Get Good At Badminton News, Questions, and Discussions of August 2019

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Hi everyone! It’s been about a week since I last posted which isn’t much of a substantial period compared to a few weeks or months between each post, but I did vow to myself that I will be posting much more frequently so that everyone reading can learn more and get better at badminton.

This post will be a little different than many of the other posts on Get Good At Badminton. Instead of giving you another badminton racket review or latest badminton training drills, this post will be more of an informative post on what is currently happening at Get Good At Badminton and also a post asking for your input.

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Giveaway News

Oops, another mistake! To all who entered the Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket giveaway and that is not on Instagram or Facebook, I totally forgot to tell you about who won the giveaway.

Although I cannot disclose the winner’s name for legality reasons, I can link to his Instagram profile. So once again,kento momota picture congratulations to @kaneyama_no_ for winning the Kento Momota style Yonex Astrox 99 badminton racket!

I also want to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway. A giveaway’s success is wholly dependent on the people who join it; otherwise, it might have been a giveaway with only four people in it…

My only regret with this giveaway was that I could not give away enough badminton products. Through this giveaway, I was able to message and listen to a lot more people about their inner lives, financial situation, and inability to access proper badminton equipment.

I was deeply saddened by the sheer number of people that were in these situations and how I could do nothing about it at the moment. Contrary to what some may think, I do not have deep enough pockets to help more of you. However, I will do my best to change my current situation so I can be of more assistance to those in need.

Hang in there! I’m looking out for everyone here!

Speaking of giving back to the community and helping others, I’ve also had positive responses to this giveaway. Words like, “What you’re doing is awesome” and “I love how you’re able to help people like this” always make my day and inspires me to continue doing what I do.

That’s why I want to plan to do another giveaway around November 2019. And this time, I want it to be much bigger and have more than just one winner. There will probably be multiple rackets, shoes, clothing, shuttles, and many more things that you can potentially win.

The details are not yet planned out, but I certainly hope I can do another one. Make sure you stay tuned to Get Good At Badminton for when the details are available!

Upcoming Posts and Projects

Another giveaway is just one reason why you should be excited in the next few months. Many other exciting things are happening to Get Good At Badminton in the next little while as well!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I did vow to myself that I will more consistently post on the Get Good At blogging pictureBadminton website and I do not intend to break this vow. You should see at least two blog posts every week for the next little while or if I’m disciplined enough, forever (at least until I die or am physically unable to so a long time).

Writing more blog posts is crucial as I understand that many of you want to see more out of me. Whether it’s my opinion on a particular badminton shoe or specific strategies and tactics I have for badminton, these posts can help others tremendously.

One new thing you will also see more of is badminton post series. This is when I write multiple badminton posts in a TV show like manner where there are episodes, and you can go through each episode starting from 1 or if you would like, a random episode like 20.

Series are much more common on YouTube where you see people do things like “Improve Your Badminton Control – Episode 1 (Hitting The Shuttle)” and then episode 2, then 3, then so on. On Get Good At Badminton, I have one of these series (two if you count “Badminton Training Regime” except there is only one post there) called “Badminton Tips and Tricks.”

You may have seen posts on my website, such as Badminton Tips and Tricks #7 – How To Improve Control. While this is a series I intend on continuing, it isn’t as fast-paced or rigorous as I like. Thus, no discipline is built for me, and everyone reading gets their occasional read every few months.

What will happen the day I get back (I’m still in a different city as of writing this) is that I will start a new series where I will put myself and my brother through a rigorous training regime for badminton fitness and then write about my daily thoughts and how my body feels each day.

It’s something different than what I usually do, and hopefully, both you and I will reap the rewards from this.

Other than blog posts, the other thing I’m working on is videos. If you have checked out the Get Good At Badminton YouTube channel, you may have noticed that it only has one video on it.

This is something that will absolutely change.youtube play button

In the next few months, you will see more videos come out. I am aiming for at least one video per week, but I will see if that’s reasonable. After all, I’m still a beginner video editor, and it’s taking me quite a long time to get clips and put them together. Fingers crossed though!

For those of you that are requesting videos of me teaching individual badminton skills like footwork or what to do in certain situations, fret not, they are coming. I just have a few issues currently involving my inability to film myself playing with reasonable quality or angle. I will work on them as soon as I solve my recording problems!

Currently, though, I will make more of the montage/highlight videos, but I will also work on strategy and videos analyzing gameplay. Let me know what else in the comment section you want though as I am always open to more suggestions!

Another thing that’s happening which many of you may have noticed already is that Get Good At Badminton will be selling t-shirts and other clothing! The t-shirts are something that will come out very soon as designs have been finalized.

ggab t-shirt design

All I need to do is set prices and set up the site where you can buy these shirts. I will let everyone know as soon as it’s ready!

Future Interesting Projects

Videos, blog posts, and clothing aren’t the only thing that will happen, but they are the jobs going to occur in relative proximity of a few months.

There are many plans for Get Good At Badminton. However, these are plans that may not take their form anytime soon or even ever. They are potential ideas and pathways I could take Get Good At Badminton, but their feasibility has not been considered yet.

Two of these things I have been considering are converting the blog into a badminton store as well and also creating badminton centerlarge badminton centers for people to train and play at. These are significant dreams that I would want to see become a reality, but they will take many years and tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to start up.

