My Badminton and Life Blog

My Badminton and Life Blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Year in Review

2011 was a year that saw a lot happen for me. Both good and bad stuff but the scales are tipped more towards the good.

So starting off at what seems ages ago for the beginning of 2011 not much was happening was in school and still training hard for badminton. New years had just passed and had made my New Year’s resolutions as well as set my goals for 2011. January, February, and Match saw me playing a lot of local provincial tournaments in Alberta. Come April that is when I went out to play Internationals once again with the Peru International. That was a good tournament with a win in singles for me and a very close doubles game where I partnered with a top Canadian mixed player Toby Ng who is on track to go to the Olympics with his mixed partner. Originally I was to go to Osaka for the Osaka International but the Tsunami hit Japan and flights into Japan at the time were not happening so I had to find another tournament to attend. I will however be heading to Osaka in 2012 for the tournament which will be nice for sure.

Peru International

May saw junior nationals and I played in u23 representing Alberta, the tournament was held at the Richmond Olympic Oval in Vancouver. I had played there in 2010 when I played the Canadian Open. This time was still not as pleasant as the first time. Large venue, trouble seeing and drafts made things interesting and is just something that needs to become second nature with me when I start to play in these large venues. All in all though it was a great time and I had fun playing junior nationals.

Shortly after that was my birthday and summer vacation for 2011 which all seems to have happened so fast. I didn’t do anything special for my birthday I never really do I will go out for dinner with people or see people and that’s about it. I got to see a good amount of my friends in the months of May and June which was and is always a nice thing. I did spend a lot of time trying to get on court as much as I could though due to playing the US Open in July and going to China in July/August. With this year (May 2011 to May 2012) being Olympic qualification year the tournaments are attracting a lot of top players from all over the world.

US Open wasn’t too bad I got to see 3 really good friends who live down in the LA/San Diego area which is always nice. I saw some of the top players in the world, from Bao Chunlai, Tien Minh Nguyen, Sho Sasaki, to former Olympic gold medalist Taufik Hidayat. That was a treat to watch them play and be in their presence. After US Open I flew back to Calgary for 1 day and then left to China to train for over a month there.

US Open

I will always love going to mainland China, I simply love it there everything about it the culture the city everything. I spend my time in Nanning and will always go back to that city it is my second home you could say haha. I had an amazing time in China, made a lot of new friends and will go back again in the future. I won’t be going back in 2012 but may try and go back to train there in 2013 for sure.

China Training Group

In a Chinese Museum

After China I came back to Calgary for a little over a week and a half and then I went off to the Caribbean mainly Barbados and Trinidad as well as some other locations for tournaments. Jet lag and 45 days of training hard had taken a toll on my body and it was not happy with me at that point. The time spent down there was amazing I got to see old friends that I had not seen in a year and made even more new friends.

CAREBACO International

Eating in Barbados

After my time down there it was time to come back home and go to school yet another semester, I take 3 courses a semester because I am training daily and working on top of that. I want to make sure I can do great in the courses I take but also try and focus on my badminton as much as I can. I didn’t play any local tournaments after that because I really wanted to focus on training and improve and get better. I have only been training/playing badminton for just about 5 years now total and I am happy where I have gotten but I know that I have a lot of catching up and improving to do. I really want to take this as far as I can and well ultimately that will conclude with an Olympic run in 2016. That’s 5 years from now and I will work as hard as I can and want to see what I can do and accomplish in that time. If I don’t make it to that point I would like to at least have a ranking of being in the top 100 in the world at some point in my career.

Currently finishing off 2011 I am ranked 407 in the world as of Thursday December 29, 2011 and the week before December 22 I was ranked 400 in the world for Men’s Singles. My goal for 2012 is to finish in the top 250 in the world and if I can play a few more tournaments than the 4 I have lined up already then I would like to finish in the top 200 in the world.

