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Trying Out for High School Badminton

Every league, school, and coach will differ in their policies about what it takes to make the cut for your high school badminton team. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can follow to give yourself the best chance at making the final roster. There are no guarantees, but if you keep this advice in mind, you should have no regrets regardless of your outcome.

What to Expect

While the specific details will obviously vary, you can expect the coach to challenge the players’ conditioning and technique. Endurance, speed, strength are all physical attributes that will be tested. You should also be expected to have a basic understanding of badminton. Executing basic shots and knowing the rules of the game wouldn’t hurt your cause. You may feel uneasy and tired at times, but never quit on yourself. If you’ve already given up on yourself, then the coach will surely do the same.

Chat with the Coach

Reach out to the badminton coach by setting up a quick meeting with him. You want to take some time to get to know the coach, his philosophy, his goals, and anything else he’d like to share with you. At the same time, you want to speak out about what your own goals are and what you expect to get out your experience on the badminton team. If you can’t set up a meeting, suggest a quick talk after tryouts. Don’t force the issue, but at least show an effort to communicate with your coach.

Show up Early

By planning to show up to tryouts early, you ensure that you won’t be late. The last thing you want is to pop into the gym to see that you’ve interrupted the warm-up session with everyone’s eyes on you. That’s not the best way to make your first impression on your coach and prospective teammates. Arriving early also allows you to get settled before you get into the drills and exercises. This is also a great way to show you’re committed to the team and willing to put in the time and effort.

Ask Questions

Whenever appropriate, ask any questions you have on your mind. Don’t be afraid of looking silly — it’s better to speak up than to do a drill incorrectly. The coach may even interpret it as laziness if you seem content to do an exercise wrong rather than ask for a clarification. Asking questions also demonstrates a sign of leadership; in other words, taking the initiative rather than waiting for others to.

Hot Tip: Get a Head Start

If you suspect that your school is highly competitive in badminton, you may want to get ahead before tryouts. Find badminton gyms to play at regularly, and try to build up your conditioning for the start of the season.

Put in the Effort

Even though this isn’t practice or a real match, you need to put in 100 percent of your effort. Don’t worry if others may think you’re trying to show them up. As long as you show you have a “team-first” attitude, they will begin to understand your dedication. This is the time to show your coach what you’re capable of; insecurity, jealousy, and petty fears have to be pushed aside.

Clean up Afterwards

Just like showing up early to tryouts, you should stay a bit afterwards to help clean up any way you can. Put away poles, nets, or shuttles, or even sweep the gym floor. This will show you’re willing to do more than what’s expected of you, something the coach will definitely be looking for.

Strive for Success, Not to Impress

There’s no need for show-boating or bragging during a tryout. Put your best effort forward and keep a humble attitude about yourself. Credit will be given where it’s due, so as long you’re working hard you’ll gain recognition. Your coach is looking as much for leadership qualities as he is for technique and skill. In all of this, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Being able to have fun on the court will make all the fatigue and soreness a lot easier to bear.

Whether you're trying out badminton for the first time, or you missed the final cut last time, this guide will help you do everything in your power to make the team.
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