Baseball is my most truly loved sport ever. It is the perfect game; it flows naturally; it is perfectly organized and also timeless. There is no other sport or game that even approaches the perfection of baseball.
Badminton is a sport that I have picked up over the last year and-a-half. My fiancee pushed me to try it initially, and because of many nice and patient people, I can get by in games pretty well now. It’s fun and gives me a thorough workout, but will never approach the place nearest to my heart that is reserved for baseball.
Then recently, something happened. I started combining my knowledge of baseball strategy and the game of badminton. I have found a way to reconcile my favorite sport with the sport that I play the most!
It’s simple really. In baseball, the pitcher has to know about the hitters he’s facing: What pitches do they like? What part of the field do they tend to hit to? What will they do when a pitch is high and inside?
I’ve taken this strategy and have started applying it when I serve in badminton. I have to know and predict what the person receiving will do with a specific serve. If I give a short serve, are they more likely to touch it over the net? Or are they likely to lob it up and far to the back of the court? I have to consider if the receiver is aggressive and if they’ll smash if I give them a long serve or not. Considering the situation in badminton with the eye and knowledge of baseball helps me win sets.
I’ve also taken baseball knowledge and applied it to returning the shuttle, although not as much as in serving. “Choke up and protect the plate,” my dad used to say when I was playing baseball as a kid. Choke up on the bat so your swing is shorter quicker and don’t let any strikes cross the plate. You can choke up in badminton when you need short, accurate strikes when returning the shuttle. Protecting the plate for me in badminton simply means hit accurately and play it safe; don’t try any new moves or fancy backhand hits and keep the volley alive with solid and accurate returns.
Then there’s the brushback. In baseball this is when the pitcher throws at the batter to scare him or psyche him out. In badminton it works as well: Just hit the shuttle directly at your opponent if the opportunity is available. Even something as lightweight as a shuttle will make someone jump it it’s flying at their head at high speed. If you are able to do this early in the set, your opponent will play extra cautiously and be very nervous, hence probably making more mistakes and helping you win.
So I’ve found some similarities between baseball and badminton, beyond the fact that they both start with the letter “B.” If you play or watch baseball or badminton, does this make sense at all? Or am I reading into it a little too deeply?
Regardless, I will continue to apply baseball strategy to my badminton game.