Archive for Badminton

A good skipper

Dear All,
By now I suppose you all know the ground rule of our club but I would like to remind you all of one very important issue: please bring your shuttlecocks.

We all know that feather shuttlecocks are expensive and they don’t last. For a 15 minute session, we probably use one to two shuttlecocks, or three at the most. With four players in each round of play on a court, it is not exactly necessary we need four shuttlecocks per session. However, no one can argue that it is fair that everyone contribute to the game. We are well aware that some of our members never bring a shuttlecock to the court and this has to stop.

From now on, everyone sign in and come to play on a court must provide a brand new feather shuttlecock. Anyone else on the court has the right to ask any other player on the court to show his/her new shuttlecock. One who fail to show his contribution of new feather shuttlecock may be asked to leave the court and his/her round of play will be skipped.

We always have had this practice but most of the time it has not been enforced and recently I heard a few complaints about members not contributing, causing some others to keep buying new shuttlecocks while other keep playing for free. We must enforce the one-birdie-one-person rule so everyone enjoy the game fair and square…

Not finding a place to buy feather shuttlecocks is not a valid excuse. We understand that badminton is not a very popular sport in the US therefore a few of our members buy shuttlecocks from China by bulk to share with other members, charging only a bear minimum to cover their cost. Anyone needs new shuttlecocks please contact Alex Cuan or Jing He. You may also go to any badminton clubs in NY to buy from them as well. Otherwise, if anyone has shuttlecocks for sale please also let me know…

If anyone do no believe this is fair, please come to me in person in any club evening.

Best Regards,


Petty? Yes. But to ensure the longevity of any social/grass root group we need someone like Sam. Set rules that apply to everyone, and follow through with it. Put the group first and I the last.

I’ve witnessed him wrestling with court sign up process – too many players with too few courts. He openly invited everyone to voice his/her concern/suggestion/solution and finally came up with the current system. Now I guess it’s the shuttlecocks time.

A little sideline: it’s amusing to see some tennis players whom I’ve been playing with for years, never once opened a can of balls. Don’t have balls? Hmmmmmmm.. They must be the firm believers that there is free lunch.

Anyway, I have been playing with Sam for years but we don’t invite each other to our own BBQs. Once I dared to nag him to stop smoking – it bothered me. There were many his friends around, he retorted in his booming voice, well .. little woman, pls mind your own business. He wasn’t joking.

Sam volunteers to run the badminton group in lower Manhattan in an effective manner, for years. He does a lot to make it fair and interesting, between setting/enforcing rules and soothe disputes. At year-end, he would collect money for the staff at the recreation center where they call it home. He has been at it for a long time, 4 years by now. He is well respected by his constituents so no one challenges him for this prestigious position because it’s a lot of hard work and painful headache, not to mention time consuming .. unless you have real love for it. The only reward is seeing this group has good time each time.

Any one who aspires to run a group should learn a thing or two from Sam. First put your personal agenda or benefit aside, do a string unattached job. When everyone sees your effort, unselfish effort, they will come, and reciprocate with respect and support.

Last week, Sam’s group started the second round of their league tournament (dreamed up by Sam, with inputs from everyone .. ) and from the scores, the three matches were very intensive, great time and games by all.

Match A1: 4 vs 15, ..
Game 1: 4, 21-18, 15
Game 2: 4, 21-23, 15
Game 3: 4, 23-21, 15

Match B1: 3 vs 5, ..
Game 1: 3, 21-13, 5
Game 2: 3, 16-21, 5
Game 3: 3, 21-13, 5

Match B2: 1 vs 8, ..
Game 1: 1, 21-14, 8
Game 2: 1, 10-21, 8
Game 2: 1, 24-22, 8

Last September he got 20 tickets to the WNBA game at the MSG, Madison Sq Garden. It was given to the group as whole. He announced it on the web and allotted them to the first 20 repliers.

During his reign so far, I could only recall one whiner who perhaps in desperate need of some attention. The trouble maker complained about something that’s neither made sense or out of line. After few polite e-mail exchanges, Sammy finally told the person .. be quiet. (No, Sam didn’t fine the person $1,500 as Roger was fined by USTA .. ) Players lined up behind him, because they could see Sam in it is NOT for himself.

Chaoyang and CatsNYOur group picture with Chaoyang at the end of a friendly game in New York.
The same could not be said for other groups.
It’s just happened, during the US Open, Chaoyang had extra 12 tickets and they gave to catsny since we entertained them for a friendly game on Sunday. I knew nothing about the tickets till an unhappy camper told me. To find out for myself, I asked the organizer who replied:

I received 6 day’s ans [sic .. and] 6 night’s tickets from Jennifer. I gave out to whomever wanted to go and kept 1 night ticket for myself.

How come I was never offered one?? Thought we’re friends 🙂

In all honesty, I don’t believe friends should get any priority or preferential treatment in a group setting. Fairness is the key. I added that just being factious. After all, I was part of the group, and I was indeed unaware of the tickets.

