Sunday, September 14, 2008

Badminton, a Chinese coach and a sore loser

I've finally finished blogging about our family trip to Tokyo and it has brought back so many good memories that I have an urge to run out and book air tickets to Japan. Alas, not going to happen.

So for those have been patiently lurking on this blog waiting for the next post, I'm baaaack!

Every Sunday afternoon, we go to a nearby Community Centre to play badminton. It started innocently enough back in October last year when Kenneth decided to book a badminton court during a public holiday for some family fun. After the first game, the kids decided that it was rather enjoyable since they could actually hit the shuttlecock (versus tennis where it was usually a case of *swing!* kid misses the ball.... ball goes bouncing down the court... kid runs after ball... repeat 10 times... daddy starts shouting... kid declares game "not very fun". The only variation is where kid actually hits the ball but ball goes into net.)

Following that successful first badminton game, Kenneth proceeded to book the badminton court for the next Sunday and we've been playing every week since. It was clear from very early on that Andre had a natural affinity with the game. He cuts quite a comical figure on the court actually, as he's pint sized and the racket looks too long for him. Yet, after a few games, he started being able to return shots quite naturally and even winning points. By middle of this year, he was playing a decent game.

It therefore didn't come as a surprise when he came home from school all excited one day with a form and said he wanted to join the badminton CCA in his school. Although children usually join CCAs only from P3, the school badminton team wants to train school players early so they do a recuitment at P2. We let him sign up and as part of the CCA, he attends badminton training for 2 hrs once a week by a China coach.

The first few sessions were hilarious - the coach would give instructions in Mandarin and most of the kids (typically bad in Chinese coming from a mission school), would look blank. Andre actually tried to guess what the coach was telling him and did random actions like raise his arm, put his foot out, put his other foot out, hoping one of them was right. In exasperation, the coach said "I should charge all of you extra for Chinese tuition!"

It has just been 3 months of training so far, but the results are evident. Having learnt the right stance and right techniques, Andre can now play a reasonably good game and his smashes can be deadly. Here he is with a smash and follow-through.

However, Andre is all power, less strategy. Lesley-Anne, being the ever intellectual, knows she cannot beat him at the power play so she mixes up the game with net play, which annoys Andre because he hasn't quite mastered the art of anticipating shots.

Which brings me to the point that Andre has a lot to learn when it comes to sportsmanship, ie he hasn't any. He hates to lose, full stop. Whenever he misses a shot, you can bet an excuse would come next: "The light was in my eye", "I wasn't ready", "I thought it was out".

Yesterday, we went to my sister and brother-in-law's place and they had just bought a Nintendo Wii set. Andre clammered to try it - wah, the ultimate video game! He tried out the tennis game and you should have seen the concentration and determination on his face. Every time his shot was out, his face would turn thunderous. He started moving nearer and nearer the tv screen until I was afraid he was going whack it. When it became clear that he was losing, he started shouting, "You're distracting me!" (meaning we caused him to lose lah, because we broke his concentration by breathing). He lost the game and it was time to leave, but you could see in his maniacal eyes he was dying for a re-match.

I know the prices have dropped significantly, but I don't think we will be getting a Wii set anytime soon.

1 comment:

bACk in GERMANY said...

Oh my boy is also a sore loser :(

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