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  1. #1
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Default for those who are starting badminton...

    i think this has been echoed many times before, but i think it deserve another mention.

    for those who are starting badminton, i suggest a few things you should focus on and a few things that you should not focus on at this stage.

    FOCUS ON:

    - focus on the correct grip - read the grip guide in BC
    - focus on the correct stroke - ask a coach to show you.
    - focus on footwork
    - focus on fitness - jog/swim/bike - or do footwork drills

    DO NOT FOCUS ON:

    - trick shots - stop learning those strange shots.
    - fancy style - i have so many times seen beginners with really fancy looking hitting style but then they miss the shuttle. keep it simple.
    - strength training - leave this after you have learned your basic strokes
    - expensive racket - you will most likely be wasting money

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    Totally agree with everything on this thread.You have to learn to walk before you can run.Technique and form are critical to the game .

    The proper grip is what most if not all good technique helps to facilitate.
    Good stroke technique allows for power,deception and energy conservation which allows you to play with fitness on your side.An aspect of grip which many fail to realize is that the proper grip utilizes proper body positioning as well as gives feel to proper execution of the shots accelerating the learning process.

    Good footwork along with racquet preparation allows you to move and take the shuttle earlier and this allows for a greater variety of shots available to hit from any position.

    Fitness allows you to hold your form longer and recover faster .The more badminton specific the better.

    I personally think involvement of a good coach is critical to success and enhances the overall enjoyment of all this sport has to offer.Mastery of the basics is critical to further skill enhancement and a skilled set of eyes and guidance of a coach is the quickest way.The trial and error approach which many use often leads to bad habits which later hinder you as they become more reflex than if you learned the proper technique from an early stage.I know this unfortunately from my own personal experience.

    The extra money which many spend on the latest and greatest racquet would be far better spent on a good coach.I personally think one can't appreciate what a good racquet can do until one can perform all the basics with proper technique.The only thing I think that is necessary for a good racquet is that it have a graphite head and shaft and it need not cost $300.

    Trick shots are an enticement that many aspire to be able to do and when they work its great. What many don't realize is that until the all the basic shots and footwork are mastered the time and effort expended is wasted as you will never get a chance to use them.Trick shots require early retrieval and shot delay which can only occur with experience and speedy footwork.Beginners often execute these shots late and lose the element of surprise and because of faulty footwork can't reply when the shot is returned.

    Excellent post Kwun.Alot of newbies need to remember this stuff .
    bighook

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun
    DO NOT FOCUS ON:

    - trick shots - stop learning those strange shots.
    - fancy style - i have so many times seen beginners with really fancy looking hitting style but then they miss the shuttle. keep it simple.
    - strength training - leave this after you have learned your basic strokes
    - expensive racket - you will most likely be wasting money
    1. Trick shots. Aggh! Guilty.
    2. Fancy style. STRIKE TWO!!!!!!!!
    3. Strength training. Me? What strength training?
    4. Expensive racket. WAHHHH STRIKE THREE!


    I'm a poor soul indeed.

    -dave

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wood_22_chuck
    1. Trick shots. Aggh! Guilty.
    2. Fancy style. STRIKE TWO!!!!!!!!
    3. Strength training. Me? What strength training?
    4. Expensive racket. WAHHHH STRIKE THREE!


    I'm a poor soul indeed.

    -dave
    but you are not a beginner!

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    Perhaps sticky this thread for all newbs checking out BF. Every house needs to be built from the ground up. Foundations (fundamentals) are utmost important element of every house. If your fundamentals are screwed up, you're gonna use awkward and inefficient movements to compensate for your laziness. If you leave those bad habits uncorrected, they're gonna become really hard to get rid when you want to play the game properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wood_22_chuck
    1. Trick shots. Aggh! Guilty.
    2. Fancy style. STRIKE TWO!!!!!!!!
    3. Strength training. Me? What strength training?
    4. Expensive racket. WAHHHH STRIKE THREE!


    I'm a poor soul indeed.

    -dave
    I take 2 bullets thou instead of your 3 dave!! No 1 and no 4!!!

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    Another thing to FOCUS ON:

    Never assume you know it all (or that your coach does, or the best player you know). Always be open to learning more about badminton. Be prepared to change your techniques and tactics - and then to change them again, when you learn more (and again...).

