2024 Training Camp Announcement!
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!
9-Day Adult Badminton Training Camp in China!
June 29th-July 7th 2024
Everyday training will be three hours from 9-12 in the morning. A week is not a long time but you can expect to make noticeable differences in your technique and you’ll get plenty of tips and tricks to bring home with you. The coach will work on your weaknesses but if there is something you would specifically like to work on, please feel free to tell him on the first day and he will focus on it. The coach has a good eye and quickly notices everyones weakness, so he’ll help you improve things you might not have even thought about before.
Training will begin with a group warm-up for 15-20 minutes that will stretch your muscles and get your heart beating. Then you will break into groups or 1-on-1 to 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. The coach will do 1-on-1 feeding drills with each student, tailored to what he notices each player needs to improve, 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.) There will be some doubles or singles game towards the end to practice what you just learned and the last 20 minutes will be for some group body conditioning (cross-fit style), cool-down and stretch.
Coach meeting all the Training Camp participants!
You can watch this video from past training camps.
This camp is not for total newbies. Since you are coming all the way to China I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. The coaches will assume everyone has a basic understanding of the game. You can consider yourself beginner level, most of the training will be 1-on-1 so difference in levels won’t matter much, but you need to know the rules of the game and badminton terminology.
One of the biggest hurdles with training in China is the language. The coach can’t speak English beyond a few words. 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 and can help translate too.
Your student helpers will be available to you all week outside of training. In addition to translating the coaches they can help you with tasks in China such as telling you the location of a shop, or helping you translate something. You will have their Wechat 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 restaurants and eaten together immediately after training. Eating is one of the best parts of traveling, and real 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 a car 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 and rest is important. But Xiamen is also a great city to explore! Xiamen is one of the top tourist destinations in China, with mountains and beaches all within 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 C (90’s F) and humid. So afternoons would be best spent taking a break and relaxing after badminton (or taking a dip in the hotel pool). Then wait for the late afternoon, when the sun isn’t so hot, to go out and explore on your own.
Of course if you haven’t had enough of badminton, we can join evening play with a local club. There are several clubs every night that would be happy to play with you. The locals don’t speak much English, but everyone knows the international language of badminton!
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: 8am: Meet in lobby
12: Lunch delivered to the courts
1-ish (when everyone is finished and ready to go back): Return to hotel
Afternoons and evenings are free with option evening club play (usually 7-9pm or 8-10pm.)
Monday: Training Day (Same schedule as above)
Tuesday: Training day!
Wednesday: Rest day! Important to prevent injury. It’s a free day but we have come up with a plan to see some local sights together. Why travel all this way to a new country and not see some of the unique things, right?! We’ll spend the day exploring some of the most famous and historic sights of Xiamen including the Bashi Market, the oldest outdoor market in the city, the winding streets of Zhongshan Road, a historical pedestrian street with lots of cafes and shops as well as unique architect, visit a 1000 year old Buddhist Temple and maybe dip our toes in the ocean at a local beach. Of course if you are tired and want to relax or just explore on your own you can do that as well. (Free day travel costs are not included in the package.)
Thursday: Training day!
Friday: Training day!
Saturday: Last training day and closing ceremony. In the afternoon you will go back to your hotel to rest and pack and then we will meet for one final dinner together as a group which hopefully coach will join us for.
Sunday: Check out of the hotel and go home. We will send you off to the airport/train station for your flight home.
This has been the part that has been holding up the announcement. Unfortunately the landlord tore down my coaches original courts several months ago. My coach struggled to find a new place for months, but literally, just a few days ago, he sent me a picture of a big empty warehouse which will be the future home of his courts, and where will we do the training.
So I don’t have much info for you right now, but my coach is extremely passionate about badminton and not only coaches, but plays everyday. So he knows all the smaller details that makes a court more comfortable with better play conditions. I’ll update this as he opens his courts in a few months, but for sure the ground will be soft and giving (aka easy on the knees) and probably will have side lighting. The color scheme will be dark so the shuttle is easily visible and the courts will have toilets with showers. There will be a stringer if you break your strings (with several brands of strings for you to choose from) and a small shop to get cold drinks and buy necessary items like grips, towels or a shirt.
Please subscribe to Badminton Becky Youtube Channel because I will be showing the courts when he opens them, probably in March. The best part is they will be shiny and new still when you arrive!
If something happens and his new court falls through we have several courts on backup that have already happily agreed to host the training camp. Both me and my coach know a lot of court owners over the city and you can see from the badminton vlogs all the courts I go to have great facilities, good lighting and soft flooring to protect your knees.
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 training clothes for you to change several times a day. In general be prepared for hot and humid weather and make sure to drink plenty of fluids (cold water, several brands of sports drinks and fruit juices will be 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. 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.
Depending on the number of participants the coach might ask some of his assistant coaches to come and help him. They are university top ranked players.
This is an adult training camp and participants must be 18 years of age or older! If there is a younger person 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.
