Over the course of my badminton career, I’ve experimented and tried many different techniques to prepare for a tournament. In the weeks leading up to a tournament and during the tournaments, how you prepare and how you act has a huge impact on how you perform. I’d like to share my personal experience of preparing for a tournament, and what I’ve found to be the most useful and continue to do to this day!
Leading up to the Tournament
The weeks and days leading up to the tournament are especially crucial to make sure your body is in the peak physical condition it can be in, and that your mental state is focused and ready to compete. Here are some things that I do at different time periods before a tournament.
4 Weeks Before the Tournament
- Cut down on eating any red meat – This is something I noticed myself, but I have seen and heard from other athletes that red meat slows you down. I believe red meat is extremely important for building muscle prior to the tournament, but when it gets close to the tournament, I usually cut all red meat and eat more chicken and turkey. I personally feel a lot lighter and quicker on my feet during the month I do not eat red meat.
- Reduce Conditioning Load – One month before the tournament, I start doing more drills rather than full conditioning sessions.
2 Weeks Before the Tournament
- No more conditioning, all speed training – During this period, I focus on short drills with an emphasis on speed and quickness during the shorter duration.
- Cut out distractions – Many distractions like YouTube, video games, too much television, etc. are completely cut out. I do this so my mind stays fresh and focused on the upcoming tournament rather than on distracting things that might make me forget.
- Watch more badminton – Similar to the above, I try to get myself into a competition mindset by focusing on watching more badminton singles games to learn strategy and get in the correct mindset.
During the Tournament
The preparation during the tournament is just as important as before the tournament. For these tournaments, I am talking about longer tournaments over the span of 3 days – 1 week, rather than the local flight tournaments that are all played in one day. These are the things I do during tournaments to ensure I can compete at my peak.
- Warm up in the mornings – For most of these tournaments, we only play 1 to 2 matches I day. I make sure to get in a jog and light workout in the mornings after I wake up to make sure my body is fresh and ready for the day. This is because training is usually much more intensive than these workouts, and my body should be ready for these light jogs and workouts to prepare me for the day.
- Relax – Spend some time reading, watching badminton, or just listening to music in my hotel room. This lets me avoid distraction while still finding time to calm my nerves and prepare for the coming matches.
- Proper time to warmup at the gym – I always try to aim to arrive at the gym exactly 1.5 hours before my match. I will dress up and stretch for about 15 minute, do my normal warmup / running routine for 15 minutes, and then hit and do drill for about 30 minutes. This gives me 30 more minutes before my game, where I normally just sit alone and relax.
- Avoid watching too many games – This usually causes distraction for me, and makes me feel restless as I want to be on the court playing those matches. Unless I am already done with the tournament or for the day, I try not to watch any matches live.
- Leave for the hotel after my matches – I normally will leave right after my match (unless I have more matches coming up or am done for the day) to get more rest and again, avoid distractions. I will stretch in my hotel room and quickly maximize my rest.
I hope this helps some of you who are looking for a preparation routine for tournaments. My badminton tournament routine focuses on no distractions, proper rest, and good warmups. If you are interested in learning more, please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask me. Thanks for reading!