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If you’ve been playing badminton for a while, you’ve probably met many interesting people with many different play styles. While each person and play style is unique, I’ve noticed a pattern in types of personalities of badminton players that I found humorous. These characteristics come out over and over again wherever I played and I thought that everyone would be able to relate to my experience. Without further ado, here’s my (somewhat) light-hearted list of types of badminton players and their funny habits that you will encounter in your journey.
Update: Part 2 is now out! Find it over here.
1. The Trickster
This is the player that tries to do a trick shot whenever they can. And they usually fail. But at least it looked kind of cool! Well, at least it was to them.
See an easy opportunity to kill a loose shot and win the point (or the match)? Nope, that’s prime time for that fancy new trick shot they saw on YouTube. Whoops, it went into the net. See a wide open space to hit to? Nope, gotta try to trick them and hit to where they are since clearly they expect you to hit to the open space. Oh wait, they just didn’t move. Opponents are completely out of position? It’s time to do that 360 no scope jumping backhand fake reverse slice drop. Oops, missed it too. Oh well.
Half of The Trickster’s trick shots don’t go over the net and the other half don’t trick anyone. The less than 1% of the shots that do succeed are the ones that they brag about for the next week. The spectators sometimes even applaud or cheer them on when that happens (please don’t, it doesn’t help their ego). That’s what they live for and the sole reason why they play badminton.
The Trickster doesn’t mind losing (badly most of the time) as long as they get their moment of glory. And if they bring down their partner with them, so be it. It’s a sacrifice they’re willing to make. Don’t pair them with The Overly Competitive One.
2. The One That Makes Excuses
This player never thinks anything is their own fault. Each and every point they lose is due to something outside of their control. Couldn’t reach a shot? Partner should’ve got it. Hit into the net? Strings were probably misaligned. Missed the birdie? Lighting was bad. Hit out? Probably a fast birdie.
This is the player that will find each and every reason to not blame themselves and not get better. They’ll ask for birdie changes, racket switches, towel downs, and much more. You can start a game with them and after they lose the first point or two, they’ll take off their warm up jacket and pants so that they can play “seriously”. After you outmaneuver them, they’ll retie their shoelaces. If you hit a shot on the line, they’ll try to measure the drift in the gym. If you get a net caught, they’ll readjust the net.
The list goes on and on.
But when they win, it’s all skill. All them. Completely outplayed. No question.
3. The Loud One
This is the player who has to be making noise all the time. Seriously, every point. They’re the ones shouting when they smash (or pretend to smash) or saying thank you when their opponents make mistakes.
They’re the ones who will coach you after they make a mistake as your doubles partner.
They’ll be the ones shouting “In!” (to their opponents) or “Out!” to their partners. Even if they’re wrong, they want to make sure that they are heard. They’re like Jasmine from Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin singing Speechless:
I won’t be silenced
You can’t keep me quiet
Won’t tremble when you try it
All I know is I won’t go speechlessJasmine
You can’t shut them up if you tried. They’re just happy to be part of the game and talking non-stop is part of their fun.
At least you’ll never lose track of the score since they shout it out after every point.
4. The Lifter
This player lifts every shot. It doesn’t matter if it’s a great opportunity for a kill or if there’s a giant empty space to hit to, they’ll lift. That’s what they’re used to and what they’re comfortable with and they’re not stopping for anyone or anything.
It probably all started when they found that pushing their opponents to the back of the court was quite effective as a beginner. They found it so effective that they never leveled up their game since.
If you played with this player, you’d probably wonder if they even know what the other shots in badminton are. Ok, maybe they also know what a clear is. But that’s not much better. It’s like they think their opponent’s court consists of just the back court. Maybe they’ve had traumatic experiences hitting to the front of the court and vowed never to do it again. Who knows.
While their defense can be quite decent, it usually doesn’t last too long since they keep letting their opponents attack. Eventually, their defense breaks down. Their only hope is for their opponents to make a mistake. For this reason, they love playing against The Choker.
5. The Singles Player
Ever play doubles with a singles player? Yeah, they try to take every shot for themselves. Every. Single. Shot. Even when you’re already standing there. It feels like you’re just an obstacle in the way of them playing. They just don’t know how to play doubles and don’t know the meaning of “teamwork”. They’ve never heard of the word, so what do you expect? And the worst part is that they don’t even notice.
Here’s a little taste into what it’s like to play with them. If they just dove to get a point and the next shot is all the way on the other side, should you get it? Nope, better stay away, they’re going to do another dive. What if a shot is hit between the 2 of you? Oh no, heaven forbid – that’s a broken racket situation if I’ve ever seen one. What if a shot is literally right in front of you? Uh oh, better watch your back, your partner might tackle you. Better to just run away. What about a shot that is clearly out? Ah, finally a shot that you can hit in peace! Hope they don’t mind!
Essentially, you’ll be running around the court just avoiding and watching your partner play. This player is usually like a tank so you don’t want to get in their way. Better to just play “dodge the birdie” than to get rammed into or whacked by a racket. At least you’ll get some exercise in.
