Your Cart is Empty

December 04, 2019 3 min read

Do you know the feeling? When you’re young and fit, and think you’re pretty good at the game. Then you step onto the court against an ‘uncle’... only to lose to them. 

And just to be clear, I'm not referring to the 'Daddies' of badminton - Hendra Setiawan and Mohammad Ahsan. Because they're of a completely different calibre to the traditional 'uncle'!

You come off the court in a state of disappointment and shock, thinking “how did I just lose to someone who can only move slowly around the court? I’m so much faster, I can hit harder and am so much fitter than them!”

The ‘uncle’ might be unfit and have a big stomach hanging over his shorts. Yet his ability to read the game allows him to always be in the right place at the right time which makes it seem like he’s just walking around the court - while you’re working doubly as hard trying to chase the shuttle. 

So you change your strategy and try to play faster at his body but his hand skills are exceptional after years of playing and he’s still able to control you around the court. 

Has anyone ever experienced this?

I certainly did, especially in my junior days when I’d play in graded tournaments which weren’t age-based. I’d play with and against ‘uncles’ and think: “how come I can’t win against these guys?” They’d often have a smile on their faces when they were beating me too!

Advice was something they’d give openly and freely too. I remember playing with an uncle when I was around 12 or 13 years old. He said to me: “you shouldn’t make any mistakes. Look how big the court is. There’s no reason why you should hit it out”.

And I remember thinking: “that makes sense!”

One of my most memorableass-kickings was at the hands of the one and only Misbun Sidek. I was 14 years old at the time, and my brother, Gary Tho, and I went to Malaysia to train for 2 months during the Christmas school holidays.

We trained at SBA (Selangor Badminton Association) and Nusa Masuri, which, at the time, was headed by Misbun and his brothers Raman and Rashid, who were also badminton heroes in their own right.

During the very first session that we had at Nusa Masuri, my brother and I played a set of singles against Misbun. I don’t remember actually scoring many points, or anything very much about the match other than losing the very first point after Misbun had only hit one shot - a shot which I later would find out was his trademark special called the “Super Chop”. 

As a side note, he had his own badminton racket that was called “Super Chop”! 

Despite losing so easily to him, Misbun still took us on as students and we were lucky enough to train with such greats as Muhammad Hafiz Hashim (in the same year that he won the All England Championships), his brother Muhammad Roslin Hashim and former world number 1 doubles player, Tan Boon Heong.

Now I know that everyone doesn’t get the chance to be dominated by Misbun on court. But thereis good news. 

The more you keep up with your training and improving your match play, your win:loss ratio against uncles should improve! And then it will be your responsibility to repay the favour to the junior players when the day comes!

I’m not sure when you can identify yourself as an ‘uncle’, but when that day comes, be sure to teach the younger generation what you’ve learnt throughout your badminton life and make them feel the same shock that you once did when they lose to you for the first time!

Please note: no ‘uncles’ were harmed in any way before, during or after the writing of this blog post!


We'd love to hear your opinions, comments, tips and tricks so please feel free to comment below. If you would like us to write about something in particular, please let us know!
Main image source: Badminton Indonesia
Body image source 1: Goat.com.au
Body image source 2: Hmetro.com.my

Jeffrey Tho
Jeffrey Tho

Jeff is an ex-international badminton player who represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games (twice as a player & once as a coach), World Championships, All England Championships and multiple Thomas and Sudirman Cups. He was the Australian National Coach, Senior State Head Coach and is the co-founder of Volant badminton & The Badminton Podcast. Jeff is extremely passionate about building the worldwide badminton community & showing the world how incredible our sport really is.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in The Volant Badminton Blog & Community

Pretty white Badminton racket racquet girl
Volant Flight S1 Badminton Racket Review

March 27, 2024 2 min read

The Volant Flight S1 is a head-light badminton racquet with a balance point of 280-285mm engineered with specialised NanoSpec Technology which enhances your game speed while maintaining strength & stability. 

It is suitable for all playing levels and has a light yet strong & durable frame - this allows for fast recovery and enhanced racket acceleration. 

The frame design also allows it to have reduced vibration, an enlarged sweet spot and ease of manoeuvrability.

Read More
Badminton racket, badminton bat, badminton racquet
Badminton Racket, Badminton Racquet, Badminton Bat: What's The Difference?

February 28, 2024 3 min read

Understanding the distinctions between a badminton racket, badminton racquet, and badminton bat is crucial for both new and experienced players. While the terms "racket" and "racquet" can be used interchangeably, "bat" is an incorrect term when referring to the equipment used in badminton.
Read More
how to hit backhand in badminton. Most common backhand mistakes in badminton
5 Most Common Backhand Mistakes in Badminton

May 25, 2023 2 min read

We want to show you the 5 most common mistakes when someone is learning their badminton backhand, so hopefully you won’t make them! This includes your badminton grip, use of your wrist, using the wrong badminton footwork, using your backhand unnecessarily and skipping out on the backhand basics!
Read More