Badminton is a fast-paced game that requires speed and agility. By increasing speed, players also increase agility, which is the ability to move around the court and make sudden turns, stops and starts without losing momentum. Players at the top of their game train hard to maintain the strength, stamina, and flexibility necessary to produce both speed and agility. Always start and end a training session with a warm-up and cool-down period.
Training drills help the competitive badminton player develop coordination, improve form, increase speed, and develop strength and agility. Drills for speed should include drills for agility, as the two go hand-in-hand on the court. Several routines for improving speed and agility are available online (see Resources), and training coaches may be available in cities where badminton is popular. Training not only improves a player's skill in the game, but also improves overall fitness and health.
Training for speed means also training for strength, agility, and stamina. One method for focusing on speed alone is to chase an imaginary shuttlecock around the court. A training partner points to different areas of the court and you race to that point to intercept the shuttlecock. The object is to concentrate on getting to each point as quickly as possible. Chasing multiple shuttlecocks around the court as fast as possible helps develop speed and agility as you try to reach and return the shuttlecocks. Have a partner hit several over the net at one time.
Wall drills help to increase footwork speed. This drill requires no other participants. Some courts have a practice wall, but if not, use a wall at least 6 metres high and draw a line across it at the 1.5 metre mark, to simulate a net. Use an old shuttlecock and practice hitting different points on the wall and returning the shuttlecock as it bounces off.
Use a feeder to fire shuttlecocks to the backcourt or net area. Stand in the forecourt and practice not only getting to the shuttlecock, but returning it with quality shots. This improves your speed, accuracy, agility, and form.
Competitive badminton is not the gentle, genteel sport played during backyard barbecues. Training to win on the court requires a high level of fitness and endurance. Training for speed and agility increases balance, flexibility and muscle tone, and provides a cardiovascular workout.
Many of the injuries badminton players are subject to are the same as with tennis, including tennis elbow. When training for speed, maintain proper form and avoid over-training to reduce the risk of injury.
Exercises off the court can help increase speed on the court. A complete physical fitness programme -- including running, weightlifting and stretching -- can help improve your speed on the court.
Badminton speed drills are intensely physical. Beginners should keep to shorter training time periods while building up the strength and stamina required to spend longer periods on speed drills. Drills are useful between competitions for keeping your skills and conditioning at peak levels.