Badminton Tips and Tricks #7 – How To Improve Control

Khosit Phetpradab

Whether you’re playing net shots, smashes, drops, or clears, no matter how much power you have, you won’t win any games if you miss all your shots. Control is absolutely crucial to one’s ability to play accurate badminton shots. Here are badminton tips and tricks #7 on how to improve control.

Doing Badminton Drills

One of the best ways to improve your control is to do badminton drills. There are many badminton drills for different badminton shots which I’ll link some here that you can do to improve your badminton skill. Focus on the shots that you have trouble with. For example, if you’re bad at drop shots, practice drop shots more.

With badminton drills, you want to try and make each shot as accurate as possible. This is also a time where you can test your limits. With net shots, for example, see the minimum amount of power you need to get the shuttle over the net.

It’s all about consistency. The more good practice you put in, the better you will be in general.

If you ever watch pro players do drills, all their shots are incredibly controlled and accurate without fail. There was a clip of Viktor Axelsen on Instagram actually showing Viktor’s net shots, and he was able to hit every single one of them!

With badminton drills, you can also do things like set goals on where to hit and how many. Examples include trying to net roll the shuttle five out of ten times or putting up pylons to try and hit by smashing.

General Playing

Drills are by far the best way to improve badminton skill in general, but playing games all the time helps as well. You’re basically trying to get as much badminton playing time as possible.

There is something called implicit learning, and something called explicit learning. The difference between the two is that implicit learning is when you’re sub-consciously learning while explicit learning is when you’re mechanically thinking about how to improve.pv sindhu badminton

The idea of general playing feeds off of implicit learning. Basically, if you just play badminton, you will automatically be improving sub-consciously. It is why people always say that players that start young are destined to become good. The younger they start, the more time they use as implicit learning. Most younger players don’t usually spend all their time specifically training certain aspects; they want to have fun!

General playing works better though when a player already has decent technique. Then all the player is doing is learning what kind of touch to put on the shuttle to give it good accuracy. Less experienced players may just find themselves making the lousy technique a habit, which in that case, general playing can significantly hurt your ability to improve.

Hitting The Shuttle Up And Down

One of the first things coaches make us do when we start playing badminton is to hit the shuttle up and down and try to keep it up for as long as possible. Over time as we gain experience, we become able to keep the shuttle up forever.

That’s because we are gaining control over our racket and the shuttle. We can keep it up longer because we know exactly where it’s going up and where it’s coming down.

With this activity, just grab a racket and hit the shuttle up and down. If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend you hit it up really high with either your forehand or backhand.

As you get better, add variations such as switching between forehand and backhand and then also start hitting it at lower heights. When the shuttle doesn’t have as much height, it will come down faster, making it more challenging to hit it.

As you get even better, start to add variations such as slicing. When you give a spin to the shuttle, it becomes even more difficult to hit back because to hit it accurately and consistently, you’ll need to hit it right at the tip. If you hit the feathers, the shuttle will likely end up somewhere that you’re not expecting so doing this definitely takes a lot more skill.

I like this drill because it’s something that you can do just about everywhere. All you need is a racket and a shuttle and a little space.

If you feel like you want another challenge, try doing this outside with the wind. If you’re used the shuttle going straight up and down, doing it outside will test your reaction speed. It won’t necessarily improve your control much, but your footwork and reaction will improve.

Holding The Racket

Has anyone seen the anime, Haikyu?

Well if you haven’t, it’s an anime about volleyball with the main character being this short guy who’s aspiring to become one of the best spikers. The anime is pretty motivating for badminton players too haha…

But what I want to talk about specifically from Haikyu!! is the scene where an old coach tells the kid to be entirely in sync with the volleyball and to do that, he must hold the volleyball everywhere; when he goes to school when he sleeps, etc.

You can do the same thing with your racket. Hold it as much as possible and spiritually make it a part of you.

Walk around everywhere with the racket and make random swings etc. It’s all about getting the feel of the racket.

Conclusion

I hope that there were some badminton tips and tricks in this post that helped you out on how to improve badminton control. Remember that consistency and focus in practice will always lead to better playing.

If you would like to look at more badminton tips and tricks, check out this link here.

Badminton Tips and Tricks

Any questions? Any suggestions? I’m happy to listen to them. Write it down in the comment section below and have a great day!

Badminton Tips and Tricks #6 – Instantly Move Faster

This is going to be another post about footwork, but I will not talk about drills and exercises or badminton footwork technique. Instead, I will be giving you a few badminton tips and tricks on how to instantly move faster.

If you want to see things like drills or techniques definitely check out these posts:

While some things I mention in this post may not actually increase your raw speed, but it will make you move more efficiently and make it so that you’re getting to the shuttle more often and that’s our final outcome. We want to run fast and effectively so we can return the shuttle and win rallies.

