“The greatest victory is not winning against people, but winning against self”. Knowing your capabilities is one of the biggest strengths one can have. With the world trying to pull you down, every time you step up, some faith in yourself is all you have can do pave your path to success.
In this blog I will be taking you peeps through the small step I took in my badminton circuit towards reaching my ultimate milestone of regaining my state ranking number 1, and also how keeping self-belief will always motivate you to come victorious with flying colour.
My calendar was blocked for 10th and 11th September 2016. I had planned to play my first major tournament after several injuries. It was the prestigious Karnataka State Open, Freedom Cup held in Hennur, Bangalore. I had given my entries for men’s open doubles partnering up with my regular doubles partner but due to some personal commitment he wasn’t able to take part in the tournament. Numerous questions crossed my mind, whether I should still play the tournament with some other partner or it is a sign that God didn’t want me to come back to the badminton field. After going through all the worst case scenarios, I knew I had nothing to lose. So I decided to give it a shot playing with a different partner.
Doubles in badminton is totally different from singles. Both the partners should know each other’s game, their weakness and strengths. I had always played with only one partner all this while. We complement each other very well. My decision of changing the partner looked an easy one from outside but internally it required both of our skills to match, support and show the results on the court. It is this understanding between partners which makes them superior over the tough competitors.
Finally the long awaited day had come. It was the “show time”. My partner had reached way before than me. He looked pumped up, I could see in his eyes how badly he wanted to bag that tournament. I on the other side looked nervous with pressure of performing on the big stage. Draws came out, we had comparatively easy pool. We were facing the top seeds and defending champs in semi-finals. Tournament began with the defending champions showcasing their skills and talents in their first match. It looked like a walk in the park for them. We were next in the draws. Our match started with me being a little shaky and trying to understand my partner’s moves. It was this halfway in the game I started gaining confidence in my partner and also my strokes improved. It’s all in your head, when you feel confidence about something you perform your best. We won the match easily and finally both of us looked completely into it.
We went through 3 more matches to reach semi-finals. Yes, we were playing the defending champs and top seeds but we were ready. Coming through 4 matches prior, me and my partner were combining our skills to great extent, both of us were backing each other, there was everything two partners should have in them. Organisers called out our name, our match was announced. We both had nothing to lose, all we had was self-belief which motivating us to excel. Our match started, we were completely dominating them. We outsmarted everything they threw towards us. Being so experienced in the game, to our surprise they didn’t show any fighting back spirit. We won the game straight with the score of 21-12 and 21-14. Next up was the great finale. Everyone who competes in a tournament wants to be the there and win it. We were the lucky ones to reach this stage, our hard work had paid off. Defeating the champs we were on top of our confidence and game. We knew that job is still not done and we can’t let overconfidence take charge on our self-confidence. Stadium was packed with all sports enthusiast and our friends and families. Looking at the support we were getting reaching the finals, we were fully charged up. The match started with both the teams fighting hard to clinch the title, but it was the opposite team who took the lead and won the first set 21-19. The game was very close but they were better at the end in handling the pressure. We knew we had a huge mountain to be climbed. The mistakes couldn’t be repeated. It was the time we show how baldy we wanted it. We came back much stronger in the second set and got the better of them with the score of 21-16. The finale was getting intense, none of us wanted to lose coming this close of bagging the prestigious trophy. Just like any thriller movie, it went down to the wire in the third and final set. The score was tied on 19-19. It was all about who could handle the pressure better with the jam packed stadium and crowd roaring for you. My partner on the other hand looked relaxed and calmed. It was because of him I believed we could actually do it. We took the next two consecutive points and were crowned the champions. To be frank I don’t remember a thing about how we won the last point. It was the closest finish I had ever been a part of. Everyone says “all is well when ends well “, one gets the correct meaning of it by experiencing it. I thanked my partner for such a great and positive tournament. All I could say is a new Doubles Team was born that day.
It takes courage to overcome negative habitual patterns of behaviour, but it can be done, most of the great achievers in life have done it. It is in your thinking, be positive, stay positive and with a winning attitude towards others you cannot help but succeed in everything you want to now achieve for yourself and to lead the life you want.