4th December 2017. Do you feel that nip in the air? Winter is on its way, and that means that the Christmas holiday is right around the corner. It's time to start unpacking your cold weather clothes, dusting off the decorations, and figuring out how to untangle your Christmas lights once and for all. More than that, though, you'll probably also begin to make plans for seeing family or friends ? and then it'll be time to start thinking about gifts! The joy of giving the perfect Christmas gift to a loved one is something that's rarely matched throughout the rest of the year. It's your opportunity to provide a thoughtful and perhaps even useful gift, and the sky is the limit for your creativity. Do you have a friend or family member who considers themselves to be a big badminton lover? Maybe they got their start with the racquet at an early age, or perhaps it has become a hobby over the past few years. In either case, it might be an important part of their life, and you want to show that you care about their hobbies, too! What makes a good gift for the badminton player, though? Once you start shopping, it might be harder than you imagined. There aren't many cute throw pillows embroidered with shuttlecocks, after all.
Give the gift of a racquet restringing
A badminton player's racquet is far and away the most essential part of their success in a game. A good racquet becomes like a natural extension of the player's arm, and they move in a highly coordinated way. Over time, though, and with a larger number of games and practice sessions, the racquet's strings lose their tension. Without the right balance of the racquet, it becomes harder for the player to control their strikes and manage the shuttlecock. Why not offer to pay for the process of restringing the racquet as a gift? It requires a professional in an athletic shop to carry out, so many badminton players often go too long between restringing. While you may not be able to secretly borrow their racquet to have it restrung before Christmas Day, you can count on the fact that they will appreciate the offer. It's a quick and easy way to show you care about their favourite sport.
What about a new racquet altogether?
Sometimes, restringing just won't do it ? racquets can and do wear out over time. In fact, a particularly vigorous practice session or a desperate last-ditch attempt to win a match might even result in a broken racquet. If you know your friend's racquet is starting to look worse for wear, explore the option of buying a new and perhaps even better model for them. You'll need to find out what they like in a racquet, though, as there can be a fair amount of variety. Understanding features such as racquet shape, tension, and grip length are essential to purchasing the right racquet as a gift. Concerned that you won't be able to get it right? That's okay ? it can be difficult to find a way to work your questions into a conversation. There's nothing wrong with purchasing a gift card to your loved one's preferred athletic store and letting them know it's time to replace their broken equipment.
Offer the opportunity to take private lessons
Unless your relative is a pro on the badminton circuit, they probably know there's always room for improvement. Especially if the person you're shopping for is a youth player, you might want to consider purchasing something that could help with their development in the sport. What could fill that role better than a private lesson? You can probably find a local badminton coach or a program in a nearby area that provides players with the opportunity to improve their skills. Good form is one of the most important traits for success in this sport. It takes lots of practice to understand the most efficient ways to move around the court and to strike the shuttlecock. Even a single lesson with a professional instructor can help the recipient develop a better grasp of the fundamentals. Saying "I want you to succeed" with the gift of a lesson is an awesome example of the Christmas spirit.
Purchase a set of high-performance shuttlecocks
At first, you might think that the badminton player in your life would surely already have enough shuttlecocks to go around. However, you could be wrong ? it's not uncommon to lose them, and they don't last very long in vigorous use. It's vital for a shuttlecock to maintain its flight dynamics, and if it becomes damaged, it's often time to swap it out for a new one. A tube of excellent quality shuttlecocks could make the perfect stocking stuffer. Not only do they usually provide a more premium look to them, they often have some very interesting flight characteristics. These characteristics can deliver an extra challenge for practice, or it could help refine their overhand strikes even more. Visit your local sports store or look around the Web to get a sense of the variety available.
Your favourite player needs something for storing gear
The player you know no doubt goes through a mental checklist every time they prepare to leave the house for a match or practice. Do they have everything they need, from their racquets and shuttlecocks to a water bottle and a change of clothes? Altogether, it's a large number of items to carry around away from home. You can make it easier by purchasing the perfect badminton bag for stowing all their gear. Unlike a typical duffel bag, these bags feature a design made specifically to accommodate a badminton racquet and keep it safe. More than just a racquet case, it has plenty of extra pockets and storage compartments for bringing all the necessary items. With an organisational tool like this, they'll avoid the frustration of forgetting something important at home.
Comfy clothes make the game more enjoyable
Badminton players don't really need fancy athletic clothes to play well, but freedom of movement is essential when you consider the fast-paced nature of the game. Every player wishes they had a bigger wardrobe of clothes to draw from, and it's hard to deny the comfort of technical fabrics. Washing the same items over and over can wear them out, and that eventually forces the purchase of new clothes. Use your opportunity to give a gift at Christmas to provide them with some new badminton clothes. You might choose a breathable, comfortable top, a skirt with personality, or a nice new pair of technical shorts. Since all you need to make this purchase is an idea about the recipient's clothing size, it's easy to keep it a surprise. Next time they step onto the court, they can look sharp and stay cool.
Search the Web for cute and funny gifts
What if you don't want just to give out functional gifts for use on the court? Okay, so those throw pillows with shuttlecocks might not exist, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of gifts out there with a badminton theme. It's still a popular sport in some circles, after all! If you want to throw in a special extra or something cute to bring a smile to the recipient's face, the Internet has plenty of merchandise available. A quick look through Pinterest or a search on Amazon can give you additional ideas for badminton-centric gifts. There's always the option of handmaking gift items, too; see if you can find a "DIY" idea for a homemade gift for your badminton lover.
Still not sure? Find a subtle way to ask!
Whether you choose a new racquet or merely purchase a restringing as a gift, the recipient is sure to love your thoughtfulness. Badminton isn't the most common sport, after all ? so demonstrating that you understand what they like can be very fulfilling! What if you still aren't sure about what your friend would like to receive even after reading all these suggestions? Try to look for a way to work your curiosity into conversation. With luck, you might even be able to get them to spill the beans on what they need to improve their game. Christmas shopping doesn't get any easier when you know exactly what someone wants. Follow @SportNessUK