The next international that I played came in November which was the Miami International down in well Miami. That was fantastic to go down there and I was feeling great I played a singles game against an amazing player from the states and it wasn’t bad I was seeing improvements in my game and happy with my play. I also played mixed with my mixed partner and we ended up losing to a tough US pair. The worst moment of my year happened at that point. The second last point of my last mixed match I played a simple backhand push and then out of nowhere I felt a sharp pain rip through my hand I couldn’t even hold onto the racquet at that point I didn’t know what I had done and had to return serve right after that. We ended up losing that match but I still had to travel home in that condition and let me say it was hell. My hand was pretty much useless I couldn’t do anything with it couldn’t hold anything and even just holding it still it killed.

Men's singles match

Men's singles match

When I got back to Calgary I went to physiotherapy as well as doctors to see what had happened and after X-rays and ultrasounds they came to the conclusion that I had stretched out (almost ripped) 3 of the tendons in my hand. The tendons that ran through the pinkie, ring finger, and middle finger of my right hand which is also my racquet hand. This was devastating for me this meant that I couldn’t train or even play badminton for a while. That while turned out to be 3 weeks before I could hold a racquet again and when I did that the only thing I could do was hit net shots that slowly progressed into being able to hit drops and then clears. Now about 6 weeks after all that the tendons are still healing its the one that runs from my wrist into my pinkie that is taking the longest to heal. I can hit most shots now with the exception of backhands and lifts but within another month everything should be as good as new.

With that happening it saw me doing a TON of footwork pretty much every day I would go to training and just do footwork for the 2 hours and then fitness and leg weights on my own time. I can finally start to work out my upper body again but slowly. All in all though I am happy that I was able to do all that footwork, I am trying to make sure to do that daily on top of training because I feel that it has helped my game. Because of my inability to hit a backhand now I have had to make sure I am quick enough to get into the backhand corner and hit an around the head, I just now instinctively go for an around the head and I feel that is a great step forward in my game so through tragedy came something good.

There was one more international that I played for the year and that would be the last one of 2011. It was the 2011 Canadian International which was all the way out in Moncton, New Brunswick. My hand had not fully healed and I couldn’t hit smashes, backhands, lifts or drives even. It was going to be tough but I knew that I could get into main draw and that was a decent chunk of points that would be useful in playing my tournaments next year. I was drawn against the 5th seed 1st round and it was tough not being to hit many shots, even trying to hit a crosscourt clear was painful and wasn’t going to happen. That tournament passed and that leaves us here at the end of the year where I am writing up a year in reflection one day before New Years.

Men's singles match

Because I have some time it being Christmas break and all with not much training I decided to finally go and get my tattoo done. I choose to get something incredibly meaningful to me and I went with the phrase “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” but I got it done in Chinese characters going down my back. 有志者,事竟成 literally means “if a person has ambition, things will be accomplished” and that is very meaningful to me. I am a determined individual and I am going to put all I have into badminton and go as far as I can with it. So now in the family both I and my mom have tattoos, my dad is the odd one out without one haha.

Right after the tattoo was inked

Once the bandages came off, the final product

So that was 2011 in a nut shell, from badminton to my love life and everything in-between. 2012 is right around the corner and I already have 4 tournaments lined up (Vietnam and Osaka Internationals, US Open and Canadian Open) so we will see how those all go. I have my Elite status with Air Canada now which means upgrade credits which means executive class to Asia when I travel. 2011 through the highs and lows you have been an interesting year and I can’t wait to experience 2012 in its entirety.

Goodbye 2011 hello 2012.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2011 Canadian International Challenge

This was my last International tournament of 2011 and it was the Canadian International Challenge out in Moncton, New Brunswick December 12-17th but I was out there December 11-15th. This tournament is my last of the year and counts towards Olympic qualification points so it attracted a decent amount of people. For this tournament I was up against 5th seed Stephan Wojcikiewicz of Canada 1st round.

Tournament Venue.

The good news was that I could hold a racquet again and even play some simple shots, clears, drops, forehand lifts, etc. The bad news was I could not constantly smash, play backhands, hit drives or play backhand lifts effectively due to no strength in my hands tendons. Playing against such an amazing talented player as Stephan proved incredibly hard and something that I was not able to do well. I played as hard as I could with the shots that I could hit but it was just near impossible to win points against him. I ended up getting crushed but am happy with how things went and know even more what to work on for the next year. I did receive a decent amount of points for a 1st round loss still which will boost my world ranking in the next week to somewhere around 400th in the world.

