Learning doesn’t happen overnight – sometimes it takes some hard losses.
After almost two years of not competing I flew to Aguascalientes to compete in the Mexico International Challenge. After a long day of travel I arrived about half hour too late to practice due to covid cleaning. The following day I had one practice scheduled. We were given Yonex AS 40 shuttlecocks for practice. Fast, but lightly tipped were very controllable.
Once the games started it was announced they ran out of Yonex shuttles, and would be using Trekke birds which had been used for the two week training camp that had happened before the tournament. These were tipped half way down the feather and flipped quite different and were hard to control.
My game lasted over an hour. I struggled to control the bird and used mostly neutral shots trying not to make errors while my opponent played freely. While a disappointing and frustrating loss I left excited to train and with some clear goals to reach.
Two weeks later I spent 26 hours in transit to go to Guatemala City for the Guatemala International Series. Another adventure ensued as flights were delayed, airport shuttles never arrived and there were issues with hotel bookings. Eventually I got on court for my match, won my first game, and then in another three set battle that turned out to be mostly mental on my end I lost to fellow Canadian Kevin Lee whom I had beaten in our last meeting. I had fixed many of the technical and physical issues that had plagued me, but my mental rhythm for matches severely lacked. I played focused, but often focused on the wrong things. Overthinking or playing too many different tactics at once.
I returned to Manitoba with a lot to work on, mostly mental. Lots to do with tactics and building the mental side of what to focus on when.
These two tournaments helped me reach a ranking of 278 in the world. Which means I am part of the way back to where I was pre covid shutdown.
Covid has been tough on everyone, and taking an almost two year break from competition definitely has its downfalls. Lack of match practice and tournament practice is one of them. But there are perks as well. I have made gains on my fitness and movement and my training has improved. I am injury free, and haven’t been sick or missed practice in a long time.
If you want to watch the Mexico and Guatemala matches you can find them below.
If you would like to help me on my journey financially you can contact me about sponsorship opportunities or donate through this LINK.
BWF Yonex Mexico Challenge Video
BWF Yonex Guatemala First round Video