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Three-time Olympian Howard Bach holds badminton clinic at CVHS

A collective gasp filled the CVHS gym as the badminton racket swooshed through the air faster than the eye could blink. On Friday, April 14, 2023, badminton coach Howard Bach amazed his audience with technique demonstrations during a free two-hour clinic for the CVHS badminton team.

“It was a really great experience,” reflected sophomore and team captain Joshua Wong. “Seeing a former US Olympian play right in front of me was jaw-dropping and his skills were top-notch. His story about how he grew up and continued to play badminton was very inspirational and showed me that there are no limits.”

Growing up in San Francisco, Bach has played badminton for nearly four decades. In addition to competing in the Olympics three times, he won the World Championships in 2005.

During the clinic, Bach demonstrated a wide range of techniques, from the proper grip with which to hold a racket to tips on jump smashes. 

For varsity player and junior Anjali Yadavalli, Bach’s drills on rotation, or the movement of doubles partners on the court, were most helpful.

“I think they would help me play better in a game. I’ll try to practice his drills to the best of my ability; I would love to get better [by] using them,” she said. 

Wong agreed that the drills will be useful to improve both himself and the team. His favorite part of the clinic was the challenges, where players competed against each other to knock over stacked shuttlecock containers with smashes or land serves across the net into a small bin.

“They were very interactive and had prizes,” commented Wong. He added that Bach was “really good at motivating and I think all the players had a good experience. I thought it was very fun.”

CVHS badminton head coach Lotan Yeung believed the clinic offered students a unique opportunity to learn many technical skills they don’t yet possess.

“I think they benefited by gaining more insight into how professional players think and play when they compete,” he said, noting that Bach placed a lot of “emphasis on thinking while you play.”

After the clinic, Bach signed autographs and answered specific technique-related questions from players. He praised the CVHS badminton team overall for its attitude.

“I think the players are really engaged and they were proactive and enthusiastic, so I’m sure they will do amazing for the remainder of the season.”

Bach is glad to be able to help out younger generations of badminton players.

“Every year I talk to coaches and provide free clinics because that’s something I never had when I was a kid,” he explained. “So it’s a way for me to give back.”

One thought on “Three-time Olympian Howard Bach holds badminton clinic at CVHS

  • The badminton team has done a lot in this season and I’ve heard they have won many times, too. It’s good to know we have a talented coach from the Olympians to help them gain more skills and what to do during games or competitions.

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