To play a badminton match

forming an own style by the play-analyze- spiral

Photo: Daniel Gasienica via Compfight cc Kenneth Jonassen, Denmark.
The spiral of playing and analyzing, developing an own style.

Taking a badminton match, it can be seen as how it should be played. That should always be from the own analysis. Because, when playing, an idea is being formed of what is happening. After the wish to play better and to get control over the match, one will analyze what has to be done to play it well. Actually, this forms a spiral. Playing leads to analyzing leads to playing leads to analyzing and so on, in a developing way.

To analyze the match, it is in fact the game that has to be analyzed. Because, “match” is an abstract term, which has practically to be given form by playing the game. “Match” indicates only the result that has to be accomplished.

It is obvious that match and game in badminton close related terms are, which sometimes even are used for each other. Nevertheless, a clear distinct has to be made when wishing to get control over the match.

Then, the badminton match is the challenge with others to reach the result of the number of points for the victory.
Excitement, tension, giving everything, come because of this challenge. Though, this should be relativized. Because, not every match is so very challenging, and also, some players look in the first place if they play in the manner they wished to.

The game then, is in fact the practical elaboration of the match. The game is the means by which the number of points are reached for the match victory. All the thinking, all the effort concern the game.

When playing a badminton match, all the exertion should concern playing the game. Not concern the opponent personally, or spectators. When the opponent does so, the own game should be adjusted tactically to that to take advantage thereof.

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Photo: Daniel Gasienica via Compfight cc Zurich. Cathrein, Switserland.
All the exertion should concern the game, not the match as being the mere result that must be reached.

How the game is played

The aims
The badminton game has the form of a contest, which means that a goal has to be reached.
The aim of this match is to reach the number of points that will end the match.
The aim of the game is to realize these points actually. That is done by playing the shuttle in such a way that the opponent isn't able to return the shuttle correctly.

Many sub-aims can be distinguished. A match is parted in two or three sets, and these are by players often tactically parted in half sets or even in halves of those.
A game is played in such a way that it is won as easy and as quickly as possible. But there are reasons to do that in an other way. Sometimes are sub-goals applied by particular ways of playing, to train these. Or the effort isn't so big, to save forces. Tactical goals are to be altered during the game all the time.

The game
The badminton game is the elaboration of the badminton match. This match is the challenge to reach the number of points to end the game against an opponent (So, at least two times 21 points.).
This goal may be achieved by placing the shuttle in a well thought out way. So, it's a tactical game, although it must be said that “tactic” calls many feelings and loaded thoughts into recollection, which could over-cover this neutral idea of mere placing.

To play the game well, there are a number of conditions that must be fulfilled. When fulfilled, the game can be accomplished. Hereby though must be said that almost never all these conditions will fully be present.

The conditions
At least something of the conditions will always be present of course, otherwise it isn't possible to play at all.
In which degree conditions should be present, depends on the level of the badminton and on the way the game is wished to be played. For instance, a high technique level can go with a low physical level, whereby the total level will be somewhere in between.

At least some physical condition is always present of course. A number of physical attributes are able to bolster the game. Stamina, power, reaction time and pace of movements. Combinations are possible too, like power-stamina.

Some mental condition is always present too. Mental qualities which support badminton are self consciousness, an open mind, perceptiveness, imagination, attention, mental stamina, creativity, empathy.

For badminton, technical conditions can be distinguished too. These are automatic reactions, automatic movements, effective movements, efficient movements.

Playing the game requires also at least some tactical awareness. Tactical properties being used are oversight, insight, imagination, anticipation, creativity.

Photo: Chewy Chua via Compfight cc Olympic badminton club.
When playing badminton, some conditions must always be fulfilled more or less, of physical, mental, technical and tactical kind.


Control, oversight and insight
Playing is pursuing the goal of winning the match, what goes by playing the game well, what goes by placing the shuttle unreturnable.

This playing is done in a controlled manner. Control stands for oversight and insight. Oversight concerns what there is. Insight concerns how it there is.
When playing, oversight and insight have to go together.
Control stands just for knowing what and how, not for winning. It makes adjusting possible.

Oversight over the singles game is taken when just looking with an open mind into the direction of the opponent side of the court.
Perceived is then the court with its borderlines, the net, the opponent. And thereby the shuttle when in play. There is also an awareness of the part aside and behind. And there is an awareness of oneself.

Insight in a singles game is taken when imagining how the opponent can place himself on court, how the shuttle could be placed into his half court, and then how the shuttle could return and how oneself could be positioned best.

Altogether, perceived is then the court, the opponent, the shuttle and oneself. And perceived are then the possibilities to place the shuttle.

Placing and positioning. Attack and defense are intentions

Photo: TeHa' via Compfight cc Malaysia super series, 2009. Lee Yong Dae and Jung Jae Sung, Korea.

The attack
Placing of the shuttle is done to get the unreturnable strokes, with which points are gathered.

Often is used “attack” instead of “placing”. However, “attack” has been associated with many feelings and ideas. Aggression and much and hard playing downwards for instance. Choosing placements high in the rear court is more advantageously in particular situations however. And that's not a defensive play. “Attack” means, bringing the opponent in difficulty. As much as possible. An example is a very high service. Whether it is a defensive or an attacking stroke, depends on the player's intention. Making it easier to get the return, which is defensive, or making it more difficult for the opponent to hit it, which is attacking.

The defense
Positioning on court is done to be able to place the returning shuttle again as difficultly as possible.

Often is used “defense” instead of positioning. Though, “defense” is associated with many feelings and ideas too. Lack of initiative, and slowing down by placing the shuttle high in the rear court for instance. But by that then is meant the kind of placing, the intention here is to bring back the shuttle whenever possible.
Also the mere bringing back of the shuttle is called defense. Here is no clever placing applied.

The defense is meant to position well for the returning shuttle, and to place it again as difficultly as possible for the opponent. In fact, defense is a part of the attack.

The main tactic of the game
The nature of the badminton game is of such a kind that it asks for an elaborated placing of the shuttle with all kinds of variations, like hard, high, quick, slow and what can be invented. But it is all about the placing of the shuttle to the opponent side to gather the points for the victory.

The relation between attack and defense
The attack, which is the placing of the shuttle in any way into the opposite half court, is the way to gather the number of points for the victory.
The defense is the positioning on court by which the somewhere returning shuttle best can be taken again, to carry on the attack in the best way.

The relation between attack and defense is thus so, that the defense is at the service of the attack, and in fact is a part of the attack.

For defense, when playing, the whole court has to be covered. The position is so near to the net that the own rear court yet is covered, which counts for the whole width of the court. Position and stance are so that the shuttle can be taken as quickly as possible, so serving the attack.

In doubles play and mixed doubles play
In doubles play all the same properties mentioned up are applied.
When attacking, placing goes quicker, more complicated and more subtle because the shuttle is quicker to reach and hit by the opponents.
When positioning at defense for the next stroke, the whole own half court has to be in thought, whereas only the own part of the half court has to be covered. Positioning is quicker, more complicated and more subtle too. That too goes of course with the intention to place the shuttle as difficultly as possible.

Photo: TeHa' via Compfight cc Kuala Lumpur. Super Serie, Open Malysia. Jenny Wallwork and Gabrielle White, England.
Also in doubles play: attacking to place difficultly, defending position and stance toget the shuttle quickly as part of the attack.

To win a match, the game is played well. For that, the shuttle is unreturnable placed. This is the attack. The defense is at service of the attack and is thus part of the attack. Conditions of physical, mental, technical and tactical nature are more or less always present. Control over the game is gained by oversight and insight. By the spiral of playing and analyzing the game develops.

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