Player Profile: Sam Hall

THE SERIOUS STUFF:

How long have you been playing badminton?

I got involved during high school, playing in comps there and when I started looking for a club to join my sports teacher told me about Farsley – so I joined at age 15.

How long have you been a member of Farsley Celtic Badminton Club?

Eight years. I did have a break for around 18-months when I stopped playing but returned as I missed the game.

What appeals to you most about the game?

The desire to be the best player on the court, which is why I love those intense pressure rallies where you have to work really hard to make every shot!

What do you enjoy most about the club nights?

The Kebab beforehand… The banter is unbelievable though, I should know, I’ve been at the forefront of some of it!

What’s your favourite badminton shot?

So many, it’s varied as time has gone on. I used to love my smash as it was all I had, but now I’m more developed as a player there’s a wider choice. I do enjoy a lob serve as it’s a shot where you can make people look silly, as proved by a video on our wonderful facebook page.

You play for the club in the Leeds Badminton League – how different is competitive badminton to club night badminton?

The intensity is higher. There’s such a desire to win and, playing as part of the opening pair as I did towards the back end of last season, you feel the pressure of needing to take two to three games a week consistently. But this only makes you try harder to achieve promotion.

What has been your competitive highlight so far?

Mens B promotion season, by far. We also got to the final of the cup competition that year and we know we should have won it, but did not play to the best of our abilities. Still, division champs and cup runners up ain’t a bad season, right?

Where would you like to see your game in two years’ time?

I would love to play Men’s A team, but they just need a bit of time to prepare for my level of skill…

How much does badminton contribute to your overall fitness?

Quite a bit. It’s the most intense fitness I do. But I’m now a keen runner having just completed the Leeds 10k and I am getting into this whole golf thing, which involves quite a walk.

How competitive are you? Do you want to win every game?

Very. I want to win everything – but my partner is Ian Richardson.

Which player or players do you admire most at the club, and why?

Tough question, but it would have to be Paul Davies. He gives me some stick and laughs at some of my appalling shots at times, but his game is fantastic, that’s why he’s number one in the club.

FANTASY BADMINTON:

So, what’s your court entry theme tune when you get to the Olympics?

The overture from the Phantom of the Opera – weird choice, I know… Just because it’s powerful music for the powerful player entering the court!

Who would play you in the badminton movie of your life – and why?

Lin Dan… Chinese badminton player hailed the king of badminton, so the resemblance and talent level is uncanny.

Who is your club Nemesis? What is it about their game that you find difficult?

Erm… I’d have to go with Richard and his blue jumper. He knows my weaknesses and exploits them well. Unfortunately for him, I now have no weakness.

What part of Palfs’s game do you admire the most?

His ability to lose to me. He deals with it so well!

If you could invent a rule change (however fantastical), what would it be?

Think it is used in some format of lower level badminton but ‘power plays’ – double points for servers on points of their choice. It adds a slight dynamic to the game tactically.

Who are you coming as in the next Farsley-does-fancy-dress competition?

Spiderman could be a good one, just simply for the outfit but I don’t think my gut would compliment it!

AWAY FROM THE BADMINTON COURT:

Do you participate in other sports? If yes, which ones?

Not really, but I would love to get back into 11-a-side football though.

What’s your ideal post-badminton drink?

Did someone say Jagerbomb!?

How do you think the club could be improved?

We definitely need more women at the club. Every good club needs a strong mixture of men and women to compete, so please come down and join us!

If you could choose anything, what would be your ideal social event with the club?

If it involves food and drink, I’m pretty much guaranteed to attend!

How do you wind down after a club night?

Did someone say Jagerbomb!?