Going Back To The Middle

Going back to the center of the court is something that should have been emphasized when you were first learning footwork technique.

I’ve seen way too many people stop after they hit a shot and wait for the opponent to hit another shot. If you start moving when the opponent makes another shot, you’re undoubtedly going to have a tough time returning the shuttle.

Moving back to the middle dramatically increases your ability to return your opponent’s shots. When you’re in the middle, you will move an equal distance to every place your opponent can hit the shuttle.

You should also move rather quickly to the middle. The quicker you get to the center, the more time you have to prepare for the next shot. Moving to the shuttle first is always of great benefit because it allows you to play any type of shot you feel like and even add in deceptions to put pressure on your opponent.

Also, something to note about moving back to the middle is that you should move slightly closer to the side where you hit the shuttle. This is because straight shots are faster and more difficult to return, thus staying on the side where they can hit it back straight will make your life easier.

badminton positions
Circle is where you should stand and it’s color coded based on where you hit.

Where Is The Momentum

This is something most beginners and intermediate players never take advantage of or even worse, mistakingly using it. Momentum is something that can significantly increase your speed and fluidity of movement.

When you play overhead swings, you should push your upper body forward as you’re finishing your swing so that you’re moving forward. This will increase the speed at which you get back to the middle, but it will also increase the power of your shot as well.

You can also use momentum at the front of the court as well. In general, your body should angled slightly forward so that you keep a low center of gravity. But when you’re moving backward, you can push your upper body mass back to help you move faster. Think of opening up to your overhead swing stance.

Be careful with this though as many beginners or intermediate players might move back with this momentum and not switch their energy forward after making the overhead swing. They would probably stop to let the momentum reset and then start running again at a slower speed.

Light Feet

Another tip for moving faster as well as more efficiently is to stay light on your feet. This was a big problem for me as I would be basically stomping into the court and locking myself from being able to move.

You should try and stay on the balls of your feet and think of yourself skipping across the court. Try to take notice of how much sound you make as you move across the court and when you jump. The less noise, the better.

Light feet is something that takes the most practice. I recommend doing a lot of skipping and jogging without hitting your feet into the ground hard. Pretend that you’re doing footwork over a fragile layer of ice in which if you land too hard, you’ll fall into freezing water. Just staying over-conscious of how light your movements are will definitely help you play better overall.

You’ll also find that moving gracefully around the court will help you prevent injuries. There just isn’t as much pressure put on your calves and knees if you hit the ground with less impact. So that’s another good reason why you should try to play with light feet.

Longer Strides

Have you ever heard of people praising a badminton player’s height and slimness? It’s usually for a girls singles player and about her long reach and strides.

Having long legs and long arms give you quite the advantage in the form that you don’t have to move far to get the shuttle. You don’t have to waste as much energy taking more steps, and you could probably get most shots just by stretching out.

Being tall definitely has excellent advantages in badminton. In fact, the Chinese National Badminton team actually has a minimum requirement for height in their players.

But of course, not everyone is tall. I’m certainly considered short.

However, if you build longer strides into your footwork, you will definitely find it easier to get to places.

At first, it might seem a little difficult and perhaps even unrewarding because it will mess up your original pattern and strides. Sometimes you might stretch too far or not enough, and you’ll have to take a few awkward steps. That’s why you should practice it a lot in footwork drills first until it merely becomes muscle memory.

Once you have longer strides, you’ll feel like you’re covering a lot more distance in a lot shorter time. You’ll also feel like you have lighter feet as well. Just trust me on that one.

Conclusion

Now we’re coming into the conclusion of what you can do to improve your speed in badminton. Once again, if you’re looking for drills and exercises to help improve footwork, here’s a collection of footwork skills and drills.

What do you think of these tips? I would love to hear your opinion in the comment section down below. As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

Badminton Tips and Tricks #5 – How To Control Anxiety In Tournaments

Anxiety is something that hits me hard. I would say that my most significant reason for never playing well in tournaments would be getting too nervous as opposed to skill.

Not playing to the best of your ability or even how you usually play creates one of the worst feelings in the world. That’s why I’m going to dedicate some time to give you some more badminton tips and tricks.

This one is about controlling your emotions during a game/match.

Play More

This piece of advice is something that everyone will say. I remember asking my coaches on how to stop being nervous and they just told me, “Well you can’t do much really, just play more.”

What playing more mainly means is that play more tournaments. For me, competitions are when I get the most nervous. It’s when I start to think about winning instead of playing to the best of my ability. To get rid of the anxiety from playing in tournaments, you just have to play more competitive matches.

Tournaments are usually held at different clubs and gyms in most places so playing more matches means you’ll play in a variety of settings. One of the first things that will probably make you nervous is playing in a new place.

“What if the lighting is bad?”

“What will happen if the floor is bad and I slip?”

“I don’t know anybody here.”

