Ever feel like you’re not improving even though you’ve been training for hours every day? Don’t worry, it’s completely natural to hit the occasional wall when you’re training.
In the past year, I’ve hit an improvement wall three times. For weeks, I didn’t know what I could do to improve and found myself mindlessly hitting the shuttle in training. It’s a frustrating experience I didn’t know how to deal with until now.
In this article, I’ll show you what you must do if your badminton improvement has stagnated.
Analyze And Focus On Improving Technique
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.” If you hit a wall in your badminton improvement, it’s because you’ve been repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again.
Let’s say you’re practicing net shots, for example, and you’re not getting the amount of spin you want. You won’t consistently get more spin if you don’t change your technique.
One of my coaches once told me, “If you ever hit a roadblock in your practice, think about your technique and try new ways to play certain shots in various positions.”
When you make things new again, you also put yourself in a position to progress again. After all, progression is just a matter of learning new things.
Take A Break And Study The Pros
One way to improve your technique is to study the pros. Whenever I get stuck, I watch Lee Chong Wei videos and try to implement what he does. I carefully study his footwork, swing technique, and shot selection, and often repeat the video in slow motion to see the intricate details of how Lee Chong Wei plays.
Studying pro players can help you fix various parts of your game fast.
For example, one part of my game that I have always struggled with was being pushed to my forehand side. After spending just an hour watching Lee Chong Wei, I quickly improved my ability to react to push shots on my forehand side the next day.
All I needed to do was bring my racket up faster, move quicker, and swing more efficiently, and all of this happened when I envisioned myself playing like Lee Chong Wei.
Record Yourself And Experiment
Another strategy that helped me fix many issues was recording my gameplay. This is particularly helpful when you’re also watching pro players because you can compare what you’re doing to what the pros are doing and experiment with different techniques to play more similarly to the pros.
About two days before writing this article, I recorded myself and saw that many of my swings were too big. I also noticed my split step didn’t look like the pros and began testing different things to improve.
First, my swings. I noticed that I was pulling back and moving my arm quite a bit in my videos and decided to focus on not moving anything before hitting the shuttle. Voila, so many of my problems were fixed. My form began looking more and more like the pros, and my shot quality and control naturally increased too.
The same thing happened with my footwork. After seeing how my split step was almost unnoticeable, I emphasized the split during my training. It seemed weird at first, as I thought I was jumping really high, but it did look right, and I started moving better on the court.
New techniques will often feel weird, but if you’re starting to look more like the pros, you can be more confident that you’re moving in the right direction.
Get Good Coaches To Help You
The third thing you can do to improve your technique and break past improvement roadblocks is to work with a good coach. This is the most expensive option, but depending on the coach, it’s the quickest way to improve your technique and reach the next level.
There are a few considerations you must make, though. First, the coach has to be of good quality. If you’re going to get a coach, you can’t cheap out. You would rather train on your own than pay for a coach who hasn’t even won a provincial tournament, even if they cost half the price of someone with accolades.
Of course, this depends on your level as well. A coach who plays provincial tournaments regularly (but doesn’t necessarily win them) can be good enough if you’re a beginner just getting started. If you’re already a provincial-level player, you probably want someone with international experience if you’re going to push yourself to the next level.
The second thing you need to do to make coaches worth it is understand what you need to work on. What you’ll notice the more you study various players is that everyone’s form is a little different. There’s no best technique – only better and worse.
Many coaches understand this, so if you don’t tell them what you want to work on and ask for feedback, they may assume you’re okay. This is especially true if you play a good shot (and do it consistently) with subpar form.
This was a big problem of mine during training. I assumed that coaches would tell me what was wrong with my play and never ask for anything from them. Then I recorded myself, saw how wonky my play looked, and began looking toward my coaches for feedback more often.
Focus On The Technique And Make Things New Again
I hope this article helped give you ideas on what to do when your badminton improvement starts to stagnant despite training so often. Ultimately, the key is to make things fresh again and try to learn new things. See what the pros are doing differently and try to imitate them. Record yourself and look for flaws in your game that you can fix. And if you need more help, get a good coach and ask them for feedback on your game.