Rock Tape provided basic support but didn't help the 3 tendons in my hand too much =(

Clip of Me Vs. Stephan Wojcikiewicz [5]
Match Clip

I would like to achieve better tournament results in 2012 and will be working hard to do that. I am happy with where I have gotten in playing/training badminton for the past 4 and a half years. There is still a huge gap that I need to close with the players that have been playing/training for at least 10 years and started when they were young. We will see what 2012 has in store for me what tournaments I will play and how the year will pan out for me. I will finish off Christmas break and 2011/ beginning of 2012 doing footwork every day alternating between no weight vest and a weight vest. This will allow my hand to heal further and hopefully be ready in January when group training starts back up.

Until then I have some finals to write one Friday (tomorrow) and Monday December 19th. And will probably post a year in reflection blog, well I will try to do my best to post one up. A lot of great things have happened this year as well a lot of bad things too, but will dwell into that later.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Memory Lane

Traveling down memory lane
Reminiscing through all that time
Traveling down memory lane
It is a joy, truly one of a kind.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 XII Miami Pan Am International

November 9-12th was the 2011 XII Miami Pan Am International down at the Don Shula’s club in Miami Lakes, Miami. This tournament like all the rest I have played since May 2011 counts towards the 2012 Olympic qualification. This being said it was only an International Series graded tournament but still attracted players from all over the world. Players from the Pan Am Region (North, South, Central Americas as well as the Caribbean), also players from Europe (Italy, Greece, etc), and even some players from Sir Lanka attended. Overall the tournament was not bad, had good singles and mixed matches. My doubles partner from Ecuador did not show up so we ended up having to default the match.

I ended up losing to Ilian Perez of USA 2nd round in the men’s singles draw. It was not a bad match but it does suck to lose. He ended up making it to quarter finals where he lost to the Sir Lankan who eventually won the tournament. In the mixed doubles I and my partner lost in round of 16 to Paula Obanana and Philip Chew of the USA they ended up winning the tournament.

The weather was amazing in Miami; it was a nice change from the snow and negative numbers in Calgary. There was a downside though, the whole trip every flight that I took something happened in terms of being delayed. Leaving Calgary there was a mechanical problem and delayed an hour and a half. Arriving into Miami there was a gate issue; delayed 45 minutes. Leaving Miami something happened and the flight was delayed around 40 minutes which ultimately meant that I would and did miss my connecting flight from Toronto to Calgary.

But all that I can deal with, the real downside of the trip was that I injured my right hand during the 2nd last point of last game of the tournament, my mixed match. I played a simple mid court push on my backhand and then felt an extreme pain shoot through my palm on my right hand. I dropped my racquet and clenched my hand that’s how much it hurt. To simply hold my hand still and not move it was a pain that was beyond anything I have ever dealt before, sharp pains radiated through my palm and fingers only to be amplified with any movement or touch. I was unable to use my right hand for anything and it has taken over a week for the pain to subside. I do not currently have any strength in my hand which meant all week at training all I did was footwork and then would do fitness in the gym with some leg work. This coming week sees more of the same and then once strength is restored a gradual progression into training for the Canadian International.

So after this tournament my ranking didn’t change terribly much, it went up 72 spots but I still have a little ways to go to finish off the year in the top 400 in the world. I will play 1 more international this year the 2011 Canadian International Challenge in Moncton. If I get main draw then I will easily meet my goal, if I have to qualify and fail to qualify for main draw well that will be another story. The deadline is November 22nd and we will see how many people sign up then see how many people are ranked higher than me on the world rankings to determine who is put into main draw.

All in all things are coming along as planned; we shall see how the rest of the year plays out. For once I will be able to spend a full Christmas/New Years in Calgary. Not flying over the ocean or in another country for them. Hopefully it is not a lonely holiday season; it would be great and wonderful to spend it with somebody special amongst family and friends as well. Well that is a small update for now and more to come when more happens.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thoughts of a Badminton Athlete

So I have written a lot about badminton on this blog, not really much about body or mind though. So this entry is a little different it has to do with my mind and thoughts on a few topics.

