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13 August 2004

How can I learn to play badminton?

Start your training programme by trying to improve those areas with which you struggle. Find your strengths and weaknesses by playing the game with different partners.

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Start your training programme by trying to improve those areas with which you struggle. Find your strengths and weaknesses by playing the game with different partners. Areas to focus on may include your fitness level, flexibility, strength, co-ordination and tactical abilities.

The ideal body type: The ideal player has good flexibility, co-ordination, aerobic fitness, strength and good mental ability.

Type of exercise needed: To improve your fitness levels, do moderate cardiovascular exercise three to five days a week, 30 to 45 minutes per day. Examples of cardiovascular exercise include walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing, paddling, climbing stairs, spinning, running on a treadmill, stepping, dancing and kickboxing. Avoid doing your workout before you play a badminton game.

Do weight-training exercises and explosive leg exercises, which include short sprints and plyometrics, at least once a week. This will improve your explosive power. Try to do the sprints on the court you play on and wear the same shoes in which you play your badminton games.

Do strength-training exercises, like knee lifts, squats, lunges and bicep curls, twice a week.

Always do a whole-body stretch prior to the start of a game.

Remember to consult your doctor before embarking on a rigorous exercise routine.

More about the basics: If you are new to this sport, you might need to attend a group lesson first.

Try to improve your hand-eye coordination. You can do this by asking a partner to hold a ball in each hand. Get him/her to drop one of the balls without warning you. Catch the ball before it hits the floor.

Watch professionals play. This will improve your tactical ability and your skills for the game.

Remember to stay positive while playing a game. Work hard at every point, but don't be disappointed if you miss one.

 
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