I am learning about forestry and the layers of a forest. How is that resonates with Badminton? Let`s go through on my findings.
All forest layers have an important role to help maintain the soil, exchange nutrients with other layers so all can thrive in a close competition. A naturally occurring forest needs lots of time to build up, about 100 – 300 years. That is a long time but it is an inevitable process which needs to be done for a large forest with all its precious layers. What are these layers are? See it below. To understand how it is corresponding to badminton let`s describe the layers from the ground. All of them are important, no matter how big or small are they. They thrive slowly without each other.
The first layer from the ground is climbers. Climbers are the lovers of badminton and the media. Their contribution to the sport is huge as they follow stars, share an incredible amount of contents online and on social media platforms and fans also among each other in Whatsapp groups or other chats you can never access anywhere else. They are obsessively climbing up on the stories of emergent badminton players to get exposure of their own vision on the pinnacle of the sport. This group is enriching the soil of top badminton and good to have because they can further inspire “tall trees” to reach up higher.
These groups are everywhere. On the streets, beaches, gardens, playing at some other places you never heard of or actually hiring badminton courts. These are the recreational players. These groups are most likely adults, some with children. They can come from any layers around. They do not need exposure, are playing for fun and joy whether the conditions are right or insufficient for competitive badminton. They often do not know a thing about the bests, for them, badminton does not belong to any legends. For them, it is a stand-alone marvellous game which you need rackets, a shuttle and another badminton lover to play with. Those people and groups are undiscovered by associations and they do not feel the need to join a governing body to play badminton. In fact, these groups are the unconscious supporters and promoters of the sport and have a huge impact on all of us. They are most probably coming from another level or outsiders, like a parent whose child interested in badminton but never heard of the sport before.
In my opinion, the school badminton makes the roots layer. After school clubs and school-related competitions are trying to create a fun and safe environment for all their children and their focus is to provide time for youngsters to play badminton. School badminton is a huge thing in Asia. They could have the ability to do motivate students to reach higher and achieve more. These are the places where children can meet with inspiring teachers/coaches who could amaze them instantly or direct them to places where the magic can happen. The competitive sport would struggle without this layer. If treated well by governments and governing bodies of the sport and the social/parental support is adequate, this layer can regenerate itself and provide benefits for many other layers.
In most cases, the herbaceous layers or club environments have the ability to provide safe, competitive training experiences to many age groups and abilities. They also compete in leagues, could prepare players to tournaments or organize their own tournament where all could be challenged within a well-known environment. Ideally, they can provide lots of time to be on the court for training or to play social games. No associations would survive without clubs.
Bushes and shrubs are representing a higher level of an area and they have the power and knowledge to help competitive players become stronger. They are most likely focusing on finding the right people to build up a team and also this could be a jumpstart of their badminton career. If a county is dense by local clubs, the competition will be massive. In turn, thin counties do not always prove the lack of competitiveness. This layer could have a deep impact on the whole sport within a nation. They need some more exposure from their governing body at least to survive and support other layers around.
The under-story layer made by the players who decided to start a badminton career and going forward to achieve their personal goals. They are training a lot, travelling, competing, strictly following guidelines while eating, doing specific and non-specific exercises to enhance their body for quicker recovery and better performance. They are belonging to their governing body and representing their nation. They need some more exposure from the media, associations, equipment sponsorship to support their mission to reach at least the level of the national team. These players could bring their nation`s badminton body to a whole new level so their importance is unquestionable.
The canopy layer containing all the badminton stars we all know well or can see them compete on the highest-ranked tournaments. Almost every layer would like to play like them. They are making the circus we want to see and feel like spectators. Most of the officials are made for this level. They can practice a layer below to become better and more professional for the most prestigious events on the planet. This layer is capable to change an entire nation`s mood for years. This layer got the most exposure from the media, associations and organisations. They help to enrich the soil of badminton with lots of “nutrients” (like fundings, opportunities, exhibitions, etc.) both when they rise and fall. Their “sequestration” (attracting focus from daily things to give us hope for life) helps us to believe in a better future by giving hope through their achievements.
In an ideal world, all the layers are respected and promoted. If those layers are engineered well then they can grow much faster then organic forests. The question is, what happens if the Canopy layer is dying out? Well, their climbers will disappear but their roots are deep in the soil of the sport and they will find the next “emergent trees” to rise once again. But it takes time. A lot. What fallen canopies can do is to release their “nutrients” (share their incredible stories, exhibit their skills to the public and make lots of impressions) to lower layers and further enriching the soil for the next generation of the players.
Badminton has lost large canopies recently. Focus on the ground and low-level layers. Be humble and generous with your time and contribute as much as you can. Make the sport denser to create competition among local clubs. Persistence, consistency and patience ought to characterize us now. Again, patience. And the results will come. #watchmerisebadminton
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