A more feasible idea, though, is starting a badminton course. With a course, I would be able to more effectively help many people get even better at badminton without needing to be next to them.

A few problems are standing in my way currently though. One of them is the camera issue that I mentioned earlier in the video section, where I talked about difficulties filming myself playing. But these are problems that are meant to be solved, and I am currently working on some solutions to them.

Your Input and What You Want To See

I talked about all these ideas, but there is only one thing that matters. All these ideas are only what I think are things that can and should be done to improve your overall experience with Get Good At Badminton, but they are limited to what I believe.

Some people have already messaged me about things like making a compilation of badminton trick shots or posts reviewing specific badminton shuttles. I absolutely love it when people do that. Because one, more ideas means more things I can write about, and two, it helps me learn what you want so I can adhere to specific posts that would help you a lot.

So this is what I want you to do. Head down to the comment section down below and comment something that you would like to see on this badminton site.

You can post almost anything! Things like your biggest question about badminton, for example, how do I improve my fitness or how do I make my opponent more tired are all great things to post about.

There are no stupid questions or comments either. Things like how do I play badminton or what is a lunge are all valid questions too.

It doesn’t have to be a question either. Posts like I want to see more badminton jump smashes or player studies on specific players are excellent as well.

Just think about your most significant troubles and wants in badminton and then post them in the comment section down below!

your input is needed

Conclusion

This was the first time I did a post like this. This is much more of a news and discussion post rather than a post on training or reviews like mentioned in the beginning.

Just as a summary, in this post, I covered some of our most recent giveaway news with who our winner was and what might happen with giveaways in the future. I also included what’s going to happen in the next few months as well as potentially in the far future with Get Good At Badminton. But most of all, I hope that I’ve driven the fact that in the end, it’s about you.

As the reader, follower, and audience of Get Good At Badminton, you are what drives the site forwards. As such, I value your input very highly, so definitely head down to the comment section down below and speak your thoughts out.

And as always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

My Top Badminton Players To Win The 2020 Tokyo Olympics

On Monday, April 29, 2019, the qualification period for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has begun! Only 172 elite badminton athletes will make it in, and it will be an even harder competition to win the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Here are my predictions as of May 4, 2019, on who will win the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In this post, the rankings are made solely out of my own opinion which makes it subject to disagreement and as such, I would love to hear what kind of rankings you have in the comment section down below!

Men’s Singles

Badminton men’s singles is arguably the most highly contested as the number one player in men’s singles would usually be considered the best player in the world. Tokyo 2020 provides a significant shake-up in terms of the top players going into the Olympics with young players rising and old players taking a leave.

Let’s start off with my number one ranking, Kento Momota.

1. Kento Momota (Japan)

Kento Momota is the current world number one from Japan, and although he may have faltered recently in a few smaller tournaments, his win in the 2019 Asia Championships shows that he is still among the best in the world. As the current world champion and number one player in men’s singles, most people have placed their bets on Kento Momota to win the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

If you want to know why he is so strong, check out this player study of Kento Momota.

2. Shi Yu Qi (China)

Shi Yu Qi is definitely one of China’s rising stars. Sitting at rank number two in the world, Shi Yu Qi is undoubtedly a significant contender to win the Olympics. However, Shi Yu Qi’s inconsistency and his negative win ratio against Kento Momota is holding him back right now pulling him back a little.

Check out my player study of Shi Yu Qi!

Honorable Mentions:

Although Kento Momota and Shi Yu Qi are my top two picks for winning the Olympics, several players could shake the standings and must be considered.

Lin Dan (China)

While many people thought that Lin Dan was well on his way out from his poor performance last year, he surprised the crowd tremendously when he won the 2019 Malaysia Open and defeated top players like Shi Yu Qi, Chen Long, and Chou Tien Chen. But for Lin Dan to win the Olympics, he would need to get lucky in the draws so he could preserve energy to play the aggressive style that won him the Malaysia Open in the final games of the Olympics.

It will be a tough fight for him to get his third Olympic gold medal in his fourth Olympics.

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting (Indonesia)

Anthony Sinisuka Ginting is one of Indonesia’s most promising players. He has had a few encounters with Kento Momota many of which gave Kento Momota a challenging time. However, Ginting seems to be relatively inconsistent and has not pronounced his ability to win significant tournaments yet.

Chen Long (China)

As the reigning Olympic champion from China, Chen Long is still someone that should be considered when ranking the top contenders to win the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But from his recent poor performance, it is questionable as to whether or not Chen Long can maintain his reign as the Olympic champion.

chen long

Others:

Among these players, there are other players that you should watch during the Olympics. Some of these players are Viktor Axelsen, and Chou Tien Chen ranked 3 and 4 respectively with the main reason that they’re not included higher being that they consistently lose to some of the better players.

Two other players are both former world number ones, Lee Chong Wei and Son Wan Ho. Both these players are injured and have not returned to court yet but should they return, these players are definitely players to watch. I’ve also made a specific post discussing whether or not Lee Chong Wei can make it into the Olympics so make sure to check that out.

