Since I am an American who lives and trains in China (and speaks fluent chinese) I have had many people approach me to help them find training. So I figured what the heck and decided to arrange a week long training camp for foreigners who wish to train and visit china. Allow me to introduce to you…Dragon Badminton Training Camp!
7-Day Adult Badminton Training Camp in China!
July 14-22, 2018
Everyday training will be three hours from 9-12 in the morning. There will be three coaches each coach will only have three to four students so you will have plenty of one-on-one time. We will have to wait to see the level of participants to see how we break up the groups. But you will have a chance to train with all the coaches. All coaches are Chinese and train the Chinese techniques. A week is not a long time but you can expect to make noticeable differences in your technique. The coaches will focus on technique and also game strategy.
Training will begin with a group warm-up for 15-20 minutes that will stretch you muscles and get your heart beating. Then you will break into groups and work on various techniques with coaches. (This is not a rote training where you hit clears for 10 minutes with a partner and then change to drops for 10-minutes. This will be more deliberate practice where the coach will give you immediate feedback on poor technique and continue to work with you until you improve.) The last 20 minutes will be for some group body conditioning (cross-fit style), cool-down and stretch.
This camp is not for beginner badminton players! Since you are coming all the way to China I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. The training and techniques will be higher level and the coaches will assume everyone has a basic understanding of the game. You don’t have to be top player in your club, but you need to consider yourself an intermediate and know the rules of the game.
One of the biggest hurdles with training in China is the language. One of the coaches speaks fluent English, the other coaches can speak only a little . So you will have student helpers to assist you throughout the week. During training they can help translate thoughts and ideas from the coach. Also I (Becky) will be there all the time and can help translate too.
Your student helpers will be available to you all week outside of training with each student helping only two players so they will have plenty of time to help you. They will pick you up from the airport and drop you back off and in addition to translating the coaches they can help you with tasks in China such as buying a local SIM card or tell you how to get somewhere you want to go. You will have their contact information so anytime you have any questions or difficulties you can call or text them and they will do their best to help. The student helpers are my actual student, English majors from the local university, picked by me based on their high English level and helpful nature. Of course if you want to learn Chinese while your here the student helpers could be your teacher as well!
Lunch will be delivered to the courts from local Chinese restaurants and eaten together immediately after training. Eating is one of the best parts of traveling, and Chinese food will blow you away (it’s very different than what you might be used to–and much tastier). There will be a variety of dishes to chose from and we’ll avoid ordering any of the super weird stuff unless majority wants to try. 😉 (Let me know if you have any allergies.) After lunch the shuttle bus will bring you back to your hotel where you can rest and relax or go out and explore.
After Training (with optional night playing)
The afternoon and nights are free for you! You will be pretty tired, especially after a few days, and rest is important. If you want to explore China I, and your student helper, can recommend places to go and tell you how to get there. Xiamen is one of the top tourist destinations in China, with mountains and beaches all with a quick taxi or subway ride, and has many interesting and unique places to see. July is the hottest month in Xiamen and expect the temps to be upper 30’s (90’s) and humid. So afternoons would be best spent taking a break and relaxing after badminton. Then wait for the late afternoon to go out and explore on your own.
Of course if you haven’t had enough of badminton, you are welcome to join evening play with the locals. Coach Lin is head of Team Xiong Feng (my club) and on club nights you are welcome to join him and his club play. On other nights there are other clubs you can easily play with. Be warned—not many locals speak English beyond “nice to meet you.” But they will be very happy to play with you. And everyone is fluent in the language of badminton. 😉 Thanks to coach Lin’s generosity night playing will be included free!
Saturday: Arrival. Met at the train station or airport by your helper/translator for the week. Check into hotel.
Welcome dinner to meet everyone
Sunday: Meet at lobby at 8:30
12-1 lunch at the courts
1 Return to hotel
Afternoon and evening free (with option to play with the courts club in the evening)
Monday: Training Day (Same schedule as above)
Tuesday: Training day!
Wednesday: Rest day! Important to prevent injury.
Optional travel day to Gulangyu.
Gulang Island is a UNESCO world heritage site and the top tourist attraction in Xiamen. Nicknamed “Piano Island” it is the former home of the British during Xiamen’s colonial past and filled with crumbling old mansions as a reminder of the past. Rung with beaches, this car free island has rambling paths and alleyways and a small village brimming with local snacks, cafes, cute shops and a famous piano museum. Spend the day on the beach swimming or photograph the crumbling mansions now overgrown with ivy and time. Your student helpers will guide you around the island and help you with ordering food and buying things. (This trip is optional and not included in the price. You must pay for it yourself but the ferry ticket is only $10 and food isn’t expensive.)
Thursday: Training day!
Friday: Training day!
Saturday: Competition day! Use what you have spent the week learning, team up with a local club member and compete against others. Medals to be awarded!
In the evening Coach Lin invites you to his house for food and traditional Fujian tea (called “pao cha”) made in a traditional manner and snacks. Meet his family and enjoy one last night of conversation and camaraderie and have a chance to use whatever Chinese you have picked up during the week. 😉
Sunday: Go home. Your student helper will bring you to the airport/train station.
