The Badminton Herald

Bringing in badminton news and views to the grass roots..


"I had this intention of sweating out excess fat in exchange for the fun of whacking shuttlecocks in midair. The first time I stepped into a badminton court, I got that... and more! -The Bad Geek 2007


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Using game psychology in badminton

We all know how superb athletes "psych up" before and during their games that most of us wonder will it work for an ordinary athlete like me?We've seen it in any type of sport, group or individual alike. We've seen sheer determination fuel an amazing game comebacks in tennis, basketball or in every sport. But in our daily games of badminton? Will we be able to study game psychology and use it? More importantly, how can psyching up be applied to your daily game plans.

I have seen many badminton players win games just by looking at their game psychology strategy. This is specially true with opposing players who are both equally effective in their badminton fitness and skills. The strategy is always to outwit the opponents, not by skills alone but by providing an environment of an overwhelming presence and superiority. 

Personally, a strong offensive play with smashes and net attacks put opponents on the defensive. The other strategy is to direct shots at your opponents weakest or in doubles, the perceived weak partner. Tight body shots also shakes one psyche. Power smashes directed onto your opponents body are psyche shattering and emotion awakening to the opponents thus destroying a stable game plan.

However, "psyching up" for a game had to requisites: One is that you're in tip top shape and second, you have very good focus and composure. Or your game psyching will go against you. That needs no explanation.

What about you guys?Do you use some form of game psychology in your everyday games?Leave your comments here.

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Badminton racket strings and regutting techniques

Almost a month has passed that I haven't strung my racket yet. I broke all the strings of my three badminton rackets in one week! How unlucky you can be, huh?! Anyhow, the problem was it's all too inconvenient for us players here to have our rackets strung. The nearest, most reliable place we send our rackets for stringing or 're-gutting' as we call it, is about 25 kilometers away and it will take us the whole day just to wait our rackets re-gutted so we can bring it back home!

The other thing about badminton racket strings is personal preference. There's a plethora of strings and re-gutting "factors" you should consider before you even submit your racket for re gutting. Most likely, it will depend on your badminton playing level, the tension you're at ease with, the strength of your wrist and fore arm as well as how often do you use your badminton racket. Personally I prefer a high tension, tightly strung badminton string for my power smash and relaxed return of shots. So for you guys, what string and re-gutting technique do you prefer??

Our own unforced errors beat us!

"Our opponents only needed to return our shots flat. We made unforced errors that gave away our chances of winning a semis slot.".

This is what me and my doubles partner rated our game post mortem. Playing on the men's doubles  category, we were booted out early of the recent 4th FTC Kadayawan Badminton Tournament held in Davao City. Sadly, the same error that gave us a win in the elimination, also brought our downfall in the succeeding game.

Excuses aside, we learned a lot from this tournament agreeing unanimously to work on those errors during our practice sessions. Among these "controllable factors", familiarity with the tournament court and with our opponent's game seems to be ta crucial factor. Being newbies to tournaments, this came as a wake up call. Endurance is another factor. Most of the elimination games happened during daytime, where the temperature is at its hottest and taking a toll on our fitness level and hydration status.

Our game aggressiveness is ineffective also. We couldn't even hit most of our simple shots.. Our attack play and smashes, if it succeeded in landing in the opponents court, is easily deflected. Our follow up play is even poorer to totally non existent. My service shots were high enough for our opponents to make an ambush return to our weak side. We weren't able to anticipate their return of service "ambush" , giving away easy points for our opponents.

We were unable to capitalize on our opponents mistakes, such as indecisive midcourt returns or half hearted netshots.We can handle their smashes but never had used it to upset their game play. Shot variation and accuracy seem to be low on our side. We couldn't return the shuttle cock to their weak side.

This tournament gave us a good glimpse of the skill levels in competitions and tournaments in centers like Davao City. That it is important to not only improve your game but also to seek out as many as competitive opponents as can be to develop a plethora of defensive skills and attack plays. Never be too complacent of just winning games with your usual weekend opponents. It may be too late to know, the game level out there is far more advanced than what you already mastered!

