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  1. #1
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default best way to improve your game, not racket, nor your smash.....

    here is my advice if you want to improve your game.

    unless you are using an old steel racket with fishing lines, buying a new racket will do you little good. perhaps you will get a small margin of improvement, but it will not give you that edge that you are looking for, and by the time you know that, you will be what, US$100 poorer.

    and no, if you can hit the birdie ok, then trying to improve the strength of your smash isn't going to make that much of a difference, it will be marginal, once again.

    the one and only thing that i recommend, is free, the only thing you sacrifice in getting this imho, pretty sizable improvement, is you need to spend the time to practice it.

    and what is it? the old saying, "if you can't get there, it doesn't matter how good you can hit the birdie." i recommend you practice your footwork.

    here is the rational why i recommend footwork. many people i have seen, and that's including myself, usually play in a open gym or with friend, playing games. or may be you will even try to spend time doing some drills, clears, drop, smash, etc. but hardly have much time to do footwork drills. and the reason for that is simple, footwork drills are not natural, you need to occupy your own side of the court, and your friends won't be able to play "with" you.

    besides, if there are ppl waiting for the court, i'd feel strange to have to take up the court. footwork is then the least practiced of all skills, and as a result, unless if you are natural for it, it will be the weakest part of many ppl's skillset.

    but footwork imho is the most important skill to have. i will say it again, "if you cannot get there, it doesn't matter how good you can hit the birdie." the collorary of that is that if you get there early, you have many more choices of shots to hit, you will have all the time to do your stroke, trick shots, you will be less pressuerd so you can have the choice to smash anywhere on the court, you can even peek at your opponent and see where the holes in their formation are, and the list goes on and on...

    furthermore, if you have good footwork, you spend less energy moving around the court, you don't need to lunge and bent down so much, you ended up having more reserved energy at the end, perhaps that will help you outlast your opponent...

    i have always known that footwork is important. but as the situation with gym i mentioned above, i never had the chance to practice it. now i have forced myself to spend more time practicing it. and the improvement is very apparent, many shots that i used to feel pressured and have trouble with, i am getting them with ease these days. i no longer feel like i am on the wrong foot all the time, and movement around the court is smoother than before.

    so, if you think a new racket or trying to increase the power of your smash is the next improvement you are looking for, think twice and go practice some footwork. if you really want to spend some money, go buy yourself a better fitting pair of badminton shoes..

    there ends the lesson, of the day....

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    Amen!!!

    In addition, I'd just say that good footwork is doubly important in singles. Also, something that goes hand-in hand with good footwork is leg strength. If you don't have anyone around who can show you some good footwork drills (although if you trawl through the archives, you should find some helpful stuff), you should at least work on your quads, calf's and butt strength. Squat's, leg-ups, shuttle-runs, plyometric type exercises etc will all help.

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    I agree Kwun foot work is hugely important. I always incorporate a lot in my coaching sessions, unfortunately a lot of players who have never been made to do footwork then see it as hardwork. I think it can be very enjoyable , its like an aerobic class really! Also its one thing which you can have a club player doing next to an international.

    What else can you do to improve your game.......

    Get a good coach that suits you and your level / goals

    Stop playing a lot and start practising a lot

    Stop practising a lot and start practicing well



    Play against better players

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    Question is how do you pratice your footwork. may people talk bout praticing it. but for those who dont have money for a coach how do we accomplish this feat?

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    I agree and disagree. I think footwork is very important, and when I first started playing seriously at about thirteen years old, the club-coach really helped my speed about court and my ability to get into a good position for taking a shot - the most important benefit of which is the opportunity to play offensive shots rather than playing defensively under the pressure the opponent places you in. However, I think it's nonsense to suggest that changing racquets doesn't have a significant impact on your game; when I changed from a 2u MP77 to a 3u MP100 my smashes were faster, steeper and more precise, and my net-shots and drop shots were more consistent. Granted the strings on the mp100 were bg65 (not ti) and strung at a better tension, but overall the racquet was more balanced and easier to control. I find it hard to play accurate overhead backhand dropshots from near the baseline with 2u racquets, with the mp100 I can drop close to the net from either angle.

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    Armotec user, thats because you probably don't have enough forearm strength. Try playing with squash racket for an hour every time you play for a week and after that, pick up a 2U racket and try doing your backhand dropshot. I just noticed that with good fore arm strength, you can be more accurate. This could be because if you don't have enough forearm strength, you force your muscles to perform the hard shots and as a result lose the accuracy.

