VIDEO - Exercise progression for a fluent footwork rhythm

If we look at Lin Dan or also at the Vice-World-Junior-Champion Xue Song and compare them to players of other countries one of the most apparent difference is their fluent and economic footwork.

Fluent and economic footwork, the ability the start at the right moment into the rigth direction is a thing that coaches call footwork rhythm. 
It consist of:
0) landing from the plyo step or rearranging of feet in the best starting position
1) an explosive start (or) push to the shuttle
2) a certain running technique best for the distance that one has to cover
3) a quick return out of the corner
4) a recovery to the tacticle center (not always the middle of the court)
5) and well timed plyo step to store elastic energy
6) new cycle, meaning go to 0) or 1).
Especially the timing of the plyostep and the arrangement of the feet (parallel, diagonal, wide, narrow) is extremly important - a thing that Lin Dan even when you compare it the the current No.1 Lee Chong Wei does so much better in most situations. When beginners start learning the different footwork techniques to the corners, the next thing is to combine different path. A quite easy task when you doing shadows, but in a game situation a more complicated thing.
One possible exercise you could put in between is the one presented in the video. I learned it from my former mentor Andreas Bethge and use this for the transition from technique learning to game situationes. The players have to time there return to the curve and impact of the ball - the corners are given in advance or could also be shown be the coach. Their aim is to show a good technique and a good timing - the should not be to early or to fast into the center, which cost a lot of energy to stop and start, or to slow, where the might not be able to reach the next shuttle in the real rally.

Have fun trying it,

best wishes,

Diemo Ruhnow 

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