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The Apache Pow Wow

Badminton Lessons

Natalie Samadi, Staff Writer

I’m certain everyone has heard the saying “hard work pays off” or a variation of it. Without a doubt, it isn’t only a quote and there is evidence everywhere to exhibit the power of complete effort, dedication, integrity, and passion. It’s easy to complain and give your half-hearted effort but for what reward? Contributing all of your effort and will results in the most satisfying successes. I’ve especially learned this from playing a sport, specifically badminton.

Being an athlete, I’ve been able to witness and directly experience the impact of working hard. As a latecomer to badminton, I had a lot of catching up to do in order to play at the same level as my opponents, meaning I had to train harder and more frequently. The first six months were horrible for me; I distinctly remember being incredibly slow because I had poor footwork and being unable to clear across the court because my form was incorrect and I was too oblivious to change. I continued to sweat, push, and cry for several months until I finally broke through the margin that divided me from the other players. During the most physically and mentally painful months of my life, I would feel exhausted, sore, and sleepy every day. I had dedicated my life solely to a sport and was addicted to doing so although it bullied me. And for what reason? I have no clue. There’s just something foreign yet whimsical about hitting feathers glued onto a piece of cork shooting at me that provides relief and satisfaction, and I know it’s not purely my endorphins at work. After breaking through, I felt invincible and powerful, as if I were liberated from some trap that held me down. As time progressed, I began to dominate the court and steadily began to win more and more matches.

Though winning will always feel amazing, seeing some of my opponents’ poor attitudes and misguided motivations towards practice definitely bothers me. When I first started off as a beginner, I played a match against someone you could easily describe as arrogant. She confidently boasted her skill and was able to force others into believing she was the most perfect player in my class. Though she was a great friend off the courts, she wouldn’t bother to conceal her ego during our matches or lessons. She epically beat me and continued to do so for the longest period of time. I continued to train hard, spending almost all of my free time at the courts and as each match I played passed, my game-play knowledge advanced as well as my skill and performance. One day, I managed to win against her and she watched me in total awe. She was obviously frustrated and almost angry that I had won, but I was not astonished by my big win. I felt content and satisfied with myself but my friend continued to make up excuses as to why she lost. I wondered why she was surprised and greatly affected. Did she not see my score creeping closer and almost touching hers throughout each match we played? And why did she expect to hold her title as the best player when she wouldn’t devote her time to training? Without speaking to her afterwards, I realized that hard work would always translate into success.

This is true for any situation— the amount of work you devote will always equal to your amount of success. The effort and hours you spend studying for your upcoming final or the amount of time you spend scrolling through UC Berkeley’s infamous meme page will easily determine your score. So the next time you decide to complain about a bad grade, a grand loss in your basketball game, or why things never go your way, look back and reflect on what you have done that resulted in your disappointment.

Photo courtesy of FREECREATIVES.COM

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Badminton Lessons