Badminton is one of the biggest social sports at NTU. I want to help the NTU Sport family grow by providing my story on how I manage to keep the numbers consistent.
The first thing that helps keep the players coming back is to gain experience in leading the sport you are hosting. For me, this experience came from hosting my own badminton club in my hometown where anyone could come and play. It wasn’t hard finding a sports hall to rent out, and it gives you great opportunity to test some ideas before the attendance starts to matter.
Back home, if people wanted to get coached, I gave them a court to do so. This is where I went over very basic shots and movements for them to gain confidence in the sport to join everyone else, and with a free level 1 coach qualification provided by the University, I felt confident enough to give the advice the players wanted.
The key I found to hosting a social session at NTU is to LISTEN to the INDIVIDUAL’S needs. If players are shy and want to play with friends, let them for the first few sessions but also try to introduce them to new people. Additionally, you are always going to have someone new that’s rolls up after half a term has passed. For these people, get to know them personally and explain what kind of activities you provide and some basic rules on games you are planning to do in the session. That way they feel they can join in on the action without too much difficulty. As a safety precaution, try and add new players with more regular players who you know don’t mind explaining the rules. This gives the new person the feeling of inclusion to be more involved in the sport.
Finally, always choose activities where everyone can play at the same time. Everyone at your session has paid to be there, therefore, they want to get their money’s worth (we are students after all!). So create games that have as little ‘time-out’ as possible, so everyone can get in on the action. By having a range of games, it stops any repetition so people always feel there is something new. If people want to sit off, don’t forget to talk to them so they feel included, even if it’s just to check to see if they are ok.
I hope these tips help’s your social sessions grow!
Do you fancy getting involved and playing sport as part of the Play for Fun programme? More information can be found here.