Something weird has happened in my dreams. In one way or another I always see you in them. Its wonderful to see your face and be so close to you again but at the same time I know none of it is real. The conversations have already happened the jokes already told. The special moments nothing but shadows of the past spent. But it's the reality of this figment of my imagination that scares me the most. Why is my mind doing this to me me now? There was acceptance of what happened and the move on yet now you pop up again.

The memories are nice, seeing old friends again and catching up. Always a fun and great time to reminisce in all the good and bad times. All the stories, jokes and everything else as well. Time has passed, taken its course with us all. Driven us all down different roads. Some which cross again, some go far into the distance alone, some end up at a fork in the road while some are greeted with a dead end. Looking into the past and where I have come from what I have accomplished I know that I owe a lot of it to my hard work and determination but I also owe a lot of it to influential people in my life. From parents and coaches, training partners and opponents. From friends and acquaintances to the significant others who were always there. Your reassurance and belief, your positive attitude helped push me forward. Looking at it I have another 5 years till the next olympics and its going to be a long road. Although I may be on this road alone it is not dark and uncertain. I have the support of friends, family and countless others lighting the way. I want to thank everybody who ever believed in me, everybody who was ever there for me. All those that did, thank you.

I know I would like to have more of a social life but with such a busy schedule it’s hard. I thank all those close to me that understand. You have put up with me not being able to come to your birthday parties or special dinners, to go hang out at this or that place or make it out for wing night. When I do show up to things its usually straight from training or coaching and you are understanding. This does take a tole on my relationships though which at this point in my life im looking to settle down and get married in the next few years. I have expirences so much in the past few years in many different countries to boot it. But one thing is that I feel that desire for commitment and something stable. I will still compete and go for my goals but that is part of what is preventing me from other things.

Overall I discovered badminton late. When I started most people have already trained for 6 or 7 years and have been junior provincial champions or close to. They have put in countless hours of meaningful training and gained valuable expirence. Im about 5 years behind them but I want to take this as far as I can and see how high I can go with it. I have to understand that improvement can be a rapid but also slow and tedious process at the same time. Trying to change and learn new techniques can be stressful and time consuming, 2 steps forward and 1 step back seems to be the story of my life.

Miami international is coming up next week (November 9-12) but I have pulled my inner thigh muscle which is not a good thing at all. My body hates me day after day and my mind tries constantly to do everything I want it to. To make my body move in a certain way, swing my arm a certain way, strategize different plays and just function on everything else that I need it to do. I will take a vacation soon early next year I hope. An actual vacation no badminton at all, we shall see when/if that’s happens. but 1st my goal for the end of the year is to finish in the top 400 in the world, I’m currently 618 after losing over 1000points earlier this year in April. I need to perform well in Miami and in Moncton at the Canadian International (provided I am attending it still).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Summer in Reflection

So it has been a long time since I have published a blog about what's happening. I have been traveling a lot this summer all through Canada and the USA as well as over to Asia and down to that Caribbean. When I was in China the “great firewall of China” had the vast majority of sites I frequent blocked including my blog.

Starting off after playing in Peru and junior & u23 Canadian nationals i had some time before i went to China for training. That time was primarly spent working on fitness and as much on court stuff as i could. I wanted to make sure i would be fit enough to train in Asia. Right before China i had to play the US Open which is a grand prix gold tournament. I was in qualifications again this year but there was only 16 spots in qualifiers. I played an opponent from Brazil and he got the better of me, he played very well and won that match. So coming off of that i was more than happy to be jetting off to Asia for training. I spent a total of 2 and a half days in LA (technically Orange County) and then flew back to Calgary. I then spent 13 hours in Calgary before flying to Hong Kong and then into Nanning China which took me around 28 hours with stopovers and waits in Vancouver and Hong Kong. When I got into my room it was around 11:30pm and I was to train 8am the next day.

2011 Canadian Junior and u23 Nationals, Team Alberta

2011 US Open Grand Prix Gold, during my men's singles match

I will write a completely separate blog entry about China and that will come later. Right now is more about the summer as a whole.

