What to expect
If you are fortunate to go to University and play Badminton, I hope that this advice will give you some ideas about how to enjoy your time to the max.
It’s split into 2 parts “What to Expect” and “What you can do to Prepare”
My aim is to give you ideas and hopefully will help you no matter how much you intend to play and train
Your time at University will probably be one of the most influential times of your life
Part 1 … What to expect
1 The University expects
2 The 3 S’s – Sport / Study / Social
3 It’s different from home
4 Smiles, tiredness, illness
5 People, lots of people – make friends not enemies
Resources to help your mental health
Of course, it’s always a balance and with so many opportunity and new experiences you will probably make some mistakes
1 The University expects
The University does expect you to attend lectures and achieve grades. Often these grade points are spread throughout your course so be prepared to have periods of intense study.
If you are lucky enough to have earned a scholarship or have been offered reduced grades then I guess you are already committed to both Badminton and Study.
However, for some people, the change of lifestyle and training can be challenging. All the new aspects can combine together. This is a skill to be improved or learned. You will need to use the organisational skills you developed prior to going to University, during your previous exam and study periods.
If you organise yourself in terms of study, sport, social, and rest, then hopefully you will avoid stressing yourself. Meeting expectations of the 3’s takes organisation.
Have you listened to the interview with Nottingham University’s Badminton Performance Director Martyn Lewis. Click here to hear what he has to say about life at Nott’s University for a Badminton player
2 The 3 S’s – Sport Study Social
All 3 are important while you are at University but in order to enjoy the experience, you will have to compromise at times. Be happy with compromise, get used to it.
Martyn Lewis (Director of Badminton at The University of Nottingham) spoke about the 3S’s in the interview with Badmintonandy.com. His advice was that you will only ever be able to do 2 out of the 3 fully.
Yes, of course, there will be times when you can do all 3 and there will be times when either Study or Badminton are the only things in your life.
If you want Social to be No.1 then it’s probably worth reviewing why you went to university and certainly why you chose a Badminton University.
3 It’s different
4 Smiles, tiredness, illness
You must aim to enjoy the experience and all it brings. Keeping a positive mindset will certainly help.
However, you will start to feel tired and probably be ill within the first 4 weeks. It’s very common!
You will not be able to do everything! Even though you WILL try to ?
This may sound obvious, but many people stress themselves physically and mentally during the first 6 weeks
That’s why you are likely to be ill
‘Freshers Flu’ is very common and will spread quickly amongst your group
Expect to feel tired
Even if you think your training is not that much different to that at home, you will feel tired. The mental stress you’ve been undergoing will fatigue you, often without you knowing. If you haven’t been training every day before University, then the change will stress your body.
Stay relaxed during the first term and accept the differences. Listen to the coaches, the older players and talk with your new teammates. Sharing how you feel will help. Smiling will help even more.
Small things like training at different times or playing on a different floor will have an impact on you, be preapred to expect and accept this
5 People, lots of people – Don’t make enemies
You may be very surprised at how many new people you meet in your first 2 weeks
Everyone seems to want to find out who you are, where you come from, where you are living on campus and what you like to do. Oh yes, and they’ll probably ask you to join them for a coffee or join their society ?
Remember the 3’S (number 2) and you will be ok.
I’d recommend that you actively talk with the others in your Badminton group. I mean don’t just turn up to training and then leave. Go to the Badminton Social events and find 4 or 5 people who you click with.
You probably won’t get on with everyone in the Team but here is a chance to find ways to be a great Teammate. Being in a large group every day and training with them may be a new experience for you. Be quick to apologise, accept that people are all under different stresses and be as helpful as you can.
You will need friends to make your time at University as enjoyable and productive as it can be. Friends not only to train with, but to live with, to study with and to socialise with.
Some of these friends will stay with you for years, so make many and keep an open mind when you first meet someone.
Expect to improve and it will happen
However, it may take time, several months. Not everyone can adapt to a new training environment as fast as they want. But don’t worry.
Enjoy the new experiences, the new coaching, the new teammates, the different opponents. Once you start to feel comfortable, improvements will happen, IF you turn up to training and sleep.
Oh, and don’t party too hard!
The enjoyment from being with like-minded teammates who all want to improve and ENJOY the experience cannot be underestimated. Get into a good routine, find some great companions, work with the coach, then feel the IMPROVEMENTS 🙂
If you know anyone who is about to go to University and would benefit from reading this I’d be very grateful for a share.
Resources to help
Nightline is a listening, emotional support, information and supplies service, run by students for students. Nightlines are open at night, run by trained, caring, fellow student volunteers. Nightline can be contacted by phone, face to face, by email or by online chat.
For every student in higher and further education to have access to the support offered by Nightline services so that:
.. every student is able to talk about their feelings in a safe, non-judgmental environment
.. fewer students have their education compromised by emotional difficulties
.. fewer students die by suicide
They know that experiencing mental health difficulties at university can feel overwhelming.
However, there are lots of different types of support that might be available to you while at university. They have put this information in one place so that you can read more about the support programmes that Student Minds offers, as well as services available at your university.
In Part 2 we will explore “What can you do to prepare”
1 Eat and sleep
2 Get on the executive
3 Be realistic
4 Practice before you go
5 Be positive and embrace differences
6 The essentials