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Teaching Badminton Based on Student Skill Levels

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					                                   Teaching Badminton
                                        Based on
                                   Student Skill Levels
                                  By Jianyu Wang and Jeff Moffit

Helping children and adolescents            Individuals can choose to play the game       skill levels (Wang, 2004). Wang’s study
develop physically active lifestyles is     at different levels of intensity; from just   found that the majority of high school
the core of quality physical education      maintaining a shuttle rally, to playing       students played games at a low level and
programs. Physical educators must           a singles or doubles match. Research          during games they used immature forms
teach students skills, knowledge and        indicates that badminton not only helps       of strokes, which are different from the
dispositions needed to live a physically    participants develop cardiovascular           strokes such as clear, drop, drive and
active life. Additionally, the national     fitness (Docherty, 1982; Wright,              smash described in badminton books
standards indicate that a physically        2007), but also improves bone health          (e.g., Grice, 1996). Wang’s findings have
educated       person        demonstrates   (Nordstroem, Pettersson, & Lorentzon,         revealed the process of skill development
competency in motor skills and              1998). For these reasons, many schools        in badminton that students most likely
movement patterns needed to perform a       have included badminton in their              go through and the immature strokes
variety of physical activities (NASPE,      physical education curriculum.                beginners frequently use during the
2004). Therefore, physical education             In teaching badminton, teachers          game. This knowledge can help teachers
teachers must help students develop         need to understand how students               both predict what should be taught
movement competence in activities and       develop game play ability from a low          next in the skill development sequence
sports so they have the skills to enjoy     level to an advanced level. Physical          of badminton, and understand what
participation in physical activity.         education researchers have urged              skills and tactics need to be assessed at
     Badminton has been identified as       teachers to pay more attention to changes     different learning stages.
a lifelong activity. It is an inexpensive   in students’ movement performance                  To help students develop competency
sport and everyone – children, seniors,     (e.g., Chen, Rovegno, Todorovich, &           in badminton, teachers must be able
and individuals with disabilities – can     Babiarz, 2003). Effort has been made to       to develop movement tasks that match
reach a level of enjoyment in the game      understand performance characteristics        students’ skill levels. After identifying
after mastering basic skills and tactics.   of badminton game play across students’       performance characteristics of the students


14       STRATEGIES                                                                                             July/August 2009
at different skill levels, teachers need to
design movement tasks appropriate to                   Figure 1: Summary of four levels of student badminton play
students at different learning stages. In
the following discussion, performance           Level 1 – Students have difficulty making
characteristics of badminton at four            consistent contact with shuttle and
different levels are presented and then         serving into game play area.
followed by instructional strategies and
drills proposed for students at each skill      Level 2 – Students are able to make contact
level. Figure 1 gives a brief explanation       and play the shuttle into game play area,
                                                however they usually use immature forms of
of each level.
                                                the stroke.

Level One                                       Level 3 – Students have the fundamental
Students at Level One frequently have           knowledge and skills of the game, and the
difficulty making contact with the              ability to make appropriate decisions and
shuttle during practice and games. Most         select different offensive tactics depending on
badminton beginners cannot place the            the situation. Students are now developing
shuttle into legal service and game play        the advanced strokes (drive stroke, overhead
areas. Although some students at this           clear, etc.).
level are able to make contact, they
                                                Level 4 – Students are able to use the clear
typically use immature forms of the
                                                and drive shots during games and begin to
strokes. One of the immature strokes is
                                                score by using basic offensive tactics. They
called the undifferentiated shot which          are also able to position themselves in a
is executed with an awkward form in             defensive manner.
a poor body position (Wang, 2004).
Another immature stroke is called the
cooperative shot which is performed by        a stroke. Therefore, students need to         assigned drills like rallying the shuttle
hitting the shuttle toward an opponent        work on their footwork at this level. To      with a partner and being challenged to
with a relatively slow speed and a high       facilitate this, teachers can assign tasks    maintain the rally as long as possible.
trajectory. With the cooperative shot, the    that require students to move from the             When teachers assign students to
shuttle is typically placed in the center     center of the court to different directions   play a modified game, they should be
of the court, but it provides an opponent     and then return to the center.                allowed to use immature forms of the
with a good opportunity to smash. In               Poor eye-hand coordination may           strokes during games as long as they can
addition, students at this level present      result in a failure to make contact.          hit the shuttle into the legal game play
little offensive and defensive awareness.     Some students may not have developed          areas. Meanwhile, the “legal service
For example, they have no intent to           adequate eye-hand coordination by the         areas” should be enlarged to the entire
place the shuttle away from an opponent       time they learn to play badminton. Thus,      half court. Additionally, teachers may
and force him/her to move and do not          teachers must first help these students       begin to teach the basic defensive tactics
regularly return to their home base after     develop eye-hand coordination, and            such as regularly returning to home base
hitting the shuttle to an opponent.           simple drills like hitting the shuttle        after hitting the shuttle to an opponent in
      For students at Level One, teachers     into the air could be used to develop         the game. The following drills may be
should help them develop the ability to       the coordination. In addition, teachers       used to improve making contact:
make contact and place the shuttle into       should instruct students how to use the            Drill 1: Students in a ready position
legal game play areas. Making contact         wrist to control the shuttle and place it          stand at the center of the court
is a basic skill in playing badminton         into the legal game play areas.                    and move to the front, back, left,
and a foundation to develop the strokes            During this learning stage, students          and right directions by following
of clear, drive, drop, and smash.             should be allowed to use a cooperative             teachers’ or peers’ commands
Without the ability to make contact, it       shot during practice or games. This is             (footwork).
is impossible to apply various offensive      because the cooperative shot may serve             Drill 2: Students hit the shuttle into
tactics in game play. Both poor footwork      as a transition before the students are            the air with the racket and count
and eye-hand coordination could affect        able to execute the mature forms of the            how many bounces they can achieve
making contact. Obviously, when               strokes such as clear and drive. Since             without losing control in one or two
students cannot adjust themselves to a        the primary focus of the instruction at            minute(s) (eye-hand coordination).
proper position, it is difficult for them     this stage is on developing the ability            Drill 3: Students hit the shuttle
to make contact and effectively execute       to make contact, students may be                   against the wall and maintain a rally