Women’s Singles

Women’s singles have been exciting. Tai Tzu Ying takes my number one spot solely for her dominance in the tournaments she has played, but many players such as Akane Yamaguchi from Japan are rising up to take away the place.

1. Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei)tai tzu ying

Tai Tzu Ying is the world number one. Although she has missed the 2019 Asia Championships and talked about how she was going to retire after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, her skill is still up to par and a player that everyone has trouble beating.

2. Akane Yamaguchi (Japan)

Akane Yamaguchi has been steadily rising throughout the past few years and really shines at improving. She has been consistently getting better and eventually won the 2019 Asia Championships. She may be ranked at only number four right now, but that’s sure to change as time goes by.

Honorable Mentions:

There are quite a few honorable mentions with a mix of young players from China and more established players looking to keep up with the league. Here are some honorable mentions.

Nozomi Okuhara (Japan)

Nozomi Okuhara, currently ranked number two and won an Olympic bronze medal in 2016 stands as one of Japan’s most popular players. Although she is ranked higher and played longer than Akane Yamaguchi, her performance recently has not been spectacular and is falling behind her teammate, Akane Yamaguchi.

Chen Yu Fei (China)

Chen Yu Fei has been noted as one of the most promising rising stars from China. There was a time where women’s singles players from China were unbeatable; however, that time has ended, and the women’s singles category has undoubtedly become more competitive. Chen Yu Fei has not won anything major recently, but as world number three, she is still a player to be noted.

chen yu fei

Pusarla V. Sindhu (India)

The 2016 Olympic silver medalist and world number five, Pusarla V. Sindhu (along with Saina Nehwal) has been the core of India’s best badminton players. Unfortunately, this year PV Sindhu has not been performing as well as everyone thought she would as she has lost multiple times in the early stages of recent tournaments to lesser-known players. However, she can still be a badminton player to be considered when she ups her game.

Others:

Another notable player is Carolina Marin, the current Olympic champion. Unfortunately, she is recovering from injury right now and has not played any tournaments recently. It is a question of whether she’ll be able saina nehwalto perform to how she did before when she comes back.

Other active players to watch are Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon and India’s Saina Nehwal who both had splendid performances at one point. However, these two players have also been relatively inconsistent in their tournaments recently and thus, don’t take my top spots.

Men’s Doubles

Men’s doubles, often the most exciting category of badminton to watch, is full of players looking to make their mark on the world. Right now, the competition in men’s doubles has been extraordinarily close, and as such, my rankings may be extremely controversial.

1. Li Jun Hui/Liu Yu Chen (China)

li junhui liu yu chen

Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen are some of the tallest badminton players in the world which makes them extremely scary on the court. It’s not just their height that makes them suitable though, they have performed exceptionally well in the significant tournaments despite not playing in some of them. As the current world champions, they are definitely players to watch.

2. Takeshi Kamura/Keigo Sonoda (Japan)

takeshi kamura and keigo sonoda

Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda is a pair from Japan that has been getting a lot better. Since getting second place in the 2018 World Championship, they have performed consistently reaching the semi-finals or finals of many significant tournaments recently and even winning them. Huge focus will be put onto them by the Japanese national team.

Honorable Mentions:

In the men’s doubles sector there are a few other players to consider namely players from Indonesia and Japan.

Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo/Marcus Fernaldi Gideon (Indonesia)

Although Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon are ranked number one, they have had quite a poor performance recently. After finally breaking their curse of losing before semi-finals, they reached the finals of the 2019 Asia Championships only to suffer an utter defeat, 21-18, 21-3, by the hands of Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe. If they improve and go back to the state of dominance they were in; however, the minions may be able to win the 2020 Olympics.

Hendra Setiawan/ Mohammad Ahsan (Indonesia)

Another pair from Indonesia, Hendra Setiawan, and Mohammad Ahsan had been sitting in the shadows of teammates Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon until recently when they won the 2019 All England. Although since then, their performance has not been outstanding, they are still performing well.

Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe (Japan)

This pair from Japan has been improving like crazy! They went from being quarterfinalists to champions handing the world number ones their most significant loss! Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe are certainly pairs that can compete at the top, and if they continue this streak, they will become a doubles pair that shouldn’t be messed with.

Others:

Among other players, we should look at Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen from Denmark, Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin from Chinese Taipei, and Han Cheng Kai and Zhou Hao Dong from China. These are all young players looking to make their mark, but we have yet to see more of them.

Another exciting player to watch is Lee Yong Dae who was noted as one of the best doubles players from Korea until his “retirement.” Alongside Kim Gi Jung, his doubles partner, Lee Yong Dae has to play in small tournaments to rack up points to fight in the major ones, and with his recent victories, it seems like we will see him again playing in the top soon.

Women’s Doubles

Women’s doubles have just been a battle between Chinese players and Japanese players. Many of the recent tournaments have been dominated by Chinese and Japanese players with either of two winning or getting second place. But there are a few that stand out among the rest which is listed here.

1. Chen Qing Chen/Jia Yi Fan (China)

chen qing chen jia yi fan

Chen Qing Chen and Jia Yi Fan has been performing exceptionally well recently. Although ranked at number four, they have taken down higher ranked players multiple times.

2. Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara (Japan)

Mayu Matsumoto and Wakana Nagahara are the current world number ones. Although they haven’t been especially dominant recently, these two are still players to be considered for the Olympic women’s doubles title.

