“Win together. Lose together.”
Chances are, you will hear this phrase numerous times from the Korean drama “Racket Boys” especially during team practices or before the start of their matches. It is the team’s mantra that no matter what happens, your team wins as one and loses as one and you should watch out and be there for one another.
“Racket Boys”, as shown on Netflix, is about the story of Yoon Hyeon-Jong (portrayed by Kim Sang-Kyung), a badminton coach who transfers to the countryside and is tasked to mentor the struggling Haenam Seo Middle School’s badminton team. The team, led by Bang Yoon-Dam (Son Sang-Yeon), Na Woo-Chan (Choi Hyun Wook), Lee Yong Tae (Kim Kang Hoon) is on the verge of disbanding because of lack of players and capability of winning. Yoon asks his son, Hae-Kang (Tang Joon-Sang), a former badminton prodigy and baseball enthusiast, to join the badminton team and to give up baseball because of financial difficulties. (Read: 5 Powerful Prayers in Times of Financial Difficulties)
Meanwhile, Yoon’s wife Ra Yeong Na (Oh Na-Ra) is the coach of the #1 ranked girls badminton team in a different school in Haenam.
This feel-good and coming-of-age series looks at the struggles of the boys’ badminton team and their journey towards recognition in the National Junior Sports Festival. Just in time with the current Tokyo Olympics, this series is about the importance of life, friendship, and perseverance.
Here are six reasons why we’re loving this K-drama– and why you should watch it!
Racket Boys: It’s about friendship and camaraderie.
During the course of the series, it showed how the team’s friendship strengthened. Because of circumstances, most of the boys slept in the Yoon household’s home and played mobile games together. They also did things together like going to the badminton store to buy uniforms and rackets and practicing.
Racket Boys: It showcases teamwork and trust.
Each of the team members knew their roles and position on the team. They knew how to maximize each other’s strengths and correcting their mistakes and weaknesses. When they were in conflict with other teams, they defended one another. While they had internal conflicts and struggles, they were there for each other without blaming anyone. Most especially, since they are also playing doubles badminton, trust was an important factor for them– no blaming each other for mistakes made on the court. (Read: Pinay Teen Golfer Yuka Saso Wins US Open)
The show also highlights that a certain level of trust should be present in the coach and all of the team members– that a coach should have full trust in each of the member’s capabilities and not rely on one “star player” only. During one tournament, Ra’s ace player Jae-in was abroad because of national team duties. She was worried about her team’s chances that she forgot that she also had other players to rely on.
Racket Boys: It showed that athletes are also humans.
While these boys and girls showed that they are their school (and country)’s top players, they can also show their vulnerable and “human” side. As shown by their age, aside from the physical preparations, they also feel the stress and pressures especially from the high expectations of competing. On the other side, they also show that they have fun– be it playing or eating.
Much like when we watch the current Tokyo Olympics, we see the different sides of an athlete, be it during their happiest and saddest times, and the mental state they go through. (Read: 3 Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health While in Quarantine)
Racket Boys: It teaches us to aim high.
As an athlete, everyone has their aspirations. Whether it is being a champion or winning a gold medal in the Asian Games or Summer Olympics–every athlete pours their blood, sweat, and tears to achieve pride, honor, and glory. They practice hard and sacrifice time for their families. In the series, Hae-Kang aspired to be the number one badminton player in South Korea. On the other hand, Jae-in wanted to become part of South Korea’s National badminton team.
Even in our lives, we work hard every day to aspire for something. Whether it is for promotion or recognition, we always have this mindset as to why we do these things. Racket Boys shows that no dream is too high or too difficult to achieve.
Racket Boys: It reminds parents to understand their children’s passion and dreams.
Parents want the best for their children and their future– they have aspirations and dreams for them. However, there are times that no matter how successful you might think your child will be in one career, they also have their passion and dreams. Parents sometimes forget that their child has their own ambitions, too. And it might be different from what they envisioned for their child. Much like in Racket Boys, Hae Kang wanted to continue playing baseball, but because of financial difficulties, Coach Yoon Hyeon Jong persuaded his son to play badminton, forgetting that Hae Kang has his own dreams, too. (Read: Prayer When Your Future Feels Uncertain)
Racket Boys: It’s a show about finding your use, purpose, and meaning in life.
There are moments in our lives when we wake up and reflect on what our purpose and mission are. At times, we question God what our value is. It is important to take things slowly and eventually you would be surprised as to why these things happened to us.
During the series, the couple from the city was on the verge of giving up and decided to go to the countryside. It was here where they felt like having a second chance in life and eventually found their purpose with the villagers. While the villagers were having doubts about their sincerity and intentions living in the countryside, eventually the couple realized the meaning of why they were brought there.