    If you are starting badminton, you cannot yet realise how subtle and complex the sport is. At first, you must concentrate on the basics. As you progress, you will discover more about the sport; but you will only learn if you are willing to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwun

    DO NOT FOCUS ON:

    - trick shots - stop learning those strange shots.
    - fancy style - i have so many times seen beginners with really fancy looking hitting style but then they miss the shuttle. keep it simple.
    - expensive racket - you will most likely be wasting money
    I think most of these even apply for a bit more advanced lvl players:

    1. If a simple stroke can kill off the opponent with less effort and less risk, stay with it. All the fancy tricks might be good for a "show time", but might be a waste once in a tight teeth-to-teeth fight.

    2. Even once reached the advanced lvl, a player still should pick the racket fit for his/her own style rather than throwing $$$ off blindly, and fell into trap w/ some good marketing strategy.

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    Wink thx

    thx 4 the advice its really appreciated

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    Also, I think beginners should think of improving opposed to beating the next best player in their club.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum
    Another thing to FOCUS ON:

    Never assume you know it all

    you will only learn if you are willing to learn.
    Very apt !!

    The amount of people I have seen trying to argue round something is unbelieveable, you will only progress if you clear your mind and listen to all resources and learn from them, the bigger the viewpoint the more you see

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    Regular Member wilfredlgf's Avatar
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    Let me add to that:

    Play 'competitive' matches, ie keep score. Mindlessly hitting around promotes laziness or lack of commitment to play well. A 'competitive' game will help gear the mind to do better as well as letting one learn to use the skills. A skill is only useful when it is used correctly in the correct situation, in the correct time. One might do great smashes during these hit-arounds but end up doing none or completely muffing it up during real games. When it matters ie keeping score, one will (almost) automatically try to play seriously and/or better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wilfredlgf
    Let me add to that:

    Play 'competitive' matches, ie keep score. Mindlessly hitting around promotes laziness or lack of commitment to play well. A 'competitive' game will help gear the mind to do better as well as letting one learn to use the skills.

    I second that!

    To add, focus on what you're training on. Especially when you're a beginner... for example, when I was starting off playing doubles, I was barely able to do a short serve... and had the most pathetic long serve ever (which were almost always met with smashes) And thus, whenever i was at service, the opponent would rush my serve and gain the advantage. But the imoprtant thing, as someone pointed out, is that especially when you're a beginner, you must remember that at most, you can train to make less mistakes. And you should credit yourself enough for those imporoovements. That means, even if i've only got a short serve, then just work on that till it's a good one. If you did a good short serve and the opponent returned it easily, well, this is just the begining right? Don't lose hope-- you learned that well, the next weapons in your arsenal will come next.

    While it's true that no one liikes to lose as a beginner, well, you can still be a winner-- 'beating the opponent' is not the only possible goal you can set for yourself. As beginners, we must be realistic about our experience vs our opponents, and thus, set realistic 'stepping stone' goals, so that we can keep up our morale even in face of defeat. "I want a good short serve", "I want to be able to do a base to base clear", "I want to be able to position myself properly", etc.

    As a beginner, winning the games isn't everything-- improoving is.

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    FOCUS ON:

    - focus on the correct grip - read the grip guide in BC
    - focus on the correct stroke - ask a coach to show you.
    - focus on footwork
    - focus on fitness - jog/swim/bike - or do footwork drills!!!!

    I especially agree with the footwork. I mean come on, If you cant reach the net in time for a drop, dont move so far back. By running and doing footwork, you can work easier on your form and your grip. I hate noobs who stand like fools on the other side and then sprint like crazy to the net like roaches...:]

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    i am on a roll lately. so here is an expanded article that i posted in the BC front page. i took in some of the advice i saw in this thread. enjoy!




    Advice for Beginning badminton players

    Badminton is becoming more and more popular, more and more students are taking up badminton as their main sports, more and more adults are also taking up badminton as their recreational activity. As we see more beginners, I hope to point out in this article what aspects of badminton a beginning badminton player should focus on, as well as point out a few common mistakes that beginners tend to make. We hope this will help your journey into this sport that we all love.

    First, let’s point out the positives, ie. Aspects of badminton that we think will help the up and coming players.

