Arvind Bhat – Interview with India’s Top Badminton Player

One of the top players in India, Arvind Bhat, is going to share with us
about his badminton career and some tips for beginners. In the past he
has won the Scottish Open, New Caledonia Open, Czech Open International.
Most recently in 2011 he became his country’s National Badminton
champion for the second time!

It was a pleasure to interview one of India’s best badminton players. Let’s hear what he has to say.

When did you start playing badminton?

I started when I was 11 years old.

When did you first get to play for India?

I first played in the 2002 Thomas Cup. Our team finished off 8th at that time.

How many hours do train a week?

I train for about 5-6 hours a day for 5 days, except Saturday and Sunday.

Who is your favourite badminton player of all time?

Taufik Hidayat. Everything about his badminton skills is good. He has the best backhand.

What badminton racket are you currently using?

I am using Li Ning N90 2 Woods. It is a very nice racket.

This racket that I’m using is the 2nd generation rackets produced by Li
Ning. The first generation was tough to get use to, but the second
generation is really good.

I used to play with Yonex rackets in 2005-2006 but I prefer using Li
Ning rackets. I don’t remember what Yonex rackets I was using at that
time, probably because it was not good.

What string tension do you use for professional badminton games?

I’ve been using 30-32 lbs for the last 4-5 years. I used to play with 22-25 lbs when I was much younger.

What’s the most difficult badminton skill to master?

A good badminton drop shot.
As you can see in badminton today, there are not many players doing
drop shots. They mostly go for smashes, half smashes, or half drops, but
not the real drops.

Real drop shots are the ones that touch the ground before the service
line, which are not so often used these days. You’ll probably need to
slice the shuttle and the shuttle must fall within the service line to
make a good drop shot.

I think that’s a very difficult shot because there are a lot of risks
involved in it. Many people try not to take that risk so they try to do
easier drop shots.

Everyone knows how to hit a smash. Many can hit good smashes, but for drops, it is very difficult.

The theory is to take the shuttle high and ‘cut’ it but it involves a
lot skill to produce a drop shot that comes before the service and does
not go too high on the net. If the shuttle is too high, your opponent
will probably ‘catch’ it and do a net kill.

What do you think beginners should learn first in badminton?

Leg movement/footwork
. Everyone can hit the shuttle but movements [on the court] are the first thing that they should learn first.

I think they should concentrate on their leg movements first
while badminton strokes can anyway be done and they can learn their
strokes later.

It is actually a combination of hand movements and leg movements that beginners should learn first.

Why did you choose badminton as a career?

That was because my father and brother were badminton players and it was
easy for me to take up the sport since I was playing with them.

My father was just a club player whereas my brother was a national
player. He did not play for India but he played for the States.

What is your career highlights?

I was at one time, world no.20. That was my highest ranking. Besides I am the national champion this year.

What are you looking to achieve in badminton? Considering that you are still young now.

I’m looking to win a Grand Prix Gold event or a Super Series
title. I have only reached the quarter finals of a Super Series event.

I know it’s tough but I will try my best.


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