Bao Chunlai (China) beat the hell out of Boonsak Ponsana's(THA) badminton fitness

Yes, that how Bao defeated Boonsak in the finals of Singapore Open Men Singles, 21-19, 16-21, 21-15 (see the final score here)

Not without a great fight though, with Boonsak Ponsana (BP) showing tremendous badminton talent that brought him the title last year in the same arena. Bao Chunlai (BC) was as fiery as he is before, showing his experience and fitness stamina that erased BP's mindset. Not a few referee (net touch)  and line calls were contested by BC. Near the end of the third set, BC regained his composure and capitalized in his great fitness form to dominate the now obviously tired BP.

The Men's singles finals showed some amazing shots and retrieval in the whole tournament. Cross court  jump smashes and dives by BP. Bao Chunlai also asserted his dominance over the net shot, but BP was equally capitalizing on this to prepare for an attack shot. In the end, both players showed heart and passion for badminton- a great match up of the young and upcoming, the experienced and composed.

Maybe if BP wasn't gasping for air near the second half of third set, he might have retained his title. But then, that is just maybe, because for sure BC would pitch all his badminton skills and tactics to gain this championship.

(All photo credits taken here at Badminton Central)

Kido/Sentiawan (IND) annihilated by Clark and Robertson(ENG) in Singapore Open

Well I just saw the biggest upset in badminton's Mens doubles history. The current world number one, Olympic champions Kido and Sentiawan humbled by ranked 19th newly paired Clark and Robertson in just two sets! The Indonesians barely made it to the double figure mark, getting only 10 in the last set. Now the unthinkable has happened.

The road to the finals however is much harder but sweatier for the English pair. They have to defeat the powerhouses Malaysia (KKK/TBH) and China (GZ/XC). The Indonesian pair on the other hand, had to overcome Singapore(Wijaya/Saputra) and Swiss (Rassmussen/Paaske) en route to the finals.

(Robertson with that confident smash during their semi final match vs Chineses Taipei. Photo credits from here)

But it was the mind games that got into the Indonesians. The very tight returns and almost error less shots of the English pair pushed the Indonesians to a mostly defensive play and rarely mounting a strong attack play they're known for. The fast push return of service shot by Clark to the mid court rattled the game play of the Indonesians pushing them to commit errors and not mount a offensive attack.

Rumor has it that Kido is nursing an injury and Robertson got a yellow card during their match with the Chinese. And while Clark is known for his sharp tongue on court, games has to go on. Winners are always those who have a strong determination to win it, despite every obstacle they have. For the Indonesians, they might have loss a game, but the battle for Badminton's MD supremacy is far from over yet. It just got very exciting!

Badminton Clubs Amity team Championships

The local badminton clubs here in South Central Mindanao is organizing a Badminton Club Amity Team Championship to be held sometime in July. This is according to the main proponent Mr. Atayan  of Smashing Champs Koronadal City. Patterned after the famous Sudirman Cup Word Team Championships, the aim of such "friendship" badminton game is to foster fellowship among badminton clubs here in Mindanao. Initially targeting (but not limited to) four clubs, the First Amity Cup will be hosted by Smashing Champs then rotated amongst the competing clubs. Rules has yet to be laid out but the organizing club is assuring of a strict adherence to players age and leveling policies. No individual prizes will given but a huge badminton cup, just like that of Sudirman's Cup is up for the teams grab. A fellowship night with bands and party after the awarding ceremonies is expected to be a main attraction of the said event.

This on paper is definitely a a very nice and welcome development to grassroots badminton and to clubs who play badminton for fun. For us aging players and weekend warriors, its a way to strengthen sportsmanship and friendliness while we sweat out excess fat. Indeed, the vast majority of badminton players are not the Class A/Open badminton enthusiast that beat our heavy assess to no end. Its high time we have tournaments like this to cater to such huge group of badminton player has been. Has been very supportive of badminton I mean.

