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  1. #1
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    Default Is it too late for me at 17 to pursue Badminton as a career in Singapore ?

    I'm 17 this year and i play badminton for about 4 hours per week as i am currently busy with studying for my o levels, after which i am going to attend badminton training during my 4 to 5 months break after my exams. I would consider myself a high level intermediate player, i have played badminton casually since young but have never been fortunate enough to be able to attend training earlier in my life due to various reasons. I have a great passion for the sport and i feel as though i am able to pick up different skills in badminton quite easily. I have high hopes of becoming a professional player in Singapore but i also have my doubts as many professional player i know have started training at a tender age and i also do not know if i would be ever accepted into the national team of Singapore. Hope some of you fellow BCers can help me with this, Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenzakisan View Post
    I'm 17 this year and i play badminton for about 4 hours per week as i am currently busy with studying for my o levels, after which i am going to attend badminton training during my 4 to 5 months break after my exams. I would consider myself a high level intermediate player, i have played badminton casually since young but have never been fortunate enough to be able to attend training earlier in my life due to various reasons. I have a great passion for the sport and i feel as though i am able to pick up different skills in badminton quite easily. I have high hopes of becoming a professional player in Singapore but i also have my doubts as many professional player i know have started training at a tender age and i also do not know if i would be ever accepted into the national team of Singapore. Hope some of you fellow BCers can help me with this, Thanks!
    My advice is going to sound simplistic, but it will hopefully help.

    The key to mastering skills is to spend a long long long time training. 4 hours a week isn't a lot if you are playing, let alone training (playing badminton does not count as training). What you need to understand is this: you and a lot of other people want to be professionals. In order to do so, you and they must put in lots of hours training (thousands of hours).

    Imagine that you have done 1000 hours of training during the time you played badminton (remember - playing games does not count as much as actually properly training with focus), but everyone else your age, who is wanting to be a professional (had coaching since they were young) etc, will have done maybe 4000 hours of training (maybe more). The challenge you face, is that in order to get as good as them, you need to catch up to them in terms of hours of training done. But also bear in mind that as you are training, they are also training, so the standard you need to reach is constantly moving ahead of you.

    So, the simple answer to your question is - its possible, but unlikely. You need to put in a LOT of hours of training, MORE than the current professionals, in order to catch up to them and become professional. This means that you need to sacrifice a lot of time and money to achieve your goals - which is possible, but unlikely.

    The reason people who start young often do well is that, whilst young, we have parents who are normally willing to pay for things for us, and we have time because we do not have families of our own to look after. Being young just gives us a convenient opportunity to spend lots of time practising without the additional burdens associated with adult life. However, adults normally have much more stuff to do e.g. raising a family, going to work etc etc which means that they are not willing to devote the necessary hours to training that are needed.

    So if you think you are going to be able to train enough all day every day, to put in the extremely hard work it takes to become a professional athlete, and more you have the money to afford the court/training partners/coach, then go for it. But just beware: in a couple of years time, you may be more interested in family or friends than in sport - which is when most people decide that giving up their lives for sport is not what they want to do.

    Good luck!

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    When you say high intermediate, what level is that in Singapore?

    Have you entered the national junior championships before in Singapore? If so, how far can you get?

    It would still be very difficult to train full time as there is NS to consider. At 17 years old, you have to think how to pay for all the training. Who will be your mentor? Who will be your training partners?

    Even if you train very hard, the body might suffer injuries.

    I don't think it would be hard to be a very good amateur player but to get into National Squad of Singapore, that's a different level altogether.

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    It is hard to say without knowing how talented you are. An example from another sport, Joel Embiid just started playing basketball at the age of 16. He is now 20 years old and was top pick for the NBA draft. That almost never happen but when you are talented enough, exception is made.

    Do try it out for some time, measure your capability but be realistic. Only then you'll know if it's too late or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSSSNT View Post
    It is hard to say without knowing how talented you are. An example from another sport, Joel Embiid just started playing basketball at the age of 16. He is now 20 years old and was top pick for the NBA draft. That almost never happen but when you are talented enough, exception is made.

    Do try it out for some time, measure your capability but be realistic. Only then you'll know if it's too late or not.
    Good point. Imagine if he had National Service for two years. Even with the talent, could he have made the NBA with 2 years interruption?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Good point. Imagine if he had National Service for two years. Even with the talent, could he have made the NBA with 2 years interruption?
    Yes, plenty of NBA players made it at the age of 22. Of course, his draft spot would probably be lower. Another rare talented player who only started playing basketball at the age of 15, Hakeem Olajuwon, was drafted as the top pick when he was 22.

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    Using the very tall 7 foot basketball players is a bad example. They are recruited for size they then can be trained. Centers are some of the tallest people in the world, pro basketball teams go out just looking for looking for very tall people to train up. Having played a little basketball myself if I was 7 foot I would be in the NBA.

    To the original poster your aims are very high indeed, not impossible. I think being a pro badminton player takes a lot of training and natural ability. A lot of people play the game aswell.

    Personally I would take it step by step aim for something in your range. I see people in many sports as kids they are talented best in area train they just keep getting better as a youngster. Expectations are high and when they finally tail off at a certain age and they are not where they were expected to get they get disenchanted and loose interest in the sport and I find this sad.

    PS as matt said you need a good coach and many many hours.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bbirdman View Post
    Using the very tall 7 foot basketball players is a bad example. They are recruited for size they then can be trained. Centers are some of the tallest people in the world, pro basketball teams go out just looking for looking for very tall people to train up. Having played a little basketball myself if I was 7 foot I would be in the NBA.
    This is a badminton forum so I wouldn't expect people to know much about basketball but almost everything in that sentence is wrong.

