How to be faster in badminton?
How to be faster in badminton?
To be a fantastic player you need to be able to cover the court efficiently and quickly. You need to be able to do this by containing as much energy as you can whilst being fast. This is what loads of players can’t master and get frustrated.
Learning how to increase speed in the badminton court will give you a massive advantage in gameplay. You can reach the shuttle in the fastest and most efficient way, saving you energy. But if you are slow, you will have delayed reaction. This will lead to your next shot also getting delayed and so on. Because you are struggling to receive the shuttle, you will spend more energy. Now, do you see how important being fast is?
To get past this barrier there are a few main areas you need to cover.
This is one of the most important parts of being fast on the court. The basic principle of footwork is to give players an effective way to move to different parts of the court. In the end, there is a specific way to moving to receive a particular kind of shot.
Many beginners and intermediate players fail to improve because they have weak footwork. Some believe that their strokes like smashing are more important than footwork. But that is not true. In fact, footwork is just as important as strokes. You will be surprised by how your footwork can make you a lot faster in the court.
There are many footwork, the basic and the advanced. These are some of the basic footwork that every player should know:
ALWAYS move towards the center of the court after every shot.
The center is the fastest way to move to the 6 corners of the badminton court. Failure to move back after every shot will most likely result in you losing the point.
If your opponent hits the shot to the front…
Take two small quick steps towards the shuttle and at the last step, bend forward and take one big step, with your racket foot in front. Your knee should not be in front of your foot, or you will easily lose balance.
If your opponent smashes to your both sides…
Shuffle two steps quickly to the side. Bend forward sideways and take one big step towards the shuttle, with your racket foot in front. Then, hit the shot. Try not to hit the shot before your racket foot lands, or you might not be fast enough to receive the next shot.
If your opponent clears the shuttle to your backcourt…
Move your racket foot back and take two small quick steps. Then, jump back and hit the shuttle. Your racket foot must be in front after you hit the shuttle. Receiving a clear to the backhand side can be a challenge if you have unstable footwork. This is why you should practice your footwork.
Do you know why your racket foot should be in front? That’s because you will find it easier to extend your body out to the shot and increasing your power as you can get your arm further out your body.
(For beginner players, a clear to the backhand of your opponent can even become a killing shot!)
Of course, there is some more footwork that are for advanced players. But they will be covered in another post.
Being balanced is an important part of badminton. Many beginner players do not know how to balance themselves when moving towards and hitting the shuttle. When the next shuttle comes back to them, they start struggling and often end up losing the point.
But why does balance play such an important role? Because it enables you to go back to the center faster. Like I said, being at the center after every shot is the fastest way to reach the 4 corners. But how do I keep balance?
90% of it is with your upper body, so this is where your core comes into it! You need to make sure you’re moving your legs out to the shot, not your upper body, or else your whole body will fall and make you unstable. An easy way to achieve this is by not looking downwards at any time. You need to keep the white tape of the net in your line of vision. If you don’t, going into the shot your back will arch over, causing your body to be unstable. It decides whether you win or lose the game. Please read the basic footwork above if you have not done so. Remember to practice them when you play with your friends.
Use Wider Steps
Instead of doing 4 steps to any shot on the court you should be able to do only 2 strides from the center of the court. By making your steps bigger you will have a lower sense of gravity making you more stable and increases your pushing power into the shot.
This doesn’t only help you move out to the shot, this will also push you back into the court quicker after playing the shot.
Wide stance (split step)
Before moving out to your destination, you won’t have maximum drive unless you apply a split step. So what is split step? After the shot has been hit by the opponent you can now position your feet to where the shot is going. To do this, you create a small jump off the floor to reposition your feet whilst in the air. Once your feet are in position, this creates maximum push out to the shot. For a split step to happen you need to make sure your legs are “loaded”. You need to bend your knees before your split so you can bounce in an upwards direction to create the split. Example: You need to load a gun to fire a bullet. If you don’t load it every time you won’t be able to fire.
These are the 4 most important parts of increasing your speed in the court. Do remember to use all of them together. You can use all the 4 of the techniques to receive a shot. For example, your opponent did a drop to the front. You will do a split step and move to the shuttle with your footwork, all the while maintaining balance. Use wider steps to move there quicker.