Insights from a badminton head coach

Badminton coaches are an influential group in the badminton community. They are amongst the most frequent and familiar faces on court and their work is essential to maintain and develop badminton talent. Given that coaches have to deal with a cross-section of players, students, and sports administrators and other coaches, they sometimes encounter challenges. Let’s find out from…

Interview with a pro stringer

For many players, string and tension are a secondary consideration after racquets. However, the tension with which a player strings their racquet can have a significant impact on the overall performance and feel of their racquet. It can be useful to seek expert advice from a professional stringer to identify a string and tension that feels…

Planet Badminton vs Planet Earth

If you watch badminton as keenly as I do, a lot of things appear to come and go: the ‘hottest’ players, styles of play, shoe styles, hair styles, clothing styles, scoring systems…the sport continues to evolve.  And if you like to study, as I do, the changes in players over time they’ve become faster and more attacking….

Badminton doubles positioning

While there are no hard and fast rules in doubles positioning for badminton, there are some general guidelines like avoiding running into each other (for obvious reasons), being aware of your partner’s position and adjusting to each others rhythm. Some of my earlier thoughts on Doubles Communication Part 1 and Part 2 focused on the…

Chinese triumph in last Badminton Superseries championship of the year

Chinese teen sensations Jia Yefan and Chen Qingchen have beaten the current world no. 1 women’s doubles pair, Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi, in a major upset at the latest BWF Superseries championship in Dubai. Although the field of badminton women’s doubles has long been dominated by Chinese players,  Matsutomo/Takahashi’s no. 1 ranking marks one of the…

Sydney Badminton International 2016

It’s a pity Australia is so small in the world of badminton. Some say Australia lacks the depth and range of talent and organisational framework to develop truly world class players. Others say a professional career in badminton is virtually impossible here since there’s no money in badminton. Badminton is commonly seen as a hobby in…

Badminton strings and tension

Badminton strings and tension are a great icebreaker topic among badminton folk. If you ask around, you’ll find everybody has a different opinion on the best string and tension combo. The major commercial badminton brands provide a guide to the range of strings available. Several blogs from the UK, USA and Malaysia offer a guide to strings for beginner, intermediate and advanced level. My experience has been one…

Silly things we do on court

Badminton can seem confusing to those unfamiliar with it. The rules go out the window when I play with my high school friends. They’re not serious and have never had training so we giggle especially when someone misses or gifts away an easy shot.  But on a more serious note, I’ve noticed a few things and I wrote this (non-exhaustive) list mainly as…

My dad’s story

With Father’s day around the corner, it’s an opportunity to thank my dad and share some of his story. He reckons he has the combined wisdom of 150 years (his and his mother’s) and perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s one of the strongest supporters and influences in my life. I’ve always respected my dad. His family wasn’t rich. They migrated from Guangzhou in southern China and had to make do with few…

Wtf…why deceptive shots work

Badminton is a game of rapid reflexes but it’s not all about power or fitness. Crafty older players can often beat fitter younger guys by a combination of deception and placement. The ability to execute a deceptive shot confers a winning edge by eliciting a weak reply and leaving an opponent stranded. Like any art, perfecting it takes time and dedication. What is a deceptive shot? Deceptive play requires skilful racquet technique so…

Shouting during play is unfair and a bad image for badminton

  Players who shout or grunt when they hit the shuttlecock can gain an unfair advantage. Their shouts can interfere with their opponent’s game, either masking the sound of the shuttlecock being hit by the racquet or distracting their opponent. At least two studies of grunting have found that players who grunt or shriek gain a few advantages over their quieter opponents: They hit…

Badminton Footwork – Foundation of Badminton

Footwork is the foundation of badminton. My coach always told me don’t be lazy: footwork, fitness and timing are so important. If you can’t reach the shuttle early, you have fewer shots to play against your opponent and you’ll likely end up picking shuttles off the ground. There’s no question about it, good footwork is an asset to any…