– The feelings, that occur in real matches, just can’t be recreatedOctober 6, 2020 9:12
Denmark’s best women’s singles player, Mia Blichfeldt, has spent the long tournament break on becoming injury-free, cultivating new interests in private, and moving in ways that matter both on and off the court. Now she’s ready to be overwhelmed by the adrenaline rush of a real match.
Much can be recreated and imitated, but there is one specific feeling which Denmark strongest women’s singles player, Mia Blichfeldt, has been looking forward to feeling once again for the last many months.
– To feel that adrenaline in your body, and the feelings you get when you win or lose a duel or a match. Even though we’ve tried to recreate that atmosphere during training, it’s just never quite the same as in tournament mode, where there’s always more on the line, says Mia Blichfeldt, who most recently played in an international tournament setting at the All England in March.
Around six months ago, when the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to practically all international and national tournament activity, it brought an otherwise welcome chance for the 23-year-old Dane to take a serious breather. And it was certainly needed, states Blichfeldt.
– It was, of course, really strange when everything was suddenly paused, but kind of nice at the same time. The last few years have been very stressful, because, for me, things revolved, to a high degree, around becoming injury-free and getting out there to play Olympics-qualifying tournaments. I wanted to compete in the Olympics, of course, but I’m not necessarily sure that I would have been able to, if there were still tournaments in the run-up to the Olympics, because it’s uncertain whether I’d be physically ready for it. So, the break actually came at a good time for me, physically speaking, asserts Mia Blichfeldt, who at that point had for long suffered from foot pains, caused by, amongst other things, a heel spur and a swollen tendon.
Both feet were in recovery when Denmark shut down in March, but the involuntary break from a packed tournament schedule was just what was needed to say goodbye to the pain.
– So, if I had to look at the positive side of it, the break has meant that I’ve become injury-free and haven’t had pain in my feet after returning to training in April, believes Blichfeldt.
But the half-year long tournament break has not just been felt physically by the 23-year-old. The empty tournament calendar has, among other things, made room for reflecting on a number of things, as well as tending to other interests and parts of life that don’t involve shuttle feathers or racket strings.
– There are lots of things that I feel like one may forget a bit when every day is busy, and you travel often. But during this recent period, on the other hand, I’ve been able to prioritise spending time with a lot of people I otherwise couldn’t, as well as with myself. I’ve had the space to feel okay with taking a day off now and then, for example, and that, I think, has been good for my mindset, says Blichfeldt, who has developed an interest in knitting, painting, baking, and more besides.
– I’ve attempted to plan my weeks, so I’d have something specific to get up for. It’s all been something which I felt could make me feel happy. So instead of being angry at the state of the world, I’ve tried to affect the things I could change.
For good reasons, Mia Blichfeldt has been unable to affect the repeated delays to the start of training as well as tournaments. However, she has, on the other hand, been able to do something about the focus she places on her days on the court, where the training sessions have been extraordinarily long.
– I love the long training sessions because I know that they’re what move me. And overall, I think part of the break has been good for every player dealing with injuries or issues of one form or another. But 19 weeks might be just a bit on the long side, she admits.
And it is for that reason that she’s particularly excited to once more pack her bags and re-join the fight for titles and medals.
– I’m super-excited to get going again. The whole process of training for something specific, planning the week leading up to a tournament, and all the little elements of preparation involved is what I’m looking forward to.