My Badminton and Life Blog

My Badminton and Life Blog

Sunday, July 15, 2012

2012 Canadian Open Grand Prix

The 2012 Canadian Open Grand Prix was held at the Richmond Olympic Oval this past week July 11-14th. The oval is one of the toughest venues to play in due to the large size (both length and height), ice rinks which create cold conditions as well as drafts, and unfortunate lighting. I played in this tournament right after playing in the US Open GPG which was in OCBC in Orange, California.

I was drawn against a Canadian player named Sirgey Shantako who is an amazing player so it was going to be a tough match right from the get go. I did not however expect it to be that tough to be a blow out. I was able to rally with him and not make things entirely easy but I was not able to win points, unforced errors killed me as well as playing the wrong strategy. Watching the video I can spot things that are wrong with my game in the technical sense, footwork/movement, technique for shots, etc. He is a very very consistent player so already it was a tough match based on that, I needed to take chances but I didn’t do that =/

Playing the flat game with him was the better strategy to play as I felt comfortable playing that as well it was easier to see the shuttle that was as opposed to hitting high. Playing the net was not the easiest thing; his net shots were tight and usually always rolling over making it hard to return. But I feel that it was/is the mental side of things that killed me these two tournaments (US Open and Canadian Open). Because of this I am a little weary of attending anymore tournaments in the immediate future. I also hate to let down my country and feel horrible about having results like that then requesting to attend another international tournament. It is just a horrible compounding feeling that feeds off of itself.

I feel that I put too much pressure on myself based on expectations. Earlier this year I competed in Asia and I did so much better I felt better on court and that was reflected during my games. After coming back from that I tried to train hard and get to a new level but with that I expected myself to get better results and thus putting unwanted and unneeded pressure onto my game. This didn’t allow me to relax and play naturally to have fun on court and made me tense and uneasy. I am not entirely sure why I have these high expectations for myself and need to readjust my mentality before I step on court again for a tournament. It looks like it is time to make a trip down to my sports psychologist in Calgary when I am back.

All in all I am mentally exhausted, completely drained up top and that definitely showed in these two tournaments (US Open and Canadian Open) I added unneeded expectations and pressure only to further mentally burn out.

I am back for just under 15 days and then I head out to China again to train for a month and a bit. So much to do in those 15 days though that time is going to fly by and then I’ll be flying over to Asia again to train. I am really looking forward to that, to bring my game to the next level. Get stronger, faster, smarter, and keep on pushing forward.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 US Open GPG (California Love)

Things started out rocky with me not even sure if I would even get to go to the 2012 US Open Grand Prix Gold tournament this year. There was an issue with some outstanding fees for another Trinidad player and the payment process thankfully went through and my entry was accepted by the BWF into the tournament. That would make this my 3rd consecutive US Open. Due to it being the Olympic year a lot of big names didn’t come, leaving the draw wide open. This means that for the first time I would not have to qualify and would be in the main draw.

My first round was against a player from Mexico, Lino Munoz, and it was a gong show to put it lightly. I could not win rallies at all. Neither one of us wanted to lift; whoever lifted more or less lost the rally. Lino is defiantly a level above my play and I can only hope to train hard and reach that level in the very near future. Overall not to happy with how things played out, I’m not mad that I lost its more I’m mad at how I couldn’t win rallies and have a closer match.

It gets tough when all I do is train hard every day, on court off court all aspects that I can just to be beaten like that at the US Open. It can be so frustrating, knowing I’m not fast enough, strong enough, consistent enough, shot quality isn’t good enough and strategy’s aren’t solid enough. So much left to learn but I cant forget how far I have come already, these past 6 years since starting have flown by and I am truly grateful for where I have gotten. I have that urge and that desire to go even further and push this as far as I can. Every day, in every way I am getting better and better. Every day I wake up and will work my hardest no matter what, there is no giving up, no looking back, only forward and up. 

That being said the 2012 US Open is done for me, I got a decent amount of ranking points for losing first round so that will add to my ranking in a way. I play in the 2012 Canadian Open Grand Prix Gold next week (July 10-15th) and play a top Canadian player first round main draw. I look forward to the match which will take place Wednesday July 11th at the Richmond Olympic Oval at 2:30pm.

I have just 2 more days In Calgary before heading out to Vancouver for the week for the tournament (Leave Sunday July 8, 2012). After Canadian Open I will be back in Calgary for approximately 17 days and then I will fly out August 1st to Guangzhou, China to train for a month and a bit at a badminton academy.

Summer has pretty much come to an end for me as I don’t really have much free time left. I have taken 4/18 flights for this summer already. All those flights will occur within a 3 month period, that’s most likely more than most people take in a year. And the year isn’t done yet still on the agenda will be Pan Am games in Peru in October. Miami International end of October (This falls on Halloween so that means that I won’t be partying this year), and Puerto Rico International in November. As well I may finally take my 1st ever vacation in 4 years to Cuba with my family, strictly vacation, no badminton at all. I am not sure on that one though depends on if it works with my school schedule and if I can take the time off.

So much to do so little time, so many people to see but schedules don’t align. There are a handful of people that I really want to see this summer before I head back to China; hopefully all works out for that to happen. Some I haven’t seen since last year before I was in china in 2011...