Callum Smith

Q&A for 2022 Commonwealth Games

2022 Commonwealth Squad – Callum Smith

Name: Callum Smith

DOB: 09/03/2002

Hometown: Melrose (resides in Glasgow)

Tell us about how you first started playing badminton?

My step Dad played in a local club in the Scottish borders, he then decided when I was about four years-old that I should give badminton a go. I think because I had been playing tennis at the time, so he wanted to see how I would do in badminton and I wanted to try it. He took me to the local court and just taught me. After I’d gone a few times, I ended up joining my local club.

At nine-years-old I was scouted by the national team. I played in the under-11 national championships at nine, and although I didn’t win it, I got some quite results for my age and was scouted off the back of that. That was a turning point in my junior career and from then on I always thought I could make something of playing the game and was onto something good.

How have you found training in the national team over the last few years?

The senior training has been a different game entirely to training as a junior. Is it longer hours and the attention to detail on every element is huge. So we’ve got nutritionists, extra gym sessions, psychologists and everything really. And it all makes a difference. That has been hugely helpful and beneficial and is obviously hugely different to what I had as a junior player. The senior game is completely different to the junior game, it’s a lot more tactical and a lot more physical.

How has the first half 2022 been?

We’ve been in a really training block for most of the year, up until the last few weeks when tournaments are back up and running again. I’ve been doing a lot of extra gym sessions due to the lack of matches, just to see how far I can push myself to get stronger and fitter. It’s been intense at one point I was in every day bar one, at the weekend.

What do you do to switch off away from the court?

I’ve actually got a job away from playing to help me pay for my rent. I work at Dominoes as a delivery driver here in Glasgow. So I don’t get too much free time really! But it’s good to be busy and I think sometimes if you aren’t doing much away from the court – you can think about your own game too much. But I enjoy being here in Glasgow. When I was playing as a junior and living back home close to the borders so much of my time was spent travelling back and forth.

How did you cope with the Covid-19 lockdowns?

It was very strange not being able to step on court and to be honest during the lockdown I really hated it. But actually it was really beneficial for me physically. Because I couldn’t go on the court, I had a lot of energy to focus on circuit training and working on my endurance. I felt a lot stronger after that. So made it huge difference to me.

What are your goals for the next year?

I’m hoping to get an international win under my belt. I’ve still yet to get one and I’m hoping this is the year. Also, to try and get my name out there a bit more, and really start climbing the ranking list.