How to Be a Good Badminton Player
By Willie Ong
To become a good badminton player, beside Physical Skill, you also must have a Mental Strength. Mental Strength is very crucial especially when come to the tournament. Besides these, Sport Nutrition is also important especially for the player preparing for the tournament.
1. Physical Skill:
Let's start with the most fundamental of badminton skill, ie: Strokes, Steps/Footwork, Stamina, and Strategy.
The basic technique of badminton strokes includes Overheads forehand and backhand clear / smash / drop, drives, lifts, net shot. You are higher recommended to learn from the badminton demo video(see link at the bottom of this page). With the video, it will save you a lot of time learning all the basic strokes.
After you have learn the basic strokes, the next step you have to do is practice and practise. Without the ability to execute all the different strokes, one will not be a complete badminton player.
Steps/Footwork is always comes together with stroke. A good badminton must have a good coordination of footwork and strokes. This includes foot, body, arms, swing coordination.
A badminton can last anything from 15 minutes to 1 hour plus and there can be more than one game within a day. A completed badminton match is best of 3 games, that means you got to play at least 2 games continuously. Without good stamina, a badminton player will be unable to successfully execute his/her desired strokes or even cannot finish the game. Again, stamina need to be build over the time via regular training, workouts or exercises. Regular workout will also help to improve your game by increasing your arm strength.
With good badminton skill and stamina is not enough, you must also have a good strategy to win a game. you have to make the correct shot at the correct time, either a drop-shot, smash, or clear? This is also important to identify the weakest point of opponent. This is especially crucial for doubles game, you should identify your opponent weakness and attack the opponent who is weaker. This is the most simple strategy. If your opponent is weak on his/her backhand clear, then you should hit the shuttle towards his/her backhand more. To go one level higher, it is also important to make the correct choice for a series of return and to lay out a game plan for whole match. This is so called the strategy of a badminton game.
2. Mental Strength:
Besides physical skill, a good badminton player must have good mental strength as well. Mental strength is the ability to make the correct decision even when under pressure or at the crucial moment. For example, when one is down to 5-19, or reaching the match point, 20-20. The player must stay focus to the game regardless whether he/she is leaving behind, leading, or under huge pressure due to the internal or external factor (eg: audience). A good badminton player must also be able to change strategy during the game on different situation. A good badminton player will not go down without a fight and should be able to keep his pace and the accuracy of his shots until the very last point in the game. A good example would be the game in between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan during the Malaysia Open 2006. Lin Dan was already leading 20-13 in the rubber game and this was a really difficult situation for Lee Chong Wei, But he handled the pressure well and showed a great fighting spirit, slowly clawing back in to the game. And Finally, he won the game by 23-21.
You also have to keep yourself calm in the court and with high EQ. Many incidents, good or bad, can happen during a match either outside or inside the court. For example, bad line calls, umpires decisions or insulted by the audience or even opponent coach. See The Athlete's Mind Guide(refer link below this page) .
3. Sport Nutrition
Beside physical skill and mental strength, Sport Nutrition is also important especially for the player preparing for the tournament. On a day-to-day basis, you have to take care of your nutrition by consuming a well balanced diet comprising carbohydrate, fat, protein, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and water. A Nutritionist can extend help in achieving this. Water should be consumed in just adequate amounts before, during and after play, ideally at the amounts required to quench the player's thirst.