What I Learned From Playing Badminton In China

After about three weeks of training in China, I learned a lot about badminton. Training in China allowed me to take a completely different perspective of badminton as a game. In this post, I will tell you about what I learned from playing badminton in China.

This post is sort of like a follow-up post to my Badminton Training Program In China post, where I talk about the structure of the training and the types of drills I did in China.

You can check that post out here: Badminton Training Program In China (An In-Depth Guide)

This post, however, I will be going through some of the other things I learned that you could apply in your games.



How To Create Super Steep Angles

When I was training in China, the coaches saw lots of issues with my swing after watching me play various drop shots and smashes.

I could never produce a great angle on these shots.

My drop shots were often too high above the net, either giving my opponent time to recover on the defense or an opportunity to end the rally right away.

My smashes were up at my opponent’s body, allowing him to quickly use all the power that I had generated against me to play a block angled downward on my side.

My coach was looking at my swing and saying that I needed to angle my shots down more by hitting the shuttle with my racket face at a lower point.

I needed to hit the shuttle at a lower contact point to get a steeper angle on my shot.

My coach said that any contact point as long as it’s before your arm becoming parallel with ground is fine, so do your best to hit it at the lowest point possible.

Then he told me to do some shadow drills. He said to swing my racket slowly and look at my contact point and envision myself hitting the shuttle.

That’s what I did a lot.

Whenever I had the chance, I would pull out my racket and swing my racket slowly looking at my contact point for smashes and drops.

The other thing he told me to do was explicitly focus on the moments directly before contacting the shuttle. He wanted me to focus on the flexibility of my wrist and forearm rotation.

I practiced that shadow movement a lot, and it helped me focus on how to create steeper angles in my smashes and drops.

Badminton Is A Game Of Speed, Not Strength

My backhand sucks, and my coach and teammates found that out.

We were drilling backhand clears, and I just couldn’t do it. The clears were always inconsistent and to the middle of the court. I didn’t practice this shot enough as I always made it through playing drop shots.

My coach and some of the other players tried to give me some advice on my swing. Stuff about how I should flick my arm faster, hit it higher, etc., but it didn’t click.

Later on in the week, I went to have a mini private lesson with a friend of my grandparents.

She was a gym teacher in her 40s who used to play badminton competitively and was kind enough to give me a few tips and pointers on badminton and feed me a few shots.

At the gym, I asked to practice my backhand clear. After a few swings, I was still frustrated at my backhand clear.

Luckily, one of the coaches for Changsha’s top school team was there, and my teacher asked him to give me some pointers.

I went through a whole reform on my swing starting from the beginning. The coach taught me Taufik Hidayat’s backhand form, and currently, I’m still practicing it.

The new form has undoubtedly made my backhand drops cleaner. Now I’m focusing on improving my clears.

Here are a few backhand drills that you could try as well: Badminton Backhand Drills – Improve Your Backhand

The coach that taught me a new backhand form said two essential things.

  1. Badminton is a game of speed, not strength.
  2. Playing a backhand shot should feel super relaxed.

Sometimes, my clears and smashes on both my forehand and backhand suck.

I can distinctively remember some jump smashes.

I would tense every muscle in my body up, jump up, and swing as hard as I could. I either end up smashing into the ground or producing a shot that my opponent easily deflects.

Either way, it was not a good fate for me.

I couldn’t produce as much power as I wanted to, especially in a climate where it’s much more humid, and shuttles fly a lot slower than here in Canada.

After getting a few pointers for my backhand shot, I learned that the two tips I listed above applies to everything.

If I wanted a huge power smash or effortless clears, I needed to be relaxed and focused on hitting the shuttle fast instead of focusing on using as much force as possible.

The Art Of Slice Drop Shots

Chinese players love to slice. Nobody plays drop shots by slowing their swing down. Everybody just slices the shuttle.

I should practice my drop shots a lot more. When I went to China, my drop shots were pretty horrible.

Either I hit it into the net or I hit a drop shot that was way too high and slow, allowing my opponent to net kill. Another problem was my aim. It seemed like I was always hitting the shuttle to the middle.

Thus, my coach got me to practice slicing the shuttle for more drop shots.

In the beginning, it was quite challenging to get the hang of it. Things were worse than before.

