The game has changed so many times for me over the years. It’s so much different for me now than it was when I was a kid. As you progress you see things differently, and in many ways, you get more from the game.
Seriously, the ones who want to play recreationally will have infinitely more and better fun and exercise and maybe even get excited enough to play competitively.
Different Level of Players
There are different levels of players in badminton sport. They can range from recreational level, competitive level, high level, and international players. Let’s take a look at the differences.
Playing at a recreational level is fun for a lot of people. You get to go out and have a hit with some friends, nothing too intense, but it’s good fun.
At first, I started out as a recreational player during my high school years. during my junior and senior years in high school, I played as a varsity mix and doubles. I had no intention of being a competitive player until I saw myself improving.
I learn as I play and see others play but did not have any particular training. No footwork or shadow technique, just learn and improve as I play along.
I met a friend in college who was also a badminton player, a junior national. He told me he started at the same time I started badminton (I was a freshman in high school while he was a freshman in college). After training, he went to compete in local tournaments with the top dogs.
His story inspired me to improve even more. I’m planning on taking classes during my summer vacation since I NEVER have training before, not once.
I improved by watching games and practicing at my own pace. But now I want to play alongside the top players. To do that, I’m going to push myself to work harder. I respect all the badminton players out there.
I have been training seriously for almost a year after that. While I admit I have gotten a pretty late start, I have improved voraciously over the past year.
Even my coach admitted to me at my country’s junior nationals that he thought that my skill level was above average to the players there. I battle bouts of insecurity and lack of confidence when I play, and so I have trouble sometimes at higher level tournaments to do well.
My ultimate ambition would be to become a world-class badminton player, and I am dedicated to work really hard on reaching that goal.
It still seems a little overwhelming though, I sometimes wonder if I will ever catch up to the top-level juniors in my country, some who have been playing since they were little kids. But I will try hard to accomplish my goals anyway.
Then there are the players at the competitive level. You go to tournaments locally, but you never really go anywhere outside of your hometown for badminton. You like to compete, but you are not really all that serious about it.
I have played at the state level in my college days and has represented my university at the time of graduation.
But now I only play corporate tournaments as I am not into serious practice due to work and family reasons.
I am keen to understand all the different techniques in-depth for my coaching to achieve the best shot production, movement, tactics, etc.
There will always be different slants on the same subject, but all material is useful and especially from a top player.
Need to Correct Your Old Habit
For many players, it has been a struggle fighting against the old habits that they had built up previously. For one thing, it is necessary to change the panhandle grip that some players are using on overheads to the proper grip!
Not to mention trying to get the wrist action right and keeping the whole thing relaxed! But it wouldn’t be so much fun it was easy.
Learning about the right techniques on how to do the shots and footwork is very useful. Besides, you will need to learn how to defend the smash in doubles as it seems a little different from that in singles in terms of angles.
High-Level Competitive Players
Next, you have high-level competitive players. You go to tournaments locally, but you also play tournaments within your region and country. Likely you’re a junior player, but that’s not always the case.
You have an interest in improving your game, but you are not quite a national level player. Seeing improvements in your game, and beating people you couldn’t before really inspires you to work even harder.
What if you are a national level player you’re like me. I have played all over the country, and have even played a few tournaments internationally, not to mention covering badminton tournaments I have seen the biggest of the big. You probably aspire to make it to these big events one day and playing for your country.
Finally, you have the international level players. These are varied as well, with the top players from your respective countries, all the way up to the best in the world.
Getting to this level you’ll get so much more from the sport than anyone else does. That’s the thing with this sport, the better you get, the more enjoyment you can pull from the game. Of course, there are highs and lows, but there is a reason why people keep going because they love it.
To become an international player, you need to have the obvious essential ingredient: the enthusiasm, and you need to be excited every time you step on the court.
Keep up the frequent practice sessions, with focus on one thing. Play the dimensions of the whole court rather than to the other person. Remember I’m not talking trick shots.
It all depends on your stamina and ability to do a variety of strokes well. We can all mentally visualize what to do, but to actually be able to execute the shots is a whole different thing.
Again fundamentally, you need to develop a good sound game. Without going into a lengthy dissertation, you need to realize the importance of hitting as many shots above the net level. To do this you have to anticipate early, and move into the shot early.
Note also that the net is 5′ 1″ on end and 5′ on center. This would mean that it is favorable to hit as many shots racket up than racket down. Keep working on these sound basics, and I’d like to hear how your game is coming along.
What type of player are you? What do you aspire to?
I passionately love this sport and would like to make that distinction for the benefit of those in the dark about the fact that the outdoor version, is the game.
Indoors with better equipment and close to ideal conditions is the true sport that’s been in the Olympics for many years now. For some countries, there seems to be a serious lack of true understanding of the facts.
I attribute that in part to the inferior equipment sold to cater to that backyard recreational player. Even the top sporting goods stores. Come on, even the shuttlecock, cheap red-tipped misshaped junk has zero flight and trajectory.