Last night, I visited a badminton club in Widnes, after receiving an invitation from one of the players. The player found me through Yonex UK website and I took the Yonex range of racquets for the players to test.

I also agreed to provide coaching on the night.

First off, I’d like to thank the players for making me so welcome and for asking so many questions.

When I asked everyone what they wanted to learn, the first topic was clearing the shuttle.

Rather than launching into technique, I asked the players whether they knew how to test a shuttle properly – nobody in the club knew the answer. I began explaining the process of testing and why it was important. (You can see this for yourself in my video section.) I picked up a brand new shuttle to test, stood on the back line, struck the shuttle and watched the result with a look of horror and despair…

What had I hit? The shuttle stopped at least 4 feet short of the back service line! No wonder the players were having problems hitting to the back of the court. They hadn’t a chance of clearing to the back line with these shuttles – even I couldn’t get a good length.

The sportshall was well lit and very warm. They were using Carlton or Head speed 78 shuttles. I would have expected a speed 78 shuttle to have been right for this hall.

Having seen where the shuttle landed and pointed out exactly where the shuttle should land, I explained to the players that there was no way with these shuttles that I could help them achieve their goal. I then went on to explain the dangers of playing with these shuttles including the injuries they could suffer. Later on in the evening, one of the players strapped on an elbow support. The phrase “I told you so” sprung to mind.

We worked on a number of skills. It was great to see confidence rising as the players realised that they could improve quickly and that everything I asked them to do was relatively easy – they just hadn’t been shown before.

Towards the end of the evening, I took out of my bag a Yonex Aerosensa 30 shuttle. I tested it and it landed on the back doubles service line – perfect! I played a game of mixed doubles to finish the night.

I’m not writing this post to have a go at a particular brand of shuttle – I’m actually writing out of concern for you, the player. I urge you to make sure you know the rules for testing badminton shuttles and can test yourself. Please watch my video if you’re unsure. It’s such a shame that the players last night were suffering, playing with poor shuttles in terms of speed, and this was having a major impact on their ability to play the game. It was also beginning to cause injuries. If not checked, this could result in players leaving for the game through injury.

Thank you once again to the players for taking part. i really enjoyed working with you! Please, buy some decent speed shuttles, you will enjoy your badminton more when you do.

As always, I invite you to write to me or comment on my posts.

To your success.