Knowing where to place the shuttle and trying to anticipate your opponent’s next move, will always put you one step ahead.
A lot of that is also dependant on where you have played a certain shot.
Keeping your opponent under pressure by anticipating his next move is the kind of tactic a good player will utilise. This definitely needs practice and understanding of how to formulate rallies during the match.
Before playing a match whether friendly or competitive, a well-prepared player will be sitting down and prepare mentally. What is meant by this is, it is important to visualise in your mind various match scenarios and see yourself playing a particular shot and where it should be played.
This gives you a chance to visualise the various options your opponent has and what will be his best stroke option in that situation.
This will help you in analysing your options, seeing how and when to play what stroke which will put your opponent in difficulty.
For instance, a rally is going on, a toss has been made to you on your forehand side; you need to think and visualise what is the best option for you and where would you like the shuttle to land to put your opponent in difficulty.
In this scenario, you have either, toss it back, play a sharp drop and if the toss is weak, you can attempt to smash too.
Visualising where you want the return to go will determine the stroke you chose.
Hence it is very important to think and see in your mind what the best placement option will be.
Watching videos of experts playing will give you a great idea as to how they tend to formulate rallies in such a way that they are able to anticipate their opponent’s move and dominate the rally.
Besides watching matches on TV or online, if you really want to take your game to a better level, before playing a match you should sit down and visualise yourself playing. This implies creating rallies in your heading, visualising where to hit next, what stroke to chose and if under pressure how to come out of it.
Doing a full mental assessment of what’s to come next will help you prepare better. A player will be more ready and aware of his/her options.
This link is to a video, that may not be Badminton oriented but talks about the importance of mental imagery and visualisation. It will give you a better understanding of how the mind plays an extremely vital role.
It should be noted that just going on court and playing is not going to help you take your game to the next level. Thinking, visualising and getting mentally prepared for all situations beforehand is what will give you that much-needed edge over your opponent.
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