    And yes to Kwun footwork drills are good and can be done BY YOURSELF!! You don't really have to worry about what's the right way to do it first time. First time I did it with my coach, he didn't worry about what's the right way for me to do them. He just made me do it and I naturally developed my own footwork. Another coach of mine said that for beginners, you do teach them the footwork you know. But when they grow to be more advanced, they'll adopt their own footwork that suits them. A third coach told me that there is no one right footwork, watch the professionals and you'll see that there is many kind of different footworks. So, xsleepyaznb0ix, to answer your question: Just rent out a court and do it. Maybe with a friend would be nice, otherwise you'd bore yourself to death for the next one hour

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    I'd have to disagree with Amortech on the issue of racquets. My theory is that if a person has sound stroke technique, a change of racquets will not make a huge difference. Certainly not the significant differences that Amortech User suggests.. There may be other reasons for the differences but I won't go into them at this juncture.

    As for footwork, I forthrightly agree with Kwun. There's no point having the best stroke technique in the world if you cannot move in such a way that gives you the optimal position for striking the racquet.

    For Iwan's case, I think it's what level you want to develop to. You yourself may have already developed the correct steps so the coach didn't teach you the steps. The 2nd coach was referring to complete beginners who don't know how to develop the correct sequence of steps. The third is correct about different types of footwork but the most perplexing problem which faced me years ago was, "if I copy the pros, how come I still find it so difficult to move around the court?"

    Just to point out the scope of the problem, how do you work out by yourself the situations to use, a) walking backwwards, b) jump backwards, c) cross step backwards, d) sidestep backwards, e) rotate body, f) when not to rotate body, g) when to sip forward, h) when to just run forward, g) when to change the rhythm(so important), amongst others?

    Last week I showed a player (played for a number of years), how to play an overhead from near baseline, and then get to the net with a skip and two steps.


    Footwork fascinates me. some people learn easier than others. I'm not one of the easy learners, that's why in the past, I've tried to dissect the movements to understand more. There's been times when I can't do the footwork in training session with the coach. When I review the tape maybe weeks later, I suddenly realise, "oh, there's the problem".
    Last edited by Cheung; 06-24-2003 at 10:30 PM.

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    Questions for anyone who is a coach or around my height, 5'5", on court coverage/footwork:

    Should shorter players use different movements? Ex. Running style vs. shuffle step/chasse. Is one style more efficient for shorter player than another?

    Are there any international players that I can watch? I know Gong Zhichao is one close to my height, are there any others?

    The now-not-occupied-with-school Phil

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    Ardy Wiranata. Ong Ewe Hock. Yap Kim Hock. Trikus Haryanto
    Park Tae Sang
    Lee Kyung Won
    Mette Scholdager, Zhao Ting Ting

  10. #10
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    You really don't even need a badminton court for this. Any wood or matted floor will do as long as it isn't too hard or too soft. I use an indoor racquetball court during off hours. It's big enough and has a wood floor. I don't have to have the lines or net.

    It also has smooth, solid walls for wall practice.

  11. #11
    Regular Member wilfredlgf's Avatar
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    One reason why footwork isn't too popular as a drill amongst most players perhaps because it's a more difficult compared to other aspects of the game. Strokes such as backhand, smashes and netplay can be learnt through imitation while footwork needs a person to know the correct way to stand and move at the correct areas of the court. For that reason, many prefered to instead just hit and hit.

    I would definitely agree with everybody that footwork is the very basis of good badminton. Not only does it puts you into ready position properly, it also help save energy by minimizing the number of steps you take and move by using the most efficient path.

    Still, as one who never trained on footwork, I find it rather difficult and ends up making me tired faster than usual. A 15-minute session of front diagonal movement drill instructed by one of my students had me really tired, developing sore thing muscles at the same time. Plenty more to learn, me.
    Last edited by wilfredlgf; 06-24-2003 at 11:46 PM.

