Once again BWF is providing live streaming from their Super Series events.  Below you can find videos for the quarter-finals onward.  Enjoy!

Quarter-Finals

Semi-Finals

Finals

Some of the world’s best players were interviewed at the All Englands this year about their thoughts on the upcoming world championships in London and Wembley Arena. Wembley is the original venue for the All Englands so this venue holds a lot of history for badminton. Here is the video:
[flv image="http://www.badmintonlife.com/files/2011/04/peter_gade.jpg"]http://bvm.s3.amazonaws.com/worlds2011/worlds2011_promo1.flv[/flv]

Wilson Swiss Open Live Streaming

The Swiss Open is offering live streaming of their tournament for free. No word on whether this will be the case straight through to the finals, but the preliminary rounds do appear to be free.  The tournament is already underway, and there are several very strong players present including top seeded Jan Jorgensen.  If you would like to view the matches you can do so at the link below:

Wilson Swiss Open Live Streaming

Camera#1


Live Video streaming by Ustream

Court#2



Free Videos by Ustream.TV

Court#3



Live streaming video by Ustream

Court#4



Live streaming video by Ustream

Aging Bodies and Badminton

On February 10, 2011, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

Take Care of Your Body

As I write this article I am 28 years old, hardly a senior citizen and yet my body frequently tells me that it doesn’t like what I do to it.  No, I don’t eat poorly, or drink excessively.  I don’t participate in extreme sports either.  I play badminton.

I have always struggled with injuries, even in my later junior years I was often sidelined with some small nagging injury, and on one occasion I wound up in the operating room for arthroscopic surgery to deal with a torn meniscus in my left knee.  I’m an extreme example, and as a result I need to be extremely careful about taking care of my body, however the average badminton player can learn from my troubles as well.

Ironically enough my problem is my strength.  I have never struggled with putting on muscle, and I have always been quite fast and explosive on the badminton court.  At this point you may be wondering how this is a problem.  The problem with putting on muscle easily with a sport like badminton is that the movements and demands placed on your body as a result of playing badminton causes your body to develop in a lopsided manner.  My left quad is noticeably smaller than my right quad, and as my physiotherapist would testify, my hips, shoulders and basically everything else is unbalanced in some way.  These mismatched body parts have resulted in countless injuries over the years.  Only one has been very serious, but when you’re constantly dealing with small injuries that keep you off of the court for a couple weeks at a time, it can be very frustrating, and not very fun.

Trying to play at a high level and dealing with these constant injuries can really suck, but taking care of your body for sports isn’t just applicable to high performance players, it’s also very important for the recreational players.  If you’re a younger player you are of course less likely to injure yourself during recreational play, but once you get into our late twenties your body starts to slow down it’s recovery from play, and overall you have to pay much more attention to the small stuff.  When you get further on in years into your thirties, fourties or later, then the practice of taking care of your body is an absolute necessity if you want to keep yourself on the court.

Here are some things you can do to get your body in condition for playing badminton:

Prepare Your Body For Movement (Warm Up)

Most of you understand the idea of warming up before playing.  You’ll probably do some light jogging, or hit for a few minutes before you start playing games, and you might even stretch a little bit too.  However, when you look at how dynamic badminton is you realize that doing some light jogging and stretching is very insufficient.  You need to prepare your body for the activity you intend to do, and that means movement in multiple directions.

Strength Training

Strength is one of the most misunderstood areas of training for badminton.  When we talk about strength training most people think of muscle bound strong men.  This is not the type of strength training that we want to use for badminton.  The other big benefit of being strong is in preventing injuries, and enabling you to train longer and harder without getting hurt.  Remember, strong does NOT mean big.  You want to develop badminton specific strength.

Energy Systems

If your fitness levels are poor you’re going to be more likely to get hurt.  Tired muscles are more prone to injury, not to mention you’re going to end up losing a lot of matches if you can’t keep up with your opponents.  Running, bike rider, running stairs and a lot of other activities will help keep you feet for badminton.  As fun as it is to play badminton, sometimes it’s good to do activities off court to see improvements on court.

Injury Prevention

While a number of these other training areas can be helpful in preventing injuries, there are some very specific things you can do.  Certain rehabilitative exercises can target some common injuries that badminton players get and if you pay attention to these areas before an injury, you’re less likely to suffer one.  For example knee injuries are very common as a result of muscular imbalances caused by playing badminton.  You can strengthen your quads and hamstrings to prevent these sorts of injuries.

There are a number of other areas you can cover in order to improve your badminton, but perhaps more importantly to keep yourself healthy so you can keep playing.  If you have any suggestions or tips on how you train your body for badminton, or what common injuries you’ve dealt with leave your ideas in the comments.