So I spent a whole month and a bit in China training and then started my flight back to Canada. That required spending a night in Hong Kong and then flying out to Vancouver then Calgary the following day. I can officially say that the 11 and a half hour flights from Asia are killer on my body. The fact that I was there for so long, all the traveling, and the amount of training that I did there simply destroyed my body.

2011 Training in China with the GuangXi Provincial Team

When I arrived back in Canada I was only to spend 8 days in Calgary but 3 of those would be playing in the Alberta open which is part of the national circuit. In hindsight that was a bad idea I had some alright games. My body had no idea what was happening and simply didn't want to move or listen to my mind. After playing the tournament and finishing Saturday afternoon with a loss in singles and doubles to the eventual winners I was leaving again Sunday night/Monday morning at 1am.

This time I would be flying down to Barbados for the 2011 CAREBACO international. This was tough with everything that I had gone through recently all the traveling and tired body. I did not take a proper rest after China to allow my body to recuperate and be happy with me again.

Flying into Barbados was good and I can't be mad with the tournament, its rough to have to play 1st and 2nd seeds in my draws but those are challenges that I welcome. In singles I played an older player and was not able to find my bearings, the stadium felt foreign and I did not feel comfortable hitting in there at all. Height of the venue was an issue with me as I messed with my timing. But these are not excuses at all. I am happy with how I played and learned from the expirence. Doubles and mixed were alright, tough matches and 1st time playing with either partner so there was an adjustment period.

I was in Barbados for 7 days more or less but was occupied with the tournament for 4 and a half of those days. Come Friday night though thats when my fun began. I enjoyed the nightlife in Barbados and it was a fun expirence and something long overdue. Just to relax and hang out with friends both old and new. The Beach had been taunting me all week and finally I dove into its beautiful blue waters, I did however go for a run on the beach every morning just to make sure I had some exercise.

After finishing in Barbados I made my way over to Trinidad which was just an hour flight away. I was to finally have my 1st vacation in a long long time. I spent a total of 8 days in Trinidad and it was a nice relaxing time. The heat was killer though and I was happy when it was a low of +23 degrees for the night.

That was the summer of 2011 in a nut shell; those were the major trips that I took this summer. There were a lot of weekends and time that I spent in other parts of Canada and the USA. A weekend to 5 days in Vancouver, a week in Montreal, Boston, and surrounding areas. Now that September is more than half way done focus has been on training and school as well as work. The next big tournament will be Miami Pan Am International in November. That’s all for now but I will have more posts about China as well as other things happening. I learned a lot, experienced a lot, and felt great about everything that happened regardless of the outcome.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

US Open GPG and China Training Camp

So it has been a while since I have put up a blog post. I have been busy training. The trip to Indonesia got scrapped because the airfare was to expensive and did not justify the trip. I am instead going back to China to train again in Nanning with the provincial team there. The last time I was in China(Nanning) was in 2009 so it will be awesome to go back and see it again. Hopefully to see some familiar faces too.

Before I set foot in China though I will be playing in the 2011 US Open Grand Prix Gold tournament down in Orange County (LA) at OCBC. The Tournament is July 11-16 but I will only be there July 10-12 as I fly out to Hong Kong on July 13th. This being Olympic qualification year the tournament has drawn out some huge names from Taufik again but this time others such as Chen Jin, Bao Chun Li, Boonsak Posonna, Tain Min Nguyen, and even Lee Young Dae who's competing in the doubles and mixed events.
I will only be competing in the mens singles event but am in qualifications once again due to world ranking not being high enough. There are 16 players in qualifications fighting for 8 spots in main draw. I have been drawn against Houng Nam Nguyen of Vietnam who's also the 3rd seed in qualifications.

Right after I play US Open I will fly back to Calgary for about 12 hours and then will start my long trek to China. That is what my summer has in store for me, for the time being I have but only 1 more day to spend in Calgary which will be spent running errands and packing.

