Badminton is becoming more and more popular. Many people want to spend free time this way. It turns out we have people in our Sii Power People group, who love this sport! That is why a dedicated group of interest was created. Would you like to join in? See what our expert advises. Andrzej Kowalczyk, Account Resource Manager, tells us about his early days with badminton and gives tips on how to properly prepare to play.
Five years ago, I did not have a clue about this sport. My friend, sometimes mentioned that he played and he recommended this form of spending the free time. However, at the beginning, I was not so convinced. Everything changed when we went to a court together. We often competed in different disciplines, which is why I vigorously agreed to an hour-long duel. After 15 minutes, I wanted to call an ambulance with a defibrillator. My friend could not believe what he saw, but it turned out that despite my sport activity, this sport was much more demanding than I initially assumed.
That was the beginning. I decided I would stop playing, as soon as I beat him. I started watching matches. Together with my friend, I also started first training sessions. Contrary to the appearances, badminton is quite a difficult sport. The best part is that regardless of the level you play at, the game is a lot of fun. Virtually immediately, I decided to take it seriously. Sessions with a coach, working on fitness, technique, movement on the court, etc. Each of these areas requires a huge amount of work, in order to be mastered.
Of course, this is not my point (I am a sporting pensioner). The possibility of constant improvement of particular nuances brings you a lot of joy. For the first two-three years, the progress had been enormous. Virtually, training after training, I could see a linear growth of my skills. However, in order to play better, it is worth to get a little familiar with the game itself, the technique and equipment.
A few words about the game. Badminton is the fastest, in terms of the moving “object”, which is the shuttlecock, racket sport in the world! The Guinness Record in shuttle’s speed is 495 km/h. link Of course, it was measured in laboratory conditions, nonetheless, the shuttlecock speeds in excess of 300km/h during tournaments are no surprise. This game can be called “quick” also due to the need to demonstrate incredible reflexes. Results of reaction time measurements for badminton players are better than those of F1 drivers and the pace, and rules of the game require the players to have great physical form and agility.
Badminton is a general fitness sport. It was invented by one of the English lords, who lived in…. Badminton. However, this is not the only historical remnant. The dimensions of a badminton court correspond to the dimension of a living room, in which first matches were played. Yes, first games took place at home 🙂
Currently, this game became the national sport for many Asian countries. Predispositions of Asians for this type of disciplines has allowed them to wield the primacy for many years. The largest Badminton centre in Europe is Denmark, where a national physical development programme for children and young people was created. They were looking for an investment-free, general fitness discipline and Badminton was selected. It paid out, since currently, the Danes are one of the leading nations in the world.
Over the last years, Badminton has become more and more popular in Poland. The number of school built, enabled practising this sport. In many places, for a small fee, you can rent out equipment and play a little. In this way, we move on to the equipment!
As with most disciplines, it plays an important role. The most important elements in the equipment of a badminton player are shoes. Due to the dynamics of the game, they need to withstand high stresses, keep the foot and body of the player in a safe position. Professional shoes are an investment of 300 to 500 PLN, but you might as well start playing in “sneakers” with an appropriate “non-marking” sole, which does not leave rubber marks on the floor.
Shuttlecocks used for the game can be divided into two main types – nylon and feathered. Nylon shuttles are an economic solution. Currently, they do not differ from feather shuttles in terms of parameters and are much more resistant. They are used for training or amateur gaming. Feathered shuttlecocks are made of duck or goose feathers. The best ones are professionally made from specially dedicated goose feathers from a specific part of the wing. One wing provides only 3-4 feathers, so that the ones in a shuttlecock are identical. The shuttlecock cost varies from approx. 30-50 PLN for nylon shuttles (6 pcs) to 150 PLN for a tube of 12 tournament birdies. Apart from the material they are made of they also have different, so-called, speeds. Depending on the temperature and humidity inside the hall, one can select an adequate type of the shuttles. I have to add that, in my opinion, this is too much.
The best to end with – rackets! Though they look similarly, the differences in construction are enormous. Technologies used in the production of high-end badminton rackets are really cosmic.
First of all, it is about reducing the weight and increasing the racket’s durability, since overloads when hitting can be large. When selecting a correct racket, pay attention to its main parameters, which are rigidity and balance. For a rookie player, I would recommend a racket with all parameters “in the centre”, which means that it is neither too rigid nor to flexible and the balance is in the mentioned centre of the racket. With time, the style and preferences (offence/defence) of the game will allow to choose an appropriate racket. The cost of a decent racket is around 100 PLN. Selecting a wrong racket may result in lack of game efficiency and even serious injuries, which is why, if you want to take training seriously, it is worth asking for advice.
If you have the equipment, there is nothing else to start playing! In May there was information on Sii Portal about training demonstration for our Power People. It was a great opportunity to see how to play coach of national polish team – Jacek Hankiewicz and the captain of national polish team – Robert Mateusiak. The response after the training was very positive and very soon (in September) we are planning to start regular workouts. Andrzej will answer on your questions and requests associated with badminton and help you with first steps on the court.