I had a conversation with a friend over dinner about how we can minimise the effort that we spend on court to get the same performance.
This is important because when it comes to the long-drawn rallies, it'll really come down to who can do the most with the least energy.
Here's a technique that I use personally to get the most out of my time on court. It involves knowing when you can walk and when you have to run to get into position.
Before I start however, you'll need to know a bit about the defensive technique of clearing and drop shots. I've written a few articles about badminton strategies so you can browse around using the labels on the right side of your page.
Once you have a pretty good idea of how you can move an opponent around with flat clears and how you can buy time for yourself with high clears, you're ready to start bringing that knowledge to the court.
Take a few games and get familiar with the kind of strokes you like to do, and generally how long it takes for the shuttle to reach the opponent's racket. Once you've got yourself a good sense of the timing involved, you're ready to start Counting Four.
The rules are simple - badminton footwork is like dancing. I take it in counts of four and eight, allowing myself three counts to get to the shuttle, and the fourth to hit.
Once you get to four, you'll need to start moving to the centre, using the first of the next series of four to get into the general direction.
On the second count of the second set, your opponent would have hit the shuttle. That's when you adjust your movement and take out the next three steps of the second set.
You adjust the speed of the count according to how fast the game is going. Use the rhythm to keep you on your toes and get to where you want to go.
Do take note that this technique is more likely to be applied when you're on the offensive or when the game is neutral. Defensive play might involve shortening the counts to three or two, until you're able to extend the counts with a good lift.
Basically, the last counts of the set are when you're hitting the shuttle. Reset the count and establish a steady beat to keep your mind and body in the game.