motivation vs. discipline

Motivation Vs. Discipline – Which One You Really Need

Many aspiring badminton players that are trying to play more competitively are always bent up in the ideas of motivation. I need to be more motivated to train, more motivated to keep playing, more motivated, etc. However, many people forget about discipline. In this post, I will talk about disciplining yourself to get better and why you should have discipline in the battle of motivation vs. discipline.

Consistent, Disciplined Practice Makes You Better

I always thought that I needed more motivation to become better at badminton and to train more. But the issue is, there are both good days and bad days.

If I only train on my good days, I’m never going to get good at badminton. I really only have one good day per week, and sometimes, I don’t even train on that day.

It’s not possible to always be motivated to train. That’s why you need to make training something that is a part of your regular and even bad days.

Following a training schedule consistently is one of the hardest things to do if you haven’t been doing anything before.

The sheer amount of willpower and discipline required is impressive, and that’s what separates the exceptional athletes from the average. The extraordinary athlete will go outside and run even when the sun is not shining.

If you can reach a state where you are training four to five times every week, you will get a lot better.

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We have all heard of the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” The more you play badminton, the better you will get at badminton. The more you train, the more fit and stronger you’ll get.

I’ve been analyzing myself and seeing the differences between many of the top players in my province and country, and me.

After watching different people play and researching their backgrounds, the difference between them and me is not genetics or physicality, but the amount we train.

The vast skill gap in badminton technique, strategy, and fitness were because my opponents trained 3-4 times the amount that I did. If I up the amount that I trained, I would surely reach the same level they played at in no time.

I was reading about a few pro players, and it seemed like they all trained a lot. Players like Son Wan Ho, a men’s singles player from South Korea, train 6 times a week, 6 hours each time. Yuta Watanabe, a mixed doubles and men’s doubles player from Japan, has the same schedule.

These players are not always motivated to train. They treat training like work/school, where you do it consistently no matter what your day was like.

What Can You Accomplish On Your Worst Days?

Another perspective we can look at is, what can you accomplish on your worst days?

If we take a look at the current world number one player as of November 18, 2019, Kento Momota, we can see how he can dominate other players on the court even on his bad days.

Kento Momota has won multiple tournaments back to back in 2019. This meant that he played a lot more than his opponents. Many of his opponents were freshly rested before each match because they had been knocked out so early.

Momota, however, played every single game as he reached finals for pretty much every tournament he was in. If you watch some of his matches, you can see that Momota is super fatigued.

If we look at 2018, we can see a shift in playstyle from playing aggressively to a more passive style of play between the first kento momota 2018 world championshipsand second halves of the year.

From early 2018, Momota reached multiple finals and won numerous tournaments. The fatigue from playing so many games hit him pretty hard as he started to strap everything up.

You can see tape on multiple places, including his back, arms, knees, ankles, and thighs.

Yet, even when he is tired, Momota is still winning all his matches. It means Momota is in a whole new class compared to other pro players.

In fact, there was one tournament Kento Momota won while fighting a cold, according to his coaches. That’s pretty crazy. Even when he is sick, he is still dominating on the court.

Let’s take a look at ourselves. What can we do when we’re sick?

Well, I certainly had the experience of being sick about a month back. What was I able to do?

Nothing at all. I talked a little about it in an email I sent out and my last post. All I did was lay in bed and watch videos. I couldn’t even get out of bed, move a meter to my computer, and write something.

And here we have Kento Momota not only playing tournaments while he’s sick but also winning them!

Now, we don’t have to compare ourselves to Kento Momota. He is a talented player who has played and trained badminton competitively for years. But we do need to start thinking about ourselves and how we can grow to reach our goals.

If we want to get good at badminton, we need to make it so that even on our worst days, we are still doing more than what the average person does.

Instead of watching TV or sitting in bed mindlessly staring at your phone, you should at least be able to run for 5 minutes or do a few push-ups.

We want to start pushing our limits a little bit and disciplining yourself to do more. This means get out of your comfort zone and do things that you have never done before.

Because it’s not about being the best in your club on your best day, it’s about being the best even when you don’t feel like playing.

Tips To Start Disciplining Yourself

Everything I just said is much easier said than done. “Go train more!” Well, that’s much easier said than done.

I don’t want to leave you with a few words and theories that you can’t do much with, I want to give you some actionable tips to help you reach your badminton goals.

