Racket Hand Backcourt Footwork

One of the ways to return a shot to the backcourt is to get into position quickly. For a right handed player receiving a shot to the right backcourt area, the first step is to turn the body in such a way that the torso faces toward the right side of the court and to make a small step with the right foot so that the right leg is positioned toward the area where the shuttle is anticipated to land. After this initial step, the left foot crosses the back/front of the right foot and the whole body begins to move toward the anticipated landing area.

Then, the right foot takes one more step. At this point, depending on where the shuttle is, the player can already hit the shuttle, or, make a smash or jump smash. If the player chooses to already hit the shuttle, the toe should be pointed away from the center of the court (which is the returning position) to enable the player to return quickly. If the player will follow a smashing process instead, the right foot should end up in front of the body pointing toward the center with the left foot behind and slightly stretched, again to enable the player to return quickly.

One of the most important parts of this process is the very first turn. If you do this part correctly, it will be easier for the rest of the process to follow. Also remember that while the process is described as a series of steps, the entire movement should be smooth and continuous.

This type of footwork can be modified to fit the situation. One alternative will be to jump early with the left foot, instead of taking one more step with the right foot. Jumping and hitting the shuttle high is preferred since with this stroke you can make an attacking move, like a smash or a drop. Keep in mind that it is always better to hit the shuttle high, and that the main point of good footwork is to get to the shuttle as quickly as possible to do this.

Play Badminton Like a Pro

Correct Forehand Strokes

The badminton forehand stroke is used most often during a badminton game. In order to play like a professional, perform the correct forehand stroke technique.

After you master this stroke, you can perform many types of shots, such as the badminton clear, drop shot, and smash.

After those shots, you can learn more complex shots, such as the badminton jump smash, attacking clear, and badminton drives.

Maximizing Wrist Action

You might have heard people mention that badminton is ALL ABOUT THE WRIST. Well this is true, but it’s only HALF true.

The power comes from your wrist action AND your swing (badminton stroke).

The KEY to maximise your badminton wrist action is to not grip your racket too tightly. When you are holding your racket too tightly, you are basically tensing your hand muscles, which restrict the movements of your wrist. Therefore you won’t be able to perform a quick flicking wrist action if you hold your racket too tightly.

Body Balance

When you don’t have good balance, it makes it harder to produce more power in your badminton strokes.

When you perform a powerful swing, you will most likely lose balance. Therefore, subconsciously you won’t perform a strong swing since you know you’ll lose balance after your strong swing.

Experienced or good badminton players will always know how to make use of their NON-RACKET ARM (arm that is not holding the racket) to maintain balance at all times.

Stretch out your non-racket arm to counter the weight of your badminton racket and the force of your swing.

Badminton Essentials

Kinds

Over-the shoulder: Over-the-shoulder badminton bags are lightweight and slim, with a long strap slung behind a shoulder. They can normally carry about one or two rackets and have compartments on the straps or outside of the bag for shuttlecocks.

Duffel: Duffel badminton bags, on the other hand, are large tote-like bags that come with compartments to house several rackets. They can carry a maximum of eight rackets and have zippered sections for accessories such as clothes and shoes at the sides. While a badminton bag generally tapers on one end, duffels are different. Some duffel badminton bags are cylindrical or rectangular, much like any regular sports bag.

Buying tips

When it comes to buying a badminton bag, look for one that can fit all your rackets for convenience, with extra room for new ones. Make sure your rackets all fit comfortably into the compartments, with at least an inch of clearance from the walls of the bag to the tips of your rackets. And since you’re looking for convenience, choose a bag that is easy to carry around. If you’re driving, look for a bag that you can quickly secure to your car’s roof or will easily fit in the trunk. Cushioned handles are also a plus because they make it more comfortable for you to carry your bag.

Play Badminton Correctly

You must first decide on what scoring method you will apply in the game. Then you get a coin and toss it in the air to know who will serve first. If you are the server you must position yourself in the right side of the court and will hit the shuttle cock to the left side of your opponent’s court. You must position the shuttle below your hip during the serve.

