Friday, June 27, 2008

Choosing a Badminton Racket

badminton racket
Badminton Racket. Choosing the correct badminton racket can be a crucial decision, whatever level you are at. With a multitude of rackets available these days,it can seem a little daunting to know which racket is best for you. Hopefully, with a little help, i can help you find just the right badminton racket that suits your style of play.

As you search to find the perfect badminton racket you will soon get to know the more established racket companies such as Yonex, Carlton, Wilson, Head, Prince and numerous other brands, who all want you to part with your cash and select their badminton rackets. Yonex are the most successful and prominant badminton brand, but which manufacturer you choose is entirely down to you.This is where the fun begins. But with the right guidance and information you will be able to make an informed decision, so that you find the best racket for you, and only you.

All badminton players are different, with their own strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to find the right badminton racket which compliments your style of play. You can spend a lot of money on your weapon of choice, or, like most of us, you will no doubt have a limit on what you want to spend on a badminton racket. Remember, you are investing in your game, to improve your standard, so you need to choose wisely.

It can be a real pain when you have spent a whole load of your hard earned cash on the latest "must have" badminton racket, only to find it doesn't quite live up to your expectations, and you can't understand why you aren't playing like the glossy adverts say you should be. Guess what? you have just fallen for the marketing hype, a subtle, sneaky little trick that we experience every day of our lives. However, if you follow my advice i can guide you in the right direction, so you can make the best decision.

Think of your badminton racket as the cherry on top of the badminton cake. Without the base and the ingredients your little cherry isn't going to taste so sweet. In case your wondering what i'm talking about, the base and ingredients are your game, your footwork, technique, grip, fitness and tactical ability. Without these, your new racket is much less effective, and the shuttle will not go where you want it to. In my opinion, a badminton racket you buy will give you, at most, an extra 5% to your game. The actual racket strings are probably more important than the racket itself. The other 95% is all down to you. But don't worry about that, i can help you get the best out of yourself, so you can get the most out of your badminton racket.

I have played with lot's of different rackets over the years, from many different manufacturers, and most of them offer something a bit different, sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but it's all part of the experience of finding that one badminton racket that suits you down to the ground. It's a great feeling when this occurs, but first you need to learn about yourself, your own game, then you can fit the right racket to your game, not the other way round.

What kind of player are you? Perhaps your a power player who smashes the shuttle hard? Or maybe your a touch player who enjoys moving the shuttle around the court with angled shots and deception. Once you know what kind of game you play, you can then find out which badminton racket will bring out the best in your shots, and thus improve your badminton.

If you have just started playing, the chances are that you will not know what type of player you are yet. It's all part of learning the game. There is no point buying the most expensive badminton racket at this stage, you will probably not notice much difference in your play, trust me. However, as your skill level improves you will then start to know more about yourself and this is when you start to look for a specific racket. The more you improve, the more you will understand the basics of badminton, and you will be looking for that tiny advantage to beat your competitors, this is where your badminton racket comes in, but it will only give you a slight advantage, period.

In upcoming posts i will guide you through the badminton racket basics, what to look for, what to avoid, how much to spend, and where to buy.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Biomechanical Principles in Badminton

badminton biomechanical
Badminton. It is very essential to understand the basic biomechanical principles in badminton.

Because, badminton involves sharp eyesight, quick analysis of opponent's shot, preparing your stance, adjusting your hand, changing the face of your racket to the incoming shuttle and generating force as well when you plan to smash it. All of these movements involve understanding basic biomechanical principles without which there is every chance of sustaining a badminton injury by slipping, falling or overuse.

You have to have some idea of "center of gravity" to understand badminton biomechanical principles. Centre of gravity is a point in the body, which is pivotal in balancing the entire body. At that point, your body will be in perfect balance without any need to change posture or rotate to keep it in balance.

The center of gravity is approximately located in the terminal portion of the spinal cord called the sacrum; especially in it's upper one-third portion. The center of gravity in a female is at a comparatively lower level than a male because they tend to have wider pelvis with more fat deposit around their buttocks and thighs.

Similarly, height and age also affects the location of the center of gravity. The center of gravity is important because, by lowering it, you can increase your balance when playing badminton.

Similarly, line of gravity, base of support, mass of the individual and friction between contact surfaces are the other factors helping you to maintain balance. That is, the line of gravity should be approximately in or near the base of support, the base of support should be as wide as possible, the mass of the individual has to be optimum so as to achieve stability and increased friction should be there between the contact surfaces to maintain good balance while playing badminton.

So, any badminton player is supposed to keep his center of gravity as low as possible to allow comfortable shot making, has to keep the base of support as wide as possible to allow maximum balance while playing, maintain his line of gravity approximately around the base of support to optimally combine the benefits, have ideal body mass and wear good friction soled sports shoes for fine balancing without flinching and to prevent sports injuries from occurring.

Lastly, while playing badminton, concentrating on a fixed object rather than moving objects helps in maintaining your balance better. It is because moving flashy objects affect the sense of your balance psychologically while playing.

To achieve the benefits of biomechanical principles discussed above, a badminton player has to take a crouching stance to lower his center of gravity, with his legs apart to widen the base of his support, avoiding lifting his arms unnecessarily above head level which raises the center of gravity, thrive to maintain ideal body mass and wear good friction rubber soled sports shoes to further stabilize himself during playing.

Playing badminton by properly following basic biomechanical principles helps in the following ways.

1. Minimize reaction time, thereby giving extra time in responding to opponent's shots.

2. Aids in playing attacking badminton because by aligning the line of gravity to the center of gravity, pivoting and mobilizing the body to play various shots becomes easy.

3. Helps in avoiding injuries arising from overuse or misuse.