Slicing requires a ton of practice. You have to slice it just enough at a certain angle to produce your desired shot. Otherwise, they fly out of the sidelines, or there’s not enough power to get the shuttle past the net.

Over time, I got better. My slice drop shots still aren’t as good as I would like them to be, but things are improving.



The most noticeable difference between a slice drop shot and a regular drop shot is how deceptive you become. After a bit of practice, my cross-court slice drops from the forehand side has gotten really good.

I’ve been getting nearly half of my points in all matches from my forehand slice drop consistently.

What makes a slice drop so powerful is because you’re swinging your racket at the same speed as a smash or clear. Opponents often anticipate a smash or clear and start moving back, not realizing that you’re playing a drop shot.

Then it’s too late, and your opponent is either forced into a bad situation or loses the point.

You can still produce the same deceptive results with a regular drop shot, but it’s not nearly as comfortable.

Regular drop shots are created with the same swing as a smash except slowing down last second before hitting the shuttle to create a slower shot.

The slowing down last-second part is challenging to accomplish. Most players will start their swing slow. While you can still produce good quality drop shots, your opponent can see you swing slowly and will expect a drop shot.

If you start your swing fast, you might not be able to slow down as fast, so you’ll end up playing a half-smash or full smash, which is entirely different from a drop shot.

With a slice drop shot, it’s much easier to be deceptive because you’re swinging your racket at the same speeds as all other shots. It makes it a lot more difficult for the opponent to react.

Here are some drills you can do as well to practice your drop shot: Badminton Drop Shot Drills

The Aggressive Flat Badminton Playstyle

In addition to slice drop shots, I also noticed that Chinese players love to play flat and aggressive in singles. It’s completely different from the slower-paced rallies that I’m used to.

We were doing attack and defense drills, and I was quite surprised when I was supposed to be attacking. It didn’t feel like I was attacking because all the lifts were so flat and fast, I almost always had to play defensively.

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Again, over time, I got used to it.

It caused me to become a more explosive player. On the court, I had to be able to jump up and smash down flat lifts instantly, or else they would become too low, and I’d be forced into playing a clear or drop.

On the defense, I had to react to a lot more drives. I would lift, then my opponent would smash. Then I would block, and my opponent would drive it at me.

When I played a few games against other people, they regularly made flat pushes towards my forehand and backhand. To match their aggressiveness, I needed to be a lot faster and learn how to force these pushes to my advantage.

I had also subconsciously adapted parts of the Chinese aggressive badminton playstyle.

When I came back to my old club, I was able to severely pressure some of the players I was playing against and won a lot of points by pressuring players to the back with flat pushes.

I’ve also started driving at players more often. This increase in pace was too much for many of the players I faced. The only problem was that it sapped a lot of energy for me as well.

Time to do a ton of endurance training!



Conclusion – What I Learned Playing Badminton In China

These were some of the key takeaways from China. For a quick recap, here are quick summaries for what I learned.

  1. Do tons of shadow movements focusing on wrist and forearm movements in an overhead swing to create steeper angles.
  2. Be relaxed. Stop trying to swing so hard and think of swinging fast instead to generate power.
  3. Use a slice on my drop shots to become more deceptive on the court.
  4. Up my pace and play flat pushes and drives to create extra pressure on my opponent.

I hope you can also take away a few new learnings and try some of the things I talked about today in your game. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below.

Good luck in your games and have a great day!

badminton training program in china

Badminton Training Program In China (An In-Depth Guide)

Hey, fellow badminton player, it’s been a long time since I last posted here on Get Good At Badminton. I actually took a trip to Changsha, Hunan. I had the opportunity to experience a badminton training program in China for three weeks. Now that I’m back in Canada, it’s time for me to share what I learned in China and give you an in-depth training guide to help you get good at badminton.

Badminton training in China was tough, really tough. I was training with a bunch of high school students, and it was completely different from what high school students do in Canada.

We were basically training like full-time professional badminton players even though the group I trained with was nowhere near the Chinese national level.

Here’s our weekly and daily schedule.

