Badminton Wall Practice and Training: A Practical Approach

Article excerpt

Basic physical fitness can be promoted through recreational badminton. It is a physically demanding game that provides players with a good measure of aerobic and anaerobic power, flexibility, strength, and speed. Because the skills of the game are relatively easy to learn (Samuel, 1991), badminton is also ideal for physical education, extracurricular school activities, and lifetime sport-for-all programs.

Badminton practice and training depend on the availability of indoor courts, usually few in number. This limits class sizes to a few individuals at a time (usually four players to one court) and effectively rules badminton out as a conventional physical education activity unless many courts are available.

Outdoor play is possible, but the slightest breeze will significantly alter the shuttle's flight, rendering the game less enjoyable and more frustrating. Under such circumstances, it is difficult for coaches and teachers to sustain player/pupil interest and to maintain intense participation, two important factors in physical education and sport-for-all programs. Thus, coaches and teachers should maximize the use of available indoor facilities to enable a larger number of players to participate.

Moreover, though easy to acquire, badminton skills must be practiced constantly (with repetitive hitting) for players to maintain acceptable levels of performance. Considerable time is wasted if the players practicing the strokes cannot maintain a sustained rally--often the case with beginners, whose shuttles are often hit out of reach or into the net, limiting the time to practice strokes.

The Wall Practice Method

The lack of indoor facilities is a primary concern in Brunei Darussalam (South East Asia), where the ratio of aspiring players to the number of indoor courts is grossly disproportionate. This problem could be resolved if players could practice on their own, such as tennis players who practice against the backboards or walls.

As a result, physical educators at the University of Brunei Darussalam explored the feasibility of using walls in badminton practice to accommodate large groups. They discovered that with imagination and determination, a gymnasium wall can be used for the practice of almost every badminoton stroke.

The biggest advantage of wall practice is that individual players can develop their skills almost anywhere a wall is available. Hard concrete or brick walls provide a better bounce than wooden walls, but most walls are serviceable with some slight adjustments. In fact, any wall will do, depending on the stroke being practiced. For instance, a low 8-foot wall cannot be used to practice lobs and clears but will be more than sufficient for drops, drives, and net shots. Using the wall, there is no need to look for a court or a partner. Wall practice is especially useful in teaching the backhand overhead clear, which is emphasized in this article.

The main purpose of this article is to stimulate interest and innovations and therefore, only a sample of possible routines are suggested. In time and with experience, readers can develop an almost infinite number of drills to suit the particular needs of their students. The physical demands

Recommendations for Successful Wall Practice

1. A space of about 2 meters (6 feet), measured along the base of the wall (wall space), is required to keep players from intruding into each others' space. In addition, the wall should also be high enough (about 7 meters or 21 feet or more) to allow lobs and clears to be hit. A line should be drawn with chalk on the wall at 5 feet to represent the net. In addition, players need about 3 meters (9 feet) of movement space to and from the wall, depending on the strength with which their strokes are hit.

2. Emphasize wrist use because shuttles rebound considerably faster from a wall. In fact, constant wall practice increases wrist strength and muscular endurance which are essential in badminton. …