Badminton is the world’s fastest racket sport. It incorporates a lightweight racket and a shuttlecock, or “birdie,” that must not touch the ground as it passes between players. The game started around 2,000 years ago and was common in countries such as Greece, China and India. Today, it is played around the world for competition and for the benefits it provides, like balance, hand-eye coordination, muscular strength and agility. To prepare for the game or to develop these benefits, try badminton drills and lead-up games.
For this volleyball-like lead-up game, you will need a racket for each player and one birdie. Form two teams, with six to nine players each. Players on one team will hit the birdie over the net so that it falls between the other team’s boundaries. A team is allowed to hit the birdie up to three times while on its side before it makes it over the net. Note that the same player may not hit the birdie twice in a row. The serving team will score when the other team cannot return the birdie legally and within the serving team’s boundaries. However, if the serving team fails to return the birdie to the other team, that specific play is over and other team is up to serve. Set a limit of points at the beginning of the game. The first team to reach this number of points is the winner.
Serving challenge is a badminton drill used to hone your serving skills and hand-eye coordination. Every player needs a racket. Have one net and 20 birdies per group. Students will work in groups of three or four. Have each group stand on the baseline on one side of the net. On the other side of the net, set up different-size targets. Each target will be worth different amounts of points depending on size. Using the 20 birdies, the team will work to score as many points as possible using the correct serving form. To do this, the group will split the 20 birdies evenly amongst the members. Designate an allotted time for students to complete this goal. The team who scores the most points in that specific time wins.
This fast-paced drill requires one racket per person and one shuttle per pair. Separate students into pairs, and have each stand on one side of the net. One player must start off lying down. The other player will serve the shuttle standing up. The lying player must jump up and return the shuttle. However, once the student who serves has served, he must lie down until the shuttle returns over the net. At that time, he will jump up and attempt a return. The drill will continue in this manner until the allotted time is up.
Badminton Four Square
For this game, you will need a racket for each player, four nets and one shuttle per set of four squares. Each game will have four teams of two. To start, set up the nets to make a large “X.” All nets will be hooked to a center pole. Number the squares from one to four, and have one team in each square. The team in Square 1 will serve the shuttle to any other team. That team must return the shuttle to any other square they desire. That team must do the same. Every team has one shot to get the shuttle over the net and to another team. If a team misplays the shuttle or hits it out of bounds, the team members have one strike against them. After this error, the last team to hit successfully will serve again. Each team that obtains three strikes is out. The last team standing wins.