Road Test: Badminton
Most of us will have given a racket sport a go at some point in our lives. Although some of us are naturally gifted with the coordination required to wield a racket and hit a small moving object with it, the rest of us can at least be encouraged by the fact that it’s a skill you can learn with practice and patience!
Why play badminton?
Badminton is a great cardiovascular workout as you’ll be running around to chase the shuttlecock (the little feathered thing you hit with your racket instead of a ball!). We felt we’d been tested when it came to our co-ordination and balance, not to mention a challenge for the lower body thanks to the stop/start agility running backwards and forwards!
Badminton tips for beginner’s
Here are some beginner’s tips that we got from the Otahuhu Badminton Club in Auckland:
- Get a grip; learn how to hold your racket correctly. Ask someone at your local club to help you with positioning as forehand and backhand grips are different and a game will usually require you to be able to switch quickly between the two. You should have a good hold on your racket but your hand should be slightly relaxed and your wrist should be flexible.
- Avoid fancy moves; start out by just trying small shots forwards and back with a friend to get the feeling for hitting the shuttlecock.
- Watch out for wobbly shuttlecocks; if it’s wobbling around in the air on its way down, it probably needs replacing.
- Stay central; when you start playing on a court, return to the middle of your area after you’ve hit the shuttlecock. That way you’ll be as close as possible to anywhere it may fall when it gets returned to you.
- The footwork may take time to get right so don’t despair if you find yourself tripping over your feet a little. Badminton is a fast-paced sport so just keep practicing and it will come in time.
- Use shoes with good grip on the soles or you may end up sliding around and at worst, end up with an injury.
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