Once back from China I will be spending around 10 days in Calgary before heading off to Barbados for the carabaco international (individual event) as I'm not a part of the team event. Then off to Trinidad and finishing off with the Guatemala international in September. If I can stay longer I would play the Brazil international but that would mean missing 2 and a half weeks of school which would not be good.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2011 XVI Peru International Overview

*I know this is a little late, I have been really busy latley and found the time to sit down and write this up.*

So I traveled to the 2011 XVI Peru International Challange April 13-17 this year. I was put into qualifications for mend singles because my world ranking was not high enough. My flight into Peru was a long one, I left Calgary the Wednesday morning at 10am and didn't get into Lima, Peru until 12:30am Thursday morning. By the time I got to my dorm room at Club de Regatas and into bed it was 3:30am. I had my singles match at 9am the next morning. Needless to say I did get a decent sleep only waking up once in the night. The next morning I awoke at 8:15 ate and got ready they walked over to the venue for my match.

So I was in qualification B which consisted of 6 players. The first round I played a player from chili. Because I arrived so early that morning I was unable to have a hit in the club so my warm-up was my first time hitting there. The venue wasn't bad at all though I didn't have any trouble seeing the shuttle or with height of the roof. That match went well with the final score being 21-8, 21-12 in my favor. The next match that I had was against a player from Mexico, that was a different story though. I lost that match 15-21, 16-21 but am happy to am extent with how I played. It was a flat game for the most part something which I have recently started to work more and more on in my singles play. Anytime I was able to hit down I was able to win the rallies but anytime we played flat for a while things got interesting. Overall the singles portion of the tournament was good and I'm happy with how I played. I can see improvements in my game but still much to work on.

Doubles was next and I partnered with Toby Ng of Canada for that. We had to qualify against a pair from Mexico. Unfortunately I have never really trained for doubles so the fast and flat style associated with doubles is quite foreign to me. I will get put under into pressure situations that shouldn't happen and am unsure at times what shots to play. But I was a little nervous partnering with such an amazing player like Toby, he was kind about it. That doubles match was a close one with the Mexican pair coming out the victor 21-19, 21-19. So after that match it marked the end of my tournament but I still had one more day in Peru before I headed back home to Canada to finish off the exams I couldn't get deferred.

The next day I was able to relax and have a bit of a vacation for a change. I ended up watching some of the first round matches and there were some great ones on. After that I ended up spending around 5 hours on the beach sitting and reading my book with a little bit of tanning here and there. The water was pretty cold but I did go for a dip in the ocean. My day came to an end by watching a wonderful sunset and then I headed back to my dorm room to pack and wait to go to the airport. My flight left Lima at 2am so I was picked up to head to the airport at 11pm. We detoured a little through Lima and got to see a little of the night life in the city but that's the most that I saw of Lima the entire trip. Both landing and leaving lima was in the early am hours so I was unable to see any of the landscape or anything, well another time.

And thus an end to my trip to Lima, Peru had come to and end and as I border my flight I had a sense of accomplishment leaving the country and tournament.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

2011 XVI Peru International Challenge

The draws for the Peru International Challenge came out on Wednesday April 6, 2011 and this is a look at them.

So for singles the main draw is sized to 32 people. That means that there is 8 qualification spots and because my world ranking is not high enough I’m in qualification for singles. I’m in group A qualification with 5 other people, that means that I would have to win 3 matches just to get into main draw. The top seed in my qualification is Matthew Fogarty from USA he’s on the top half and I’m on the bottom half. First I’m up against a guy from Chile and we will see how that goes. If there is a victory there then I would play a guy from Mexico and then whichever of the 3 guys on the top half make it to the qualifications final.

In doubles I am playing with a Canadian player by the name of Toby Ng, were both from Calgary and he trains at the Calgary winter club where as I train at the Glencoe Club. I haven’t played with him before and we are in doubles qualification against one other pair. The pair were playing against consists of a guy from Guatemala and a guy from France. If we win that one then we will be in the main draw for doubles.

All the qualification matches are to take place on the Thursday of the tournament with the main draw starting Friday. So as you can see that would be a lot of matches before the tournament. I know that for my singles qualification who ever qualifies gets to play Kevin Cordon, the 2nd seed of the tournament, first round in main draw. And for doubles whoever qualifies from our qualification gets to play 7/8 seed from Italy first round.

