How far apart should your feet be in general? (for singles)
My coach told me to move my feet closer together (to shoulder width) when waiting in a defensive position - but is this right? When watching the pros they almost always seem to have their feet always wider apart than shoulder width.
i think it depends on the situation as well as on your footwork. when i do the tradition shuffling approach i tend to have my feet farther apart. but when i actually cross my feet on the approach i tend to have my feet closer together, and that's just how i feel when i'm playing games of singles as well as reviewing my own videos.
There is a lot to consider on this. If you are defending in doubles, then closer together would not be an issue. You do not have far to go, and you will be able to quickly push and move off. In singles, a wider defensive stance is often necessary. I would always go slightly more than shoulders width in doubles (if I am the straight defender), and a wider stance if defending the cross court, or in singles or in mixed doubles. In short - the larger the distance you may have to move, the wider the stance can be. There is no "wrong" answer.
Contrary to the believe, actually indeed he is not wrong to say that, many world class coaches would advice with a relatively small width, somewhat slightly wider than shoulder width.. That's what my coach, Coach Luan Ching told me!
Reason being is because if you open so wide, you don't have the ability to lunge far, but you can reach further should you not be able to react with a wide stance i suppose?
So if you're looking to really train up your badminton, yes a smaller stance is good foundation, because that way you'll definitely have to move your legs for the shuttles! LOL remembering how many times i got scolded for not moving my legs before my body when i defend, brings back memories hahaha!
But then again there are some situations i guess its fine to open wider than shoulder width, it all really depends because different people have different 'comfort' level when it comes to the width of their stance...
The pros can't be wrong! They are far beyond any coach you can get! But do all the pros have the same width? Of course not, but I would think a majority of single players do have a quite large width. To me, it is essential to have a very low gravity center, so to bounce in any direction, and to get low one have to split legs, isn'it?
Remember also that your stance is not static. You will defend much more effectively if you perform a split step (split drop) as the opponent is hitting. This puts you "on the bounce" and ready to move. It also allows you to store energy in the legs that can be used to power some shots -- particularly a lift, as you drive the legs upwards during the hit.
This split step will cause your initial stance to become wider. In some cases, such as top players defending in singles, it may become very wide indeed. In other cases not so much; it depends on the tactical requirements for movement.