What is Footwork in Badminton?
The badminton footwork is a method of moving on the court. It consists of stepping, crossover, stride, dogtrot, and jumping. Each set of footwork is generally started from the center of the court.
Badminton footwork is a very important basic technology for playing the game. It complements with the playing technique and is inseparable for you to master the skill of badminton. Without the correct footwork, it will inevitably affect the completion of various hitting techniques.
If there is no fast and accurate footwork in the game, the playing technique will lose its sharpness and threat. Therefore, learning and mastering the skill of fast and accurate footwork is an important part for you to play badminton. You need to focus on this part to improve your level of playing in this sport.
Even though training badminton footwork is not as fun as smashing the shuttlecock into the opponent’s field, but it is very important for you to win the game.
Badminton is a high tempo game and you have to keep up with the pace or you will probably lose the match. When playing in a tournament, even a delay of one second can make a big difference.
Why is Footwork Important in Playing Badminton?
Footwork is the basis for badminton attack and defense, and it is also the key for a player to win in a match. Those who have played badminton should have heard such a word that “badminton is about 30% on playing stroke and 70% on footwork”. This show how important the role of footwork play on the court.
A fierce attack and a solid defense must rely on reasonable footwork. The footwork is important to mobilize the opponent and consume their physical strength. As for how to train the footwork, the method is similar, there is nothing very special. What you need to do is to strengthen your daily training and find the feeling.
Structure of badminton footwork
The structure of the footwork is divided into four parts: starting, moving, hitting and returning.
The badminton footwork is divided into the close to the net method, the back step method and the moving step on both sides.
Depend on the center position of the player on the court and the distance of the incoming shuttlecock, you can determine to use either one-step, two-step, or three-step motion to hit the shuttle.
For the right-handed player, the last step in the shot is with the right foot in front, and the left foot is always close to the center position. The following will explain the footwork step by step.
Different Types of Steps
The close to the net footwork is a step to complete the push, hook, throw, and pick of the shuttle. It includes wide stepping, hop step & lunging, front crossover, back crossover, and jump stepping.
No matter which step is used to hit the shuttle on the court, the position and ready position before your shot are basically the same. That is, the two feet stand about the same as your shoulder width. Generally, the right foot is at the front and left foot slightly at the back. The two knees are slightly flexed.
The forefoot of the two feet is on the ground, and the rear heel is slightly lifted. The upper body leans forward slightly. You should grip the racket in front of the body. Pay your attention to your opponent and observe how your opponent going to serve.
The left foot takes a step forward in the direction where the shuttle coming, and then the right foot takes a big step forward to hit the shuttle.
The right foot first takes a small step forward in the direction where the shuttle coming, then the left foot goes forward. Finally, the right foot takes a big step to hit the shuttle.
Hop step & Lunging
The right foot takes a step forward in the direction where the shuttle coming, followed by a small step of the foot lunge outward on the floor. While the right foot is lifted up, using the force of the left foot to take a big step and hit the shuttle.
The right foot first takes a small side step forward, then the right foot is lifted up. Using the force of the left foot to take a big step and hit the shuttle.
The right foot first takes a small side step forward, then the left foot takes a second side step to the right foot. Finally, the right foot is lifted up, using the force of the left foot to takes a big stride and hit the shuttle.
The standing position is slightly lean forward, judging if the opponent wants to repeat hitting the shuttle before the net. Use the feet to squat, quickly jump to the front of the net, and use the bounce technique to hit the shuttle.
Be careful to prevent the racket from hitting the net or passing the center line due to excessive forward momentum.
What You need to pay attention to:
- When stepping forward and get close to the net, you should pay attention to control your momentum to avoid the body losing balance.
- When hitting the shuttle, the toe of the forefoot should be in the direction of the sideline, and should not be facing inward. By doing so you will get benefits to the forward stroke by the front impulse.
- After hitting the shuttle, you should use the back step or cross step to return to the center position as soon as possible.
The backstep is the footwork that you need to perform after you complete hitting the high shuttle, throwing, smashing, or clear the shuttle at the backcourt.
The backstep includes the forehand backstep, head backstep, backhand backstep, forehand backstep plus jump step, and jump step on the sideline of the head.
No matter which back steps you used to hit the shuttle, the position and ready position before the retreat are the same as the position and ready position of hitting shuttle over the net.
Forehand back step
For the forehand back step method, the chasse and cross back step method can be used, or you can use the front step plus the jump step back method.
Chasse back step
The right foot is stepped back to the right side, and the hip is turned right, then the left foot is stepped closer to the right foot. The right foot is turned back to the position, and the left heel follows suit with a small step. The left foot will be in front of the right foot, and the posture is ready to hit the shuttle.
Cross back step
The right foot is stepped back to the right side, and the hip is turned right. Then the left foot is crossed back from the right foot, and the left foot is in front and the right foot is at the back. The body is switch aside in ready position to hit the shuttle.
Chasse and jumping back step
It is similar to the first and second step of chasse back step. The third step is to use the sideways and jump with both feet to hit the shuttle. The feet will land on the court afterward.
Head back step
The head back step method can use the chasse back step and the cross back step footwork.
When the hip joint and upper body rotate rapidly to the right rear direction, the right foot is stepped back. Then the left foot is used and the step is close to the right foot, and the right foot is moved back to the position, and the left heel is moved in. In a small step, the left foot is in front of the right foot and the side is facing the net to get ready to hit the shuttle.
Head cross back step
The hip joint and the upper body rotate back to the right and the right foot moves back one step. Then the left foot crosses back from the right foot and one step back. The right foot moves back to the position, and the left foot goes one step forward. The left foot is in front and the right foot is at the back. And the body is positioned at the side to get ready to hit the shuttle.
