Badminton (From a Professional Badminton Player)’ and today’s blog is a continuation of that so check the first blog out if you haven’t already. So today, I’d like to discuss the one mindset shift that will further help you to improve faster not only in your badminton training but in most other things in life too.
So, picture this. You have a big competition coming up and you’ve been working so hard in training for months in preparation for this tournament. You’ve spent hours perfecting your new technique, you’ve been monitoring your nutrition well, and have been feeling strong in the gym. At the competition, you have a thorough warm-up, chat to a coach or teammate about your match, and are feeling so ready to get onto court. Then, you lose first round in a tight 3-setter and that’s you done for that competition!
How do you feel? Frustrated, annoyed, disappointed, perhaps even embarrassed?
Following this, it can go either one of two ways. You can reflect on this loss and recognise what you did well, what you could have improved, seek feedback from others, and get back to the drawing board. Conversely, you can feel completely destroyed, that all your hard work was for nothing, and that you might as well just give up. Both are completely normal reactions and the same person may even experience both simultaneously. But the point that I’m trying to emphasise is that failure is a valuable part of the process, it is a piece that helps the whole puzzle come together, or a stepping stone on the path to where you’re going. As Winston Churchill says: “Success is all about going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
As a sportsperson, it becomes easy to base your self-esteem on your ability to execute a shot, win a certain match, or what your performance might look like on paper. It also doesn’t help that we live in a society where working hard is often seen as being uncool or ‘too keen’, making us hold back on doing positive things for ourselves in the fear of what others might think. A key aspect to positive well-being is for us to feel like we belong, so it can be understood where this fear of judgement comes from too.
Nonetheless, when we can stop seeing failure as this significant negative or embarrassing event, and redefine it as an opportunity to gain valuable feedback and learn how to do better next time is when we can start to see progress. Moreover, this mindset shift enables you to bounce back from setbacks quicker and enjoy the process much more. It’s okay to make mistakes and lose matches, it’s okay to look silly sometimes, as long as you’re trying to evolve your game in a positive way. One match will not define your ability and most definitely will not make you any less worthy as a human being. So whether it’s during training or competition, be open-minded, try out new things (like that deceptive shot that you’ve always wanted to do), and have fun with it!