Honorable Mentions:

Continuing with the Japanese Chinese battle, my honorable mentions consist only of Japanese and Chinese players. I really do believe that the best women’s doubles players right now are from Japan and China although it is still relatively early in the year.

Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota (Japan)

Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota are the world’s number two players from Japan. They are equals with other top Japanese players, so it is tough to rank these players. Nonetheless, we have to consider these two.

Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan)misaki matsumoto ayaka takahashi

Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi are also two players that must be considered. After all, they were the 2016 Olympic champions! However, they are ranked a little lower because their recent performance has not been superior to other players so I can not rate them higher.

Du Yue/Li Yin Hui (China)

Du Yue and Li Yin Hui from China are players that have come into the scene recently and shown some impressive results. Making their way into multiple semi-finals matches throughout the year, these two players are rising up to compete with others.

Others:

A few other doubles pairs to consider is Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu from Indonesia and Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan from Korea. However, these players have not been at the top of their game, and thus I cannot put them higher up.

Mixed Doubles

In mixed doubles, the skill level is a lot more spread out. Chinese mixed doubles pairs have been performing notably better than other players around the world which is why both my top two are Chinese players.

1. Zheng Si Wei/Huang Ya Qiong (China)

zheng si wei huang ya qiong

At number one, I have Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong listed. These two won the 2018 World Championships, 2019 All England, and among other tournaments. They only have 8 match losses in the entire season and has done exceptionally well.

2. Wang Yi Lyu/Huang Dong Ping (China)

Recently, Wang Yi Lyu and Huang Dong Ping have shown to have mixed doubles prowess beating Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong and winning the 2019 Asia Championships. These two are also ranked number two in the world.

Honorable Mentions:

Although the two Chinese mixed doubles players are quite a bit better than other mixed doubles pairs, there are a few players that are still really good and have a chance at winning the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Yuta Watanabe/Arisa Higashino (Japan)

Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino are the most notable pair that comes close to the two Chinese pairs. This pair is uniquely special in terms of Arisa Higashino’s attack, but they do fall apart in terms of defense and its the reason they cannot beat players such as Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong.

Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying (Malaysia)

Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying, 2016 Olympic silver medalists are a stable pair in the world. Sitting at rank number five, these two players from Malaysia are still a force to be messed with.

He Ji Ting/Du Yue (China)

Only recently, He Ji Ting and Du Yue have been performing quite well making it to the semi-finals of the 2019 Asia Championships. However, they are still not as good as the top two Chinese pairs, but they can definitely improve.

Others:

Other players to watch for include Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock as well as Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen. Although we haven’t seen them much at the major tournaments recently, you never know if they could be a darkhorse team that takes over.

There are also various players from Indonesia and Thailand on the rankings that are worth watching as well.

Conclusion

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics looks to be a hard fight between China and Japan with the majority of my top players taking those spots. There will definitely be exciting matches taking place. Although the Olympic qualification period has started, it will be some time before the players will actually face off on the big stage. We still have a World Championship and the Sudirman Cup beforehand!

As the year passes and people change, there will definitely be shifts in the ranking which will result in a change of opinion. I will probably do another post predicting the top players when the 2020 Tokyo Olympics come closer.

What do you think about this list? I would love to see you make your own list and put it in the comment section down below! As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

Japanese Badminton Players Are Rising!

Whoa, this year, the strength of the Japanese National Badminton Team has been impressive! They’ve indeed grown quite a bit and won a significant amount of titles that had never been won before. Japanese badminton players are certainly on the rise!

What sparked this growth and increase in skill level though? I’m going to talk about that in this post.

Recent Results

First, let’s look at some of Japan’s recent results in tournaments.

The most recent major tournament as of April 29, 2019, was the Asia Championships. This tournament is of a little bit different style than tournaments such as World Tours or World Championships as it focuses around the team. Japan won the competition grabbing 3 golds versus China’s 2. China, however, did have more total medals than Japan.

This tournament also had some eye-opening results with Akane Yamaguchi becoming the first Japanese female player to secure an Asian Championship women’s singles title. Hiroyuki Endo and Yuta Watanabe also crushed the first seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo from Indonesia in straight sets of scores, 21-18, 21-3; a significant upset from Japan.

Let’s go a little further back and take a look at the results from the 2019 Singapore Open. In this tournament, Japan secured every single title except for women’s singles and mixed doubles. Even so, in the women’s singles sector, Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara still managed to secure second place, and Akane Yamaguchi still reached semi-finals.

Some of these players have been remarkably consistent with winning as well which I will talk about in the notable player’s section.

How Japanese Players Are Getting Better

The big question is, how are the Japanese players improving so fast? It all starts with their head coach, Park Park Joo BongJoo-Bong.

This man was actually a doubles player from South Korea that won the 1992 Barcelona Olympic games! During his time as a badminton player, he has won multiple World Championships and Asian Games and was considered one of the greatest doubles players of all time. Park Joo-Bong didn’t just play doubles though, during his early career, he displayed immense skill as a singles player and still holds the South Korean national record of 103 consecutive wins in men’s singles!

Now as the head coach of Japan’s national team, he is undoubtedly qualified for the role.