I’m defiantly looking forward to some great matches and to test out and see how all this training has gone for me. I will do my best to remember what Ardy has told me and yelled at me for and try to make the best of this tournament. The plus side is that the 920 points that I loose from the Atwater International (it’s been 12 months in May since that tournament) will be replaced by what points I get here. The disadvantage is that it might not be as many points meaning that my world ranking in singles will fall lower making it harder to get main draw in tournaments that have so many people signed up.

Will do my best to keep an update throughout the tournament, until then I have 5 more days in Calgary and 2 finals to write on Tuesday the day before I leave.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Off to south America

So I won't be attending the 2011 Osaka International due to what happened over in Japan earlier this month. I will now be attending the 2011 Peru international challenge which is taking place April 14-17.

There are 75 guys signed up for men's singles with only 32 spots in main draw. This means that there will be either 4 or 8 qualifier spots made available so either 24 or 28 of the guys will get into main draw based on the current world ranking. The rest of the players (including me) will have to play 3-4 matches in qualifiers to obtain a spot in main draw.

This will be another great experience for sure. The only downside is i will only be in Lima,Peru for 2 days which will be taken up by the tournament. As well it will take a full day of travel to get there and a full night of travel to get back. Not to long after this tournament at the end of May I will be flying off to Asia to train in Indonesia for a month. The draws will come out soon for the tournament so I will most likely post them up here when they do.

So right now my schedule is just trying to prepare for this tournament. Its a big one but there will be many more like this in the future for me, I can only hope anyways. The biggest thing that is going to hamper my play will be unforced errors, and consistency under pressure so I have been training those for the past while and we will see how it goes in the tournament.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A New Start

It has been a while since I have used this site; I am now going to start up blogging as regularly as I can. I’ll talk about my travels to tournaments and as well of training and all other aspects of life.

I have been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to be a “normal” person as I like to call it. I have seen friends here and there but it’s usually just the passing by hi and a quick 5 minute (ok that’s being optimistic) conversation about how life is going. Then I have to run off to either one of the few classes I have or off to the club for training. Training takes up the greater majority of my day with minimum 2 hours on court a day (ranges from 2-4 hours) and then another hour in the gym for weights and one more hour for fitness/cardio type workout. On top of that there are 1-3 hours of school depending on the day and then 2-3 hours of work coaching as well depending on the day.

I’m not complaining about it, I know that I choose this and I have my goals that I want to meet. I would like to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow, Scotland. After that I would potentially like to try and qualify for the 2016 Olympics. That is 3 and 5 years away from now but it will all be determined by what I do today and tomorrow, etc. To get me one step closer to my goals I will be traveling to Asia once again this summer to train there for a couple of months. My coach (Ardy Wiranata, 1992 Olympic silver medalist and winner of countless other prestigious titles) was able to arrange for me to train in Indonesia.

To facilitate all this I will be playing more internationals in the coming years and this summer as well. The current line up for 2011 is as follows, how closely I will be able to follow it is unsure yet.

April 6-10, 2011: Osaka International Challenge (as long as it’s still on)
July 12-16 2011: US Open Grand Prix Gold
July 19-24 2011: Canadian Open Grand Prix
August 31-September 3 2011: Carebaco International
September 8-11 2011: Cuscatlan Open International
November 9-12 2011: XIII Miami International
December 13-17 2011: Canadian International Challenge

It is a big list of tournaments and will be a tough year as well since starting in May of 2011 it is Olympic qualification period for the 2012 London games. That means that there will be a lot of big names making it out to tournaments to boost their world ranking. The only thing that will keep me back is funding which is why I am always looking for sponsors but it’s a circle of you need results to get sponsored but need money to go to tournaments to get the results. So for the time being we will see how this goes, that’s the tentative schedule though.

So that’s the start of everything, As of Thursday March 10, 2011 I am ranked 554 in the world for men’s singles. My goal for the end of the 2011 year is to be ranked in the top 200 in the world. Well it all starts here so I will keep this updated as best I can with everything that is happening.