What is Shadow Practice?
In any game, there are different ways of training, preparations, and drills which are performed by players for improving their game. One of the important training routines is Shadow Practice in which players do not practice in actual playing conditions. For example, table tennis and cricket players will practice without a ball. As the name suggest players keep a check on their Shadow while practicing various game techniques to improve action, sharpness, and steadiness of their strokes. For example in Table Tennis players performs drills of CUT and PUSH, Forehand and Backhand COUNTERS, DRIVE and LOOP without the ball and while playing any of these strokes they constantly follow their Shadow just to make sure their action is right. Please check the video below in which players are practicing without the ball on the table and trying to mimic a game situation. Basically, let it be any game the strokes that you play you should try to mimic it as shown in the video below.
Importance of Shadow Practice
For any player from beginner level to professional level, this is one of the most important drills and which is required to be practiced day in and day out to keep improving your action and being consistent with it. Especially at beginners level, it is very important and for their sake, they should know that they should practice it every day. At least 30 minutes every day if they can invest in Shadow Drills that will take their game to next level. Let it be any game Shadow Practice is very important. I have seen many professional players before getting into match do Shadow Drills just to get into match mode and set their action. This allows them to prepare their mindset and body before getting into actual action. Just look at how Virat Kohli captain of Indian Cricket Team is doing Shadow drills. The level of Shadow Practice varies from players to players some do very intense Shadow Training while some try to keep it light before getting into the match.
Tips for Beginners
As a beginner in any game, Shadow Practice is must for you. If you have not yet heard about this thing then you have heard it now. Now it’s time for you to practice Strokes involved in your game every day and you don’t need actual playing conditions for it. For example, if you are a Table Tennis player you don’t have to be on the table for practicing it. Just face the wall and start from practicing CHOP forehand and Backhand 5 minutes each, keep a check on your action and make sure it is right if required make corrections. Next practice forehand and backhand COUNTERS for 10 minutes keeping a check on your action. Next practice forehand and backhand TOPSPIN and check your action idea is to develop smooth repeatable footwork and action. Next, you can alternate your strokes, for example, one forehand CHOP and one backhand CHOP, one forehand COUNTER and one backhand COUNTER similarly perform alternate Shadow Drills for TOP SPIN. Finally, in last 10 minutes, you can mix and match. Believe me, this is one of the best ways to improve your skills in any game at very fast pace. The best part of these training drills is as I said earlier you don’t need playing conditions, you can just do it anywhere.
I remember when I was the kid I use to start doing Shadow Practice whenever I use to get some time I just don’t use to care where I am in. Sometimes while walking down to school I use to practice CHOP all my way till school:-). Certainly, it used to look very funny but I never cared about it, for you, I would suggest practice it as much as you can.
Few Shadow Drills Videos
Almost for any game there are set of Shadow Trainings, I would advise you to go ahead and find it on Youtube and start practicing it. Some of the videos that I like are given below:
Shadow Drills for Badminton
Shadow Drills for Cricket
Shadow Drills for Table Tennis
Shadow Drills for Tennis
Shadow Drills for Boxing
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