What to consider when joining a club?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by HN52354, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. HN52354

    HN52354 Regular Member

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    I've visited a couple different clubs but never really got that feeling like it was the right place for me. Maybe it's because it was my first time but even for ones that I visited 4+ times it was like that.

    The main reason I felt that way was because no one tried to talk to me during breaks or give tips while playing. They had their own friends in the club and just went onto the court to play and then left again when the bell rang. If I feel uncomfortable/awkward with the people I play with, then I end up playing worse. Plus one of the reasons I want to join a club is so I can get advice from better players otherwise I might as well play with the same set of friends

    Obviously location, time, and cost is important. How do you decide that a club is right for you? How long should I play in a club before I make a judgement?

    PS I'm in Auckland (NZ) if anyone has recommendations. Tried looking at the Aus/NZ forum but they're almost all Australian clubs
     
  2. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    I like that you're looking for something you're comfortable with...
    While that's surprising to me, not everybody will come to new people to talk as the first action. Did you try to talk to people? In my experience, there's always some people from the club you visit/want to join that will talk to you, at least a little. It's not only up to them though.
    I do understand that once you don't feel comfortable, it doesn't make it easier to start talking to people that you feel don't want to talk to you...
    That's a tricky one, because there are players who do not want to get advice, at least not while playing. I sometimes hold back advice when I don't know if my partner wants to get advice. There was a discussion on this before the other way around - how to get people giving advice to shut up....

    If you want advice, I suggest to ask for it. Don't be afraid to question advice that you get. If it's real beneficial advice, they'll be able to explain why it's better than other options.

    You can also ask for advice during the breaks, that might even start a conversation. ;)

    I mostly decide it because of the people, level of play, whether it includes training or just playing, and some other details. Until now, there's only been one club where I would probably not join because of the people, but since the rest doesn't match either, that's no issue for me. I'm not an extrovert person at all, but when playing badminton with people, you already have something in common, you have one topic to talk about...
    The time it takes to know depends on you and the people. There were clubs where I knew when first visiting that it would be fine for me and there were clubs where it took some time to feel comfortable with the people, despite knowing some of them before visiting.
     
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  3. thyrif

    thyrif Regular Member

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    Basically what speCulatius said.

    There are also clubs that offer group training, this will help you get better and provide a nice group to mingle with people at the club.
     
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  4. scamp

    scamp Regular Member

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    Is the floor good and are the people friendly or cliquey egomaniacs.
     
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  5. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    People are different for sure. Some are easy going, some other are not.
    Going there 1-2 times wont melt the ackward feeling for stranger, but having our own friend 1 or 2 people there will help. At 1st you might want to play just with your friend, but as times goes & all the ice melting already, you wont realize that you play with new friend more than just with the old friend.

    But you might want to know the club rule. Dont own the court like want to play non stop if they had alot of member, how much the cost to join in, or how is their cost splitup (like my club had monthly cost for the court & accidental coming cost. Ofcourse monthly is cheaper but it help to maintain our fixed spending rather than accidental coming cost. Then we had cost for everytimes player takes new shuttle. We didnt include it on court cost as they who play less & use less shuttle will pay more than what should be.)
     
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  6. HN52354

    HN52354 Regular Member

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    Thanks guys. I thought about it and maybe it was because I was going to midweek clubs (during working hours) so a lot of people there were older and didn't work. I made small talk with a couple members when I could but there were also a lot of people who chose to speak Mandarin to each other when we were playing even though I couldn't understand. I know they were more fluent in it compared to English but I felt a bit left out when they were making jokes.

    One time I was waiting for someone else to come along so I could warm up with them (there were already two other people warming up). Someone came along but rejected me and went to play with the other two people. Eventually I found someone else to warm up with but it didn't leave a good impression.

    I'll try some of the evening clubs which might have younger, working members. I don't have any friends that are in a club but might see if any are interested in trying out clubs with me.
     
  7. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    It actually seems like you're looking for a coach.
     
  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I agree!!!

