shoe insoles

What You Should Know About Insoles And Orthotics In Badminton Shoes

Hey everyone, welcome to the sequel to my post, Exercises and Remedies To Treat Flat Feet For Badminton. Some people have asked me to make a follow-up post specifically about putting insoles/orthotics into athletic shoes such as badminton court shoes. So after testing out my insoles in my badminton shoes, I’m here to tell some things you should know about insoles and orthotics in badminton shoes.

orthotics in shoes

Something To Note About Badminton Shoes

Before I get into what you should know about insoles inside badminton shoes, one of the first things I noticed more about badminton shoes were that they already had decent cushioning and some sort of arch support.

While the arch support inside the shoe wasn’t enough to entirely nullify the effects of my flat feet, it did get rid of all the sharp pains only leaving me with the unpleasant feelings that everybody gets after playing for a long time. Basically, with flat feet, I just develop blisters faster around my toes as compared to other people.

The main reason badminton shoes have really good cushioning and decent arch support is because of how badminton players play. With so much jumping, running, shuffling, and skipping around the court, it’s only reasonable that badminton shoes are designed to get rid of most of the aftershock from contact between your feet and the body.

If it didn’t, badminton players would get injuries all the time.

Currently, I’m sporting the Yonex Power Cushion Comfort Z badminton shoes which have really great cushioning and heel support, and they perform really well for someone with flat feet. But I found playing with my old badminton shoes as well as other sports shoes usually fine.

It’s because these sports shoes are all designed understanding who’s wearing them and thus have lots of cushioning and support. For example, basketball shoes have excellent ankle support because of how the game works.

And because badminton shoes perform so well for sports already, you may not even need an insole.

How Insoles Perform

This may come as a surprise to you, but when I put insoles in my badminton shoes and played with them, I had an extremely sharp pain on the outer edges of my feet that hindered me from playing. I was playing two games of badminton, and after the second one, the pain became unbearable, and I had to take the foot soles out of the shoes.

This is likely due to the combination of decent arch support in the badminton shoes and the insole which raised my inner foot area to the point that put immense pressure on the outer edges of my feet.

Another factor that’s involved is the shoes themselves.shoe insoles

In badminton, there are both shoes designed for people with narrow feet as well as people with wider feet. Wider feet do not necessarily mean lower arch and narrow feet do not necessarily mean higher arches, but flat footed people generally have wider feet.

That’s the case with me, and when I put on the Yonex Power Cushion Comfort Z badminton shoes, I do feel a little annoyed by the shoe rubbing against my small toes, but it’s generally not a significant problem. But when I combine the shoes with the insoles, the shoes are too narrow, and thus the outer side of my foot will feel a lot of pressure.

I talk about this problem because I know that there plenty of people who do find insoles performing well in their shoes. One of my friends, because he is still young and growing, found his feet actually correcting themselves because of his usage of insoles in badminton shoes. You definitely have to consider how your shoes and your feet are shaped.

Another issue regarding the shoes is the sizing. You might want shoes that are one or half a size bigger than your standard size because you may find that adding insoles to your badminton shoes may make the shoes much tighter and uncomfortable. It’s always a good idea to try insoles in shoes before purchasing the shoes if you know you need insoles.

Other than the pain on the side of the feet and the tightness of using insoles, adding insoles to badminton shoes did help especially around the heel. If I didn’t have the pain, it would feel like I was walking on clouds.

The Moving Insole Problem

One problem that someone brought up in the comment section of my last post on flat feet was that he found orthotics move around a lot and thus, didn’t like using them.

When I was younger, I also didn’t like using insoles because they moved around too much. It did become very annoying on multiple occasions, and I would always have to get down to fix it.

But recently, having got back to using insoles in my shoes, I found that they have never slipped since before!

The primary cause was getting new shoes and more specifically, how the area around the heel was shaped in the shoes. My badminton shoes, as well as everyday shoes, have excellent heel support meaning that they are developed to fit around your heel snugly. This also meant that the insoles were snugly fit within the shoe and thus they didn’t move.

Most insoles also come with a slight adhesive, and when combined with your weight, they should generally stick to the shoe enough that they don’t move at all the random times.

