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February 05, 2020 4 min read

Previously, I wrote a post and we created a video called The Ugly Truth About Trickshots in Badminton that explored the poor success rate of trickshots and what happens to them but a long-time follower highlighted that I missed a step in between so here I am bridging that gap.


What's something you're really good at? is it badminton? Don't worry about the rest of this post if it is hahaha. Let's say it's not for now and call that skill of yours guitar playing. 

I'm sure there was a point when everything seemed unnatural and yet you were compelled to learn how to play a particular song or play like that famous or very skilful guitar player you heard. This translates to most if not all skills in life and of course badminton too. Do you remember what that was like? That feeling when you first picked up the guitar.

guitar musical instrument string instrument accessory string instrument acoustic guitar plucked string instruments finger hand musician guitarist music bass guitar guitar accessory musical instrument accessory slide guitar electric guitar acoustic electric guitar nail jazz guitarist tiple ukulele cavaquinho

If you had the desire to become the skillful guitar player that you are now, you would have had to learn about the instrument itself, music theory and practice/work your way through the basics until you could finally play that first song all the way up to all those incredibly challenging solo pieces you can play today.

Badminton is the same. Whether you're admiring the club/professional player leaping a metre into the air for a jump smash or playing a shot around the back mid-rally to clinch a crucial point, it's important to realise that just like your relationship with guitar; it all started with the basics. If you're really serious about badminton or whichever sport/skill you want to develop then this is the path to follow. It's also an important concept that we discussed in our podcast with TJ Weistra, who was an ex-professional badminton player. What we discussed was that often people have a huge goal in mind, be it playing for the country or winning Olympic gold but they had forgotten or didn't realise that there are many milestones in between being able to do that. Not to mention the other people who are working just as hard if not harder than you to achieve the same or similar result.

I remember when I first saw some of the trickshots people played in my first couple of badminton sessions and realised just how cool it'd be to be able to play those. I also rushed into trying to play them only to be utterly disappointed by my shoddy badminton skills back then. While I did have a slight advantage of being a tennis player switching to badminton, I could have played a basic shot 10 times better than my "trickshot". The basic shot wouldn't have lost me and my doubles partner the point but I played the trickshot instead anyway. It's safe to say that my doubles partners during that time of my badminton life weren't very impressed with my "trickshots"/sacrificial shots.

Image result for trickshots badminton

Like I said previously, trickshots are a great way to have a bit of fun and when successful can be really rewarding but without the basics, tricks are almost worthless in a real game. Deception and trickshots is what I would describe as an extension to the core of badminton. If I had my time again, here's what I would do first before seriously attempting trickshots:

  1. Learn and train footwork like my life depended on it. I harp on about this all the time mainly because I know it's one of my biggest weaknesses and I know that any slight improvement would lead to a significant boost in my performance on court. When you can arrive at the shuttle half a second or a second faster than the next person, you'll have much more time to even consider playing a trickshot if it's even necessary to win the point.

  2. Get really good at playing all the basics. I'm talking about these simple things: clears, dropshots, net rolls, pushes, drives, smashes and the variations of those. When you watch the greatest players in the world, all of them would have all those shots played to almost perfection. When you are so clear on how to play the basic shots, that's when you can start to break the rules. Now I'm not saying you have to play the basic shots like Lee Chong Wei, unless you want to of course. What i'm saying is that when you can play the basic shots really well, switching to play a trickshot will be easier and better! If by chance the trickshot isn't enough to finish the point, your ability to play the other shots will be.

  3. Don't let the trickshot dictate how you play the rest of the point. It is a common mistake I make these days when I've played a lot of social badminton and decide to enter a competition. As most of my time is spent in social badminton these days, I become very comfortable with guessing where my opponent is going to return my trickshot if they can get to it and move to that position before they even return the point. This has caught me out several times when I then go to play a tournament as my expectation is the same yet the players I end up playing against are much better at reading my movement and it catches me off guard. 

As I mentioned above, trickshots are an extension of your core or fundamental badminton game. Before you master them or that impossible Metallica song on Guitar Hero, master the basics first. Yes, it is icing on the cake but you must remember to bake the cake too! 

We'd love to hear your opinions, comments, tips and tricks so please feel free to comment below. If you would like us to write about something in particular, please let us know!
Main image source: Badminton Indonesia
Body image source 1: pxhere
Body image source 2: Badminton Trick Shots - Youtube Channel
Body video source 1: Volant Wear 

Henry Wong
Henry Wong

Henry is an ex-state badminton player who represented South Australia as well as Melbourne University. He remains an avid badminton player in the social scenes of Melbourne. His passion for all things badminton lead him to be a co-founder of Volant Wear.

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