Nobody consciously thinks “I want to be mediocre”, but through a number of compromises over a long period of time we can find ourselves there, stuck in the middle. In the race to the middle there is a lot of competition. Everyone dreams of reaching great levels of success, but few are willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears necessary to reach the top, and this is how the race to the middle begins.
It starts with a small compromise. Perhaps during the last few shots you do in a multi-shuttle drill you allow your quality to drop. In the weight room you might stop a couple of reps early. You think to yourself “it’s alright, those little inches here and there won’t matter”. However, as Al Pacino famously reminds us, life is a game of inches.
“You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or to early you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second.”
What would happen if you decided to push through those last few reps in the gym, or you re-doubled your focus during multi-shuttle drills to make sure your technique is just perfect. The best players are perfectionists. They are looking for the tiniest little thing that they can improve upon. Fighting for that extra inch on their lunges, catching the shuttle just that little extra bit earlier to try pressure their opponent.
I believe talent is overrated. You may argue otherwise. Whether or not you are right does not matter much. What does matter is what attitude does my belief reflect compared to the alternative? Believing that talent is overrated means that you will be willing to use the ultimate equalizer, hard work, to help push you for success. If you are of the opinion that talent is a necessary pre-requisite to success then you are one step closer to joining the race to the middle.
The reality is that reaching the top can actually be easier than reaching the middle. The middle is crowded. Reaching the top is pretty straight-forward, work hard and don’t compromise. When you’re stuck in the middle you have to compete so much harder for a piece of the pie, but when you’re sitting on top things come much easier for you. Take Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei as examples. They’ve put in the work and continue to do so. Now when they come up against their opponents it’s easier for them.
Perhaps the most important benefit of reaching the top is that the rewards are disproportionate, financially and otherwise. Also, once you reach the top it is easier to stay there than it was to get there. The added confidence and experience of seeing what it took allows you to maintain your position.
Most of this is a matter of mindset. I’ve had many arguments with people over this concept. Very few people seem to be able to accept the idea that reaching for the top actually provides less competition. Perhaps that’s why they’re stuck in the middle. Don’t be afraid to reach for the top, and don’t be surprised if you trip and fall along the way. Even if you fail to make it to the very top of your field, whether that’s as a badminton player, or in your career, the experience gained by truly reaching for the top will be priceless.
Welcome everyone to our first ever Skype video show. At this point we have no name for the show but leave a comment if you have any suggestions for a name, or if you have anything to add to our analysis.
We apologize for being a little late to do this as both these events have come and gone a while ago. In the future we plan to do this after every major event.
In this edition of the unnamed show we discuss Lee Chong Wei’s incredible performances at the first two Super Series events, Joachim Persson’s struggles to regain his form, and even a brief discussion of upcoming star Viktor Axelsen.
It has been a long time since we told you anything about the new website, and we decided to give you a little bit more information. The website is almost ready, we just have a few last things to put together and then we’ll be ready to open it up to the world. The project got a lot bigger than we had originally planned, and while it delayed us a bit, it has resulted in a much cooler website.
We’re getting close to finishing everything for the coaching videos. The DVD and subscription website (www.badmintonlife.com) are almost ready for purchase. I went to watch Peter play a club match the other day, and then we also did a quick little video with Peter to tell you what’s going on now. Peter’s club played well, but lost very close after going to a “golden set”. A golden set is when the club match is tied 3-3, so they pick one event to play and they do one last set which decides everything. Unfortunately Peter’s team lost the golden set 24-22! Anyway, here’s Peter : )
I know it’s been a little while since our last progress update. We have been really busy working on the videos for the coaching program so I haven’t had as much time to spend doing updates. Today I got Peter to do a quick little intro video for those who wanted to finally see him in person. We are about 70% done shooting the videos, but we still have a lot of work to do to edit the footage, and get everything ready with the website. Finally, here is Peter : )
Production on the Badminton Life Coaching Program featuring Peter Rasmussen has begun. This video update is from the first day of shooting where I was lucky enough to have a chance to play Peter singles. I have seen Peter’s match against Sun Jun in the 1997 Worlds probably over 100 times, certainly more than any other match I’ve ever watched. It was a strange feeling to be standing on the other side of the court from this legend. I discovered that I have a lot more to learn about badminton than I first thought!
As I write this I am at the airport waiting to board my flight to London Heathrow, where I will connect to Copenhagen. I am planning on spending the next few weeks in Copenhagen to begin production on the Badminton Life Training Course with Peter Rasmussen. For those of you who have already joined our newsletter you have a little bit of an idea of what we are up to, however, our regular blog readers might not have subscribed yet. If you want to know more about the course sign up for the newsletter which should be on the right hand side of the website.
I will do my best to give updates from my trip for those of you who are interested. I hope to play a lot of badminton while I’m there, but we’ll have to see how much time I have available since we will be quite busy shooting the videos for the course. Denmark is truly the heart of badminton in Europe, if you do a search for “badminton” on Google Maps in Copenhagen you will find dozens upon dozens of badminton clubs in the city. This is completely foreign, and at the same time very exciting for badminton fanatic like myself.
Stay tuned, I should be arriving in Copenhagen Wednesday afternoon!
Here is an interview I did with Peter Rasmussen, the 1997 World Champion. Peter is very well known in the international badminton scene as being one of the best Danish badminton players in recent history. Peter had to retire because of nagging injuries, but he left his mark on the badminton tour nonetheless. Here are some highlights from the show:
-Peter wasn’t a star his whole career, he didn’t start showing real results until his late teens
-Peter was only 22 years old when he won the World Championships
-Peter participated in the two longest matches in badminton history (1997 world championships and danish nationals against Peter Gade)
-After working with a new coach, and learning his methods Peter saw major improvements over a short period of time
-As a result of this coach, Peter plays a much more “Asian” style than most Danes, we also go over what this means
-Peter talks about his training methods, and Bushido philosophy
-And much, much more!
Here is a brief tutorial on how to jump smash by former World Champion Peter Rasmussen from Denmark. This guy just cranks it, I’ve never seen anyone play badminton like this before.