Copyright (c) 2012 Gerald Ong Soon Lee
No doubt everybody knows that practice makes perfect! But then again what is perfection in Badminton?
So of course you need to be exposed to the ideas, you need that knowledge to play good badminton, to improve fast. Speaking from experience, I myself did many times make the mistake of practicing before understanding.
For example, before my coach from the national team, taught me about the different smashes and when to use them, I used to think smashing was simply hitting the ball downwards as hard as possible.
So for many years I was simply just training how to ‘smash’, how to hit the ball downward as hard as possible. I missed out so many other types of smash that could have greatly improved my game.
But now, I know of the other types of smashing techniques such as the half smash, the flat smash, and flick smash as well as their purpose and when to use them.
Take half smashing in singles for example, unlike the full smash, smashing with only half your strength lets you to maintain your body balance, allowing you to follow up the next shot way faster.
Another reason to use the half smash is to break your opponent’s feel, since your opponent could have gotten used to the speed of your hard smashes, when you suddenly throw a softer smash shot, the change in speed could make them give a weak return.
Thus an example when it’s applicable would be after a long rally, when hard smashes, countless drop shots just doesn’t seem to work, you could try doing a half smash and get ready to ‘catch’ your opponent’s next return.
Well here’s another simpler example of how important theoretical knowledge is. Have you seen many people do wonderful badminton tricks? Yet you just don’t seem to be able to perform that trick, or even if you do, you don’t get the same efficiency as that person does.
Here’s one simple rule that you can follow that will definitely get you starting practicing trick shots in the right way. The rule is that in order to trick your opponent, you need to perform the ‘trick’ move properly first, before you hit the actual shot. Too many times I have seen people trying to do the trick shot by swinging their arms, heads and body in all directions.
It’s really funny when you actually see them do that, but what they really missed out is that the trick ultimate comes from how you swing the racket. Move to the front, racket held high, swing the racket like you’re doing a net kill, and your opponent is going to think you’re going to do a net kill. Only after the first move has been done properly, then you can change and do a ‘trick shot’.
For the net kill example you can suddenly hold back your swing and gently touch the shuttle over and it becomes a net shot. The rule is that simple but there are many ways of doing it, then from this point on you need to practice! So knowledge is important, and so is practice.
Okay so summing up what I have covered, you can now see why exposing yourself to theoretical knowledge is important as well instead of just investing all your time in practicing, but yet neither should be left out if you really want to take your game to the next level!
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