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Myth: Badminton a 'wrist game'

"It's a myth that the power of a badminton shot comes from the wrist," says
England head coach Ian Wright. "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."

Be unpredictable

Today's lighter rackets mean you can use shorter swings - essential for
deceiving your opponent. "The key to deception is to keep your shot
preparation as short as possible to limit the information about where it's
going," Wright says.

Use an old racket

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

Double up

If you play only singles or doubles, try playing both to develop a fuller
set of skills. "Singles hones your agility and decision-making skills, and
doubles improves your power, reflexes and speed," Wright says.

Get closure

The abolition of the old scoring system (you scored only on your own serve)
means every shot now counts, creating a more intense game. "To stay focused,
analyse what you've done after each point, and why it happened, then get
closure on it and move on to the next point feeling positive."

Avoid backhands

When you're at the rear of the court, backhands aren't powerful enough:
"Always try to play a forehand, even if that means reaching across to play
one on your backhand side (known as a round-the-head shot)," Wright says.


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