These are all natural concerns that many tournament players will have at the start. Playing more tournaments will help you get more accustomed to these different settings and allow you to adapt more quickly.

Playing more tournaments also builds routine into you that training doesn’t develop. One of the things with competitive matches is that they will have specific procedures such as calling out your name, a scorekeeper, testing shuttles, perhaps even an umpire and some line judges. These things can definitely affect you especially if you’re a tournament rookie.

When I started playing tournaments, some of these procedures really messed with me. I was nervous about not getting on the court on time, not bringing the stuff I need, afraid that I will look bad not knowing what to do and more. But honestly, you’ll get more confident as you play more.

Playing more tournaments also gives you the experience to play against players that you don’t regularly play against. Once you do this enough, you’ll also stop wondering how good your opponent is and become more focused on your own play which will allow you to win more.

Although I talked a lot about playing in tournaments, playing with a few training friends or your club members as much as you can is hugely beneficial. Another major concern of new players in tournaments is that their skill isn’t high enough and that’s a valid reason. The solution to this problem is just to train more.

Eventually, if you want to get competitive in the badminton world, you do have to play tournaments and competitions. You can’t expect to train a lot and then suddenly come into a tournament and win. Playing competitive matches gives you benchmarks, so you know where your skill is at, and without those benchmarks, you won’t know what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Don’t Think

Sometimes the brain is too slow. Sometimes the brain also drains us. It’s especially true in badminton. It might seem counterproductive to not think while playing but it’s actually a lot better for your performance.

Once you’re at an advanced enough skill, you should be able to swing your racket and move your feet without thinking about all the little bits of technique. If you can do this, thinking during a rally will only slow you down. You’ll also bring yourself out of something many sports players and officials like to call, “the zone.”

The zone is a state of mind where you’re focused intensely and playing at your highest level. My personal experience with the zone is that I felt like I had infinite energy, a lot more strength, and I was moving faster. It’s definitely a great feeling and something you should harness.

Getting into the zone is done by not thinking, at least for me. Everything becomes muscle memory, and it seems like your body just moves on its own. Thinking will only distract you and make you tired as the brain needs resources.

Thinking about things like how your legs are sore, that the opponent is up five points against you, how your form looks, or even what shot to play will only demotivate you and bring about the defeatist in you. Even if you’re winning, thinking will tell you to stop applying pressure to your opponent and make you play worse. The brain doesn’t help you during competitive games.

A lot of people will actually tell you to think about what shot you should play. While this works in some cases, I find the brain lag and the split seconds of deciding actually prevents you from pulling out your best shot. All the thinking based on shots and strategies should be done in between rallies and games.

You should also have muscle memory and experience with different situations from your training. Losing is okay. It builds another piece of muscle memory that’ll help you win.

What To Think About

Sometimes our minds will subconsciously wander off into the dark realms of our pessimism and worries about future events. I’m going to tell you about some ways you can limit this before it affects your gameplay.

The first step before your matches is to think about how you usually play. Relaxed playing is when we play best. Happy playing helps too. Imagine your best games and moments.

Give yourself a different mindset for tournaments. While winning can be significant, it’s not as crucial as the learning experiences or fun you can have. So get your mind off of winning and start thinking about tournaments as places to improve and have some fun. This will relax you a ton.

During your rallies, don’t think about points. Try not to look at the scoreboard if there is one. If you have to call out the score, call it out but don’t try to calculate how many points you need to win or how many your opponent needs.

Instead, think of never letting the shuttle touch the ground on your side. Give yourself a goal of getting all the shots back.

Before Game Activities

There are also some things you can do to help limit anxiety before tournaments.

The first thing is sleep. What’s more relaxing than sleeping? Make sure you get a good night’s sleep before your big tournament. You really need the energy.

Also, remember the other usual things such as eating well. The standard theory is to stock up on carbs the night before and eat protein before the game. But if doing this is only going to make you more nervous, don’t do it.

It’s connected to a thing where your everyday habits will relax you. When you get on a court, do you always do some footwork first? Spin the racket in your hand? Practice serve? If there’s something you always do, keep doing it! Don’t let the tournament change you unless it’s against the rules.

Another activity that can help is doing some light exercise or playing a little. This will help get your blood pumping and get you warmed up. You can check out a post about warm-up exercises you could do. Playing a little bit will also give you more control of your racket and confidence. Just don’t overdo it. You may get too tired, or even worse, injure yourself.

Conclusion

And that concludes Badminton Tips and Tricks #5! I hope some of these tips will help you in your tournaments. They’ve really helped me in the past.

Do you have any other tips or strategies you could share? I bet everyone would love to hear what you have to say! Leave a comment in the comment section down below!

As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

Badminton Tips and Tricks #4 – Personal Ways I Train My Backhand

For badminton tips and tricks #4, we are going to discuss ways to improve your backhand. I already have a post on a few backhand drills you could look at but here are some more unique training methods that I used to help improve my backhand.

