Since I have started playing badminton I have definitely noticed a pecking order within the various groups I play with and I’ve also noticed this within other groups who play together too.
In badminton there is always someone who plays better than you hence the pecking order. When my sister in law and I started playing we were at the bottom of this pecking order at the Friday club and at the no strings badminton sessions.
My husband and his friends were notably much higher in the pecking order and had the rule of the roost if you will. Of course, then badminton season started and the better players, lets call them the cream of the crop, disappeared to play amongst their own. This made sense.
Who did this leave? Well me, my sister in law and everyone in between. Within this group of people, me and my sister in law were still at the bottom, but some of the better players from the middle moved to the top. Circle of life some would say.
Months have passed, seasons have changed and new people have begun playing at both the Friday club and the no strings sessions. My sister in law and I have also improved so naturally we have moved up the pecking order a little bit. I can’t say we have a firm spot in the middle, but we’re definitely moving upwards. This feels nice because choosing games has become easier. We’re at a similar standard to a few other people there which means we get competitive games within our range of abilities. I always find these games the most fun!
My husband has gone from being at the top of the pecking order at the casual clubs we play at, to somewhere in the middle, nearing the top at the more advanced clubs. There are people who play better than him at the more advanced clubs and so the circle of life continues. I feel like singing the song from The Lion King as I type this, but me and my sister in law are literally the unknowing, faltering cubs of badminton and we need the fully grown lions to be kind to us in order for us to improve! Speaking of which, I had my first real experience of someone being mean and not wanting to play with me and my sister in law last Wednesday. Funny thing is that he’s not even a lion, more the water buffalo of the food chain! I’ve seen the lions not want to play with him, but they’re still polite whereas he outright refused! The typical British politeness definitely was not present, but then again I think he may be from a different jungle…
My advice looking back at myself before I started playing badminton would be to not be afraid to be at the bottom of the pecking order. I cannot believe the progress I have made so far and still feel like pinching myself when I have a particularly good game.
It is amazing what we can do when we put our minds to it!