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March 18, 2020 3 min read

In this blog post, I'd like to discuss something that, in my opinion, is supremely important in badminton. Something that, if you improve this one thing, it will have a ripple effect on so many other parts of your game and inherently improve them also.

Sounds magical, right?

Work on one thing and all of a sudden, your whole gameplay steps up a level! Well, you're probably going to be excited until I tell you what that one thing is...

 

 

 

FOOTWORK!

 

 

HOORAY FOR FOOTWORK!

 

 

 

I've been told that I'm a Nazi about footwork on numerous occasions and it's probably one of the least exciting and most tedious things in the game of badminton. Most people just want to get out there, play some matches, do some jump smashes and trick shots, then go home. 

And because of that, you've provably got the urge to close this page and browse Facebook or YouTube instead but please persist and read on! There's lots of invaluable information below, and on our upcoming post about the ultimate goals for your footwork.

Mastering your badminton footwork can improve and mask a lot of deficiencies in your game from:

  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Speed & agility
  • Power
  • Technique
  • Shot quality
  • Tactics

Let me break it down.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Having footwork that's energy-efficient can allow you to conserve more energy while will retrieving all of the shots, and can somewhat 'cover up' for a lack in  overall fitness. You'll also find that when you train your footwork and it improves over time, your cardiovascular fitness will inherently get better regardless. It's a win-win situation!

Speed & Agility

When your footwork improves, you'll find that you're much faster on the court and more agile to retrieve and hit your shots. When your footwork is correct and natural, your court coverage improves immensely and you'll be able to put more pressure on your opponents because you'll be getting to the shuttle earlier, which will give them less time to recover from their previous shots.

Even if you're not a very fast runner, having good footwork can help to mask a lack of speed.

Power

When your footwork technique improves, you'll also find that it's much easier to jump and use powerful/explosive movements (eg: a jump smash) because the effort that you exert will be directed effectively.

We all know the feeling when you're putting so much effort to hit hard or jump high, but it doesn't pay off because it's misdirected - and often puts us even more out of balance!

Technique

When you practice your footwork correctly, you'll develop your footwork technique. But what you'll also find, is that because your body and feet are moving correctly, you will be able to swing your racket more fluidly and thus your shots/stroke will also improve because badminton is a whole-body sport!

The movements of your upper and lower body complements each other - they're not separate!

Shot Quality

Low and behold, when you can actually get to the shots faster, have more time and take the shuttle earlier, the quality of your shots improve immensely.

To put it into perspective, even if someone had the best technique in the world, they would still find it difficult to play high-quality shots if they're always scrambling and playing their shots low to the ground or in a full-lunge position.

Once you're able to more faster and more efficiently, you'll find that it's so much easier to play shots of higher quality - even if your technique isn't great.

Tactics

Having better footwork allows you more time during points, so that you can use your badminton-smarts to play tactically. If you're always behind the 8-ball, and chasing down all of the shuttles that your opponent plays, it's very hard to think about anything tactically other than "just get the shuttle back"! 

When you become more advanced, you can also change your footwork depending on where you anticipate the shuttle to be coming - so that you can inject speed and set up attacking or winning shots.

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I hope by now that you can understand how footwork can immensely impact on so many aspects of your game. 

But now that you know why you need to improve your footwork, the next question is: "what does good footwork look like"? Click here for the answer!

 

We'd love to hear your opinions, comments, tips 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 source: Search Engine Land
Body image source 1: Badminton Andy
Body image source 2: Life ProviDR
Body image source 3: Getty Images
Body image source 4: China Daily
Body image source 5: Life Across the Net
Jeffrey Tho
Jeffrey Tho

Jeff is an ex-national badminton player who represented Australia twice at the Commonwealth Games, World Championships, All England Championships and multiple Thomas and Sudirman Cups. He currently assists in coaching the Australian National Team and is the co-founder of Volant Wear. Jeff loves badminton and is extremely passionate about helping the world realise and understand how incredible our sport really is.


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