[This is Chapter 5 of my book "How To Get 92% of Your Badminton Serves In... Guaranteed!", now available free on badmintonsecrets.com!]
Picture the scene, you’re in a tightly fought game with your bitter rival,
the scores are extremely tight and every point counts.
Say it gets to 13-13, your opponent serves but in the tension he or she
puts it into the net, you get the serve back and serve the game out.
What was the difference? What made you able to serve well in the
circumstances but not your opponent?
The difference is that:
a) You read this book, and
b) Just before you served you put into practice the following
Our bodies are amazing machines. They keep us going for however many
years, despite all the stresses and strains that we place upon them, all the
bad stuff we shove down our throats and bad lifestyle choices we make.
Obviously this all takes its toll and our body is rarely at its perfect,
natural state of complete peace and harmony.
It is these imperfections that cause us to make bad serves. It is the tension
in your opponent’s arm, caused by the worry about missing such a crucial
serve that caused them to serve into the net at 13-13.
We need to rid the body of any imperfections, causing everything to run
in perfect harmony, every part of you poised yet relaxed.
Well, maybe that’s asking a bit too much, to reverse the many years of
stress that we all do to our bodies!
But there is one way to get you a great deal nearer to that state, certainly a
lot nearer than your nervous rival.
And that is to control your breathing.
Have you ever noticed in a stressful situation, or one that is taking all of
your concentration, you suddenly realise that your breathing has become
really shallow, or in some cases stopped completely?!
It’s the same in your tight badminton match. You are so intent on beating
your opponent that breathing well has been pushed way way down the list
But we can change that!
From now on, the first thing that you will do when going up to serve is
take one breath in and a slow breath out. No one need ever know that you
are doing it, but you will feel the benefits immediately, feeling the good
healthy oxygen racing around your body, and the bad toxins being
expelled from your body in the out-breath.
It is important that the out-breath is a little longer than the in-breath. This
will calm you, especially if you imagine yourself letting go of any
stresses or strains (if you found yourself a little too relaxed and needed a
bit of a pick-me-up, then take a longer in-breath and ‘sigh’ out the out-
breath quickly, much like professional sports people do just before a big
shot/kick/performance where more power is needed).
You will be left feeling relaxed yet alert and ready for the next stage in