You just hit the shuttle towards the opposite side and you do it repeatedly until it drops to the ground. You will gain one point if the shuttle cock dropped on your opponent’s court side. You will win the game if you get 21 points. Court switching is mandatory and you will have to win two games to be declared the winner.

You will earn one point each time your opponent dropped the shuttle cock after you hit it. Whoever gets 21 points first will win that specific set. You need to win 2 out of the 3 games so that you will be declared as the winner.

In order for you to win the game you must do some techniques. You can hit the shuttlecock towards the corner of the court for your opponent to have difficulty recovering it. When your opponent hits the shuttle cock, hit the shuttle cock back on his opposite direction and make it forceful and fast. Another thing is you should not make predictable moves.

Badminton is a fun activity and can also keep you fit and healthy. You will need enough time to be an expert in this sport. You will have to practice rigidly to master the sport. Always be patient and be determined. You must not forget to enjoy the game and keep positive thoughts in your mind.

Badminton Rackets and Injuries

I have taken a close look at the research on racquet science, and a few key terms seem to be related to how we acquire injuries directly from playing with certain badminton racquets.

The first term that came up was work. Work is the energy required to produce a certain shuttle speed. It measures the efficiency of the badminton racquet. The more efficient your badminton racket is, the less work you need to put in. So a low work racket is good for you. A high work racquet is bad because you have to put in more work to achieve the same shuttle speed. Think of work as the rackets power.

Another key term is shock, which is the loading of the racquet from a sudden change in kinetic energy. It relates to how much the racket slows down on impact with the shuttlecock. After impact energy is lost, the shuttle gets some of this energy, and the rest is used in bending the frame. If the frame is very stiff, it will not absorb this energy, instead, it will be dumped into your arm. High shock is bad for injuries.

The research has proved that the best type of racquet to use to attain maximum power is one that is heavy with a head light balance. More mass placed close to the handle allows makes it easier to swing. More mass placed at the tip makes it more difficult to swing. Think of how hard it is to swing a sledgehammer, with all that weight placed at one end. Now, if you hold the sledgehammer with the weight placed in your hands, it is much easier to swing.

There are two schools of thought involving weight. Some argue that a light racket will allow you to swing faster, and therefore create more velocity on impact, resulting in faster shuttle speed. The other side of the argument is that a heavy racket will have more mass on impact, despite less swing speed, and this extra weight will create the necessary shuttle speed. However, momentum is what counts in a collision.

The lightweight racket will slow down much quicker after impact, putting more stress on your shoulder. You have to put in more work to get the shuttle speed with light racquets. Faster swing speed means less control. Over time this lightweight racket will demolish your arm compared to a heavier one. The heavy racket will not slow down as much after impact, and so less strain is placed on you.

The modern trend in all racket sports is to have light rackets with a head heavy balance. At first glance it seems this is a good combination to create power. More mass at the top will help the racket to crush through the shuttle on impact. However, more mass at the tip makes it more difficult to swing. Remember the sledgehammer example? It requires more effort on your part, you have to work harder to achieve the same shuttle speed as a heavy, head light racquet. Also, head heavy rackets feel sluggish and slow.

Here is the low down… Head light and heavy is best for performance, and best for avoiding injury.

As an example i have looked at the balance and weight specifications for the most popular badminton manufacturer, Yonex. Not one Yonex model has a head light balance, many of them are head heavy such as the muscle power series, whilst the nanospeed series appears to be slightly head heavy. What makes these rackets even worse for injury is that many of them have stiff frames, which increases vibration.

Carlton Badminton Rackets

The new Carlton range features the Fireblade and Aeroblade series, which recently replaced the old Powerblades and Airblades. The prices range from £80 for the flagship Fireblade Elite, to around £30 for the bottom of the Aeroblade range. A welcome addition to the Carlton range is the isometric head shape. Almost all the range have this alternative, and is comparable to the Yonex rackets. The isometric head offers an increased sweet spot, making off centre shots a little more forgiving, and helping you to gain more consistent power.