Badminton Training Program General Structure

In China, we trained five days a week with two 2-hour sessions every day, except for Thursday. Here’s what it generally looked like:

Monday:

  • 9:00-11:00 Badminton Training On Court
  • 3:00-5:00 Weight Training And Conditioning

Tuesday:

  • 9:00-11:00 Badminton Training On Court
  • 3:00-5:00 Badminton Training On Court

Wednesday:

  • 9:00-11:00 Badminton Training On Court
  • 3:00-5:00 Weight Training And Conditioning

Thursday:

  • 9:00-11:00 Badminton Training On Court
  • 3:00-5:00 Rest

Friday:

  • 9:00-11:00 Badminton Training On Court
  • 3:00-5:00 Weight Training And Conditioning

Every morning and Tuesday afternoons, we spent our time on the court doing badminton drills. This involved things like multi-feed drills aimed at improving our consistency, quality of our shots, and game sense. I will go deeper into what exercises we actually did in the next section.

In the afternoons, except Tuesday and Thursday, we did weight training and conditioning. These sessions were aimed at building endurance and strength, which is why none of the top players in my group looked like high school students and, instead, looked like pro athletes.

For most people, the time between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM was spent by eating lunch and then napping. This is how players in my group replenish their energy and recover despite training every day.

Unfortunately, the home I stayed at was way too far from the place I trained, so I often spent together mall in changsha hunan

time browsing the mall or taking short naps on random benches and seats. I was always a little tired before each weight training and conditioning session.

Training like this had tremendous results, though. My quality of shot, consistency, and stamina all improved tremendously.

When I came back to Canada and trained at my usual club, I was noticeably more explosive on the court and played with a lot more speed and power.

You can receive these benefits too… without spending a few thousand dollars to go train in a foreign country because I’m going to share all the drills and exercises I did in China here in this blog post.

Badminton Drills And Exercises

The badminton drills and exercises I did in the Chinese badminton training program were fairly standard. We had various two-on-one, one-on-one, and multi-feed drills that were always designed to improve a particular aspect of play.

Drop Shot And Clearing Drills

I remember going back to the badminton training program in China, the coach focused a lot on drop shots and clears. He was focused on controlling play and pushing people around the court.

We were doing lots of two-on-one and one-on-one drills where players were only allowed to play drop shots, clears, net shots, and lifts. You could play drop shots, clears, and net shots anywhere. However, drive shots, push shots, smashes, and net kills were forbidden.

These drills were particularly tiring because they forced you to play longer rallies and move around more.

There are some variations of this drill as well. Sometimes, one person was not allowed to drop, which allowed him to be pressured more as longer rallies are forced.

Other times, one player was only allowed to drop allowing him to develop his drop shot better. Sometimes there were patterns built in to build anticipation skills correctly.

Generally, these drills were timed. Usually, each player will play for 10-minutes.

Two-On-One Attack Defense Drill

I talked about this drill a few times in the GGAB Fitness Training Regime across several days.

This drill is when one player can either play any shot or is limited on what he can play, depending on whether he’s practicing attack or defense.

Let’s look at attack first.

When the one player is practicing attack, he can play any shot. The two defenders, however, cannot play push shots, smashes, or net kills.

When the one player is practicing defense, the exact opposite happens. He cannot play push shots, smashes, or net kills, but the two players can play anything.

We did this drill a few times. It’s really good at developing your game sense.

This one was the same as the drop shot and clearing drills where we practiced about 10-minutes for each person.



Multi Shuttle Feeding Drills

We did lots of multi shuttle feeding drills in our badminton training program in China. To do these drills, you will have someone hitting or throwing shuttles to various locations. At the same time, the player on the other side will respond depending on the drill. There were different kinds of drills we did which I will list down here:

  • Random
  • Defense
  • Smash Net Kill
  • Net Shots

Let’s start with the random multi shuttle feeding drill.

 Random Multi Shuttle Feeding Drills

Like the name suggests, both the feeder and worker will hit shuttles entirely randomly. This builds reaction time and footwork speed.

Both the feeder and worker should do their best to replicate a real game situation through the drills. Keep things fast-paced, but not to the point where the worker can’t handle it.

In China, we did 1 set of 40, 1 set of 60, and then 1 set of 80 if we were focusing on building stamina or 3 sets of 20 to replicate a real game rally.

 Defense Multi Shuttle Drill

One of the drills I had never experienced before China was a drill that specifically trained defensive court movements.