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    For the original poster, we don't have enough information. Did he have good training before? Does he only play at school? Does he do other sports at good level?

    It's all very well at being talented but you need a lot of luck. Being in National Service reduces your luck. Heck, you get badminton players retiring at 22 years old. Even some top level players retire at 26-27 years old. Actually, that should be creeping up since there is now better money and publicity in the game.

    Another thing is, will the national association be willing to take a chance on an older person? Usually, they prefer to work on younger players. I would expect Asian countries to be more conservative unless a potential player who was older was far away better.

    There is a player in HK, had already entered University and got invited to the national squad. Although he was outside of the system, he was beating a lot of his peers, hence the invitation. Tried it for a year but he went back to University. He said he was not able to develop that fine technical skill you need as a professional. His story told me a lot.

    In basketball, it's a team sport so a player can fit into a role in a team according to your strengths and weaknesses. Badminton is individual - if you don't fit, nowhere else to go.
    Last edited by Cheung; 09-10-2014 at 10:04 PM.

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    The point is about how level of talent could exceed the rule of starting too old. In the example above, Hakeem was a player that was expected to be a superstar. He's wasn't drafted to be a role player. Why? Because he was seen by far as the most talented basketball big man in the world. No one else could do what he did.

    I don't believe for a second that OP has a chance at all of making it. But we don't know him. We don't know if he's that genius who's the exception to the rule. Add to that Singapore is not exactly a juggernaut in badminton so maybe...just maybe. Try it out OP. Be like that HK player who dare to measure himself even though in the end he finds he was not good enough.

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    Depends on how talent and how many hours can u commit per day. 4hours/week absolutely not enough for me. I play 12-15hours/week. Intermediate level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SSSSNT View Post
    The point is about how level of talent could exceed the rule of starting too old. In the example above, Hakeem was a player that was expected to be a superstar. He's wasn't drafted to be a role player. Why? Because he was seen by far as the most talented basketball big man in the world. No one else could do what he did.

    I don't believe for a second that OP has a chance at all of making it. But we don't know him. We don't know if he's that genius who's the exception to the rule. Add to that Singapore is not exactly a juggernaut in badminton so maybe...just maybe. Try it out OP. Be like that HK player who dare to measure himself even though in the end he finds he was not good enough.
    Which is why I asked for more info on his background but no further information has been given.


    I should have said earlier (also mentioned in another thread), that being a very good player can get you into personal training, coaching, P.E. teaching or sports admin. These are also career choices that involve sports. Being a professional player is not the only thing though most will go on to coaching or some business..

    There are a few ex-Malaysian players who have degrees. Some continue to work in the sport - Joanna Quay I think works for BWF in KL after getting a degree in UK. The Ng sisters. Anita Kaur, Kenn Lim also graduated in UK.

    Stephanie Fenella Ng Mee Fen studied psychology and is now working as a coach in BAM. Ang Li Peng became a barrister.

    I know of two ex-fulltime players in HK who went on to degrees. One of them should have got a Masters degree now. This person was quite impressive training and playing in competitions fulltime and also doing a degree online from a UK University.


    So there are career options available to still be involved in badminton if we think outside the box.
    Last edited by Cheung; 09-11-2014 at 12:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Which is why I asked for more info on his background but no further information has been given.


    I should have said earlier (also mentioned in another thread), that being a very good player can get you into personal training, coaching, P.E. teaching or sports admin. These are also career choices that involve sports. Being a professional player is not the only thing though most will go on to coaching or some business..

    There are a few ex-Malaysian players who have degrees. Some continue to work in the sport - Joanna Quay I think works for BWF in KL after getting a degree in UK. The Ng sisters. Anita Kaur, Kenn Lim also graduated in UK.

    Stephanie Fenella Ng Mee Fen studied psychology and is now working as a coach in BAM. Ang Li Peng became a barrister.

    I know of two ex-fulltime players in HK who went on to degrees. One of them should have got a Masters degree now. This person was quite impressive training and playing in competitions fulltime and also doing a degree online from a UK University.


    So there are career options available to still be involved in badminton if we think outside the box.
    Agreed

    Being Paul Stewart do look like fun.

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    Swimmer Joseph Schooling has be granted deferment for his National Service obligation until after the 2016 Olympics.

    So, it is still possible to defer NS in sg... that is if he has very good past records to support the request. TS would have freaked out by now

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    Best is that he speaks to a few local coaches who know the SBA setup and ask them about his chances. Still studying O levels now means he won't finish until middle next year.

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    Honestly. Going to a career in badminton is risky no doubt but if u never take the risk j will
    Never know how u fair. Playing leisurely 12-13 hrs and playing professionally is different. Mindset of playing for money make u think better and train much better.

    "Go Je" that is what my friends always say. Go for it and dont think so much. U r young no matter what other ppl say. Never look back and strive for gold.

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    not to be negative. but given that you have no training before and play 4 hours a week, i do not know how you define high level intermediate player. Played in some groups before that define themselves as intermediate but the level of play varies too much. Given that you have no training before, that also means you are not in the school team to begin with. Can you beat any of your school team members one on one in badminton? if you cant, i really doubt that is even called high level intermediate. It is good to have a dream, you might not be able to achieve it, but if you really decide to walk down this path, you will learn alot in terms of discipline and it can help you in your future endeavors.

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