Backhand has always been a weakness of all badminton players, even Taufik Hidayat who’s supposedly the backhand god. If you’re playing a backhand shot at the back of the court, it likely means that you are on the defensive and don’t have the time to use an overhead shot.

Even if it seems like your backhand is stronger than your forehand, which many beginners do, it isn’t. That’s just not enough practice with overhead swings. Our backhands are physically weaker than our forehand, and that’s for everybody. So don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

However, because our backhand is weak, we must make it stronger. Have you ever heard of the saying, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link?” It totally applies here. If you can’t at least recover with a backhand shot, people will always try to take advantage of it.

That’s why I have some more tips to help you improve your backhand skills.

Swinging A Racket

One of the tips I have for you that I rarely see anyone talk about is using your backhand to swing your racket in the air. First watch a video on someone doing a good backhand swing, find some pictures, or ask your coach (if you have one) how to play a backhand shot. Then grab a racket and swing it in the backhand motion that you saw in an open space.

Doing this is so great because it builds strength and form into your shot and you can do it just about anywhere. In fact, you can take it one step further and remove the racket.

Just imagine you have a racket in your hand and make that backhand swing anywhere you would like. You can do it in your room, at school, at work; anywhere as long as you won’t feel embarrassed and won’t hit anybody.

Another great way to build strength in your backhand is to use this method with training racket. Swinging with a training racket will significantly develop your strength in your backhand, and you’ll feel so much power in your backhand swings with an ordinary racket. With a training racket though, you need to make sure your technique is really good. If you’re messing up your swings a lot, you should definitely stay away from a training racket.

I have a post on if you need a training racket to help you make a decision.

With the swinging the racket drill, if you can, you should also take the step and lunge that you would do in an actual game. This will help improve your feeling and technique even more.

Practicing With Drills

Like I mentioned in the introduction, I already have a post on different backhand drills you can do.

I’m going to first talk about doing a backhand swing during footwork. One of the common reasons why players fail their backhand shot is not because of their shot or swing technique, it’s actually because of their footwork. The footwork is definitely awkward in the beginning, and it’ll take some time to find a solid footing.

I recommend you get on the court and do some pointing footwork and instead of doing only the scissor-kick jump smash at the backhand back corner, I suggest you incorporate a lot of backhand shots.

As you improve overall footwork, it’s time to get a feel of the shuttle. Just swinging a racket or doing pointing footwork may help your backhand, but without actually practicing with a shuttle, you’re going to miss the shuttle because you just can’t time the shot or don’t know where to stand and hit the shuttle.

This is when I recommend someone feed a shot to your backhand corner, and then you play a drop, clear, or if you’re at the point, a smash. With these drills, you should start in the middle and always move back to the middle just so you get the feeling of the footwork as well.

Once you start getting more advanced and more stable with your backhand, you should build your own drills based on what actually happens during your games and matches. Personally, I found that I needed to play backcourt backhands usually after I play a net shot or after a short serve. An example of how I can make this into a drill is I’ll play a net shot, and then another player will feed to my backhand where I’ll play a backhand and then go back to the front and play another net shot and repeat.

If you want to see more drills, definitely check out Badminton Backhand Drills.

It’s All In The Feeling

One time I asked one of my coaches on how to play a backhand clear and honestly, he gave me quite a vague answer. He told me, “Playing a backhand clear is just like how you play a regular clear. It’s all about the feeling.” I didn’t really understand at the time, but a few months later when I was feeling like I couldn’t play any type of shot, I remembered his words and realized what I was doing wrong.

I wasn’t playing like myself. I put way too much pressure on myself to win and tried to copy exactly what the pros were doing to win, but it made me extremely tense. All my shots became weak, and I couldn’t last long. I felt like I was worse than when I just started playing.

I thought about my coach’s words again and thought about them more deeply. I thought about how I was playing in grade 6 and my younger years. That was when I had my epiphany. All my good shots stemmed from being relaxed. I was trying too hard to play a good backhand, and unfortunately, that was the reason why my backhand shots sucked.

The moral of this story is first to relax and then find that sweet spot for your backhand. I recommend you start out by trying to clear just like how you just started playing. Once you can play a clear, then drops and smashes are just an adjustment of angling and power.

Consistency

Finding your sweet spot and getting good at badminton requires consistency. If you genuinely want to get good with your backhand, you need to practice as much as you can.

That’s one of the main reasons I told you about that swinging a racket in the air drill. For me, I don’t really get to practice on the court as often as I would like. Badminton drop-in centers are costly and quite far from me. They’re also full all the time which really is a bummer.

Most of my improvement actually comes from training at home and outside. And that’s why I have these ways to train without a gym. So practice as much as you can. It doesn’t have to be a court if you genuinely want to get good.

Go Out and Practice!

What are you waiting for? Go find a video or something and learn a proper hitting technique. Then go out on a court or inside your house and practice that swing along with the footwork.

