4 Tips To Help You Control Anxiety And Play Better Under Pressure In Badminton

4 Tips To Help You Control Anxiety And Play Better Under Pressure In Badminton

Many people often ask me for advice on controlling nervousness and anxiety when playing under pressure, such as during tournaments and competitions. Being nervous was something I had lots of trouble with, too, when I first started playing. Over time, I developed various strategies to help myself control my anxiety much better and decided to write this article on four tips to help you control anxiety and play better under pressure in badminton.

Ask Yourself Why

Before we even play a tournament, one thing we need to develop is a keen sense of self-awareness. I developed my own self-awareness skills through reflection.

It’s essential to take time daily to sit down by yourself and think. Let your thoughts flow and see what comes to mind. Whenever you face emotional turmoil, ask yourself why.

Why am I angry? Why am I nervous?

Try to answer these questions and then keep asking yourself why. You might be angry because you played poorly and made too many mistakes.

And why did you play bad? Why are you angry at your performance?

One thing many players suffer from is the constant cycle of emotions and lousy performance that repeats infinitely until it’s broken. For example, if you make one easy mistake, it’s easy to get mad, and because you’re angry, you keep making more mistakes, making you even more furious. You can replace being mad with nervous, too.

If you know that being mad or nervous causes you to play worse, why can’t you just stop being anxious? What’s causing you to feel this way?

Keep asking questions until you find the root of the problem. For most people, the problem comes from having high expectations. You want to do your best, and your coaches and parents have high hopes for you.

When you see these problems, do things to remove them. Tell yourself to play with no expectations. If you know what makes you play worse and what makes you play good, remove the thoughts that make you play worse and fill your brain with the things that make you play good.

This isn’t easy, but you can eventually do it with practice. It starts with finding the roots of your problems.

Practice Like You’re Playing Tournaments

One bad habit I noticed is that many players take training very lightly and suddenly become serious during tournaments. This is why many players play badly under pressure. Tournament conditions are just too different from what they’re used to.

The solution is to train with the same focus you will have when playing tournaments. Keep your warm-up and cooldown routines the same, and train like you’re playing a tournament.

It would be best if you also tried to make as many of the tournament conditions the same as your training. Of course, there will be different things in tournament settings, but try to control what you can. Don’t suddenly switch up what you’re eating, your equipment, or other routines. Every little different thing will only add to your anxiety.

If everything is the same, you will be less anxious because your brain thinks it’s just another ordinary day.

Build Habits That Help You Focus

Building habits that help you focus is a good continuation of practice like you’re playing in tournaments. It follows the same idea that normalizing things will make you less nervous.

Try to develop small habits that you can always do regardless of where you’re playing and put you into the zone. Some ideas include spinning your racket before service, taking a quick walk around the court, or a really good one, taking a deep breath.

Do these habits to calm yourself down during practice, and they’ll become things you can do during tournaments to put yourself in the zone.

Rewire Yourself To Enjoy The Difficult Things

Finally, my fourth tip is to rewire yourself to enjoy the difficult things. As I mentioned in another article on five must-follow mindset principles to achieve maximum success in badminton tournaments, one should learn to focus on and enjoy the present moment.

When you rewire yourself to enjoy the difficult things, you become unstoppable. It starts by putting all the difficult things in a positive light.

For example, you’re not nervous. You’re just excited. You’re not feeling anxious about playing in your next tournament; you’re feeling excited. Don’t hope for an easy draw. Hope for a hard draw. That way, you can challenge yourself against better players you don’t usually play against.

At the end of the day, why are you competing in tournaments if you don’t enjoy yourself?

Most of us are playing because we love playing badminton. Make your life simple and get on the court to play the sport you love to play. Don’t think about anything else.

4 Tips To Help You Control Anxiety And Play Better Under Pressure In Badminton

I hope these four tips to help you control anxiety and play better under pressure in badminton were helpful! One thing to note is that this is by no means an exhaustive list of what you can do to be less nervous during tournaments. You can do so many other things to help develop your mental and play better under pressure.

For more resources on developing your mental,  here’s another article you might find helpful, “5 Must-Follow Mindset Principles To Achieve Maximum Success In Badminton Tournaments.

Do you have any tips on controlling anxiety? Let me know in the comment section below!

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