Playing Badminton again after three weeks of hibernation

I have been off the court and off the sweats for almost a month before yesterday. I feel kinda heavy and sluggish not to mention easily tired and fatigued. In badminton, the effect of a long time absence sans training or fitness training, always take toll on your game consistency and skills.

The simple reason to this would be that our body adapts to the kind of "stress" we constantly subject it. If you don't use your muscles, joints, nerves etc, chances are your body tries to redirects the energy intended for such "memory" job and then redirects it to current energy requiring efforts. Reflexes will be dulled, movements will be sluggish, flexibility will be less and so on. Thus, the importance of consistently maintaining a skill and fitness level in badminton. What constitute a "regular" interval of playing is really a matter of discussing it with your coach trainer.

During my last game I learned a few more tactics that I knew readily in paper but couldn't execute well on court. I have been struggling before to counter the return of of service to my backhand side especially when I'm positioned at the center of the court when my partner serves the shuttle. If in my sufficient anticipation this will be the return tactic of my opponent, I position my right foot forward on defense and tries to get the shot with a backhand clear or drive. Sometimes I do the round the head forehand clear but this is too tiring for me and I'm pretty slow in returning to my defense rotation. 
A little left-my preferred position now when my partner serves on the right half of the court.(picture from badzone uk)

What I do with my men's double partner now is ask him to get ROS in front of him as well as those in his forehand side up to the mid court. I take the rest of the return shot. I position my self defensively more on the left side half of our court when he serves on the ride side. If he serves on the left side of the court, I stay In the middle of the court taking care of all return shots on the forehand from mid court to back court and the back hand side on the back court.

I find these tactic rather more plausible and relative easy and less tiring. During the last game, we made better percentages on our return of service shots.

Sudirman Cup:Fighting for the Second Best Team

 With the latest sweep of the Sudirman Cup (World Badminton Team Championships) by China, I wonder where else could this team be ever defeated. They played so dominantly, it has been awhile before they'd be beaten in this cup. They held on to this cup for eight years and was only beaten in the finals once by Korea in 1994.

I wasn't able to watch all of the matches (which you can download in videos in badminton central) but I did see Men's Singles Finals and Mens Doubles finals on Solar Sports TV. The Chinese players (Lin Dan especially) were all in their best form and skills. No wonder they beat almost everyone in the tournament.

Rumor has it that with the Sudirman Cup, all the other teams are vying for is the second best. Now, we know why.

So where to next now? World Championships?

The Sports Herald, here and soon!

I am a badminton geek that's for sure. But I've been mulling for a while now of adding more to this blog than just badminton. You see, I may have been overindulgent with badminton as my sport, but I follow a lot of other sports than I can muster.

Like I've been avidly following Manchester United and Ronaldo for so long I begun to like soccer football as a game. I also felt Le Bron James somehow deserve more NBA attention than Kobe Bryant should get. Or that Nadal seem to be without finesse (compared to the silent Federer) on top of ATP rankings. Well, I don't know golf (not yet) but, can Tiger Woods make a comeback??

And then there's Manny Pacquiao. Its inexcusable if you miss this southpaw powerpuncher.

So, what do you think? Should I venture into sports as a whole? I mean sports blogging?
The Remaining part here

I'm playing on a badminton tournament!

It's final, I'm playing in an upcoming tournament in a nearby city. A friend asked me to be his doubles partner. All I promised was the best of what I can play. I played with this friend before on several occasions and save for a few unpolished moves, we both complemented our badminton skills. Preparation wise, that's all we got- previous game pairing during tune up games. Nothing close to any tournament preparation that I knew. Actual "inventory" of my armamentarium revealed no sizable munitions to speak of. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed even with the loud taunts (by snickering mirons) of a championship trophy and honors.

I'm not laying out our game strategy for now as this may find its way to our opponents. Some of them happen to read this blog.

I'll post some more about this later. And by the way we whipped a higher level/class doubles team last night. That was some feat!