Bio

DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Badminton "friends' discover details, put them to use

 With a good group of returnees and potential among last season’s junior varsity,  the future of Xavier badminton carries a good deal of optimism.

There might even be a player or two from a group participating in this summer’s badminton camp that could eventually add more stability to the team.

Second-year coach Brian McNerney was leading the players through various situations in the first of four days on Monday (June 13) that included learning about most of the equipment and putting oneself in the proper position to make the best shot.

While the players gripped their racquets, McNerney said that “mobility in the wrist creates power.’’

The campers worked on the basics of a serve. A maneuver that is successful due to a deft touch is the drop shot that barely clears the net and can make the opponents charge in.

And one of the favorite shots surely has to be the smash, which includes the coach’s claim of mobility in the wrist.

The group of about 11 campers then gathered for nearly an hour’s worth of competition, including some singles with a few doubles mixed in. He was assisted by a group of varsity and JV players from last season.

A key element of the return can be the backhand when trying to defend your side of the court and perhaps put the bird out of reach of the opponent would be the backhand.

“Most of this will get better with time,’’ McNerney told the group.

“It’s exciting for the girls to be out here. They are learning a lot about the game in a short time period and making a few new friends.’’


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