We all want to play badminton like a pro! A good game of badminton can get from ‘just having fun’ to ‘shit just got real’ within minutes. Trust me, all it takes is a lethal smash from your opponent and your girlfriend giggling at your folly.
Whichever stage of badminton journey you’re on, the following points will serve you. Before we look into it, ‘drop’ in your LIKE for our Facebook page. We’ll ‘serve’ you with more such How To’s. (See what I did there? It’s silly. Chill.)
How to grip the badminton racket:
#1. Grip like you’re giving a handshake:
Most badminton coaches advocate this sort of grip. It involves a handshake-like grip of the hand with the handle. The thumb rests on one of the broad surfaces of the handle, facing the strings. The rest of your fingers should clasp the remaining part of it.
It makes sense to have this sort of a grip because:
- You will be able to make use of the thumb for backhands.
- You will be able to make use of the index finger for the forehand.
- You can easily adjust grip for forehand and backhand.
#2. Keep a loose grip:
Most amateurs keep their grip tight and firm. This is something people looking to improve have to avoid. Hold the racket a tad loose. This will provide for the ease in switching between backhand and forehand actions.
#3. Forehand Grip:
This is what a good forehand grip will look like.
Now, for the forehand, the thumb can rest for its natural comfort. It is the index finger that needs the focus. For a good forehand delivery, the grip must be such that the index finger will push the bat.
#4. Backhand grip:
As expected of the backhand, the thumb comes under the focus. The thumb should rest on the wider part of the handle such that it is able to provide the thrust required.
Now that we’ve seen about the grip, let’s move on to another point that separates the pros from the amateurs. And that is the posture. Many amateurs stay less focused, ambling around the court in mind and body. A professional will stay alerted, as though trying to intercept a missile from the opponent.
How to maintain a good badminton posture:
#5. Maintain an alert Posture:
Always maintain an alert posture with one foot in the front and both arms raised. You’ll be able to affirm this point – that with such a pose, you show the opponent you have the whole court covered. That way you give him few options to land a lethal serve. But if you stand straight with both arms by your side, he has better options to serve for difficulty.
Another point is, of course, you are alert and ready to respond. You have your reflexes off the leash.
#6. Footwork is the framework of success:
Footwork is of ultimate importance in badminton. This is one thing in badminton that is all you need to become a pro. The idea is to stay at the base point for receiving the cock. The base point is as shown in the picture.
Take only 2-3 steps to take the cock and quickly return to the base point. Stretch, run, or dive to take the opponent’s delivery but always return to the base point.
Look at badminton’s favorite Lin Dan’s footwork. It is amazing how he takes unreachable deliveries with almost no more than just a step.
Now there are great advantages associated with footwork.
Advantages of good badminton footwork:
- You have a better probability of intercepting deliveries that may come in any direction.
- You will tire less and conserve energy. Imagine running all the way from baseline to forecourt to intercept a cock. If only you had stepped back to the base point, you could have done it with a broad lunge or a small step forward.
So, practice your footwork to turn pro.
The next thing to focus on is the first thing you do to start the match. And that is landing a perfect serve. Now there are two ways in which you can serve. The backhand serve and the forehand serve. Let’s see how to correctly serve using either of the methods.
How to serve correctly in badminton:
Now, according to badminton rules, only underhand serves are legal. Adding to that, the point where you strike the birdie should be below your waist level. Some part of both your legs should be in contact with the floor.
Take a look at the entire list of badminton rules, if you’re a beginner.
So, that leaves us with two options. an underhand forehand and the underhand backhand.
How to do the forehand serve in badminton:
For the forehand serve, stand sideways with your left foot facing the net. Hold the birdie with your fingers, near your waist. For the forehand serve, you will have to drop the birdie and then hit it. You need a smooth turn of the chest towards the net, transferring the weight from rear to front foot for the serve. Drop the birdie before you swivel and hit it with the swing of your racket.
