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Transcript of Badminton Psychology
Question 5: How does your coach motivate you? How does your partner motivate you (in doubles/mixed)?
"My coach motivates me most by encouraging me to play to my strengths, play hard, and reminding me of my strengths and good attributes. When the coach comes on to the court with a smile and encouragement, it improves my play and confidence."
This player is encouraged by their coach when he points out what they're good at and tries to keep playing what they're good at in order to improve their game and confidence.
Question 1: What kind of goals do you set for yourself at the beginning of the season? Before a tournament? Before a game?
"Before a season I look at what the biggest realistic goal is that I can think of, and then I work towards it. Before a tournament I do the same thing. Before a game I tell myself to just focus on one point at a time for best results."
This athlete may not know specifically of the S.M.A.R.T. principle, but they do set goals with the same standards. They make sure their goal is realistic for the season.
The other athlete's had similar answers. They also talked a lot about improving themselves and getting better results than the previous seasons.
I had a the Redeemer University badminton team take a psychology survey that I made of how they get motivated and stay motivated during games, during a tournament, and all throughout the season. The interview is based on specifically badminton players.
First, I have a description of a key component within sports psychology and how it relates to badminton. Then, I have a survey question with some of the players answers and how it relates to the key components.
is a study of athletes in sports and how they think, feel, and behave in different situations. It has to do with how an athlete processes things mentally, in order to motivate the way they behave in training and competition.
has to do with a badminton players mental state and how they get motivated.
Being psyched up before any sports event is important for an athlete in order for them to be psychologically and physically ready to play a sport. In badminton, a few factors that can really improve a players arousal is visualization, self-talk, relaxation and motivation.
This video shows how olympic track athlete, Nick Symmonds visualizes his goals.
Question 2: How do you psych yourself up before a tournament? Before a game? During a game?
Question 3: How do you calm your nerves during a game or tournament? What keeps you relaxed?
Question 4: Once you’ve gotten distracted in a match and you’re falling behind, what do you do to motivate yourself to get back into the game?
"I find that when I do things to be physically healthy I will naturally feel more mentally strong. Before a game I will do some visualization of shots that I want to make in the game and some game strategy."
Visualization is a way in which this athlete gets psyched up and ready to play. This athlete visualizes their strokes that they would make in a game to improve their mental readiness. Also, making sure they are physically prepared helps them feel mentally prepared as well.
A huge factor in an athlete's success is setting goals. A good rule to think of when an athlete is setting goals is the S.M.A.R.T. principle. Which basically means that the goal has to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. An athlete has to know their limits and how much time they have to realistically set and reach their goals.
In badminton, like any other sport, it is important to set goals that are attainable within the time of a tournament or season, in order for the athlete to push themselves but to still be able to reach their goals.
Another component to sports psychology is relaxation. Being able to psych yourself up but at the same time not getting anxious is very important. Being anxious can affect your heart rate, breathing patterns, and muscle tension, which all affect an athlete's nerves which then affects how they play. Specifically in badminton it is very important to stay calm because between rallies, there is a lot of time to think which can either benefit or harm the athlete's performance.
"Controlling my breathing and focusing on playing my game helps."
"I just try breathing normally and not worry who my opponents are. "
"During games I can calm my nerves by taking slow deep breaths and taking a moment to calm down before I serve. "
A number of the athletes say that controlling their breathing really helps to keep them calm and focused.
This video talks about how to stay focused and concentrated during a tennis match, which is very similar to badminton.
"I tell myself I can get those points back just as easily as they got them. The games not over till it’s over and it makes the winning feel even better when you have to fight for it. "
This player considers the fact that points are just as easily given as they can be taken whether they are in the lead or not. They feel better winning when they deserve it and that can help keep them focused.
Motivation is key when boosting a player's confidence and momentum. In badminton, motivation can come from anything; your coach, your partner, yourself, or even just the desire to do better and not make previous mistakes.
Question 6: How do you motivate yourself? Do you find it easy to self-talk or self-motivate?
Self- talk plays a major factor in sports. It can be unpredictable though because, depending on the athlete, it could go well for them if they have positive self-talk and it can also go bad if they have negative thoughts about themselves. In a sport like badminton, self-talk is important because a player has so much time to think between rallies and even in the middle of a rally.
This video points out how self-talk can affect an athlete's performance.
"I motivate myself with my competitiveness and sometimes my pride in a way. It can be easy and difficult depending on the situation to motivate myself because pride can be blinding, and once you are down about a match or a play, it can be hard to lift yourself up and pull yourself out of a rut. "
This athlete points out the difficulty of keeping self-talk positive. They also point out how hard it can be, after having a negative mindset, to regain positive thoughts again.
Self-talk plays apart in every sport and it is very important to keep self-talk positive.
Here are a few more comments that the athlete's made in their survey that can apply for more than just badminton.
"...I will often talk to myself in my head. This includes encouraging, telling myself not to give up, and reminding myself to play with all my heart because I'm playing for the Lord. "
"I find playing is way more fun with a partner. It’s easy to keep your partner motivated if they know that you’re not getting frustrated with them and that every game should be used as a learning experience. "
"...I also tend to watch a lot of professional badminton online before a tournament. This gets me totally stoked!! Before a game I like to stay relaxed, and then get a good warm up in while visualizing myself making good shots and of course winning. During a game I am 100% focused in on the game. I focus on each rally individually which helps me get over any mistakes I may have made."
"If you are self-motivated in practices that will carry out into your games. The opposite is also true, if you practice halfheartedly it will be incredibly difficult to play with all your heart when it actually matters."
Psychology in all sports can be quite similar. Since badminton can be an individual sport, sometimes all a player has is themselves and their coach. So having a focused, positive attitude in practice and in play can be all the difference between a win or a loss.
Temertzoglou, T. , Challen, P. , (2003).
Exercise science an introduction to health and physical education.
Toronto, ON: Thompson Educational Publishing, Inc.
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