July/August 2009                                                                                            STRATEGIES             15
                                                Figure 2: Badminton Terms


     Attacking clear: An offensive stroke hit deep into the       handed player.
     opponent’s court.                                            Game: The part of a set completed when one player or
     Backcourt: Back third of the court, in the area of the       side has scored enough points to win a single contest.
     back boundary lines.
                                                                  High clear: A defensive shot hit deep into the
     Backhand: The stroke used to return balls hit to the         opponent’s court.
     left of a right-handed player and to the right of a left-
     handed player.                                               Kill: Fast downward shot that cannot be returned.

     Base position: The location in the centre of the court       Let: A minor violation of the rules allowing a rally to be
     to which a singles player tries to return after each shot;   replayed.
     also called “centre position”.                               Match: A series of games to determine a winner.
     Baseline: The back boundary line at each end of the          Midcourt: The middle third of the court, halfway
     court, parallel to the net.                                  between the net and the back boundary line.
     Carry: An illegal stroke in which the shuttle is not         Net shot: A shot hit from the forecourt that just clears
     hit, but caught and held on the racket before being          the net and drops sharply.
     released; also called a “sling” or “throw”.
                                                                  Passing shot: A shot which passes the opposing player
     Centre line: A line perpendicular to the net that            or team.
     separates the left and right service courts.
                                                                  Push shot: A gentle shot played by pushing the
     Clear: A shot hit deep into the opponent’s court.
                                                                  shuttlecock with a little wrist motion.
     Drive: A fast and low shot that makes a horizontal
     flight over the net.                                         Rally: The exchange of shots that decides each point.

     Drop shot: A shot hit softly and with finesse to fall        Serve: The stroke used to put the shuttlecock into play
     rapidly and close to the net in the opponent’s court.        at the start of each rally; also called a “service”.
     Fault: A violation of the playing rules.                     Service court: The area into which a service must be
                                                                  delivered. Different for singles and doubles.
     Flick: A quick wrist-and-forearm rotation used to
     surprise an opponent by changing an apparently soft          Set: To choose to extend a game beyond its normal
     shot into a faster passing shot.                             ending score if the score is tied with one point to go.
     Forecourt: The front third of the court, between the         Smash: A hard-hit overhead shot that forces the
     net and the short service line.                              shuttle sharply downwards into the opponent’s court.
     Forehand: The stroke used to return a ball hit to the
     right of a right-handed player and to the left of a left-                          Source: www.badminton-information.com




