By Aniya Espinoza
Badminton is a raquet played sport with simple rules. You hit the shuttlecock to the opposing side team, and hit it back and forth until you land it on the other teams side of the court. It began in British India, and became a Summer olympic sport in 1992, although it is a very popular informal sport usually played in backyards, beaches, parks, or anywhere with enough space to swing and throw your plastic or feathered shuttlecocks. Badminton is a sport that requires a lot of physical endurance, speed, strength, coordination, precision, aerobic agility and quick reflexes, and it is one of the most popular on racquet sports, such as tennis, but finding a professional is not an easy task.
I was fortunate enough to interview a JV player at Independence named Dina Trac. “I started playing because my cousins were in the sport already,” she told me. I was more interested in the games, and so she said that the JV plays the first part, “majority of the time each set takes up only ten minutes for each of us.”
We also talked about how long most of the games played can take, and how how much each player usually held the shuttlecock, which is “around two hours per game, which is a long time, considering each player has the control for maybe ten or so minutes”. Once the games are completely done, there is a while where anyone can play on the courts with each other.
We decided we should talk about how it is that they prepare, for it is a crucial part of them winning their games. She answered with a hint of humor that “when their coach is mad they run approximately 5 miles and do frog leaps but when we have a game that week, we don’t run the day before to conserve our energy.”
They rarely take water breaks because their coach says they should learn to last a long time without having to stop and ruin their momentum. Their training is meant to keep them not only in condition to play in the games, but also to improve themselves, and so that they are better in every game. It improves their stamina, their handling of the racket, their speed, their eye to hand coordination, and their strength. She says it’s always a challenge, but that with their coach and with their thirst to win, they are motivated to achieve their goals.
The last thing we talked about that was very wholesome and heart warming, is the team bonding. Dina stated, “We always motivate each other, it’s a great bonding.” She gave me an example when they do the frog leaps, they will all motivate someone to keep going, ”Which is super sweet as this type of team building is what encourages, supports, and promotes not only a safe, fun environment, but it also leaves room to improvement of future games. They are on their way up to proving to other schools how well Sixers can be.