All training and game play will take place at Xiong Wei Badminton Courts, a new facility built and owned by coach Lin. 14 courts, with side lighting, dark walls and a black draped ceiling allow for space and excellent visibility of the birdie. Courts are green flooring which lie on a wood on top of concrete to ensue the courts are firm, but springy enough to avoid any knee injuries.
Courts have free wifi, large bathrooms with showers (hot water), changing rooms, stringer and stringing machine available at all times and a small store in which you can buy cold drinks, grips, shirts, towels, knee, wrist elbow and other braces, shoes and rackets. Basically all the necessities of badminton play.
The courts do not have air conditioning. Xiamen is a sub-tropical location and July temps are regularly in the upper 30’s to 40 degrees Celsius (90’s to 100) and humid as heck. You will sweat….a lot. Bring enough clothes for you to change several times a day. (Don’t worry, both hotels have laundry.)The coaches office has weak air conditioning which you can take a break, but in general be prepared for hot weather and make sure to drink plenty of fluids (cold water, several brands of sports drinks and fruit juices are available for purchase).
My personal coach I write about all the time on my blog and owners of the courts. Basically the best coach ever (IMHO)
Watch videos of him play here and here.
Founding member of the Black Ants, formerly Xiamen’s top badminton team
Winner of numerous gold and silver medals throughout the years (too many to list here.)
Specializes in singles.
Can only speak Mandarin with a few words of English.
My friend who I mention regularly throughout the blog. (His English name is Mario but in the blog I call him Yang Ping.)
Among his many, many wins some highlights:
2017 Jimei Team Competition gold medal winner
2015 Xiamen Gongti Cup China and Taiwan team event Gold medal winner
2014 Xiamen Lianhua cup gold medal winner
2014 Xiamen Gongti China and Taiwan team event Gold medal winner
2013 Xiamen sports league of badminton Men’s doubles gold medal winner
Specializes in men’s doubles
Member of the Black Ants Team
Founder of Sunny Hunter Training school which trains foreigners
Speaks Mandarin, English and Italian fluently.
My third part-time coach who I also have mentioned from time to time on this blog. One of the female players in Xiamen I admire most!
China social sports coaching certificate
China badminton judge certificate
2018 Gold medal Winner women’s doubles
2017 Xiamen TV cup badminton team event silver medal
2017 Xiamen Jingying cup badminton team event gold medal winner
2013 Canton winners singles badminton gold medal winner
Majored in badminton at Canton institute of PE education
Currently one of the top female players in Xiamen
Specializes in women’s doubles/mixed doubles.
Speaks Mandarin and can speak some English
This is an adult training camp and participants must be 18 years of age or older! If there is a younger child wanting to participate please contact me. It could be doable but they would need to be accompanied by a guardian. This is not intended as a summer camp for kids, but serious younger players could be considered.
You will be located in Jimei district, in the north of Xiamen city, less than 10 km from the airport. (Fun fact: Xiamen is one of only two cities with an airport in the downtown area. Nowhere in the city is more than 20 km away from the airport.) Jimei is a traditional part of the city with hidden temples, amazing food and friendly locals. There are also plenty of foreign restaurants and western food (such as Burger King, Subway, Pizza Hut, Mexican, Greek, thai food etc). Your hotel will be within walking distance to the beach (not a sunbathing beach, but rather a more rocky kind of beach) and a mall with brand stores such a Uniqlo, H&M etc. Jimei also has a subway stop so it is easy to go into the center of the city from there. We will give you a map and explain the local area when you arrive.
There are also many massage places in the area around the courts and your hotel in case you want to relax your tired muscles. An hour long foot massage at a nice place will cost about $20 with a full body massage a little bit more. Many spas have a full buffets included in the price which would be a good dinner.
Xiamen city is an island and has a large amount of nature for such a small place. The outer edge is ringed with beaches and the inside has mountains and parks. A subtropical climate Xiamen is has a reputation for green and healthy living with plenty of palm trees and sun. The world’s longest elevated bike path is in Xiamen, as is miles of coastline optimized for running, walking and biking. The ocean breeze keeps away China’s infamous smog and Xiamen is among the top 10 cities in China for best air quality. (Average air quality is AQI 49, equal to Charlotte, North Carolina in America.)
Xiamen is directly across from Taiwan and within a few hours from Hong Kong and Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton). Aside from the airport Xiamen has many high speed train lines that can connect you quickly to all parts of China if you would like to continue your traveling after the training camp.
As an oceanside city, Xiamen is famous for seafood. Crabs, fish, shrimp, muscles etc you can be sure Xiamen’s seafood is fresh. If you dare you can even try one of Xiamen’s specialties, sea worms in jelly. But don’t worry, if you are not an adventurous eater there are plenty of more common foods including noodles, rice, veggies and lots and lots of amazing mouth watering street food.
