Mindset is such an overlooked topic when it comes to competitive badminton. Too many people mindlessly go to training for the sake of training. It’s not enough to just train and compete. You have to learn how to learn, rebound from failures, and repeat good performances consistently. These things stem from your mentality and how you think about training and competing.
Over the last few years, I have often written articles on improving mentality. I recently realized that my readers would do very well to learn from the original sources I studied. Thus, I decided to share this article on seven books all badminton athletes should read to improve their mindset. Do find time to read a few or all of these books, as they are all life-changing.
Ryan Holiday’s Trilogy Of The Way, The Enemy, and The Key
If I have any mental advantage over my opponent, I would credit it to my study of stoicism. I believe all athletes would do exceptionally well to apply stoic thinking to their training and life.
One of the best authors to start learning stoicism from is Ryan Holiday. His trilogy of The Obstacle is the Way, Ego is the Enemy, and Stillness is the Key is the Holy Bible for athletes. These three books contain everything you need to become a top badminton athlete.
The Obstacle is the Way teaches you to be mentally strong. It’s about turning your biggest weaknesses and failures into your biggest strengths and being able to do the difficult things. After all, if you can do the things that 99% of people can’t do, you’re already in the top 1%.
Ego is the Enemy teaches you to manage your ego. So many people cripple as competitive badminton players when they think they’re better than everyone else. Your ego blinds you and prevents you from improving. Remove it, and you can clearly see what you need to do.
And in talking about having a clear mind, Stillness is the Key teaches you how to attain peace and clarity of mind. You play at your best when you’re in the zone and not thinking about anything except playing badminton. Stillness is the Key will help you learn to get into the zone consistently.
Reading Ryan Holiday’s trilogy is an excellent start to improving your mental. Read it once and then read it again and again to cement its principles to help you become mentally invincible.
Atomic Habits By James Clear
The next book on this list is Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book has also profoundly impacted my life, especially as someone very ambitious.
Atomic Habits would be an excellent read if you’re like me and often create large plans like training six hours a day. This book is about making tiny habit changes that eventually stack up and completely change your life.
From my experience, it is tough to make considerable changes to your lifestyle right away. If you’ve been waking up at 10 AM every day, suddenly trying to wake up at 5 AM to go for runs will be very difficult. During my high school years, I tried so hard to do this but could never build this successful habit.
Things are okay now, though, because I slowly changed over time. I went from waking up at eight to seven, then to six, and now five. The same thing happened with training. Instead of jumping from three hours a week to six hours every day, I slowly increased the training over time. Now, training six hours a day is pretty standard for me.
This only happened because I read Atomic Habits. It’s a powerful book that helped me recognize my problems and learn how to take things one step at a time.
The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck By Mark Manson
As a competitive badminton player, one of the most challenging things for me was dealing with trash talk. There were many times when I didn’t want to play because people downplayed my skills and talked about how bad I was behind my back. Apart from trash talk, other small things occasionally triggered me and made me play ten times worse on the court.
Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck helped me gain better control of myself and, as the title suggests, not give a f*ck about all these small things.
As a competitive badminton player, one must learn to focus on themselves and not let external factors affect them emotionally. Control yourself and be calm. That’s how you’ll improve exponentially. Mark Manson’s book contains excellent tips on how to do this.
Rising Strong By Brené Brown
I was not in a very good place at the end of high school. I basically quit school and had no friends. Everything was falling apart, and I relegated myself to working a minimum-wage job while spending all my free time lying in bed or playing video games.
During this period, I fell extremely ill at some point, making me even less productive. I spent every day in bed watching videos or sleeping for an entire month. One could only do so much of that, though. Eventually, I picked up a book my mom left on my desk and began reading.
The book was Rising Strong by Brené Brown, and it was the initial spark that led to my obsession with mindset.
Rising Strong is a book about bouncing back from failures. It came at a perfect time, as I was at my all-time low and unable to figure out how to get back up. Rising Strong helped me figure out what to do, which helped me return to a self that gives my all.
Principles By Ray Dalio
The final book on this list is one that I read pretty recently called Principles by Ray Dalio. I love this book because its advice makes the world so much simpler.
The basis of the book is to create life principles to abide by and improve them like a machine as needed. The more you systemize your training and playing, the easier it gets to identify problems and find solutions.
Ray Dalio provides great advice throughout his book on creating, using, and improving principles. Although most of this comes from a business perspective, the ideas can be applied to athletics and badminton just as well.
Mindset Is Most Important
These seven books all badminton athletes should read to improve their mindset should be a great start. But by no means is this an exhaustive list. Read, learn, and apply as much as possible with an open mind. I cannot stress the importance of mindset enough. You’ll do much better as an athlete if you know how to improve and play at your best.
Are there any books you found super helpful in life? List them down in the comment section below!