Badminton Tips

A badminton rally ends once the shuttlecock falls to the ground. The rule is that it can only be struck once by each side, over the net. The shuttlecock is a feathered projectile that is designed with unique aerodynamic properties that cause it to fly differently. The feathers create a higher drag and cause the shuttlecock to decelerate much more than a ball. Competitive badminton is always played indoors, because the flight of the shuttlecock is strongly affected by wind. As an Olympic sport, badminton has five competitive disciplines―men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. The sport demands aerobic stamina, strength, and speed. The technical aspect of the sport requires good motor coordination.

Since badminton involves stamina and agility, you need to warmup accordingly. You could begin with a jog or skipping, and once your pulse is raised, stretch the legs, back, and shoulders to prepare for the lunges. When choosing a racket, check the grip―small grips for small hands and large grips for large hands. Develop a relaxed grip with flexible wrist movements, to perfect forehand and backhand shots. A wobbly shuttle indicates poor quality or faulty dynamics, and should be returned or chucked away as soon as possible.

After playing a shot, try as much to return to central base position, to be more likely to reach all possible opposing shots. As badminton is a fast-paced and highly unpredictable game, you should be prepared to change direction anytime. Incorporate some strategies into the game, and the best game plan to follow is to discover your opponent’s weakness. Once you identify one or many of his or her weaknesses, play to it as much as possible! This sport requires stamina and agility, and thus, brisk walking and jogging are ideal for providing knee strength that is required during a fast-paced game.

Badminton requires constant thinking and planning. Make sure that every shot has a purpose, and keep an eye on as much of the court as possible. Just like in any other game, exercise or physical activity, make sure you round-off your game with a cool-down phase. You need to ensure that you finish as you began, probably with a gentle walk around the court. You could also adopt some light stretching exercises. When attempting to take up badminton as a sport, focus on the major muscle groups. Even if you wish to concentrate on some others, let your choice depend on how the previous game was.

When stretching for a warmup before a game, ensure that you hold your stretches for around 30 seconds. This ensures a really deep stretch. Badminton is like any other sport, and whether played ‘singles’ or ‘doubles’ or ‘mixed’, the game demands teamwork. You need to understand and apply all the rules to the game, even during the workout sessions. The game requires you to have a lot of stamina, and hence, you need to monitor your diet. A fiber-rich diet, with just the right amount of good fats and carbohydrates, will work wonders on your energy levels.

Once you take to the sport of badminton, you should not shift focus from the essentials of the game, and develop a game plan all your own! Badminton, played as a leisure activity, is a great exercise, and a fantastic way of spending quality time with family and friends. There are dedicated clubs everywhere that operate to teach the sport to children and those genuinely interested in the sport.

How to Serve in Volleyball

Volleyball is a team sport, and the aim of this game is to ground the ball in the opponent’s court. Just like in tennis, in volleyball too the way a serve is delivered can turn the fortunes of a team. There are two ways in which you can serve in this game. One is the underhand method and the other is the overhand way.

Serving Underhand

  • Start with putting either your left foot or right foot forward. Bend your knees slightly.
  • Place the palm of your left hand under the ball, holding it in front of you.
  • Meanwhile, keep your right hand open and not in a fist.
  • Now drop your right hand as it would be normally and follow it by getting it back slightly beyond your hips.
  • The real thing comes next. Swing your arm forward, it should be under the ball. The mantra is to hit the ball using the heel of your hand, not the palm.
  • Step into the swing with either of the foot, but avoid stepping over the line while doing this.
  • After making contact with the ball, let the swing of your arm continue, that will be your follow-through.
  • Finally, bring your right hand over your left shoulder.

Serving Overhand

  • Place your left foot ahead of your right foot, and the distance between your feet should be one shoulder-width.
  • Align your shoulder and hips with the net.
  • Without bending your arms, place them straight in front.
  • The bottom of the ball has to be held with the palm of your left hand, and the top with your right palm. Remember that the elbows and arms should not be in contact with any other part of the body.
  • Raise you serving arm, in this case the right arm, next to your head. Your elbow should point upwards.
  • The next thing you have to do is toss the ball in the air using the palm of your left hand. You are not supposed to use four fingers.
  • The ball should go about 2 to 3 feet in the air. Once it is mid air, with your left foot, step forward.
  • After you step forward, hit the bottom of the ball with your right palm, with a straight wrist and stiff hand.
  • The ball should be hit at the highest point, after you throw it in the air.
  • It is better not to hit the ball on its way down. For that, take care that you do not throw the ball too high!
  • Once you strike the ball, run back to your position on the court.
  • Remember these 4 words―toss, step, hit, and follow-through, to serve a volleyball overhand.

This might seem easy to read, but there is a fair chance that if you are just starting off, you may not be able to get it right immediately. There is no need to be disappointed. Remember, practice makes a man perfect.

How to Grip a Badminton Racket

Badminton is a very popular sport amongst many people from all around the world, and this is a game that comes naturally to many people. Learning the game is not that difficult at all, and the rules are also very simple to understand. All you need to do is hit the shuttlecock between the players with the help of a badminton racket. Official games have a net that needs to be scaled, and unofficial games between friends and family members can be played pretty much anywhere.

When someone is looking to play badminton for the first time, or even when someone is looking to improve their game, the first thing that they should do is learn how to grip the racket properly. The right grip can affect one’s game majorly, so it is absolutely essential to learn the correct technique involved. Anyone who is experiencing difficulties with gripping the racket will definitely have a hard time playing the game properly and learning other aspects of badminton as well.