The organizer replied:

many said the sane [same] thing. Tickets came and go in no time. Just couldn’t keep everyone happy

Meanwhile, those few heading a group with clear mission statement, incurred many complains are wondering why they put in time and effort but were not appreciated.
Well, my suggestion is:
Stick to your mission statement, and review it often, and carry it out
Make it open and transparent, no back door dealings
Put the G – group first, I second if not last.

I’ve always felt a bit ambivalent about the motives of the xx organization. It seems they’re not aware of their own mission statement.

One successful sport league captain commented.

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We won!

King’s been playing badminton with me lately. Our first win as a team came last month against Sunny with his daughter.
That didn’t count as much as the win we got last night, against
Paul and Paul.
The 6 footer hubby and the other half of the twins.
They both are better players.
I played with my left hand, trying to preserve my right arm for tennis – 烧包.
It’s our second time as a team. We played without talking.
On the court as in life, many times the winner was the one who makes less mistakes.
And many people refuse to acknowledge it.
We made less mistakes, were relaxed.
They thought they’d won, easily. …. then got tight when they were down from the get go.
Sounds familiar in life?
… …
We lost badly in the second set against two girls. By that time, King was ready to go. He didn’t want to come at all. I forced him.
Thoughtfully, he told me that he’s done more sport at the music camp, and enjoyed the friendly soccer played out at the backyard daily.
“We played every day … once a guy pushed me down on purpose because his team was losing.” It’s all good nature and King felt to the ground, as requested.
“I thought all the piano geeks are timid gentle little people who don’t know how to get physical.” I joked.
He laughed out loud.
My kids are well trained to make me feel better.

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3 and 2290

I went to play badminton tonight after three long months of hiatus, due to the right ankle. It’s so good to see everyone !! There are few new players. I only got to play 3 sets. A very good 3 sets – 3:0. 2 sets were teaming up with Simon and 1 with Jordan. The very first set I served first, cause they always say ‘lady’s first’ .. so .. I never relinquish that. Yes, I won all my first 15 points. Is there a name for it? The third set was a close game, 15:8 – couldn’t believe we actually outplayed Jordan and a young kid.

Jordan was happy: announcing his college admission – 17 yes so far, from Yale, Princeton, Stanford .. and he’s waiting for the one: the H bomb .. Harvard.
“It should have come at 5pm today.” He looked at his iPhone.
“No worry, perhaps the Pacific time zone.” I joked.
He laughed.
He did not do any volunteer work.
“I have two jobs. I want to make money.” He said firmly.
“What do you do?”
“I tutor.”
“Did you attend tutor school?”
“Yes, for a week. I found it useless for me. .. I got 3 SAT books and did it on my own.”
He got 2290 out of 2400.
Way to go J!

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San Francisco Loses at Badminton

Outmatched by an 86-Year-Old! Look at that.

I haven’t been playing badminton since last December when I twisted my right ankle at the parking lot of the pool. Now although I’m good enough to play tennis, but I’m trying to conserve, so no badminton for the time being. Ouuuuch ..

SAN FRANCISCO — In a time when governments across the country are raising every manner of fee to battle nasty budget deficits, one 86-year-old man here drew the line.

Ed Leong decided to fight City Hall over badminton. And, soon, City Hall found it too hard to fight Ed Leong.

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A huge win

Jordan and I finally beat Simon and Sunny! It’s a huge win for us, on our fourth try! I was totally soaking wet, panting like a cow. A great game.Jordan coached me on serving. I did all wrong all these time. Sweet.

We later lost a should-win-easily game, Michael and Kate. I was too tired to even move and my right wrist was hurting. Sorry about complaining about my injury. Should just suck it up and move on. Tough love.

I was wearing one of those hand-me-ups. Jenny asked why do I dressed in a teenager’s outfit. Oh Mothers! She’s really decent dresser. I told her that I’m too cheap to throw out those cloth ..

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Sammy’s words on badminton

In explaining his design for the tee shirt for the past weekend’s inter-club tourney, Sam wrote:

The theme if the idea is “Birdies Symphony” or “Dancing Birdies”…
I got the idea as I recalled the very first time I walked into AES for my very first badminton session…
I heard some very loud sound of the rackets pounding the shuttlecocks. It turned out to be Garry who had been punishing those poor birdies. I’d never knew that badminton could have those kind of “sound effects” before then…

As I moved on my badminton path, I found that it was actually kind of rhythmic to “hear” badminton in session. There are loud drumming like heavy smashes; there are like ‘cling’ sounds like the sounds of a harp when someone hits a light drop. It is always a mix of sounds of all kinds in different rhythms. When there are many courts playing at the same time, it’s like a symphony. That is what got me the idea to design the tee shirt for our tournament. Didn’t you enjoy the symphonic day last Saturday?