If you can, grab a friend to help feed you shuttles on a court so that you can get the shuttle feeling in and do it lots!

Do you have any questions, comments, or experiences that you want to share? Leave them down below and as always, have a great day!

Badminton Tips and Tricks #3 – Doubles Tactics, Communication, Rotation

Fu Hai Feng and Cai Yun vs Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe Beijing 2008

In badminton, doubles is the fastest paced sport. It has so many different aspects that it could potentially even be considered as a different game than badminton singles!

In this article, I will show you multiple tips and tricks for playing doubles as well as mixed doubles.

Fu Hai Feng and Cai Yun vs Carsten Mogensen and Mathias Boe Beijing 2008

Doubles Attacking Tactics

Attacking in doubles is intense. It’s all about who can change the pace the best and throw your opponents off guard.

Unlike singles, which tends to be a slower paced game, doubles is full of flashy fast shots and keeping the shuttle low. If you’re able to drive your opponents back and start angling the shuttle down, you will force them to play lifts. If you play very tight net shots, your opponent will also be forced to lift. Once they’re forced to lift, heavy smashes or fast slices can be performed on the offensive. Find the angles and force your opponents to lift. When they lift, you’ll be on the attack.

Before we get into specific shots you should play, let’s discuss a little about positioning. In doubles, the positioning for attacking is front and back. For mixed doubles, the girl should be at the front (unless you have the rare case where the girl hits harder than the guy then any front and back position works). This position is optimal because you want the back players to smash or play quick drops to end the rally or set up for the front player. The front player shouldn’t stand right at the net but closer to the middle and they should try to intercept and kill any shuttles that they can get.

One tip for doubles is to try and target down one person on defense. This is especially effective in mixed doubles since the girl’s defense and strength usually isn’t as good as the guy. Although, you and your partner need to make that judgement depending on what you see in your rallies but generally start off by attacking the girl. If you manage to force the person out of position from targeting them, you will be able to end the rally. Plus, it attacks them psychologically which I’ll talk about some other time.

When attacking, the back player should also keep his or her shots as steep and fast as possible. You’ll usually be playing full power smashes at the back, but it’s always good to occasionally change it up with a half-smash or slice. It’ll catch your opponent off guard by changing the rhythm which will make them more prone to making mistakes. Hitting down the middle in doubles is also more effective compared to singles. Hitting down the middle will test the opponent pair’s communication with each other on who’s hitting the shot.

The only thing at the back you shouldn’t usually play are cross-court smashes. Although, there are certain times like if your opponent is mispositioned, the cross court smash is generally too slow, and your opponent can block it most of the time.

At the front, it’s all about trying to intercept and kill or forcing them to lift again. Your racket should be held up high, and you should be ready to net kill. Occasionally you might move into the back to start smashing, but we’ll work through that in the rotation section.

Doubles Defensive Tactics

Defense in doubles is a lot different than singles defense. You’re not trying to block it close to the front anymore, it runs the risk of the front player net killing. Lifting smashes is what you’re going to do the most.

Before we get more into specific shots to play while on the defense, let’s get into positioning. The most optimal position for defense is side to side. Stay low to the ground and keep your racket up.

A little more specifics about side to side defense is you generally want to stay closer to the side that the opponent is going to smash straight. This will allow you to react faster. Leaving the cross side a little more open is okay because cross smashes will always be slower than straight smashes so you’ll have equal times to get to each smash.

Now that you’re in position, how do you actually block the smash? Like I mentioned above, doing a traditional block to the front will run the risk of the opponent front player net killing so playing lifts is a strategy that you’ll probably use. Defense in doubles is basically a waiting game. You’re trying to wait for the opponent to make a mistake, so the best thing to do is calm down and lift as far back and high as possible to tire and frustrate your opponent.

Also, try to keep your lifts close to the corners. If you lift to the middle, the opponent can smash anywhere on the court, so you lose the ability to anticipate where your opponent is smashing.

When the opportunity comes, and the opponent makes a mistake, here’s when you can turn it around. If the offensive shot is too high above the net, you can start attacking by driving the shuttle forward.

Another tip for defense is making your opponent move at the back. Cross court lift or push the shuttle straight if the opponent cross smashes. This way you force your opponent to run more, and if they’re too slow, they have to play a clear thus giving your team the offense.

These tactics apply to all offensive shots like half smashes, drops, etc. Be ready!

Rotation

I hinted at rotation in the attacking tactics section. Rotation in doubles is extremely important especially if you want to play at a higher level.

The most basic rotations are based on reaction. Watch your opponent’s and where they hit the shuttle and then move spontaneously. If the opponent hits the shuttle below the waist, go into attack position, if they hit above the waist, go into a more defensive position. Some communication will definitely be needed.

