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Have you tried all of the tips from Part 1 of Ways to Improve your Game? Let the Volant Community know how you went and which were beneficial to you!
Here are 5 more ways to improve your all-round badminton game. If you haven't read Part 1 or need a refresher, click here.
6. Footwork is king
You could have the best technique, the biggest smash and the most deceptive shots on the court, but that won’t matter if you can't get to shuttle in time!
Remember that great shots often are preceded by great preparation and positioning. It is much easier to play a shot well when you are striking the shuttle in a good position, compared to a poor position.
So as your footwork improves, you will find that even your shots will improve also. Additionally, it will make your efficiency around the court better – so you can play at a higher level and speed for a longer time, without getting as tired.
When practicing footwork, make it smooth, rhythmic and dance-like. It should be subtle and swift, like a cat – not loud and interrupted like an elephant. Lee Chong Wei doesn’t have the best defensive game in the world by imitating the movements of an elephant!
7. Choose your shots wisely
This may seem very simple but something that many players need to be reminded of is the fact that you cannot always win the point in one shot.
As you improve, and you play against better opponents, it becomes increasingly difficult to win rallies quickly. This means that shot selection is very important.
Although it would be great to have the opportunity to smash and attack all of the time, you need to be disciplined in waiting for the right opportunities to attack and finish the point.
So look to create opportunities to finish the point, before going for the winning shot. Hitting every shuttle as hard as you can is often not the way one would win matches, especially if their opponents are of a high level.
8. Win the mental game as well as the physical game
Running around the court and retrieving the shuttle may be great for your health but fitness can only take you so far!
Badminton is a strategic game. You will find that if you start increasing the use of your mind on the court, your badminton ability will take on a whole new level.
Whilst your actual physical conditioning and playing ability may be the same or similar to the opponent on the other side, being able to tactically out-play them could be the difference between victory and defeat.
There are many different tactics and strategies out there – many of which need to be tailored to your strengths and weaknesses, and also your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses.
Tactical skills aren’t something that you can pick up overnight, so talk to a coach about it, and the next time you are watching a badminton match, study it and observe what they are doing - rather than just watching, point by point.
Image: Peter Gade's mental and tactical skills were invaluable in his results.
9. Divide the match up in sections of points
It is difficult to concentrate and stick to a game plan for 21 points in a row, which is the minimum number of rallies that you need to play to win a set. So try dividing the points up into sections, to keep concentration levels high.
An example of this is a 3-point split. This means that every three points, you remind yourself of your game plan and trigger yourself to “reset”. This is especially important if you have just lost 3 points in a row.
In tip number 4, we talked about the importance of momentum in creating power in our shots. Mental momentum is also very important.
Resetting your thought process and reminding yourself to focus on the game plan is one of the best ways to break any negative thoughts you may be having on the court, and to interrupt your opponent’s mental momentum.
You may want to have 5-point splits instead, but we wouldn’t recommend any split over 10 points. Remember, smaller bites are easier to manage and digest – and, prevent you from choking!
10. Keep it simple
There is a strong deceptive component to badminton, and it is extremely tempting to attempt all of best trick shots that you've seen your favourite player use in a tournament. Whilst deception is important, make sure you stick to the basics, first!
There is an important Indonesian mantra that is often used at training. And as we all know, Indonesia is a very strong badminton nation. The saying is “masuk dulu”, which means “in first”. Get the point? The shuttle needs to be hit over the net and inside the lines of the court for you to win the point. So get it in first!
When you have practiced your basic shots well enough, then you can have some fun with trick shots. Keep it simple first. Then get creative!
We'd love to hear your comments, suggestions, trips and tricks so please feel free to comment below. If you would like us to write about something in particular, please let us know!
Main image and body image source: Youtube
Last year in August, I was lucky enough to travel to Basel, Switzerland to coach the Australian Team at the 2019 World Championships.
Being a former player that has competed at such tournaments such as the World Championships, I found that the experience was vastly different as a coach compared to an athlete.