Small in Numbers, Big in Family

Shaquill Stewart, TSV Social Media Editor

A new season brings new players, coaches and a fresh start to do better than last year.That is definitely the mindset of this years Skyline Badminton Team.

With the small numbers of bodies, the team will be at a disadvantage, but it won’t be a hindrance to what coach Jan Fosberg wants this season.

“Our biggest challenge would have to be the small number of student athletes we have on the team,” Fosberg said, via email. “It’s always challenging to compete with De Anza College and CCSF who have a very large student body and are also strong (in) badminton areas.”

After a disappointing 3-5 team record last year, Coach Fosberg comes in this year with a different mindset for the team.

“We will be emphasizing fitness and endurance in practice to stay strong through three hour matches,” Fosberg said, describing the biggest focus this year for the team.

What will help out this year’s team will be the returning players from last year. Carla Montanes, Clarisse Domingo and Katrina Diaz all return, and will bring leadership and experience in doubles and singles competition. Anna Nguyen, who finished second in last year’s CCCAA Championship Finals to De Anza College’s “Pinky” Li, joins the coaching staff.

“Anna’s knowledge of skills and strategies will really benefit this year’s team,” Fosberg said, describing the elements that Nguyen will bring to the team’s growth.

Yet few numbers and inexperience combined with a huge transition leap from high school to college competition can hurt the goal of the team. Coach Fosberg believes so that it will be a challenging transition.

The college game is much faster, especially since we use feather birds instead of plastic,” Fosberg said. “Because players receive more one on one training and hit far more birds in practice, the level of play is much higher. Even players who dominated in high school have to play with more intensity to be successful.”

With the returning players helping the newer players transition from either high school, or even from a different country, they know they will have to compete strong in individuals and doubles to be successful.

“The team is like a family. Everyone is supportive of one another and very welcoming,” Fosberg said. “The players who have immigrated may have challenges such as language or cultural differences but all of the student athletes are so encouraging and helpful that the transition is made easier, and Skyline is the best at providing resources to those in need and emphasizing student success.”

That will be the key this year for Skyline. It’s a tough road ahead but family atmosphere-type chemistry can be the missing piece to a successful season.