6. The Flicker
This player flick serves all the time. Seriously, they don’t even hide it. They know of the 4 Fundamental Types of Badminton Serves, but they just don’t care. Flick, flick, flick. Their opponents are just waiting for it but they just keep doing it.
In fact, this player likes to end up flick serving before their opponents are ready just to get that extra “surprise”! If their opponents know it’s coming already, better serve faster!
Right. But that’s not legal. Well, they’ll keep doing it until they get caught or called out on it. They like living on the edge.
Rallies end up being very short and usually a loss if the opponents know how to smash. However, this player loves to pick on beginners since they usually lack power. Just keep hitting to the back and it’ll all be fine. Not really a fun way to play for most, but to each their own.
The Lifter probably wouldn’t mind partnering up with The Flicker though. After all, flicking is kind of similar to lifting!
7. The Overly Competitive One
This is the player who takes badminton way too seriously. Their number one trait is that they hate losing. And I mean hate losing. If they lose, they’ll be thinking about each and every point wondering what they did wrong and what they should do differently next time. They’ll spend hours upon hours drilling and practicing to get better. This isn’t a game to them, their pride and ego are at stake. They take every loss very personally.
While competitive players are hard on themselves in singles, they also have high expectations for their partners if they ever play doubles. For this reason, don’t pair the competitive player with The Choker in a doubles match. It won’t be pretty when they lose a close match due to several easy shots that were missed. Nothing hurts competitive players more than losing a game they should’ve won. They might even be less upset when being destroyed by the opponents – at least they would know what they should work on in that case. In a close game, all they can think of is their partner hitting the easiest shot in the world into the net multiple times in a row. Good game. Or not. At least not in the competitive player’s mind.
As you may guess, competitive types make for great professional players. To be the best of anything, you more or less have to be pretty competitive. Badminton is no exception. If you ever watch top professionals after their big losses, they’re usually quite hard on themselves. They keep replaying the games and mistakes in their head over and over. This is what makes them come back stronger than ever. Just watch some games of the greatest badminton players of all time– they never accept defeat.
8. The One That Doesn’t Move
This player is like a rock. They just sit there, even if the birdie is 1 step away. Footwork? Haven’t heard of it. They probably tried to fetch a birdie once, fell down, and got scarred by the experience. It’s alright though, they don’t mind walking over to pick up the birdie afterwards. They just don’t like getting it during the rally. Hope their partner likes to run.
As you may imagine, doubles rotation is completely out of the discussion. This player doesn’t know what they should cover or where they should be. They kind of just choose a place and stay there. Usually it’s their starting service position.
Maybe if it’s a very slow shot like a high lift, they’ll take a step or two. But then half the time they’ll realize it’s actually a bit farther than they thought so they go back to their specially chosen spot. Then they’ll look at you to suggest that it should’ve been your shot. Nothing like having your partner deceive you.
For the most part, this player pairs well with the Singles Player.
9. The One That Doesn’t Bring Birdies
This player is the happy go lucky player who is oblivious to anything everyone else thinks or feels. And why wouldn’t they be happy? They come to play badminton and lets everyone else supply the birdies. Every. Single. Time. They get to play some awesome games at the expense of others! They didn’t have to dish out another buck or two per birdie and still got the same experience. This is a great way to save money, but perhaps not a good way to gain friends.
The worst part about it all is that they don’t even realize it. They come, they play, and they leave. Just a normal, fun day at the badminton gym. Little do they know that all the other players are talking behind their backs about the extra birdies they had to use to cover this person’s refusal to supply birdies. Clearly, this player forgot to read rule #2 of the 7 Unspoken Practices of Badminton Etiquette.
Of course, there may be some younger players who are not as financially well off but would still like to enjoy the amazing sport of badminton. As long as there is clear communication between the players about the situation, it should be ok. And on the flip side, there are those who do it even though they’re well off.
10. The Choker
This player can hit all of the standard and hard shots in badminton. But when it comes to the easy shots – they go right into the net. Or out. Or they touch the net. Whatever it is, they find a way to lose the point. All they have to do is get the birdie over the net, but they always find the one way to lose a winning situation.
Suppose your opponents are on the ground after a dive and are nowhere near recovered. Literally any shot that is in would be a winner. Bam, they’ll hit the birdie out. Maybe they were aiming for the boundary line to ensure a kill. That risk vs reward assessment needs some rethinking.
And what if the birdie is in the easiest and juiciest spot above the net? Somehow it’ll go straight into the net. It’s like they hit the birdie straight down at their feet. And this will all come after a hard fought rally to set up for the kill. Great.
The shots they do are usually the last thing you would think of. In fact, it probably takes skill to choke as badly as they do. Even if I tried to lose a point the way they do it’d be difficult. Now that’s a talent. They’ve gotten so good at choking that I’m starting to think that they train for it.
Ok, ok, each of these personalities are just a tad bit extreme. Perhaps not every player of that type behaves like that. But hope you had a few laughs. They’re the best when there’s some truth to it. Really, we all have a little of each type in us!
Want more or think I missed some types? Comment down below to let us know!
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