Recommendations

So, what do I think you should do if you have flat feet and want to use insoles for badminton or other sports in general. Well, you should go see a doctor or orthotics specialist to get recommendations on what you should do. This is because I’m not certified or a professional and everything I say is out of my own personal experience. Thus, I am not liable for any injury or problems caused by my recommendations.

That being said, I do believe there are some things I can tell you that may help you. First, you should understand what kind of feet you have. Do you have flat feet? Are your feet relatively wide or narrow? What the size of your feet? How low is your arch? Do you have any other foot problems?

These things are best found out through a doctor, but you can research and test for yourself as well. The second thing you should do is to go choose out your foot soles. The only brand of foot soles I have used is Dr. Scholl’s and thus can only testify for them. What I really like about Dr. Scholl’s is that they often have machines where you step onto them, and it’ll recommend what foot soles for you to get.

So although I have listed some insoles you could buy at Amazon, going to a place where you can find and use the machine is a great idea. I have often seen these recommenders in supermarkets and local pharmacies around the insole area.

Insoles you could try:


Then you should take those insoles and try them with your shoes. If they’re uncomfortable or even painful, your only options may be to stop using the insole or getting new shoes. When you’re getting new shoes, make sure you try them on with the insole and walk around, jump a little, and just generally test out how well they perform.

One thing that I want to note here is custom-tailored shoes. In my last post about flat feet, I talked about custom shoes as probably the best option for flat-footed people, but it is quite expensive. And in terms of sports, it’s even less worth it because you would have to pay an even more substantial premium to get shoes tailored to your own needs.

Definitely, don’t pay more than $300 for some badminton shoes unless you’re the type of person who can afford basically anything on the planet. It’s really not worth it when you only wear badminton shoes when you play badminton… at least I assume that’s the case.

Conclusion

I hope this article was helpful to anyone with flat feet and looking at getting insoles for their badminton shoes. All the tips and recommendations are solely based on my experience which may not be the same case for you because every person is different.

Comment down below if you have any questions or experiences you would like to share! I would gladly respond and do my best to help. As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

Humility Quote

Does Humility Make You Better At Badminton?

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 Improve

learn 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!

flat feet

Exercises and Remedies To Treat Flat Feet For Badminton

Flat feet was always something that harmed my badminton and sports performance significantly. I first experienced the real pain of having flat feet while doing hurdles during my middle school years where I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my foot making me limp for the rest of the day. The pain continued to affect and made it difficult for me to enjoy sports such as badminton.

As such, I’ve made this post to help some readers learn about exercises and remedies they could try to treat flat feet to allow them to play badminton to their fullest extent.

Because I am not a certified doctor or physiotherapist, I must make a disclaimer here. Everything I say here should be subject to judgment as it comes from my personal experience, whatever my doctors told me, or research into this topic. The exercises and remedies I provide are not guaranteed to work. Results vary from person to person.

With the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into some exercises and remedies to treat flat feet!

What Are Flat Feet

First, we need an understanding of flat feet. People with flat feet have either no arch or a low arch in their feet. Healthy people will usually have a gap beneath the inner part of the foot when a person stands. Ankles will also look like they’re collapsed inwards for a flat-footed person as well.

Regular Foot
Regular Foot
Flat Foot
Low arch flat foot

It’s usually genetic or created by walking in shoes with no arch support or walking in a way that puts pressure onto the inside of your feet.

The arch provides a spring to your step and helps distribute body weight across the feet and legs. The arches need to be both sturdy and flexible to adapt to stress and allow you to walk on a variety of surfaces. People with flat feet are lacking the optimal structure of the arch and thus, may feel pain or imbalance while walking or playing sports.

Flat feet never really affected myself until I was doing strenuous activities such as playing badminton or in my previous example, running hurdles. That’s when I felt sharp pains along the arch of my feet and could barely walk.

Other symptoms of flat feet may be a pain in the calves, knees, or other lower body joints. Because of the low arch, people with flat feet might experience strained muscles and connecting ligaments because of their inability to distribute weight evenly. These are symptoms that I have personally felt, and they really hurt the length at which I can perform to the best of my ability in badminton.

Flat feet shoes
One shoe more burnt out than the other

Another annoying part of flat feet is the rate at which my shoes are wearing out. Every time I get new shoes, I can always see the inner feet area of my shoes kind of compress or rub off because of the pressure in my inner feet section. To avoid this problem, I often tried to walk by forcibly putting pressure onto the outer sides of my feet only to find that pain is caused in the outer sections.

