Starting Age: 5
Trains at: Midwest Badminton Club (Woodridge, IL)
Alvin Ng is “a real fighter and has a great determination to never give up,” describes coach Ilian Perez. Because Ng is so advanced for his age, he has no choice but compete against older kids most of the time at any given tournaments he goes. He won the first match at the Junior Nationals in the U9 category last year when he was still 7-years-old. This year, he won double crowns in U11 BS and BD at the Midwest Regional Junior Championships, as well as winning 2nd in U13 XD.
Do you train with the same program that older kids do?
I do train with older kids because I am the youngest on the team. We do the same drills, and we play each other all the time.
At tournaments, how do you play against older kids who are taller and stronger?
I don’t think I can beat most older kids. I just try to move them around and see if I can force them to make some mistakes.
You have won some tournaments in an age category that is higher than your age. How do you feel when you beat older kids?
I feel great because those games give me really good challenges. When I lose to older kids, I know I can get better, and I feel I can beat them in the future.
How did you start playing badminton?
My parents like to play badminton, and they brought my sister and I to the gym to play.
How many days do you practice?
10 hours per week, four days a week.
What is your favorite shot?
Which event do you like the most? Singles, doubles, mixed?
I like to play singles because I am free to move around, and there is more space to hit to.
What is your goal for now?
I need to improve my backhand shot.
What kind of practice do you like?
I like doing footwork.
What practice do you not like?
I don’t like to run warm-up laps.
If you were to hit clear shots back and forth, how long do you think you can hit for without making a mistake?
I have once hit 117 consecutive clears without a mistake.
Do you get nervous when you compete?
Very. One time I was even shaking, but I’ve gotten better now.
Who is your favorite badminton player?
Lee Chong Wei.
What is the greatest thing you have learned through playing badminton?
Strength and endurance.
What advice would you give even younger players to achieve what you have achieved?
You need to go to the middle as soon as you can after you hit a shot.
What does your coach teach you the most?
My coach teaches me the techniques and footwork.
What food do you like to eat before, during, and after playing badminton?
Before: Celery with ranch dipping sauce.
During: Nothing; just water or Gatorade.
After: Noodles or McDonald’s.
Can you beat your parents?
I can beat my mom but not my dad.
Any sports before badminton?
Soccer and swimming. I still swim.
How many new friends have you made through playing badminton?
A lot. There are too many to name.
What are three words that describe you?
Fast, strong, and loud.
When you tell your friends about badminton how do you explain the sport?
The “ball” is called a birdie. It is made with dried-up feathers stuck in cork. The birdie can bounce off the racquet, and you can paint your racquet string with ink.