So here we go, it’s time to jump into some of my ways to start disciplining yourself to train more and harder.

Tip #1 – No Excuses

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We all have excuses. I don’t have money to pay for training, I’m sick, I’m unlucky, people around me don’t want me to train, there’s no gym close to me, no equipment, no time, no players to help me train, I’m not destined to be good at badminton, etc.

Did you ever say these things? I certainly have, and I’ve listened to many other people say the same things as well.

I was actually the biggest complainer. “Everyone was better than me because they had parents that were willing to spend thousands of dollars letting them train and play tournaments.”

“Everyone was better than me because they had all the time in the world to train.”

Training in Canada was costing me over $1000 every 2 months just to have two 3-hour sessions every week! Private lessons with coaches cost more than $60 an hour, and on top of that, my family had to pay for two people at the same time. So over $2000 every two months.

We didn’t necessarily have time either. School with extensive workloads from 9-5, and I had to work a part-time job two days a week. But later, I found out that these were just mindless excuses stopping me from achieving what I really want to do.

I was on a road trip listening to a podcast episode by Russell Brunson when I realized my mind and heart were in the wrong places. It wasn’t about how much money or time I had. Success didn’t come from the resources I had.

To be successful, it’s about your ability to do anything with nothing. 

That was a big truth bomb that was ingrained in my mind and heart. Although the podcast was about entrepreneurship, the statement that poor people say, “I can’t afford something,” while rich people say, “How can I afford this certain thing,” still applies here in badminton.

I learned that things aren’t always handed down to you in life. You can say things like I’m unlucky, or people don’t want me to succeed, or you can move past those excuses and find your path to success with what you have.

The truth is, it’s not like we have nothing either. The fact that you’re reading this blog post means that you have a lot of things at your disposal. You have an electronic device that can surf the web and an internet connection.

That’s huge in today’s world. You no longer need professional coaches to teach you how to play badminton. You can come on to sites like Get Good At Badminton and find badminton skills and drills.

You can go on YouTube and do a quick search for whatever you want to learn, and you will probably find what you are looking for. There are plenty of people teaching things from basic footwork and badminton techniques to advanced strategies and deceptions.

I’ve even seen people do things like record themselves play and then submit their video to a Reddit feed on badminton and have people analyze their gameplay. So there you go, instant free access to coaches and players all around the world.

Excuses don’t exist. All problems have a solution.

If you’re not actively seeking out solutions to your problems, are your dreams really your dreams?

Tip #2 – Start Small

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Disciplining yourself to create a consistent training schedule is incredibly difficult if you have never done anything before.

You may be able to do a lot on one day because you’re motivated to do so. Still, then on the next day, you’ll probably end up tired and unmotivated to do any more.

You know when people create new year’s resolutions. Usually, they’re able to follow through with them for the first couple of weeks, but hardly anyone makes it past a year, or let alone a month.

The problem is that most people try to make significant changes immediately.

I used to do this when I was trying to make better schedules for my life. I wanted to get up at 5 AM and run every morning. I was able to do this for 1 week at most. Then it started snowing, and I made an excuse that it was too cold.

Trying to wake up at 5 AM and run every morning was too big of a change to my existing schedule and habits. Usually, I was waking up around 8 AM, so trying to wake up 3 hours earlier was a big hurdle in itself.

Then I was trying to add on running for 30 minutes outside, making the existing hurdle even larger.

What I realized was that I needed to start small. I need to make small changes at a time and get used to them. Then I could slowly increase intensity and quantity until I reach my desired goal.

So instead of trying to wake up and run so early, I should have changed my running time to a time when I’m already awake and start by running only 5 minutes straight every day.

Then as I got stronger and more used to the changes, I could increase the amount I run and slowly adjust my waking up time to early in the morning if I wanted to.

I had this experience in the GGAB Fitness Training Regime.

I actually did it wrong initially by trying to incorporate footwork drills and a bunch of different exercises in my first few workouts. Luckily, it was summer vacation, so I never allowed myself to make the excuses that I had no time or that it was too cold. I eliminated all the excuses I had and just did what I planned.

Over time, I increased the load of the workouts as things got more comfortable. Instead of doing 5 sets of 20 for footwork, I started doing 10 sets instead, and I felt perfectly fine. Had I tried to do 10 sets right from the start, I would have never been able to maintain the training regime for longer than a week.