Flat feet can really affect your performance in any sport or activity as pain will often stop you from playing longer and enjoying activities to the best you can. Luckily, there are some exercises and remedies you can try to treat flat feet.

Calf Stretches

One of the exercises my doctor recommended to me when I came to him about my flat feet was to do calf stretches. Flat feet are often caused by weak calf muscles that fail to pull the arch up. Thus doing some calf stretches can increase the strength of the muscles and also reform the shape to hold the arch in position.

How should we do these calf stretches though?

My doctor recommended me to stand on a stair step with the heels hanging off the edge and then pushing your heels down until you feel a stretch. Hold the position for about 10 seconds or so and then let up. Then do it again for 3-5 sets.

standing calf raises

After doing this, my arch has improved slightly, and my calves have felt a lot more flexible allowing me to not only play longer but also better and faster as well.

With this kind of exercise, I also like to mix in some calf raises as well to improve calf strength and thus, the explosion of your vertical jump. Basically, after you lower your heel for a few seconds, raise your heel above the stair step and hold that position for a few seconds and then go back down.

Another more intense variation which focuses more on strengthening your calves is to go up and down a lot faster. Just get rid of the holding the position part and go up and down for this kind of training. You can even add weights to this kind of exercises.

Another calf stretch exercise you could do is where you sit down with one leg extended and bend over and try to reach for your toes. Do this for 10 seconds and then switch to your other leg. If you’re flexible enough and you can touch your toes, try pulling your toes back. This kind of stretch is also part of the standard warm-up exercises for badminton.

Sitting Calf Stretch

There are many more types of calf stretches you could do, and they’re all excellent for strengthening your calves and raising your arch.

Rolling A Tennis Ball

Another remedy for flat feet is rolling a tennis ball under your arch. This one is supposed to push your arch up from below, and it generally feels terrific.

To do this one, grab a tennis ball, or golf ball, and put it under your foot where the arch is. And then you can just roll it around with your feet for some time.

What I like about this exercise is that you can do it while watching TV, working on your computer, or just about anytime you’re sitting down. As someone who works on his computer every day for hours on end, I find this exercise helps me to keep my blood flow up and keep moving.

Toe Curls

Toe curls are something that I recently looked up and tried. This exercise strengthens the muscles around the arch and pushes the arch up.

To do this exercise, grab a towel and lay it onto the floor. Then put your foot on the sheet and curl your toes towards yourself. You should see the towel scrunch up. Then you push your toes back to the original position and repeat.

With this exercise, you can also try it with some weights for further strengthening. Grab a few weights or heavy objects and put it onto the towel. Then try the exercise again.

Acupuncture

This is something that I haven’t seen on any sites yet. It’s also something that only works short term and something that people often have controversial views on.

If you don’t know what acupuncture is, it’s an ancient Chinese system of healing where doctors put thin needles targeting pressure points to relieve pressure from them.

I tried acupuncture once on my feet, and they did work for a moment. For the rest of the night, I was pain-free in the feet and could walk perfectly fine. But the very next day, the pain came back.

So this is something that’s definitely hit or miss, but I wanted to include it because it did work temporarily and could potentially work more depending on the person.

Insoles and Arch Supports

Of course, these exercises may help remedy flat feet, but it won’t necessarily get rid of it. Flat feet is tough, if not impossible, to get rid of. However, there is a solution known as orthotics or specially designed insoles for your feet.

This is one treatment that does cost money though, but it is well worth it if you find flat feet discomforting you a ton.

What you want to do with insoles and arch supports is to buy one and put it in your shoes. Then you wear the shoes and walk around. That’s it!

Here are some recommendations:


Unfortunately, I haven’t had too much experience with many different types of insoles other than Dr. Scholl’s and nor have I tried putting insoles in badminton shoes yet. If you would like me to try it out and put a blog post out, definitely tell me in the comment section down below!

Even though I listed some supports linking to Amazon here, I don’t actually recommend going out and buying one online without consulting a doctor or a person of expertise. You may get insoles that don’t actually help you at all or maybe even harm you. Definitely, check with someone or test insoles out first.

Another option I’ve seen is getting a custom shoe tailored to you. My grandpa has done this method before, and it has undoubtedly helped to walk around longer. It is quite expensive though, and usually, it doesn’t come with options to tailor sports shoes such as badminton court shoes.

