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Personal Motor Strategy To Optimise Badminton Performance

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Over the past five weeks I have been gathering data on my performance in badminton, determining which are my strongest and weakest shots and my shot trajectory, to see if I am moving the shuttle around the court make it harder for my opponents or if I am hitting it in the same spot. I have also been learning about different types of practice to use when wanting to improve your performance and types of feedback that is best to help improve my game of badminton, I have also learnt about rate limiters and how they have a negative effect on our learning process and redistrict our performance. From the data I collected I determined that one of my weakest shots was a smash shot, when it came to this shot I was at the cognitive learning stage for this skill. I have also been learning how to control a game with specialised movement sequences with different types of shots to move them around the court, and the different movement strategies there are. ‘Movement strategies refer to a variety of approaches that will help a player or team to successfully achieve a movement outcome or goal’ (AC, 2019), due to the fact that I am at the cognitive stage of learning to improve my performance rate with a smash shot the personal motor strategy will be, winning a rally by following my opponent’s high shot to the net and win the rally with a smash.


Rate limiters

‘A rate limiter is an individual constraint, or system, that holds back of slows the emergence of a motor skill. One example would be a five year old trying to shoot a basketball on a ten foot goal. He or she will lack the muscular strength to shoot the ball at a goal this high’ (Dr. knight’s insights, 2009). The major rate limiter that is affecting my performance in badminton would be my height, due to the fact that I’m shorter it is harder for me to get the shuttle to be able to land the shuttle in the front half of the court at a fast speed. As you can see in figure 2 a person that is taller in at a better angle to hit the shuttle to the front half of the court with decent speed, whereas the shorter person’s shot is either going to hit the net, go to long or be too soft. Smashed are one of the most common shots that are used to end a rally in badminton but because smashes aren’t very successful it can make it harder to score points. My concentration levels during games is pretty poor because I get distracted pretty easy either by the people or what is happening around me, or I tend to zone out while playing due to the fact the if the game isn’t of a high intensity where I’m always having to move, I will zone out just hitting the shuttle back and forth so if the opponent makes a change in play I won’t be aware until it is too late. A technical rate limiter that affects my performance is my foot work, when the shuttle is up in the air every now and then I am not sure where the best position would be to stand to be able to successful hit a smash. Figure 2: example of why taller people have better chance

Specialised movement sequences

A specialised movement strategy is a “combination of fundamental movement skills (and movement elements) that enable the body to move in response to stimulus” (Physical education, unit 1, 2019). What helped me determine which shot I need to improve the most was by looking at the data I collected over the 5 weeks and compare success rates, the results collected on for my shot success during gameplay showed me that the smash was the one I was going to improve (see table 1 for data), by improving my smash it can help me achieve more points in rally’s.

Movement strategies

By working on my smash it will help improve my movement strategy by being able to follow my opponents high shot to the net then smash it down and win the rally. This can help improve my game play because as seen in my results in table 2 I was struggling to land successful but if I was to continue with the distributed practice my success rate should improve therefore, I would be able to score more points and hopefully winning more games.

Type of practice

To determine which practice would be best to me I had to determine what stage of learning I was at, according to the Sports Training Advisor I fitted the description of being that cognitive learning stage. This meant that The practice that I would be best to improve my smashes would be distributed practice doing a one minute of continuous smashes followed by a 2 minute break, the I went back to smashes for a minute. I decided to use this training method because, there’s a less chance of getting fatigue causing me to lose concentration of my positioning affecting my successful smashes. By doing something constantly your body will begin to remember the movement and over time you should start to see an improvement rate due to your bodies muscle memory. In my data collection this was the case as you can see in table 2 I did begin to improve on the second day of testing, however, you can see on the third day of testing my first attempt I took a major step backwards scoring no successful shots, this was most likely due to the fact that I had a few days off where I didn’t practice any badminton skills, but by the second attempt it can be seen that my success rate went up showing that muscle memory was taking place of the shot and that over more time I should see more of a success rate with this training method.

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During this process of trying to improve my smashes the feedback that I used to help with my performance was intrinsic. The reason I used this method was because I thought that it’d be easier to give myself feedback and see if I could pick up on what I was doing wrong by looking at my success rate and what felt right. When I was training I had to be aware of my positioning on the court and how I was holding my racket. I could feel when the shuttle hit the right point on my racket and when it did it had a good amount of speed behind it, however, when it hit the edge of the racket I could feel a noticeable different and it sounded differently. By bring the internal infomation of visual, tactile, auditory and proprioceptive I was able to give myself feedback and make any adjustments that I thought were necessary. Due to the fact that my improvement rate was only small next time I will prefer to have intrinsic feedback this way I am able to record myself and see my positioning during the hit to see what I look like and my technique, and to get feedback from and outside perspective.