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Focus On What You Can Control

On November 3, 2010, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

How often do you hear someone finish a match and then they begin to complain about something that caused them to lose?  Something happened during the match, or there were some conditions on the court that made it “impossible” for them to win, or say they claim.  The excuses are many, but just to list a few:

  • The lighting was bad
  • The ceiling was too low
  • The walls are painted a colour which makes seeing the shuttle impossible
  • There is wind in the hall
  • The floors were slippery
  • My racquet is no good
  • The shuttles were too fast
  • The shuttles were too slow
  • My opponent was a hack, his awkward style threw me off

I’m sure you can add to that list, either from excuses you’ve heard, or from excuses you’ve come up with yourself.  There’s a funny thing about excuses though, once you deal with one another one pops up to fill it’s place.  They are never ending because the problem was not whatever excuse you were coming up with, the problem is the fact that you see the external influences around you as unbeatable obstacles.  The reality is whatever harsh conditions you might be dealing with, your opponent is likely dealing with them as well.  And even if they weren’t dealing with those circumstances, it doesn’t matter because nobody cares about your excuses.  While it might make you feel better about losing, it won’t help you to become a better badminton player.

The easy way to get past these conditions that are bothering you is to accept them as just being part of the game, and instead of worrying about them shift your focus to things that you can control.  So what do you have direct control over in your badminton game?  Let’s look at this from two perspectives, first during game play, and second during practice/training.

Game Play

During game play the first thing you have control over is the shots that you are hitting.  Pay attention to your shot selection and executing the strategy and tactics that you decided you would use.  Try not to make improvements upon your game during game play.  In other words if you are struggling to improve your cross court net shot, avoid using it too much during game play, save it for practice.  Another major thing you have control over during game play is your thought process and your self talk.  This is perhaps the most important thing you need to focus on during game play, and what makes the biggest difference between the very best players and us mere mortals.  You need to be positive during matches, and you can’t let things like fast shuttles or other issues become excuses.

However, the reality is that during game play there is not a whole lot that is within your control.  Most of the hard work has already been done well before this point while you were practicing and training your shots and your body.  Once the games begin, all you can do is stay focused on executing what you have practiced so many times before.

Practice/Training

This is the time where you have the most control over your badminton game and your ability to succeed.  During practice you can work on your shots extensively and refine them to the point that you don’t need to think about your technique when it comes time to actually play.  If you find that you make a lot of unforced errors during matches, then you should focus on drills that help you to improve your consistency.  If your opponents are killing your net shots because you don’t hit them tight enough, then practice your net shots more.  It’s really not that complicated, but it does require you to put in that effort.

Perhaps the biggest area that we neglect is our physical training.  Sure playing badminton is fun, and it’s an easier way to maintain our fitness than running or during intense training, but if you want to see better results you have to be fitter.  When you are playing a tournament or even just a match in your local club and you start feeling tired, there isn’t much you can do because it’s too late.  You should have put that effort in beforehand.  If you and I are playing each other and we have equal skills, but I’m much fitter than you, I will win most of the time.

Are you making excuses for yourself?  Well stop it!  Spend the time before your matches, before your tournaments, and focus on improving the things that you have control over.  If you find yourself making excuses the reality is that your opponent was just better on that day, pure and simple.  Now go out and kick some butt!

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Koo Kien Keat Wins Two Golds

After a long road and lots of badminton the big winners at the 2010 Commonwealth Games were Malaysia and hosts India.  While these two teams were the gold and silver medalists respectively in the team event, they split the individual golds 3-2.  First off in the mixed doubles Malaysian super star Koo Kien Keat would win his first gold of the tournament along with partner Chin Eei Hui.  The Malaysian pair defeated England’s Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork 22-20, 21-12.  Next would be India’s turn to win their first badminton gold of the tournament.  Jwalla Gutta and Ashwini Ponnapa took on Singapore’s Yao Lei and Shinta Mulia Sari and won in two relatively close games 21-16, 21-19.

In spite of Rajiv Ouseph’s strong ability as a mens singles player he was far outclassed when Lee Chong Wei proved once again why he is the number one ranked player in the world.  The domineering Malaysian destroyed Ouseph in two fast games 21-8, 21-10 to win his second consecutive Commonwealth Games title.

In the men’s doubles Koo Kien Keat would yet again dash Nathan Robertson’s hopes of a gold medal. Koo partnered with Tan Boon Heong to defeat Robertson and his partner Anthony Clark 21-19, 21-14.

Finally the highlight match of the day for the home crowd was their favourite player Saina Nehwal’s match against Malaysian Wong Mew Choo.  Saina was close to being defeated after losing the first game 19-21, and was forced to pull out a close second game 22-20.  Saina took the match in the end by winning the third game 21-13 and won her first Commonwealth Games gold medal.

While hardly a huge surprise it was nonetheless a weight lifted off of the Malaysia team’s shoulders today when they secured yet another team event gold medal.  Looking back on the history of the games we see only England and Malaysia have ever taken the team title.

