It's possible to play badminton without any type of training, but your game's not likely to be very consistent. If you do decide to train, you don't need a lot of equipment; a racket and shuttlecock are all that's required. You might need to recruit a friend to help you out with drills, but all that's really necessary to improve your badminton skills is time.
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The wall rally drill is an easy way to practice different styles of hitting and improve your reaction time. Standing roughly twenty feet away from the wall, hit the shuttlecock with your racket with both forehand and backhand shots. Don't simply hit the shuttlecock straight on; try diagonal shots. As the shuttlecock rebounds back towards you, you'll be able to improve your reaction times as you learn to automatically adjust your grip on the racket to respond to a given shot. As it's difficult to predict how the shuttlecock will ricochet off the wall, this kind of practice will make you lighter on your feet.
To train with more variety, you need a second person to feed the shuttlecock to you. The feeder will hit the shuttlecock towards the opposite backcourt in a random series of different styles of shots (clears, smashes and drop shots) and the object is to make quality overhead returns. Not knowing which shot will come next will help speed your reaction time and accuracy. Another easy training activity is meant to help improve net play. This time the feeder will throw the shuttlecock into the net area. Depending on which way the shuttlecock clears the net, you'll need to make a snap decision on what kind of net shot to make. For both of these drills, it's important to have a lot of shuttlecocks so that the routine can continue as long as possible.
Off season Training
In badminton as in all other competitive sports it's important to continue training during the off season. You don't have to train as intensively as you would during the season, but it's recommended that you maintain at least 50 to 60 per cent of your training regimen. Doing this will make it easier for you to pick up your in-season training regimen when the time comes. For off season training, it's not as important to train in specific badminton disciplines. You should instead focus on resistance, cardiovascular and flexibility training. The exercises themselves should be kept light and offer a break from your regular training routine (try swimming or cycling as a cardiovascular exercise). They will give you variety and keep you in shape for the next season.
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