Before I go any further, where are my feet pointing in this picture?! Cringe!! They need to be pointing forward towards the shuttlecock! Good that I have bent my knees and my racket is up but seriously, sort out those feet!
Two days late, but better than never. I thought I would update you all on my coaching session this week. As you know, I go every Tuesday evening for two hours. This was my fourth one and I enjoyed this one the most!
We practiced our footwork in pairs in the first exercise. I think I’m getting a bit better at remembering what to do, which is good. While our partners practiced their footwork, we were told to practice serving to a wall…I know, sounded a bit strange to me too but I did it anyway. We were told to flick our racket as hard as possible so I got busy doing that while waiting.
Once we had practiced our footwork, my sister in law and I were placed on the opposite side of the court to our coach, near the net. The coach tossed shuttlecocks to the right side for me and to the left side for my sister in law. We had to be in the ready position, use the correct footwork and get the shuttlecock back over the net. We would also need to keep an eye on our coach to see which direction he was going to throw it in, because he was trying to catch us out!
My footwork was thrown out of the window at this point, because I was not placed in the middle of the court. My sister in law was placed half way in between the centre line and the left side. I was also placed half way in between the centre line and the right side. What did this mean? I had to take one less step.
You remember how it was left, right, left last week? I tried with my left foot first again this time and this was wrong! My coach told me to use my right foot first this time. I was completely thrown by this. Eventually I did start doing it and I was getting all of the shuttlecocks over the net. He liked my arm movement and how quick I was getting there, but I am still confused about why I was to put my right foot forward first this time. Was it because I was one step closer? I’m not sure but I will ask him next Tuesday, because I can’t do something blindly, I need to know the logic behind it! I know for sure that from the middle it was left foot first!
Then we swapped sides. Our coach seemed really happy with what I was doing on the left side. ‘Why can you do it on the left, but not on the right?!’ he shouted out. I tend to find going to the left side of the net much easier! I have no idea why.
We have a maximum of 8 people for our group coaching and we were at capacity on Tuesday. One thing I have noticed is that some people hop, skip and jump to the net and our coach doesn’t correct them whereas he is very particular about my movement. I am secretly pleased at this though, maybe he expects more from me? This is good, because I expect more from myself too! Or maybe he concentrates on different aspects for each person, each time. For example, he didn’t start off telling me about my footwork when he first showed me the net shots.
We ended the evening with four of us placed opposite the coach while he launched shuttlecocks to each of us turn by turn. You have to move your right foot forward, swing your racket from over your head, while twisting your body and get the shuttlecock to come down swiftly at an angle. This exercise was so much fun!! I didn’t want to stop! When I did manage to bring a few of those components together my shuttlecock would land beautifully. My coach seemed pleased! Yay! I preferred when he lobbed the shuttlecock higher for this exercise, when it was lower, it didn’t work as well.
A very experienced badminton player once told me that it is like throwing a ball. She took my racket from me and asked me to show her how I would throw a ball. Naturally I drew my right arm back over my head, turned my hips and threw it overhead. ‘Beautiful’ she said. Now do the same with your racket!
What the coach wanted us to do on Tuesday was reminiscent of this. So I need to practice doing that again! I really do enjoy it!
After all the fun and games, there are hundreds of shuttlecocks to pick up. Such fun! We make lines of 12 before sticking them back in our coach’s big plastic box! (Psst…someone else in the group will tell you it’s 13, but she is wrong!) Anyway, someone out there should invent a shuttlecock collector that zips around the court sucking all the shuttlecocks up into tubes. How cool would that be?!
Instead here I am, trying to impersonate the cool shuttlecock collector….