Using Deceptive Shots Effectively – An Example Badminton Tactic Exercise

Learning deceptive shots at an early training age is not only fun for children but when you consider it as specific coordination training valuable – but not only the technical part should be taught, also the effective application must be learned.

Learning different deceptive shots or trick shots has many advantages. One has to execute a more complicate stroke which might be build of two or more consecutive arm, wrist and racket movements in a small time frame which is very important when you look at the demands on agility and coordination. Also it happens quite often that when you learn a new deceptive shot belonging to the same category as a basic shot – the basic shot also becomes more efficient, especially when you look at movement coordination and smoothness of the execution. Another aspect is motivation. Especially young children love to practise trick shot – they are challenging to learn and fun to play. But also adults like practising deceptive shots as they often think before that only elite Badminton athletes could hit shots like them.

But to integrate them in ones gameplay in a way that makes sense, deceptive shots must be taught and practiced in a tactical way, coaches like to call decision making. So now we are talking about tactic training: the player has to understand his and the opponents situation (e.g. is he in balance, where is my opponent (moving towards)) and decided for a shot that makes most sense – in most of the times in only a fraction of seconds.

The exercise for a group of three players looks as follows: players A and B are practising, while the pausing player C has the task to hand player A shuttles if needed and to clear the court of shuttles in between the exercise. Player A makes a long serve and player B hits an attacking shot. This could be at the beginning either a cross or longline smash or a cross or longline drop – in a more advanced stage this could also be a flat clear. Player A has to return the attacking shot of player B with a longline shot towards the net. The task of player B is to follow his own shot, get to the next shuttle early (with both his own body and his racket) and try to finish or at least get his opponent in a very disadvantageous position using deceptive shots. Player A then tries to reached the shuttle as offensive as possible and the rally ends hereafter. At the same time the coach has to look at how effective the used (deceptive) shot of player B was and give feedback as well as player B has to rate (in mind or explaining) how useful his shot was, looking at how well player A managed to reach it in an offensive way. After 12 rallies, the players change counterclockwise, so player C in taking the role of player B and so on.

The goal of this exercise is for player B to use an effective shot at the net – this has not to be a trick or deceptive shot, but can be. For example is player B is following his cross smash which player A reached at the last moment (still has not recovered well), a stop-lob-stop shot could be dangerous for player B as player A is still in that corner – here a non-deceptive cross lob shot could be much more effective. But there is not only a goal for player B – the goal for player A in that situation is to read and anticipate which shot will be played next – a very important ability in the Badminton game.

This exercise will help young players not only playing deceptive shots for its own sake, but with a clear purpose in mind – also the idea behind the exercise is what a lot of tactic exercises should have in common. One has to read a situation and make a useful decision out of ones possibilities.

Enjoy,

Diemo Ruhnow

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