But it wasn’t his immense skill or technique that actually improved the Japanese National Badminton Team. While it could have certainly boosted each player’s individual ability, Park Joo-Bong contributions were more focused on the psychology of the players.

He even says, “Each individual player in the Japanese National Team is very strong, they just don’t have the confidence.”

Before Park Joo-Bong, Japanese players were recommended to play smaller tournaments that they could win so that it seems like they’re right from the number of titles they earned. While this method did get Japan multiple medals from small tournaments, most players could never compete at the highest level.

That’s when Park Joo-Bong comes in. When Park Joo-Bong becomes the head coach, he encourages all players on the team to play higher level tournaments. It was under the thought that the only way for the players to get better was to play against the best, fight tough fights, and learn from them.

Throughout 2018, this strategy worked significantly well. There have been many rising players from Japan that we may have never known unless they started playing larger tournaments.

The Japanese would also surprise themselves playing in the major tournaments. Many of them found that they could hold up against the best players in the world and it gave the players a boost in confidence and lowered their anxiety when it came to playing in the larger tournaments.

Let me show you a few examples of Japan’s success.

Notable Singles Players

One of the first players that will come to mind when thinking of badminton players from Japan is Kento Momota. This player was not necessarily a product of Park’s reform as Kento Momota had always been a solid player since his international debut.

Many people do not know this, but before Momota’s suspension due to illegal gambling, he was already ranked number 2 in the world. And only months after coming back from suspension, the left-hander would win the 2018 World Championships against Shi Yu Qi in a compelling manner.

Kento Momota has continued to show his dominance in various tournaments including the recent Asia Championships and Singapore Open. Right now, he is ranked number one in the world and one of the top contenders to win the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

On the women’s side, we should watch for Nozomi Okuhara, 2017 World Champion, and Akane Yamaguchi, the first Japanese player to become rank number 1 in the world. These two players have been consistently reaching semi-finals or higher in major tournaments and threats that other countries must be worried about.

These three players, Kento Momota, Nozomi Okuhara, and Akane Yamaguchi and Japan’s most influential singles players.

Notable Doubles Players

Doubles is where we can see Park Joo-Bong’s efforts paying dividends.

The central doubles pair to watch is Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda. Early in this pair’s career, they have been playing tournaments categorized as the BWF International Challenge/Series. Later throughout their life, they started playing larger tournaments but to a very minimal degree. It was only until 2018 when they would begin to play a lot more competitions and honestly, this pair surprised the world and themselves when they beat the Indonesian pair Kevin Sanjaya Sukamiljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon in the 2018 World Championships.

Although at that time, the adrenaline was extremely high for the pair, now they are stably competing at the top of the ladder in men’s doubles.

The other men’s doubles pair that must be watched is Yuta Watanabe and Hiroyuki Endo. These two players have only recently been paired up and thus, their beginning of the season was not too impressive. However, just recently they managed to give the world number one Kevin Sanjaya Sukamiljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon the worst defeat of their careers with a score of 21-3 in the second game.

If the two players continue their dominance as shown in that match, they could undoubtedly rise up to be one of the best if not the best.

The Japanese have lots of women’s doubles pairs. They sit at 4 doubles pairs. I would say the two uprising pairs to watch are Yuki Fukushima with Sayaka Hirota and Mayu Matsumoto with Wakana Nagahara. Although these players have not produced any new shows of dominance, they are certainly creeping up the ladder.

Another doubles pair that must be watched are the Rio Olympic Champions, Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi. However, despite their Olympic victory, this doubles pair has not been consistent enough and haven’t shown much growth recently. Things can definitely turn around at any time though.

As for mixed doubles, this is an area that Japan can genuinely improve upon. Their leading pair Arisa Higashino and Yuta Watanabe have shown extremely aggressive play and won the All England in 2018 against current number ones, Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong from China. Unfortunately, it seems that other mixed doubles players have caught onto Arisa Higashino’s weak defense and thus the Japanese pair have not performed well recently.

Conclusion

What do you think about Japan’s badminton growth? The players in the singles and men’s doubles sector are certainly going to be players that we should keep eyes on as the year continues. I hope that other players in other categories will also find their pacing and become top players.

2019 is truly an exciting year for badminton. I’ve found out about so many new players taking over the stage fighting for full reign over the number spot.

Which player are you most looking forward to watching?

Does Humility Make You Better At Badminton?

Humility Quote

Recently I got an email from Jonathan Tang, founder of Swift Badminton School, telling me about how he knows an arrogant person who’s not very good at badminton and a few people who are good at what they do but they are humble.

It sparked me to write this post because, if you put some more profound thought into the topic, does humility actually make you better at badminton?

Swift Badminton School Perspective

Jonathan Tang’s view on humility is that humble people will always improve and be better than arrogant people. Sounds about right, doesn’t it?

He even gave quite a few convincing examples in his email. First, he talks about Harry, a member of an old club Jonathan used to play for, and he is the arrogant person. Harry was always calling himself a “badminton prodigy” and thought that he was the best. He never listened to anyone, and he never improved.

Then Jonathan contrasts Harry with two other people. One of them is Ben Beckman who was one of Jonathan’s former coaches as well as one of the best players in England. According to Jonathan, there is not a single person in the country who could have beat him.

