badminton · Fitness · motivation · progress · sport · sportsblog · thisgirlcan

24. My no strings session

So this post almost didn’t make it on here. Can you guess why? I didn’t have a picture for it. Simple as that. So my legend of a husband took this picture during his badminton session tonight. Here you can see some of the elite players, having one of their exclusive sessions and it has absolutely nothing to do with my post, other than the fact that the elite players have mysteriously disappeared from the scene…but I know where they are!

Earlier this week I went to play badminton at the no strings session in the leisure centre. The system showed that only 4 people out of 16 had signed up to play and if you count me, my sister in law and father in law, then that’s just one more person. We all know how I feel about low numbers!

Luckily, once again, this turned out to be untrue and we had a full house. Yay! Badminton season has officially begun in the UK so I wasn’t expecting many of the better players to turn up. I was curious to see who would come. They would all be playing with their clubs now. I think this no strings session was just their stop gap over the summer until their season started again. Boo!

If we only play with people of our own level though, how will we improve? It’ll be a long 7 months if this is the case!

Luckily a handful of the better players did come to no strings though. Yay! Maybe their club didn’t have a session that evening.

The game coordinater at the no strings session has been on holiday for about two months and this was his first session back. He had only seen me play at the very beginning when I first started learning, so he was in for a surprise!

My sister in law and father in law started warming up. I was about to join them when the coordinator asked me to warm up with another lady who is of a similar standard to me. Fair enough. I began walking onto the court when a really good female player intervened and asked me to warm up with her instead. I glanced around. Was she talking to me? I wasn’t sure. She seemed to be nodding and beckoning to me though. I don’t usually warm up with the better players because I don’t want to slow them down.

My typical British manners plagued me though, so I looked over to check whether anyone was warming up with the other lady and sure enough, friendly Mexican guy was warming up with her. Phew!

My warm up was a bit more intense than usual which turned out to be good for me. I played better all evening due to that warm up. I guess if you warm up slow then that sort of sets your pace for the rest of the evening.

After the warm up, me and that advanced player played a game together and we did really well. I was actually covering her occasionally and getting the shuttlecock back. She seemed impressed. She even sought me out to play with her again later on. *Internal fist pump!* I think she’s one of the best players there so I was pretty chuffed to say the least!

I also played with another strong female player who plays for a league and is really good! We played really well together and she gave me such useful hints and tips! Sometimes when I run up to the net, I will then swing my racket to try to hit the shuttlecock powerfully down/across etc. Sometimes this means that in the time I take to do this, I miss the shot or I hit it too far. She  told me to just gently tap it with my racket, so guess what I was doing for the rest of the evening? Little taps like that,  which were getting me points all over the show! Happy doesn’t begin to cover it!

As fun as the powerful swings from the back are, or the wrist flicks which send the shuttlecock across the court with a satisfying thwack (personal favourite), these little taps and little flicks really add to the dance of badminton. Without these, we would not be able to enjoy the more glamorous ‘shots.’ Yes by the way, my ‘shots’ are still in inverted commas!

So you know how important all the little cogs are in a machine? All these little, soft ‘shots’ are the equivalent in a game of badminton. I’ve only just come to realise this and now I enjoy these too because they build up to a beautiful rally and I love a good rally!

There is a particular guy who always makes out that he’s throwing a charity game our way by playing with us. I do get it. It’s probably not as fun to play with people below your standard. He was surprised though as me and my sister in law played really well! He was struggling to return the shuttlecock! Obviously he doesn’t know that we go to coaching! Each time we play with him, we’ve learnt something new and we play a bit better. This time things were coming together really well! I was a little smug to say the least! Hehe.

I played really well and was so pleased with myself that night. I was gently tapping shuttlecocks down from the net and moving with a bit more purpose, rather than running around like a headless chicken!

The game coordinater told me later that he could not believe the improvement he was seeing! He said he knew we would get better, but this quickly?!

Love it!

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