Posted on Mon Dec 28 2020
“In doubles, the most important aspects of fitness are strength, agility, and reflexes,” says Akshay Dewalkar, former India player who is now a doubles coach.
Badminton is the fastest racquet sport in the world, with the shuttlecock travelling at lightning speeds of 350+kmph. A multi-dimensional sport such as badminton involves dynamic movements at various angles, directions, and heights such as lunging, jumping, quick reflexes, endurance, excellent hand-eye coordination, which are some of the many skills required to play this sport at the highest level. These qualities of fitness can be developed with regular training, starting at a young age. Elite level players defend smashes of over 350kmph. They’re capable of picking up deceptive shots when wrong-footed due to their incredible qualities of speed and agility.
Reaction time is essential for pretty much every aspect of badminton, from defending a smash to getting the tight net kill. Badminton is a game of small margins, which means every millisecond counts. Our nervous system controls reactions. Our body has visual cues from the shuttle being sent in a particular direction, and our eyes see the shuttle, and our visual sensories send an electrical impulse through the nervous system to the brain, and then we react. Reaction time can be improved with deliberate training and practice. Using a combination of training your eyes to see and process things faster, training your muscles to react to those stimuli at quicker rates, and training your brain to make choices more instinctively, you can improve your reaction time for badminton. Some useful exercises include juggling and ball drills, playing reaction test games, and doing regular badminton drills at nearly double speed.
Doubles rallies are faster, therefore doubles players need to be faster in reacting to shots and in decision making. The speed of the shuttle is one of the quickest amongst any sport, hence hand-eye coordination to react to the speed, quick decision making in the placement of the shuttle is tough. Quick reflexes are crucial to help a team turn defence into offense.
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