On Tuesday evening I had a really tough decision to make and I made the most unlikely one. I had to choose between Nando’s and coaching. Anyone who knows me will tell you I love chicken in pitta bread with cheese *stares off into the distance.* Aah like really even though it’s 9am in the morning as I write this, I would happily eat that now. Then there’s the peri peri chips with the perinase dip and corn on the cob with butter. *Drool* Anyway we poked our heads in, wished my husband’s aunt happy birthday and then walked out. Yes we walked out. I could smell the delicious food and was questioning my sanity as we walked out and headed home so I could get ready for coaching.
Once I put my badminton shoes on though, I forgot all about the food! At coaching we started off by practicing our net shots. I feel like mine are improving, whether I do the little one which makes the shuttlecock topple over the net gently, or hit it down to the floor with a quick flick. We practiced the gentle one though. I was practicing with a really young Chinese boy (I think he goes to high school) who had been playing for 1 year. He was pretty good! We took turns in tossing the shuttlecocks over the net for the other to practice their net shot with. 50 shuttlecocks each then swap. I still do way better on the left side than the right. I was doing the slicing motion with my racket on the left side but was just tapping it on the right!
After this we practiced returning serves to one another. We tried to keep our serve as low as possible and the return as low as possible too. This was a new exercise for me and one that I found really useful. I don’t think the way I return serves is very good. I just concentrate on hitting the shuttlecock back and not on the way I hit it, so I end up hitting it quite high and setting up a smash for the opponent. I was told to keep my return really low so that it just skimmed the net. As the session went on, I got much better at this and could really see the benefit of keeping the shuttlecock low. Definitely something I want to practice a lot more!
I drink so much water when I play badminton! Huge change as I used to be really bad and not drink enough water before! Headaches are a thing of the past. I hope I haven’t jinxed myself..
Lastly the coach spent quite a while showing me an overhead shot. Usually I just practice flicking but now he wanted me to raise my arm up over my head, step forward and bring the racket down with a flick. Trying to move my arm in the direction he wanted and flick at the right time took some coordination. I missed the first few shuttlecocks but then was starting to get a couple. I really need to work on this. I start moving my arm when I should be flicking my wrist. I want to practice this until it becomes a natural reaction. Tonight is my night off so I might just practice this in the mirror. I usually hold my arm out to the side which is wrong. It needs to be above me. This will take some work! He was showing me what I was doing wrong so I think I need to see my arm when I practice. We kept my arm up for so long that it started aching. I need to build some upper body strength! I felt a bit guilty as the coach gave me a really long time to practice but then reverted back to his usual 5/10 minute slots for the others. Oops!
We ended the night my playing doubles amongst each other. This was nice and relaxing after holding my arm up over my head for so long! I did pretty well in doubles. My team kept winning! We would switch partners and the team I was on would still win! They started thinking I was the lucky charm!
My husband came to watch at the end and told me that I need to cover my partner more though. When I was playing alongside my father in law, he missed a few shots when he had to run side to side at the back of the court. I need to identify that and take a step back to be able to cover him if he is at the other end of the court. I am so used to being at the front that I just stay there, particularly if I feel I am playing with a stronger player. When I play with ladies, I tend to move around more and play side to side along with at the back because I think they need my cover. I need to apply that to all players! This could mean even better games. How exciting!
You know what all this badminton means? A lot of showering! Obviously there’s the usual showering before work, going out etc, but now I am also showering after badminton. This coupled with the fact that ‘winter is coming’ (hehe couldn’t resist the Game of Thrones reference), means dry skin! My solution is to shower with almond shower oil (oh the pampering!) and I now have lovely soft, moisturised skin! Happy days!