Footwork is one of the fundamentals of badminton, and I can tell you this, without good footwork, you will not be able to win because you can’t reach the shuttle. In this post, I will present various badminton drills and exercises for improving footwork.
Every badminton player will tell you that you need speed and stamina to win. Without speed, you won’t reach the shuttle, and without stamina, you can’t keep up the speed. You’re probably wondering how to get faster with footwork and gain more stamina now, right?
I’ll walk you through a few badminton drills and exercises for improving footwork.
Pointing footwork is the most basic drill for improving footwork. This is great for improving stamina as well as refining technique. Let me explain how to do this.
1. With a Partner
One of the ways to practice this way is to move to wherever your partner points. There are 6 points that we point to; left in front of the net, right in front of the net, left and right middle of sideline, left back corner, and right back corner. Speed is not of the utmost importance so make sure your footwork is entirely refined and secure.
2. By Yourself
The other way is to do footwork by yourself. This way is a lot more convenient, and you can target specifically at what you’re not good at. In this one, you would move to the 6 points mentioned above but without the pointing. Again speed is not the most important but rather technique. What I like about this drill is that you can imagine you’re playing a game and do footwork based on what the opponent hits. You can also practice footwork that you specifically need to work on. For example, moving back to the backhand corner.
For both these variants, 3 sets of 12 is a good warm-up, and do 5 sets of 20 if you want to push yourself and improve your stamina a lot more.
1. Front and Back (Straight)
In the straight front and back, you want to choose a half-court. Start in the middle. When the timer starts, do a smashing motion after quickly shuffling to the back and then run up to the front and make a net kill motion. Then keep going back and forth at full speed.
2. Front and Back (Diagonal)
This one is the same as straight, except you move diagonally. Smash at the back and then net kill front after running diagonally. For both these drills, you want to switch sides after a few sets so you can practice both backhand and forehand movements.
3. Side to Side (Net Kill)
Start in the middle, slightly more towards the net, of a full court this time. Once the timer starts, forehand net kill at the net and then move back to the middle. Then backhand net kill and repeat at full speed.
4. Side to Side (Defense, No Jump)
For this drill, start right in the middle and then shuffle and touch each sideline. So shuffle left and right at full speed.
5. Side to Side (Offense, With Jump)
This one is the same as defense except jump close to the sidelines. With this one, you should be able to shuffle, shuffle, jump, shuffle, shuffle, jump. Try not to bounce when you land so you can immediately shuffle when you land.
6. Corner to Corner Overhead Swings
This one is like the side to side net kill, except you do it with a smashing motion at the back. Go to a corner at the back from the middle and smash and then move to the middle. Then move to the other corner and smash. Repeat at full speed.
In this drill, speed is essential, so make sure you go as fast as you can. I recommend 3 sets of 1 minute for each of the variants. If it’s too difficult, lower it to 30 seconds.
Doing actual footwork is excellent for improving your footwork, as evident as it sounds, but what if you don’t have a court? Shuffling and running are great exercises for improving your stamina and speed and thus your footwork.
With running, I personally like jogging and suicides. Jogs are great because you can do them anywhere, and your stamina gets a significant boost. If you’re able to jog 30 minutes every day, then go for it. It’s great for your body!
Suicides are great for agility and speed. The quick turns and fast running are great for badminton’s quick reactions to shots. For suicides, try to find a few lines and run to each. Start at the first line and touch the second line. Then run back. Run to the third line after and touch that and then run back. Then run to fourth line and run back and so on. Do about 5 lines, and the distance between the first and fifth line should be around 50 to 100 meters.
Shuffling is also great for badminton because it’s a movement that you will be using. A basic drill you can do is shuffle side to side quickly. Do this for about 3 minutes.
You can also incorporate jumps into the shuffle as well. So use a pattern like shuffle, shuffle, jump as an example.
Fast feet is a basic fundamental drill to improve agility. With this drill, you can do the basic one where you quickly tap your feet for 3 sets of 1 minute. With this drill you can play around with additions such as split-step lunges, different fast feet variations, push-ups, jumps, and more.
An example of what you can incorporate is doing fast feet and then getting down and doing a push-up every once in a while. What many training facilities like to do is include jumps and push-ups together as well. Those are great for improving your body fitness as a whole.
Different fast feet variations you can also try out are moving your feet front and back and side to side. With front and back, step over a line one foot at a time, so lets say your right foot moves in, your left foot will then also move in, then when you have two feet over the line, step your right foot back and then left. Side to side is when you have two lines, and you make quick movements moving your feet inside and outside the lines.
If you do a combination of all of these every week, I guarantee that you that you will get a lot more fit and become much faster as long as you go all out. Most of these drills are done with other badminton drills too for overall improvement as a badminton player.