The personal motor strategy that I was working on to develop was winning a rally by following my opponent’s high shot to the net and win the rally with a smash. By the end of the training period I was able to see an increase in my data showing an improvement rate. When a person is at the cognitive stage in learning it’s very slow process because the athlete needs to be able to understand the skill, it takes a large amount of thinking as neural pathways are being formed at this stage, resulting in inconsistent and inefficient where there is large amount of errors. A limitation of my individual learning requirements was that I didn’t take the time to break down the smash and understand it, instead I just hoped for the best hitting the shuttle making adjustments here and there. As mentioned above some rate limiters that affected my performance were my height (physical), concentration levels (psychological) and my foot positioning (technical). These three limiters having an effect on my performance reducing my chance to be more success full, but with more practice and more adjustments these can be worked around. The distributed practice technique was working but because I am at the cognitive stage it was only producing small improve but if I was to keep going with this type of practice I would soon be able to move up to the associative stage seeing a bigger improvement rate. Keeping with the distributed practice it would also make it easier to receive feedback from another person who can see any errors I am making so I can change what I’m doing to improve, because using the intrinsic method it made it a lot hard for me to become more successful.

To develop my personal motor strategy I would make the time longer so instead of doing a minute on then two on I would change it to a minute and a half on then a two and a half minutes rest. This way by having a longer time to perform my shot I will have a better chance of remembering the skill until it become muscle memory. The modifications I would make would be to improve my speed because at the moment the successful shots I do have they are fairly slow (see table 3 and 4).

‘If you haven’t the speed to get behind the shuttle before you hit it, then there is no way you are going to hit a good powerful accurate smash’ (Paul Stewart badminton, 2020), if you don’t have any speed behind a smash it makes it hard to perform a successful smash. A way to help with this is to ‘be behind the shuttle so your bodyweight is ready to move in the direction of your smash. Adding your bodyweight to the smash provides more power’ (Paul Stewart badminton, 2020). Another modification that I’d make would be my stance because at the moment based on figure 3 my could be the reason the shuttle doesn’t always go in the direction I would like it to go.

The parts that I would like to maintain would be to continue using the distributed practice because based on the data I collected it working and according to Digital Practice ‘distributed practice is superior to massed practice for long-term learning and retention’ (Digital Practice, 2020), based on this it tells me that using distributed was the correct method to use for my training.


Overall, using distributed practice helped me to improve my success rate when performing a smash, even though it was only a small success it was still affective. With time and adjustment I will be able to work around my rate limiters and even be able to get to a point where they are no longer an issue stopping me from performing to the best of my ability. By changing the extrinsic method of feedback it will make it much easier to be able to increase my success rate until I hit a point where I start to understand the shot and get much higher success rate where I can then drop back to the intrinsic method. My personal motor strategy of being able to winning a rally by following my opponent’s high shot to the net and win the rally with a smash was successful.

Reference list

  1. 2020. Glossary. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2020].
  2. Francisco, A., 2020. Ask The Cognitive Scientist: Distributed Practice - Digital Promise. [online] Digital Promise. Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2020]
  3. 2020. Image: Forehand Badminton Smash | Techniques For Executing A Smash | Tips .... [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 March 2020].
  4. HowTheyPlay. 2020. How To Hit A Great Smash In Badminton. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2020].
  5. Knight, D., Knight, D. and profile, V., 2020. Rate Limiters. [online] Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2020].
  6. Master Badminton. 2020. Does Height Matter To Be A Good Player?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 March 2020].
  7. 2020. Stages Of Learning Sport Skills. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 March 2020].
  8. Stewart, P., 2020. 3 Simple Tips To Increase The Power Of A Badminton Smash. [online] Paul Stewart Advanced Badminton Coach. Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2020].
  9. The Conversation. 2020. What Makes An Elite Badminton Player?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 March 2020].
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Personal Motor Strategy To Optimise Badminton Performance. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
“Personal Motor Strategy To Optimise Badminton Performance.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Personal Motor Strategy To Optimise Badminton Performance [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Dec 8]. Available from:
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