So you play badminton, right? But do you know who the top players are to look out for in world tournaments and see what you can learn from their performances? Do.you even know many of our own national squad - we'll cover that later, but look at world players first...who have you heard of?Lin Dan? Cheng Long? or Viktor Axelsen?
Since we are fortunate to have a national squad player in our coaching team, we have asked Adam Hall to give us his suggestions on the best players for you to follow on the world badminton stage in each event. So here's the lowdown from Adam, who better to suggest than someone who experienced their games first hand and even played against some of them!
MENS SINGLES _ KENTO MOMOTA
Momota is the current Men's Singles Champion, All England Champion and Number 1 ranked player in the world, so this may look like the obvious choice. I picked Momota as my favourite player because of how easy he makes a difficult event look. His movement is smooth around the court which makes it look effortless and his quality of shot, especially around the net, is an amazing thing to watch. I would advise any budding singles players to watch him a lot!
WOMENS SINGLES - RATCHANOK INTANON
Intanon is the youngest person to win a world championship ( at only 18 years old) and is currently ranked 7 in the world. I love watching Intanon play. Her deception and shot quality at the back of the court is unbelievable! I have been lucky enough to watch her train on a couple of occasions and I cannot describe how deceptive her overhead shots really are!
MENS DOUBLES - HENDRA SETIWAN
Hendra Setiwan is my favourite Men's doubles player of all time. He has won everything there is to win and will go down as one of the best players of all time. He just never looks under pressure no matter what the occasion and his skill at the net is something I really try to emulate in my own game. I have been lucky enough to play him and his partner Mohamed Ashan at the Korean Open in 2016 and it was one of the best experiences in my career.
WOMENS DOUBLES - JAPAN
Japan are dominating women doubles at the moment and its hard to pick out a single person who is doing better than the rest. There are 4 Japanese pairs in the world top ten at the moment and its inevitable that one of these pairs will win most women doubles events. Japanese women doubles is known for its consistency and longevity, with games lasting well over an hour. These women train so hard, having watched them when I trained with the Japanese national team in 2016. Some may find womes doubles boring, but you can't help but appreciate how good they are at what they do.
MIXED DOUBLES - YUTA WATANABE
Watanabe is such a skillfull mixed doubles player. For an athlete who is quite small, he is just so explosive and almost seems to float around the court. He has one of the most consistent and deceptive stop drops in the world at the moment (which I am very jealous of as its probably my worst shot!). When playing with his partner Arisa Higashino, they have one of the best defences on the mixed tour and this helped them be the first Japanese pair to win the All England title last year.
Check it out here...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-HfFmgkPQ8
Now, go study!.....ADAM
(video links randomly selected by Natasha!)
Ever wondered what it takes on weekly basis to train as a top National Squad player?
EBC coach, Adam Hall, gives us the lowdown on his training schedule, and that's before he comes to the club to train you guys! I'll let Adam fill you in on the details while I chill out with a coffee, Adam is a regular guest blogger, so watch out for his posts!
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ADAM HALL...
"So a usual Monday for me starts for me with a 6.35am alarm (that may get snoozed once or twice..) then I'll get up and sort my clothes out for the day ahead. For breakfast, I'll have porridge and a glass of apple juice, then I'll brush my teeth and head for the National Badminton Academy in Scotstoun, where we train most days.
Three days a week, myself and doubles partner Alex Dunn do a bit of extra skill practice before the session so I need to be warmed up and ready for 7.30am. We do some skills for around half an hour, by which time the rest of the squad have arrived and we get ready to warm up as a group at 8am.
Warm up starts with the oldest member taking the lead (sorry Kirsty!) and follows in age order down until everyone has taken a turn. The morning session will last from 8-11 and will be badminton specific varying every day. Once the session is over, I would have a post session snack (usually a cereal bar) and do some stretching to make sure I have properly recovered for the next session.
Next, its a drive home to make some lunch and relax until I need to head to the next session. Monday afternoon is taken up with a scheduled weights session over at the Emirates arena with our strength and conditioning coach from the institute of sport. Starting at 2.45pm sharp, this session has a 10 calorie punishment on the assault bike for every minute you are late, so I try to be on time!
A varied weights programme follows including a couple of lower body exercises, a push/pull upper body exercise plus some core and stability stuff to finish it off. This can take up to 90 minutes for a heavy session, but often depends on whether its a tournament week where we drop the numbers a bit!
Physio time is next to try to loosen off my back for which I have the unwanted record of "least flexible" in the entire institute... Treatment for me is either about 16 acupuncture needles in my back for about 30-40 minutes or Chinese cups which will leave some impressive bruises! The final part of my day is cooking a healthy dinner and collapsing on the couch ready to do it all again the next day..."
WHAT A YEAR!!
