A great many competition players seem to experience their game freezing up from nerves whenever they play against higher-ranked opponents – even if they have played brilliantly in all their matches right up to that particular one.

This is simply a case of playing against the reputation of the player instead of competing against the player themselves & it can be very difficult enough to beat when you are playing well, let alone when you can’t get your game to work properly.

First of all before you go out there to play – remind yourself that all the pressure is on your opponent. They are the player expected to win & not you – & so they have much more to lose than you do. All pressure is on them & none is on you.

This means you actually have the freedom to be able to play your own game & even go for your shots, a luxury which they do not always have the freedom to afford in their situation. Always remind yourself of this – the pressure they must be going through of being the Favorite.

Secondly often players overly build up the reputation of their opponents in their minds, believing they must play at their absolute best to even have a remote chance of winning. This actually causes overplaying or trying too hard & it is the quickest way to get into the locker room without winning a game.

So never do this – remember to play within yourself & don’t go for “Super” shots all the time, unless you feel able to make them. You may even find that your regular level of Badminton is all that is required for victory, not to mention that your standard can often rise naturally when playing against strong opponents anyway.

Also remember that highly-ranked players are often used to their opponents being highly nervous & so often they are used to getting a quick & early lead & even wining their matches very quickly & easily.

This can be in your favor! This means that if you can manage to stay with them they may well begin to get frustrated that they have yet not won the first game – & they may come up with some uncharacteristic errors around this time. Surprisingly often if you hang in there long enough you can find the game being handed to you on a platter with some welcome double faults or unforced errors.

Remind yourself also that this opponent, regardless of who they are, has lost a lot of matches in the past & will lose matches in the future – so why not to you Today? Lets face it – upsets happen all the time in world standard Badminton, so why not in this particular event you are playing in today? Go into each match knowing you always have a chance to win regardless of who you are playing against.

Last but not the least if you find yourself overly intimidated by your opponent instantly reduces the amount of Eye contact you make with them during the match & do not look at them between points, choosing to look at your strings instead. This helps reduce the emotional impact of your opponent’s reputation plus from the other end of the court, it can appear (to your opponent) that you seem unconcerned by them which can be unsettling even to top seeds if they can see no SIGNS OF FEAR.

Last of all – the bigger they are, harder they fall!! Go out there & show them what you can do.

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