So if you want to get good at badminton, but you never train consistently, start small. Do something like 5 push-ups every day, and when you can do that with ease, begin adding reps and sets and different exercises slowly.

You want to build habits that you would follow even when you’re not feeling the best.



Tip #3 – Change Your Environment

It takes a lot of willpower to make functional changes to your life. Adding things like consistent training to your schedule is one of the most challenging things you can do in your life.

But if you can eliminate all your excuses preventing you from doing a certain thing, then what’s stopping you?

As individuals, we only have so much willpower. I had the personal experience of trying to fight all the excuses preventing me from doing more, and those battles are tough to win on willpower alone.

While we can’t suddenly make more money or time, there are things we can change instantly to make our lives much easier as we’re learning to discipline ourselves.

One thing is to change the physical environment around you and make exercise something that is easily accessible.

For example, if you want to go running in the morning, put your sports clothes right next to your bed and your shoes right in front of the door so that you don’t have to make an extra effort to go running.

If you want to eat healthier, put drinks like soda and junk food like chips in places like the back of your fridge or on the top shelves of your cabinets and put things like water and fruit in places that you can easily reach. This will make it so that healthy options are always your first choice.

Or even better, just get rid of all the junk food and soda, so you’re in an environment where you’re forced to eat healthily.

In my life, I have free weights right next to my bed and computer plus a racket lying out in the middle of my room. I’m always randomly lifting weights or swinging a racket because they’re so easily accessible to me.

I even took it to the next level and put my regular rackets away in their cases and my bag, and instead, I leave out my training racket in the middle of the room. Guess what?

I’m always swinging that training racket and building badminton strength even when I’m not on the court.



Don’t worry if you don’t have a training racket or free weights, it’s not required for you to be successful.

Changing your environment doesn’t always mean making good things accessible, you can also go make things causing bad habits inaccessible.

For me, my phone is always distracting me. If I really want to get things done, I leave my phone in the corner of my room under all my bedsheets so that getting it means that I have to go through extra work of getting up from my computer.

Usually, this is enough to prevent me from being tempted to check my phone for random things. You could go one step further and put the phone in a separate room. Then to get it, you’re forced to get up and walk a little.

Or even try putting it by the doorway so that every time you need to get your phone, you are reminded that you should go outside and run a little.

Good peer pressure also falls into this category. If you can find others to train with you, you will definitely be more motivated to train as there will be other people holding you accountable.

It becomes a lot easier. Unfortunately, if you’re like me and don’t have any friends or family who want to wake up at 6 AM to go running with you, you will have to practice disciplining yourself.

Motivation, Still Required

Since this is a post on motivation versus discipline, I should still talk a little about motivation. motivation picture

In the question of motivation vs. discipline, motivation still plays an important role. But it’s not about staying motivated every day to train, it’s about what creates the discipline in the first place.

As I see it, motivation is another way to help you overcome excuses so that you can build the discipline to train consistently.

It’s challenging to stay motivated by watching and listening to motivation videos every day. At some point or another, the boost in energy that those sources provide goes down and stops affecting you.

The real source of motivation comes from what you truly want.

You need to start self-reflecting and think about the life you want. You need to figure out why you want to get good at badminton.

Then you need to list down those whys on paper and refer to it every time you fall. Understanding your origins and why you do something will make sure that you continue driving down the same path instead of following other random rabbit holes.

A lot of these reasons are personal, but one of the core reasons should be because you love playing badminton.

Other reasons that I have are proving people who have always said that I can’t accomplish something wrong and doing something that only a small minority of people can succeed at.

Find your own reasons for doing something and push yourself forward. The real motivation comes from the selfish desire to achieve something, and those prevalent reasons will help you push forward no matter what turmoil you are suffering.

I will probably talk a little more about this topic in future posts, so stay tuned!

Moving Forward

That’s it for today’s post! What I would like you to do is start thinking about yourself and why you want to get good at badminton. Once you have established the firm pillars that keep you going, start disciplining yourself to train more.

In a battle of motivation vs. discipline, you would much rather have discipline over motivation as it’s not about what you can do on your best day, but what you can do on your worst.

Leave a comment down below if you’re going to start training more and at higher intensities! As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

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