If you read my first article, you probably got the idea that I played badminton. Not the most common sport in the world, but definitely the most fun (okay, I might be a little biased). I played badminton competitively all four years of high school but started to learn the sport when I was in seventh grade. I absolutely love the sport, and the fact that it is uncommon made me love it even more. Here are a few of the struggles badminton players know and understand.
1. One forearm is slightly larger than the other
A good badminton shot is all about the flick of the wrist. So, it is understandable that after time the forearm of the racket arm will become stronger; causing there to be a slight difference in size between the two arms.
2. “You actually played badminton?”
“Badminton is an actual sport at your school?” “Was it a club?” “Did you play other schools?” This one comes in a variety of forms. Especially at college, I receive plenty of questions about whether or not badminton was actually a varsity sport. Yes. Badminton is a real sport…have you seen the Olympics? Yes. My school had a badminton program and yours didn’t, just like your school had a lacrosse team and my school didn’t.
3. Explaining that competitive badminton is not what you played with a racket and birdie and your family reunion
Other than the fact you need a net, birdie, and racket, everything is different. The nets are different heights. Wind makes it very difficult. And there are more lines than just the outer box.
4. Guys challenge you...a lot
I don’t know what it is about the guys at my school, but apparently, they all won their PE badminton tournament in high school. And for that reason, whenever I say I play badminton they immediately say they could beat me. I currently have a list of people I am supposed to play because they think gym badminton is the real deal.
5. Feeling alone and hopeless when your doubles partner warms up with someone else during practice
It’s an unspoken rule that doubles partners warm up and go through drills together. Yet there are still those times when your partner decides to break the rule; leaving you lost and helpless when it’s time to drop. It’s a terrible feeling of betrayal and you’re not sure if you will ever be able to trust them again.
Sometimes referred to as imaginary badminton....everybody hates it….everybody’s gotta do it. It’s as simple as that.
7. Nobody goes to your meets
Usually, the student section for badminton meets consisted of maybe three of the girls' boyfriends. Other than that, our fans were our parents and we learned to like it (or at least deal with it).
Of course, these “struggles” didn’t stop us from playing the sport we love, but they did give us something to laugh about while we hit 100 spots of footwork. Playing this sport was my favorite part of high school and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to share all of the memories with my wonderful teammates.