Badminton Training Routines On a Half-Court

We hear a lot of people saying that they are only able to train on half a court, making many exercises difficult to practice. We also have this problem when training at tournaments, so this article will explain what you can do in this situation to help you improve your game.

Of course having a full court to train on is ideal, however these routines will still help your consistency and refine many skills that you need to become a better badminton player!

8 exercises to improve your badminton on half a court are:

  1. Smash + lay-off
  2. Drives
  3. Slice + push
  4. Pressure defence
  5. Drop shots
  6. Rear + mid-court
  7. T’s
  8. Mid-court pushes

We recommend doing all of these exercises for around 60-90 seconds, and then swapping over if both players are working. Doing all of these exercises twice each with a partner should take you around 45 minutes

1. Smash + Lay-Off

This exercise is carried out by the ‘feeder’ beginning with a lift to the ‘worker’ for them to smash it back to the feeder. The feeder will then block the shuttle back to the mid-court for the worker to then play a lay-off. This is then repeated for as long as you want to work for!

In this first exercise, the worker should really focus on their smash timing and footwork. However, it is also beneficial for the feeder, enabling them to practice their defence and lift accuracy!

This exercise can either be done with one player as a feeder and one as a worker, or both players working! If you want both players to work, simply change the exercise slightly to ‘lift – smash – block – lift – smash – block’ (so the players are alternating who lifts each time).

2. Drives

Practicing your drives is really important to do and can easily be done on half a court! There are two ways of practicing this, both beginning with the two players in the mid-court:

  1. ‘Level 1’ is practicing your basic drives, with a focus on generating power in your shots, whilst keeping a short action and being able to change your grips quickly. Whilst there is not a lot of movement up and down the court here, it is still important to make constant adjustments in your feet positioning.
  2. You can then move on to ‘Level 2’, which is where one (or either!) player can occasionally lift the shuttle, for the other player to move back, smash, and then continue the driving rally. This will encourage you to not stay static and to help practice your quick movement backwards for the smash.

For both of these practices, it is really important to stay relaxed between shots, but still squeeze your fingers and thumb as you contact the shuttle to help you generate power.

3. Slice + Push

This exercise has a similar set-up to the Smash + Lay-off practice, but has a stronger focus on the longer movements. For this practice you will move all the way to the service line after a slice, instead of to the mid-court area.

As well as focusing on your footwork and consistency, it is important that the worker practices their overhead variety and hitting with different paces of drop shots.

4. Pressure Defence

We do this most days in our training, as it is such an important part of the game. To set the practice up, the feeder should be stood at the net (but not too close!) hitting down cooperatively at the worker/defender. Due to the cooperation from the feeder, the rally should not break down too much however there should also be a good amount of pressure on the defender, it is about getting a fine balance! 

For the defender, this is a good practice to work on your reactions and also your defensive technique. For the feeder at the net, it is a great practice to focus on having a short and crisp hitting action, whilst being able to change your grip quickly!

There are different variations of this exercise which can be implemented to suit different requirements:

  • The feeder can try to keep switching the feed to either side of the worker if the worker wants to practice changing their grips more.
  • If the worker wants to practice their ‘survival defence’ the feeder should apply as much pressure as they can. 
  • If the worker wants to practice their technique the feeder can feed slower.

💡 For all variations the feeder can use stop-off shots to encourage the worker to stay high in their defensive position and stop them from edging back too much.

5. Drop Shots

Although this is quite a simple exercise, when you miss a simple shot in a match it can be so frustrating! So practicing the basics is really important. It is very simply set up with the feeder at the net lifting to the worker, who will practice their drop shots, with movement back to the middle of the court each time.

This exercise is great to focus solely on your consistency and technique of your drop shots. When doing this, make sure you use a variety of different drop shots and place a high emphasis on not making any errors. Once again, the feeder can also benefit from this exercise through practicing their accurate lifting and movement timing on their lifts.

If you are unsure on the technique of the drop shot then we have a tutorial on our YouTube channel which can be found here!

6. Rear And Mid-Court

This is another exercise that we do a lot in our weekly training schedule! Despite more commonly doing this across the full court, it is still great to practice on a half court – in doubles it is often the case where you can end up in a ‘side-by-side’ battle, where each player has to cover their own half. 

It is set-up with the feeder starting with a lift, then moving the worker up and down their half court with drives, pushes and lifts. The worker aims to attack everything back to the feeder, but don’t be afraid to throw in a clear if you need to reset the rally or are caught off balance at the back!

The emphasis on this exercise for the worker is explosive speed, consistency, and also shot choices. It is important for the worker not to go for 100% power on all of their smashes and drives when you’re not in a good position, as this can put you under a lot of unnecessary pressure. This exercise is also a great opportunity for the feeder to work on their defence quality and lift accuracy.

For advanced players, it is good to practice this exercise with both ‘big court’ feeding, using high and open lifts, and a flatter style, where the worker has to jump out onto everything – it is great for your agility!

7. T's

This exercise is one of our favourites, especially Jenny’s – it is her ‘go-to’ practice just before going on to play a match! This practice helps train your fast reactions, and both players should really focus on having a short hitting action. This is really important as the shuttle is moving quickly between the 2 players and at a very close distance, you therefore need to keep a compact action to make sure you can recover quickly enough for the next shot.

Both players are working during this exercise, both stood roughly on the service line pushing the shuttle back and forth whilst keeping active with your feet. You can use a variety of pace in your shots here – but make sure it is cooperative – we don’t want any shuttles in the eyes!!

This exercise is what we did when breaking the Guinness World Record! Of course for that we were simply trying to go as fast as we possibly could, without focusing too much on grip changes… so don’t forget this when practicing!

8. Mid-Court Pushes

This final exercise is great if you want to have a bit of a competition with your training partner, but is also great to improve your shot quality, touch and control. For this, we recommend pushing your shots down the tramline to improve your accuracy. 

We play a game with this practice, where if one of our shots hits the net tape when playing down the tramline, that player gets a point! We play to 5, but do whatever challenge you feel like or have time for!

Remember to switch sides halfway through with this exercise, enabling you to practice both your forehand and backhand mid-court pushes.

Learn More

Or for video demonstrations of all of the exercises mentioned above, you can watch our YouTube video below!