In order to be able to move quickly on the badminton court you need to be able to move with rhythm. If the badminton court were much bigger, and all you needed to do was run straight lines all the time it wouldn’t matter, but that’s not the case. When we are waiting to see where our opponent is going to hit their next shot we can’t move from a complete stand still to super speed if we’re flat on our feet.
There are a couple advantages to playing with rhythm:
You can more easily anticipate your opponent’s next shot
You can more easily throw your opponent off of your next shot
The first point is fairly straight-forward. By maintaining a certain bounce in your step you are going to be able to change direction much more easily. The key is to train this and make sure that you are doing it in games and not just training. The second point is a little less obvious, but I’ll do my best to explain.
When I was a kid my brother bought me Bruce Lee’s book on Jeet Kune Do. In it Bruce Lee talks about the concept of broken rhythm. This means mixing up your rhythm between fast and slow, and doing this transition very quickly and unexpectedly so that your opponent gets thrown off. So for example you make your base rhythm a little bit slower than what you’re capable of. You make sure that your opponent falls into his own comfortable rhythm, and then suddenly you up the pace for just a couple of shots. More than likely your opponent will be caught off-guard and will either make an error, or won’t get your shot at all.
Do you play with rhythm? Is it fast or is it slow? Has your coach ever told you that you need to control the pace of the match? This ties into that perfectly. If you are in control of the rhythm of the match, you are in control of the pace of the match. Chances are if you control the rhythm, you will also be the one who wins the match. Badminton is a lot more like boxing or martial arts than you might realize, read up on broken rhythm and you’ll know what I mean.