    In my experience, the better you get at playing, the more people open up to you. I played many years with imperfect technique and yeah, I got my exercise and fun. One day, I thought about it and decided I really wanted to learn how to play properly and re-engineer my whole game moving on to playing competitions. Sorry, winning competitions!

    I found a totally new dimension of social interaction. People come to you and talk to you with more curiosity. Honestly speaking, because of moving up several levels in standard, I really have a blast when playing badminton in different countries. I have just returned to London for a week and arranged sessions across from reasonable league to high league. 1st session near my place was a mid league club, really nice people and no pressure. Nice to get used to the shuttles and a different playing environment. Should be more challenging for the next sessions.

    When I went to China and attended a competition, many people were smiling at me and saying hi. For this particular competition, I was a new guy that year (previous years I hadn’t attended) and getting staked out by the opposition- who is this new guy they were asking and the gossip was going round. LOL.


    So yeah, you seem very open minded to learning more so for you, I would say go for it! Don’t worry about mandarin speakers talking together in a language you don’t understand. They use their strongest language together. In Malaysia, they can use four languages to talk with each other! I don’t feel left out - I just get used to it. . In fact, this trip in London, I might suddenly spout out Cantonese to other people. If there is a mandarin speaker around, I am going to try my awful mandarin on them and put them off their game if they are my opponents. Haha. Badminton is an international game so you will come across a mixture of people speaking different languages. It’s a totally normal occurrence for those who wish to explore playing more.
     
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  9. HN52354

    HN52354 Regular Member

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    I've been looking at clubs that also have coaching and found one that seems good but haven't tried it out yet (they play Sunday nights). Also have their own fundraising pro shop and have members that coach or do restringing services

    I agree with you guys that coaching is a good way for me to improve and getting better will open up opportunities. It's quite expensive for me as a student and I'm not planning to do competitions so not quite sure if it is worth it. Coaching is usually $40-60 NZD an hour whereas club membership is $170-200 for a year.

    I'll think about coaching next year when I get a job (and money lol) :)
     
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  10. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    As a student, I agree expense is difficult and it's understandable to delay getting coaching.

    If you have the learning attitude, learning new techniques and footwork is very addictive. Eventually, you will be entering competitions for: a) the curiosity of testing yourself, b) it ends up being a social function seeing the competition players regularly, c) if you are a girl, a secondary effect will be invited to play in team matches (smaller pool of lady players), d) getting invited as a guest to other clubs the more you improve

    You are not planning to enter competitions now but plans can change :)


    Although expensive, how much more is it compared to having musical instrument lessons on a one on one basis?
     
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  11. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    I remember my green days, many player around us didnt even bother to see us or ask us to play with them.
    But when our skill grow better, more people who ignore us in the past start to ask us to join them.
    Even now my club kinda like shelter for broke up club. They likely to join us after seeing our games.
    & i remember my 1st competition which i didnt register at all but my friend in the company put my name on the team list to be company representative & he told me 1 day before the match.
     
  12. thyrif

    thyrif Regular Member

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    Some clubs have group lessons, they are much cheaper than private lessons!

    Clubs in our county only does this kind of training, either arranged by the club or an extra seperate class for top groups.
     
  13. HN52354

    HN52354 Regular Member

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    Alrighty just got back from the club I said I'd try out and... I found the perfect club!! :D

    Majority were around uni to young professional age with a couple older members. People were really easy to talk to during breaks and friendly during games (introduced names to each other, complimented shots, were able to have a laugh). Another bonus is that 50% of the members were around my level so had the right amount of challenge

    Only downside is cost, turns out membership is $275 Mar-Nov. Membership is really only worth it if you hire courts at the same place since you get discounted rates. We already have membership at another badminton hall so might play casually until we finish that.

    One of my friends I play socially with is thinking about getting coaching. He says he's just not sure about the cost so I said I'd be keen to go and then split the cost. Who knows I might end up getting coaching this year after all
     
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  14. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    How do you define the right place? Not included much, too high level, no small talk/interest in you as a potential member and as person?

