Athlete Feature: Amanda Chang

Kathy Wong, Staff Writer

Junior Amanda Chang is a current member of Arcadia High School’s (AHS) Girls Varsity Badminton team. Having joined in sophomore year, Chang has been on the team for around two years.

“My friends and interest [in the sport] made me want to join the team. I’ve been playing badminton for a long time, and there’s a badminton team at school, so I thought it would be nice to keep pursuing my hobby,” said Chang.

Chang first learned about badminton in elementary school, but it wasn’t until she grew older that her interest for badminton grew, which led her to try out for the team. 

“I forgot what grade, but it was just a club at our school and with friends. I just joined the badminton club and we had fun. As I grew older, I got more interested, so I actually started joining training in middle school,” explained Chang.

Chang shared her journey through badminton and the types of training she did as her love for badminton grew.

“I started out by taking part in group training, and as my passion for badminton grew, I later began taking private lessons to improve my technique. Additionally, I look for friends to play with on the weekends. This is a great way to socialize, and it’s also really helpful because my friends often provide me with feedback on my areas for improvements.”

In her opinion, Chang personally finds badminton to be one of the most underrated sports in the world. Chang believes badminton deserves more recognition and that there shouldn’t be a comparison or competition between tennis and badminton. Although tennis is more internationally popular than badminton, she believes badminton shouldn’t be forgotten and both sports should be equally recognized.

Like many other sports, badminton is an extracurricular activity that requires time outside of school for training and practices. According to Chang, the badminton team has practices every week from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m, and their coach posts the schedule on Facebook to notify students. Coaches allow students to have at least one day to rest every week to focus on school and so that it doesn’t become too overwhelming.

“Near our season we’ll start having practice more frequently, like four days a week and our coach always gives us at least one day off so we can rest,” said Chang.

While school is important, badminton is an equally important sport that requires time and practice to get better at it. Chang talked about how she finds time to balance school with badminton.

“I try to finish my homework beforehand, and since we don’t have sixth period and our training doesn’t start until around 7 p.m., I just try to use that time efficiently. Some important things are time management and staying organized. Most importantly, don’t procrastinate, I try not to procrastinate a lot,” further stated Chang.

Joining the badminton team has allowed Chang to know more people and make lasting friendships that have really helped and encouraged her.

“Since joining the badminton team, I made a lot of new friends that are very encouraging, and I learned a lot from them. As a team, we just kind of encourage each other and improve,” said Chang.

Being on a sports team comes with challenges and difficulties that students may face. Chang brought up that everyone has busy schedules and shared how they’re able to overcome this challenge. 

“This is a challenge because if we’re having a game, and people are busy all the time, then we don’t have enough people to play the game. We overcome this by letting the coaches notify the player what time and when the game will be so we will know beforehand to schedule our plan correctly and we have less schedule conflict,” stated Chang.

Chang has learned many takeaways from being on the badminton team but the most important thing she learned is sportsmanship and how important it is to be respectful to one another.

“Most important is sportsmanship, to be respectful and to always help your teammates when they need it because you never know when you’re gonna need their help,” replied Chang. 

Every sports team has the opportunity to grow closer with their teammates and learn from their mistakes by working with one another. Chang explained what she hopes to achieve or accomplish as a team.

“One thing that I hope our team can do better is we should be more connected as a team. I think badminton is just a big family so people should communicate more so we can be more comfortable around each other and do better,” added Chang.

When asked whether there was something she wanted to pay more attention to or improve on in future tournaments, Chang agreed that she just hopes to have better team spirit, and that everyone would just be more comfortable around each other by having more conversations and communicating more with one another.

“Something to improve on is team spirit. I guess skill-wise we’re pretty okay, but again we should just be more connected as a team,” answered Chang. 

No doubt Chang will continue improving and getting better at badminton, and AHS’ badminton team is so lucky to have such a talented and hardworking player!

Photo by Lorin Teng