With Xiamen’s close proximity to Taiwan there is also a lot of Taiwan culture, especially with the snacks. There is a small Taiwan island, called Jinmen/Kinmen just a quick 30-minute ferry ride from Xiamen if you want to experience Taiwan but don’t have much time Jinmen is a great day trip. (Be aware you’ll need a separate visa for Taiwan).
Prices are also cheap compared to other major Chinese cities. An hour long taxi drive will cost you less than $20 and a bottle of water is .30 cents. For just $10 you can get a delicious meal at a nice restaurant. For street food you can eat like a king with $3.
Western food and goods aren’t cheaper than normal though, with luxury good (like iphones) most are even more expensive than most countries due to high taxes. If you’re interested in shopping China is a good place for things like tailor made suits and local products, but not good for Prada and what-not. Jimei has two Starbucks but a coffee will be $4 + dollars, similar to back home.
If you are into badminton shopping there is a neighborhood near the Worker’s Stadium with a row of badminton shops. The shops are small but sell all manners of equipment: shoes, rackets, strings, clothes etc. They have the major brands along with local Chinese brands. Be warned though, you can’t guarantee the authenticity of the products and fakes are a very common problem in China especially with Yonex, Victor and other major brands. You can ask your student helper to bring you to the badminton shops.
Xiamen is one of the, if not THE top city in China for badminton. Amateur players are at a higher level than other cities and Xiamen players tend to win nationwide competition. Taiwan players come over here to train just because of the high level. We are very proud of our badminton love!
Here is a website that lists more attractions and what to do in Xiamen.
Included in the price:
8 nights Hotel
Court and shuttle fees
Daily evening club play
Transportation to and from the courts from your hotel
Student helper/translator available all day
Snacks at court
Health insurance (Must have!)
Dinners (except the first and last night)
Breakfasts (if you choose the 5-star hotel breakfast is included)
Drinks during training
This is not a professional travel company and I am not a professional tour guide. This isn’t even a money making venture. This is something I am organizing because I have been asked many times if I can help people find training camps. Even in China adult training camps are rare (most are day camps for kids) but as an adult myself I know how important training is. And why not mix badminton with travel? That’s the best of both worlds.
This is a sport which can lead to injury and as I am not an official travel company you are required to have travel insurance yourself! This is non-negotiable and I will need to see some sort of confirmation of insurance before you can play. There will be warm-ups and cool downs everyday and you should take breaks when you need it, but it is impossible to eliminate all risk of injury. Let’s all be safe.
This is the health insurance company I use when I travel (World Nomads) but any company is fine.
We have two hotel options you can choose to fit your budget.
Xiamen North Bay Hotel
The top hotel in Jimei and rated 5 stars. Sits right on the water! This hotel has many amenities including bar/lounge, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center with weight room, restaurant, spa and a big breakfast buffet included in the price. Each room has a balcony with garden view, soundproofing, plenty of space, room service, TV, air conditioning, wifi, large western bathroom with tub and amenities like slippers, bathrobes, toiletries etc. A big breakfast buffet is included in the price. Many choices of both western and Chinese foods.
The hotel has a trip advisor “certificate of excellence” and is the #1 hotel in Jimei and #4 in all of Xiamen city. It is also in walking distance from a lively food street and big Wanda mall. It’s in the area of the courts but not walking distance so we will provide a shuttle bus to bring you to and from training every day, though if you wanted to play at night you would need to make your own way via taxi or bus. Also rated “best value” by booking.com.
For the more budget traveler this hotel is your basic motel. It’s clean, has a western bathroom, air conditioning, TV, tea services, wifi, toiletries etc but is basic without many extra services (though they have laundry). This hotel is located just down the street from the other one so everyone will be close (and shuttle bus will be provided to/from the courts for morning training), but it is not on the water. Location is good like the other, with a fancy mall and lively food/shopping area in walking distance. This is rated 7.2 on booking.com and a 4.0 on trip advisor. They also boast an English speaking staff, but reviews on the website from foreigners say they had trouble communicating in English so maybe that’s not true. (Though foreigners regularly stayed here.) Your student helper can translate for you if you need to speak to the hotel staff so don’t worry.
Pricing (in US dollars)
Includes all the above and your choice of hotel rooms:
North Bay 5-star hotel including a breakfast buffet:
Shared room: $1300
Single room: $1750
JinJiang 3-star hotel (no breakfast):
Shared room: $880
Single room: $1050
The price is per person and payment to be made via PayPal
This is the first time I’ve done this and to make sure it all goes smoothly I am going to cap it at 10 participants. If you come alone but want a shared room I can try to match you with a roommate (same sex of course) but I can’t promise it.
If you have any questions, or want to sign up email Becky at: chinabecky(at)gmail(dot)com and I will respond quickly. Registration will close June 14th.
We all get busy and have other priorities in life, but for one week you can forget all that and spend a week in a foreign country playing and training badminton with other badminton lovers! The whole purpose of this is to unite badminton lovers with coaches and dedicated time to ourselves so we can focus and make improvements. Basically just a fun time eat, breath and sleep badminton. Plus, when you go home you can brag to your club members that you trained in China, heh heh.