Despite exam season, I wanted to keep up my action for this last half of the semester by playing some relaxed badminton every week on Mondays, especially since I learned to truly love playing badminton (both competitively and casually) after SAISA!
It was hard to get a court and play badminton with the correct rules but it was interesting because somehow we managed to squeeze 3 people on a court and play 3vs3 match with some 7th graders. I mostly tried to move a lot and practice playing in the back of the court. One of my missions that session was to teach Sadira how to serve (to no avail) but, this attempt meant that, alongside working on my own skills, I should try to take on the challenge of getting Sadira from a not-so-good badminton player to a sub-par player. Hopefully teaching the little I know will also help me develop my own technique. Next week we should definitely try to play a game with proper rules. After a few more sessions, we were able to play on courts doubles and singles, this significantly helped me develop skills more. I worked on my control although it was a big change to go from several practices a week to only on Mondays for ‘fun’.
I think the casual environment is a good way to wind down the senior year but still keep up my fitness. On top of this I have been going for walks over the weekends and so I hope this all will help me continue to be a balanced person later on after the IB.
SAISA OSC A & B Squad 2017!
The first big surprise for me was being chosen for one of OSC’s badminton teams, OSC B, to participate in SAISA which was hosted here as well! I was extremely excited but also anxious because over the winter break, I wasn’t able to practice very much and not at all with the team, since I was abroad in Malaysia. The 2 weeks after the break and before the tournament, however, I made sure to show up to every single practice and really do my best to improve my skills and work with my doubles partners, Shreya and Jamaal. I also worked on my singles more and because the final team players were chosen, I was able to play more often and apply strategy and gameplay tips from other SAISA team players.
Doubles match against Lincoln with Shreya
It all began with the team matches, which were the highlights of the whole SAISA, because it really bred camaraderie between us as a team. During my singles matches I tended to get very nervous and make a lot of mistakes, but I think I really did try to play my best and improve my gameplay throughout. It was definitely disheartening whenever I I lost a match, but I knew to learn from those mistakes and felt more confident as I played more matches. Following the advice of Mr. Pradeep, if a strategy is working against them, keep using it; if your strategy isn’t working against them, change it. I was able to catch up in terms of points when I was playing against during the second half of the match most of the time, and I was proud of myself for that, even if ultimately I might’ve not won. I’m also very proud of the teamwork between my doubles partners, although Shreya and I ran into communication problems as we played more matches, we were able to mend that. I made so many mistakes when playing with Jamaal that we did encounter during practice, but I’m glad he was still supportive and we won a lot of games together through teamwork nonetheless!
A close singles match against Lincoln’s Girls Seed 3
In the end, OSC B placed 5th in a total of 11 schools in SAISA, which was definitely impressive! I tried my best in the singles tournament and doubles tournament and the following consolidation matches that followed as well, although I wasn’t able to place very high. Overall, I couldn’t have done it without the help of my coaches, Mr. Pradeep, Andre and Ms. Tharu. This was the most unforgettable experience for me, and taught me how to persevere and enjoy in a competitive sport, both for myself and for a team!
This semester, badminton is offered again as a SAISA after school activity. I have been playing casually all my life (as expected of a Malaysian). However, I think it is time to shift that mindset and also work developing skills for competitive gameplay. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve only been making small steps since I first joined badminton in Grade 10. In Grade 11, my progress was interrupted by my commitment to scuba diving. This senior year, especially with other academic commitments, it’s important that I maintain some level of fitness. The best way to do so is by playing a sport I enjoy!
I have a lot of determination to become more of a competitive player in general and learn new skills, rather than simply to make it onto the SAISA badminton team – I think that is too ambitious of a goal at the moment. In short, my primary goal is to become a better player strategically and to stay fit.
So far, I have been able to make it to all of the sessions for badminton. Most lessons have a focus on learning a new skill, be it clearing or a high serve. Focusing on learning a new skill each session has been much more useful than simply playing matches against people.
Look forward to future posts detailing my progress in badminton with images!
My inspiration! World’s #1! (credit)