People often think of the physical aspects of winning badminton matches – improving your agility, power, shot consistency, endurance, and more. However, something that is often overlooked is the mental aspect of the match. In this post, we will be talking about the importance of patience and how it translates to in-game situations. We will also go over a few ways you can work on your patience with on-court and off-court drills.
Importance of Patience
The importance of patience cannot be understated. Using patience, you will be able to be more consistent in your shots, make less careless mental and shot errors, and overall play a better game. Let’s explore these benefits in a bit more detail.
Less On-Court Mistakes
When you are rushed, you will often times make more mistakes. You may try to end the rally faster, or try to hit shots you shouldn’t hit instead of waiting for the right opportunities to do so. You may not be ready to continue on the rally and instead try to force shots that have high-risk and high-reward. However, when you are patient, you will wait for the opportunities to come to you. Rather than forcing shots, you will play patiently until the right opportunity arises.
Force Opponent Mistakes
Similar to how you may rush rallies or force shots, your opponent may do the same thing. A singles match is one that is a test of patience. Between similarly skilled players, whoever has more patience is able to control the rallies and control the game flow. By having more patience than your opponent, you may force them into bad or rushed shots, and win more points off of it.
The Game Comes to You
You are not forcing any shots. You play each shot based on the opportunity of the shot when it comes to you. When you play this way, your game style is adaptable and unpredictable. You are able to play as the game comes to you, by taking advantage of each different type of shot. You are not forcing or rushing shots, and you are able to continue each rally this way because you understand the need for patience in each rally.
You are Less Frustrated
Frustration can cause a huge detriment to your game. Many players who make mistakes a few rallies in a row start to get frustrated, hesitant, or even afraid to hit the shots they just made mistakes on. However, if you have the patience to fight through these mistakes, they will not harm you in the long run. Your opponent cannot take advantage of the mistakes you just made, and instead, they just become a rally in the past. Use your patience to find ways to overcome your personal frustrations, and play each point one at a time.
Improving Your Patience
Now that we have seen a few benefits of patience in regards to a badminton match, I’d like to share a few ways I personally work on my patience. Keep in mind that every individual has their own thresholds of patience, and their own ways of improving it. These are just my personal methods, and they may or may not be applicable to yours as well.
Patience On-Court Drills
Drills that require a certain forced pattern, like the transition drill or the placement drill, while still maintaining a target number of shots or time are drills that help a lot with my patience. This is because many times I want to fall back on my comfort shots, I am still forced to hit the restraints of the drill. This slowly, but surely, works on my frustration (when I make mistakes on these restraints) and helps me work on my patience. I begin to find ways to play outside of my comfort zone, and just hit shots as they come to me – all the while, following the restrictions of the drill.
Meditation has been proven to work for many people and athletes on improving mental health and patience. I personally find it extremely helpful to meditate twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, for roughly 30 minutes each time. I find that it helps clear many frustrations in my life away and give me the ability to be more patient in my everyday tasks and on the court. Try incorporating meditation as a way to train for your badminton matches.
Patience plays a large role on the court during matches, and there are many ways to work on it. Try doing some restricted drills to practice your patience, or incorporate mediation into your daily routine. Let me know how it works for you, or if you know of any other ways to improve your patience. Try and channel this patience into your matches, and see how your consistency and performance improves!