    FOCUS ON:

    Focus on the correct grip

    The most fundamental aspect of badminton technique is the grip. The grip is how a badminton holds the badminton racket. A correct grip is a pathway for a badminton player to improve upon their skills. on the contrary, using an incorrect grip is often a brickwall that leads to poor form and poorly executed techniques. It takes much more time to unlearn a bad technique than to learn one. Many of us have experienced it before the painful way.

    The proper badminton grips may feel uncomfortable and unnatural in the beginning, but if you are able to get over that fact, later on you will appreciate what you have learned.

    There are two basic grips for badminton, the forehand grip and the backhand grip. We won’t go into much more detail here, if you want to know about gripping, please read the grip guide in Badminton Central. The information maybe overwhelming at first, but since this is so fundamental in badminton, it is worth the time to digest it.

    Focus on the correct strokes

    The worst part of learning something is to have to unlearn it later on. This happens to many recreational badminton players. We hop into the court, invent all these wild shots that seems right then, but later on to find out that they are the wrong way to hit. Then we spend 3 times the time to unlearn them as they have been so ingrained into our muscles. If you want to avoid that happening to you, it is vital to learn the proper way in the beginning.

    To do that, you must find a good coach who can direct you. When you choose a coach, make sure he understands and can demonstrate the fundamentals. Your friend who happens to be playing next court to you may not be the best coach you can get.

    Focus on footwork

    We cannot stress the importance of footwork more. Footwork is the skill that allows you to move from point to point in the badminton court. While it sounds like an easy concept, in fact it is one of the most difficult skills in badminton. The reason footwork is so important is very simple: if you cannot get there in time, it is useless to have the best racket skill. The Cororary of that is that, the earlier you can get to the shuttle, the more choices of shots you have and the more you can pressure your opponent.

    Lee Jae Bok, an ex-Korean national player, once says:

    "You hit shuttle with your feet."

    Footwork is one of the most difficult aspects of badminton. It takes a lot of time to learn, as well as a lot of time to practice. It is often less practiced because of the lack of venue. It is quite uncommon and anti-social for someone to take up ½ of a badminton court to practice footwork while everybody waits on the sideline. Despite so, it is still very important. A professional player can move around the court very effortlessly solely because they have very good footwork technique, they do make it look very easy but in fact, it takes many years of very hard work to master it.

    Focus on fitness - jog/swim/bike - or do footwork drills

    Fitness is one of the many reason many people take up badminton. Depending on the level of one’s game, badminton can be a very leisure game all the way to a down-right fitness torture. Beginning recreational players will likely be moving relatively less around the court, but as one’s skill improve, you will not only notice that you have to cover more parts of the court, you will also have to cover it in greater speed, which multiplies the fitness level needed by many folds.

    In order to catch up with your pending improvements in skill, it is then important for you to increase your fitness level to complement it. There are many ways to improve one’s fitness, one popular way is to skip rope, or jog, swim, bike. Doing footwork drills also a great way to practice footwork and develop one’s fitness at the same time.

    Focus on keeping track of your progress

    Often when one is having fun, you must try to re-evaluate what you have learned and how you are using it. Most recreational players do not do that but it is helpful in identifying potential weaknesses in your game.

    DO NOT FOCUS ON:


    Avoid expensive equipment - you will most likely be wasting money

    Badminton is solely a game of skills and mind, and not a game of equipment. 99% of ones game depends on how well one can yield the racket but not depend on the racket itself.

    Having said that, equipment is still one essential aspect of badminton, and one do need to get the correct equipment. However, the most important equipment that a beginning badminton can own is not the top of the line racket, but instead a good, fitting pair of badminton shoes. Due to the nature of badminton movement, there is a high risk of injury due to twisting or spraining of various leg joints. A good pair of badminton shoes will ensure that you get a good solid grip of the badminton court and vastly reduces the risk of injury.

    I’d like to mention one more thing on badminton equipment, often top of the line badminton rackets are not designed for beginners. While they are cool looking and expensive, their characteristics are more suited for advance players with more power. Beginners are best suited to lower end rackets. Your money is best suited to pay for some decent coaching instead.

    Avoid trick shots - stop learning those strange shots.

    Too many a time I have stepped into a badminton court against some beginning players who can do all these fancy trick shots but at the same time, unable to do a proper baseline to baseline clear. Badminton is a very fundamental game where one really need to learn all the basics in order to survive in a match. Trick shots may work once or twice but soon your opponent will learn how to read them and then you are back to square one.

