Badminton Technique: Touch and Feeling at the Net for a better Stop

Having a good feeling and touch of the shuttle at the net is very important for both single and double players. It does not matter if we look at famous Koo Kien Kiet in Mens Double, Liliana Natsir in Mixed Double or mighty Lin Dan - all top players have a superb touch and can produce net-cord shots from almost any position in the front court. This Video shows how to develop them with young players.

Having good net shots is not only a matter of proper technique. There is also the somehow mystical "feeling", "touch" or "secret technique" of the top players - things that these players to in the last 5-10 cm before shuttle impact that cannot be seen or described. It is a perfect combination of biomechanical hitting technique combined with small movements and change in muscle tension right before and at shutlle impact. So how to train?

The key that sport science tells us about lies for me in the theory of differential learning. Easiely and shortly explainded: the brain cannot map every single movement from every single position into the memory - that would be too much information that has to be "saved". So similar movements are clustered and saved as informations families into our software, if there is a broad variety from lets say A to D in similar movements, B and C are not saved but beeing similar and "in-between" A and D can be reproduced. Very easily explained. How can we use this. Beeing able to make two shots in to different position (A and D), we are also able to produce them in betwenn (B and C) - that is because we know how to produce these differences, what we have to to more or less to produce A, and what we have to change to get D.

One more easy example: Let say, your player cannot get a good angle into his smash, but beeing able to show a good technique in a high clear (A). You can ask him then to hit the shuttle right into the ground in front of him (D) - and let him feel what he has to change to get this different angle - there is no a good chance, that he can also get the right angle for his smash - he knows, what and how he has to change. Very easy method, very useful. I use this technique even with my national athletes.

Back to the net. For some readers, everything is clear by now: to develope world-class net play, have your players play net shots from high net position as well as low position as you can see in the video. The aim is to get is just over the net and get a good feeling for it. Doing so for 5-10 min 2-3 times a week over a period of 2-3 weeks improves net play A LOT - guaranteed!

Enjoy,

Diemo Ruhnow

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