Humans of Shuttle Time: Levente Nagy-Szabó

Humans of Shuttle Time: Levente Nagy-Szabó

This is the 26th story in our Humans of Shuttle Time series, in which we present the perspectives of those who work on badminton development at the grassroots level. Levente Nagy-SzabóShuttle Time National Coordinator of Hungary, talks about his experiences since falling in love with badminton at the age of 10.

Sporty Childhood

I finished my primary and secondary school in my home town, and after that I moved to Budapest, learnt tourism and sport in university, and got my diploma in 2015. I tried various sports when I was young, like tennis, volleyball, handball, karate, table tennis, and of course, badminton.

In Love With Badminton

I first saw badminton in primary school when I was 10, and it was love at first sight. I got a used steel racket, and tried to hit a shuttle. It was crazy bad, but I felt that it was special to me, and the next day I tried again.

Levente Nagy-Szabó at a Shuttle Time programme.

What struck me about badminton was how fast and intense it is, especially doubles. How many different moves they had, how quickly they reacted to the shuttle!

After I first saw badminton, I started training in school, and I haven’t stopped since. When our coach retired, I was selected to his place, and for the last 11 years I’ve worked as a leader at the club, and am still hunting for my first national title in doubles!

Memorable Moments

I think I have hundreds of them. One is of the time I played in the final of the national championships in 2015 with one of my best friends. We lost, but after the final, all of my coaches from my childhood, my high school and university friends, and players’ parents sent me congratulations. It was touching. Another special moment was when my young players run to me to give a hug after winning their first national title. It’s an invaluable and unforgettable feeling.

What Badminton Means

Everything. When I was a young player, I wanted to be the best in my country. After I grew up and became a coach, I want my players to be the best in the country. Every day, when I wake up and start thinking about my day, I try to figure out how we can be better than the other clubs and players. The badminton court is where I feel most at home.

Badminton is a very complex sport. You need different skills to be a good badminton player. Agility, technique, speed, flexibility and power are not enough, you have to be clever, you try to think with your opponent’s head, find empty places on the court, and be more patient than the other player.

In doubles, you need to work together with another player and find the right tactics against your opponents. I think our sport is one of the most difficult.

Levente Nagy-Szabó.

Developing Badminton

Initially it was difficult to involve anyone in badminton, because people assume badminton is a beach game. After they see a presentation game with elite players, they realise how challenging it is. Community leaders are surprised at its complexity, and parents realise that the agility and movement involved are beneficial for their children.

Impact of Shuttle Time

In Hungary, there are many talented boys and girls in small towns, and through Shuttle Time, we can find them and help them play at a higher level.

This game is for everyone. Age, gender, skills don’t matter. Teachers who learn about badminton in Shuttle Time become children again for a few hours, fighting and running, but laughing if they make mistakes. For me that feeling is the most important, as it gives enjoyment to children.

Previous Stories in This Series

Humans of Shuttle Time: Kumon Tarawa

Humans of Shuttle Time: Didier Nourry

Humans of Shuttle Time: Joseph Devenecia

Humans of Shuttle Time: Su Ying Lau

Humans of Shuttle Time: Erin Walklate

Humans of Shuttle Time: Bukasa Mukoma Marcel

Humans of Shuttle Time: Luis Fernando Montilla

Humans of Shuttle Time: Artur Niyazov

Humans of Shuttle Time: Galkhuu Zulbaatar

Humans of Shuttle Time: Zuzana Rajdugova

Humans of Shuttle Time: Milan Barbir

Humans of Shuttle Time: Nargis Nabieva

Humans of Shuttle Time: Hannes Andersson

Humans of Shuttle Time: Merlie Tolentino

Humans of Shuttle Time: Nikhil Chandra Dhar

Humans of Shuttle Time: Geoffrey Shigoli 

Humans of Shuttle Time: Erik Betancourt Luna

Humans of Shuttle Time: Richard Ssali Kaggwa

Humans of Shuttle Time: Azizbek Madjitov

Humans of Shuttle Time: Elie Jean

Humans of Shuttle Time: Danielle Whiteside

Humans of Shuttle Time: Oscar Alejandro Vera Suarez

Humans of Shuttle Time: Sandra Low

Humans of Shuttle Time: Dorji

Humans of Shuttle Time: Genevieve Cutter