     as long as possible.                    intent to perform any of the strokes of     for students to learn the clear after they
     Drill 4: Students hit the shuttle to    clear, drop, drive, and smash, but the      are able to perform a cooperative shot
     their partners and keep a rally to      execution of the shot exhibits some         or developmental shot.
     see how long they can maintain the      problems in controlling the trajectory,           For students at Level Two, the
     rally without losing control.           placement, or power of the shot.            instructional emphasis should be on
     Drill 5: Students play modified         Again, use of the developmental shot        teaching the clear shot. A clear refers to
     doubles games by using any strokes      in game play might be an indispensable      a shot hit with a high trajectory and the
     as long as they can play the shuttle    transition for badminton beginners.         shuttle lands in the back court. There are
     into legal game play areas.                  At this learning stage, teachers       four basic forms of clear: (1) forehand
                                             need to help students refine immature       overhead clear, (2) forehand underhand
Level Two                                    forms of the strokes. Although students     clear, (3) backhand overhead clear, and (4)
At Level Two, students are able to           at Level Two may be allowed to              backhand underhand clear. While teaching
make contact and place the shuttle into      continue to use developmental shots         the clear, teachers should emphasize
the legal game play areas. However,          in practice and games, they should          hitting the shuttle high and deep to the back
they extensively use immature forms          no longer use the cooperative shot          areas of the court by using arm backswing
of the strokes, such as the cooperative      and undifferentiated shot. Students         and trunk rotation. Teachers may teach
shot and undifferentiated shot.              at this level are ready to develop the      students the clear in an order of forehand
Additionally, many students at this          clear stroke because the movement           overhead clear, forehand underhand clear,
level use another immature stroke            structure of the clear is similar to the    backhand overhead clear and finally
called the developmental shot. This          structure of the cooperative shot and       backhand underhand clear.
shot is performed with an observable         developmental shot. It would be easy              During this stage, students need to


16        STRATEGIES                                                                                            July/August 2009
develop their awareness of offensives             the back to wait for the turn. The         of the shuttle should not be used at this
and defensive tactics. Teachers may               students are challenged to maintain        stage because this type of drill may
start to teach students a basic offensive         a rally as long as possible.               result in playing badminton games
tactic that emphasizes placing the                   This drill can also be practiced        cooperatively instead of competitively.
shuttle away from opponents and                   in a competitive way. The students         The following drills may be used to
forcing them to move during the game.             are required to hit the shuttle into       improve the clear and drive:
It is crucial for teachers to integrate           the right or left corners to force             Drill 1: Students practice the drive
the offensive and defensive tactics               their opponents to move and miss               with a partner. One student stands
into the drills. For example, while               the shot. A group will win the race            at the center of the court in a ready
assigning students to practice the clear          when it scores 15 points first.                position while another student at the
with a partner, teachers may challenge            Drill 4: Students play modified                other side of the net tosses the shuttle
students to hit the shuttle to the left           doubles games in which students                for the partner to perform a drive shot.
or right corners of the court and force           are encouraged to use the different            Drill 2: Working with a partner,
the partners to move back and forth.              types of the clear to change shuttle           students alternately use a clear or
Meanwhile, students should be required            placements and force opponents to              drive to force the partner to move
to return to the center of the court after        move in response.                              in response.
hitting the shuttle to their partners. This                                                      Drill 3: Students practice the
drill will help the students understand       Level Three                                        clear and/or drive with a partner.
that placing the shuttle away from an         The primary characteristic of students             One student always uses the drive
opponent may lead to scoring in the           at performance Level Three is that                 as an offensive stroke and the
game. The following drills could be           they increasingly use forehand                     other student only uses forehand
used to develop the clear:                    clears although they still use the                 underhand clear for defense and the
     Drill 1: Students practice the           developmental shot in games. At this               students maintain a rally as long as
     forehand overhead clear with a           learning stage, students are ready to              possible.
     partner by hitting the shuttle to        learn the drive stroke. A drive is a shot          Drill 4: This is a drive relay. The
     the areas close to the baseline          hit with a flat trajectory and is a forceful       format of the drill is similar to the
     and maintaining a rally as long as       stroke that gives an opponent little time          clear relay, but students only use the
     possible.                                to return the shot. Because of the fact            drive instead of the clear during the
     Drill 2: Working with a partner,         that students at this level are able to            relay.
     students practice the forehand           perform the forehand overhead clear,               Drill 5: Students play modified
     overhead clear and attempt to            which is similar to the drive, they may            doubles games in which students are
     increase the accuracy of the             master the drive stroke quickly with               encouraged to use the clear and drive
     placement of the clear. Student A        better control of the power and angle.             to win points and regularly return to
     first tries to hit the shuttle to the         Teachers must continue addressing             home base during the games.
     right corner of the back court and       offensive tactics at this learning stage.
     then to the left corner after student    Students need to know that another             Level Four
     B returns the shot. Students need to     offensive tactic they can use in the game      Students at Level Four are advanced
     force the partners to move back and      is to win points by using forceful strokes     beginners. They are able to use the clear
     forth by changing the placements.        such as the drive. The key in this tactic      and drive during games and begin to
     Drill 3: Students are divided into       is that they have to hit the shuttle fast      score by using basic offensive tactics,
     small groups (three or four students     and give opponents no time to return the       which are to place the shuttle away
     per group) and perform a clear           shot. Students at this level should be able    from opponents and to use the forceful
     relay. The group members line up         to make appropriate decisions and select       shot. They demonstrate awareness
     at the back boundary line of the         different offensive tactics based on game      of defending their space by regularly
     court facing the net and another         situations and opponents’ weakness. In         returning to the home base. However,
     group stands in the same place on        a game, they should use the two basic          not many students at this level are
     the other side of the court. The         offensive tactics to score by changing the     able to actually use the strokes of drop
     first student starts with a forehand     placement of shots and using a forceful        and smash in the games. One possible
     underhand clear over the net, and        shot.                                          reason is that these students may not feel
     then he/she will quickly move back            To help students develop tactics          confident enough to execute advanced
     to the end of the group and wait for     awareness, teachers must design drills         strokes in game situations. Students
     the next turn. A student from other      in which offensive tactics are properly        often wait for their opponents to make
     side of the net will hit the shuttle     integrated. A rally drill where students       mistakes to win points rather than trying
     back with a clear and then move to       are not required to change placement           to score by using aggressive play.


