Alright, badminton tips and tricks number 1. I’ll be doing lots of these tips and tricks in the future so if you like them, definitely give it a shout out! The first few tips in today’s article will be mostly based on footwork as well as how and what to generally practice. These two things are some of the most essential fundamentals everybody should know.
Having these tips in your mind will definitely help you win your games and play better. Let’s get started.
Getting to the Shuttle Early
Just knowing this can make your life so much easier when playing badminton. If you build this into your head and start subconsciously getting to the shuttle early, you will gain control of the pace and flow of the game. Let me explain.
When you play badminton, do you ever have those moments where you feel like you’re having a tough time running everywhere? This is because you’re consistently late to the shuttle. If you arrive late to the shuttle, you only have a few options depending on where on the court they opponent hit. For example, if you’re late to the front, you can just play a high-quality lift. If you’re late to the back, you can really only play a drop or clear. In these situations, any other shots you try to play will likely be low quality which then your opponent forces you to run some more or straight up kills it.
It’s all about time. A few seconds can mean the difference between you making your opponent run or your opponent making you run. Arriving early on a shuttle means you have many options. Let’s say your opponent decides to play a drop shot. If you come early onto the shot, you can play shots like cross court net shots, straight net shots, push shots, all at a high quality. If you arrive late and take the shuttle close to the ground, there is a lower chance of your net shots being as tight as you want and in that situation, push shots are basically impossible. You can only play a lift. Now you see if you’re always late, you’ll never be able to do anything to push the opponent.
Always try to get to the shuttle early so you can control the game. In the end, you’ll actually be less tired because, with some experience, you’ll know what your opponent can do if they’re late to the shuttle and you’ll be ready for the next shots and then win the rally.
So how do you get to the shuttle early apart from having pure speed? Let’s jump into the next tip.
The split step. If you’ve been in the badminton scene, you would have listened to people talk about split stepping or even practiced it yourself! If you have already heard about the split step, let me emphasize the importance of it and if you haven’t, let me show you why it’s so important and helpful to our game.
A split step, also known as a prep jump is when you make a tiny jump before you move to boost your speed and make your movement towards the shuttle smoother. Imagine doing a jumping jack without any arm movements. Then when you play, badminton make that same movement with your legs whenever your opponents are about to hit the shuttle. It will allow you to react much better to the shuttle.
The reason split stepping is so useful is because it gives you that little extra bit of force to push off the ground which will accelerate you to the shuttle faster. You will also feel more agile than if you plant yourself into the ground. Go test it out!
Staying On Toes
In badminton, agility, speed, and a feeling of air will help your game immensely. Try to remain generally light and on your toes almost like you’re hovering a little above the ground. Make sure you keep your balance though!
Staying on your toes will allow you to move and react faster, especially towards the front. If you ever have any trouble returning drop shots and net shots when you’re at the middle, propping yourself up onto the front of your feet just might solve your problems. Since your weight is more forward, accelerating towards the front will be much easier.
And with that, those are some of my tips for footwork.
Bonus! – How and What to Generally Practice
Here’s the bonus: How and What to Generally Practice. Since it’s the first badminton tips and tricks post, I decided to give some tips on practicing if you do not precisely know what you need to work on.
All around practice will usually include 3 to 4 parts, and you must at least have one other person to practice with. The first part will be warm up and footwork. This usually starts with a few minutes of half-court rallying and a small jog. Then you move into stretching. Make sure you stretch all parts of your body thoroughly, especially your legs. Training can be incredibly intense sometimes and without proper stretching and warm muscles, pulling muscles and being sore is common. Check out this article on warm-up exercises for more information.
After your muscles have been warmed up, it’s time to get into footwork. Footwork arguably is the most crucial part of your game. Without the proper footwork, getting the shuttle back to the opponent becomes very difficult. Check out my drills and exercises for improving footwork article for ways to practice footwork. The most basic way is pointing footwork. Six spots on the court, back two corners, front two corners, and side to side in the middle and then just move to those spots randomly or have a partner point to those spots. I recommend 5 sets of 20 for basically all people. If you want to be challenged, I recommend doing 5 sets of 20, then 2 sets of 30, then 1 set of 50, and finally 5 sets of 15 at full speed. The challenge will prepare you for different rally paces.
The next part/2 parts are drills. At our training centers, we usually just do some two-on-one drills. It’s often based around attack and defense. Two people would either attack or defend, and the one person would defend or attack respectively.
The other part is drills that are simple and sometimes tedious, but people underestimate its power to improve your game. In fact, these drills are part of the reason why Chinese players are so good. The drill is practicing basic shots. So pick a few shots and spend a few minutes only playing those shots. For example, clear for 5 minutes straight, drop for 5 minutes straight, etc. Make sure all of your shots are of high quality. Don’t try to practice trick shots that much because they have way less use than your basic shots. How many more times are you going to drop, smash, and clear than play a drive behind the back?
Also, don’t forget about practice serving! It may be tedious but taking some time to practice serve 50 or so times will actually automatically make you a better player. Your opponent will have a hard time to return your serve!
The last part is playing games. What’s the point of doing drills? To win games of course. Playing games will help you win games in the sense that you get more experience on what happens in certain situations, understand the whole process of winning a rally, and get used to the pressure.
After playing a few games, take some time to cool down and stretch. This is important so that you are not sore the next day. Training like this consistently will make you better as a whole. If you have anything that you are not good at, definitely put more emphasis onto those things.
Conclusion – Stay Tuned
Alright, we have reached the end of badminton tips and tricks #1. Today I presented some basic tips to improve your footwork and thus game drastically. These tips include getting to the shuttle early, split stepping, and staying on your toes. I also gave you some tips for you to go and create your own training regime! Definitely get out there and practice some of the things I mentioned. Don’t just read and know, use the skills!
For now, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them down below in the comment section. Stay tuned for badminton tips and tricks #2!