How to get better at badminton (Low Intermediate)

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Kevin Han, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Kevin Han

    Kevin Han New Member

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    Hey people, I need your collective advice.
    I have been badminton for 3 years and I am a low intermediate player (23,M):
    -know all basic footwork and strokes
    -have zero power in shots
    -trying to fix my forearm stroke with the forearm pronation motion
    -in-between a recreational player and a weak club player

    Frankly, I am not really good at badminton but really like the game.
    I really want to get better at the game but with my current style I see no hope.
    I want to train and exercise to get better but I have no idea where to start.
    I have searched the internet and tried a few small exercises and drills but it has not resulted into much.

    Physically, I am below average, the typical unsporty asian guy:
    -can't touch my toes(bending over)
    -barely 30 push ups / probably zero pull ups (not much muscle)
    -1 minute-ish wall sits
    -can't do double under (jump rope) / real slow runner
    -only sport team I was in was table tennis and it is more technique than physicality

    I have trouble getting consistent badminton coaching because of my situation of constantly moving around.
    Are there any tips, exercises, training menus that you recommend for a weak/low intermediate player?

    I really want to get better and been doing some basic exercises like push ups at home but I cannot imagine much of an improvement when I start to play badminton again.

    Thanks in advance and stay safe from this pandemic situation people
     
  2. sijin

    sijin New Member

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    Hi Kevin,
    I recomend that you work on physical strength, not too much but just enough to gain strength in your upper and lower body. work on your push ups resistance by trying to do 2 or 3 more push ups everyday and lunge up the stairs every chance you get, do squats with and without weight to work your legs. there is many workouts and exercise plans on the internet to help you gain muscle and strength. as you may have seen proffesionals play, they are all very muscular and strong so if you really want to take your badminton to the next level then you will have to work on your strength its something which you can do alone without a badminton coach that wont be able to do much, other than complain and put you down about how weak you are. Once you have gained the strength, go into your garden or some free space (high roof) if you dont have access to a badminton court and just swing your racket. practice the way you would do forehand smash and backhand clears and defence shots and all of the skills you can think of.
     
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  3. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    Firstly, don't be too critical on yourself. Like anyone, you can improve both physical and technical abilities.

    My overall advice is to stay positive and believe in yourself and choose a basic training program you can stick with. It doesnt have to be too extensive. It's better to do something everyday for 20 minutes than once in a while for 3 hours. Valid for badminton and physical training. Keep it up and search for training programs related to badminton online. We've got a lot of topics covering both in the forum already.
     
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  4. Kevin Han

    Kevin Han New Member

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    Thanks for the great comment sijin. I am trying push ups, planks, wall sits and squats after every meal. Hopefully, it starts showing some results in my physique! I have two questions:
    1) How do i add more weight / variation to my exercises (or should i stick to just increasing the number of actions/sets)?
    2) Any additional exercises you recommend for upper body strength?
     
  5. Kevin Han

    Kevin Han New Member

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    Thanks for sharing some great words. It was just very frustrating to be not that good at something I really liked! Hopefully, I can stick to a regular physical routine and see some improvement in my play!
     
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  6. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    that's not bad after three years.

    A low intermediate player has bad footwork. That can 'cause' a big lack of power in a game.

    You said you can do 30 pushups. 30 pushups is good.

    According to https://www.topendsports.com/testing/tests/home-pushup.htm The above average 30-39 year old man can do 25-33 pushups. (sure you're not 30-39, but 30-39 year old men are not weak)

    You have very strange ideas if you think the average person can do way more than that. You also have very old fashioned ideas about how to build or measure strength.

    well, besides that that's above average for e.g. 30-39 year olds.

    There's been times when i've been lifting some weight that is way above average, and lacked power, and it was because of hitting technique.

    There was a time when I was lifting a lot of weight and struggled to clear it well. And a time when with good hitting technique I struggled to keep it in the court!

    And that's even aside from the footwork to get to the right place.

    Well that excuse isn't going to work when the best badminton players in the world are asian.including the top smashers as well as many of the best olympic weightlifters. And lots of things involving speed.

    The strongest olympic weightlifters in the world are from China.

    And women can play badminton.. Women with very low levels of muscle. So that should tell you that it's ridiculous to blame strength when pushups indicate you are above average strength for 30-39 year old men.


    You say probably, so you haven't even tried!

    There are some female athletes that can't do a pull up. And in sports that require more strength than badminton.

    And there are people that can do pullups but don't hit with power.

    I've done weighted pullups before, but when i've hit with bad technique, or had poor footwork getting to the shuttle, i've lacked power.. (It is possible to hit with bad technique and still get good power or distance, but there are levels of bad technique!)

    And some people have good power and can't do much of a squat(even without a bar, just a plain bodyweight squat)

    Maybe you can figure out some solutions. How to get more consistent coaching while moving around a lot.

    e.g. Is there any regularity to the movements..

    If you have a bunch of coaches on your phone and you know which ones use which leisure centres, and you can book a court you know is available, then you could text them and say "hey i'm near this leisure centre today or later this week, are you available".
     