The Badminton Racket

Badminton rackets have traditionally been very light, and they typically weigh anything between 70 and 95 grams. The materials used for manufacturing these rackets are varied in nature, but they are typically composed of carbon fiber composites, graphite reinforced plastic or even solid steel. In the beginning, badminton rackets were made of wood or aluminum. The shape of the rest of the racket is oval, but some new rackets are also shaped isometrically. The head has many taut strings that are pulled tight so that they can transfer kinetic energy easily, and some rackets even have materials like carbon nanotubes or fullerene in order to increase the transfer of this energy.

The strings (which are generally made of nylon) generally have a thickness of about 0.62 – 0.73 mm and the tension at which they are tied makes a big difference in the shots that a player makes. Strings with lower tension provide more powerful shots, whereas strings with higher tension improve the control and the direction of the shots. When it comes to the grip of the racket, it is the personal choice of the player that gains importance. Sweaty palms can affect the grip in many different ways, so the player must choose between a towel-like material grip or a polyurethane synthetic grip.

Gripping the Racket Right

The shape of the grip of the badminton racket is octagonal, and each of these sides are known as bevels. You should also be aware that when you hold the racket, you should relax your forearm muscles. Gripping the racket too tightly will spoil the shots you make, and this is something that most people do not realize. You should only tighten your muscles when you are actually hitting the shuttlecock, but at other times you should hold the racket in a flexible manner so that you can shift it around in your hand easily.

In order to learn the proper grip, you must hold the racket so that the face is perpendicular to the ground. Now you must extend your right hand towards the grip as if you are shaking hands with the racket. Now simply wrap your fingers around the racket, and move your thumb so that you feel comfortable. You can further adjust the thumb and the index finger to get to the most comfortable position. Now move the racket around and see if you can do so freely. This is the best way to grip a racket in order to play a forehand shot, and even to play a backhand shot in most cases. Many experienced players say that the best way to see if your grip is right, is to check if there is a V-shape between your thumb and your index finger when you see the back of your hand. If this position fits the V-shape then the grip is absolutely correct.

While this orthodox forehand grip is great for playing backhand shots, you can also use the common backhand grip for playing such shots. In order to do this you will have to break the V-shape of the thumb and the index finger, and move the thumb higher up the grip than the index finger. The biggest benefit of this grip is that the individual can exert greater leverage on the racket by pressing the thumb downwards. A third grip known as the frying pan grip is also commonly used and in this case you will need to grip the racket in the same manner as in the forehand grip. The only difference here is that the face of the racket should be parallel to the ground, rather than perpendicular to it. This grip allows one to freely play forehand shots and backhand shots without changing the grip in the middle of the game.

All these tips are commonly known to many players, and anyone who is starting to play the game should also be well aware of this. You can try experimenting with a few grips before you settle on one that you are comfortable with, and this is something that you should never forget. It is far more important to grip the racket in a manner that comforts you, rather than just blindly follow a predetermined grip.

How to Improve Volleyball Skills

In the game of volleyball, the main objective is to ground the ball in the opponent’s half. There are 2 teams and each team consists of 6 players. These 6 players together have to develop skills and devise strategies to achieve this main objective. Before getting into the details of how to improve volleyball skills on the whole, it is necessary to understand that consistency in practicing the right moves is of utmost importance. For example, the ball should hit the same spot on your forearm every time you play a shot. This makes the player better and helps improve further skills.

Improving Volleyball Skills

Performing the various volleyball drills of passing, serving, etc., helps develop habits that prove to be useful for players in the long run. It helps them improve the concentration levels and ability to focus on the game at hand. Here are few useful volleyball drills that may help improve your timing, footwork, and of course, ball control. Let us start with how to take a proper stance.

Stance
You should maintain a stance that allows you to move around more quickly. The distance between the legs need to be slightly greater than that of your shoulder width. You should also bend the knees slightly, which will allow you to react faster.

Shuffling
It is the movement in which volleyball players move by taking small steps. The movement of shuffling is carried out smoothly without crossing-over the feet. To improve the shuffling movement, players need to stay low by keeping the knees bent. The body weight should be transferred onto the toes.

Service
The serving skill can be improved with the following drill. First step is that of tossing the ball in front of the serving shoulder. The elbow of hand with which you are serving should be held back and in a high position. Make contact with the ball by means of the middle of your hand. After hitting the ball, follow through the arm-swing action.

How to Improve Passing
Here are a couple of useful volleyball passing drills, that players can make use of.

Pipeline Passing
This drill helps players improve their passing while moving laterally. A pair of players is needed for this drill. These players have to face each other and stand 10 feet apart. From this position, the first player has to pass the volleyball to his partner. He should touch the sideline on his left immediately after passing, and quickly get back into his original position. After 10 – 15 shuffles, the player should repeat the passing drill on his right side.

Basketball Passing
In this drill, three players should line up in front of a server. Passers and the server should be separated by a net. The passers, after receiving the volleyball from the server, have to pass it into a basket. Points should be awarded for every successful pass into the basket. Conversely, the server should be awarded a point if the passer fails to do his job.

Blocking
The act of blocking makes it difficult for the opposing team to put the ball back into play. The arm and shoulder position play an important role in blocking the ball. The arms, while blocking the ball, are moved in a manner that they slant forward. Raising the hands and then pressing them forward wastes precious time, that can be used for immediate penetration.

Burnout
Our body provides signals and cues that help us understand whether we should continue practicing or just rest for the day. You can avoid a burnout by listening to the body. Taking enough rest to prevent a burnout is therefore, necessary too.

Understanding the subtleties and nuances becomes important after you master the basics. Those volleyball skills mentioned above should be useful for improving the overall game. Volleyball is a team game and it requires great coordination amongst all the players. Once you master the skills mentioned above, creating coordination between team members shouldn’t be too difficult.