Ben is described as one of the most humble people as Jonathan told me that Ben has never talked about how good he was and in fact, “likes to make fun of himself talking about the time he lost to Chen Long in a very ‘convincing’ manner.”

And thus, Jonathan tells me that being humble is “a trait you see in almost any high performing athlete.”

He then talks about the time when he met Zoe Smith who is a weightlifter who represented Great Britain

Zoe Smith
Zoe Smith

in the 2012 Olympic games when she was 16 years old and won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. Jonathan tells me that, “despite her incredible success and talent… When I spoke to her, I was BLOWN away by how humble she was.”

Then Jonathan gives another example of a CEO who’s made over ten million dollars and tells me about how humble he is and thus giving his statement, “Successful people become successful because they are humble.”

Quite a convincing argument especially supported by all those examples, right?

Deeper Analysis

It’s true that many successful people are humble. I don’t disagree at all. But is being humble really the main focus of improvement?

Let’s take a look at some of the best badminton players right now.

Kento Momota
Kento Momota

If we go look at the top players, we’ll notice that most of them are incredibly humble. Take a close look at Kento Momota, the current ranked number one men’s singles player. When Kento Momota wins, he only gives his racket a nice clap and proceeds to shake his opponent’s hand. Sometimes, he even shakes his opponent’s hand first and then clap. But it heavily contrasts those players who would sometimes take off their shirts and run a full circle shouting with pride.

Another example of a player who is like Kento Momota is Tai Tzu Ying, current world number one women’s singles player. There are a lot more as well, but these players are notable examples of humble players at the top of the standings.

Tai Tzu Ying
Tai Tzu Ying

But does humility equal being number one?

Here’s the main issue. Let’s look at Lin Dan, the world’s most celebrated badminton player. He was a former world number one (getting a little old now) winning just about everything in a dominant fashion. Two Olympic Gold Medals, multiple World Championships; he’s actually won every single major title at

Lin Dan
Lin Dan

least once!

And is Lin Dan humble? Definitely not. He doesn’t listen to his coaches, argues with umpires, and sometimes does really scandalous things. And he does these things because he knows he’s number one and thus, he has the leverage plus the status. This is one example of arrogance at the top of the ladder.

Another notorious player is Kevin Sanjaya Sukamiljo, currently ranked number one in men’s doubles alongside Marcus Fernaldi Gideon. He has had multiple matches where he would taunt his opponents by flick serving, making faces to them, and laughing at his opponent’s mistakes. He is the real mastermind of psychological warfare in badminton, but unfortunately, that brings him a reputation of arrogance.

Yet, Kevin Sanjaya Suklamiljo still sits at rank number one.

Kevin Sanjaya
Kevin Sanjaya

I’ve also had personal experience with arrogant players that are at the top, even if it’s not the top of the world. There are a few humble players in my provincial tournaments, but there are quite a lot more arrogant players. Many people are so full of themselves, they would continuously trash talk each other down and continue even as they lose.

But they’re still taking over the top five of all the categories. Why aren’t the humble ranked 50 players in my province higher up?

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

And following the idea of humility not just applying to athletes, let’s look at Elon Musk, also a CEO. Elon Musk has definitely shown off his pride on Twitter thinking how he can do just about anything he wants. And yet, he’s one of the most successful people on the planet right now.

Is humility really the reason for success, or is it something else?

The Truth Behind Humility

There’s something else behind humility. Humility may be characteristic around successful people, but it is actually the fiery will to improve, and passion for what they’re doing that actually makes them good at what they do.

I actually did a related post on what I think talent really is and talked a little bit about improving and what makes certain people so good at what they do. Check it out when you have time!

Jonathan touched on this idea of improving, but he didn’t emphasize it enough. Humble people generally respect others more and have an open mind meaning that they are always ready to upgrade or Improvelearn something new from someone else.

The reason not all humble people are good at badminton or anything in general is that they don’t have the will and passion for doing what they’re doing. They’re just kind of floating around taking scraps and responding with, “Oh, I’m not that good,” when someone compliments them. In other words, they don’t really care enough to improve.

And the reason some arrogant people are good at badminton or other things is that they have that passion for what they’re doing inside them. And sometimes that’s why they’re arrogant! What they love will often create a lot of pride in them in which they just can’t stand others being better than them. Therefore, when they lose, they actually train ten times harder than anyone else and study all their weak points to reclaim their title.

It’s a different type of arrogance. It’s not like Harry who will blame things like the light or his racket when he loses. He’s just void of the ambition to improve and solidify his claims.

Let me know in the comment section down below if you agree or disagree with a will to improve and passion for what you’re doing as the significant factor contributing to success or no success!

What You Should Do

That being said, there are some guidelines and some false accusations I want to put down in this post.

In no means am I saying being humble is terrible. I’m just saying that it may not be the exact reason as to why certain people are so successful at what they’re doing.

And in no means, am I also telling to be arrogant with the qualities needed for improvement. You should keep the qualities required for growth and then get rid of the arrogance.

Being humble is still a virtue that will make you a more likable person. You shouldn’t be boasting all the time as it only gives a reason why other people should try to harm you and bring you down. Respect is something that’s very much needed to make this world a better place.