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 the water from Taiwan and within a few hours from Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Aside from the international 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.
Google Map image of Xiamen City. The city center in on the island while the outlying districts are on the mainland.
As an ocean side 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 (or don’t like seafood) there are plenty of more common local foods including pineapple cakes, peanut soup and of course noodles, BBQ, veggies and lots and lots of amazing mouth watering street food.
The sunsets are only rivaled by the sun rises.
Part of the Mountain to Sea Trail, an elevated walking path that crosses the city.
Prices are also cheap compared to other major Chinese cities. An hour long taxi drive will cost you about $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 for $3-5.
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. Just like many western countries there are Starbucks on every corner (including one attached to your hotel) and even a few Tim Horton’s for you Canadians, but a coffee will be $4 + dollars, similar to back home.
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. Xiamen is also the hometown of Chen Long, Zhao Yun Lei, Zhang Nan, Liu Xiao Long and many other National Team Players and winners of World Championships and BWF Superseries. Lin Dan grew up just outside Xiamen and he is often in the city promoting the sport. 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)
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.
Usually we chose a hotel near the courts for convenience, but due to the uncertainty of the final courts we will use, we chose one of the best hotels in the city convenient to foreigners and traveling around Xiamen.
Marco Polo Hotel
This year you’ll be staying at one of the most famous and best hotels in all of Xiamen. Called the Marco Polo Hotel it is a 5 star hotel in a beautiful neighborhood. In fact, it is the favorite neighborhood of foreigners in Xiamen and also the most popular.
Outside the hotel doors is a ton of foreign food such as Mexican, Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Japanese, Western (pizza, wings etc) many with foreign owners and English speaking staff. But don’t worry there is even more local food and you can try many styles of Chinese food all nearby.
The street behind the hotel is called “Bar Street” which is a nice place to relax with a beer on a hot night (and has many foreign clientele) and the street in front of the hotel is called “coffee street” filled with cute cafes and a perfect spot to sit and watch the world go while eating a late lunch or drinking a cup of tea. There is also a supermarket with convenient food and drinks you can bring back to your hotel.
The area is peaceful with a beautiful lake next to the hotel and a short walk to a popular city park. There is also a subway station so you can easily get around the city (and a giant mall one subway stop away if you want to do shopping.) There are also many western chains such as Starbucks and KFC. We will give you a tour of the area the day you arrive, as well as a map and subway map with places of interest marked, so you will feel comfortable going out on your own in the afternoon and evenings.
The hotel itself is the grand Dame of Xiamen opened in the 90’s. The rooms are a bit old fashioned but they are impeccably cleaned and the hotel has a host of amenities such as an outdoor pool on the roof, and a workout room. They also have all the services of a 5 star hotel such as laundry service, room service and more. And there is always English speaking staff on hand to help you anytime.
There is also an included daily breakfast buffet which has western and Chinese options.
We will provide transportation to and from the courts from your hotel everyday for training, but since the hotel is in the city center, we might partially take the subways in the morning to avoid the road traffic. Don’t worry your student helper will be there to guide you. If you want to play at night you would need your make your own way to the courts but we can help arrange it.
The hotel has an outdoor rooftop pool that will feel really nice after a day of training.
A typical twin room
The bathrooms all have tubs.
In past years we offered two different hotels (one budget, one luxury) to make the training camp fit everyone’s budget. But Covid has made the almost impossible. Hotels have to be authorized to have foreigners and in the Covid years most budget chains have closed their doors to foreigner guests. Even the budget hotel we used in the past no longer accepts foreigners.
I found a nice budget hotel that does allow foreigners which is in the same area as Marco Polo, but the price difference was miniscule and it didn’t offer breakfast, a pool, English speaking staff and other amenities. So the small price difference isn’t worth that huge lack of amenities.
But we got the luxury hotel for a great deal, so this year we will only be offering one hotel with single and double occupancy.
Double occupancy: $1360 per person
Single Room: $1740 per person
Unbelievably it is only a small price increase from the 2019 camp and includes more things like daily unlimited breakfast buffet and a higher quality hotel in a nicer area. Honestly, I am shocked at how cheap the final price is as inflation, court costs, and post Covid prices have increased a lot and I was expecting a larger increase over the past four years. Luckily that is not the case!
All prices are in US dollars. Payment will be done through paypal with 50% due at time of registration and 50% due one month before. Cancellations with a full refund are allowed until one month prior (May 28th, 2024). Cancellations after that will incur a 50% fee.
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 May 1st, 2024 or when we reach 10 people, whichever comes first. You are responsible for your own visa and in many countries need to prepare a least a month to get it. (Though China has opened visa free travel in 2024 for 15 days for five European countries, so please check your requirements carefully.)
We all get busy and have other priorities in life, but for one week you can forget all that and travel while 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. Then you can go home and brag to your club members that you trained in China, heh heh.
Please watch this Youtube video for all the details including video of the hotel and other areas as well as tips on how to get cheaper airfare!