The Apache Pow Wow

2018 Badminton Tryouts

Nancy Zhang, Writer

AHS Badminton tryouts recently took place on Oct. 23 and 25, for boys and girls respectively. Many interested players took advantage of the open gym practices that allowed dedicated athletes to work on their badminton skills before tryouts. Because badminton is an intricate sport that requires much detail and precision, there are many various aspects that players must be able to focus on simultaneously. It is a co-ed sport that is much harder than many people might think it to be.

According to junior co-captain Kevin Yoo, players must show “consistency, high levels of speed, agility, and great athletic ability.” The high standards of a varsity level badminton player is what many students worked towards during open gym. Senior co-captain Katelyn Khaing asserted that the main purpose of open gym is for “players [to get to] play with each other and…gain more experience before the try out.” Thus, “everyone was welcome to [attend] as long as they had their athletics clearance form. Another opportunity that allowed for students to improve themselves and prepare for tryouts was the summer camp that “focused more on technique.” She also noticed that “a lot of players who came to the camp tried out.”

Due to the high intensity of badminton, most players are constantly practicing to increase their endurance. Kevin observed that during open gym, “people [prepared] themselves by practicing their footwork and long-distance jogging” to “help them with reducing recovery time and resistance.” One player, sophomore Maggie Kuo, recalled practicing “techniques” as well,  such as “smashes, backhands, and defense.”

Even the captains are still working towards improving themselves and maintaining their physical ability. Kevin personally goes “to gym outside of school and [works] on increasing leg and arm muscles” by doing lunges and other sets of workouts.” Katelyn also saw herself improve by “playing more games,” which allowed her to get “stronger mentally” and learn her “weaknesses.” She works on these factors during open gym and regular practices.

All the hard work and preparation exerted by these athletes were put to test last week at tryouts. The coaches and captains were looking for athletes with potential, who were consistent and accurate. This is important because players must be able to exhibit enough skill to block a smash or play using backhands, as well as work together in teams. Maggie explained that, during tryouts, they mostly “played with other people and rotated when the coach said to rotate.” During these rallies, the coaches and captains were able to single out significant players who showed the most promise. Undoubtedly, these players are the same ones who prepared themselves thoroughly for tryouts by staying until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. after school to practice during open gym.

So to all future badminton players who plan to tryout next year, keep in mind that there are many opportunities to improve, and they should definitely be taken into consideration. Badminton is not an easy sport, but if you prepare yourself well, it can certainly be fun and rewarding.

Photo by JOCELYN THAO

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2018 Badminton Tryouts