The Fireblade range has proved to be a huge success, and is geared towards more advanced players. The Aeroblade rackets are aimed at intermediate players, but in all honesty, if you have good technique, you can use just about any badminton racket and be successful.

In the past, Carlton have had some quality problems, especially where the shaft meets the handle. A little glue usually sorts this out, but really you should not have to do this. You can contact Carlton, and you will get a response. As long as you have not destroyed the racket, you should get a replacement.

Now that Carlton have these new ranges, the old Powerblade and Airblade rackets will slowly be phased out. This provides a great opportunity to save some cash, as these badminton rackets will have big discounts if you look hard enough.

The technology in the most expensive Carlton’s is nanopulse carbon, which can also be seen in many Yonex rackets. Nano technology is the most popular at the moment, until the next generation comes along, which happens every couple of years.

Choose A Badminton Racket

  • Step 1
    First up is frame construction. According to Hart Sports New Zealand, the most affordable types are made from steel but they do come heavy. Lightweight aluminum rackets offer more control while graphite models are the lightest and should give off excellent speed, handling, and control. Experienced players will find graphite rackets fit for them while beginners ought to start with steel or aluminum.
  • Step 2
    Grip size is also an essential element to the game. Make sure your hand fits around the handle of your racquet choice perfectly by trying it out before you make the purchase. Some shops will give you size measurements advice and letting you try different grip sizes of the same racquet. When in doubt, go for a smaller grip size that you think you need. This is because you can simply add overgrips to increase the size overtime if you find the handle too small for comfort.
  • Step 3
    Balance as well as comfort and fit are also of prime importance. Make sure you visit local badminton clubs to try out several racquet brands to see how you and your racquet fit each other.
  • Step 4
    For string tension, new players need relatively low tension ranging from 15 to 22 lbs. This amount of tensions gives in to every strike, giving you more power. More advanced players who already have their wrist-power already developed will like a 22 to 28 lbs. racquet which gives more accuracy and control.
  • Step 5
    PVC-coated steel strings are the strongest type of strings by their responsiveness is sometimes too low for experienced players. Nylon strings are more likely to break but they do have a higher level of response which allows for more control.
  • Step 6
    The shape of the racquet head is also a factor. KK Racket Exchange Company says that isometric heads feature a relatively square shape thereby increasing the racket’s “sweet spot”. Oval heads have a smaller sweet spot but they do pack more power for seasoned players.
  • Step 7
    Finally, match shaft flexibility to your skill level. Stiff shafts provide better performances via control so they are fit for more advanced or professional players. Flexibility adds speed to every swing, creating more power so new players will definitely need more flexibility from their rackets to generate more speed and power while they are still on the learning curve.

Shuttlecock Woes

Ankle Sprains- Although still wanting in detailed statistical studies, some research papers have shown that on an average, ankle sprains constitute more than half of all reported badminton injuries. An ankles sprain can be described as the stretching and or tearing of ligaments and muscles in the ankle. In extreme cases, there may also be damage to tendons, bones and other joint tissues. The resulting bleeding within tissues can cause sudden edema and swelling of the ankle, which in third degree sprains, often takes more than 6 months to heal completely. Ankle sprains are accidental in 99% of the incidences and happen when the player lands on his partner’s foot or on the floor with his own foot turned inwards, outwards or flexed. The extremely quick directional changes required during badminton, often cause the feet to roll over or twist, resulting in a sprained ankle. Fatigue, extra body weight and shoes with more than normal ‘grip’ are frequent contributors to such injuries.

Meniscus Tear- This also goes by the layman-friendly alias ‘Torn Cartilage Knee Injury’ and is as painful as a sprained ankle. During the intricate footwork required during a badminton game, the meniscus or cartilage, which provides a soft cushioning between the thigh and shin bones, sometimes ruptures, causing pain in the joint-line of the knee, swelling and inability to flex the leg completely. This may sometimes also be accompanied by an injured or totally ruptured ligament, which increases the pain factor and healing time. Normally, the swelling and pain settles down easily for most people. However for some sportspersons, the knee can become prone to knee locking or ‘giving way’, in which case, surgery is required.

