Match Point

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With badminton SAISA fast approaching, we’re all training hard. Usually, badminton starts out with a demonstration of various techniques, by our coach, Mr. Pradeep, such as a drop shot or a smash. We then work on our skills in these techniques until we have warmed up, and are ready to play against each other. It’s really helpful to practice our skills, as one of my goals for the sport is to improve my ‘smash’ technique.

The part of practice I enjoy most however, is the matches we play against each other – especially when they are so intense and competitive that the ‘match point’ basically lasts forever! Additionally, these matches give me more experience and a better eye for strategy, and wear to aim my shots in order to make them hard to hit back.

I’m looking forward to the progress I will make as the SAISA season approaches.

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Doubles match with Shivangi, against Sadira and Nicholas – Photo Credits: Ika Zakaria

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Back To The Courts…

One of the most exciting things for me this quarter is the start of badminton, which I also committed to last year. After doing yoga last quarter, I’m ready for the more fast paced and competitive atmosphere of the badminton courts. I’m also looking forward to improving my technical knowledge of the sport and playing against my friends (it’s always fun debating who won a particular point!)

My aims for badminton this quarter are…

(a) Successfully performing more challenging badminton shots (such as ‘the smash’)

(b) Improving my footwork so that I can reach the shuttlecock easier for shots

(c) Improving my strategy (for example, hitting clear shots when my opponent is on the front court)

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Photo Credits: Ika Zakaria

End of Year CAS Reflection

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As the end of this academic year nears, looking back at my initial CAS goals, and the eight learning outcomes for CAS, makes me realize how much I have grown and accomplished this year, as well as the ways in which my aspirations changed and veered in new directions.
FullSizeRender-2Looking back on my goals for creativity, it’s encouraging to see that I have achieved my goals, and exceeded my initial expectations. Having reflected on the blog regarding my progress as a piano player, I am satisfied with my success at live performances, and my improvement in pianistic techniques. However, while I am glad that I undertook the challenge of becoming a better pianist and playing for live audiences, it has also led me to identify areas for growth in my learning.Now that I have experience playing live, and have a better understanding of how to cope with mistakes during the heat of the moment, I aim to take a more central and frequent role in these performances next year, as a DP2 musician.

While maintaining my commitment to playing the piano, I am also really grateful 1that I got the opportunity to expand my knowledge of music, by developing new skills as a violinist. As this was a CAS goal made at the beginning of the year, however, I am a little disappointed at how long it took me to organize a teacher and start my lessons, as it left me no time for reflection on the blog. For next year, I plan to take more initiative when pursuing any CAS activity, so that I have time to blog in detail about it, over the course of the semesters.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 8.25.23 PMA large part of my creativity hours, however, came about due to activities and events that I did not plan to be a part of, but felt a personal desire to try. MUN and Bugsy Malone (backstage crew) are two main events that became a spontaneous addition to my CAS blog. With MUN, I demonstrated my perseverance and commitment to an activity that had overwhelmed me the year before. Deciding to participate a second time allowed me to experience the activity in a new light, made more enjoyable by my prior knowledge and new friends. Volunteering for the backstage crew in our school musical, however, was an entirely new challenge for me, one that turned out to be very rewarding. Aside from teaching me new skills, this event showed me what it is like to be part of OSC, and revel in the school spirit.

Looking back on my goals for action, it is apparent that this is the are where myScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.19.56 PM plans for the year changed significantly, taking me in new athletic directions that I had never thought of before. At the beginning of the year, I was eager to try a different form of action – dance. While I was very enthusiastic to learn, however, I did not find a class to my liking. Determined to develop new skills athletically, however, I joined yoga with my friends during the second semester. Rather different from dance, yoga taught me the importance of having a cal mindset and exercising your muscles to remain healthy. It was a very different area of action compared to badminton, the sport that I have been committed to for the past few years. Badminton allowed me to improve my strengths in technical aspects, such as succeeding in a smash shot, and enabled me to compete with friends in an activity I really enjoyed. Despite my athletic achievements, however, I wish I had been able to play sports more competitively, like in SAISA, something I am planning on working towards for next year.

HFKLooking back on my goals for service, I am glad to report that I have committed to “Hope for Kids” the entire year, a feat made very easy by the wonderful kids and dedicated group members. In the presence of my peers, who are so familiar with this cause, and determined to improve it, as well as my supervisors, who care about us as much as the kids at the hospital, it is impossible to see my service as a mere CAS requirement. Hope for Kids has definitely made me want to contribute to other service projects during my own time, which I think would be a good way to develop as a person, outside of CAS requirements.

For next year, I I plan to use all my ideas from the end of this year, as well as any new ideas I may have over the summer, to figure out new CAS goals.

Badminton: Update

This week in badminton, we focused specifically on backhand shots, a skill I need improvement on. One of the badminton coaches, Mr. De Silva, demonstrated to us the correct backhand grip and technique, which is essential for a good backhand shot. I discovered that my grip on the racket made switching to backhand slow and more difficult, weakening my backhand shots.

After correcting my grip, I practiced the backhand shot with Mr. De Silva to improve it. After this, I played a doubles match with my team mates where I tried to maintain the correct grip and strengthen my backhand further.

Badminton

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Badminton Practise {Photo Credits: Shivangi Sharma}

On 04th November, I started off my Block 2 activities with Badminton. Badminton takes place on Wednesdays from 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM and Mondays from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM. As I have played badminton for a few years already at my previous school, I was really eager for the badminton season to begin.

Since I had not played badminton during the holidays, I was also slightly anxious about my first session last Wednesday. After the tiring yet invigorating practice, I realized that although I had many new badminton skills to improve on, I still retained my enthusiasm and past skills for the sport.

Having been to two practices now, I am getting used to the practice routine of warming up, stretching and working on new badminton skills. I also really enjoy playing with my friends, as several of the are in badminton with me.

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Doubles Match {Photo Credits: Shivangi Sharma}

During the badminton season, I hope to:

(a) Improve upon my strengths (such as my service) and developing areas of weakness (such as techniques like the smash and my back hand).

(b) Commit to the sport for the rest of the season by attending both Wednesday and Monday practices.

(c) Work collaboratively with my friends and team mates to improve upon my own skills and help them improve on theirs.