Badminton still wins

Kate Shambo, staff writer

Great footwork, teamwork, and execution are all essential skills for a strong badminton player, Kelli Nitahara, Varsity Girls’ Badminton Coach, said. All of these skills have payed off for the badminton team, resulting in a record of 12-3-1, Nitahara said.

Nitahara has been playing badminton since high school and has been coaching for five seasons. After having a beneficial badminton experience throughout her high school years, Nitahara’s priority as a coach is to maintain a positive environment for her players.

“I teach [my players] to never give up, stay focused, and [be] positive,” Nitahara said. “I encourage everyone to lead by example on and off the badminton court.”

Because of Nitahara’s cheerful attitude, players are able to develop skills that are usueful in everday life as well, senior Ami Patel, Varsity Badminton Captain, said. She said both leadership and teamwork are important skills to have on the team.

“Within a team, you have to be open to every opinion,” Patel said, “If anyone is trying to offer you advice you should take it. Everyone is trying to help each other.” 

Sophomore Irene Park, Junior Varsity Badminton Player,  has found working together to be an essential part of the badminton team. Playing with another person on the court can bring its own challenges, so exhibiting good teamwork skills is incredibly important, Park explained. 

“I learned that the team really matters.” Park said. “I realized that winning in badminton is not for my pride and myself, but for my team.” 

Badminton is more than what meets the eye when it comes to physical and mental skills, Park said. Others may overlook the sport due to their initial impressions surrounding badminton, but this stereotype doesn’t get the badminton players down, Patel explained.

“People do not expect [badminton] to be hard, but I think that people just [underestimate] us,” Patel said. “Everybody who is in the sport loves badminton.”