Article by: Putra W.
Edited by: Margarita T.
Visual by: Issy P. & Somya D.
With end of the school year approaching, ISM’s seniors are bombarded with a multitude of lasts. For the third-season student athletes, many of them will have just experienced their final IASAS last week. Being an athlete requires countless hours of dedication and motivation, two traits that Elisabeth C. has exemplified, having been a member of the Varsity badminton team since her freshman year. Speaking on how she grew to love the sport, Elisabeth asserts, “I started playing badminton when I was 7 years old with my mom. I was never really the sporty kind when I was young, so badminton was the first sport I learned and played. I really grew to love it and at 13, I started to train more intensely in preparation for Varsity tryouts.”
As with any sport, badminton has its own unique set of challenges. Elisabeth elaborates, “The hardest part about badminton is the mental game that the sport requires. There is so much focus you need to have and you can’t psych yourself out if you lose a point. Additionally, badminton requires you to read your opponent fairly quickly and be adaptable. Each opponent has their own unique set of strengths and weaknesses, and as a player, you need to pick up on those within the first 3-5 points so that you can build a strategy and adapt your playing style.”
With that being said, she explains, “What I love the most about badminton is that no game is lost until you lose it. What I mean by that is you can be 7 points down, but you can still end up winning. Additionally, the sport is very much 50% physical strength and 50% playing smart. Even though you smash every shot, you still may not win the game. The physical strength only really comes into play when you play smart and set up your shot perfectly for a good smash. You can literally gain a 5 point lead just by doing gentle drop shots and no smashes.”
When asked if she would continue playing the sport in the future, Elisabeth says, “Sadly, badminton isn’t really a big sport in the US so there aren’t many super competitive teams or leagues. This is why my last IASAS is gonna be super sentimental because it will probably be the last time I play competitively. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna cry so much after my last game ever. But I think I’ll definitely find a way to keep playing, even if it might just be during holidays with my mom.”
Through a combination of enthusiasm, physicality, and mental agility, Elisabeth embodies the idea that hard work will definitely lead to positive results.