Yesterday evening I went to my second group coaching session. The badminton diet was worse than usual because I had 10 minutes to have a snack before going and there was no bread at home, so I ended up having 2 croissants with strawberry jam rather than toast with kidney bean curry. My bad, but it did taste good!
We attempted the net shots again yesterday. The coach said I was a bit better at these than last week as I understood the motion I was supposed to achieve, but I stopped my racket too soon rather than slicing it all the way. Funnily enough, I am better at the motion when I do it to my left side than to my right. I really need to work on my timing though and knowing when to connect with the shuttlecock.
My left arm usually hangs by my side when I play which is of no help to anybody (I am right handed). The coach told me to hold my left arm out to my side to help me balance. Each time I stepped towards the shuttlecock with my left arm out to my side and my right arm extending the racket, I felt like I was dancing. All I needed was some music!
The coach showed us an overhead shot yesterday which was basically a flick of the wrist so that the racket completes a semi circle in the air and ends up facing down. I stood in front of the net for what felt like ages as the coach kept telling me to lift my arm and keep it there. I had to hold my arm up at a particular angle before flicking which made my arm ache. It looked simple but wasn’t. He threw about 50 shuttlecocks my way for me to practice this and I probably hit two of them in a similar way. One thing I did notice was that those two shuttlecocks went a lot further and a lot quicker with a satisfying thwack. I must practice this until I can do it because I really like it!
With half an hour left of the session, the coach asked the other four people attending to play doubles with each other while he played opposite me and my sister in law, two against one. This worked out great for us because he kept hitting the shuttlecock to us nice and high so that we could practice the shot he had shown us. I kept trying to flick my wrist but felt like I was moving more than just my wrist. A few times he shouted out ‘excellent!’ which made me put even more effort in, while other times he would stop playing and flick his wrist to show us what we were meant to be doing. It’s amazing how much a little encouragement can motivate you.
I wasn’t planning to play tonight but now I feel like trying out the above and seeing whether it makes any difference to my games. If there are any spaces left (you have to book a place on the sessions and they are quite popular) I think I’ll go and see how I get on. I’ll try to stay away from the baked goods before I go tonight, but I can’t make any promises!