Head side step plus back step
This is a step back method with a very fast attack. When the hip joint and the upper body rotate rapidly to the right rear direction, the right foot moves back one step. Then the right foot jumps backward to the rear, the upper body leans back.
The required angle is larger, and the hitting motion is completed in the air. After the left foot makes a cross action in the air, it will land first, and the upper body will subtract so that the right foot will land on the right foot when the right foot touches the ground so that the left foot can quickly move back.
When practicing this type of footwork, you should pay attention to the following:
First, the upper body and the hip need to turn faster, and the right foot needs to step backward to the rear position of the left foot. This is the first stage.
Secondly, the jumping direction should be to the left rear, so that the upper body can lean back. At the same time, the left foot makes a cross and move to the back.
How can I Improve My Footwork in Badminton?
In different situations, the posture of standing is also different. The posture and footwork of the standing are mutually influential (take the right-hand grip as an example).
- When the shuttle is served, the left foot is in front and the right foot is at the back.
- When stepping forward, the right foot is in front, the left foot is in the back, and the left foot is the pivot.
- When step back the right foot is at the back, and the left foot is pulled back.
- When defending, the two feet is parallel.
This kind of position will be more conducive to the footwork. It will make your offense and defense to be more active. Besides, it also saves time and there are more choices when returning the shuttle.
Return to the center court
In the footwork training, the regular route is 8-angles training. It is back from the court center to the backcourts. Most of the coaches will tell you to return to the center court after hitting the shuttle to prepare for the next shot.
However, at some point, rushing back to the court center is not only a waste of physical strength but also easier to be mobilized by the opponent when they shot the shuttle to the same drop point.
- When you are in front of the net, you don’t have to rush back to the center court.
- If you can predict the opponent’s shot, you do not have to go back to center court.
- After making a smash, you can determine whether to go on the net or back to the center court depending on the quality of your smash.
- The position after you back to the center court is determined by the quality of the return shot.
The cooperation of footwork
The footwork of getting close to the net is relatively simple. To put it bluntly, it is to get to the front of the net as fast as possible. But the back step footwork is more complicated and difficult for many people to learn.
Some players will only do the chasse step while stepping back. This step is not only slow, but also not smooth, incoherent, and will have a great impact on the next return.
Most of the famous badminton players will practice such back step methods:
- Cross step back
- Small step running back
- Chasse + dogtrot running back
Therefore, it is necessary to be proficient in all kinds of footwork and to use them in combination with each other to maintain the consistency of the footwork. Like that only you can move freely on the court and have strong offensive and defensive capabilities.
Badminton Shadow Footwork
Because the badminton court is very large, footwork training is very important.
You can actually practice your footwork without the need of a partner. You can perform badminton shadow footwork by yourself. Shadow footwork is mean practicing the footwork without anyone playing with you. You are playing by yourself by running around the badminton court to master the skill of footwork.
The badminton shadow footwork is generally divided into the frontcourt step method, the backcourt step method, the mid-court step method, and starting.
Standing in the center court, half-bending the knee joint, the pivot is on the forefoot, and the heel is slightly raised.
Note: Do not put the entire pivot on your feet. You need to make sure that your body is in the position and getting an instant reaction at any time.
Footwork for the right frontcourt:
Start jumping and focus on the left foot. The right foot strides outward while the left heel follows suit. The right foot lunge outward. Try to lean forward as much as possible.
Left front court footwork:
When jumping, the pivot should be focused on the right foot. The left foot is stride outward and the right foot is lunge forward. The toe of the right foot is pointing forward.
Footwork for the right rear court:
When jumping, the pivot should focus on the left foot. The right foot turn side wide with a crossover. When step to the rear court, can jump and shoot the shuttle.
Rear head of the backcourt:
The left foot takes a small step toward the back side, and the left foot makes a small step backward, turning, jumping, and swinging the racket.
Backcourt backhand footwork:
Stand in the center of the court. Take a hop step on the left foot, turn, stride, swing the racket.
Receive smash on the right side:
Well prepared in the center of the court. Start with the left foot and stride outward with the right foot.
Receive smash on the left side:
Well prepared in the center of the court. Start with the left foot, stride outward with the right foot and turn.
Badminton shadow footwork practice
- Put shuttlecocks at the 4 corners of the court. You can then playing shadow by touching the shuttlecocks at each corner with your hands.
- If you are using right-handed, when practicing, the right foot is lunge forward and you should touch the shuttle with your right hand.
- If you are left handed, then you should touch the shuttle with your left hand.
This method can practice fast turning, and fast returning to the center court.
- Step forward and backward with a straight line.
- Standing at the back side of the court, after taking off and swinging, run forward with a racket to hit the net, hit the net and then step back, turn around and step back with a side step.
This method can improve the speed of the straight line and the ability to retreat sideways.
As you see there is a huge difference between poor and good footwork. Badminton footwork is so important thing in the game that it has to be trained a lot! There are drills for you to train by yourself and drills that you can train with a partner.
3 Videos about Badminton Footwork That Will Take Your Game into The Next Level!
These three videos below show you three different Badminton Footwork Drill that is tried, tested and used by professionals!
In this first video, it is all about neutralizing the posture after the shot.
There is two different timings or options depending on the situation.
The first one is for the situation where you have to be ready as quick as possible.
The second one is when you have for example hit the shuttlecock high and you have a bit more time to react.
This video is all about the speed. When you are fast enough your timing will be much better. By doing this drill your strength and push off will improve a lot.
This third video combines the drills from the videos above and takes it to the next level. It is all about timing, speed and ability to react.
After reading this article and watching the videos I hope you understand how badminton footwork will affect your game.
You know the drills now it is on you will you increase your speed and power in the court or will your badminton footwork level stay where it is at the moment!