Played badminton today, I could sense an interesting change in mentality. It used to be how to win every game. Doesn’t matter if I’m playing well or not well, who I’m playing with or against, just how to squeeze points and get the W. Today, I played 2 games of singles. One L and one W. The loss, I played terribly. Just too many unforced errors and didn’t modify my game when things weren’t working. Second game was much better. Good strategy and execution. It wasn’t as exciting of a game because I hit absolutely no winners, but just played that strategic rally game of singles that there was nothing my opponent could battle against. I was just walking the game, absolute control of the pace and placement.
Today’s playing reminds me of a youtube video I watched on sports psychology awhile ago. It divided a game into a 2×2 grid of win/loss and good game/bad game. Of course, in a tournament or competitive setting, the win is what matters regardless of good game bad game. Practice or just day to day, I could really have more good games and care less about the win/loss. I still remember watching LD before the Olympics. He was losing with embarrassing scores and being eliminated in the early rounds in smaller tournaments. At the same time, his gameplay was changing and modifying. It was just practice, and the final polished product is what he presented at the Olympics. Playing all the time, it’s time to practice the different strokes and strategies, to equip myself with more tools when the time matters.