Whether you’re playing a game of badminton, tennis or basketball, when you step onto the court there’s so much that’s going through your head. It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts, to become distracted, and to quickly lose sight of the game. For this reason I think it’s really important to work on your mental strength, how to stay focused when things get tough, and to use this to your advantage. These are all healthy mental habits that can benefit you outside of the court too! Keep reading to learn more.
1. Banish Negative Self Talk
We all make mistakes, and in a fast paced game like badminton, it’s easy to miss the shuttlecock. If you’re someone who starts up with a monologue of insults whenever you mess up, then this is a habit you’re going to have to break. If you want to analyse your game and see how you can improve, there’s nothing wrong with that, but trying to do so mid game is just going to mess with your mind and ensure you’re not fully present during the game. Make it a rule that you don’t let yourself engage with any negative self talk when you’re on the court and watch how much more focus you have for your game.
2. Be a Fighter
Often when we’re playing sports, there’s a point in the game where we mentally concede that we’ve lost and reached a point of no return. This is a slippery slope, because once you let yourself get there mentally your heart wont be in the game and your opponent will sense it and use it to their advantage. If you sense that the game isn’t going as well as you’d hoped, you can mentally disengage a little if you’d like and think of it as practice. If you’re playing with Yonex Badminton Rackets, then you know what great quality they are and how hard you can push yourself with them.
3. Practice Tough
Make sure your training sessions are really tough – both mentally and physically. This will allow you to flex mental muscles like pushing through that burning feeling in your legs when you’re really fatigued. In order to really push yourself, I suggest training with someone who’s a little more advanced than you so you can continue to push yourself to reach their level. This will help you feel both physically and mentally prepared for whatever your opponent is going to throw at you.
4. Set Up Some Rituals
Think about how second nature it is to you driving to work each morning, or even brushing your teeth. You do it without thinking right? So you’re going to want to set up some rituals in your game. Maybe some signature moves you do that distract your opponent or keep them guessing. Maybe you can have a little mantra you say before you serve or shoot. You could even play with your clothes a bit to try to distract your opponent. Having some rituals that feel second nature and help soothe you during a stressful game can really help with your mental strength.
No matter the sport you play, every time you get on the court you need to bring your best game. Hopefully these tips help you be mentally strong and bring your best game to the court.