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Positive Thinking

Positive thinking has had a bad rap in recent times, as many powerful things do.

Maybe when you think of positive thinking you think of people thoughtlessly shouting out 'yeah! go for it!', and have maybe tried that and nothing happened.

Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) is a phrase that has been bandied about a lot, and is often just seen as blind optimism.

Well, I would like to tell you how to use positive thinking to good effect in your badminton.

Everything that happens in your game enters your thinking, and it is then up to you how you represent that to yourself.

You can represent it as a negative thing, and start a train of thought that goes off in a negative direction.

Or you can represent it as a positive thing, and start a completely different kind of train of thought (I don't need to tell you that this is the better train of thought to have!).

Before you start to think this all sounds a bit woolly, let me explain how I see positive thinking.

To me, positive thinking is not just making myself think good thoughts about what is going to happen - "yes I am going to win this match".

Because when you don't win the match, you go even more negative than you were before, because you have been lying to yourself!

Rather, I see positive thinking as a much more passive activity.

By that I mean, everything that comes to me is interpreted through a positive thinking 'gauze' if you like, sifting and sorting it into a form that serves me rather than just makes me depressed.

I'll repeat that:

"Your thoughts, whatever they are, should serve you."

So if the thought that you are 0-14 down and are going to lose makes you really scared, that thought is not serving you.

But if you use that thought to say something along the lines of 'here's a fabulous chance to see how many points I can get back', you are reframing that negative situation into a positive thought, and ultimately you will gain the benefit.

It sounds twee, but who cares if it works!

And it DOES work - like anything it takes work and repetition, but if you can develop a positive thinking habit, your badminton will seem so much easier!

Which brings us nicely onto...

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