With winter sports winding down, the time has come to start training for the upcoming spring season of girls’ badminton. Despite the cold weather conditions and immense amount of snow, returning athletes are itching to get back into the gym and train.
Beginning in February, open conditioning sessions with head coach Maria Rustman as well as open gyms have gone underway in preparation for the season. Held in the fitness center, the conditioning sessions consists of agility, endurance, and footwork training; three important skills that are important to an athletes performance on the court. Junior badminton player Danielle Uphoff comments, “Open conditioning sessions are beneficial because it gives you an idea of what the sport expects out of you throughout the season.”
Open gyms are held in the field house and give athletes a chance to play pick-up games with one another before tryouts. Although she cannot coach the athletes, Coach Rustman is excited to see the talent of the returning athletes as well as girls who are completely new to the game. Junior badminton player Danielle Uphoff comments, “Open gym is basically a time for previous and new badminton players to actually play the sport with other girls who are interested in trying out. It is helpful because you can get advice form girls who have previously played and you can always learn new skills before tryouts.”
In a recent interview with Rustman, I learned of her goals for the season as well as her thoughts on what is to come. “Some of my goals for this season are to see improvement in technique and form from former athletes, upperclassmen supporting lower class more often, place higher in tournaments, have more players qualify for State, and to see that ‘V’ light up more outside of West,” she says.
“My advice is to not think of it as the common ‘backyard game’. When you come to tryouts, expect to sweat and be pushed. Both myself and Coach Hauert take this sport seriously and we want all of our athletes to feel the same way,” says Rustman. Athletes are encouraged to bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothing and running shoes. If you have any questions on the season or the sport, please contact head Coach Rustman or freshman Coach Hauert.