To go into an attack position from a defensive position, either you or your partner needs to move forward. Then the other partner takes the back and prepares to smash. To go into a defensive position from an attack position, the front person needs to move back into either the left or right side, and the back person should react and cover the other open area. It takes lots of practice and good communication with your partner to get this really good.

There’s one more rotation that I like to cover is one I’d like to call maintaining the attack position. Sometimes your partner at the back can get tired from smashing or often times, the opponent might make a quick stroke and play a flatter lift cross court. Instead of letting your partner clear the shuttle and give your opponent the offense, it’s good to cut it off and rotate to the back if you can.

Here’s what I mean. If you are the front player and see a flat lift coming, start positioning yourself more towards the back and prepare to smash it down. Intercepting it early will also catch your opponent off guard and break down their defense. When your partner sees you going for the shuttle, they should move to the front and be ready to intercept and kill.

A tip for people that don’t have the same partner all the time. In this case, you should just cover what areas your partner is not covering. That’ll make sure your court doesn’t have any significant flaws.

These are the basic rotation strategies, but they can be impossible to pull off without the right communication.

Communication

Like everything in the world that involves a team, communication is vital. It’s tough to do much without the right communication. Bad communication can cause collisions with each other or rackets hitting each other and breaking. It happens pretty often, even in professional play!

Before starting a game, in between points, in between sets, whatever time you can find, try to use it and talk to your partner about strategies. What you want to do and what your partner wants to do. What you see in your opponent’s weaknesses. Doubles pairs who do that have a significant advantage.

One strategy that you definitely need to communicate to your partner is how you’re going to serve. Whether it’s with hand signals or telling them before, if they know how you’re going to serve, they know what they’re supposed to do. For example, if you flick, your partner needs to be ready in case the opponent smashes the flick. If you don’t tell your partner, they’re not going to be prepared and fail to receive whatever comes down.

Talking to each other also boosts focus and morale of the pair. Don’t stop talking to your partner. It’s always good to tell your partner nice shot after they win a point, give them a pat on the back, and tell them don’t worry when they mess up. Not saying anything is just as bad as telling them that they’re bad and messed up. Both of you will lose focus and end up losing the game if you don’t encourage each other.

Conclusion – Find Some Friends

Playing doubles happens lots at a recreational level. Community gyms and drop in badminton centers always have a surplus of people so playing doubles often times is a rule that you have to follow. It can also be lots more fun including more people! Find a group of four or more, and you can play a variety of games.

That’s it for today, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them down below and have a great day! What’s your favorite badminton game mode, mixed doubles, singles, or doubles?

 

Badminton Tips and Tricks #2 – Singles Tactics

Defensive badminton shot at the back

Hi everybody and welcome to badminton tips and tricks #2. In this edition, we will be talking about some tactics you can use for both men’s and women’s singles to win your games. Most of the time, singles is the most strategic type of badminton. Once you reach advanced or higher level badminton, games will be more difficult, and the singles player to win would have to be the one with the most strategic play.

Here are a few tips and tactics for playing badminton, singles edition.

Moving Your OpponentDefensive badminton shot at the back

Moving your opponent is the most basic strategy in all badminton, even doubles. Just think about it, is it easier to hit the shot back if it’s in the same spot or more comfortable to hit shots that are always different?

Another reason for moving your opponent is so practical is because they’ll eventually run out of energy. Also since it’s singles gameplay, players will have to cover the whole court effectively making them tired even faster. Now that you know why moving your opponent is so important, let’s get into ways that you can do it.

Play variations! Badminton can get really boring if you play the same thing all the time. Try to perform different types of shots against your opponents. One example is to push the shot to the back and then hit it to the front, and you can also combine this with hitting side to side. The critical point is to change it up as much as possible.

Knowing this is an excellent start to formulating more advanced strategies. For now, let’s jump into some defence tactics for singles.

Singles Defending Tactics

Unlike doubles, singles defence is less about being able to block high powered smashes but more about being able to return shots without the opponent killing it. The top things to consider while defending is footwork, shuttle control, and reaction time.

The first thing to work on while defending is footwork. If your opponent is attacking you, they’ll likely be trying to move you around. Without proper footwork, you’ll be quickly put off balance and unable to return the shot. Try to stay relaxed and keep your center of gravity low. Staying relaxed will keep you from stiffening and staying low to the ground will allow you to move faster. Along with general footwork speed, you will do very well with defence, provided if you have the other parts as well. If you want some tips on general footwork things, check out Badminton Drills and Exercises for Improving Footwork and/or Badminton Tips and Tricks #1.

Badminton player lunges for shuttle and is on her knees.

 

The next part after footwork is shuttle control. This is your ability to return the shuttle in ways that can cut off your opponent’s attack or make it more difficult for your opponent to attack. Try to hit the shuttle in a way where your opponent has to move the most and in ways that you’ll cut off your opponent’s rhythm. For example, blocking cross court will make your opponent run more, if you suddenly change up your defence and drive block, your opponent may be running too fast towards the front; these are just a few examples. Often times, a smash could go really fast, so it definitely takes some practice to block it without the shot being too high.

