“Racket Boys” Embraces the Gift of Friendship

For today’s Korean drama feature, we will look at the hilarious yet inspiring show Racket Boys, more specifically the most recent episode — episode 10!

Racket Boys — the popular Korean series that’s about a middle school badminton club at Haenam Seo Middle School, which is in bad shape. It relates the story of how it faces challenges to develop sixteen boys and girls into national level badminton players. And how they grow as they participate in a junior athletic championship.

Disclaimer: please read at your own risk as this post will contain spoilers if you have not watched the previous episodes.

More than a teammate needed for the national school competition, Team Racket Boys value Yoon Hae Kang as their dear friend.

After promising Se Yoon that he will beat Park Chan in the National Junior Sports Festival, Yoon Hae Kang surrenders himself to Head Coach Fang. Together with the other members of the national youth team, he is also ordered to run laps.

Hae Kang’s parents notice that he needs to heal from his eye injury from the match against Japan. Coach Yoon decides to give Hae Kang a break from sports, and asks the rest of the team to refrain from contacting Hae Kang.

Racket Boys Episode 10 Key Moments

Half of the kids don’t know what they want to do with their lives. But most of the kids listen to their parents when they pick that goal.

Hae Kang’s doctor tells Coach Yoon that Hae Kand would need to wear an eyepatch and rest for a week. Coach Yoon is relieved with his son’s results, but the doctor questions Hae Kang’s real passion. As they converse, the doctor tells Coach Yoon that there is a possibility that Hae Kang play sports because he is influenced by his parents who were also active in that area.

Coach Yoon comes into deep thought after that conversation and decides to let Hae Kang take a break from sports. He also asks the team to stay at Yoon Dam’s house for the time they will prepare for the competition.

People become athletes on their own will.

After a long time with no contact, the team decides to visit Hae Kang’s house and wait for Coach Yoon. Coach Yoon gets angry telling the boys that he much have looked easy to them just because he was always gentle towards them. He reiterates that Hae Kang would take a break from sports, and they should not bother him just because he is the key player to pass the preliminaries.

However, the boys firmly appealed to Coach Yoon that Hae Kang is more than a teammate they need for competitions. They express their longing for Hae Kang as their good friend they always hang out with.

Coach Yoon and Hae Kang have a truthful conversation under the tree in their village. Coach Yoon asks Hae Kang about his passion, and shares that he feels guilty for not being able to pay attention to his son. Hae Kang reassures his father that all of his decisions were made on his own.

He states that he did go to the gym following his parents, but he was the one who held the racket and hit the shuttlecock. At the end of the scene, we see what Hae Kang wrote in his career form in school — to become a national badminton player.

Back then, knowing who their true friends are is everything they need to do. What else could they ask for?

Coach Yoon meets his friend Lee Yang-su in a restaurant. As Coach Yoon was about to ask for his friend’s payment. Yang-su tells Coach Yoon that he has already transferred his payment and thanks him for being a true friend that stayed even after all his struggles.

Hae Kang walks to the court in their village and sees Se Yoon. He is reminded by Se Yoon that he has a promise to fulfill and he has to work hard for it. On their way home, he receives a message from his team who refers as the “parasites” and Se Yoon teases him that he misses them since he turned on his notifications in full volume despite previously despising it.

Hae Kang comes with the whole team to the national school competition. Yoon Dam wins his match, and the whole team cheers for him. Hae Kang is seen smiling sincerely at the sight of his friends on the court.

Do I have to like only the things I’m good at?

The whole village gathers at Coach Yoon’s residence, and they celebrate the 90th birthday of the grandmother in the village. It is revealed that the grandmother, despite being mute, had the initiative of searching for Hae In when she went missing.

Since the grandmother comes from Busan, Yong Tae frightens the village people as he chooses to play the movie “Train to Busan” He also plays a video message from the team members who went to Busan for the training camp. It turns out the errands he assigned from the previous episode are for the grandmother’s birthday. The grandmother hugs Yong Tae, touched by his initiative.

Moved by the warm atmosphere, they then ask Woo Chan to perform a song in front of everyone as he is known for liking hip-hop. He shocks his friends as he chooses to sing instead of rapping.

A rebellious age is a universal thing.

Coach Yoon is absent from the birthday celebration as he is on his way to Hwasun to talk to the new coach of the school, Coach Chun. He eats a meal together with Coach Chun who seems to be nice and someone who will agree to his request to delay the draft match. They talk about their experiences as coaches, and Coach Chun, who has worked abroad, shares that even trainers there have once skipped training.

After their meal together, Coach Chun goes out first paying half of the bill. Coach Yoon assumes that Coach Chun will give in to his request, but to his surprise, Coach Chun states that he will not delay the draft match with them.

You think people end their lives for some grand reasons like failed businesses or so on. No. There mere words you speak can kill people.

The elders are left outside drinking together, and they come to the topic of bearing children. As they presses on the topic, the wife from the city couple leaves the gathering early.

The daughter of the celebrant grandmother continues to give offensive remarks to the city couple, and the husband from the city couple becomes blunt explaining the hardships they have endured even with giving their full efforts.

The team gathers in the living room, and excitedly reads the third chapter of the legendary badminton stories. They discover that the White Wolf or Coach Bae was the cause of both the glory and downfall of the badminton team of Haenam Seo Middle School.

Racket Boys episode 10 emphasizes the role of passion in people’s lives as seen in Coach Yoon’s dilemma. The writers of the series did well in creating a balanced view on the topic of passion. Although it may seem that adults may always be right because of their experiences, it is still important to give the children a chance to express what they want to do with their life.

To support one’s passion, the parents’ encouragement also plays a role in building the path towards one’s goals. As we see in this episode, parents like Coach Yoon, and his friend Lee Yang-su are willing to do anything just to support their children’s life. Monetary or moral support, both are needed in supporting your children’s life.

Friendship was also one of the main highlights of this episode. The bond of the badminton team was always heartwarming, but in this episode, the bond of the young and the old became extremely clear to us. The young ones arranged a lot of gifts for the grandmother even though they were not related by blood.

Although it was brief, the scene of the city couple where the husband was finally able to speak about their side of the story. The daughter of the birthday celebrant is really a character that can rile up a viewer because of her remarks, but we shall also give her a chance and anticipate her character development in the next episodes.

As the episode ended, we see that Coach Bae was a coach that beat up his trainees. We shall look forward in the next episodes to the whole story of Coach Bae. More that that, we can look forward how Coach Yoon and the badminton would face Coach Chun with his team in their draft match.

Watch new episodes of Racket Boys on SBS and also available for international fans on Netflix.

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