Saturday, July 21, 2007

Clark and Kellogg go down bravely in China Masters


World silver medallists Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg missed out in the mixed doubles final of the China Masters. The England pair lost to Zheng Bo and Gao Ling, just as they had in the Yonex All England final in March.

Clark and Kellogg, who lost in three games in the Birmingham final, went down in two games today, losing 21-16 21-17.

Zheng and Gao had beaten world champions Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms in the semi-finals to follow up their quarter-final win over them in Birmingham.

China won four of the five titles in Chengdu with only the women's doubles eluding them.


Hopes of an all-English mixed doubles final at the China Masters in Chengdu were dashed today. But instead there is a revenge match between the Yonex All England finalists.

World champions and top seeds Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms lost their contest against a third consecutive Chinese pair when they went down to Zheng Bo and Gao Ling 21-18 21-12.

But seventh seeds Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg, the world runners-up and national champions, beat 2005 world champions and fourth seeds Lilyana Natsir and Nova Widianto of Indonesia 21-18 21-18.

That sets up a Sunday final against Zheng and Gao, the pair who beat them in the Yonex All England final in March.

England's hopes of another pair in the finals day action were dashed when seventh seeds Emms and Kellogg, the European champions, lost to fifth seeds Zhao Tingting and Yang Wei of China 21-9 21-16.


WORLD champions Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms and national title-holders Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg are through to the semi-finals of the mixed doubles at the China Masters in Chengdu.

In today’s quarter-finals top seeds and world No 1s Robertson and Emms beat sixth seeds He Hanbin and Yu Yang 21-18 20-22 21-14. They now meet a third consecutive Chinese pair in Yonex All England champions Zheng Bo and Gao Ling.

The Athens silver medalists beat Olympic rival Zhang Jun in the second round. They now meet his Olympic gold medal partner Gao Ling in the semi-finals.

Seventh seeds Clark and Kellogg had to come from a game down against second seeds Xie Xhongbo and Zhang Yawen before winning their quarter-final 10-21 21-18 21-17. They now face fourth seeds and 2005 world champions Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir in tomorrow’s semi-finals.

England are still in contention in the women’s doubles where Emms and Kellogg won their quarter-final against Lena Frier Kristiansen and Kamilla Juhl of Denmark 21-23 21-16 21-14.

And the big news on the singles front is the return of Commonwealth champion Tracey Hallam to the world's top 20 for the first time since her autumn ankle operation. She is back in at No 18.

Mixed doubles quarter-finals:

{1} Nathan Robertson & Gail Emms (Eng) bt (6) He Hanbin & Yu Yang (Chn) 21-18 20-22 21-14

{3} Zheng Bo & Gao Ling (Chn) bt {8} Thomas Laybourn & Kamilla Juhl (Den) 22-20 21-19

{4) Nova Widianto & Lilyana Natsir (Ina) bt {5} Sudket Prapakamol & Saralee Thoungthongkam (Tha) 21-17 21-16

{7} Anthony Clark & Donna Kellogg (Eng) bt {2} Xie Xhongbo & Zhang Yawen (Chn} 10-21 21-18 21-17


Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms were again among the early winners as the China Masters moved into day two.

The world No 1s beat old Olympic rival Zhang Jun and new partner Zhao Tingting 21-16 21-6 to sweep into the quarter-finals. There they will face Chinese sixth seeds He Hanbin and Yu Yang - and to win the title there is a possibility of Chinese opposition for the rest of the tournament with Yonex All England champions Zheng Bo and Gao Ling possible semi-final opponents and second seeds Xie Zhongbo and Zhang Yawen bidding to come through from the bottom half of the draw.

But world runners-up Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg will have something to say about that.

They are very much in contention in the bottom half, although they had to survive a nail-biter against Polish pair Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Kostiucyk before winning 21-10 15-21 24-22 in today's second round.

Emms and Kellogg are also through to the quarter-finals in the women's doubles after beating Indonesia's Endang Nurusgianti and Rani Mundiasti in straight games.

