What is the optimal preparation before playing a badminton stroke?
We are just done with our summer camp and I have been doing tryouts with some of the developments in my training with some U19 elite players.
There is always a lot of focus on the preparation of strokes and in every coach education I have seen you hear the same things. You turn your body, point you left hand to the shuttle, pull your right hand backwards and hit the shuttle.
In our camp we had a boy from England and he did not do that, he just let his right arm hang down and made one move towards the shuttle at the very last moment. Several coaches tried to change that and tried to make him prepare to hit the shuttle. Well, I don't like that preparation at all. So I asked why they would do that. No real good arguments came out of that question, so I gave my arguments not to do the preparation.
Everything we do in badminton has to be placed in 'time and space' so create time and space for yourself and take time and space away from your opponent. Literally you can test everything you do on this theory and if something doesn't give you time and space then it is NOT the perfect way to do it, so is the preparation of your stroke.
First of all you don't have the time to do this preparation in 90% of all strokes, badminton is simply too fast. By making this preparation you give your opponent time and you take time away from yourself that is 50% of things you don't want to do. By holding your racket and arm down you show NOTHING to your opponent and thereby you take time away from him / her because they cannot read what you are about to do.
Your footwork will improve as well because by having your arm and racket down your feet will be the leading part of your body, so the racket is following the feet (in the back court you want your racket to follow your feet and in the front court you want your feet to follow your racket).
By following your feet in the back court you will get better under the shuttle and this will improve your stroke and stability on court. You will simply be in a better position and your technique will improve.
The second thing that is important is the fact that you lose power in the preparation of your stroke, one explosive move will give you 20% more power. Players at the camp where in shock to feel how hard they could smash doing the stroke my way. It is also very logical when you look at the motion in a mathematical way. Stretch out your arm will make you slow, keep your arms close to your body will give you more speed and more speed is more power.
The last thing that is super important is the fact that when you lift up your arm and turn your body you will have a lot of motion of your body with the hand just because of the rotation you will make. By following your feet and make one motion in your stroke you will limit your rotation and you will NOT play outside the court so easy.
When I told the coaches and players this they were in a lot of doubt and told me that top players don't do this. WRONG. All top players are doing this, we just did not focus on it before. I have been watching top players videos with some of the coaches and they were shocked to learn that all top players are using this technique. We have been working with this technique already for a long time in our academy and everybody likes this technique. Also in the camp this summer we had some outstanding results with the players.
It is not a very easy subject to write about, but you can follow our facebookpage to get a lot more info about this and other ways of looking at badminton.
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