  12. #12
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    i share Cheung's facination. in a way, i think Cheung infected his facination to me. he used to keep rambling about footwork. but as i said, i understood the facination, but only recently starting to "feel" it. Cheung also taught me some of my footwork too. and while it is difficult to describe in words in the forum, i have been able to pick up some.

    i am also like Cheung, footwork doesn't come natural for me, for some reason, i am never very good in coordination leg movements, i never step into the dance floor for this reason. i'd look like someone with my legs tied together.

    however, after i started practicing, i am able to start picking it up. and only recently i realized that i automatically started applying some of it in real games. i find some movements better than others, i guess the others will come in time.

    it is true that footwork is complex, and there is no one fixed way to do it, i find that akin to playing an instrument, say the piano, playing and practicing various scales is boring and doesn't really reflect real music. but somehow, practicing it more and more gets you accustomed to the particular keys and when you are playing music in those keys, what you learn from the scales forms the basis.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Originally posted by wilfredlgf

    Still, as one who never trained on footwork, I find it rather difficult and ends up making me tired faster than usual. A 15-minute session of front diagonal movement drill instructed by one of my students had me really tired, developing sore thing muscles at the same time. Plenty more to learn, me.
    yes yes yes. i find similarly too! when i started learning footwork, i thought it'd be easy for me as i have muscles built up from cycling. as it turned out, the conditioning needed for badminton footwork is different and i pretty much started from scratch. many weeks of sore muscles and sweat and huffing and puffing, i am getting accustomed to the movements now.

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    Yes, footwork is the key to success in the game of badminton. Of course the proper strokes do matter and obviously play a part in the game but as you play more often, those strokes and secondary characteristics of the mechanics will improve.

    Like many of you have said, footwork is not a one day pick up thing. Sometimes it takes years to perfect it. For me, when I started, it was a hassel and i honestly thought it was a waste of my time. Now I believe i'm pretty good at my footwork (at least i believe i'm at the level i should be at the moment) and i'm thankful for the time spent on improving my footwork as it obviously is NECESSARY to playing in a competitive game/tournament.

    I would like to name some of the footwork drills that i've done that have gotten me to the level of footwork i'm at right now. Although I train at a club and do these drills with a coach, these drills can be done by yourself or with a friend in a regular gym (whether you book it or do them at a casual club or anywhere..and if you think it's embarassing doing it in front of some others that think you look stupid..don't mind them cause it's only helping your cause if you practice on your own time).

    Firstly, when I get to my club, sometimes my coach tells us to do a FOOTWORK warmup. This is when we each person occupies a court and practices their footwork for a certain amount of times. For instance, my coach will tell us (the badminton group) to do 50-100 corners, therefore on the court, we practice our footwork moving to each of the six corners randomly (two fronts, the two sides, and teh two backs) until we've done a total of 50-100 corners. (this is basically an INDEPENDANT drill)

    Secondly, another footwork drill that i participate in is when my coach or a friend will stand at the front of the net and will direct me to each of the six corners on the court randomly. He/she will point at various speeds to work my endurance and how fast my footwork is around the court.

    Like I said, if you don't have a coach, there's always a friend that can help you with the second drill. There are many more drills you can do to improve your footwork. The one's i mentioned above may be well known to a lot of you and you really need to have the basics first in order to execute them well (basic footwork can be taught to you by a friend that knows what he or she is doing). But like kwun and everone else has mentioned, footwork is a key to the game and I've just mentioned a couple simple drills you can do to improve the speed of your game, correct footwork mechanics and much more. practice makes perfect..

    i hope that contributes

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    Thumbs up

    I totally agreed that footwork is with prime importance unless your other skills are really inferior.My coach told me that there's a Chinese saying for Badminton " The Foot are doing 70% of the job while the Hands only 30%"

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    thanks redkingjoe for reviving this old thread. while i have less and less time to play badminton nowadays, i still believe the same thing, ie. footwork is most important. i notice when i play less and less, it is usually the footwork that deteriorate the fastest. it takes quite a lot of effort to regain the movement around the court.

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    I agree that good footwork makes a good player. If you can get there you can have a little bit of psychological advantage over your opponent. This can force your opponent to make riskier shots and that equates to maybe some easy points.

    I found that doing footwork/multifeed practice once a week with my coach has improved my court coverage. We usually do around 4 sets of 20 shuttles multifeeds. Sometimes he ups it and adds 2 or more sets of just front court or back court. He has just added to it some more incentive to the drill by, if you don't reach a shuttle (if you can't touch the shuttle), you get 3 extra for each one you miss to add to your set of 20. It definatly gives makes you want to get to each shuttle, because once you get to your third set and missing one each time, you will really feel it. But it helps your movement in competitions so thats why i keep going back to do it!!

    As for rackets, I think thats just a mental thing. Jumping from a MP77 to MP100 wouldn't make that much difference.
    Last edited by Hanson j; 09-08-2004 at 03:09 AM.

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