The middle school I went to had two special sports clubs. One was badminton and the other one was gymnastics. I was too big to do gymnastics and one of my relatives was captain of the badminton club, also as I did a bit of badminton in primary school, I decided to enter the badminton club. In the sports hall in the school, there was one badminton court and the other areas were taken by gymnastics.

There were about 6 club members with a coach (my first coach), a very good coach. He did test me. I remember the test. He asked me to run from the badminton court back court end line to the net a few times. When I reached the net, I could not stop myself and I had to hit the net and passed the net. I was big and slow. The coach told my father that I should not play badminton and he will not allow me to be a member of the club. My father begged him to keep me in the club and I was able to stay in the club.

The Training I did during this time

The coach really made us to do very much hard training. The things we had to do during this year were as follows:

We were not allowed to hit shuttlecock for about two months and had to do all the wrist work, swings and footwork. When we did the wrist work swing, we had to use a sand filled wine bottle. We had to put this heavy sand filled wine bottle straight up. Fully stretched vertically and my arm had to touch my right ear. Each of us had to count 20 and we had to move our wrist down and up at each count until all of us had counted 20 each. We can only put our arm down and rest after 120 wrist movements (each of us had to count to 20). It was very hard and I had so much pain in my shoulder and wrist. Just to put the bottle up for 1 minutes would be very hard but we had to move our wrist down and up 120 times without a break. We were not able to put our arm down until all of us finished counting 20 each. I am not saying it was good practice and you should be doing it. I am letting you know what kind of things I did in the old days.

Using the sand filled wine bottle, we had to do a lot of swings. High long singles service, forehand clear swings and so on. I do not think we did any backhand clear practice during this time.

From time to time, we were punished by the club captain when he thought we were not training hard enough. He used a stick and hit our bum 5-10 times. It was a really hard hit. Of course I was scared, but at this time it was a common punishment in a serious sports club. It was the year 1971, nearly 50 years ago.

My Attitude to Badminton during this time.

I did not have any goal or reason to train hard at this time. The reason why I entered the club was that I did a bit of badminton in primary school and the captain was one of my relatives. I did not really enjoy the training as the captain was too hard on us. Training was too serious. Training was very hard and I did not have any reason to train hard. Because of this I tried to quit badminton and change my after school activity to violin. I asked my mother to buy a violin and I entered the violin club. I did not go to badminton club training for a few weeks. At this time, I was in the middle of doing badminton and violin. One day the club captain, came to me and asked me to follow him. He took me to a quiet place and hit my bum with stick and demand to comeback. The reason he hit my bum was that I missed training without informing him. I can not remember how and why but I finally quit violin and continued badminton.