So something magical is beginning to happen. Some of the things that I had to be constantly reminded to do while playing badminton, I am beginning to do automatically.
- ‘Bend your knees, stay in ready position!’ This would be shouted out to me by my coach during training and when I was playing with, or even in the same vicinity as my husband. My legs would obey begrudgingly, but then lazily retreat to standing straight again. It just did not come naturally to me! Even from my meagre attempts, my legs would ache the next day.
Now my knees automatically bend once I have walked on to a court. It’s not a conscious decision. My body just does it. Yesterday I found myself doing this for the duration of the session and felt twangs of pride as I kept finding myself in the ready position.
- ‘Put your left arm out to balance!’ My coach is constantly shouting this to me and I always nod in agreement and put my arm up for a few seconds. Can you guess what happens a few seconds later? I drop my arm of course!
Yesterday, much to my surprise, while I was playing, my left arm shot out by itself to steady my body while lunging forward! My body automatically sent a signal for my arm to come out and balance me! I was amazed and it kept happening! My body is now just doing what it thinks it needs to do. Yay!
You know what all of this means though? My body is in a world of pain! My upper arms are pulsing in pain today, as are my armpits. Doing basic things like lifting my bag or opening the door are painful. Ouch! My legs have just got used to hurting all the time. In fact, if they stopped hurting now, I would be worried! Well done body! I know I am putting you through a lot but it will be worth it!
I guess it is just muscle memory. You need to train your muscles to behave in a certain way and then they do. I wish my feet would remember how to do the correct footwork too! Tonight, even if I play rubbish and don’t move my racket in time, I am going to focus on my footwork. I really think this will change the way I play completely and I have come to believe footwork is the most important element of badminton.
Imagine a combination of the correct footwork up to the net and then that little shot angled to the floor, like the coach showed me yesterday?
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee? 🙂