Badminton Life

Play Doubles and Singles to Improve Skills

The best way to improve your overall badminton skills is to play both singles and doubles during the development stage, England's head coach Ian Wright says.

Wright, providing some badminton tips for the Guardian newspaper, saying singles and doubles will allow you to develop a fuller range of skills rather that concentrating on one type of discipline. Only later should you specialise.

"Singles hones your agility and decision-making skills, and doubles improves your power, reflexes and speed," Wright, a respected coach around the world, said.

Wright also said that one of the biggest fables about badminton is that all the power in your shots comes from the wrist.

While the wrist is a key component of making a powerful smash, it requires other parts of the body to go into action as well.

Said Wright: "It's a myth that the power of a badminton shot comes from the wrist. Strong legs propel you into the air, a strong core translates that strength into the upper body, and strong upper and forearms finish the shot.

"Training should focus firstly on leg strength with weights or plyometric exercises [such as jumping], then core strength and then the upper body."

Wright adds that a sense of unpredictability will also help you get an edge over your opponent, especially with the modern, lighter racquets that are in use. These help to deceive your rivals.

"The key to deception is to keep your shot preparation as short as possible to limit the information about where it's going," Wright explains.

However, if you want to play a more defensive game, then an old, heavier racquet would be more appropriate.

"A great way to speed up defensive reflexes is to use a heavier racquet," Wright said. "Practise the low defensive shots with an old racquet for a couple of minutes, then switch back to your normal one."

Wright also advises players to avoid using the backhand, because the power of these shots may sometimes not be enough to trouble the opposition. This is especially true when you are at the back of the court.

He said: "Always try to play a forehand, even if that means reaching across to play one on your backhand side."

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