Yonex US Open

There are a lot of people who helped support me on my way to the Yonex US Open Grand Prix Gold. I want to thank all of them, and give a quick update for those interested. 

The Yonex US Open ended with losses in the first round of singles, and round of 16 in doubles. The major difference between the US Open and the Canada Open? After my losses I had some very valuable input from people I respect, most notably Toby Ng. Such input in invaluable as someone with experience from the outside looking in can see things that might seem obvious but are often missed by the people stuck in the situation. 

For those of you who didn’t keep up to date- in doubles Kyle Golding and I played against a pair from Napel in the first round and won, then got beaten very badly by the number 3 seeded pair from Poland. In singles I lost to India. 

I have learned a lot, and even came home with (a very little) prize money.


With that update I say farewell. I have some hill sprints to attend to before the day gets old. Thanks to everyone who is cheering me on and helping me on my way! 

Cheers

Kevin Barkman

Advertisements

Canada Open

Canada Open

The Yonex Canada Open, MS loss in first round against Howard shu, MD loss in the Quarter Final against Toby Ng and Adrian Liu. 

Tournaments are a learning experience. They say fire refines, and it exposes weaknesses. I love competing. I love the tension in the air, and the crowd cheering. I love the challenge and putting my will against someone else’s. But when it’s all said and done and you walk away, winner or loser you have to take something away from the experience. The pressure hopefully revealed something. All the training and time and effort gets tested during tournaments, and while somethings prove their worth there are always weaknesses that get exposed. Places where technically you made a mistake, or tactically were not prepared. Maybe conditioning was an issue. 

In singles a lot of things became quite clear, through practice and competition. I haven’t had much sparing lately. My preparation consisted of lots of time in the gym and two and three against one practice on court along with the drills. I had very little to no game practice, or sparing. This showed through hesitant tactical decions and sometimes poor positioning. 

Weaknesses, mistakes, losses – they are all part of the road forward and reaching the next step always means growing through adversity and even mistakes. What comes next? How do I go about fixing or adapting to the things I have learned? How will I find more sparing and games? Get more competition? I don’t know yet, but those questions will be answered, one step at a time. 

I appreciate the help and support of those people helping me on this journey. I hope I can keep learning and growing, improving, getting stronger. Thanks all.

Prepared? 

Prepared? 

For a lot of people preparation means training all day and chilling at home, eating healthy, getting mentally ready, Ect. But for me prepping for the Yonex Canada Open, and the Yonext USA Open has meant a lot more than just training, though there has been plenty of that as well. Preparing well has also meant things like getting into a routine, looking for work, finding places to train, and even convincing my little brother to come feed me drills. It meant find a physical therapist, and a strength and conditioning coach, and even touring universities. 

Being prepared for a tourmanent means I spent a lot of early morning and late nights at the gym, and a lot of days either at work or in the office getting other things done. 

Am I fully prepared? Am I at my peak to play to the best of my potential? Yes and no, I don’t think I have fully reached my potential, I have a long ways to go yet, a lot to learn, and a lot more hard work to put in, but for where I am at I am as prepared as I can be. 

Sometimes being ready doesn’t mean you are actually ready, as much as it means you are courageous enough to dare, and to be confident that you put in the hours of effort before hand, so whatever the outcome you have no regrets. Being ready means being prepared to try fully, and be okay with the result you get. 

Of course, my going to these tournaments isn’t just about me, but about all the people who support me and help me out as coaches, PT’s, sponsors, freinds, employers,  and everything else.  Every game I play is a huge shout out to all these folks who also believe that dreams are worth chasing. 

Peace out folks, keep chasing your goals and putting your hours in – Kevin

Spokane Parks & Rec Badminton Camp

Spokane Parks & Rec Badminton Camp

Day two of Spokane’s Parks and Recreation Badminton Camp just came to an end. I am of course tired, but also some what excited by the kids and their enthusiasm about badminton life in general. Their whole lives are ahead of them and they are just starting to explore what they could do with them.

It’s always inspiring to coach kids, though often a huge challenge at the same time. Many of the kids at the camp knew very little about badminton, so while sharing the love of the sport was great, it was often hard from the logistics side to cater everything to both those more advanced kids and those who were picking up a racket for the first time. But that’s what coaching is all about isn’t it? Drawing out the best in each and every one of the kids you have, no matter their goals, or skill level. In the end, coaching and teaching is seeing potential in people and working hard to draw it out and build and develop skills and tools to help  each kid reach their potential, and whatever their goals may be.

Today there was a kid who obviously had a talent for following instructions well, and was super attentive and focused, he didn’t like the fun games or the playing, but I knew he when he did drills that he would listen carefully and never need to be told anything twice. Who knows where that focus and attentiveness will take him? Or one kid who was a kind of social peace keeper and really good at talking with people and engaging even the shyest kids. Badminton is another way to help him develop those skills, whether he uses them in badminton or some other place it life, it’s a tool and gift worth noticing, encouraging, and growing. 

There is a good chance none of the kids at the camp will be Olympians, or represent their country internationally. Though you never know who you may inspire to take it to the next level. At the end of the day I hope each kid learns a little more about badminton, and a lot more about working hard, interacting with others, and focusing and building skills for success.

Coaching isn’t training, but sometimes it is a good inspiration for me as I seek to chase my own dreams and reach my own goals.

Beginnings

Beginnings

We all start someplace. And today might not be day one for me, but this is my starting over and saying once again, “This is what I want to do.” So here I am, saying, I want to become the best I can be, I want to travel the world competing, playing international badminton. It is not an easy road, or one that I can define. I am headed places where no one can lead me, and hoping for the best. I hope you follow me along this journey, and maybe along the way I can inspire you to chase your own dream. A little warning though, it takes a lot of hard work. Let’s hope we are both up for the challenge.


Barkman_Badminton-4