SportsDirect News

Welcome to Sports Direct's News Room

Badminton: The Low-down from a First Timer….

thumbnailAs part of the #summerofsportsdirect this year, our blogging team have been doing some field reporting on a whole range of fitness activities that get your blood pumping and your body active. Each week we’ll be bringing you the low-down on the different sports we've been trying to help give you a feel for what to expect when taking part. This week Emma headed onto the Badminton court for the first time since school to see if she still had the skills!
Badminton racket, check. Fluorescent shuttlecocks (for better visibility, or so I thought) check. I headed down to my local leisure centre to see just how easy it was to get back into badminton after a significant number of years away from the court. Turns out it was easy at first, playing Badminton can be both fun and competitive (depending on your preference) so we started out with ten minutes of practise shots, familiarising ourselves with the court layout and trying to remember the rules. 
Serving was hard to master, unlike other racket sports such as Tennis, Badminton serves must be hit upwards from an underarm swing  (below your waist), then the aim is to land the shuttle in your opponents right or left service box (whichever is diagonally opposite to you). It took me a good few turns to get the hand of the underarm swing, and my biceps were certainly feeling the burn a day later! 
Overall, the aim of the game is the first player to get to 21 points with a two point lead wins, simples. As I was a first timer, we decided the first couple of matches would be a 12/13 point win so we could concentrate on skill. Half an hour in and I was well on my way to winning my first match!
Unfortunately my victory was short, I lost 3-1, but as it’s the taking part that counts- I wasn't too disheartened! In summary; Badminton really gets you moving and thinking when playing in a competitive manner, it’s the perfect indoor sport for groups and families and I would definitely recommend it for those who want to get fit but hate the treadmills and dumbbells. 
What I wore
With so many new sports to try, I kitted myself out with the basics and went for the Nike Pro Sleeveless Top, to help keep me dry. I'm 5"8 and this particular top is nice and long in the body and doesn't ride up. My feet were decked out in the ladies Nike Steady IX Trainers, simple and comfy. These Nike Dri-Fit Sweatpants were my first choice to keep me comfy running around the court, I went for the capri pant fit initially in fear of tripping over the bottom of my sweatpants, the loose fit teamed with the dri-fit technology was ideal and as summer continues, capri pants will certainly be my first choice!
What I used
As a beginner I wasn't ready to spend big on my gear so I opted for the purse friendly Carlton T800 Shuttlecocks in yellow. To help me battle it out on the court, my weapon of choice was the Wilson Hyper Z90 Badminton Racket at just £8.00 at the moment, I liked the colour and it was recommended for beginners.  The racket wasn't too heavy and certainly proved itself when matched with my skills!
Have you got any recommendations for Badminton beginners? Or are you a pro with some top tips? Let us know!