In badminton, good footwork can go a long way in helping you win a game. You may have the best shots in the country, and top-notch fitness and stamina. But without some fancy footwork, it’s extremely difficult to perform consistently and win games.
The only problem is, most people are completely clueless about how to improve their footwork. However, if you can’t get to the shuttlecock in the right time, it’s almost impossible to score a point. This is why having good footwork is important in a badminton game.
The best way to improve your footwork is to perform drills or exercises, that will teach your body to respond better to the shuttlecock. Drill these exercises every day and you’re sure to improve your footwork.
1) Shuttle Runs
You’ll need a partner for this exercise.
Get your partner to stand on the opposite side of the court and serve the shuttle to different locations. Your aim should be to try and get into position a few seconds before hitting the shuttlecock.
To make this exercise really effective, ask your partner to serve to the forecourt while you stand at the back, and vice versa.
2) Shadow Badminton
This exercise is a little more difficult but extremely effective to improve your footwork. Instead of getting a partner, try to play badminton by yourself. Of course, you’ll have to practice this exercise without the badminton net.
As with the previous exercise, try getting into position long before hitting the shuttlecock.
3) Practice Recovery
Another important part of footwork is learning how to recover from an unfavourable position. This comes with practice, but you can improve your recovery patterns by working on your core and leg strength.
These are a few exercises to help improve your footwork. However, most players ignore one essential part of the game – the speed. It’s difficult to adjust to a game when the tempo is something that you aren’t used to.
To properly adjust to the tempo of a game, you’ll need to work on 3 key things – keeping your eyes on the shuttle, training your reflexes, and improving the speed of your muscles.
The faster you see the shuttle, the more likely you are to get into a favourable position to send it back over the net. So to improve your footwork, you can start by training your eyes.
To do this, cover the net with an opaque cloth and ask a partner to rally with you for a while. This will force you to focus more on where the shuttle may be coming from, which, in turn, will train your eyes.
To improve your reflexes, you can ask a partner to throw the shuttle over the net and call out a random shot at the last moment. This will force your brain to think quickly and your muscles to respond to the kind of shot that you’ve been asked to play.
Training your muscles to respond faster will require a lot of work, and at first, it may feel like there’s no difference. But having your muscles react faster can mean the difference between winning and losing a game.
To do this, get 3 or 4 of your friends to stand on the other side and play against all of them at the same time. You’ll be forced to move around a lot more than usual and this will improve your footwork.
These are just a few of the many tips out there to help you improve your footwork. With regular training and dedication, you’re sure to improve your footwork in no time, so work hard, and you’ll be amazed at the results.