    I played at a club where the people were friendly and were interested in me as a person. I was often included etc. but the enviroment was too low for my level. All people had fun, it was a nice and respectful enviroment, but for me it is important that around 50% of the players are stronger than me, so I get a lot of different opponents.

    I played at a club where everybody attend to have decent matches, after beeing tired everybody left at a different time. The communication was mostly badminton related, next games etc. The matches were decent. I discovered that it is to me more important to have decent games, instead of making friends for life.

    Personally I avoid to give foreign people tips or advice. If somebody asks something I know there is some interest, if not I don't start to correct somebody I don't know. I can't judge if somebody want this to hear or not, so I try not to disturb somebody.

    It's difficult for a single person to get into of circle of people who know each other for long time. I recommend to wait until you and somebody else sit seperate on the bench. Go over and introduce yourself. You will get fast into small talk and have somebody whose name you know and talked to. To slide into a group sitting together is difficult.

    Accept that you are in a new enviroment full of foreign people. Nobody will play at his peak, when he is a bit nervous and need adjustments to the enviroment during play, beside the pressure to make a good impression to foreign people and nothing wrong.

    If you want advices you need to ask better players. No better player will badger weaker players with advices. You need to ask for and specific. Start with a compliment. E.g. "Hey, I have seen your dropshot is so sharp, I wish I could do it, too. Have you a hint for me what I can make better?" Nobody will refuse you, especially a female. :)

    You should look for a club with training instead of just playing. You get partnered inside a team of 2 or 3 people and do the drills together. This will break the ice. You need to communicate in a small group/ 1 on 1 for the drills and get the advice from a coach you are looking for.

    If you can drive the location become less important and give you a larger pool of potential clubs. I would travel for good games with decent players in a good enviroment instead of playing shitty stuff beside my house.

    I wouldn't just look at the costs. My club is the most expensive in my area. Beside that I can buy shuttles there at a good discount, play in a very modern hall and have the option to play 4 times per week. Our hall is open during holidays and we have enough courts to get many play out of a date. We have training once a week by two coaches. That this package is more expensive on the first look than buying shuttles at full price, no coach (who needs to get paid), and having a small number of courts, so you need to wait often and long and go home with less court time is a no-brainer.

    Beside that it is important to find a club where you fit into the middle. If you are better than a huge number of players, you will get bored easily, some will refuse to play you and you don't improve much. Same goes if you are weaker than a huge number of players. You won't included much, because you don't challenge them. Sitting somewhere in the middle is mostly the most comfortable spot to get included.
     
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  15. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I think that’s important point about why you go to a club. Different clubs different objectives. Some are there just for the social aspect. Some are there because you try to push yourself to improve. The important things is that these objectives of yours might change and one club may not fit all.

    for example, If I am on a extreme learning and training phase preparing for competitions, Having a social chat with people is not a high priority. Having badminton matches which push me physically, mentally and improving decision analysis are.

    At other times, social badminton is a priority. I am in England right now on a short trip. I have played badminton on a more social scale. I told my friend I visited a club near my home and he said “why did you go there?” (the level of the club was fairly low). However, I just needed to have a hit and run around a bit. It was nice and social, shake hands, introduce ourselves, no groups.

    Yesterday I visited a different and stronger club with a friend. This friend has a really strong desire to improve. There are fewer introductions against other people because we just get on with the games! I helped my friend with his tactics but only him and nobody else. We had some good games where he gained more insight and had a really good learning experience. I also played with some of the weaker players in more social games so all in all, a really good session.

    Thus, it’s important to note one club may not fit all needs - oh, mentioned that twice now


    Sharing a lesson is a good start. Three in a class is too many but two on one is perfect.
     
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  16. ownz.uno

    ownz.uno Regular Member

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    I actually don't see any problem in what you've face so far. It's normal not to know people. And to get advise, mostly people will more easy going and willing to help once you know them more. Probably after 3-4 months seeing each other frequently in a club.

    Badminton is a level game, the more skillful you're the more easier adaption in a club. Decent/seasoned/well trained player know how to play a good leisure game even with some people they don't know.
     

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