I was about to die while I training badminton with my coach. All my body is full of sweat and my strength is all out. I try to hit the shuttlecock with all my strength while my coach pass me a shuttlecock back and forth. I was focusing on the shuttlecock, then my point view start to blur because of my sweat go into my eyes before the end of today practice.
Everything are difficult depend on how much it difficult. I am high school student who not really good in study and who has no confident to myself especially when I stay with someone who were not close to me. I liked to play sports. But the problem is the thing that I likes is not really stable to be my career for the future. So I cannot decide yet what would I be in the future.
I was playing badminton since I was about six years old. At that time I cannot carry the real racket so my mom bought me two fake rackets that made with plastic. There are green and orange colors. I started practicing to serve with my family. It was so hard to serve properly, but I still have fun with it, although I not good at all. I carry the racket with right hand and hold the shuttlecock on my left hand and point the shuttlecock with meticulousness in front of my racket starting to serve. It take me for a while to be familiar with serving and comfortable to play badminton. From that day, badminton became my favorite sport and I began to play more often and improve myself continually.
I stayed at school dormitory because my school is too far from my house. The reason why I study that school because it is the nearest international school that my parent could find, so they send me to learn English there. Dormitory give me many things, I have a lots of friends and I have better socialize skills. My school building was a dorm style which had badminton and basketball court in the middle and classroom around the dorm at the edge same as my dormitory.
When I was grade nine (freshman), I had opportunity to learn badminton with professional coach for 6 months before I move to study in Bangkok. After I learned badminton with professional coach, I know that I was playing badminton in the wrong way since I was started to play such as holding the proper racket, no foot-work, incorrect form, and etc. Because I just learn for myself without anyone teach me how to play correctly. I need to learn from the beginning with my coach. All people I was beaten them just a beginner level and I still confuse how I beat my friends who learn how to play badminton properly. Now I know how it difficult to be a professional player. I am badminton player in my school and I need to go competition with other schools in the next 2 months. After that I trained myself seriously. My coach let me work on proper form, foot-work, runs a game, tricks, and many thing else. I also need to train myself in term of physical and mental by having a durable and strength body because badminton, in fact, is the fastest sport in the world. So, I need to have a good foot-work to move around the court as fast as I could to make an advantage to runs a game. I working on foot-work and movement, while my coach let me go back and forth and hit the shuttlecock with different situation until I am tired. Then have a few minutes break and do it again and again.
I hear the bell ringing at 3:40 P.M. in the classroom. The building is start to getting louder after everyone come out from the classroom. I go to the bathroom for changing my clothes. Then come back and grab my shoes on the shoe rack in front my classroom. I sit on the floor and changing my shoes for prepare to play badminton. My coach already waiting for me at the court. I tied my shoes tightly then grab my racket to the court starting to warm-up. We used to run around the court, do some pulse raiser, dynamic stretch, balance, and movement. After that, coach is telling what we going to learn today. He will throw the shuttlecock at the end of the court and in front of the net. Then he let us get to the line and smash at the of the court then run to make a drop shot on another shuttlecock in front of the net and get in to the line repeatedly until we run out of shuttlecock. Now it is my turn, I focusing on the shuttlecock before I jump smash as hard as I can, the shuttlecock went across the net straightly to another side. I run immediately to another shuttlecock after I touch the ground. I try my best to make a nice drop shot, but I fail. I hit too hard which made the shuttlecock across the net too high than it supposed to. It is very hard to control your power while we run at full speed from the back to the front court because we already have a force from our run, we just need to put the racket under the shuttlecock naturally without any forces. “Yu, you should to release some strength when you go underneath of the shuttlecock, so it go softly and shave the net. More the shuttlecock near by the net more difficult you make to the opponent.” My coach reproached me. I feel bad to myself before I get into the line and make another try. I still cannot make it smoothly. Ok, I got to make it! I talk to myself. Through I tried many times, finally I can do it! After we finished today lessons, we will play some game together for practicing the real situation. We get into pairs and play 21 points per game. Now it begin, I start to serve, while we hits back and forth I see the shuttlecock go to the corner at the end of the court, so I smash same as today lesson. The shuttlecock go straight to the center of the another side. It is a strong smash but it do nothing to the opponent except to waste my strength. “Yu, in this situation, you need to smash in the side of the court which make the harder defense to the opponent. When opponents rush the catch your smash shot, there will have a wide open space which you can choose which shot you going to make a most advantage to you.” My coach reproached me again. This game made me know to be smart and choose the best shot to take an advantage for the easily win. As I said before, it is very hard to be a professional player, you need to have a lots of experiences.
The day before competition, as I said I do not have any confident to myself, so I keep saying “I going to lose”. My coach always said to us that, “Do not create a wall before you start to do something.” Which mean I need to be positive. As I said before, Badminton is not only depend on experiences and physical, but mental is also a huge roll to become successful. “If you think negatively, the thing will come out not good as it supposed to be and that time you will going to lose same as you said.” My coach continue reproached me. The building is start to getting darker. All the light in the classroom was shutdown. Everyone was leave except us. We are packing our thing just about to go home. “Remember guys, do not forget to eat healthy foods and eat a lots of protein and also get enough sleep” He remind us before he leave. His voice end the silence and continue resonantly around the building. I walk to cafeteria for the dinner before I went back to dormitory and went to bed early for tomorrow.
I step down a car and the first thing I saw is a fantastic badminton court that I never see before. I walk straight into the building. There are about 12 badminton courts, each court will have space to keep the baggage for each school. The place to keep our baggage is the last court. Everyone was warming up and some are sitting around. We walk through them, all I remember is the feel of interesting and nervous. Everyone are looking at us while we are walking. All I heard is a sound of smashing which made me more depressed. We put down all baggage and went to the bathroom for changing our clothes and shoes. The first feeling when I stepped on the rubber floor was amazing. I never step on the clean and sticky rubber floor like this before. I sit and watch other players warming up on the bench where our baggage is. I started to observe other players deeply. They are one group Indian students whose are very powerful, they keep smashing but did not have any form. I feel that most of them are not really good than I expect, except for one school their all good in every section. This competition have 3 difference sections depend on grade, (6-8, 9-10, and 11-12). I am on first section although I’m study in grade nine. My school is do not have many badminton player and I am the smallest in our group, so the school PE manager who make us have opportunity to go competing with other school decided to let my play in the first section.
I get into the court starting to compete with other players, I am very nervous because this is my first competition in my life. I can feel the shaking inside my body and I can hear my heart is pumping. Now it begin, he is not good same as I observed. Finally, I won in this round and I need to wait for the final match. In final match, I thought that it going to be tough for me, but it does not. I easily win the match and got a gold medal in the first section. “It is a good start”, I think to myself. Although I feel bad and disappointed to myself and school PE manager that let me play in the first section. I hope I may have a chance to competition again in the right section, so I can use all skills that I had learned and not cheat others.