Conclusion

I hope this post helps! I have definitely seen more exercises and treatments for flat feet, but I haven’t necessarily tested them out or had experience with them which is why I didn’t list them down. There are things like massages and therapy which could work as well.

Let me know in the comment section down below if you have had any experiences with other flat feet remedies!

Before I go off and end this post, I just want to make the disclaimer that I’m not a certified doctor again. And as such, you should take my words lightly as we are not responsible for any damage caused by these exercises. Be careful!

Anyways, do you have any questions or comments? I would love to hear your opinion! Please leave your comments in the comment section 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!

Yonex AC105EX Mesh Grap Badminton Overgrip Review

One of the first overgrips I used was the Yonex AC105EX Mesh Grap. It performs better than your standard factory grip, but when compared with other badminton grips, it may not be the best choice.

Learn more in my review of the Yonex AC105EX Mesh Grap badminton overgrip!

Summary

Overall Rating: 5/10

Thickness/Feeling: 4/10

Sweat Absorption: 6/10

Grip Style: Overgrip

Approximate Price: $12.00 USD

Quantity: 3 Grips

Buy it here at Amazon.com!

Thickness and Feeling

The thickness and feel of the Yonex AC105EX Mesh Grap is definitely average. Like mentioned in the introduction, it does perform better than a standard factory grip but does not perform as well when compared to other grips.

Even though the grips are made out of polyurethane, which is a standard for most grips out there, I don’t feel as much control or power when using these grips. They also have a weird sticky feeling that takes some time getting used to.

The Yonex Mesh Grap is also fairly thin but not the thinnest overgrip in the world. It’s actually as thick as the Yonex Supergraps although they do seem like they’re smaller. It’s actually because the holes implemented throughout the grip and the general cutting off of weight on the Yonex Mesh Grap that makes it seem lighter but really it’s just lighter.

Overall, the Yonex Ac105EX Mesh Grap does perform a little better than factory grips, but it doesn’t perform as well as something like the Alien Pros X-Dry Plus grips. I also found that using the Yonex Mesh grips have cost me a few more callouses on my hand.

Sweat Absorption

Sweat absorption is something that the Yonex Mesh Grap does perform okay. It absorbs sweat fairly well and stops your hand from slipping. But as mentioned in the feeling section, it does have a sticky feeling that may throw you off.

One great thing about the Yonex Mesh Grips is how well it dissipates the moisture and sweat. Personally, I sweat a lot, so I always like to have a grip that still feels tacky after a long match. And this grip does accomplish that as after hours of playing, both my hands and the grip is still relatively dry.

It’s a vast improvement from factory grips that feel very damp after heavy usage. When I was playing with factory grips, people would never want to use my racket after I played for some time just because of how nasty it felt. With these grips, it’s no longer the case.

However, the sweat absorption qualities of the mesh grip still aren’t much to boast about. Different grips can do it just as well or even better which is why this grip’s overall rating for sweat absorption will not be that high.

Price

One of the main reasons I ranked it so low compared to different grips is its price to quality ratio. Sitting at around $12.00 USD for 3 wraps, it’s actually one of the more expensive grips out there, and you’re just not getting the value out of it.

Get It Here At Amazon.com!

The price does vary though. Sometimes, the Yonex Mesh Grap actually becomes the cheapest grip you can get from Yonex. Personally, I still feel like you can definitely perform better with other grips.

Conclusion

And when you combine the price, thickness, feeling, and sweat absorption to make one sole judgment, the overall rating of the Yonex AC105EX Mesh Grap comes out to be 5/10 or just average.

There are undoubtedly other grips out there that you could get like the Alien Pros X-Dry Plus overgrip which both costs less and performs to a higher standard. So definitely consider other options before entirely opting in for the Yonex AC105EX Mesh Grap.

Do you have your own experiences or opinions? Any questions? I would love to hear what you have to say down in the comment section below! As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

Yonex Mavis 350 Shuttles

Yonex Mavis 350 Badminton Nylon Shuttle Review

Quite a while back, I did a review of the Yonex Mavis 300 nylon shuttlecocks. They were some of the cheapest shuttles you could get and decent quality. But finally, I’ve come out with a review of the Yonex Mavis 350 badminton shuttlecocks.