.. .. Sorry that I missed the tourney .. well written Sam .. .. The birdie can travel at 200 miles per hour, faster than a tennis ball. Once my left hand was hit by it and got bruise. I was too chicken to say anything. Didn’t want the boys think that I’m a sissy. Then one day I told this to a doctor, he confirmed that I wasn’t a crying baby. Indeed the little white birdie causes bruises.

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Matt Johnson

According to Sammy, Matt Johnson of Golden Gate Badminton Club in San Francisco, officially is the 10th ranking badminton playing in the US. How the sport of tennis and badminton differs, for the top 10 in tennis are rather well known. The Golden Gate Badminton Club is one of the prestigious badminton clubs of North America.  Johnson came with Michael Young, visited and played at Sammy’s club last week.  Wow, that’ll be something.  I missed, haven’t been to his club in over a year.

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Open shoulder


This slow motion shows Nadal’s muscles during a serve.  It’s unbelievable. 

I often heard that to get a better serve you need to open up your shoulder more.  I think I know what does it mean.  I don’t always open up my shoulder when I serve.  It is a hard work.  Playing a better game requires more mental and physical efforts.

I know how to play a lazy game (or swim lazily) or a hard fought game.  It’s hard to put up a fierce fight every time when I get out on the court.  Because my mood is different, my opponent/partner could be different.  The weather affects me .. many factors.  For a pro, those shouldn’t be a factor.

Doesn’t it sound like in life, no one could go on high strung for ever.  So you pick you battle and choose your war.  Sometimes you go all the way and others you only spend 80% or 90% of your energy for task.  110% effort doesn’t guarantee you the result – still came up short.  Timing and luck do play a roll.

I’m trying to get to the 3.5 or 4.0 level, but haven’t.  I didn’t try harder.  My mental toughness isn’t always there.

One day waking up on the cruise, I found my left shoulder was in pain.  Though it would go away in a few hours.  But it stayed.  I have no problem to swim but have trouble to serve and play double hand backhand.  Actually we got back home on an over night flight and I went to play tennis as soon as I got home.  I forgot totally about my painful shoulder.  On my first backhand, it hurt so much I almost screamed.  Now I’m making do with single hand bh.  Passable but without the power.

I was quite happy at yesterday’s win at badminton.  Can’t play with the girls with my left hand for the time being.

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A thrilling night

I played great three sets with Jordan against Big Steel and Michael.  Big Steel has been coming for the past couple of weeks.  We won the first set convincingly at 15:3.  It was a hard fought game.  I was sweating and panting like there is no tomorrow.  After the game was over, the sweat continuously pouring down for a good 10 minutes!

Although BS has very laid back manner but he hates to lose and shows.  Many times when he went down to save a point and didn’t, he would stay down there for a few seconds.  Jordan Fan (not the kiddie one) on the other hand was really cool, says very little.  Always bow slightly whenever I picked up the birdie for him.  I still consider his back hand is the meanest and sleekest I’ve seen.  Now we’ve been playing together for a while, he becomes the yada coach – constantly reminding me to keep my arms up in the air and stay behind the line.  One girl used to laugh at me: my waiting position isn’t right, is like worshiping the god – I use both hands to hold the racket like tennis but the birdie comes faster than the tennis ball, so my hands were higher (that’s why the badminton waiting position is like surrender, arms are in the air).  I have no intention to change, too lazy.  If Jordan doesn’t remind me, I’ll be on the service line, which is too close.  I always joke that there is a piece of candy or steam hanging on the net.

We lost second set at 15:13.  I was very tired.  The third set Michael demanded to change side, the set facing the door has dimmer lighting.  So we switched and we won again.  My energy seemed to creep back at third set.  I played better.  After BS left, Michael teamed up with Sammy and they won 17:14.  I don’t want to make excuses, but by then my arms and legs were not my own any more.

Sammy got my racket back, with a very sleek looking string.  My good durable quarter century old racket – I purchased it in Hong Kong in 1983 or so!! The badminton people sure don’t know how to make and market their products. Look at the tennis manufactures and marketing execs. They put out new racquets, new outfits very other months and make fortune. Why can’t or won’t the badminton community follow the suit?

I’m really pumped up, wide awake.  It’s passed my bedtime already.  Hello Beijing .. It’s me calling .. harass my friends there 🙂

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Chanel does tennis

Tennis Anyone? The fashion business seems to be a resounding “yes”. Why did it take so long? Tennis outfits – for girls – have always been there. Can you name a outfit or brand for badminton? I bet many girls start to play tennis are due to the cute white dresses or skirts. It’s part of my reason, in spite of the heavy racket (compare to badminton’s).

Wimbledon’s just started.  The top 4 male/female players are the same as in French Open, in slightly different order.  Where are the Americans??  I miss the period when Sampras faced off Agassi on Sundays .. the commentators or the media would dab it as Who’l be the King on July 4th – corny but hey, I wouldn’t mind to see that again.  I just love Sampras (who’s nature serve and volleyer) more than Federer.  Manner wise they’re very similar, quiet and composed (so is John G. Roberts), very cool and sexy – the way a man should be.  

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