Keeping Balance in Badminton
Keeping Balance in Badminton
Learning how to keep balanced is crucial in badminton. When players have difficulty balancing themselves, they will struggle when the shuttle comes back to them. Often, they end up losing the point, or doing an extremely weak shot. Losing balance is a problem that beginners often face. Learning the tips I will tell you will give you an edge during a game.
But does keeping balance really matter? Yes, it does. It allows you to go back to the center faster after hitting the shot. By now, you should know the importance of going back to the center. It allows you to reach all 6 corners (front, side, back) as quick as possible. If you watch professional badminton, they ALWAYS go back to the center. But the problem is: How do you 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.” ( - Philip Adams)
Another very common method of keeping balance is through good footwork. The reason why the footwork is invented is to enable players to move to all 6 corners of the court effectively. By effectively, I also mean keeping balance for the next shot. If you have practiced footwork before, you will realise how stable the footwork is. Its main purpose is to maintain your balance. Not knowing footwork is a common reason why beginners stumble at difficult shots. This is how important footwork is.
Most people think that footwork is the main source of power in a shot, this is not true. Your footwork is there to push you towards the shot and keep your body stable when landing. The faster you are moving to a shot the wider the lunge (so your body doesn’t fall).
Making use of non-racket arm
This is another common practice to maintain balance is raising the non racket arm when hitting the shuttle. Some beginners and intermediate players believe that the non-racket arm is sort of useless, because it doesn’t hold the racket. But this is not true at all. The non-racket arm can be used to your advantage.
Keeping your non racket arm out keeps your upper body central, so you can stop your body quicker after the shot is complete.
When you raise your racket arm to hit the shuttle, your body is sort of unbalanced. To solve this problem, raise your non racket arm to balance it out. Here are some videos I found that will help you understand how to utilize your non-racket arm:
How to use your non-racket arm:
Please watch the video closely to look at his movement. Try to replicate him during your gameplay.
Balancing when receiving smash
Receiving smashes are difficult. And remaining balanced after a shot is even harder. In this video, you will see how you should defend, while using your non-racket arm to balance.
Please note that the the player in the video is defending a slower smash, which makes it easier for the opponent to defend. It is much harder than in the video. To receive smashes on both sides, use your footwork, while doing the non-racket arm action in the video.
If you are receiving a very fast smash, your non racket hand (and racket hand) could be used to push you off from the floor to return back to the centre to regain your balance. In these certain situations your hands are used to your body from falling onto the floor. This is a great technique to use if your upper body is strained to receive a fast smash.
This technique can be also used if your legs are not going to reach the shot in time, smash or any other shot!
Balancing when doing a net shot
(Watch 3:03 to 3:39)
This video is actually used to teach players how to do a net shot. But I want you to see how he raises his non-racket arm when doing a net. It keeps the player balanced and allows him to return to the center quickly.
Doing a clear and smash
When your opponent gives a very difficult shot to the back, you are usually forced to jump back and clear the shuttle. This is sometimes very tricky and requires lots of practice, especially the landing after the jump.
There are many players who know how to jump back and clear the shot, but are often unable to receive the opponent’s returning shuttle. This is because when they land, they are leaning backwards. Leaning backwards will cause them to lose balance. Even if they do not, players will be unable to return to the center fast enough.
Thus, the correct way of doing those clears, so LEANING FORWARD when landing. This will allow you to return to the center quicker.
This technique can also be used a player pushes the shot past you at a fast speed! The player is wanting you to make an error by moving too fast into the shot and creating an easy smash for themselves. How to achieve this movement: first step is to make sure you are in the right position and to land your racket foot behind you. Next step is to move your non racket arm out of your body and to stretch it out. Once balanced, then you can connect with the shot. See in image:
More on Balancing for badminton (from Badminton coach) Philip Adams, a badminton coach from UK, made a video on keeping balance. You need to do the exercise with your friend. Click to check out his youtube channel.
That is all for maintaining balance. I hope you are will take my advice and practice them during your next game. I know that some of the techniques here takes lots of time and effort, but learning how to do it will make you even more competitive. The reason why I included this many videos, is to give you a clearer idea of what I want to say.