How to do the backhand serve in badminton:
For the backhand serve you will have to hold the shuttlecock in your hand and hit it. So hold the birdie by a single feather. Stand with your chest facing the net. Preferably keep your right foot forward. The racket should face downwards and be facing forward. To hit the birdie, push it forwards with the racket, letting go of it seconds before contact.
So, now that we have an idea of how to serve, let’s learn pro badminton service tips.
#7. Use a high serve:
Use a high serve to make the cock land in the opponent’s baseline. The idea is to land the cock on the backhand side of the opponent’s baseline. This will force him to move back and lift the cock high up so you can smash. It is also noteworthy that most players find backhand to be their weakness.
#8. Use a low serve:
A low serve will land in the opponent’s forecourt. Make sure the cock passes just above the net and lands just inside the forecourt. This will force him to lift, giving you a chance to smash. An important tip here is to aim for the top of the net while serving.
#9. Fake your serve:
Fake a high serve by going into a low serve position but flicking your wrist to make it a high serve. Use your thumb to provide the extra force. This is what people call as the flick serve in badminton. Here’s a compilation video of fake serves in played by famous professionals.
#10. Drive serves are lethal:
A drive serve’s purpose is to send the cock to the opponent service line over his head. What differentiates it from the high serve is its low trajectory. A drive serve needs some power. It has to loom towards your opponent almost catching him by surprise.
These are the trajectories for various serves:
Now, that we’ve seen the serve types, let’s look at defensive clears. A clear will put the birdie away from the opponent’s vicinity. Underhand clears will counter net shots, drops and low serves. And overhand clears the high serves and high clears.
How to use defensive clears in badminton:
#11. Using defensive clear:
Clear the cock to the opponent’s baseline to get yourself time. There are forehand and backhand clears under the overhand and underhand categories. Here’s how you do an underhand or overhand clear:
How to do an underhand clear in badminton:
1. Underhand forehand clear:
For the underhand forehand clear approach the shuttlecock with a forward lunge. With a forehand grip, swing the racket to send the birdie to the opponent’s baseline. Make sure you impart considerable height to its trajectory. Notably, there is no wrist work involved.
2. Underhand backhand clear:
Use the backhand grip for this clear. Lunge forward and throw your racket arm to the back across your chest. Rotate the forearm up as you strike the shuttle. Slap your racket against the cock using your wrists to surprise your opponent.
3. Overhand forehand clear
Overhand clears are to counter high serves. Approach the shuttle and get into position. The position involves you standing sideways with left foot forward. The right foot is bent and bears the weight. Raise the non-racket arm for balance. Swing your forearm to send the birdie to the opponent’s baseline. Take the shuttlecock above your head, taking a slight jump off the ground.
4. Overhand backhand clear:
For the overhand backhand clear, use the backhand grip. With right foot forward, raise your racket arm to get the birdie over your head. Rotate your forearm in a forward swing to send the birdie to the opponent’s baseline.
#12. Put power into your clear:
For the underhand concentrate on the swing and for the overhand concentrate on the snap. Bend your knees and lunge forward to create momentum for underhand. Bend your knees and take the cock when it’s over you for overhands.
#13. Force the opponent to hit a backhand:
Expert players force opponents to do a backhand. This limits the shot options available to him/her. It is also difficult to switch from forehand to backhand swiftly so most people find it hard.
#14. Use drop shots:
Use drop shots to vary the pace of the game. It also messes up with the opponent’s footwork. Place it on different sides of the court.
#15. Use a fast drop shot:
A fast drop shot lands the shuttlecock in the opponent’s forecourt with pace. Take the cock when it’s slightly above and in front of you. Both forehand and backhand drop shots are possible. The basic technique of clear shot applies, but you take the shuttlecock when it is in front of you.
#16. Use wrist action for backhand drops:
Use wrist action to drive cock downwards. Take the cock above your head. Complete with a swing. Do not let go of drop options that come to your backhand side.
