Good badminton footwork is the reason why professionals make a game of badminton look graceful and effortless. This is because it enables you to reach the shuttle in the fastest and shortest time possible.
Badminton footwork basically encompasses two main things:
1) Where you position yourself on the court
2) How you position your feet
The three main benefits of mastering proper footwork are as follows:
1) allows you to conserve strength by reducing unnecessary steps
2) provides sufficient reaction time for the next oncoming shot
3) increase your speed
Hence, without proper footwork, powerful and skilful badminton strokes and smashes will be useless.
Here are three points to follow to improve your badminton footwork.
A common mistake committed by new players is to stay rooted at the same position where they hit the last shot. What they should do is to return to base position immediately after every shot.
The base position will vary for a badminton singles and doubles game. The base is usually the centre of the area which a player is covering. This position is most ideal as it allows the player to get to where the shuttle lands with the least amount of footsteps. By doing so, you will have sufficient time to react to the next oncoming shuttle.
Badminton is a fast moving game that requires lightning fast reaction. As such, you may often find yourselves in situations where you need to stretch your legs and arms (forward or backwards) far and wide, to reach the shuttle. Such quick and big movements will affect your balance and delay your recovery to base.
In order to maintain a stable posture and balance, place more of your body weight on your stronger leg and make it your anchoring foot to the ground. Keep the other foot nimble so that you can stretch and reach the shuttle wherever it goes. By doing so, you will find it easy to return to neutral position without losing your balance and expending too much energy.
Being light and nimble on your feet can make a surprisingly huge difference to your speed. By adding bounce to your footwork, you will be able to respond faster to an oncoming shuttle, particularly the high shots.
On top of that, adding jumps to your footwork is important for players who want to take their skills to the next level. Jumps are especially useful if you are covering the back court and can be executed in any direction. The best way to perform a jump is to take off with either one or two feet and try to land on both to spread the impact to your knees.
Jumps are especially useful for smashes as this will give you a good angle for attack. At the same time, jumps are also good for retrieving high shots. Not only will this save you the effort of retracting backwards to retrieve the shuttle, it will shorten your opponent’s recovery time with your faster than expected return shot.