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Badminton takes new approach

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Badminton takes new approach

Badminton takes new approach

Elizabeth Hsieh

Elizabeth Hsieh

Badminton takes new approach

Elizabeth Hsieh, Staff Writer

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Rubber soles skidding and voices yelling, the fieldhouse fills with sounds of endurance as the girls’ badminton team upgrades their training for the new season.
Training six days of the week, the girls have taken on a new approach to the game as Ryan Wilhelmi joins the team as assistant coach. Drastically modifying the girls’ training regime, one of his primary targets for change has been improving the team’s physical capacity by integrating more conditioning into their practices.
“In the beginning we had a lot of girls falling out of drills that were not as conditioned as they needed to be, but as time has went on, they’ve gotten in better shape and they’ve built that mental toughness they need on the court,” Wilhelmi said.
The new standards set by head coach Joe Hames and Wilhelmi have been both physically and mentally demanding of the players.
“I definitely think that we are being pushed more,” junior Laila Botzum said. “The coaches and everyone has been pushing each other to the limit, so we have been able to do things we didn’t think we were able to do before.”
The tougher training schedule has been made possible by how receptive the girls are to the changes.
“We don’t give up,” senior Jessica Plewa said. “Our coaches hand us information and we take it right away and we go for it. We’re always on our toes, willing to try something new, change partners, play new people.”
Despite the challenges this season has brought on, many girls have felt that their work has paid off.
“I feel like this year we’re more aggressive and more equipped to actually play a game,” senior Esmeralda Flores said. “In my last three years I’ve noticed that when we reach a tiebreaker, at that point, we get tired and we just lose our energy, but this year I feel like with all the conditioning we’ve been doing we’ve gotten stronger and are really able to fight through that last point.”
The result of their training has especially shown through in longer matches.
“Varisty’s doubles, Greta Rupeika and Jessica Plewa, played Joliet Central and they went into a third game and won in overtime 28-26,” Wilhelmi said. “It was a match to watch.”
The major goal for this season has been to see an overall improvement in the team’s ability compared to previous years. Although they lost against rival Owsego East this season, they have high hopes that their training will give them a better foundation to face them next year.
“The main goal is to grow and progress from where we started to where we want to end up at,” Wilhelmi said.

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Badminton takes new approach