Everybody has good and bad days. When you’re in good form, play feels natural and the game is awesome. But even pros admit they don’t always play their best every time.
The strongest players overcome this adversity well. Here are are a few simple suggestions to salvage a match when your performance isn’t 100%.
Check your timing. Much of the time it’s down to poor timing. Watch the shuttlecock with your eyes, your racket and your hand. A possible strategy is to do some clears (baseline to baseline exchanges). Doing a few clears will help you find rhythm and consistency, simply by focusing on making solid contact and moving your feet. Once you get into a pattern, your confidence will grow and you can start to incorporate a range of offensive shots.
Keep it simple. As your shot quality deteriorates you may feel less and less confident about your game. When you mishit shots, this serves to reinforce the negative thought patterns. The best way to deal with this situation is to give yourself more margin for error by taking some pace off your shots and when aiming for the tramlines. Worrying about strategic plans like attacking your opponent’s weakness isn’t the best way to get yourself out of a rut. You’re better off trying to make your game more consistent with improved fundamentals.
Regain confidence with your best shots. You probably have some idea of what shots work for you so be sure to use your favorite stroke to regain your form. Advanced players have a large repertoire of shots which can potentially be used to keep the game afloat.
Assess the situation and stay in the match. The more skilled and experienced players understand that things can be turned around with a clear head and better execution. Let your opponents make the mistakes. If you win some easy points, you’ll start to feel better about your chances. Allow yourself the opportunity to play your way back into the match.
Take the time now to create a mental plan so you can better manage those inevitable off days.