They will play the winner of the second-round clash between Flandy Limpele and Vita Marissa and Xie and Zhang.

A repeat of Clark and Kellogg's All-England form could well see them coming through from the bottom half.

England had a third pair through to the second round in Kristian Roebuck and Natalie Munt, who put up a spirited display in the first game against eighth seeds Thomas Laybourn and Kamilla Juhl before the Danes pulled away to win 21-17 21-11.


WORLD champions Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms were taken to three games in the opening round of the China Masters today before avenging their European Championship defeat by German pair Kristof Hopp and Birgit Overzier.

The England pair, back on top of the world rankings, came back to win 15-21 21-11 21-7 on day one proper of this seventh Super Series event.

Emms and European championship winning partner Donna Kellogg benefited from a walkover in the women's doubles first round.

But there was disappointment for England's world top 20 star Andrew Smith (pictured), who fell in straight games to third seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.

And there was double disappointment for world silver medallist Robert Blair. He and Anthony Clark fell in the men's doubles first round against China's double Olympic mixed champion Zhang Jun and partner Zheng Bo.

Then Blair and Scotland's Imogen Bankier lost in three tight games to Kristian Roebuck and Blair's former partner Natalie Munt, falling 22-20 in the decider.

Commonwealth women's singles champion Tracey Hallam was among the England squad members playing matches later in the evening on day one but she was unlucky enough to run up against China's eighth seed Lu Lan and went down in a tough three-setter 21-13 19-21 21-14.

Another big evening clash was the contest between seventh seeds and world runners-up Clark and Kellogg against team-mates David Lindley and Suzanne Rayappan. The national champions won in straight games but it was close in the second with Clark and Kellogg going through 21-14 23-21.



According to my dictionary's definition, it means either:

"The state or quality of being certain"


"A feeling of assurance, especially of self-assurance."

So in fact, it is merely a 'state' or a 'feeling'.

Now that is good news!

All we have to do is to change our state and we will
become confident!

And that is the BIG secret.

Being confident has nothing to do with our real life
chances of succeeding, but rather it is how we feel at any
one time.

So it's "the state or quality of being certain". But what
shall we be certain of?

Let's say you have a singles match against someone who is
miles better than you.

Are you certain that you are going to win?

No siree, not in the least!!

Are you certain that you are going to give your best in
the game and try and win as many points as possible?

Now we're getting somewhere!

Let's take the opposite, a game against someone who is a
lot weaker than you, a game that you really should win.

Are you certain that you are going to win?

Weeell, pretty much, but there's never any certainty that
you will win any game.

Are you certain that you are going to give your best in
the game and try and win as many points as possible?

Snap! Yes, you are, and from that certainty will come
unstoppable confidence.

Lets take the other definition now...

-- "A feeling of assurance, especially of self-assurance."

OK, back to the dictionary!!

Self assurance:

"freedom from doubt; belief in yourself and your

Sooo, confidence is not so much about how sure you are
about winning, rather it is the amount of belief that you
have in your abilities.

Putting both of these together, we can define confidence
as "believing for certain that you will try as hard as you
possibly can".

Now that is a much easier kind of confidence to get!!

If you can go into every game having decided that whatever
happens, you will keep going and play your own game to the
best of your abilities, you can relax and not have to
worry about the outcome.

Your confidence will come from knowing that no one can
stop you from trying your hardest, no bad score can stop
you from fighting and giving your all.

You won't look across at your opponent and feel fear,
because you have that inner confidence that whatever they
throw (or hit!) at you, you can only give back what you
have, and that if that is not enough, then you will learn
from that and be stronger for next time.

Remember when you next go on court that confidence comes
from within, and nothing can take it away from you without
your permission.

Monday, July 2, 2007

How To Achieve Anything

There are five words that I would like to share with you
that should be written down, memorised, in fact etched
onto your brain, as the best, most rewarding way of
achieving anything.


Yes, anything.

These five words haved formed the basis for the wealth of
the richest men in the world, from John D. Rockefeller to
Bill Gates.

They have provided people with more love than they could
possibly have imagined, more success and more happiness.