    There is definite a place for trick shots in badminton, but that’s only after one has learned to execute all the fundamentals shots first.

    Avoid fancy style - i have so many times seen beginners with really fancy looking hitting style but then they miss the shuttle completely. keep it simple.

    Badminton is a very efficient game. The standard, non-fancy, way of playing badminton is the most efficient way for one to hit a shot, there is simply too little time in badminton for one to do all these fancy style.

    Avoid strength training - leave this after you have learned your basic strokes

    Every now and then, someone will come to badmintoncentral and they want to know how to train their muscles to hit the strongest smash. Which is ok except we later on find out that such person cannot even hit a baseline to baseline clear properly. There is no point trying to hit hard when one cannot hit properly. An example of a proper technique is when I see 12 yrs old girls at 5 feet tall who can hit baseline to baseline clear with ease. Imagine what she can do when she grows a few inches taller?

    To close, I’d like to point out that badminton is a very complex game, even advance players learn new aspects of badminton everyday. Make sure you keep an open mind when you approach badminton, only then will you be able to appreciate the greatness of this sport.

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    Thanks for all the advise kwun. I'm just beginning, but I think this site will help me grow faster.

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    Just wanted to point out certain things when starting to train properly.

    Firstly concentrate at one thing at a time. No use thinking about gripping, footwork, technique, timing all at the same time.

    First off for someone who wants to start off at groud zero. First I reccomend you learn how to grip the racquet properly. Get a coach or someone in the advanced level to show you how to use the proper grips (forehand and backhand)

    Once you are fairly comfortable in gripping the racquet, move on to basic techniques.

    First thing to learn for technique is the overhead clear. Make sure you get someone to help you with it. This is the most overlooked but yet vital shot in the game.

    DO NOT. AND I REPEAT, DO NOT THINK OF DOING ALL THE THINGS AT THE SAME TIME ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE JUST STARTING OUT!! FOCUS ON ONE THING AT A TIME.

    When learning the basic strokes and gripping, do not think bout footwork first. Concentrate on your strokes. As you slowly program your muscles to the strokes, then you can concentrate on basic footwork.

    Now, for all of you starting out with footwork, you might want to ask this question... "Which footwork?? Cross?? Chasse??" Frankly I have no idea what these footwork techniques are. I may practice them but I have no idea what they are called.

    I find that when you start off, you should always try to get to the shuttle. Running or just diving for it, as long as you make your first attempts to retrieve the shuttle, then you are picking up basic footwork. Good footwork is picked up after lots of trial and errors while playing badminton. You would just notice one day that your footwork has increased because your legs are doing all it can to reach the shuttle as fast as possible.

    But, if you want to improve faster, get a coach to show you basic movements around the court. Remember always do one thing at a time. Don't focus your mind on too many things at once. You might just confuse yourself.

    As you get serious, you will improve your physical attributes for badminton. But as the body progress, so must the mind. Start learning tactics of the game. Easiest way is to watch matches. Note at each part of the match why each player does a certain shot. Get an advance player or a coach to help you on that one.

    As Kwun pointed out, fitness is important, so eat healthy (that means not so much fast food, more fruits and vegetables, lots of carbos to burn off while playing badminton and drinking lots of water). Go for some simple exercises like jogging round the neighbourhood, swimming etc.

    As for equipment. Different people have different views on equipment. If you are on a tight budget, don't kid yourself thinking that new equipment (as in racquets) can improve your game significantly. The fact is they don't. Go with a midrange racquet from Yonex or other companies at the price range from USD$50 - $100, if you're just starting out (That btw is quite expensive for a beginner).

    Please, please, get a carbon graphite racquet from reputable companies. I'm not saying Yonex but try other brands like Gosen, Ashaway, Sotx, Black Knight, Winex, Prince and others out there. Why I say this is 'cause I don't trust steel ones. They break easily and due to the recent enquiry to the death of a player who is thought to have been impaled in the head by a cheap steal racquet... I wish that this does not occur again. So please invest in something midrange and something more durable than cheapo steel racquets... Please..

    Getting some badminton shoes is not a bad idea also. Court shoes are meant or made for the court. They help you grip the floor and provide some sort of cushioning. Like I said before, doesn't have to be Yonex. Go for other brands also.

    ---------------

    Ok. Enough now. Can't seem to think of what to write. Just had the urge to write this tonight. Hope someone finds it useful

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