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01-29-2007, 12:03 AM #1
Un-learning habits and coaching a singles girl
I've taken up coaching again but this time it is with a willing girl that will try her very best! She has played badminton for roughly 2 years now. She is quite good, but she wants me to help her get better. She has what many young girls playing badminton lack, speed, stamina, and the ability to hit overhead and underhand shots, but she lacks (IMO) the true fundamentals which are technique and footwork.
I will start with her footwork. From the centre of the court, she will do crossovers to get to one corner, taking a total of 5 steps to get there. I show her how to do it with side-stepping (shuffle) and she can do it in 2 steps during drills, but in games or when under pressure, she reverts back to her old ways. So footwork is a big issue here because in games, she tends to tire herself out or not get to the shuttle in time and whatever I try to teach her she goes back to her bad habits eventually.
The second problem is a bigger concern, her technique, especially with overhead shots. Although I did say she had the basics of this, she still has some bad habits from prior learning. Her arm is bent INWARDS when doing overhead shots, which are reducing her clearing/smashing power (her elbow is bent as she plays an overhead shot). She puts more effort/power into her stroke instead of trying to correct it, and the thing that worries me is that when she does that, she actually trying to correct her stroke! I can see that her timing is purely focused on when her elbow is still bent to execute a shot. It is quite difficult to change this habit because when she tries to do a full arm extension, she mis-times it.
Can anyone suggest ways to fix these two habits of hers? And she is a singles player so anything you can help me with would be great, thanks!
01-29-2007, 12:15 AM #2
Seeing as I have/had both of these problems, I'll tell you what was used to correct them with me. I hope this is of some assistance!
For the footwork problem... practice makes perfect. I was taught running step for 10 of the 11 years of badminton career, and only recently learned about the efficiency of shuffling. I've been trying to make the transition for about four months now, but it's very slow... I often revert back in my game. What's helped me immensely is building power in my legs, through weights, squats, lunges, etc. This has allowed me to see the speed benefits of shuffle versus run, when before my running step was faster so there wasn't much incentive to switch. The only way I'm accomplishing this, though, is 20 mins of footwork 4-5x a week.
2) Deconstruct her overhand stroke and start from the beginning. Start by having her throw the bird to you over and over (with proper throwing form!). You can then transition this to a racquet stroke once the muscle memory is trained, at least temporarily. Hold her wrist and guide her through the movement so she can understand how it feels. Give constant reminds to keep the arm back, hit straight above, etc., until it begins to come naturally.
01-29-2007, 12:24 AM #3
Thanks for the great tips! I especially like the one about the technique, I remember my coach making me do that as well so I'm surprised I didn't think of it at the time thanks! However, I do have some issues! I forgot to mention that her highschool badminton season starts in March and I only have until then to train her...a month of 2/week is not enough time for me to teach her drills that she can remember..
01-29-2007, 06:57 AM #4
Regarding the footwork issue. Time and practice. Some say to work on footwork in isolation without shuttle. This I would say is okay some of the time when needing to be specific, ironing out problems etc, however the time has to come when footwork has to be practised with hitting the shuttle also. If the player is reverting back to the incorrect way this may be a sign that they are slow to react to the opponents hit. Performing pretension jump too late, or are not recovering to a relative base position, so are having to travel further than they would during specific footwork drills.
Regarding work on technique, then I have found that working in front of a mirror is of great assistance. I take a group of 4-6 at a time to the Dance Studio within the leisure centre and get them to practice certain elements. The feed back is instant!!
01-29-2007, 01:51 PM #5
Originally Posted by GunBlade008
The rest it sounds like you're going to want to focus on basic, static strokes, and of course games for fun and training the mental aspects for game-like situation.
But then again, that's purely subjective and I really have no idea what I'm talking about
01-30-2007, 04:50 PM #6
Thanks again! I'll let you know the progress after this weekend!
01-30-2007, 11:56 PM #7
One thing i see ppl "taking a step backward" is we concentrate on teh game result (short term goal) way too much. It's hard to learn new stuff, and adopt it in an effective way right on the spot. Many ppl being discouraged by the fact losing "easy games that we suppose to win back then". Therefore, they are losing the confidence about the new form.
Therefore, force her to do drills instead of participating too many game plays.
01-31-2007, 11:12 AM #8
Video, film the drills, then the games. Every slip up durring a game is a dollar she owes you, every preasure shot she gets right means she has half an hour of your time for free. Its stick and carrot all in one easy learning tool, makes you poor though so if your doing it for money probably best only to video one sesion a month.
01-31-2007, 11:31 AM #9
Morewood, LazyBuddy, thanks for your great responses, it's definately true that we concentrate far too much on the game results instead of our form, which is why I'm hoping to make her do about 50/50 drills and games. I like to keep the lessons relatively fun by letting her play some games, it's also used to help develop her mental strength and game experience. However, I will definately push her to do more drills before the game around 70/30 because I also believe that the game result is not what is truly important here. Also, I will film the drills and games, but instead of making her with money, I'll make her pay with laps Fitness and stamina!
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