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Badminton Essay

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The activity I have chosen to investigate is badminton. I have been interested in this sport since I joined secondary school around five years ago. I was once also a member of a badminton club. I have chosen to investigate and analyse my performance, identifying my strengths and weaknesses. Once my weaknesses are identified only then will I be able to plan and implement an effective training programme.

As my title suggests I have identified my smash shot as my weakness. I feel that if I improve my smash shot this will go a long way to improving my overall game as I will be better equipped to finish off my opponent and gain some momentum on my way to trying to gain victory.

In badminton I consider myself to be an above average player but by no means a fully accomplished player. I feel that my weakness is my smash shot, however I feel strong and confident in my overall ability, especially when playing a high clear and drop shot.

I feel that my smash shot hinders my overall performance. If my opponent identifies my weakness at an early stage in a game then I find it very hard to play to my best ability as my opponent exploits my weakness. If my weakness isn’t exploited then I can play to my strengths and move my opponent around the court, and hopefully, gain momentum and enough points to win the game.

This is why I feel this investigation is of great importance to my overall game of badminton. As I have identified my smash shot as my weakness I will be equipped to analyse my performance and also plan a programme specific to my weakness as a badminton player. Upon completion of my programme I will gather more data and compare it to my initial data, thus helping make conclusions about the effectiveness of my investigation. Once I am able to draw conclusions and comparisons from my initial and final data I will be able to state whether my programme has been a success or failure and whether the methods I used were effective in improving my smash shot thus in turn improving my overall game.


In order to gather general data I played a partner of similar ability in a match up to eleven. I won 11-10. My partner and I chose to have our game recorded as this allows us to watch our performance over and over again giving me effective visual feedback.

From watching the video I was able to complete a model performance observation schedule that helped identify the success rate of my shots in comparison to the preparation, action and recovery stages of a model performer.

I also filled out an observation schedule that helped me identify a percentage success rate of all my shots. As this is written data it allows me to use this as comparative data later on in my investigation.

I also devised a drill that allowed me to determine the success rate of my smash shot. A partner played a high serve to the middle of the court and I then played a smash shot. This senario was repeated 30 times. At the other side of the net a rope was positioned on a straight line across the court, it was then noted the number of smashes that landed within the ” scoring zone “.(the scoring zone being from the net to the rope 9 feet away)as this drill can be repeated it provides a source if comparative data to determine whether my training programme has been a success.

My method of training was gradual build up. I also had to make sure my programme was specific and relevant to my weakness. I also varied my training for maximum effectiveness and result maximisation.

“You should vary your training so players are less likely to become psychologically or physically stale or bored” (Davis et al, 1986).

At the cognitive stage shadowing was introduced. Shadowing allowed me to begin by perfecting my technique before moving onto the associative stage and performance related practices for example a performance related rally. In general my practices were all in relation to my smash shot. Focusing on my smash allowed me to progress to the autonomous stage within my six-week programme.

When my programme was over and I had to re evaluate my performance again, I decided to use the same methods as before. I again was videoed against a partner of similar ability up to eleven. From this I again filled out my movement analysis observation schedule and my observation schedule. Again, all of these methods could be used as comparative data later in the investigation.


From analysing my initial data I could see that I was by no means a model performer. A model performer in badminton must be an overall strong player. He/She must be mentally and physically strong. A model player must have good cardio vascular and muscular endurance in order to move around the court effortlessly for the full game. They must also have good tactical awareness and be able to exploit weaknesses. Finally, they must be able to play a range of shots.

Since my weakness is arguably the most important attacking shot in badminton by improving on this should help me meet, to some degree, my mid term and long term goals.

As I earlier stated, I am by no means a model performer. In relation to my overall performance I am not a fully accomplished player. I noticed that my weakness was my smash shot. When playing a smash shot I am somewhat erratic, I find it difficult to have power and direction in smashes when needed (appendix 4). My strengths in the game consist of drop shots, high clears and also serving (appendix 2).

From analysing my data I can see that my smash shot has improved by 30% due to my programme.(appendices 2 and 5).I can also see that my strengths( drop shots and clears) didn’t vary significantly due to my training programme.(appendices 2and 5).I can also see from my model performance observation schedule of a smash shot that when playing a smash my racquet is now taken up and back behind my head, in the preparation stage, due to my programme and I now also return to base balanced and in a ready position.(appendix 7) I can also see that 10% more of my shots are landing in an ideal position for an effective smash shot since I implemented my training programme.

Before beginning my programme I set difficult but achievable goals. These goals helped keep my programme exciting. My short-term goal was just to complete the programme. My mid term goal was to improve my smash shot and my long term goal was to eradicate weakness from my performance and make me as close to a model performer as possible.

I chose to follow a gradual build up programme as this allows me to break my shots into small stages and only move on when I feel I am ready. The stages that I broke my performance into were challenging as well as achievable to do in my six week time bracket. The three stages I had to progress through were from the cognitive to associative and finally to the autonomous stage of learning.

The first two weeks, the cognitive stage, consisted solely of shadowing as my practice. As I progressed I knew it was time to move on. My third and fourth week, the associative stage, was where feeds were introduced to my play. Firstly beginning with feed without movement then progressing to feed with movement. The final stage, the autonomous stage, was the fifth and sixth week of my programme. This stage of my programme concentrated on playing games to give experience of playing in a match and also under pressure.

Areas my performance had improved. By Comparing initial and final data I seen that my smash shot had improved by thirty percent without hindering any other aspects of my game (appendices 2 and 5).

The fact that my smash shot improved without hindering any other aspects of my performance proves that the methods I used to collect data and also my training programme itself were an overall success. This justifies my choice of training programme and my methods of gathering data.

Due to my training programme being effective there have been changes in my performance as a whole. The main changes occurred in my smash shot. I have a higher success rate when playing a smash shot and I also feel an overall new sense of confidence since my training programme.

I believe that my mid term and short term goals have been achieved. These goals were to simply complete my training programme and improve my smash shot. However, I am by no means anywhere near being a model performer.

I began my investigation by gathering data about my general performance as a badminton player. After analysing this data I was able to devise and impliment a training programme that I felt was specific to my performance as a badminton player and to my weakness which was my smash shot. Upon completion of my programme I compared initial and final data. I was able to see my weakness had improved and so in turn had my overall game. This in itself proved my programme to be a success as I reached my short term and mid term goals and also put me closer to my goal of being a model performer.

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