#17. Slow drop shot:
Take the cock when it is above your head. Do not simply touch the cock for the drop. Complete the swing but with less power. A lot of amateurs do this mistake. They try the slow drop by merely touching the shuttlecock. You have to complete a swing to make it possible.
#17. Slice your shot:
Deceive your opponent using the slice shot. Keep the racket at a small angle and give it the natural forehand swing. Give slightly more power and avoid wrist action. Since you have the racket at an angle while swinging it forward, it will send the cock sideways. Your opponent will get tricked into thinking it is going to come straight at him.
#18. Smash it:
The smash is the coolest shot in the badminton arsenal. Here’s how you perform the perfect smash.
How to smash in badminton:
Get into position for the smash. Have your left foot forward and transfer the weight to the rear. Raise both your arms with the racket arm slightly higher than the non-racket arm. Take the shuttlecock over your head at the highest point in front of you. Rotate your forearms with force and complete a swing of your racket arm. Allow your body to swivel, making you land with your right foot in the front now.
#19. Smash smartly:
Smash only when you arrive at the position. The cock should be above you, and you should be able to get it at the highest point. Do not attempt to smash every single time. This is a common mistake that amateurs make. Smash smartly – only when you are in a balanced position to do it. Here are some of the best smashes the world of badminton has seen.
#20. Use your non-racket arm:
For a perfect smash use your non-racket arm for balance. Always raise both your arms for the smash. Most amateurs try to smash by facing forward and only with the racket arm raised. That posture will not give you the required trajectory and momentum.
#21. Use jump smash:
Use a jump smash to take advantage of the opponent’s folly. If u get the shuttlecock coming high towards the midcourt, jump to smash it at a steeper angle.
How to do the jump smash in badminton:
For the jump smash, take up the normal smash position. Propel your body up with your rear foot. Raise both your arms. Take your racket arm back fully while extending your non-racket arm to the front.
Strike the shuttlecock at the highest point with your racket’s full swing. Your body should form an inverted ‘c’ during your jump and a normal ‘c’ after you strike.
#22. Defend the smash with a backhand:
To effectively defend a smash, use the backhand. When you’ve returned the cock high and know your opponent is going to smash, prepare yourself to defend. The backhand lets u defend 330° from your side pose. While the forehand will only let you swing. Just intercept the smash with a backhand.
Watch Dave Zarco from the USABadminton ORG explain this technique in this video.
#23. Don’t give the opponent a second chance:
While defending a smash, make sure you don’t return the birdie high. That will give the opponent a second chance to smash. Make sure you either use a high clear or low drop shot. Another good idea is to push it towards the sides of the court.
#24. Use the tumbling net shot:
Play the tumbling net shot to make the opponent lift the cock up in the air. You can then use a jump smash to win your point. Now the tumbling net shot is possible if the opponent lands a drop.
How to play the tumbling net shot in badminton:
Approach the shuttlecock with a forehand grip. Have the racket face upwards horizontally. Slice the landing birdie with a gentle nudge. This nudge should enable the shuttlecock to just make it over the net. It’s almost like you are throwing the cock back over the net with your racket. Do not tap it, do not push it. All you have to do is gently slice it.
#25. Practice with a hanging knot:
It goes without saying that for your body to remember the shots and movements, you need practice. Simple throw a rope throw a u-clamp in the ceiling. Make a knot with the hanging end of the rope. Adjust the height by pulling the other end of the rope through the U-clamp. You can practice all the shots this way. Keep watching videos of others at play and you will begin to understand the logic behind badminton. Here’s an interesting video titled “The longest rally ever“
Another important part of practice is switching between forehand and backhand grips. Treat your racket as your nunchaku.
Use good grade rackets. My favorite is the Yonex MUSCLEPOWER 29 lite. The sheer number of reviews it has garnered is proof enough!
So there you go! I hope these 25 tips and shots put you on your way to becoming a pro badminton player. Share the article with your friends. Don’t treat me like an opponent and drop you LIKE below.
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