“Never give up! Never surrender!” – This is a phrase my first coach at Bintang Badminton would always shout at us. Whenever I lost a point, whenever I couldn’t reach a shot, this phrase became something that always rang in my mind, and is now something that I embody in everything that I do. Using this mentality, I have had my fair share of comeback games in my badminton matches, where my opponents were up 20-16 or 20-14 and just needed one more point to take the match; I persevered, though, and made it back. I find myself constantly thinking about this phrase when training gets tough and when I am about ready to give up. I remind myself constantly to never give up when I am having down days. This short phrase helps me in all parts of my life. This mentality, especially for athletes, can be an absolute game changer – let’s see why.
1. You Work Harder
When you’re tired, it is easy to give up. It’s easy to give yourself excuses; to take 30 seconds off of your planned 10 minute run; to skip the last rep in your 5th set of bench press; to skip doing homework in favor of watching Netflix. When you embody “Never Give Up! Never Surrender!”, however, you’ll see that everything comes in a new light with even more added benefit. Instead of skipping the last 30 seconds, you might even end up sprinting it instead of going at the same pace. Instead of skipping the last rep of bench, you might be able to slap on some more weights and grind out one more set. Instead of skipping homework, you might finish the homework and even study for your upcoming test. For the shots you thought you wouldn’t be able to get, you can find yourself surprising yourself and your opponents when you hit it back. Never giving up may just give you the slight edge to make you a champion.
2. You are Remembered as a Fighter
When you fight for every single point, your opponent will have a hard time. Regardless if you still end up losing 21-3, as long as you try your best to go for every single shot in the game, your opponent will still feel the pressure and will not forget that. If you let go of all the hard shots, however, I can guarantee your opponent will remember you as someone who gives up. They will maintain this confidence over you that you are an opponent that is easy to beat and someone they do not have to worry about. Make a name for yourself, even when you are not a champion. Make your opponents know that your fighting spirit is unwavering, and you will never be an easy opponent.
3. You Learn Your Limits
When you never give up, you come to find out exactly where your limits lie. You know what physical training causes your muscles to cramp up, your body to feel weak, and your head to become light-headed. You are more in tune with what things you can do and what things you can’t. You will have direct goals to beat and limits to surpass. If 500 bunny hops were your limit to muscle fatigue this week, you can aim to do more than 500 bunny hops when you recover the next week. Training to your limits ensures that you maximize the quality and efficiency of your training sessions, and gives you future goals to surpass.
4. You Will Never be a Loser
Regardless of the actual outcome of the match, you will never be a loser. Even though you may lose the match, your opponent cannot take away your unwavering fighting spirit. You know, deep inside, that you already gave it your all and the reason for your loss was because this was your limit. You have new targets and new goals to surpass, and by never giving up, you will reach them. If you gave up easily during the match, the feeling of defeat will be extremely strong – you do not know why you lost, and you may think it was just a bad game. By always giving your 100%, you will always be in control of your path and how you perceive things.
One more time – Try your best to bring this with you to every training session and every tournament game. Give yourself a fighting chance by never giving up. Show your opponents that you are a fighter and make a name for yourself. Learn your limits and make plans to surpass them. Be your own champion. Never give up. Never surrender.