The Yonex Mavis 350 is an upgrade to the Yonex Mavis 300s. They don’t cost much more, but the difference between the two shuttlecocks are still relatively similar. Without talking too much about the comparison, let’s get into the review.

SummaryYonex Mavis 350 Shuttles

Speed/Feel: 8/10

Durability: 8/10

Price: ~$13-15 USD

Quantity: 1/2 Dozen

Overall Rating: 8/10

Buy the Yonex Mavis 350 shuttles here!

Speed/Feel

Compared to feather shuttles, the speed and feel of the Yonex Mavis 350s are not that great. The main difference is that it’s a nylon shuttle which flies abnormally fast and doesn’t have the sort of touch the feather shuttles have.

But for a nylon shuttle, the Yonex Mavis 350s are quite good. These shuttles fly at decent speeds, and they have an okay feeling.

You’ll notice the speed difference most in your smashes, drives, and net shots. It will definitely push your reaction time. Clears and drops are pretty solid which definitely compensates for the other badminton shots.

Like the Yonex Mavis 300, the most noticeable problem is the feel. While the Yonex Mavis 350s feel a lot better than the 300s, overhead shots just don’t have the satisfying feeling produced by feather shuttles. Nylon shuttles in general also fly differently, and if you’re a user of feather shuttles, you’ll notice it takes a lot less power to play certain shots but occasionally more energy to play other shots such as a clear.

What’s great about the Yonex Mavis 350s though is that as they degrade, their speed and feel doesn’t change too much until you see bits of plastic physically breaking off.

Durability

And that leads me into durability.

The big advantage of nylon shuttles over feather shuttles, other than price, is that they have exceptional durability. The Mavis 350s are quite good. They actually beat out the Mavis 300s by a little bit.

These shuttles can last days of constant smashing and overall play. When I buy a tube of these shuttles, they will last me approximately half a year as opposed to a month if I bought feather shuttles. Pretty good investment don’t you think?

One of the great qualities of the Mavis 350s’ durability is that, as mentioned above, their speed and feel doesn’t change too much as they degrade. Like even when parts of the shuttle are broken but still attached to the shuttle, they still perform quite well.

This is quite good for someone that doesn’t have much money but plays a lot. I bought my last tube around August 2018, and it’s still doing great right now (April 2019)! I still have two perfect, never used shuttles remaining in the tube and the other ones are still viable for use; although their speed and feel have definitely changed.

Price

The Yonex Mavis 350s are probably your best nylon shuttles you can get out there. Great speed and feel, excellent durability, and they’re only approximately $1 more expensive than the Mavis 300s!

These shuttles definitely have a high value which is surprising because it’s something from Yonex. High-quality nylon shuttles for $13? I would buy them.

Buying a tube of the Yonex Mavis 350s gives you half a dozen, or six shuttles. When compared to feather shuttles which most come in dozens and have a price of $30 upwards, the Yonex Mavis 350s come in at a great value as buying two (a dozen) is only $26. Still cheaper than feather shuttles!

But quality is still an issue. The reason people buy feather shuttles is that they’re the worldwide standard for badminton tournaments. Tournament players would always train with feather shuttles because if they don’t, they won’t understand the control when playing with the feather shuttles.

If you’re a more casual player though, the Yonex Mavis 350s are probably the best choice for you.

Conclusion

Casual player? Buy the Yonex Mavis 350s here at Amazon.com.

There’s absolutely no reason not to. While you could save a dollar or two buying different nylon shuttles such as the Yonex Mavis 300s or from other brands, the quality of the Yonex Mavis 350s, as well as the durability, makes it a shuttle that you shouldn’t miss out on.

What do you think? I would love to hear your opinions in the comment section down below. As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

How To Really Get Good At Badminton – The Mindset and Genetics

I’ve actually written a post about how to get good at badminton already, but it is a post that focuses on skills you must develop. Things like needing proper technique, training footwork, and being able to play a multitude of different strategies.

But in reality, skills are only a small fraction at how to make you a good badminton player. In fact, to get those skills, one must need the attributes related to the mind and physical endurance. Thus, here I am telling you how to really get good at badminton.

Definitely go read the other post on how to get good at badminton though!

kelowna badminton

Will To Improve

If you have read my recent post on what makes a great badminton player, you’ll know that I’m obsessed with the spirit of improving. I genuinely believe that having the mindset to grow is probably the most useful ability in badminton and everything else.