    #6 ralphz, Jul 10, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2020
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  7. Mason

    Mason Regular Member

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    It’s very challenging to help someone without seeing them play ... do you have any recordings of yourself playing that you could post ?
    But without seeing a video I think most would agree that improving your footwork will provide you the best carry over to your games and your power
     
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  8. Kevin Han

    Kevin Han New Member

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    Thanks for the great encouragement! I will definitely try working on my footwork then. I really want to get better at badminton but people who are above me seem to have much superior physical ability. I am not saying that asian people are weak compared to others but I was just referring to the stereotypical type of group where I believe that the average asian person (around me/Japan) does not do much physical activity.

    Definitely, I'll try to think about the technique than purely the physical side too. Thank you!
     
  9. Kevin Han

    Kevin Han New Member

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    I do not have any footage on me. Hopefully, I get to film myself in a few weeks when I start to play again. I would love some advice. I'll also put down footwork in my area of focus right now. Currently, I am prioritizing (from highest) my physical activity (push ups etc.), footwork, then overhead stroke.
     
  10. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    Without seeing you in action on court its kinda imagination games for me & my imagination is kinda wild:p.

    Anyway, back to the topic.
    You said strength, but i know a little slim girl (maybe 6-7 yo) that are able to perform clear hit easily & repeatly.
    So maybe your technique is wrong so you can generate power perfectly.

    Anyway, what is power? Badminton is not all about power. You can play long rally, going for stamina fight. Or yo can play deception, or precission shot that makes your opponent to every empty corner.
    Even tho im proud to my super smash, but i had to realize a hard reality that on higher level, no matter how hard your smash, you wont get a point from it directly. Instead you need to tactically setup a shot that are imposible to block rather than brute force all smash shot.

    Lastly, experience really matter. When you repeatly play with the same person again & again, you getting to know each other habbit & style so you can make early preparation. But when you are facing different person, you will be lagging at 1st coz you dont know what to do next & seems all your shot that normally work on your friend suddenly become useless. So playing with different player many times will open up your mind.
     
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  11. Mason

    Mason Regular Member

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    I was in a worse situation because I started replaying in my mid 30s and had no training
    I made a video as to how I made some progress , perhaps there is a point or 2 that can help.


    Even still working on your footwork is probably best ....
     
    #11 Mason, Jul 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  12. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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  13. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    Get a pullup bar that fits in a doorway, it just slots into place, there are loads on amazon and they've been around for 2 decades.

    [​IMG]

    It's not good that you don't know if you can do a pullup and that you then guess that you can't, even though you can do 30 pushups.

    Try to do it (so then you will know), and if you can't then work on it. (funny thing with pullups is it's actually easier to do them with bad technique!) and you could use a band or maybe a chair if you struggle and build up. Just for your own physical fitness interests, pullups should be of interest, particularly given your self doubts that are making a mountain out of a molehill re "one pullup". (If only badminton was as easy for me as (weighted) pullups!)

    And with badminton technique, one of the things you can do, is you can actually stand at the back and be fed a shuttle, so you can work on the hitting action without much footwork. Coaches may do that with people. That's something you can't really do in a game. That way you isolate your hitting action without certain footwork issues ruining the shot.
     
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  14. Jay Ng

    Jay Ng Regular Member

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    As important as footwork is, low to intermediate players can usually improve a lot by reminding themselves to be relaxed in movement up until the moment the shuttle is hit.

    Remember that all shots start with a relaxed grip, the tightening of the grip is only used on impact for shots with power. I see a lot of low to intermediate players who are under the impression that getting more power comes from strong muscles alone.

    Learning to play relaxed all the way through the stroke and tightening the grip on impact will give you more power than doing press-ups every night.

    Another improvement that low to intermediate players can improve on for more power is making sure to take a step back on the racket leg along with turning the body side on prior to playing the stroke. I still see a lot of club and even some league players playing power shots with the body facing the net all through the stroke relying solely on their arms and shoulders to generate power. Practice taking a step back when pulling your racket back and taking a step forward when playing the stroke will make big improvements. I tell my kids to have L shaped feet and W arms prior to playing the stroke.

    I play with a ex-county player in his early 60s who’s had 2 hip operations as well knee operations on both knees. He is still a lot more superior than most of the club players even with hobbling between each shot
     
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  15. Mason

    Mason Regular Member

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    This is an awesome post in my opinion !!
     
  16. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    I recall you showed that you once had a coaching lesson 1-1, do you still?
     
  17. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    Have you ever seen a pro player doing that(in a game)? If so can you show a clip with timeframe?

    Are you describing A) somebody stepping, making contact and finishing their step Or B)turning the hips and making contact and then stepping? There are interesting differences between "A" and "B", i'm wondering which you mean?

    Either way, I'm not sure any pro players do that, though it is easier than a scissors (I don't think those methods are normally recommended, though they are arguably better / less worse, than somebody not coming forward afterwards after eg a clear).