It's true to say the last year's been a exciting one for EBC...From a slow return from 2018 Summer Holidays the club has massively grown in membership from wider areas and is bringing a greater gender balance across our players, which is fantastic! Our Beginner section is thriving with enthusiastic young players keen to participate in Junior League, whilst our Advanced section is growing into a structured group of around 16 developing players. We have now established a core of 4 volunteer coaches, whose roles will develop in the future with David Forbes and have all been supported by the club to gain Badminton Basic courses as an introduction to coaching. Going forward you'll see a new structured approach to our advanced section with closer monitoring of individual development, so watch this space because it's all in the planning.
It's no surprise that the last year has seen growing and consistent Junior League successes and introductions to Scottish School tournaments for many with so many exciting developments in our coaching team. With Jack Stevenson leaving to pursue his career (see gallery), we made some exciting additions to the team (Sarah, Stewart & Davie) with Rebekka Findlay and Adam Hall, (and a brief time with Kaity Hall) which has had an amazing impact on the club overall. Sarah Findlay was appointed Head Coach and continues to inspire the kids to become great players creating sessions within a friendly, welcoming environment. It's fair to say we're incredibly lucky to have all of them as coaches/mentors and no doubt the team will continue to develop and evolve. It's great that everyone gets into the spirit of our fun events too like Halloween and the Shuttle Stars Awards at Christmas (see gallery), with fantastic support from sponsors like Morrisons Erskine, Decathlon & Gannon Sports.
Last year we were selected to become part of Badminton Scotland's Pathway Programme to establish player pathways through coach mentoring alongside clubs like City of Glasgow & Glasgow Chinese Badminton Club. We are extremely fortunate to have incredible former players and tutors as coach mentors in Robert Blair and Lena Robertson from Glasgow School of Sport. Robert's visit is highlighted in the gallery below where he kindly presented some winners with trophies for our monthly Skills Master Challenge, which continues to be a success with the players.
The presence of Erskine Badminton Club members at external events continues to grow with the last year seeing massive increases in Junior League participation, the beginnings of friendly match schedules with other clubs and involvement in regional and national schools events which is a major step forward in increasing the visibility of the club outside of Renfrewshire.
Looking at the gallery its been a busy one, but it's been fun with some new challenges along the way.
So, there you have it...whether you're a player, parent, coach or committee member, you've all done well this year. Let's make the next one even better.....once the Easter eggs are finished!
Look out for our next guest blog feature from Grant, our newest recruit to the volunteer coaching team, as he completes his Badminton Basics Course.
Junior League 17.3.19
Hi I’m Rachel and I’m 15 years old. I’ve been playing for Erskine Badminton Club for over 4 years and in the past year have started volunteering.
The club has taken part in junior leagues for many years. They’re usually held every month on a Sunday and players from all over Glasgow and North Strathclyde take part, no matter their abilities. Each tournament switches between singles and team events which consists of singles and doubles games with other members from our club as pairings. We get split into divisions and will play against similar players from other teams and clubs. Games are played to usually 15 or 21 and is a great opportunity to all players to take part in competition whether they have been playing for years or are new to the sport. Each entry into junior league costs £6. The winner of each division receives a prize which is usually a t-shirt, water bottle or racket grip and then will progress onto the next division for the next tournament.
I started playing junior league 3 or 4 years ago and have built my way up through divisions as I have improved through training and winning tournaments. I love playing junior leagues because I have met lots of players from across the area and also built up relationships with members from Erskine as we play in doubles pairings. It’s always amazing when one of our players wins and I think it really encourages the rest of us to push ourselves for the next time.
Today we had about 16 players from Erskine entered into the singles tournament which was amazing to see such a great turnout, especially from our younger players who had never played junior league before. We had many players placed in different divisions and had 2 Erskine Winners. Well done to David playing division 3 and Lucy playing division 5 who came out on top! This was Lucy’s first junior league and she smashed it.
Thanks to Natasha for giving me the opportunity to create this blog and making sure we were all focused and motivated at today’s tournament . Also well done to my mum, Alison, for learning to use tournament software to track all our scores (it’ll keep you from embarrassing us!!)
It was great having our coaches David and Sarah at junior league today to support us and give us some encouraging feedback to improve our performances for the future. Having them there really motivated us and I think we all tried to work that little bit harder to make them proud.
Hopefully more of our players will be encouraged to now take part as you all work hard and you should be able to show off your talents!
Here’s some pictures of our players in action! Robin and Llewellyn had some very close games in division 3 but David came out on top.
Many thanks to Andy and Ian from 'OLIVER SPORTS' for visiting Erksine Badminton Club to present their current product range to our members. Everyone got to try out different types and styles of racquets and enter our competition for the chance to win some 'OLIVER' merchandise. Check out some of our lucky winners in the gallery!