Lessons Learned From Badminton

Date:  July 12, 2014

Today, I went early to Nan Hua (Singapore Badminton School’s Training Venue) to see how Jay Jay is coping wight his badminton lesson.

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I am happy to see that he now rally with his friends in the lesson.  And finally, he can hit a few long rallies with his friends.  I can tell that he is having lot’s of fun time here!

Here are some of the random thoughts I have when I thought about the lessons learned from Jay’s badminton class.

1.  More practise more better!  I can remember more than a year ago, when Jay Jay first took up badminton.  During that time, he does not have much ball sense, and he is also much heavier.  But after more than a year time spending in the badminton class, I can see a lot of improvement.  He is now able to serve quite OK, and return shots.  Although he still need to work on his moves and his forehand and backhand, comparing to few months back, I can see the advancement.  So, I believe that, you do not have to have talent in a certain thing, but as long as you continue practising it every week, eventually, you can master the basic technique of the game, and you will be able to play well or play better than the average person.  This is precisely the words I used when I spoken to Jay after his lesson.  The most important lesson he has to learned is, no one is good at anything at the beginning, as long as you put your heart into learning, and you train every week, sometimes you do need to train more than the talented players, eventually, you will be able to play better than average people.   

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2.  Tennis & Badminton Doesn’t Mix.  I finally learned the biggest lesson of all.  Before that, I always think that Jay Jay is capable to cope up with both Tennis and Badminton.  And even Golf.  But I guess I was wrong.  2-3 months ago, I found that Jay Jay is struggling with both his badminton and tennis.  Why?  He played badminton like tennis, always unawarely give a big swing on his racquet, and cause the shuttlecock fly left and right.  And interestingly, he played tennis like badminton, where under pressure, he will swing the tennis racquet half way and stop with the wrist motion.  I sensed the problem, and finally, I made Jay to make up his mind, to choose ONLY one from tennis and badminton.  After some days of thinking and after evaluating his performance of both sports, he agrees to stop his tennis training.  Yes, that means, Jay no longer seeing his 6 tennis girl buddies.  HaHaHa… But I am glad that he stopped his tennis training.  After a few weeks without tennis, he played the badminton just like what it should be.  Using the wrist.  And he seldom use a full tennis swing to swing his badminton racquet.  

3.  What is the purpose of learning badminton?  Sometimes, we need to spell out and bear in mind of the purpose of learning.  For Jay, we let him have full freedom to choose the sports he wanted to learn.  He gave up tennis because he does not want to confuse badminton with tennis.  He still have his taekwondo, swimming, golf and soccer.  So, as a parent, in my opinion, we should not set a lot of expectations for the kids.  So, I don’t set any expectation for him.  I just keep enrol him every month for the training.  I know he is now average, not above average, which I don’t really care.  All I care is a) he got extra exercise opportunities to manage his weight.  You know, the health promotion board think he is overweight.  b) he is happy to swing the racquet and rally with his friends.  I know he always enjoys talking to his peer in the badminton class.  

4.  Focus Your Mind.  Learning badminton is not only doing the physical.  At the same time, you are also doing a lot of hand and legs coordinations.  And in order to do it well, you need to focus your mind too.  The coach is constantly teaching them how to do that.  Discipline is also another thing he shall learned from the class.  And I am glad that today what I have seen, is something new.  Whenever he did not make the shot, he will swing his racquet a few times to imagine how he would have picked up the shuttlecock.  I have not seen him do that before, or may be it has been too long that I have not been to see his training.  But I am glad that he actually now can think how to make a shot or how he would have make a shot if he do this or that.  Hopefully, he can apply this to his academy work too.  As it is important to know what you have done wrong and how to correct it. 

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5.  It is all about investment.  Some people says why I sent him to too many sports lesson.  In my opinion, every sport lesson gives different of mental training.  I like his soccer training too.  Got one time, the soccer coach ask one student to do a particular movement, and that student refuse to do it right.  So, anytime he did wrongly, the whole class will have to do push up few times.  What?  One student do wrong, whole class penalised?  Yes.  because soccer is about team work, so, it is important that the team mates should help him too.  That student also feel bad when he see that his wrong movement, will cost the whole group do push up.  I love this sort of training, as your kid will never never learned such lesson from academy school work.  It has to come from these sort of sport lessons.  So, if you have some extra cash lying there, you should get your kid to be involved in few sports.  Remember, it should be the sports that he likes pretty much.  Don’t force him to go to class, it should be himself making the decision.  Jay made all his choices in the class.  If you invest more, the kid will learn more in different aspect, and it will help to learn more life skills which you can’t get it from the school.

Now Jay is in P2.  When he gets to P3 and onwards, may be he has lesser chance to learn more sports.  So, during P1 and P2, if can, please sent your kids to more sports class to learn all these valuable lessons.   As a parent, you always happen when you see your child pick up a new thing.

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