KIMBERLY SOM: Hard work pays off


Trying out the sport because she heard about it in her art class, senior Kimberly Som never imagined she’d grow passionate about playing badminton. Som was just a freshman when a senior told her to try out for badminton. She knew the team had a league championship streak for a few years, and she admired the varsity team because they “looked strong.”  She was up in the air about it, not really having any experience in athletics before. But once she told her friends about it, they all decided to try out together.

After a few days of conditioning by running around Stagg and doing footwork drills that never seemed to end, Som finally got the chance to work with rackets. “At first it was hard because I was new at everything,” She said. “But by the end of the week I had gotten much better, I was able to hit the birdie consistently over the net.”

Som’s first year was spent playing mostly exhibition singles. By the end of her season she knew she wanted to improve, so she attended summer practice. During the summer she was able to focus more on improving, not just trying to simply win matches. “My main struggle had to do with my stamina,” she said. “the sport involves a lot of endurance.”

“By my sophmore year I could definitely see the improvement, but it wasn’t enough.” Som started staying at practice later and asking for more help. She would work on her footwork and her different hits on her own whenever she found the chance to do so. When Som’s junior year came around, she was switched from a singles player to a doubles. Now, she would be working along with a partner, something she was far from accustom to.

“I didn’t complain about the switch because I wanted to make my coaches proud,” she said. “I had to basically learn the game all over again.” Som would try to practice with her partner as much as she could. She tried to learn all of her partners habits, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Som spent a countless amount of hours working hard a practice.  Her hard work continued on until her senior year. Som finished off her season ranked at varsity doubles #2, and above all she was content with how far she came along. Som says, “I always want to make an effort even when no one else is.”