    If you really think pro players do that(in a game), then i'd be interested in seeing a clip of them doing so. "L shaped feet" and "taking a step forward when playing the stroke"

    Normally what people are suggested to do is to try to do a scissors, and that involves hips rather than a step. And then without the step, a lot of the time their feet are perhaps pointing more the same way rather than like an L.

    I'm not sure if a step is more of an old fashioned method but i'd be interested in seeing what you mean in a video of county level or pro level players playing a game. Players can do a block jump but then any coming forwards is very much after the shot. What you describe doesn't sound like a scissors or block jump.

    The footwork that you describe does work at club level though, i've done it myself at times, but I try to practise / do more of what people consider to be "proper technique"!

    You could be right, i'm open to it, though i'd be interested in seeing a clip from a game of an international player or at least county player(fairly current one!), doing it(A/B/what you described),.on youtube.
     
    #17 ralphz, Jul 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
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  18. Jay Ng

    Jay Ng Regular Member

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    I’m

    Why are you talking about scissor jump when you’re talking about low level to intermediate?

    OP is honest enough to say that he’s is low level to intermediate and showing him L shaped feet and W arms isn’t old fashioned, it’s a description to show someone the basics without sounding technical and easy for them to understand. I explain it to my primary school, high school kids and social adult players this way as it’s easy to understand and that they should practice it until it becomes natural. Add the relax to tightening grip to their learning and they will soon find that no part of the court is too far for them to hit the shuttle to.

    I’ve played 14yr old girls that are able hit rear court clears effortlessly so if a 23 yr old male says that he has zero power then it means that he is missing the basic technique.

    Showing how to scissor kick like a professional in a game isn’t going to help him advance as a player at his level if he can’t hit a rear court clear easily.
     
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  19. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    Do you think that a low intermediate player shouldn't know what a scissor jump is?

    He did describe himself as low intermediate, not low to intermediate. Also it is possible for a low intermediate player to lack power in e.g. a clear, because of not positioning themself well behind it, and if their momentum is still going back..

    When I mentioned a scissor jump, I was talking to you verifying if that was or wasn't what you were talking about 'cos it sounded like it wasn't what you meant. And I was right..

    Nothing wrong with asking you that! I wasn't suggesting that he should or shouldn't do it. Or that he should or shouldn't do a scissor kick. And I don't necessarily disagree with your suggestion that he shouldn't do a scissor kick.

    (And by the way, funnily enough, somebody recently linked to this video demonstrating some very basic footwork way below "low intermediate" level, and doing a scissor kick
    www.youtube(dot)com(slash)watch?v=7REE98r01N8 and I don't see you taking issue with that, clearly one person may think one should, one that one shouldn't. I personally don't take a strong view one way or the other on either of those sides)

    I don't disagree with your philosophy of teaching a very basic style of technique that pro players don't use. (though some would differ)

    But I think it's a good idea to say that's what you are doing.

    Some people take the view that one should learn "proper technique"(like, what the pros do but done not so well, and work on it), rather than a different technique to what they do. There are different philosophies, i'm just in favour of some transparency over the approach.

    So if the player is doing a simple version of a technique, and something not done by pro players, then i'd be in favour of telling them that..

    You may know that Coach LJB shows some techniques that many of the experienced members here including coaches, are not keen on and would even say to steer clear of. And he doesn't say "look pro players don't do this, this is just for beginner level, once you are better you wouldn't do this technique". and that's one issue people have with some of the things he says.

    Also during one's badminton playing, a thinking person sees different players, maybe even speaks to different coaches or players more advanced than they are that played alongside them, hears different things. Sees different things. Watches games. And a bit of context to what they are doing is important.

    By the way, he said he is low intermediate. If you go into a club for intermediate players, there will be people doing scissor kicks. He is aspiring to get from low intermediate towards upper intermediate. But sure maybe he is beginner level rather than intermediate.. (though it is possible for an intermediate player to do a poor clear in a game, because their footwork going back is still poor, you can get quite a few weak clears happening from time to time, at low intermediate level)

    I am not disagreeing with your approach but I wanted to check if that was indeed what you were meaning.

    I have at times used the basic approach you mention, and it's good. It has a lot of advantages over what is generally considered to be "proper technique". It's easier to be accurate. Really i'm more in favour of what you describe than you think. I mentioned it once on the forum a long while back, but haven't seen anybody else mention it and it's the first time I have seen anybody mention the method on the forum and i'm pleased you did.

    I would add though that when moving back then if a bit late and you are not really behind it enough, then I think you have to use a scissors. That has been my experience of that method. I don't know if you'd agree? What would you have them do in that situation. They have to jump back to get it.

    And did you mean "A" or "B"?

    A) somebody stepping, making contact and finishing their step?

    Or

    B)turning the hips and making contact and then stepping?
     
    #19 ralphz, Jul 11, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
  20. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    It's good, but consider that you you did actually do a scissor kick in the first 10 seconds of the first video you posted. You aren't actually doing the method that he outlined. The advice you got in your long 'help you' thread, and what you follow, follows a different philosophy to the post here..

    It's good to be aware of that. I personally don't think there's a right/wrong there I think it's good to do/know both!
     

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