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  1. #1
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    Question starting late possible ?

    Hi

    I've enjoyed playing badminton for 5 years since the age of 13
    I've got as far as reaching City of London School badminton team
    but I am thinking now of turning of pro
    would starting at the age of 19 as an intermediate (maybe better) and developing from here to become a pro player be possible

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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx685
    Hi

    I've enjoyed playing badminton for 5 years since the age of 13
    I've got as far as reaching City of London School badminton team
    but I am thinking now of turning of pro
    would starting at the age of 19 as an intermediate (maybe better) and developing from here to become a pro player be possible
    The peak age is considered to be 28ish, so why not? You'd need to train hard, get a good coach and basically breathe, eat and sleep badminton, but that's what anybody who aspires to turn pro needs to do.

    Go for it.

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    It is possible, but how far are you going to get?

    Let's consider some of the logistics considering you have a lot to catch up on being behind in skills, coaching, tournament experience.

    Probably the most important is funding.

    The requirements are training perhaps 6 days a week of at least four hours per day.

    How do you propose to find a coach?

    How do you pay that coach? (he/she has to earn a living as well)

    Who is going to pay for your material expenses (racquets/shoes/clothes/costs of stringing)?

    Do you think you can get generous terms from equipment manufacturers to reduce costs? Pretty difficult if you have not even made the county grade yet.

    How about costs of going to tournaments and overnight accomodation?

    Do you have access to consistently high level players at top county level with whom you can play with?

    Where would you train?

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    That's all true, but every other player in the UK faces the same hurdles. Remember also that full time education up to the age of 18-19 is very common in the UK, and that he has been playing for the past 5 years, albeit recreationally.

    My point is that there aren't that many people in the UK that have had such a huge time advantage over him in terms of learning skills to make it impossible. Badminton isn't often (ever??) coached in UK schools, so the other players would probably have only trained/played 2 or 3 sessions a week.

    His biggest hurdle will (as you pointed out) be to gain success on the national circuit in order to start picking up funding. Of course if he has understanding parents or a part time job then the money issue will be less. The reality is that there isn't a big full time professional scene in the UK, and very few players make a real living from badminton alone.

    One thing is certain - if he waits a few years then he can forget it. At the moment he stands a chance. What's the worst that could happen? He could spend a year or two of his life trying to make it before going back to a more traditional career. At least he'd know that he gave it a shot, rather than spending the rest of his life wondering "What if...".

    I'm bumbling along in my early thirties, still wondering what I'm going to do with my life. A former classmate is approaching the tail end of his first career having toured the World as a professional rugby player and having achieved pretty much everything that he dreamed of doing as a teen - playing professionally, captaining his Country, winning the Six Nations, and lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.

    If you have a dream then you should follow it before it passes out of your grasp. It's a young man's World.

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    Sliced drop you are very wide of the mark with your knwledge of the UK setup, at the age of 18-19 players should be playing national junior titles and European juniors.

    Please read the scenario below which was posted on www.badders.com by the great Martin Dew Hattens.

    http://www.badders.com/forum/showthread.html?t=1056

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dill
    Sliced drop you are very wide of the mark with your knwledge of the UK setup, at the age of 18-19 players should be playing national junior titles and European juniors.

    Please read the scenario below which was posted on www.badders.com by the great Martin Dew Hattens.

    http://www.badders.com/forum/showthread.html?t=1056
    Wow, that's one of the most negative-spirited articles that I've ever read, written by someone who never grew up in the UK, and whose name doesn't appear anywhere in the BAofE's list of officers or coaches. Basically he's extrapolating from his own experiences growing up 20+ years ago in a different country that has an extremely strong badminton culture. With all due respect to his achievements, I don't find that much validity in that.

    Looking on www.baofe.co.uk you'll see that the 'elite coaching' section advocates weekly training for juniors. This ties in with my knowledge of the Buck's junior team's training back in the '80s. The truth is that training every day for a year creates as many training sessions as 7 years of weekly sessions. Sure at the same time your opponents are also training daily, but it's not a case of being a decade behind the curve here.

    Reading that article above suggests that if we didn't pick up a racquet at the age of 8 and win juniors in every age group to the age of 18 then we may as well start digging our graves.

    I never said it was going to be _easy_, just that it is _possible_.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sliced Drop
    Wow, that's one of the most negative-spirited articles that I've ever read, written by someone who never grew up in the UK, and whose name doesn't appear anywhere in the BAofE's list of officers or coaches. Basically he's extrapolating from his own experiences growing up 20+ years ago in a different country that has an extremely strong badminton culture. With all due respect to his achievements, I don't find that much validity in that.
    What if Martin Dew Hattens was one of the best players England ever produced and won many many tournaments including All Englands, without a doubt one of the true masters of the art of deception!!

    He is in fact English and has moved to Denmark becasue of work reasons, he chose not to pursue coaching and never wanted to be involved with the BA of E at that level, but the one thing is his opinion still holds major sway within the community in the UK becasue he has been to the top of the tree and has seen the view!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dill
    What if Martin Dew Hattens was one of the best players England ever produced and won many many tournaments...
    I guess that would piss on my bonfire a little. Brain-fart time, I confused him with Morten Frost.

    I still don't think that it's too late though.

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    No I think you are quite right, it's never too late!

    What Martin is trying to explain in a humerous way is the almost established route in the UK which is almost part of the establishment, the norm.

    A few years ago after many players had gone through the junior setup there was no funding so it was up to the individual to fund themselves into senior badminton, no longer the big fish in the small pond as it were and this is where our original poster will find themselves, they will have to fund exactly what Cheung has described whereas the established 18 year old who has been there for several years will have funding and support from the BA of E.

    By all means it is very achievalbe but you have to be prepared to work and also to invest major amounts of money into yourself.

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    Thanks Dill. I didn't put the issue clearly enough.

    A person who is 19 in UK and not part of the county setup would find the financing very difficult.

    A person who has been playing from junior level, and had some local tournament successes (county level and better), is much more likely to attract the necessary funding from the national association for all the necessary support.

    If the original poster had the funds to pay out of his/her own pocket for the expenses that I mentioned earlier, then why not try?

    I never said it was impossible - just pointing out real logistic difficulties.

    It may take two or three years just to train the basic strokes properly, then another 3 years to gain the advanced skills. Another 3 years for high level tournament experience. This is what is common for 'talented' youths who mature in their early to mid 20's.

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