Badminton is my latest thing. I started a class on it at my college last month, and it really is very exciting and fun! I keep practising my serve and ‘volleying’ the birdie in any free time I have at home so I can be a little better next class. It`s just a fun sport that can easily be made more casual or more competitive, and there are no face to face stand offs like in Soccer, where everyone is kicking all the other shins in a cluster for a few moments until someone manages to kick the ball out. That was really exhausting. It also wasn`t fun for someone who hates confrontation as much as me.
In fact, after nine years of playing on a soccer team, I`d given up on sports all together. You have to be mean and confrontational in soccer and a lot of other sports. Because it is a popular sport, no matter what the league says, everyone will be playing like their college tuition money depends on it. And with so many parents determined that their kids will get into college on a sports scholarship, it`s no wonder they act that way. There`s jostling, and as much shoving as you can get away with without the ref noticing. You are playing in mud and broad daylight or complete rain, and either way you are bound to feel a little uncomfortable about it all. And though, as a defender, soccer has long stretches of boredom, you tend to get in trouble for chasing butterflies. If everyone is so dead set agains that, why not just write it in the rules? It would cut the learning curve down a lot.
But badminton isn`t like that. Your opposition is separated by you from a net, so they can`t shove you even if they wanted to. It`s indoors, so you get to skip the mud and yuck, but it is also fast paced the whole way through, so you are in no danger of getting bored and staring off into space. And people are just nice when they are playing it. I don`t know about your country, but here badminton is thought of more like a game than a competitive sport, so people are really friendly even if you aren`t the best player on Earth. They give advice, and they`re patient, even if you missed your serve five times in a row. Well, that could just be the nice people in my class, but either way it`s pretty awesome. In all those years and teams of soccer, I only ever experienced something like that in the Kindergarten teams.
No one expects you to go to a bazillion clinics to improve your technique, or wants you to practice hard so you can get into the travel team. I don`t think they have a normal badminton league around here, let alone an advanced one. It`s just a nicer system that is set up more for fun than a do or die mindset. I like it.
So, if you want to play sports casually instead of killer competitively, I suggest you try an unpopular sport. Whatever is less played around you is bound to be a little less serious, because there are less people to compete against. Try playing a sport just for fun today, and you may never go back to your weight lifting routine! (Especially if you get your friends in on the action!) Boring sports and workout routines just aren`t necessary anymore.