Continuing with shuttle control, the next few tips will be about lifts and what to play at the backcourt. First thing is about lifts as well as clears. Make your lifts and clears as far back and high as possible because this will give you way more time to recover and prepare for offensive shots like smashes. If you make lifts and clears flat, the opponent can smash it earlier as well as faster making it a lot harder to defend. The optimal position when in defence is stable and ready to react. If you’re pushed to the back, often times you want to play a fast drop. From the idea of giving yourself as much time as possible, playing a fast drop will make sure the opponent’s net shot comes further away from the net.

One thing to note is that at the backcourt, clearing may not be the optimal shot just because you have to play the shot closer to the ground which means less power. This less power translates into a clear that can potentially only reach the middle of the court in which the opponent can smash it down. Don’t try to win the rally off of your defence, patience is vital.

The final part is reacting to the shuttle. Just like your footwork, remain calm and just focus on getting to the shuttle. Don’t try to think about where you’re opponent will hit, just realize he or she can hit anywhere and react according to where the shuttle is going. Of course, if you have excellent anticipation, you can make it a lot easier to get to the shuttle but beware, when a player is in the attacking situation, that’s when he or she can play lots of deceptions.

Singles Attacking Tactics

Now that you’ve read the defence tactics for singles, you’ve probably gained lots of hints on how to attack in singles. Before you start attacking, there are a few things specific to singles. Smashing right away is not always the best option. It uses lots of energy, and lots of players are already prepared to block the smash. You should smash once you’ve crippled the opponent’s footwork a little. Let me show you ways that you can do that.

The time when you want to smash is when your opponent plays a bad clear or lift which is a result of footwork being scrambled. The most common ways to do this is by playing really tight net shots or push shotting. You can do this right off of your opponent’s serve if their service is weak or just test your opponent by playing a variety of shots and wait for them to make a mistake or when you see an opportunity to attack.

Once you’re in attacking position, your general pattern is straight or cross smash and then cross or straight net kill respectively, push shot or net shot at the front. If your opponent’s block is too high, generally you want to net kill it and end the rally. If the block is okay, try to play different things. Approach the shot like a net kill and then perform a net shot or flick your wrist at the last second to push it forward. These types of deceptions will break your opponent’s footwork even more, causing them to make mistakes or give you the perfect opportunity to end the rally with a smash or net kill.

Although the smash net kill pattern is going to extremely common, be prepared for variations. If you smash inaccurately and don’t have the angle or speed, your opponent can do things like drive block and cross block causing you to run more or have your rhythm broken. These things can completely break your attack if you’re not careful.

Also, note that there are lots of variations you can play too. Slice drops, body smashes (especially effective against tall players), and even clears can be performed at the back. You can play things cross or straight but just remember, cross court shots are slower than straight shots. Play as much variation as you can to force your opponent to use all of their energy.

Restricting Movement Tactic

I talked about how you should try to hit the shuttle to different places everytime you hit a shot to move your opponent right? It’s not entirely true.

Once you get to a very advanced level of playing, hitting to the same spot can be very useful if you can capitalize on mistakes or quickly change the pace of the game. Let’s say you continuously clear straight to your opponent. Your opponent is going to get used to that, and he’s going to subconsciously be closer to the back of the court and closer to the side your hitting when he attempts to return to the middle. When this happens, you can suddenly accelerate the pace of the game from the slow pace of clearing to a quick drop shot and cause your opponent to either not be able to return the shuttle or return the shuttle badly. Then you get into an attacking position and win the rally.

The main thing about this tactic is that it’s challenging to know if you’re opponent is positioned closer to wherever you would like them to position. If you don’t consider that they’re ready for you to change the pace of the game, then you will lose the point since you’re not prepared for them to return your shot. It takes lots of experience to know if you’re strategy is working or not.

Another thing we have to consider is that, what if your opponents are doing the exact same thing? If you’re opponent suddenly changes the pace, and you’re not ready, you’ll also lose the point. That’s what makes badminton so interesting; against tough opponents, you never know what they’re going to do so badminton sometimes becomes a sport of pure reaction and speed.

Conclusion – Checkmate Your Opponents

Hopefully, these tactics have taught you a lot. You should be able to take these skills right into your games provided you have good foundations. If you were looking for something that teaches you a little more about basics such as holding a racket, footwork, and/or basic shots, then definitely check out other articles on my site!

For now, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them down below. Stay tuned for the next articles, hint, it’s in pairs, and have a great day!

 

 

 

 

Badminton Tips and Tricks #1 – Some Footwork Tips and …Bonus!

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.

Split Step

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!