Muscle Strain- Unexpected movements, such as a sudden overhead smash, may put muscles in various parts of the body under pressure, thereby causing a disruption of fibres in the affected muscle. This can result in pain, swelling, bruising and in extreme case, loss of function. Muscles commonly affected are the hamstring, knee, shoulder and calf, to name a few.

Ocular hurt- A Malaysian study reportedly called badminton the ‘sport which presented the greatest ocular hazard in Malaysia’. Another Canadian study backed up these claims saying that 30-58% of all eye injuries in Canada caused by racquet sports were attributed to badminton. This may seem funny to a layman, since a shuttlecock looks anything but devious, with its lightweight feathery appearance, compared to the heavier balls used in tennis and squash. Although the frequency of eye injuries on an average is more in squash than in badminton, the latter does account for injuries which are greater in severity. This is partly because the bottom round of the shuttlecock fits into the eye orbit and also because of the extremely high speeds achieved during badminton. Badminton is widely considered to be the fastest racquet sport in the world and shuttlecocks have been known to reach speeds of more than 300 km/hour. On 25 September 2009, Malaysia’s Tan Boon Heong set the international smash record of 421 km/hour in the men’s double’s category at the Japan Open 2009. This is 1/3rd the speed of sound at sea level, so one can imagine the effect of a shuttlecock travelling at that speed and hitting one’s eye. It would be painful to say the least.

Fractures- Fractures are fairly rare in badminton, although some have been reported. They normally happen when another player’s racquet hits a player’s arm or leg or if the player himself falls down heavily or if another player missteps and falls/steps on him/her.

Better Badminton

The game known as “Poona” in India travelled to England during the 1860s when British Army officers stationed in the country took an interest in the sport. A newer version of the game suited for the English made an appearance in 1873 at Badminton House, an establishment owned by the Duke of Beaufort. At that time, the activity was referred to as “The Game of Badminton,” until a shortened version of the name (“Badminton”) became the official label.

Over the years, the English still played under the rules of India until 1887 when a standardized set of regulations were shaped at the Bath Badminton Club. In 1893, the first set of guidelines were published, followed by the first official competition in 1899.

The coming years brought a wealth of changes for the sport, including the 1901 switch in indoor and outdoor play and hourglass-shaped courts becoming rectangular.

Badminton Skills and Attributes

Regardless if one participates in a spirited game of badminton arranged in the backyard or seriously trains for Olympic competition, high levels of play demands a reasonable level of fitness that includes aerobic stamina and speed as well as good hand-eye coordination and polished racket skills.

Perfection of different shots, footwork skill and improved reaction time are key attributes to work on.

Improving the Game

One of the best ways to improve an overall badminton game is to engage in half-court singles, using only half of the space of a standard singles court. Participants should follow normal play with scoring to 15.

A keener sense of anticipation and concentration enhances defensive awareness. The art of deception also comes into play in badminton, as body momentum and timing can be the difference between a victorious and unsuccessful rally.

Learning how to place the feet and body into the correct position where the best follow-through can be accomplished is vital.

There are of course the many benefits that come from developing such mental and physical strategies as, for example, a positive attitude and overall body condition.

Glow in the Dark Badminton

I can’t wait to play it at night myself because it looks so cool. Of course, you have to make sure your eyes had adjusted before you start playing, and it might take a few games to get the hang of, but eventually I believe you could master the sport, and learn quite a bit about your badminton tactics and your personal style by doing this. Not only that, but since you are playing in the dark all the distractions are gone, so you can give it your full attention. And you wouldn’t be able to tell whom you are playing with, which brings up another good point.

As you probably realize there are now badminton robots, and if you played in the dark with a robot, you might forget that you are playing against a machine, and you could play until your heart’s content, for hours on end without the robot getting tired. What an awesome workout, just imagine the amount of calories you could burn off, the weight you could lose, and the agility you could attain. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.