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Seen someone with badminton footwork so smooth they seem to walk on court? Have you played with your friends and wished you could just move that little bit faster so that you could take his shots?
Or experienced a smash so hard that all you do is see the ball? It could very well be due to inefficient badminton footwork!
To me, there is no such thing as the 'perfect' footwork, only efficient and inefficient footwork, it is like an art, people are constantly discovering new ways to play better, move better with creativity and innovation.
There is this saying, no matter how skillful, no matter how powerful you are, if you cannot reach the shuttle, then those power and skills are useless. Hence an efficient badminton footwork benefits a person in many aspects!
Saves strength because you do not take unnecessary steps.
Efficient channeling of strength meaning you can reach your desired area with minimal strength.
Increases speed - You will not come across a situation where your legs feel like its rooted to the ground and be able to move around the court smoothly.
Is beautiful - Looks effortless and graceful from the outside.
Over here i am sharing a really basic guide that could benefit those who have just started badminton by giving them a basic foundation before they progress. So as you progress, i would actually encourage you could creatively explore the different kinds of footwork.
Yes so for basic footwork for Singles, everything starts from the center of the court, you start moving from the center to the corners, and then after you hit the shot you have to try to return to the center after every shot.
For those right handed, the leg doing the final lunge should be your right leg, similarly those left handed should ultimately lunge with their left leg. The reason is simple, you get more reach. We shall call that ending leg 'Master Leg'
To prove it, you can try this it out, try standing in the the T joint of the court, lunge as far as you can with one leg and stretch forward with your racket, mark the maximum distance of your racket head, then try lunging with the other leg and stretch forward with your racket
Compare which leg you lunge with allows your racket to cover more distance and you will realize that with lunge with the same leg as your hand, you will be able to reach further.
Firstly is the net, so how do you go from the center to the two fronts of the court? Simple! Its just like running literally. So a right handed person will start with left leg and the right leg.
So from the center you just have to take to steps, starting with your non master leg and ending with your master leg.
There are two ways you can return from the front, one is the more aggressive manner while the other is less tiring but is slowly and more defensive in style.
First is like walking back, this is when you do shots that are slower such as the lifting, this is because you will have much more time to react, so basically you just have to walk backwards with big steps, briskly back to the center.
This is relaxing but it lowers your bodies readiness for a fast shot next.
Second is the side step, this is when you play a fast shot like netting or a flat push in the front, hence after your lunge your knees will probably be still bend, so about a 45 degrees bend, side step back into the center diagonally if you are from the corner of the court, making sure your master leg is in front all the time while retreating.
Now this is one that is seems easy to learn, but very hard to apply, because smashing does not defend solely on footwork itself, there so much more such as anticipation, readiness and strength.
So here's how you do the side defend. For Forehand defend, if the shuttle is not too side, you can immediate use the calves of your non master leg to push sidewards so that your master leg can lunge to the side.
The other method is if the shuttle is very corner. Then this small push off in the first example may not be enough, your non master leg will have to take a small step and then push off with your master leg ending up in the lunging position.
Now the backhand defend, similarly there are two ways i recommend you could try to defend.
First is your master leg push off with your non master leg landing in the lunge position, this is easy to do if the shuttle is not too corner. However if the shuttle is near the sidelines, you may have to use another method for more reach.
The next method is that your master leg push off and cross over towards the backhand defend line. That means you are no longer facing the net but the sidelines as you just used your master leg to lunge to the side.
Moving on is the badminton footwork for the baseline court. There are a few variations to this.
There are two ways to do a forehand baseline footwork, their starting are the same but the difference is after you hit the shuttle and return to the middle.
To go to the baseline, you first have to do a side step backwards with the master leg at the back at an angle, towards the shuttle.
When you are near the back you can choose to jump at switch legs, meaning the master leg comes forward (Which will be explained in the video below) or, you can choose to jump sidewards with the master leg still behind.
The advantage of not switching over this is that it is easier to perform and is more suitable for shots that are faster but, unlike switching legs you are unable to use the power from the momentum of your turning body, thus not able to deliver that powerful a shot.
Two ways to do it. This is the last of the more basic badminton footwork i will be sharing about today, which is the backhand baseline.
For the backhand in the baseline area, one is the backhand, and the other is the overhead shot. Definitely the overhead shot is much better because the backhand will require you to turn backwards, meaning you will not be able to see both the opponent and the net, putting you in a disadvantage itself.
To do the backhand first you can choose to side step backwards first then turn and do a backhand, or you could turn to your back and then side step to the corner and do a backyard. Soon i will add a page on how to do the backhand!
Now the overhead shot, there are some variation to how to hit overhead shots but will cover the basic overhead shot.
To do the overhead, all you have to do is turn with your master leg at the back, and just jump, hit the shot while your legs are switching, meaning when you land, your master leg is now in front.
The previous footwork is more suitable for shots that are not too corner, however if the shot is too corner you can turn and do a side step before you jump and hit the shuttle.
Also a point to note, is that when i mention the jump and switch leg, guys usually do a double leg jump where else the ladies usually do a hop and switch leg, hopefully soon i can find a video to demonstrate what i meant to give you all a clearer picture.
So this is all for the basic badminton footwork, lastly i found a YouTube video which demonstrates how to do badminton footwork to give you a clearer picture.