When I was a child, the summers were long and we only came inside to eat and when darkness fell. We loved playing outside. There wasn’t much sickness in our house, or that of my friends, and obesity wasn’t a topic of conversation primarily because of our engagement in motion.
I’ve always been very physical. I’m inclined to dance in the rigors of natural movement. This was how I got into mountaineering during my corporate life in the home country and to Badminton here in Riyadh—which has been the fulcrum of my workout routine since 2017.
Badminton is considered the world’s fastest racket sport that requires considerable agility, reflexes, and aerobic capacity. It’s also the world’s fifth most popular sport with approximately 200 million people playing Badminton worldwide. For me, it’s the most decent replacement of mountaineering here in Saudi Arabia where indoor activities are the trend, especially during summer, which is quite longer than winter. It’s an amazingly good sport — intense, fast paced, exhilarating, and burns a lot of calories especially in a competitive level.
For almost a year of joining tournaments and queuing, I could say that playing Badminton is an incredible learning experience. There are life lessons in it such as being good at anything requires hard work and power of self-motivation and have already “posted them before (“The Culprit for My Hiatus” and “Indians dominate the 1st CFO Badminton Tournament 2013”). This space is reserved for the entertaining, I may say, novelties that have been catching my interest and writing mojo since then. So here they are. The top novelties of Badminton that only players in Riyadh can definitely relate to:
- Swearing, Cursing, Yelling, or Exhaling Loudly is a necessity
In today’s potty-mouthed times, many observers naturally lament the debasement of speech especially in the Philippines where national leaders sling profanity like a sloppy word-hash.
On Badminton courts, we don’t clutch our pearls for that; instead, we find a silver lining. This is because it’s common to hear players doing any of those for tactical reasons. Swearing or Cursing releases tournament jitters or stress; Yelling exerts more power into a shot; and Exhaling Loudly enables stability and better recovery for the next shot.
So remember, for all their shock value, Swearing, Cursing, Yelling, or Exhaling Loudly is oh so good inside the court!
- There’s an unwritten hierarchy when it comes to “attitude” inside the court premises
While it holds through that majority of players in higher flights are humble, there’s also a fair share of players who are catching the drift on the other side. Only high level players (F4-Premiere) can request airconditioners to be turned off if the wind is blowing from behind or front of the court due to air conditioning.
The thing is, BL or F6 players can never ask for the same because they, should I say, we, didn’t earn the unwritten privilege for it yet.
That’s only one of the many instances of course.
- To be called an addict is something to be proud of but…
The criteria are far beyond the ordinary. A player has to play every day not only in his club but with other clubs—or more…and more!
Needless to say I’m not anywhere near that at this point. I’m okay with taking baby steps.
- Shoes and rackets are status symbols
You can forget about the brand of your sportswear and other accessories but when it comes to shoes and rackets, DON’T YOU DARE! Simply because they’re status symbols.
- Voracious eating or a sip of coffee after the games is a must
We’ve all been there: starting playing Badminton, increasing the frequency, and suddenly we start feeling more and more voracious.
Don’t get us wrong. We know that we should eat light after playing if the idea is to lose weight and vice versa. However, the thought of missing socialization and companionship is also important if not outright tempting or really fun fun fun.
All of those contribute to our physical and social well-being one way or the other. They make Badminton extra special other than making us develop reflexes that could rival Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo’s; fit as Rich Froning Jr.; and/or agile as Spiderman. You’re like in full swing of being in motion and fun with this sport.
6 Life Lessons You’ll Learn From Playing Badminton (theodysseyonline.com)
Top 10 Tips For Beginner Badminton Players (sportskeeda.com)
Here’s Everything A Badminton Fan Can Relate With (blog.playo.co)
8 facts about Badminton that will blow your mind (realbuzz.com)
Seven Struggles Every Badminton Player Can Relate To (thoughtcatalog.com)