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The Grabser Crossminton Club Rheintal-Speeders makes everyday training more varied: a leaf blower became a ball machine

The Grabser Crossminton Club Rheintal-Speeders makes everyday training more varied: a leaf blower became a ball machine

The Grabser Crossminton Club Rheintal-Speeders presents itself from its innovative side in the Corona year. Now you can train in a club with a ball machine made by the president himself.

Rheintal Speeders President Emanuel Meier implemented his idea perfectly – now you can train.

Image: Robert Kucera

(Where) Premiere evening on Monday in the Kirchbünt gymnasium in Grabs: The Rheintal Speeders trained for the first time with a self-made ball machine. In related sports such as table tennis or tennis, such a device is a standard item in every club and is available in specialist shops. In the still young sport of crossminton, the counterpart is still pending.

As Rheintal Speeders President Emanuel Meier explains, there are badminton ball machines on the market that also work with shuttles instead of balls. But since the shuttle structure is completely different and the badminton shuttles are pressed together before being ejected, it is not compatible with the Crossminton shuttles. It is to be feared that the play object will wear out more quickly and consequently break down quickly.

A training aid that benefits everyone

Meier has been carrying around the idea of ​​a ball machine for a while. Because during training it was shown that as a player during exercises, you often cannot place the shuttle in such a way that the other person can perform the stroke to be practiced. The machine helps enormously here. “This way you can train your punches more effectively and regularly perform the same movements for the basic punches. This makes it easier for beginners to learn the sport, ”explains the president.

Everyone benefits from the club’s newest gem. The tournament players are also happy when they can internalize the basic strokes in this way. Another reason for the construction is the ambition of the president to avoid monotony and standstill with the Rheintal-Speeders.

«We are an association that is growing. That’s why you always have to offer the members something new. “

In the Corona period, says Emanuel Meier, he had a lot of time to think. “In the end I locked myself in the workshop and did a little tinkering.” Once the theory was fully developed, it went very quickly in practice: the ball machine was created after five or six hours of work. Cost: 800 francs.

He got the idea to build it himself with the help of a leaf blower from a German Crossminton colleague who had already started a successful attempt. “The fact that you can make a ball machine this way didn’t give me peace of mind,” the landscaper looks back. His professional experience helped to find the right model quickly. “A powerful cordless leaf blower and not a run-of-the-mill model,” as Emanuel Meier emphasizes.

Then it went to work on the wooden box, on which the leaf blower was installed and also serves to reduce noise. The front part of the box has a generous opening. The height and angle are set here.

Noise pollution can be reduced

Marc Beeler was one of the first to test the ball machine. “This machine is really cool. You can practice certain strokes over a long period of time – and over time you notice how severe it is when you keep doing the same basic stroke. “

One shuttle follows the next: Marc Beeler has his hands full on the evening of the premiere.

One shuttle follows the next: Marc Beeler has his hands full on the evening of the premiere.

Image: Robert Kucera

In fact, the president’s masterpiece challenged the players. Respectively, it was those Rheintal speeders who fed the machine with shuttles. There is hardly any time to breathe between two blows. “That is actually a good thing,” says Beeler, taking positive things from the strict rhythm.

“Because if you have an opponent in a match who returns the shuttles faster, you are happy to do this exercise with the ball machine.”

So the baptism of fire was successful. And in the next training sessions, all players will probably take the converted cordless leaf blower to their hearts.

Meanwhile, Emanuel Meier is satisfied with the prototype and is proud to be the first Swiss club to own such a ball machine. “Of course, this first time you saw what could be improved,” he says, indicating that the tinkering is not quite finished.

The fine-tuning is due. For example, the further containment of noise pollution. Here he will look for solutions. And in training: learning by doing. From the correct insertion of the shuttles to the positioning of the exit pipe, there is still a lot of scrutiny.

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