Plus, you’ll also notice that you may be happier and get better at various things faster because you’re respecting the good qualities of people!

Stay humble, but build that fiery will of improvement and passion for what you do. And that’s what all my and many other’s favorite successful people look like.

Conclusion

Of course, I have to give some credit where credit is due, and thus, you should go check out Jonathan Tang at Swift Badminton School. They have very informative badminton videos that could help you out!

The idea of humility bringing the best out of you is genuinely intriguing, but I do believe a more in-depth analysis leads to a meaning often hidden behind humility which is a mindset of improving. I talked a lot about this concerning what I thought talent was in another post that you should check out.

That being said, ideas and theories like these are always subject to opinion, and thus, I want to hear what you have to say! Leave your comment down below to tell me what you think.

As always, stay humble and have a great day!

Can Lee Chong Wei Make The 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

A while back, I did a blog post on Lee Chong Wei getting cancer. If you haven’t been following him, he is now able to train again although not at his maximum intensity. But with recent events and announcements from Lee Chong Wei and BWF, can Lee Chong Wei accomplish his dream of making the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

His Declarations

Lee Chong Wei had definitely made a few bold announcements when he was being treated for cancer.

He wanted to return from cancer as soon as possible; about one month estimate to start training again. And then Lee Chong Wei wanted to start playing tournaments again in about two months after getting cancer.

Unfortunately, due to doctors and his body condition, it seemed like he had to wait just a little longer until he could play tournaments again. About three months.

Lee Chong Wei is back on the court again and training, but according to his coaches, he is only training at half-intensity mostly getting used to the racket and refining shots.

Like I mentioned in the introduction, Lee Chong Wei also talked about how he wanted to win the gold medal from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as he has gotten silvers for the last three. It’s a tough road for him, and many people have said that he might not be able to do it.

But it’s also to be noted that Lee Chong Wei has said that if he isn’t performing to his best, then he wouldn’t want to give up an Olympic spot for another better player. Keep in mind that there are only 2 men’s singles players that are allowed to play in the Olympics from each country.

Recent Tournament Drop Outs

It wasn’t Lee Chong Wei haters that were saying that he might not make it. Most of these people were actually fans worried about his health as well as taking in some statistics that shouldn’t be ignored.

His health was too weak for him to play in the Malaysia Open which was one of the saddest things happening to him as Lee Chong Wei has played and won multiple consecutive Malaysia Opens as well as that tournament is from his home country.

Although after seeing Lin Dan play exceptionally well and win the tournament, Lee Chong Wei is more fired up than ever to fight for Olympic qualification just like Lin Dan.

However, getting fired up might be essential to help Lee Chong Wei succeed, but with him recently dropping out of the Singapore Open and his coach saying that he isn’t up to par for the Sudirman Cup, can Lee Chong Wei really qualify or even win the Tokyo Olympics?

And that leads us to the next problem, the BWF ranking system.

BWF Ranking System

To qualify for the Olympics, coaches and teams will look at a player’s rankings against the world and in their home country. Lee Chong Wei has not played any tournaments for almost a year now which theoretically would have meant for Lee Chong Wei’s ranking to dive down.

Luckily, the coaches managed to persuade the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to freeze his rankings so that it doesn’t put Lee Chong Wei into a hole that makes qualifying for the Olympics impossible. Right now it’s still at a place where if Lee Chong Wei does well in the next few tournaments, he can easily qualify for the Olympics.

The problem, however, is that the BWF is saying that if Lee Chong Wei does not play any tournaments by September, his ranking will be un-frozen and he will start to drop. Currently, his ranking sits at 74 and has about 4 Malaysian men’s singles players ahead of him.

If his rank drops below 100, he will have no chance to recover and climb back up even if he wins multiple tournaments in a row.

Best Wishes

But I personally want Lee Chong Wei to succeed and make the Tokyo Olympics, or even win it! It’s just with all these factors going against Lee Chong Wei right now, the real question should be, does Lee Chong Wei have the spirit and mentality to push forward?

It’ll make one heck of a story if he does manage to make it and an even more legendary story if he manages to win the tournament. If Lee Chong Wei manages to qualify for the Olympics and win, it’ll be a dream come true for him and many others.

We wish him the best of luck and hope for his recovery to play again!

Conclusion

Do you think Lee Chong Wei can make the Olympics? It’ll be one of the hardest roads one has ever taken. To recover from cancer and play at the age of 36, Lee Chong Wei could make himself a story that will inspire people for decades. It’s already amazing how well Lee Chong Wei has been able to perform in the last few years despite his age. Lee Chong Wei would be superhuman if he qualifies and wins the Olympics.

But the odds are stacked against him, and with young players such as Kento Momota, Shi Yu Qi, and Viktor Axelsen going big as well as other players clawing their way for first place, it really does beg for the question of whether or not Lee Chong Wei can succeed.

I want to hear what you have to say! Do you think Lee Chong Wei can make it? Leave your opinion in the comment section down below and as always, have a great day!

Why China’s National Badminton Team Forbids Couples To Play Mixed Doubles Together Professionally

Today we’re going to talk about a juicy topic not necessarily helping you get good at badminton, but something you may not have known before. Did you know that China’s National Badminton Team does not allow couples to play mixed doubles professionally together?