These five words have been handed down from generation to
generation and not only make a significant difference to
whoever heeds them, but affect the rest of the world too.

The words are as follows:

"Give and ye shall receive".

It is one of the mysteries of the world.

The more you give, the more you will receive.

But (and there's always a 'but'!), you must give in the
correct way.

It's no good giving some money to charity and then
expecting to win the lottery next week.

The important thing is that you must give WITHOUT ANY

So am I saying to get something, you have to give it, but
without expecting to get it back in any way?

Yes, I suppose I am really!

It isn't so much a badminton secret, as a life secret
(hmm, there's an idea for a website...) although we will
be looking at how to apply it to badminton in just a

It could almost be described as a universal truth, that
that which you give with a grateful heart, will come back
to you tenfold.

Not always immediately, and not usually even from the
place that you originally gave, but the way that the world
works means that you will always end up with more than you

It changes your thinking from things coming into you, to
things going out from you. This then makes you ready to
receive what it is that you desire! Simple really...

I tell you this not because I'm a particularly spiritual
or religious person, but because as your new badminton
life coach, I want to tell you what works and can make
your life and game a whole lot better!!

Speaking of which, how CAN this help your badminton game?

How indeed!

Now's the time to switch the thinking from 'how can I play
better badminton' to 'how can I give to other people in

Obviously you know your own situation better than I do, so
here are a few examples to be going on with.

- Someone gives their time by staying behind and coaching
some juniors free of charge. The juniors tell their
regular coach, and he invites that person to a session
where they pick up a whole host of tips and techniques.

- Someone does a sponsored event to fund their badminton,
and manage to get twice as much as they had planned and
decide to give half to charity. One of the charity's
biggest donors hears of this, and donates twice as much to
the player's fund than they originally made.

- One too many people have been booked to play in a match.
The player who offers to stand down is then included in
the next match, against the league leaders that helps take
that person's game to a new level.

Now these are all totally made up scenarios, written not
to show you how you can benefit from giving, but hopefully
to give you different ideas of the ways that you can give
in badminton.

Not only, according to this universal law, will you get
more back than you ever give, but other people will
immeasurably benefit from your kindness!

Think of the possibilities!

So never (not that I'm sure you do) give bad line calls on

Encourage other players, even if they might be your
nearest rivals.

When you notice your rival has a tell-tale sign that they
are going to play a certain shot, TELL THEM!

What is this crazy man telling me to do, I hear you ask!

Tell my rival where their faults are?

YES! Because, the universal truth will reward you with
more than you ever give.

You have to trust it, if you want to allow for everything
that you wish to achieve.

Now I'll leave you to go out and test this new principle,
and have fun doing it!

Remember, giving with no thought for getting anything back
is the quickest way to receiving more than you can ever
dream of.

"Four Things A Top Badminton Player MUST Do"

1. Take Responsibility.

The first and foremost trait that you must learn to
develop if you want to reach the top in badminton is to
take responsibility.

By that I mean accept the fact that whatever happens from
today onwards in your badminton career is down to you.

I don't want to sound like a nagging coach/teacher/captain
etc, because as you know, I'm here to help you, not tell
you what to do!!

So I will say this - losers always have an excellent
reason why they never made it to the top.

Let me repeat that:


Ask any player who never quite reached their potential in
badminton, and they will be able to tell you precisely and
accurately why they didn't.

And it will be so convincing that you will buy into their
thinking, and even (and this is the dangerous bit), file
it away as a possible excuse if you don't make it.

Many players' approach to the game is try their very
hardest to do well. They come up against a few setbacks
but decide to soldier on, because they can't give up
straight away.

Then comes the big injury, or the new boy or girlfriend.

Or they have to work longer hours at work, or school.

Or they didn't get on with so and so, or they never had
this chance, or that chance, or weren't picked for this
team, or so and so didn't like them and never gave them a

This is all RUBBISH!!

The reason they didn't go as far as they hoped to was
because they didn't take responsibility for the specific
results in their own badminton game.

