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Common Distractions in Badminton

As you play more and more badminton, you’ll discover there are many factors that can determine whether your experience on the court is a good one or a bad one. Dim lighting, poor flooring, or just flat-out rude opponents can ruin any experience at a badminton gym. Here you’ll learn what kinds of situations to expect so that you can cope with the potential frustration and angst you may feel.

Poor Court Lighting

The lighting of a court can be either too bright or too dim. Courts near the corners of a gym will sometimes suffer from dim lighting. More frequently, you’ll find yourself losing the shuttlecock in bright ceiling lights. This can be especially frustrating because it isn’t something you can really control. The most you can do is simply avoid courts with the lighting issues. If the entire gym has a lighting problem, it could be worth mentioning to the gym staff.

Poor Backdrop

Another visual issue can be a poor color choice for the walls of a gym. Shuttlecocks usually come in a white or yellow variety. As such, any similarly-colored walls make it extremely difficult to see the shuttlecock. This is especially true for smashes or drives, which are already difficult to track. Again, there is little you can do about this, but the key is to not let it frustrate you. Also, remember that you switch sides throughout a match, so your opponent deals with the same disadvantages.

Hot Tip: White & Yellow Shuttlecocks

If you play with plastic shuttlecocks, try to keep both yellow and white ones with you. Although they’re both lightly colored, a yellow shuttlecock is much easier to see against a white backdrop. Unfortunately, feather shuttlecocks only come in white.

Inadequate Flooring

Poorly-maintained floors are definitely one of the more frustrating aspects of playing in a badminton gym. They directly affect your play because they influence how you move. Usually slippery floors are a result of excess dust, which eliminates the traction from your shoes. You can reduce this slickness by getting a moist paper towel to clean your shoes periodically. It may be inconvenient, but if it helps, it’s worth it.

Slippery gym floors can not only mess with your footwork, they can also put you at risk for injury. Similarly, floors with too much grip can also lead to injury. With all the lunging and direction changing, the traction can put a huge strain on your knees and ankles. There’s a fine line between having enough traction and having too much. Always listen to your body and see how it reacts to your movements on the floor.

Air Draft

Sometimes the ventilation system inside a gym can mess with the delicate nature of the shuttlecock and be an even greater hindrance than dusty floors. When draft directly affects the flight of the shuttlecock there are three things you can do to deal with it:

  1. Move to another court: This may be obvious, but it’s the first thing you should do if you can. If the draft is only affecting one court, then just avoid the situation completely.
  2. Contact a staff member: See if the ventilation system absolutely needs to be on. Sometimes the gym requires it to stay on or the staff doesn’t have access to turn it off.
  3. Alter your shot: The last resort, which isn’t an ideal solution, is to simply hit the shuttlecock lower and out of range of the affected area.

Rude Opponents

Despite what you may think, playing against impolite opponents is an excellent opportunity to grow as a player. Players who cheat or simply have a poor attitude can frustrate and irritate you. However, this is the perfect chance to learn how to play under stress. Despite your urge to mirror their behavior, try to be the better person and remain calm. There’s nothing to be gained by cheating. Instead, focus on your own actions and learn from your unpleasant encounters.

Stay Positive & Learn

Don’t be deterred or discouraged by less-than-ideal situations. As much as they may bother you, letting outside factors ruin your focus will hurt your badminton game even more. Focus on how you play the game and take every experience — good or bad — as an opportunity to learn and improve as a player.

The best approach is to mentally prepare yourself for the possibility that you’ll encounter these distractions each time you play. This is especially true in tournaments where you have little control over your court and opponent. Ultimately, it rests on you to keep your composure regardless of the circumstances.

The more you play badminton, the more you'll find there are factors beyond your control that can affect a game. This guide will prepare you to face these situations.
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