The International Changemaker

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The International Changemaker

The International Changemaker

Badminton Bootcamp

Han, an important member of the team, was ready to spike the shuttlecock. February 29, 2024.

As the spring sports season began, the EF Academy badminton team started their practices in early February and had their first match last Saturday(2/24) afternoon. The team’s practice session takes place from 6:30 to 8:00 am almost every weekday, except for Wednesday when the team has practice in the afternoon after school.

The training for the players, designed by Coach Moss and Asst. Coach Warsik, usually consists of conditioning, footwork, and challenge matches among team members at the end, and each part takes about 30 minutes. While the practice takes place daily, some of the team members crave even more technical training.

“Having more and more challenge matches is also equally important to the footwork practices,” said Tilak, the boys’ badminton team captain on Wednesday(2/28) night. “…We develop strategies and thought processes in our mind on how to navigate the game forward, which is very crucial for winning a match. Constantly hitting the shuttlecock to the opponent is not always the optimum way of winning a match, we have to play with our minds when we are in that rectangular field.”

Both team captains Tilak and Serafima playing mix-doubles in Thursday afternoon’s match. February 29, 2024. (Copper Clark)

Serafima, the girls’ badminton team’s captain, said the team was doing great and all of her teammates were enthusiastic, interesting, and open. “The more we stand up for our teammates and respect them, the better results we can see. Communication is super important in team sports, that’s why as a captain I try to make all of us close-knit,” Serafima concluded on Tuesday night after the second match took place on that day.

“I truly believe practicing game tactics and challenge matches is important because badminton is a mental game, where you should make the opponent “dance,” Serafima continued. “On the other hand, conditioning also extremely matters, as it gives you confidence, willpower, and more power during the match.”

When Coach Moss was asked about her opinion regarding the conditioning versus challenge matches debate, Coach Moss stated, “Conditioning is a core part of being in shape for any sport. If players can prove they have physical fitness, then we could allow for more time on the court. To address this, I have instructed the captains to rally the team and do conditioning. To my knowledge, this has not occurred. Being in shape is inescapable. I will never stop conditioning because this is a sport that requires that. Badminton is a cardio workout.”

Coach Moss standing on the side, watching the players compete. February 29, 2024. (Copper Clark)

However, Coach Moss also wants to give players more court time to practice awareness, so instead of extending each training’s duration, she incorporated HIIT conditioning due to its efficiency and the ability to get the athletes’ heart rate up faster. “It is normal for players to be dissatisfied and to present alternative ideas. It is the coaches’ job to take feedback into consideration, yet we remain firm on our drills, conditioning, and gameplay. It is not in a competitive sport’s nature to only play. That is not practice. In practice, we master skills through repetition,” Ms Moss said on Thursday during lunch.

Generally speaking, each part of a badminton practice session is as imperative as others, but time is limited, using the HIIT workout helps the team save some time and use it for more footwork and challenge matches. Let’s wish the badminton team all the best in their upcoming matches.

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About the Contributor
Jimmy Tsai, Sports Editor
Jimmy is a senior and a staff reporter for The International Changemaker. He enjoys studying at EF Academy and found an interest in reporting after taking the Journalism class taught by Mr. Thomas. Studying in the US has given him more chances to learn in real-life situations, like writing an article about the school’s basketball team. With his interest in Journalism rising rapidly, he continues his passion for critical thinking in Engineering and Programming. Jimmy is also one of the founding members of the school’s robotics team.

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