Hit Me with Your Best Shot!


Naod, Sports

Can you make a bird fly? Badminton is one sport that allows just that to happen, and near the end of the school year in gym St. Robert students take on the game. Mr. Jefferson is the gym teacher at St. Robert School, and Jimmy is a student in 7th grade who has to play the sport for gym class. They both share the ups and downs of playing the sport in gym.

Mr. Jefferson loves teaching the sport even through some hardships. According to Mr. Jefferson, badminton is part of the curriculum for middle schoolers. However, Mr. Jefferson also teaches the sport to fourth and fifth graders in addition to the middle school students. He integrates the sport into the gym class by having a tournament for each grade level, which lasts over a month’s time. He states, “It is a round robin tournament that allows teams to play each other multiple times.” This system works especially well as the students will play each other when they in the beginning of the tournament and near the end, and this gives the teams a chance to see how they’ve become better during the season. Moreover, for Mr. Jefferson the easiest thing to teach kids in badminton is overhand serving as the kids “can look directly through the racket,” but the hardest part about teaching the sport to him is having the students learn to serve underhand. Finally, Mr. Jefferson states his goal to improve the sport for future years is “to design a way to teach 4th, 5th and 6th graders how to serve underhand consistently.”

Jimmy, a 7th grader participating in the sport, states, “I love badminton; It’s a great sport. The non-contact sport improves both the players reaction speed and focus. Although badminton is simple to learn, it can be a struggle to properly hit and serve the birdy.” Jimmy loves that the sport is more focused on speed and reaction time rather than the usual rough housing that accompanies traditional contact sports. He also knows that even though the sport is straightforward, it can be a struggle to learn everything needed. Furthermore, although he loves the sport, he believes it could be adjusted for P.E. because the space in the gym is limited. Jimmy believes an adjustment could be accomplished if they only use two nets and have four teams, so kids aren’t running into each other as the current set up is six nets with ten teams. Also, his favorite part of the sport is serving the birdy and having it go back and forth, but he doesn’t like when people spike the birdy down as he thinks it is a bit unfair. Lastly, Jimmy believes he personally learns more focus through playing the game, and he knows people can get very competitive when playing the “simple but advanced sport.”

Above all, Mr. Jefferson is happy that the sport is part of the curriculum, and Jimmy loves playing the sport. However, Jimmy believes more people could become interested in the sport if a few minor adjustments were made. Mr. Jefferson knows what he has to improve upon to make the sport fun for all students, so they develop a love, and not hatred for the sport.  

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