While some people are brought up with this mindset, the will to improve can be created. You just need to control your mind and emotions.

Many people are defeatists at heart. They would lose and just keep losing and then give up. Having the will to improve means that when you lose, you study every little aspect of why you lost and then practice ten times as hard to get better.

A progressive person also improves in victories. When they win, they don’t sit back and relax, they continue to study what could be improved, and then they try to get better in those aspects. In some places, badminton is quite competitive. If you don’t continuously get better, someone else will surpass you and take your spot.

Another thing to note is anger and emotions after losing and winning. Don’t get me wrong, losing will feel bad. Everyone gets angry and/or sad. In fact, it’s okay if you have those emotions because it means that you actually care.

It’s a matter of what you get angry at. People that don’t have the improving mindset will blame everything but themselves. They’ll blame the lighting, the racket, not having money to train, etc. That was me. But then I realized to improve, I can only blame myself.

The mindset after winning is more subject to debate. As long as you continue to improve after, it doesn’t really matter. What I do find is that players who are more humble in their victories tend to study their mistakes more while players who are arrogant in winning like to show off their strengths.

The Mind In Games

So the will to improve and the mindset of progression is paramount, but what about the mind in the game?

A great badminton player is built to avoid distractions during the game to maximize performance. It’s normal for players to get nervous and have a high level of adrenaline, but if you can manipulate your adrenaline to boost your return, you will definitely have the edge over most opponents.

The ability to remain calm and optimistic during your games will also give you a higher win rate. We often lose in those high pressure, 19-19 games where anything can happen because we get anxious and make more mistakes.

How can we build this emotional block in our heads?

Like mentioned before, getting anxious during games is something reasonable for all players. To reduce the effect of this emotion, you just have to relax.

The best way is to get used to these situations and play more matches, more games, and more tournaments. This is the surefire way of reducing anxiety when you play competitively.

Stamina

This post isn’t just about mindset. I’m going to talk about physicality as well.

Stamina is the most important physical attribute in badminton. Badminton is one of the most physically intensive sports out of all of them. To continuously move at high speeds over and over again is quite grueling.

Once you’re at the point where everyone’s technique is relatively equal, everything will be based upon stamina and how you play around it.

Stamina is something that different people will have fundamentally in varying amounts. Everyone has their own different maximum potential for, but you can only reach that maximum potential if you push your limits. Nobody has lots of stamina without physical training.

In my other post, I talked about strategy a lot. Badminton was often noted as the “physical version of chess.” You have to know your own limits and formulate strategies around it. If you have low stamina, you have to optimize your approach so that the rallies end fast or create a playstyle where you control the game and don’t move as much.

Strength and Speed

Your power and speed are also related to genetics in some part. People are born with different amounts of muscle, but like stamina, it is another attribute that depends on pushing your limits.

In badminton, strength and speed are what allows you to pressure your opponent. The more you have, combined with stamina, the more devastating you can be.

Conclusion

Definitely go check out the other post that talks about skills and strategies once you’ve embraced some of the things I said here because once you have developed the mindset to improve and focused yourself on improving physical aspects, learning skills and strategies will make you extremely dominant in badminton.

One of the reasons I created Get Good At Badminton is to help people realize their badminton potential and make them the best player they can be. I want to help you get to the best you can be.

I want to hear your opinion! What are some things you believe to be the most critical parts to becoming a pro player? Let me know in the comment section down below. And as always, go out, play some badminton, and have a great day!

What Makes A Great Badminton Player – From The Talent Perspective

What makes a great badminton player? Is it their skills, their overwhelming strength, and stamina, or something else? The truth is, it’s a combination of everything. But that’s one of the most generic answers out there.

Today, we’re going to take a look at what makes a great badminton player in the talent perspective.

talenmt

Common View Of Talent Debunked

I have an unorthodox view of what talent actually is. My opinion of talent is that it’s a combination of everything in varying amounts with more ability to improve than actual skill. Talent is also something that’s in everyone. It is something that is nurtured.

My view of this comes out of the frustration of what other people always tell me. Let me tell you a story about this view.

Like many stories, I start in a place where nobody believes in me. Not my parents, not my coaches, not my classmates, and eventually, not even myself. They all told me some variation of the same thing, “Kevin, you have no talent.”

