I keep extolling on the importance of Safety and keeping oneself safe when it comes to sports and I do so for my friends and family that play badminton together.
As I'm sure some of you have experienced, there are those who say,"What? Oh c'mon. I'm just taking this as a leisure sport, just hitting the shuttlecock back and forth. It's not like I'm a professional. There's no need for all this 'safety' thing."
Well, I guess today was the straw that broke the camel's back...
My wife, who is one of these "casual players", tried for a wide-shot return, jumping off to the right but landing with her foot facing the front. Her body rolled over and she took a tumble, spraining what I believe is either the Anterior Tibotalar or the Tibionavicular ligament... this after I mentioned to her earlier that she was getting more confident on the court and showed her the right technique of pointing the foot in the direction she was going to lunge for....
Casual or professional, so long as it's sports, injuries are possible. It's up to the individual to make sure that you are playing it right.
So a reminder shout-out to those still "on the fence" or not convinced that everything is there for a reason:
Finding the right grip size is to prevent your hand from over-gripping or under-gripping the racket. This can result in unnecessary stresses on the wrist, forearm and elbow. This can also result in suffering from "tennis elbow".
High tensions for a beginner can result in injuries. Because more power is required to generate the amount of force needed, beginners may over-exert and get inflicted with "tennis elbow", neck or shoulder injuries. The reduced sweet spot also means mishits may generate greater vibration feedback, injuring the wrist and arm. It can also mean higher chance of strings breaking, effectively injuring your wallet....
There's a reason for court-shoes. They're not there just so that brands can earn more money. This isn't clay-court tennis where you can "slide" around. Badminton requires good foot-grip to precisely prevent this "slide" to reduce injuries. They're also designed to protect your arch, heel etc. Also heed the advice of not wearing your court-shoes outside of play unless you clean then thoroughly before play. Sand, dust and dirt can reduce traction, increasing the chances of slips.
You could dink your way around court in dainty small steps. Not saying you can't. But you'll probably end up missing or unable to return most of the shots. Because badminton is an exhausting sport, the right footwork not only increases the efficiency of your getting around the court, it also teaches you the right placement of foot, knee, compression angle to reduce chances of injuries. It's biological physics. Your body can only move to that many combinations safely.
Right technique (combination of above):
It's not just about hitting the shuttle, it's about hitting it right. Angle of racket? Body placement? Follow-through? Style of grip? Wrist and forearm movement? Sweaty hands? (I've seen rackets flying to the next court because some idiot couldn't hold it properly - thank god it did not land on the doubles players there....)
We all have started badminton as casuals but as you get more familiar and confident, you'll start hitting and returning better. As this progresses, you'll want move on to harder or more technical shots. Which is then why familiarity with safety is important.
True, many of us are not professionals and will never be. That's fine. But simply because we are NOT professionals, I feel that it's even more important that we don't put ourselves at risk and keep ourselves safe while enjoying this wonderful sport.
DISCLAIMER: The above observations about safety considerations are my own based on my own experience and observations and may be subject to disagreement or correction by those who are more knowledgeable in the sport and I more than welcome corrections or differing opinions. The purpose of this post is to promote the awareness and importance of keeping safety as the top priority in the sport.
EDIT: What I mentioned above is not the be all and end all to keeping yourself safe. I'm sure there's lots more that I haven't gone into - attire, socks, hydration, stamina-familiarity etc.
about footwork I also remember at a time where I would just stamp my foot hard to chase the dropshots from the backline.
It didn't cause serious injuries, but as I repeatedly done that, my foot and tigh started to hurt.
There was also my shoulder and hurting after playing. But after knowing how to do a correct stroke and grip, warming up, plus eat properly before and after, I rarely experience it again, if never
Yeah, I see that too with some players at the place I play. They tend to slap their feet down hard when doing backhands. Some might say it gives them more strength although I don't see how that would translate. More likely, I see it as an attempt to intimidate the opponent, especially if, instead of a backhand clear or smash, it's a disguised drop, then that might put the opponent off-guard (loud noise with a soft shot).
But as you mentioned, if you experience pain in your foot and thigh from doing that, then the question is: Is the price of doing that (for whatever reasons) worth the personal discomfort?
1. Don't be in a drenched state (in sweat) for too long. quickly wipe your body and or change clothes, or use a jacket. had a flu and stiff muscles tomorrow after I did this.
2. Don't immediately sleep. cool down, drink and eat something. will experience muscle pain for 1-3 days if I don't cool down and replenish properly before sleeping.
3. warm up before playing, especially shoulder and foot. I have experienced tight muscles and can't move the foot or arm because I suddnly play without warming up first.
4. eat before playing, even if a little. Will experience loss of mind and control over body and then suddenly fall if you force to play without filling your stomach first. Best if 2 hours before play.
5. Drink between plays, even if you aren't thirsty. My muscles tightened and can't move freely if I don't drink. Some of my friends had their calf muscle tighten and suddenly unable to move.
6. Move your body during the time you aren't playing between games and sit with straight legs, don't tuck them. My body was cold after I sit for alng time after I play and I felt my muscles stiffen, and if I tuck my leg for a long time after play, then want to play again, it's hard to straighten and feels so tired and hard to move.
7. Don't get too close to the court if you aren't playing or watching others play. It can trouble those who are playing and you may get hit.
8. Never ever play with sandals, especially those "sandal jepit" ones. It's okay for recreational and fun backyard badminton, but for indoors and a more "serious" situation, it can easily injure your foot, even barefoot is better.