This past week, I had a really hard time during training and all of my practice matches. I found it hard to motivate myself to run, to condition, and just to work hard in general. I found it hard to leave my house, pack my bags, and go out to training every day. I have felt this feeling come and go every now and then, and I finally was able to understand why – I forgot how to have fun. When we decide to go on this journey to master a competitive sport, we often think of all our future goals. What tournaments we want to win, what opponents we want to beat, what ranking number we want to reach. We tend to forget the reason we are playing the sport in the first place – because we love it.
This is Completely Normal
The first thing you have to understand is that feeling like this is completely natural. It is hard – even impossible – to expect yourself to train at a perfect 110% intensity week-in and week-out the whole time you are training for sports. It is unreasonable to think that you will not face adversity or challenges in the sport that make you hate it. You have to accept that this will, eventually, happen, but that you will find ways to get through it and become stronger. We will all face challenging times while chasing our dreams, just be sure that you do not give up, and you keep pushing until you find a solution to your problem.
Set Short & Reachable Goals
Many times, we set extremely far-out goals that will take years to achieve, when really, we should be setting shorter ones that we can achieve every day or week. Instead of aiming to win the Olympics 4 years away, try and tell yourself that you will beat your mile pace next Friday. Instead of trying to beat your opponent at your next tournament matchup, try and beat yourself by setting a new personal record for your squats. With short and achievable goals, you will feel as if you are accomplishing more and setting up more ways towards your eventually long term goals of success.
Remember Why You Love the Sport
What is the reason you first started playing the sport? What kept you pushing through all the painful trainings, sad defeats, when you could have decided to stop at any point and live a more comfortable life? Why do you endure the physical and mental pain through everything just to continue competing? For me, and most others, it is because we love the sport. There is nothing else in the world that can provide the same joy and satisfaction as competing our sports. I picked up the badminton racket, and never gave it up, for a reason. Remember why you kept playing the sport too – there is a refreshing solace that will come to you when you realize this.
This is a problem that I faced many times during my, so-far, 13 year badminton career, and I am sure many other athletes feel the same way. When I started off putting more time into myself and the BadmintonJustin project, I found myself appreciating the sport more and more. When I decided to continue promoting badminton in the US, I finally understood why I was doing this – I loved badminton so much, and I had to find ways to give back. Just remember, if you are ever feeling these signs of weakness when training or competing in your sport, you are not alone! You will find a way to get past this new challenge, and find a way to get back even stronger.
Hope you all enjoyed this short post, and please let me know what you think in the comments below! Thanks again for visiting and see you guys in the next one.