Badminton, which is the second most played sport in the world, is loved by many. But, the ones who make it to the top to become great players are few. Why is this so? This is because they have developed a certain set of skills that enables them to perform at very high levels.
It’s quite challenging to develop and possess all of these skills. However, with a lot of hard work and dedication, it’s possible to obtain these skills. Let us look at each one of them and their importance.
These are 15 skills needed to be a good badminton player.
1. Proper Form and Technique
The game ultimately boils down to the serves, swings, strokes, footwork, as well as stances. The efficiency and effectiveness of all of these depend highly on the quality of the technique used. Mastering the game effectively and ensuring that energy is well utilized in each movement is paramount for this sport.
Without becoming adept in form and technique, one can never hope to become an accomplished player. Efficiency in movements is accomplished by following the proper form and technique.
Like any valuable endeavor in life, this game requires focus to excel in it.
Being able to consistently maintain focus on the game, as well as on improving and learning every time is vital to achieving excellence. Dedication, which can be described as focusing for long periods on a specific task, will yield fruits over time. Also, long-term focus will allow players to take consistent actions in improving their performance in their game.
Concentration has a lot to do with being able to think with sufficient clarity and being able to block out external disturbances. Great players are able to block everything out and focus their attention only on the game.
This skill can also be termed as the level of alertness that is maintained for a long time. In the case of badminton, this duration can be anywhere close to an hour or more. Being able to play and not get distracted by external or personal circumstances is quite a challenge. It can be said that, besides the technical aspect, good and great players differ in their mental strength to overcome challenging moments.
As with most racquet sports, this game requires a lot of stamina. Your ability to react fast to your opponent’s shots, as well as strategies, will highly depend on your levels of stamina.
In the event, two equally strong players are pitted against each other, almost always, it is the one with the greater stamina that wins. Stamina can be built with adequate training.
The speed with which you are able to move from one end to the other will profoundly impact your ability to control and dominate the game. The faster you are, the more the chances you have of meeting the shots at its highest point during the downward trajectory.
This allows players to have a range of options to choose from when hitting the birdie; whether is a drop shot or smash, or whatever will take to surprise your opponent. As a result, and because of the surprise element, your shots will become unpredictable, allowing you to have more control over the game.
Agility is different from speed, as it involves the ability to respond with fast movements, as well as to change one’s body positions easily. It’s necessary for players to have the capability to move fast, as well as to change directions and reposition themselves to respond to their opponent’s shots quickly.
This skill is vital for positioning yourself for different shots. This includes the steps you take, your stance, your balance, the direction in which you place your feet, among others. Many players will argue that it is a significant factor in one’s success on the pitch. By having proper footwork, players can keep up with the speed of the game, as well as reduce their risk of injury.
Proper training right from the beginning will ensure the use of proper footwork.
Strategizing your shots and moves to counter your opponent is a skill that experienced players develop over time. They understand that having a proper game strategy allows them to be efficient and effective during each match. This skill can be seen in how, when, and where a player hits his shots.
9. Knowing How to Analyze Your Opponent
Keenly observing your opponent and understanding their strengths and weaknesses can help you develop a strategy that will increase your chances of success. Most players also try to understand their opponents’ game strategy, so that they can effectively counter it. Keen observation skills, as well as experience, can help you in decoding your opponent’s strategy and using it to your advantage.
By actively assessing and testing your opponents, during the beginning of the game, you’ll be able to learn and take advantage of their weaknesses.
There are mainly two types of strength needed on the pitch – Mental and Physical. To achieve efficient physical strength, for badminton, you need to do proper off-court conditioning. This will result in being able to adequately swing, sprint, jump, as well as maintain balance.
On the other hand, mental strength, or “grit,” as some call it, is equally important. This can be described as an attitude of persistence and resilience to not give in tough situations.
11. Great Hand-Eye Coordination
Hitting a flying object with precision using a racket that has a limited surface is no small feat. While playing badminton, it’s difficult to predict the birdie as multiple factors may affect its trajectory. So, extremely good eyesight along with excellent hand and eye coordination is necessary for playing this game.
As with many racquet sports, in badminton, having proper body balance allows players to execute complex and quick movements needed during a game. When the intensity of the game increases, players need to perform fast and sudden movements. For example, jump smashes, lunges, running backward, shuffling, among others, require precise body balance and stability; without it, it’s easy to fall or injure oneself.
A critical insight to improve balance is to always keep the body center of gravity as low as possible. This increases balance and stability when playing badminton.
Fitness is the health and well-being of one’s mind and body. It can be mainly developed through proper training, nutrition, and rest. To sustain the long grueling matches, badminton the players need to be extremely fit
If you observe professional players and their lifestyles, you’ll be amazed at the excellent care they take with regard to exercise, nutrition, and rest. Most adopt a ‘no compromise’ approach to these three areas to ensure maximum performance on the pitch.
Discipline is foundational to any sport. Having the discipline to overlook short time pleasures and conveniences for long-term success is something that all players need to master. This allows them to achieve greater success and develop patience, as well as inner strength.
Players who develop discipline will be able to handle defeat, as well to set goals and achieve them consistently.
While not exactly a skill, it is certainly a necessary component for success. The passion for the game and the drive to master it is what will manifest as dedication and discipline. This, in turn, leads to developing mastery in the game. Passion for the game can be referred to as the fuel that drives and leads to success