I absolutely hated it whenever someone said, “Kevin, you can’t beat that player because he’s more talented than you.” But I knew more. I knew that the player I just lost to trains three to four times a week while I was sitting at the measly once a week where the coaches barely even focus on me anyways.

I would tell my parents that if I train more, I can definitely bring my skill up and win. Again, they told me things that discouraged me from playing. “If you can win tournaments, you can train twice a week,” “If you were good, you’d already be much further than where you are right now.” One time, they even told me to quit altogether.

Every time I tried to prove myself, I would get even more discouraged. I would go into these tournaments and then lose first round, and my parents would be like, “See, you can’t win so you shouldn’t play.” Eventually, I actually thought that I had no “talent” and I wasn’t meant to play.

It wasn’t as if my parents didn’t support me at all. They actually first got me into badminton by sending me to a random Chinese school group playing session. It was just that in Canada, badminton training was hyper-expensive and my parents didn’t want to pay for it. And it made sense.

Why would you continue spending money on something that wasn’t giving results?

So I gave up. I gave up on playing badminton. One, badminton became a sport to me where only winning matters and two, it seemed like nobody wanted me to play anyways. I stopped training, I stopped playing for my school teams, and if there were anybody that asked, I would say, I’m suffering from an injury.

Quitting didn’t help me either. Deep down, I still loved playing badminton. I would be lying on my bed eating chips and watching badminton games wishing that I could be like Lin Dan or Lee Chong Wei. But throughout these hours of watching videos, I found myself on an Olympic video about a Brazilian badminton player. I had my epiphany watching that video.

It wasn’t really a motivation video nor a video about badminton skills. It was basically a short documentary of a player called Ygor Coelho de Oliveira. I think he was the first Olympic badminton

player to come out of Brazil. What was significant wasn’t his achievements, it was how he trained. In the video, there were clips of players playing on a mud court, on each other’s rooftops, and other places.

I realized that it’s not that I had no talent in the sense that I had no skill; I had no will or spirit of improving and that’s what I believe now to be genuine talent.

Now it’s all about the different creative ways to train without a coach or high-end court. It’s also one of the main reason why I started this site; to give players more angles and approaches to getting good at badminton.

The Improvement

Talent is your spirit and will to improve and also the speed at which you can.

Think about it. Almost all the great badminton players started in the same place as us. No hitting power, no control, no nothing. But because they spent the time and focused on improving, they became top players.

The best players naturally improve faster than everyone else. After each point, game, or match they lose, they learn something and never make the same mistake. Every significant loss only makes them come back higher.

In training, many pro players would focus on practicing their failure over and over again while the rest of us fool around or despair in our losses. Having the mindset and will to improve is talent that I admire much.

Strength and Stamina

Honestly, as sad as it is, some things will limit you. There are things that certain people are born with or get because of their living conditions. And they can’t do anything about it!

The main limiters come from genetics. Players that have more strength and stamina will automatically have an easier time improving. It’s one of the things that Carolina Marin’s coach noted about her.

The Spanish coach actually mentioned in a video that Carolina Marin’s technique was pretty awful, but he did take great notice of how fast she was and how strong she was. This also points to the fact that the technique doesn’t necessarily equal talent.

Another limiter which I first thought was an upper limit was some of our demographics. Some of the things I thought that was preventing me from getting really good was money and the Canadian winter. No money to play on a court and 6 months where I can’t even do footwork outside because of the ice.

Now that I think of it, it’s not so much the case. It still profoundly affects me, but I found that if I seriously had the will to improve, I would look for more creative ways to practice badminton despite my conditions.

The Small Part

If you have strength and stamina and the will to improve, you will dominate… mostly.

Unfortunately, skills still play a role. Although all of us can build skill to an extremely high level, I do believe that our talents cap out at certain moments and especially in combination with the natural decline of our bodies due to age, there’s no way everybody can be at the top.

Sometimes, even when someone trains harder, or even smarter, than others, discrepancies in skill can still make a difference. Just take a look at Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei. Lee Chong Wei trains and works much harder than Lin Dan, but Lin Dan has seemingly beat him in so many more matches.

I do believe that this small part which is skill mostly affects people playing at the professional level. At a provincial or even national level, strength and stamina will probably limit you way more than skill and the best players always come out from their ability to improve.

