Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Badminton for Starters

In the world of badminton, or any sport for that matter, chances of getting to the top are a whole lot better if one starts at a young age, where all sports attributes - flexibility, stamina, strength, speed, and mental alertness - can be shaped and structured easily. That is a fact.

But for those who are slightly older and want to get into badminton, it is an entirely different scenario. But for a variety of reasons, one perseveres and got himself over the basics. What’s next? There are a lot of badminton skills one need to master if he ever wants to beat Gade orLin in the Finals, but we are not talking about the international level here. It’s just you wanting to smash the shuttle against your neighbor for beating you last week.

Though you might not reach the pinnacle of international badminton, beating your neighbor (assuming he is not a world-class player) is still possible. Here’s how:

1. Use the service as a weapon – whether you shot it to the back or place it up front, the service gives you a good opportunity to score. If the receiver is not a rusher and has slow reflexes, directing the shuttle straight to his body is a fine way to earn a quick point.

If he is not a jumper, place the shuttle in the backcourt and wait for the weak return. You can either go for the smash or a cross-court drop.

Another form of the attacking serve is placing the shuttle close to the sidelines. Most of the time, the receiver makes a soft return and is already out of position to defend his court.

2. Use your opponents’ weak side to your advantage – sometimes, a badminton player has a strong forehand but less power in his backhand and vice versa. When your opponent shows you that flaw, attack his weak side immediately. Direct your smashes and drives to his backhand side if he has no power in that side. Same thing goes for the other side.

3. Do some theatrics – everybody wants to be an actor, right. Acting skills is also one of the most used talents in badminton. One is grunting and flying to meet a floating shuttle as you poise for a smash. This move will prompt your opponent to go and defend the middle court. Just tap the shuttle just across the net. Make sure that you don’t tap it too hard. If you got it right, your opponent will shake his head in disbelief. Curse you even.

4. Direct your smashes straight to your opponent – a surefire way to earn the point. Turn your opponent into a target practice dummy. Now, this will really take some skill.

5. Make your opponent run – gain control of the shuttles and put some angles in your attacks. This will wear down anyone who stands in your way.