Once you decide that you want to achieve something in the
game, you have to take the responsibility for achieving

It's no good saying you want to beat your rival and then
sitting back and expecting it to happen.

That is REACTIVE thinking - letting the world come to you.

Many people are like that and are perfectly happy dealing
with whatever the world throws at them.

But they are not champions - they are not the players who
go on and achieve all that they desire in the game,
winning day after day.

These people are PROACTIVE thinkers, and that is what you
need to be to get anywhere in badminton.

What sort of person is a PROACTIVE thinker?

Someone who doesn't wait to be asked to play for a team,
but goes to the captain and expresses their interest.

Someone who knows their serve needs work, and spends time
trying to improve it instead of hoping that it will
eventually get better.

Someone who has a major setback in the sport, but who
comes back from it stronger and more determined, instead
of using it as an easy excuse to quit.

Someone who admits when they make a mistake and learns
from it.

Someone like you, deepak?

2. Have Hunger.

We talked about why you play badminton in the very first
email - well, to be honest I don't really care why you
want to play the game.

All I care about is that whatever the reason (and you
should know the reason by now), it has created enough
drive, enough hunger that you are now desperate to

Hunger in its purest form is the biggest human driving
force. If you are starving, you will do anything to get
some food!

And taken into a badminton sense, the level of appetite
that you have for the game will determine how far you go.

So how can you develop this hunger?

By doing this:

Come up with a reason that you MUST succeed in badminton.
DECIDE that you will go for it, make a firm COMMITMENT to
yourself that whatever happens, you will never lose sight
of what it is that you want to achieve.

Which brings me onto the third point...

3. Set Clear Goals

Ah, goals, yadda yadda, yawn yawn.

No! Not yadda yadda or yawn yawn, but your secret to

People set goals all the time, sometimes they work,
sometimes they don't, conclusion, goal setting doesn't


Goal setting is one of the most powerful ways that you can
achieve anything.

I remember when I was about 14 and was away at a Badminton
Summer School.

One of the other guys there was talking about his 'goals'
and what he wanted to achieve.

Now I had always been firmly in the 'reactive thinker'
camp - what was he talking about, 'goals'?

Surely you just played the best badminton that you could,
and if you were good enough you got picked for the best

Now I think the fact that his first goal was to play for
the England Schools team whereas I wasn't even in the
County first team for my age group shows you who was
showing the best way of approaching the game!

Every top player, whether they are stated specifically or
not, will have goals in their game.

It helps to focus the mind, helps to keep you on track and
stops other worries and thoughts preventing you from
getting where you want to go.

In fact goal setting is so important that I think I'll put
in the next email a special goal setting workshop, that
will help you decide just what it is that you want to
achieve in badminton.

4. Utilise The Power of Visualisation

This is another secret that has been handed down through
generations and is phenomenally powerful in a fast game
like badminton.

If you can consistently visualise in your mind what you
want to achieve as though it's already happened, your mind
will do whatever is necessary to make it happen.

Now does THAT sound juicy to you!!

If you were to visualise yourself playing perfect
badminton, slowly, bit by bit, your mind will adapt this
into your game and you will become a better player!

You may have heard of top sports psychologists who have
used visualisation techniques on top players to great

Well, you don't have to be a top player to get the

If you consistently keep an image of the goals that you
will create in the goal-setting workshop in your mind, you
will immediately sky-rocket your chances of achieving

Again, this is a massive subject that I won't go deeply
into here, but what I hope I've done is give you the
basics of the techniques that you can use to really make a
difference to your game.

I hope that they are helping you to realise that badminton
is so much more than a game of going out and hitting a
shuttle, where the fittest and strongest wins.

We both know that's not true!

It is about who plays the SMARTEST, who takes what they
have already got and uses it in the best way to get the
best results in the shortest amount of time.

Now THAT is the secret to badminton!!

I do feel that we are getting somewhere now, the fact that
you are still listening to me in part 5 shows that you
are hungry for success, so I'll remind you again that next
time we'll do a Goal-Setting Workshop to really get you
moving fast in the right direction.