Basic Visualization skill for badminton players.

The content in this post is taken from the book “Progressive psychological performance for badminton” by Shannon Mcdougall.

In this post, I do not explain why visualization is important. The focus is on how to visualize successfully in badminton. To do that, you need to engage as many senses in the imagination as possible. There are 5 senses: Visual, Audio, Kinesthetic, Olfactory, and Gustatory. The first 3 senses are more frequently used in sport.

The goal of visualization is to create a new scene or recreate an experience in the past vividly. We do this daily when we think back at an experience in the past but we are not consciously aware of it.

The first few exercises are aimed to help athletes visualize using separate sensations.



Exercise 1: (seeing through visualization)

Imagine the empty court with no one in the area…

Imagine a shuttlecock sitting on the floor…

Imagine the rallying in a warmup….

Imagine you in set up to serve in a game

Imagine you serving….

Imagine you executing a perfect smash on the opponents return…

Imagine you dropping the shuttle for the point…


Exercise 2: (hearing through visualization)

Imagine the sound of the playing area while getting prepared…

Imagine the sound of spectators….

Imagine the sound of your racquet hitting the shuttlecock…

Imagine the sound of the shuttlecock hitting the floor….

Imagine the sound of your fans calling out encouragement…

Imagine the sound of the whistle before you serve….


Exercise 3 (physically feeling through visualization)

Imagine the feel of the feathers on a shuttlecock….

Imagine the feel of the strings on your badminton racquet……

Imagine the feel of smashing the shuttlecock….

Imagine the feel of the racquet in your hand…

Imagine the feel of the base of the shuttle as you are preparing to serve….


Exercise 4 (smelling through visualization)

Imagine the smell of fall…

Imagine the smell of your racquet after just being restrung…

Imagine the smell of a lockeroom…

Imagine the smell of your favourite dinner cooking on the stove…


Exercise 5 (Tasting through visualization)

Imagine the taste of your favourite dinner that you just smelled….

Imagine the taste of a dry mouth when you are thirsty….

Imagine the taste or lack of taste of water that you drink after or during the game…

Imagine the taste of a beverage after a hard-fought game


How did the different types of visualization affect you? After these first few exercises, you should ideally be able to figure out which sense gives you a strongest sensation and realistic feeling. Usually, we will have more than one sense that are strong. Our job is to be aware of the strongest sensations so we can use them.


Exercise 6: Recall a successful event

Recall you favorite sporting moment, one when you perform really well. Do your best to recall visually: what you wear, where were you? Also recall what you hear and feel? Recall as many details as possible.


Exercise 7: Visualization for different game situations?

Put yourself in a situation where the competition is at a very important point (ie: you are near the end of an important match, you are up by 2 points, and you are tiring), how can you use visualization to help you concentrate in this situation.


Put yourself in a common situation that you sometimes have trouble with during a competition (i.e., after making a shot, getting back into your ready position), visualize the right response that you think should happen in this situation…..


Put yourself in a situation that might cause anxiety or stress in your competition (ie: you don’t like the opponent, there is another player watching you), visualize a response that you would fine calming or helpful to keep your concentration and energy level productive.


Put yourself in a very tense situation (ie., the coach just said or did something that you find disturbing), see if you can use visualization to bring on a calming effect that will keep you focused on the competition and not what just happened.


Seeing and feeling the skill

Pick a skill that your have done perfectly (ie., short serve). As you visualize the skill, first “see” yourself perform the skill and concentrate on important parts of your technique.


Practicing just before the activity

In a practice area, visualize yourself doing a task that you commonly do in a competitive situation (ie: a clear shot). Try to see yourself doing the skill perfectly as you would want it done during competition. Now actually do the task as you did in your visualization.

Were you able to visualize yourself perfectly? How was your performance after the visualization? How can you use this technique before or during practices or games?


Feeling the skill:

In a practice area, visualize yourself doing a task that you commonly do in a competitive situation (ie: cross-court shot). This time try to feel yourself doing the skill perfectly as you would want it done during competition. Now actually do the task as you did in your visualization.



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