Malaysia def India 3-1

The event started out with Malaysia’s doubles super star Koo Kien Keat partnering up with Chin Ee Hui in the mixed doubles against Jwala Gutta and Diju Valiya Veetil.  This was an important match for Malaysia to win since their strength lies in their men’s team, and a loss in the mixed would put them in serious danger.  However, in spite of going to three games the Malaysian pair managed to pull out the win 21-14, 10-21, 21-10 to secure the first point in the tie.

Perhaps the most assured win for Malaysia would come from the men’s singles with world number 1 Lee Chong Wei taking on Kashyap Parupalli.  A surprising choice by the India team to field Parupalli as he is India’s third ranked singles player behind both Chetan Anand and Arvind Bhat at number 32 in the world.  Regardless the Indian shuttler faired well against Lee in the first game posting a 21-18 score and seemed a legitimate threat.  However, in the second game he failed to maintain the same pressure and was easily disposed of 21-7 putting Malaysia up 2-0 in the tie.

The only loss of the day came at the hands of India’s superstar women’s singles player Saina Nehwal who also happens to be the tournaments top seed in the individual event.  Saina faced off against Wong Mew Choo who managed to sneak out a close first game 26-24.  It was a good start for the Malaysian but Saina managed to pull things back in her favour in the second 21-17 to set up a final deciding game.  This also went in the Indian’s favour as she went on to win the match, and India’s first point in the tie, 24-26, 21-17, 21-14.

To seal victory Malaysia brought out more of their superstars as world number one men’s doubles pairing Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong took to the court against Thomas Sanava and Rupesh Kumar.  The Indian pairing are strong players in their own right, but they were no match for Koo and Tan who won the match 21-12, 21-19 to win Malaysian second consecutive team gold in the Commonwealth Games.

In the bronze medal match England defeated Singapore 3-1 with two of their points coming from victories by Nathan Robertson in the mens doubles and mixed doubles.

England def Singapore 3-1

Stay tuned here for more reports as we start the individual events.

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Lee Yong Dae Out On First Day

Lee Yong Dae returned to action this week, but his tournament lasted a mere day as he crashed out of the men’s doubles to Endo and Hayakawa of Japan and had to withdraw from the mixed doubles after Lee Hyo Jung injured herself. She had retired earlier in the day from the women’s doubles, trailing 5-0 but lasted just 3 points in her opening mixed doubles match. With just 3 weeks before the World Championships, the chances of Lee Hyo Jung making Paris are a real doubt.

There were shocks in the women’s singles too, as 6th seeded Bae Seung Hee lost to local player Wang Rong and 8th seeded Salakjit Ponsana lost to Ai Goto in her opening round game. There were problems with the top 2 seeds also, as Jie Yao and Eriko Hirose had to battle through in three games to progress into the second round. 7th seed Bae Joun Joo is also out, leaving just three seeds left in the draw.

The men’s singles was into the second round, after a late finish on Tuesday with same games going on past midnight local time. Top seed Lee Chong Wei is through safely into the last 16, with a two game victory. 2nd seed Peter Gade withdrew pre-event and Lee Hyun Il has made the most of the opportunity, progressing to the last 16 in place of Gade, he plays Yan Kit Chan in the last 16. 3rd seed Sony Kuncoro is also through in two games as well is fellow Indonesian Simon Santoso.

The men’s doubles is without it’s top seed, with Boe and Mogensen withdrawing pre-event and there was shocks for the other seeded players in day 1, as 4th seeded Lee and Jung crashed out as well as 7th seeds Hashimoto and Harata. The 8th seeded Ling and Lang of Chinese Taipei also fell in Round 1. There was little problems for Kido and Setiawan, the 2nd seeds coming through their opening test in two games.

The women’s doubles has an almost full compliment of seeds going into round two, only the 4th seeded Fujii and Kakiiwa of Japan lost in round 1. The other Japanese seeds, Maeda and Suetsuna lived up to their top seed billing to win their opening game comfortably. Of the seven seeds that progressed, six of them managed to win in just two games.

The big news in the mixed doubles was Lee Hyo Jung’s retirement in the opening round, every other seed came through their opening round match without the loss of a game. The 5th seeded Danish pair of Pedersen and Fischer Nielsen pulled out pre-event.

Wednesday’s Results

Survey: Badminton Life Training Camps

On July 28, 2010, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

We frequently get requests from people to run Badminton Life Training Camps, so we decided we’d do a proper survey to see what the interest level is like.  Take the survey below and let us know what you think:

Badminton Life Training Camp Survey

If we have a positive response we will try to put something together for you.  Thanks for reading everyone!

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What Separates The Best From The Rest: Nationality

On September 16, 2009, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

This article is a little different than the others in this series in that it offers no advice to the individual players (other than perhaps to leave your country), but instead offers up ideas to the organizations. Upon viewing the title of this article I’m sure that already many of you are prepared to start arguing with me. Where you’re from should make no difference whether you’re a good player or not you say, people from even the most remote places have the ability to succeed in badminton. This is true to a point, but it is undeniable that a small handful of countries, and one country in particular, dominate badminton. In no particular order here are the main countries I am referring to:

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