 

 

 

 

Badminton Warm Up – Exercises to Prevent Injuries

As a badminton player, I often neglected warm-ups and stretching. Really lucky that I haven’t suffered from a serious injury but the times I where I skipped warm up, I played atrociously. I couldn’t move fast enough on the court and my shots were extremely weak and inaccurate.

Don’t neglect your warm up cause not only does it prevent injuries, but it ups your game as well.

Now you’re probably wondering, how do I warm up in badminton?

Half Court Rallying

What most players and I like to start off with is half court rallying, specifically drives. When driving, make sure you bounce on the balls of your feet and make quick taps by flicking your wrist quickly and not pulling back to swing. Driving like this starts to warm up your reaction speed, legs, and wrist as well. If you can add in offensive and defensive drives which is when one of the players is closer to the net and hitting it lightly down towards the other player like a fast drop, it will help a lot as well, especially if you’re a doubles player.

After driving for a little, usually you want to move onto clears because they are the most basic overhead swing. This will allow you to fully warm up your arms but also prepare you for other types of overhead shots. Make sure you clear all the way to the back line.

Then you move onto drop shots. To make it simpler explaining how you want to do these, I’m gonna list two players as A and B. When A drops, B wants to return with a net shot, and then A lifts the shuttle. Then B drops and A returns with a net shot and then B lifts and so on. This drill helps your front and back footwork and prepares you for your next type of shot, the smash.

After you have dropped for a little, it’s time to move onto smashing. With this drill it’s the same as the drops except you replace drops with smashes. When you are doing this drill, you can add in a little hop but I recommend not doing a full jump smash because at this point you haven’t stretched yet so it is quite easy to pull muscles by trying to do your hardest smash.

Generally after smashing, finish rallying with some net shots. This is really here to just warm up how you play net shots and the quality of them. By this time you should be pretty warmed up.

Let’s talk about some general information now. If you are warming up before a match, you generally get limited to 1 minute so stretching and jogging will probably happen before you are called up. When you start rallying make sure you keep aware of this time and not take too long on one drill! If it is before training or you’re with some friends, 3 minutes is really good. When you are doing these types of drills, don’t try to kill it! You want to keep the rally going as long as possible so try not to make a shot that your partner can’t return. You have to go easy too because this type of drill is mainly here to get your badminton game warmed up so don’t overdo it! Gotta stretch and jog!

Slow Jog

When I train, I usually start with half court rallying and then jog after. When jogging, make sure you keep yourself slow and steady so you don’t have any cramps. It happens way too often with me because I like to jog fast and feels extremely uncomfortable. Luckily it goes away fast. When doing these jogs, 2 laps around a court is good for a beginner, 5 laps for intermediate, and 10 laps for advanced.

In this slow jog, there are some things you can incorporate with it. Shuffling sideways, shuffling backwards, shuffling forwards, grapevine, and skipping are all great options to include in your jogs. This is because these movements are used heavily in footwork. Just make sure you don’t overdo yourself!

Stretching

Once you have done a few laps or so. It’s a good time to stretch. There’s a reason we don’t start directly with stretches and that’s because stretching a body that hasn’t done a warm up of any sort can lead to muscle pulling when stretching so usually you want to stretch after some warm up. This applies to every sport.

When we stretch in badminton, there isn’t a specific order. Here are some stretches you should include into your warm up. First sit down and put your legs out. Then reach towards your toes and try to touch them. This is a basic stretch for your calves.

After stretching calves for 20 seconds or so, move onto your hamstring. I like to stretch this by pulling one leg up and over the other leg and then giving it a hug. The tighter the hug, the stronger the stretch. Do this for 20 seconds as well for both sides.

Then move onto your shoulders. I like to stretch this by pulling on arm to the other side. Do this for 20 seconds both sides too.

There are a lot more stretches that you can and should do but I’m going to finish this off with what I generally do last which is stretch my ankles and wrists. Put your hands together and rotate them around. At the same time put one foot up on its toes and rotate it as well. Then do it to the other side.

As I said before there’s no real order to do these stretches and it’s also extremely flexible (no pun intended) with how you stretch. It’s as long as you feel warmed up and stretched your body. There are many more stretches that I haven’t included in here that people do so feel free to comment on your favorite stretches!

Footwork

What I do for footwork is something called pointing footwork. You have 6 points on the court, two in the front, two in the middle, and two in the back all next to sidelines. Then a partner (or you can just do it yourself) points to a point and you have to play a shot after going to that point with proper footwork. Do this 5 sets of 10 as a beginner, 5 sets of 15 as intermediate, and 5 sets of 20 as advanced. By this point you should be fully warmed up and ready for your intense match or training!

Warm Up Your Game!

Once again, I want to stress the importance of warming up. There are so many benefits to warming up that it’s just unwise to not do so. Preventing injuries and upping your game are just some of them. You may also feel less sore after intense playing as well! Good luck in your badminton games and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!