Breaking your Bad Habits on the Court

Published March 26, 2021

When we play badminton, it’s extremely easy to develop habits that are hard to break. Some of them might be good, like naturally getting into your split-step to prepare for the next shot, and some of them might be bad, such as dropping your racket down after each shot or tapping your racket with your other hand before hitting the shot. When you perform these actions over and over, month after month, and year after year, you might find yourself getting back to these habits no matter how hard you try to break them. In this post, I’ll go over 3 ways that I managed to break my bad habits on the court and some ways you could try to break your bad habits!

Getting Back to the Basics

The best way to break a bad habit is to get back to the basics. Particularly for bad habits regarding form, footwork, or shots, starting back from the most basic movements and swings is a great way to remove any bad habits.

If you have a strange hitch in your swing, try re-learning the swing from the start. Be patient with your shots and make sure every training session and every match you are using this new form, regardless of win or lose. Over time, your muscle memory will overwrite your previous problems and you will have a clean, new form.

Similarly, if you have extra steps in your footwork or you are missing a step to one corner, learn your footwork from the basics again. Even if you move much slower and have to think a lot more for the next month or two, after all that practice your footwork will be all cleaned up and you won’t have to worry about it anymore in the future.

Getting back to the basics is extremely valuable to help clean up unnecessary movements and help you master the your different skills and movements in badminton.

Asking for Help

The next method to get rid of bad habits is to ask for help – this can be from a teammate, a coach, or even just a stranger. Most of the time, if we have an ingrained habit, we don’t actually know that this is one of our habits. Getting an outside perspective to watch your movements and play style closely may help you identify these habits and get you on a path to fixing them.

Personally, I try to have a coach or teammate watch all my different motions as I go through and fix each of them individually. For me, I need to fix all the minute details in each one of my shots and individual footworks. My coach is always able to look carefully at these shots and know exactly what I need to fix, which helps me plan out my following training schedules around it.

Filming Yourself

Filming yourself is one of the best methods to solve your own habits. Try filming each different game from different angles (back, diagonal, side, front) so that you can carefully look at your footwork and swings. It may be a little weird to watch yourself play at first, but you will get used to it.

When you watch yourself, you need to watch completely unbiased and only look for things to improve. Instead of looking at the good rallies you win, it is just as important to watch all the mistakes you make and the rallies you lose – and really try to understand why you lost these rallies. You might start to find that it is because of some misstep, or because your swing had an extra wrist movement prior to contacting the bird.

Aside from looking for habits to break, you are also able to learn from your own game. You should eventually be able to know what techniques you need to improve and plan your future training sessions around them. Filming yourself is an amazing way to grow as a badminton player.

Most of all, be patient

All of these take time to help you get rid of your habits and become a better badminton player. Make sure you stay patient – these things can’t be fixed in one practice! Just remember when you started learning footwork and your basic shots – that took a long time to learn as well. However, if you are able to stay patient with yourself, only good things will come. Try applying these different techniques and let me know what you think of them in the comments below – otherwise, see you all in the next post!

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