Badminton Drills for Children
Badminton is a game played on a court, much like tennis. And like tennis, badminton is played with racquets. But instead of hitting a ball back and forth over the net, players hit a shuttlecock, and the shuttlecock cannot touch the court surface or else a point is lost or gained. Children can enjoy the game of badminton and improve their badminton skills with a few simple drills.
For this drill, buckets are placed on one side of the net. Players stand on the other side of the net with a number of shuttlecocks. The number of shuttlecocks can vary. Players try to hit the shuttlecocks into the buckets. The buckets can be placed near the corners so players can practice hitting shots there. For multiple players, a contest can see who hits the most shuttlecocks into buckets. As players advance, a coach or parent can hit soft shots to the players who then try to return the shuttlecocks into the buckets.
This drill helps children practice hitting the shuttlecock hard and at a downward angle, smashing the shuttlecock with a hard racquet stroke and aiming downward over the net so the opposing team will have difficulty returning it. Players stand near the net while the coach or parent tosses or softly hits the shuttlecock to the children who then smash the shuttlecock over the net.
This is a foot-work drill. Players shadow the movements of the coach or parent who is pretending to respond to the shuttlecocks hit over the net. The coach or parent retreats, for example, for an imaginary shuttlecock hit behind her. The players mimic or shadow the movements, including the racquet stroke. This helps children learn how to move around on the court while preparing to return the shuttlecock and return to a ready position.
This is a fun drill that helps children follow the shuttlecock with their eyes and keep their eyes on the shuttlecock as they hit it with their racquets. Children hit a shuttlecock high into the air and then move under it as it descends and hit it high into the air again. The object of this drill is to keep the shuttlecock aloft for as long as possible. A contest can be fashioned with the winner having the most hits before the shuttlecock strikes the ground.
Solo Rally Drill
To help each child feel comfortable with a racket and to improve her hand-eye coordination, begin with the solo rally drill. Each kid has her own racket and practices volleying a shuttlecock, hitting it about three feet high in the air, for 30 seconds. First, she does the drill with her palm facing up, then with her palm facing down, and finally alternating palm-up and palm-down with each hit.
Pair Practice Shot Drill
The pair practice shot drill with continue to help build coordination and also improve reaction time. Break children into pairs. Have each pair of kids face and stand about five feet away from each other. The two children practice volleying the shuttle back and forth. Have them start by practicing the forehand, then the backhand. They keep track of how many volleys they can successfully complete in a row and continuously try to beat their own score. If you have multiple pairs of kids, the drill can be structured as a fun competition.
Round the Clock Game
When looking for a drill that incorporates a large group, the round the clock game is an ideal choice. All children stand in a circle, each with her own racket, except for one kid, also with a racket, who stands in the circle's center. The player in the center hits the shuttle to one of the kids around the circle. Each kid around the circle hits it back to the player in the center, who then hits it to the next kid around the circle. The goal is to make it all the way around the circle without the shuttle falling. If you’re dealing with players who are beginners, consider giving each child in the center three lives so that everyone gets a chance at the center position. Once the shuttle drops three times, she moves to the circle and another kid takes her place at center.
Clear Rally Drill
The clear rally drill is a challenging activity that’s ideal for older or greater-skilled children. One team stands at one baseline while the other team lines up on the opposite baseline. A player from each team steps onto the court. One hits the shuttle over the net to the other player, who then hits a return. After each player hits to the opposite side, he must run to the end of his team’s line as his teammate runs onto the court to make a play on the next return. The goal is to keep the rally going for as long as possible.
Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."