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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Racket symphony: Amador Valley reveals the underrated beauty of Badminton

Badminton+Club+warms+up+with+high+intensity+one-on-one+matches.
Jerry Liu
Badminton Club warms up with high intensity one-on-one matches.

Beginning in early February, AV Badminton tryouts are underway. Each of the over 120 players goes through a rigorous tryout process, from conditioning to a one-on-one with the club officers. So how did the club get so many players, and why isn’t its name as big as football or basketball?

One reason why badminton flies under the radar is because of the lack of diversity within the club. As a result, badminton has become largely popular on social media platforms like WeChat.

“The community is mainly composed of people from Southeast and South Asia, but I think it’d be really great if we can expand the sport to a lot more demographics,” said Badminton Club President Michael Li.

Badminton is also an extremely expensive sport, making it hard for people to even start playing.

“It’s a pretty expensive sport, pretty pricey to buy nets, set everything up, especially courts and equipment. I think that’s one reason why it never took off that much in the US,” said Li.

“Just getting into badminton was a break in the bank. I had to buy new shoes and rackets, which cost me more than $200,” said Badminton Club Player Khang Nguyen.

But after getting started, badminton becomes a very beautiful sport. The quick pace of play and high level of skill make for intense matches.

“I think it’s a really good workout. It’s incredibly tiring to constantly lunge around the court. And also there’s some kind of beauty in it in the sense that there’s such a high level of skill expression when you’re trying to control the exact timing and height of the birdie and trying to play mind games with your opponent if you’re playing singles with them on the court,” said Li.

With such high levels of technical skill necessary to play badminton, tryouts and practices often involve intense conditioning and practice sessions.

“We start off with five minutes of stretches, then run a few laps around the gym. Some days we don’t even touch the rackets, we just do conditioning. We do back-and-forth drills across the gym, like runs, frog jumps, squats, and lunges. And days where we do focus on technique, it’s a lot more about control. So we focus on drops, lifts, smashes, and then doing footwork drills, because footwork is very essential in badminton,” said Nguyen.

To try and recruit more players, Badminton Club is working on its outreach.

“We are trying to outreach on Instagram. Social media is pretty useful. We can outreach to other schools to promote, and also post scrimmages and tournaments against other schools. That’s one form of badminton outreach,” said Li.

Badminton is truly an underrated sport. Its fast pace, high level of conditioning and technique, and even the satisfying swoosh of the birdie make for beautiful and intense matches. The club hopes to expand its outreach so that more people can experience the beauty of badminton.

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