July/August 2009                                                                                             STRATEGIES              17
     During this learning stage,
students are ready to learn the drop and
smash to enrich the offense. A drop is a
soft shot that barely clears the net and
lands in the forecourt. A smash refers
to a powerful overhead shot with a
steep downward trajectory. In order to
effectively execute the drop and smash
strokes, students must have better
control of power, angle, and placement
of the strokes. In practicing the smash,
students should use trunk rotation to
generate more power. For the drop,
students should understand how to
use the wrist to control the power and
angle.
     For tactic instruction, teachers
should teach students to read the                   shuttle into different locations        References
opponents’ weakness and select                      with varied strokes of the clear,           Chen, W., Rovegno, I., Todorovich,
appropriate strokes to implement                    drive, drop and smash. Meanwhile,      J., & Babiarz, M. (2003). Third grade
different offensive tactics in games.               they need to return to the center of   children’s movement responses to dribbling
For example, students need to know                  the court after making each shot.      tasks presented by accomplished teachers.
that they could attack the weak side                Drill 5: Students play modified        Journal of Teaching in Physical Education,
of their opponents (the left side for the           doubles games in which they are        22, 450-466.
right-handed players) by utilizing the              encouraged to use the good forms            Docherty, D. (1982). A comparison
                                                    of strokes and all of the offensive    of heart rate responses in racquet games.
smash and drive. They can also score
                                                                                           British Journal of Sports Medicine, 16(2),
by alternately using the drop and clear             tactics learned.
                                                                                           96-100.
to force opponents to move up and back
                                                                                                Grice, T. (1996). Badminton: Steps to
in the court. Teachers should encourage         Conclusion
                                                                                           success. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
students at this level to actively score        In summary, if an intended outcome
                                                                                                National Association for Sport and
by using different offensive tactics.           of physical education is the enjoyment     Physical Education. (2004). Moving into
     The following drills can be used           of physical activity over a lifespan,      the future: National standards for physical
to improve game play ability among              and the primary goal of a badminton        education (2nd ed.). Reston, VA: Author.
students at Level Four:                         unit is to develop the ability to play          Nordstroem, P., Pettersson, U., &
     Drill 1: Students practice the drop        a functional game of badminton,            Lorentzon, R. (1998). Type of physical
     with a partner. One student stands         then teachers must teach the skills        activity, muscle strength, and pubertal
     at the center of the court in a ready      and knowledge needed to enjoy the          stage as determinants of bone mineral
     position, while another student at the     game play. The instructional approach      density and bone area in adolescent boys.
     other side of the net tosses the shuttle   introduced in this article emphasizes      Journal of Bone and Mineral research, 13,
     for the partner to perform a drop shot.    development of game play ability           1141-1148.
     Drill 2: Working with a partner,           based on students’ skill levels.                Wang, J. (2004). Developmental trends
     students practice the drop and             Teachers may use station instruction       for badminton game play across skill levels:
     clear. Students first perform a drop       (or task teaching) to challenge            An exploratory study. Unpublished doctoral
     and then a clear after the shuttle is                                                 dissertation, University of South Carolina,
                                                students differently when there is a
                                                                                           Columbia.
     returned by a partner and keep a           wide range of badminton skill levels
                                                                                                Wright, I. (2007). Enjoy the benefits of
     rally sustained as long as possible.       in classes. This will prevent students
                                                                                           badminton! National Health Service Trusts
     Drill 3: Working with a partner,           from becoming bored and will help
                                                                                           Association. Retrieved from http:www.
     students practice the smash. One           them achieve a high success rate           apcgt.co.uk/whatsnew_writght26.html on
     student stands at the center of the        in practice. Additionally, teachers        December 6, 2007.
     court in a ready position, while           must be aware of that the approach
     another student at the other side          presented here could be used along
     of the net feeds the shuttle to the        with other instructional approaches        JianyuWang and Jeff Moffit are
     partner to perform a smash.                to maximize student learning in            associate professors at California State
     Drill 4: Students try to place the         badminton.                                 University, Bakersfield.


18        STRATEGIES                                                                                              July/August 2009

				
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