Imagination

Imagination in badminton involves in fact all the senses, but seeing is most important. Imagination is the building of an image of the court, opponents, etcetera, but also of the possibilities during the play for placing the shuttle, and for positioning on court, and even for techniques.
During play, imagination supports deliberate choices and control over the play.

How far it goes with consciousness of an image of play and playing depends on personal choices. The one is really seeing the court etcetera before his eyes, the other isn't aware of such an image at all. Nevertheless, working with an image to play badminton is done by everyone. One has to. Not knowing where the court is and the opponents are, would lead to not understanding where to hit the shuttle and how to position oneself on court. Not being aware of court and counterparty, or not knowing what to do in a party, is not always because of absence of an image. Just the ability of making contact with it and calling it to consciousness is difficult sometimes, or maybe just not wanted.

A clear idea or image should be build up from the appearences and positions of the court, net, borderlines, counterparty and own party.
Thereafter an image can be composed of the flights of the shuttle into the other side and of the points above that side from where the shuttle can be struck back by the couterparty.
An image of the best positions of the own party should be build up too. This image shows from which point the shuttle earliest can be struck into the other side. And when playing doubles this image should show the partition of the own court between the partners too.

The above shows different images that can help playing badminton deliberately. Sometimes it's useful to spend a little while at one of these images. But during a match these images should melt together to one total-image which shows everything concrete of the play. So, the court, the lines, the net, the counterparty, the own party. And then it can be seen from which points the shuttle can be struck into the other side and the points at the other side where to the shuttle can be struck to make it the counterparty difficult.
When this total-image of court and parties and of possibilies is a fact, one should play self-consciously, aware of own movements and strokes, and of course aimfully.