Mental Strategies – Reframing in Performance Sports – Part One

In a Badminton match one has to cope with different things that are not easy to handle: own mistakes, wrong umpire decisions or a cheering crowed for the opponent. Top players have developed techniques to get along or even use such situation for their advantage. One of these techniques is Reframing.

In the world of sports psychology reframing refers to a technique where a negative felt situation is put into a neutral or (more) positive context or frame and therefore rate it not anymore in the same negative way. This technique delivers new and different opportunities for the subject or/and can have a direct positive influence on ones well-being with a situation – not only on-court.

A typical example happing sometimes in a Badminton training session that comes to my mind is the statement of an athlete complaining about the physically demanding training: “I am done, I cannot go further.” I therefore love the commercial campaign of a sports brand saying that nothing is impossible, it is just temporary. The following thoughts of that athlete would be much better: “I am done – but this will also happen in a tournament in the last match – if I go on trying hard, I will be easily able to the same in an upcoming important match.” The situation has not changed, but the athlete now reframes his first thoughts and given the situation a new challenging context.

Below you will find several statements – one example statement and six exercise statements. Here you can exercise how different situations could be change via Reframing – possible solutions could be found in Part Two of this miniseries.

Example: I wanted to play football, but now is bad weather – such a shame.

Reframing: I want to play football and now with the bad weather, I think there will be some great sliding tacles possible.

Exercise 1: “This glass is half empty.”

Exercise 2: “The crowd is only cheering for my opponent, but it’s me winning the long rallies.”

Exercise 3: “The shuttle is damaged – just in between the rally – how should I practise right?”

Exercise 4: “18 all – and just now my string flies apart.”

Exercise 5: “The umpire is from his club, he will be positive to my opponent.”

Exercise 6: “Everybody knows that he is better than me, I will not have a chance.”


Diemo Ruhnow


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