Trying to Figure out a Badminton Training Schedule

Last semester, for the first time, I had a pretty intense, but orderly schedule. Monday and Friday I took off. Tuesdays I had training with my coach then I would go back at night to play with people, Wednesday I had training with two other coaches, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday would be playing for 3-4 hours with whoever was around. So in 5 days I would play 6 times. But never for more than 3 days in a row.

Then during the winter holiday I had a pretty erratic schedule because I was traveling and there was a holiday and what-not. But the weird thing was I didn’t lose any skill.

In fact I started playing better. My reaction time was quicker, my thoughts were better. I began to play more regularly with gao shou (experts) and not only was I not embarrassing myself, but I ended up convincing a few of them I was worth their time to play with.

I know that rest and recovery are a vital part of training, and I know that “hacking” ‘your way through things can bring big improvement in a little amount of time. So I started thinking that maybe, perhaps, this semester I should cut down on training a bit.

And then life got in the way.

My coach began a new doubles group specifically for gao shou and of course he invited me (’cause I’m teachers pet, not because my level matches theirs). They play Monday, Wednesday, Friday nights. Meanwhile my two other part-time coaches changed our training to very early Wednesday morning in a court far, far away from my house. Then one of my coaches invited me to play with his group (a high level group) on…you guessed it: Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Meanwhile, Monday and Friday nights I’m busy until later. Wednesday I now have training. Tuesday, Thursday and the weekends are the days I’m most free to play. But I’ve given into this pressure and even though its a pain in the ass and tiring (and I arrive late), I go Mondays and Fridays. I also go Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekend because that’s when I have more time and I can play with the more regular people.

So now you see my problem. Last week I played everyday for 6 days without even realizing it. Meanwhile my game play began to suffer and by the last day my coach couldn’t even believe it. I played a short game of singles (5 points) against this so-so girl and lost. My coach kinda looked at me and mouthed quietly (so the other girl wouldn’t hear) “Her? You lost to her?”

“I know,” I said going over to him. “I’m just too busy this week.” I should add that after a 2-month break this was also the first week of work and paperwork and seeing returning friends. So I was waking up early, busy all day and then playing until late at night.

And my level went down drastically in those six days. So much so that finally, Saturday night, I refused to play even though my coach tried to get me to come. (“See you tomorrow,” he said as I got out of the car Friday night. “No! Tomorrow I’m taking a rest day,” I said back. “See you tomorrow,” he said out his rolled down window and sped away before I could respond.)

But I don’t want to lose the newfound respect I’ve been getting from the gao shou and I knew that if I kept playing I would. I had gotten that much slower and weaker throughout the week. So I ended up taking two days off.

Logically I know it was good for me. Rest days are important. Illogically, I felt guilty and also like I really missed out (I love playing with the experts). I also felt a bit like a pussy. So it’s physically good for me to take a break but emotionally bad and I can’t figure out what to do about it.

So here I am back at Monday with the same damn dilemma. If I don’t take today off, I set myself up for a whole week with no break. But, if I don’t go tonight I miss an opportunity to play with some real experts and I’m gonna kick myself for not doing it. This is now my weekly dilemma for the next 15 weeks of my semester.

(Notice I also haven’t mentioned anything about training with my coach. We can’t find a mutual time we are both free yet and we’ve been taking a break from formal training, though he teaches me regularly¬† in short bursts.)

I know it’s not the end of the world here and there are a lot bigger problems then this. But with school starting, and my training getting back into full swing, I feel a lot of angsty type pressure where I feel too stretched, can’t get a peaceful night sleep and never feel sure if I’m doing the right thing. I’m a logical “planner” type girl and until I can hash out a workable, satisfying schedule I’m gonna stick to, I’ll feel unsettled and unsure. I hate feeling unsettled and unsure.


  1. Fred

    Hello Becky,
    It seems that you’re training really hard,
    keep going!! i bet you can beat Xiao He soon enough
    I myself competed in high school before,
    i think most girl lack power in smashes, so it takes many rally to
    win a point, therefore,if you fortify your smash you can save alot of energy
    running around the court.
    also what is you main focus ,WS , WD or XD ?

    1. Becky (Post author)

      My main focus is mixed doubles so me smashing isn’t a major strategy since I’m usually in the front. I LOVE smashing though and try to do it at every opportunity (especially high rear serves) but I have a lot of power and not a lot of control so I tend to smash it out. Actually my coach and I are working on me not using my strength and my latest criticism from everyone is “softer. Not so much strength,” haha.

  2. Biggy

    Hi Becky,
    I have thi problem too. I play 4 days/week and it kills me. My skill drops and also my confident goes down hill. It felt so bad. Sometimes I just woke up and hated badminton for day or two. My coach told me to keep playing and it will be better. I also was told to eat many eggs each day. I just start doing that and I hope it will drag to from hell. Do you have any advises?

    I love your blog so much. Cheers!

    1. Becky (Post author)

      I play six nights a week, and actually I don’t mind it at all. I find myself getting very antsy if I can’t play for a day. But no one os forcing me so if I feel like i need an extra day off I can take it without any trouble.

      Sounds to me like you are having a different kind of problem. Are you feeling really exhausted all the time? If you’re putting in long hours everyday, your nutrition might be a part of it. You might need to eat not just eggs, but more calories in general to keep up with your intense workout.

      But if you’ve been having problems with motivation and find yourself sometimes hating badminton, that’s a different problem. A short break might help alleviate it. Do you have a lot of pressure from your coach or others to play really well? When you have a lot of pressure, and expectations from other people it can you more nervous and you can’t improve.

      I hope you figure it out! To be so frustrated and tired that you end up hating badminton for a few days means something isn’t working. I hope you get your love of the game back!


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