Racket Boys episode 9 recap – training for the National team

By Daniel Hart
Published: June 28, 2021
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Netflix k-drama series Racket Boys season 1, episode 9


Episode 9 reminds viewers of what it is like to be young, having that sense of adventure under the eyes of adults.

This recap of Netflix k-drama series Racket Boys season 1, episode 9 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

It’s getting serious for these young athletes; not only do they have to compete in high-stakes badminton, but they have to grow up as well in this wholesome coming-of-age k-drama series.

Episode 9 opens with our hockey players taking part in various training techniques for the national team, showing how serious the K-Drama series wants to take the sport. There’s plenty of focus amongst all the players; they are finding their stride comparably since the start of the series. Noticeably, there’s tension between Hae-kang and Park Chan since the rival player showed interest in Se-yoon. The intense training includes hiking; Hae-kang and Han-sol try to avoid doing it, but Coach Fang keeps finding them, offering light comedy moments.

In the past, Hyeong-jong told Yeong-ja that he likes her

In a flashback, Hyeon-jong had competition to capture Yeong-ja’s heart. He has to tell his teammate that he’s already told her that he likes her (he had for a long time).

Se-yoon and Hae-kang are paired up

In the present, the team has to pair up in their hike, so Hae-kang and Se-yoon become partners. Hae-kang is acting weird due to his annoyance with Park Chan. Se-yoon drops one of her trainers in the water, so Hae-kang jumps in for her. He then brings up Park Chan, and he wonders if the player has asked her out. He wants to know if she’ll say yes if he asks.

It’s cute watching these two surface different unspoken sentences with each other — their lack of experience with romance presents naive youthfulness that the series presents well.

Town meeting

Back at the village, they hold their first town meeting to discuss revitalizing the place. It’s all about sharing ideas. Yong-tae thinks they should build subways, department stores, and an airport, which is completely unrealistic. Mr. Hong is not happy about the pipe dream. The first town meeting does not get off to a good start; everyone is void of ideas.

Versus Japan

Back at Junior Nationals training, the coaches prepare the players to play against Japan in a series of exhibition matches. Han-sol struggles against her opponent. Hae-kang does well at first, but then the shuttlecock hits his eye, which hurts him. Se-yoon and Na-ra win their doubles match.

Park Chan and Hae-kang double up and win their match. The tension has seemingly gone, but then Hae-kang thinks his high five was too hard. Overall, the Junior team did very well against Japan.

Unofficial dates

Episode 9 is more about young excited teens on a trip than the sport itself, but somehow feels equally interesting — it feels relatable, reminding us what it used to be like on school trips when we were younger.

Later on, Han-sol and Se-yoon dress up. Hae-kang is mesmerized by Se-yoon. They go out in pairs — Hae-kang and Se-yoon go out together, and Yoon-dam and Han-sol go out together. You can tell Hae-kang is nervous.

While on the beach, Hae-kang asks a man to take a photo of them both. The man tells them to smile. The man privately tells Hae-kang that he has to show her that he likes her. Hae-kang ends up annoying the man as he calls him a “relationship genius,” which hits a sensitive spot, so Se-yoon has to split them up.

When all four return, Park Chan waits for Se-yoon, so Hae-kang, Yoon-dam, and Han-sol head inside. Hae-kang is bothered and watches them both from inside. Hae-kang really needs to make his feelings known before it is too late.

The secret gathering

The young badminton players have a secret gathering to end the day and play a game called Liar. They need to guess who the Liar is, and predictably, Hae-kang calls Park Chan the Liar. Suddenly, they get an alert; the coaches are doing rounds in the accommodation — they can’t tell what will be worse, the girls and boys mixing after hours or drinking (they have one beer bottle between them all). Coach Fang and Coach Nu-ri scope the corridors to see if they have broken the rules. You can tell they know they are having a secret gathering, so while it is serious, it’s more the adults know what teens are like and are humoring it.

The others hide as Han-sol and Na-ra make up a story. Coach Fang finds a full beer bottle, and Han-sol claims she wanted memories, but she didn’t open it. Coach Nu-ri tells Coach Fang to let it slide. As they get out of their hiding places, Coach Fang returns, and he tells them to do laps late in the night as punishment.

The ending of Racket Boys season 1, episode 9

However, Hae-kang and Se-yoon never left their hiding place in the cupboard, leaving them alone. Se-yoon tells Hae-kang that Park Chan intends to ask her still out after he wins the National Junior Sports Festival. Hae-kang brushes it off and acts like he isn’t bothered — he says it will not be possible as their team will win. He says he is going to defeat him. Se-yoon looks at him intently and asks Hae-kang to promise that he will beat Park Chan.

These two know exactly what they are saying to each other.

Episode 9 reminds viewers of what it is like to be young, having that sense of adventure under the eyes of adults.

Additional points
  • Na-ra tricked Se-yoon to make her feel the training was at a different time to make her late.

Netflix, Weekly TV
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