If you live in the UK, happy long weekend! I for one was so happy to go to bed without an alarm on and am now sitting here in my pyjamas contemplating breakfast.
So yesterday evening I went to play badminton with the Friday club. This wasn’t the same as usual because the school we usually play in is having a refurbishment, so we booked courts at our leisure centre. Not everyone turned up as this was a little out of the way for some and if they didn’t have a membership at the leisure centre then they would have to pay a bit more than usual. There were still a fair few of us and I managed to play for most of the evening so happy days!
As there weren’t many of us, I got the chance to play with some people who I may not usually get to play with. It’s always interesting playing with someone different because you have to figure out their style and what works for you both as a team.
I usually live at the front of the court and my job is to return any shuttlecocks that land in that area while my partner (usually the stronger player), will cover the back and return anything which goes over my head.
I do feel like I’m returning more of the shuttlecocks that come to me now, but I also realise that there are some which I leave for the stronger player, which I could get. I need to work on that instead of watching them whistle past my ear.
Yesterday I also found myself playing side to side with some players and I quite enjoyed this because I got to practice hitting from different areas and in different ways. This did mean I had to have my wits about me though and dart to unmanned areas of the court. Such fun! I like how badminton is not just a sport with technique but also strategy. I’m far from being the master strategist and definitely haven’t nailed any technique but I’m looking forward to exploring these aspects.
I did attempt the net shots we were practicing on Tuesday and in one beautiful instance it worked and the shuttlecock toppled over the net. I was playing against my father in law but even he was cheering at this point and shouting ‘nice work’ as was my partner. My heart swelled with joy.
In all honesty I wasn’t able to practice the backhand shot last night as it is completely different when you are being fed the shuttlecock during a coaching session to when it naturally occurs in a game. I will of course keep my eyes peeled for my opportunity to practice it.
Something else rather beautiful and momentous happened for me yesterday. For the other players this is probably the norm but for the first time since I have started playing badminton, I returned a smash. A smash is usually angled to hit the floor particularly fast and with the aim of finishing a rally. Before I knew what was happening (I usually duck) my arm sprung sideways like it had a life of its own and hit it back! This was definitely a collar popping moment for me and I got to celebrate it for all of one second before I had to get my mind back on the rally.
Me and my partner won the last game of the night. Needless to say, I went home on a high. Very sweaty but happy.