Conclusion

Skill isn’t talent. The ability to improve combined with good fitness is what makes a badminton player great. Without this ability, badminton players will never bring out their skill, and thus, they seemingly have no talent. But when they do become good because of their ability to improve, they seem talented, and that’s why I believe talent is actually the spirit to progress.

Let me know what you think in the comment section down below! As always, go out, train, and 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 lei

where 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!

Do I Need A Badminton Training Racket – Costs and Benefits

When I was younger, I used to see all these pros use training rackets when practicing. Being my young age at the time, I didn’t understand why they would use the training rackets; I just thought badminton training rackets was what separated professionals from casuals.

But after playing for a while, I can tell you that badminton training rackets have specific purposes. Do you really need a badminton training racket? Read on for more.

What Is A Training Racket

A training racket is essentially a regular badminton racket but heavier. Usually, these rackets come in at about 140-160 grams versus the 70-90 grams of regular rackets. Training racket weights are quite noticeable especially in a fast-paced sport like badminton.

Usually, training rackets also have pre-strung strings at lower tensions and cannot handle restringing at higher tensions. But this isn’t much of a problem because you shouldn’t be playing full games with a training racket.

Apart from weight and lower string tensions, there isn’t much of a difference between a training racket and a regular one. You cannot tell the difference until you pick it up.

One thing to note is the difference between a training racket and a sweet spot trainer. A sweet spot trainer is a racket with a much smaller head designed to help you out with hitting the shuttle at the correct place while the training racket I’m talking about here is a regular racket that is weighted.

What It Can Do For You

There are many benefits of using a badminton training racket. Various benefits include faster reactions, more strength, more stamina, and more control over your racket.

The most apparent improvement you’ll quickly see is more strength and stamina. Like any other sport, using weights will improve your strength which translates into more endurance when you take off the weights. After you play with a training racket and then switch back to a normal racket, you’ll feel that you don’t need much strength to hit it far which means you don’t consume as much energy.

Another benefit of using a training racket is faster reactions. If you play drives with a training racket, you will find it extremely difficult to react to fast drives coming at you. It’s all because of the weight. But if you practice driving with a training racket, once you switch back to a normal racket, reacting to drives will be a breeze for you.

It also won’t just be your drives that are better, all your other shots will be awesome as well. Playing with a weighted racket will give you more control over your normal racket. You’ll feel like your normal racket is so light and smooth and that you can play just about any shot.

Just trust me on that.

The Problems

Playing with a training racket isn’t all good though. It does have significant consequences if you fail to use it correctly.

Like all weights, if they are used wrong, you can cause yourself a lot of joint pains and body pressure. With training rackets specifically, misusage can seriously harm your shoulders. That’s why you be playing fully and comfortably with the proper technique before even using training rackets.

Over-usage is also something to be careful of. Depending on your strength and fitness levels, you want to make sure you’re not destroying yourself when using weights. Some people can train longer, others can’t.

Recommendations

Problems from training rackets such as injury are why I need to list some of the recommendations of usage here.

I want to clearly emphasize that you have proper technique before even using a training racket. Bad technique will stress body parts such as your shoulders and cause long-lasting injuries that may completely mess with your badminton career or even life.

That’s why badminton training rackets are not suitable for beginners or even intermediates who haven’t developed good enough technique.

But if you’re at an advanced level or higher, training rackets might come of great use to you. Here are some recommendations on how you could practice with a training racket.

There are three places I recommend you to use training rackets, during footwork, warm-up, and fundamental drills. Never ever use a training racket during games and matches no matter how good your technique is because there will always be those times where an unexpected shot from your opponent makes you use bad technique.

The three places where you can use training rackets are all times where things are predictable, and you can use impeccable technique. Switching out a regular racket for a training racket will definitely help you get stronger and have more control over your games.

What Training Racket Should I Get

So to answer the question of the article, you should get a training racket if your technique is perfect and you want to enhance your strength, endurance, and control further.

If that’s you, your next question should be what training racket you should get, and like all products, there are so many different options out there.

Personally, I’ve used the Yonex Isometric TRO for quite some time and definitely like it. There will be a link to a review of that training racket under this sentence once I have written it.

See my Yonex Isometric TR0 Review!

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or experiences, please share them below and have a great day!