The rule was created relatively recently after one incident.

Love

The Workplace

Before we get into the actual incident, first we need to look at some reasons why going after your love interest at work can be problematic.

A lot of professional workplaces either forbid or discourage love relationships between employees. One of the primary reasons this rule is actually implemented is because businesses could end up with severely abusive and manipulative relationships. Many fear that a person of a high positioning in the company could go after someone of a lower position and blackmail them with notions such as firing them should they do anything that the person of the higher positioning disagrees with.

On a less serious note, it’s also because of the professionality of the workplace. Surely you don’t want people making out or having sex in business rest areas and cubicles. It can get extremely distracting for the other workers and not to mention the general unproductivity the business will have.

However, a lot of businesses are okay with relationships as long as it doesn’t interfere with the operations. And this was true for the Chinese national badminton team until that incident.

The Incident

Have you ever heard of the mixed doubles pair, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yun Lei? These two players have been considered as one of the most successful mixed doubles pair having won all the major titles including multiple World Championships, numerous Asian Games, and the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

These two players actually started a relationship in 2010, but just before the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Zhao Yun Lei actually announced that they were no longer together. That was also the year zhang nan and zhao yun leiwhere they only won a bronze medal and shortly after, Zhao Yun Lei retired as a player.

Although this could have been the players naturally weakening because of age, the Chinese badminton team actually forbid relationships in mixed doubles.

How Relationships Affect The Players

A lot of sources actually suggest that because the two players broke up before the Olympics, their performance was significantly worse than expected. In that year, mixed doubles competition from other regions did not get much stronger, in fact, Zhao Yun Lei and Zhang Nan actually won the Asian Games that year. Thus, many people deduct that their poor performance was because of the relationship.

Chinese badminton is quite severe. Even though the pair still won a bronze medal, China aims for all gold medals especially in a sport like badminton. And because of their numbers and overwhelming competitiveness of all the players, poor performances mean that players on the national team will be switched off without notice.

But going back to relationships, two crucial factors lead to poor performances. One is how the media and surrounding people look at them, and the other is what the players are thinking about.

One of the reasons, celebrity relationships don’t last long is because all the eyes are on them. This puts the couple in under quite a bit of stress because every little action they make is being watched. Just look at some of the Kardashians. Sure, some of them might want to be in the spotlight, but I bet you there are certain times when they don’t.

I’ve seen the news all too many times about Kylie Jenner trying to hide her baby by wearing certain clothes or doing specific actions. When the media covers this stuff, someone is definitely forgetting about people’s privacy.

While Zhang Nan and Zhao Yun Lei aren’t American celebrities that are out there flashing their lifestyles and their talents, they are professional badminton players who win a lot. That means there are definitely fans of this pair and people who research and follow these players everywhere. And that also means people will talk about their relationship and post it in different places.

The truth is that professional players often read these posts and such belief or not, and it puts them under stress. There is usually a mixture of both negative and positive comments, but negative ones certainly hit the hardest. It makes the players think that they’re doing something wrong or they need to do something to make the audience happy.

Having a relationship also makes it hard for the players when they’re training or even when they’re in a game. Professional players are already built with a mindset to focus on the game, but because their significant partner is so close to them, it’s hard not to think about their relationship.

Another thing is from personal experience that I think others may perhaps also have. When I play mixed doubles with my girlfriend, I actually feel like both of us play worse. It has to do with an expectations thing. She expects that I have a high expectation of her to perform well and I think she thinks that too. I also do have my own high expectations of her and her of me as well. This caused tremendous stress and anxiety for both of us that we just automatically played worse.

If you read my Badminton Tips and Tricks #4, I actually tell a story about the roots of what makes me play good and what makes me play atrociously.

This problem may or may not have affected Zhao Yun Lei and Zhang Nan. Of course, I wouldn’t know because I haven’t actually interviewed them and neither did they say anything. Let me know what you think in the comments down below!

What Players Can Do

One thing to note is that the Chinese National Team doesn’t forbid relationships completely; just no mixed doubles ones. If you do happen to get into a relationship with your mixed doubles partner, they’ll probably just change your partnering up.

Relationships can and definitely do happen on the Chinese National Team. Although most of these relationships aren’t necessarily active players getting together, former national players to get along with active ones.

One of the examples is Lin Dan and Xie Xing Fang. These two players actually got together when both were still playing and winning World Championships, but Xie Xing Fang did retire earlier than Lin Dan. The two married September 23, 2012, and have had two sons since then.

Many other players are also in relationships but usually with someone lesser known or outside of the team.

Generally, relationships between players will hold them back, but if the players find someone to support them outside, it can be really beneficial to them.

Conclusion

The Chinese National Badminton Team is quite intense. They want to be void of all distractions which is why they do things like pay for their players’ living expenses and homes and sponsoring them with equipment. So when a new distraction is introduced in the form of love, the Chinese definitely wanted to take it down.

In the end, Zhang Nan and Zhao Yun Lei did move on. Both players married other people who were also badminton players and Zhang Nan continues to play pretty successfully, and Zhao Yun Lei moved on as a coach.

If you have any questions, comments, or experiences you want to share, I definitely want to hear from you! As always, go out, play some badminton, and have a great day!