This drill consists of the feeder standing on the same side as the worker tossing shuttles in various locations and the worker responding. These tosses will imitate drops, smashes, and push shots forcing the worker to get low and move fast like they’re playing defense.

Generally, we did 5 sets of 20 for this drill.

 Smash Net Kill Drill

Again, as the name suggests, this drill is focused on improving your smash and net kill. It also enhances your attacking footwork as in a game, after a smash, you will often be moving towards the front of the court.

With this drill, the feeder will hit the shuttle to the back and then hit it to the front after the worker smashes. Then repeat.

This is what the worker should be doing: Smash, net kill, smash, net kill, smash, net kill, smash, net kill, etc.

Again, 5 sets of 20 for this drill was what we did.

 Net Shot Drill

When we are close to the end of our sessions, we always like to do a little bit of cooldown drills, such as playing net shots. This drill is effortless to do.

The feeder will stand on one side of the net and throw shuttles over like a net shot or drop, and the worker will play a net shot back. It’s about practicing racket control and improving the quality of your net shots.

Players can also improve other shots at the net as well, like cross-court net shots, lifts, and flicks. It’s entirely up to you. There are no harsh restrictions. Thus, there isn’t really a set amount that you should do either.

Playing Badminton Games Drill

Occasionally, we also get drills where we are allowed to perform any type of shot at any time. The exercise is basically, “Play a regular match without the points.”

In a way, it’s not really a drill, but I’m just going to include it here as it’s not exactly the same as formal matches. For these drills, it’s the same as the two-on-one drills. Do them for about ten minutes per person.



Weight Training Like A Pro

The thing that differs high school badminton in China from high school badminton in Canada is weight training and conditioning. Before experiencing my badminton training program in China, I had hardly ever lifted weights before.

Most of the time, there wasn’t a disciplined workout. We were left to whatever we felt like doing. Here are some weight training exercises that we commonly did:

  • Bench press
  • Overhead press
  • Bentover row
  • One arm row
  • Bicep curls
  • Squats with kettleball
  • Squat jumps with kettleball
  • Calf raises with weights
  • Lunges with weights
  • One leg lunges
  • Wall sits
  • Crunches with weights
  • Wrist curls
  • Arm flicks
  • Core rotations
  • Leg extensions

Usually, we did whatever we felt like. Everyone is a little different and adjusted depending on what and how much they could do.

There was one day where we had a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session with weights. Try it if you’re up to the challenge. Don’t get hurt, though!

HIIT Weight Training

One day, one of our coaches prepared various stations in which we took a place in. At each station, there was a different exercise. We start at any station and do the exercise for 25 seconds as fast as we can and then rotate. Then we do the next exercise for 25 seconds and keep rotating until we come back to the station we started at. Then after a 1-minute break, do another rotation. Do this 8 times.

Here are the exercises:

  • Overhead press (5 kg on each side)
  • Bicep curl (7.5 kg on each side)
  • Crunches with weights (7.5 kg)
  • Arm flicks (7.5 kg)
  • Leg extension (40 kg)
  • Core rotation (7.5 kg)
  • Squat jumps with kettleball (30 kg)

It’s incredibly tiring. My left arm was rendered completely useless for three days after doing this. The key is to go as fast as you can for each exercise and strictly maintain the breaks at 1-minute.

Badminton Conditioning In China

Weight training usually lasted for 1 hour. For the last hour left in our training sessions, we ran.

It often varied depending on the coach and the day. For example, on the day that we did HIIT weight training, our coach only had us run 4 laps of 200 meters.

Since it was never the same and often changed around, I will give you a few examples that you could try.

  1. 1 lap of 400m, 1 lap of 800m, 1 lap of 1200m, 1 lap of 1600m, 1 lap of 2000m
  2. 1 lap of 6000m
  3. 45-minute timed run

The first example is the hardest run. Each run will force you to change your pace while the other two examples are super easy once you find your own pace. I highly recommend giving the first example a try.

Now You Have The Badminton Training Program, Execute

I gave you a whole Chinese training regime that cost me over $2,000 for free. You know precisely what you have to do to get good at badminton. The question is, “Will you do it?”

I hope you enjoyed today’s article on a badminton training program in china. If you have any questions or comments, make sure you leave them down below! As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!