Badminton lessons from Tucson Parks and Recreation

Tucson Parks and Recreation are offering badminton lessons for next year, for all skill levels in a group environment. It is a good way to practice some drills and get a few tips.

The format follows this style; 1 hour of drills and the last hour is used to play some matches to practice what has been taught. For people who can’t make it to play in the open play morning times during the week, this could be a good way to play some badminton after work during the week and meet some likeminded people.

The times, location and dates of the classes available can be seen in the image below. Click on this link to enroll or call this number: 520 573-EZEE (3933)

Are You Serving Short In Badminton To Win A Point or To Start A Rally?

Here’s an interesting article on the importance of the serve, taken from: Paul Stewart

I’ve often talked about the short serve in badminton being the most neglected part of the game. It’s an area professional badminton players take very seriously and spend hours working on every week.

So why is it that club and league standard players spend no time at all on this critical part of the game? Why do players in clubs fail to understand the tactical importance of the short serve in badminton?

It baffled me for a while and then I truly understood the answer! You see, the short serve in badminton isn’t exciting like a smash, it’s not a full-on action shot where glory is showered on the player who serves brilliantly in a game.

Or have we all got it so wrong and missed the point?

How often have you walked off court, losing a match and then complained that your partner’s serve was rubbish “they just couldn’t get the shuttle over the net or in the court.” Or worse, every time they serve, your opponent buried it! You’ll then admit that you can’t win, if you can’t serve.

And you’d be absolutely right.

We’ve all said this quote at some time or other, whether we’re blaming our partner or ourselves. So now we’ve agreed how critically important it is to serve well, shouldn’t we at least acknowledge a player who consistently served tight in a game?

In my opinion, this player should be seen in the same light as the player with the big smash. After all, they are consistently delivering a tight serve in the most tense period of the game, when literally the match could depend on their skill to keep the shuttle low and in the court. At 20-20, you have to agree that the serve is the biggest pressure shot in the game, especially when serving to a player who is ready to pounce on anything remotely loose.

In this scenario, the serve has got to be the most exciting, the most nerve-wracking shot to deliver because it can be a game winner, a match winner, or even a tournament winner! In my book, that beats the big smash and demonstrates a high degree of skill.

So why do we still choose to dismiss its importance?

I think the key here is finding ways to practice the serve that give it an edge, a higher level of importance and severe consequences if you fail to get it right.

Here’s a couple of technical practice ideas and one tactical practice idea for you…

1)      Target serving – get your team take part and split them into 2 teams playing against each other. Each player has to serve to a designated target (e.g. a tube or shuttles or empty box) placed near the T. Each player has 6 shuttles and count how many they get in the box. The losing team buys the drinks or some other forfeit you decide on.

2)      In your teams again – one is the attacking team, and the other the serving team. Choose one player from each team to go on court. You have 6 shuttles. Server serves from right court and must serve low serves. They can serve to anywhere along the service line but they are not allowed to flick serve. The attacking player can toe the service line. The attacking player wins a point if they can pounce on the serve and put it on the floor or the serve is out. The server wins a point when the player fails to return the serve over the net, misses it completely and it lands in and if they fail to bury the shuttle for a winner. Returns to the net or a push score points to the server. Again, have a forfeit for the losing team. Reverse the roles so each team has a go at serving and receiving.

3)      To improve your tactical awareness, work together to watch for weaknesses in a player. Work in pairs. Your teammate is the guinea pig here. They need to create 6 different scenarios which could lead to potential weakness e.g. receive on non-racket leg, racket too low (don’t make it too obvious), racket slightly wide to the right, forehand grip to name a few. Ask the server serve tactically this time. Once the serve has been struck, ask what they noticed and what they changed. If your teammate didn’t know the answer, try again. If they still don’t know, show them.

You’ve now been given three practices, two to help you improve your serve from a technical viewpoint and the final exercise from a tactical view.

If you work on these exercises on a frequent basis, then you will soon notice a huge difference in the results you are getting. Your serves will be significantly better which will lead to an improvement in confidence. Because you are now serving tactically, you’ll also recognise that you have changed and are serving to win a point and not to begin a rally.

free quality badminton training videos

badzi’m sure many of you have scoured the internet for tips on badminton instructional videos. there are many out there and some differ. a friend of mine, known to the professional badminton community as “ai-yoh” recently pointed me to an excellent badminton training website.

This site features the following videos with subtitles where appropriate from these masters:

Coach Peter Rasmussen was the 1997 Badminton World Champion in Men’s Singles.
Coach Zhao Jianhua, nicknamed the Badminton King, is the former 1991 World Champion.
Coach Xiao Jie, nicknamed the Badminton Professor, is an actual professor teaching at the Capital Institute of Physical Education university in Beijing, China.
Coach Chen Weihua was a former coach of the popular world and olympic champion, Lin Dan.

Doubles Tactics

 

With the University of Arizona SmashCats Badminton Doubles tournament coming up this Saturday March 24, here are a few tactics which were posted on BadmintonDoubles.com

There are many incorrect badminton techniques and bad habits which beginners pick up, and which lead to mistakes and errors, which have a tendency to surface when you’re under pressure.

