Despite being a newbie at badminton, I often get criticized by friends and playmates alike for intellectualizing badminton training and game plays. The so called scientific method of training and game is low on the average player’s priority simply because they do not know what are its benefits and how it affects their kind of play. The lack of coaches for the common player also contribute to the slow improvement of some players despite being in the court for more than a decade. And we are not talking yet of the injuries incurred from improper training.
To top it all, the continuous surge of badminton popularity has brought in thousands of reading materials– from instructional videos to picture books, that the average player do not have enough time reading in his entire playing career! Hence, we resort to just the usual play we do day in and day out-whack shuttle cocks, pull a trick shot and deluge ourselves to winning games when in fact on the over all, our progress is so small. I am guilty of this delusion too. Often, at the expense of loosing much needed energy (and time) for my regular daily routine.
So I decided to formulate a general strategy to group and evaluate my so called badminton play. I’m no expert in this but I have yet to find a coach here in my place. So I have to “strategize” on my own for now. These strategies are generally for game plays and are intended for the average players. Of course I cannot over emphasize the importance of the basic skills and footwork in badminton but they will be tackled in my future articles.
Here it is:
Staying Alive: The very first and last form of defensive strategy vital for staying in the game. All skills and training like returning a smash to the other side of the court, is aimed at being in the game for as long as it takes.. Your main goal is to not let the shuttle cock die inside your court.
Staying out of trouble: Neutralize a smash and bring it to an area where your opponents couldn’t mount an attack. The important thing is you know you’re in trouble and you should make a way to get out of it as soon as possible.
Getting on the attack: Lets face it, winning in badminton usually mean a successful attack play, especially in doubles games. It is actually a transition from staying out of trouble in a game and changing the momentum to your side by pushing your proponents to be in the defensive position.This explains why a drop shot return of a powerful smash from an opponent is all too deceptive. Your opponent is forced to lift the bird and thus you go to your next strategy. Which is,
Preparing for an attack: Setting up for an attack is one of the more important but less practiced strategy in badminton. Pushing your opponents to lift the shuttle or do mid court clears for an easy attack is all that is needed. It is here also that you push your opponents to commit mistakes on the net and do net play. Here you can at times, do high clear, deep into the baseline or make several drop shots until you get the desired attack shot.
Making the attack: Timing and shot selection is all that matters. For highly skilled opponents, a powerful smash is nothing , if delivered to where his areas of strength are. On the other hand, a drop shot can be as lethal if performed deceptively. If you have been succesful in deceptively putting your opponents in a defensive postion, choosing and making a successful kill will be easier.
And the cycle goes on. Sometimes, the smooth transition from one strategy to another will determine how fluid you are with your game and thus the success of your game play.
Intellectualizing your play, is not bad after all.
(Author’s Note: All picture taken from Badminton Central forum.Thank you very much!)