Badminton: A Game of Fitness and Smartness

Posted on June 24, 2010

Supratim Chakraborty:

One of the indoor games, which always fascinated me, is Badminton. The fun, which you can have with your racket hitting the shuttle for every point is a tremendously awesome experience. When I was a kid, I used to go to a badminton-coaching center and we all used to have such a great time. Children from different age groups would come from various places to learn or master their skills of hitting the shuttle with their racket. The coaching would start everyday with some warm up exercises like running around the court some ten fifteen times, a few stretching exercises and some floor exercises to make the body fully fit and fine to  play the game.

Badminton is a game where you need fitness, power, agility and skills. And along with all these requirements there is one more very important aspect – which is to have mental toughness. It is very important to apply your thought process correctly observing the opponents’ moves, to recognize his weaknesses and to play the game in a clever way. After all, we all play to win! A game of badminton can take a very long time to finish. A good badminton player or in other words an ‘established badminton player’ will not go down without a fight and should be able to keep their pace and the accuracy of their shots until the very last point in the game no matter how long they have played. This is where mental toughness plays a big role.

Badminton is quite a unique sport. Even though there are similarities to sports such as tennis and ping-pong, badminton has its own set of skills such as clears, drives, half-smashes, smash blocks and net-plays that makes it a unique sport. However, a badminton player can still incorporate hitting skills from other racket sports and even non-racket sports. Using these techniques adds more variety to the game and can make you a more competitive player. Different sports have their own unique techniques, but they also share some common characteristics as well. Using techniques from different sports adds variety and fun to badminton. Event though they may be unorthodox, the skills can prove to be very useful during a game. Adding these unusual shots to your standard badminton techniques will make you a more competitive player and make the game of badminton even more enjoyable.

In India where a sport like cricket is treated as religion, Badminton is relatively a less popular game and the level of success at the international level has been quite fluctuating. However at the domestic level, India has always been rich with the young talented badminton squad. These days India’s domestic badminton circuit is teeming with a crop of talented youngsters who aspire to make it big at the international level. They draw inspiration from the feats of Indian badminton legends like Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand who struck gold at the big stage. How can we forget Saina Nehwal one of the best known Indian Badminton players, and arguably the most promising female Indian Badminton player at the moment. Apart from upsetting some of the top seeded players in World Badminton, Saina has to her credit the achievement of being the first Indian woman to have entered the Quarter Final round of Badminton event at the Olympic Games and many other accolades. She is the first Indian woman to win two back-to-back titles pocketing both the Indian Open Grand Prix and the Singapore Open in the same week.

A game of Badminton is not always about fitness but also about smartness. How smart you play the game with correct strategy, with a correct mindset to overcome all the fear with a ‘nothing to lose’, ‘give everything you got’ mentality. When fear is doused, the confidence that emerges helps you thinking positively and play the game the way real sportsmen do – with a spirit of sportsmanship!

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