Like all bad habits, while its easy to pick them up, it’s very hard to shake them off, so try and cut them out of your friendly games now…so that when you want to play well, they don’t trip you up!

So here they are – 5 bad habits and mistakes which are common in badminton doubles, and how to correct them.

1. Hitting cross-court too much

Hitting cross-court often seems like a good idea, but is often a foolish badminton tactic, especially if you catch your partner by surprise with your shot.  Beginners invariably hit too many cross-court shots.  Sure, your opponents may have to move further to get to it.  But the shuttlecock has further to go too – and shuttlecocks slow down a lot towards the end of their flight – so your opponent has more time than you probably realize.

If you hit it cross court and your opponent anticipates well, he’ll usually have open space to hit it straight into – plus your partner will more than likely be caught off-guard.  Particularly risky is the cross-court drop shot when your partner is at the front – he won’t realize where the shuttle is going until the last moment, by which time your opponent will be playing an easy net-shot return  which your partner will be forced to lift.  Also see this article about playing drop-shots to the middle of the court for more reasons why it’s a bad idea to hit cross-court.

Particularly beware of hitting cross-court from your forehand side – as you’re putting it on your opponent forehand and he can hit it straight onto you or your partner’s backhand side, which will immediately put you both under pressure. (Obviously it’s more complicated if left-handed players are involved).

So keep your cross-court shots infrequent – pick your moments carefully, and when you do play them, put them onto your opponent’s backhand.

2. Being too static

Just because your partner’s doing all the work in a rally, it doesn’t mean you should be patiently standing still, waiting for your chance to get involved.  Every time a shot is hit the circumstances change, and you should be adjusting your court position to compensate.

If you’re at the front, shift sideways each time the shuttlecock is hit so you’re covering the main angles of return.  If you’re at the back, you should be somewhere between the center of the court and the hitting opponent’s position.  For more about your positioning, see badminton tactics in doubles – attack and defense.

3. Serving badly

A good low serve is crucial in badminton doubles.  Doubles is an attacking game so good opponents will try to attack your serves, putting you under lots of pressure.  If you regularly serve out, into the net, or so high that your serves are regularly killed, then your opponents will get a lot of free points and it will be almost impossible to win.  One bad serve in a doubles match is almost unavoidable.  Two is forgivable.  More than that is too much – you need to practice!  So the low serve is one of the most important badminton doubles shots.

4. Going for a winner when you’re off-balance

Like tennis, percentage play is important in badminton.  This means not going for a more ambitious shot than necessary.  You should only smash at full power when you’re on balance and you have time to hit it properly.

If you’re moving backwards, hitting on the run, stretching or otherwise improvising, don’t try to win the point outright – hit at reduced strength, push the shuttle down into a space, or to be extra safe lift/clear as high as possible.  If you go for a kill under difficult circumstances, then you’re likely to miss, and even if you don’t, you’ll be very vulnerable to counter attack.

So keep the rally going and wait for a better opportunity to win – even if you’re losing the rally, make your opponent work for the point.  Of all the badminton techniques I’m describing, this is probably the one made most by experienced players – reducing errors in your game is very hard (as I’m all too painfully aware!) and takes a lot of self-discipline, practice and drilling.

5. Bad Footwork

Footwork is key in badminton doubles, and probably the most important of all badminton techniques in singles. If you can start, stop and change direction quickly, and movewith economy, then you will have a big advantage, and will find the rest of the game much easier.

Once you’ve absorbed these principles, try shadow badminton during your warm up – move about on court, imagine the shuttlecock is being played to various corners of the court, and move and swing at them as if you’re really playing.  Concentrate on your movement as you do this. It feels weird but it helps you absorb this technique into your game.

Another great way to understand the right footwork techniques style is to watch the top players in action.

forehand smash technique

I have been practising many shots and noticed that as i try to use these in matches, my forehand smash isn’t as reliable as it used to be. Not so important in singles, but in doubles which is more of a power game, this can be used to create an opening to win the point. I found this video from the good people at Badminton England:

 

warm up

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) has put some interesting stuff on line recently. Here is something I found about how to warm up before a game. This is from the Level 1 Coach Education course material, which is now available online at www.bwfbadminton.org.

This is the first in a series of coach education resources currently being developed by the BWF.

perfectly timed badminton jump smash?

anna rice with some tips on how to perfect your jump smash when playing badminton

deception – hold and hit

This video of Lee Jae Bok is more than just a simple hold and hit. He is actually executing a double deception in this demonstration. He moves in and holds as if he is going to execute a net drop. After a brief hold, he then drops the racket as if he is going to clear (lift or flick) the shuttle deep. Shortly after the racket drop, he then drops his hand (and the handle of his racket) to change the orientation of the racket face in order to hit a net shot cross-court instead.

backhands!

one of the greatest shots to have in the arsenal – just not everyone is equipped. here is a useful tip from a pro: