When teaching children to play badminton, begin with an individual activity, such as the solo rally drill, so that each has an opportunity to focus on improving his own coordination and skill. Add in partner and group drills, like the pair practice shot drill; the round the clock game; and the clear rally drill, to add an element of competition and communication, as well as to help each kid improve his ability to react.
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.
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