On-court Speed drills are essential as they improve your speed as well as your playing style of badminton.
Being quick, light on your feet and always alert, is the key to good and quick movements on court.
While reflexes are very important in badminton, so is footwork.
If you have quick and robust footwork, you will find that moving around on a badminton court is very easy and smooth. Most players who want to pursue badminton or even excel at it, pay quite a bit of attention to their speed on the court.
The ability to move faster on court increases as you practice specific drills on the court.
Useful on-court drills for speed:
Shadows in the badminton world mean mimicking the movement one would make on the court during a game but without actual shuttles or play of badminton involved.
This would entail a person moving to any of the 6 corners of the court along with their racquets in their hands and making a stroke/shot on reaching that particular corner( but without any actual contact with the shuttle).
This helps in getting a person to move precisely on the court and improves the speed with which they reach the shot in an actual match.
[pullquote]The correct way of doing shadows is for a player to start from the centre and go to the various corners but making sure that he returns to the centre of the court after he has played a shadow stroke in any particular corner that he goes to.[/pullquote]
There are many variations to how shadows can be done. Various drills along with different time durations. The number of sets should increase as the player gets used to the drills.
Have a look at this to understand what is meant by shadows:
2. Shuttle Runs:
Shuttle runs are excellent for speed and correct movement on court. This drill includes placing various shuttles (4-6, or even more if you have the stamina and leg strength) at different corners of the court and moving those shuttles one by one to another corner in a particular pattern.
There are various patterns you could do in this drill.
[pullquote]During picking up and placing the shuttle from one corner to another, it is essential for a player to make sure he/ she lunges correctly and that he maintains a low centre of gravity.[/pullquote]
Each time he/ she takes a shuttle from corner to place in another, he must pause slightly at the centre. This is very important.
This link will give you a proper idea as to how some of the drills are done during shuttle runs.
3. One step shadows:
One step shadows are easy to do. And if you do not have a court around you, you can still perform this drill. This drill focuses on getting the feet to move quickly and even react fast. It is beneficial if done regularly.
[pullquote]During one step shadows, a player has to stand at the centre of the court and in just one step perform a stroke with just their racquets in any direction or corner. [/pullquote]
After doing so, he should quickly take that step back to the centre and perform another stroke in another corner.
The key is to remember to move just in one step perform the stroke and come back. At least 12-18 such strokes should be performed in one set.
Try out these drills in rotation during a given week. In 2-3 weeks you will be sure to find a difference in the way you move, how fast your feet work and how well you can lunge and return.
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