Badminton is a beginner-friendly sport as anyone can start out and try to play the game. Usually, beginners are only focused on trying to make sure that whenever they hit the shuttle, it goes over the net and within the bounds of the court. But even for beginners, learning these basic badminton skills can help increase both competitiveness and also the fun in playing.
1. The Ready Stance
Always having the right stance when playing makes it a lot easier to minimize the movements you need to make to hit a shot. The ready stance done by putting your non-racquet leg a step forward and about shoulder width away from your racquet leg. Slightly bend both knees with your weight balanced between both legs. Slightly bend forward from the hip, keeping your back straight, and lift your racquet up with your racquet-hand in front of you slightly above your shoulder and the head of the racquet to be right above your forehead. Raise your non-racquet arm to help improve your balance.
2. Forehand and Backhand Grip
Having the right grip is crucial in helping new players control their shots better and protects from possible injury from putting too much pressure on the wrist. The simplest way to grip your badminton racquet is by imitating a handshake. Your thumb should press against the handle while the rest of your hand and four fingers wrap around the racquet. This handshake should be a friendly one. Don’t grip too tightly because you need to retain flexibility in your wrist. It is recommended that you opt to put a wrap around your grip to make it more comfortable and less slippery.
This grip applies to both forehand and backhand grips used for both forehand and backhand shots. The variations lie in that for the forehand grip, it’s better to fold your thumb a bit and let your index finger control the racquet on the stroke, while for the backhand grip, the thumb pressing against the racquet will control the stroke. Having a loose grip and being able to quickly switch between grips is an advanced skill that allows pros to shift from forehand to backhand easily.
Footwork is basic badminton skill that a lot of new players often overlook. But having the right footwork makes the game so much easier as it allows you to cover more ground around the court while using less time and energy. Lateral steps are the best way to move around the badminton court as it allows you to cover a lot of ground and change direction fast, while putting less strain on your knees. By practicing the right footwork, you’ll feel that it is easier to recover to hit shuttles that are flying towards the other side of the court. Some basic drills to improve your lateral movement can be very effective in helping train yourself to move around the court better.
There are 4 basic strokes that every beginner needs to learn. By knowing these, beginners can create good badminton stroke habits, which they can use in the future for more advanced shots like drops, smashes and drives. These are:
Overhead Forehand – this is the most common stroke and most beginners are very more comfortable using this especially for stronger strokes. Make sure to have a forehand grip, lift your racket arm up with the racket slightly above your head, and tilt your body to the side of your racket arm with your racket arm behind you. Widen your chest and use your non-racket hand to point at the shuttlecock to aim. Straighten out your racket arm then swing it towards the shuttle in a downward motion while slightly rotating your waist towards the front. Swing the racket until it’s pointing slightly downwards.
Overhead Backhand- the overhead backhand is slightly more difficult for beginners as you’ll have to face your body backward to use this effectively. This is a slightly advanced shot that is hard to master at first but doing so will set good foundations to how you play badminton. To start, turn your body to the back in the direction of your non-racket arm, with your racket arm raised in front of you and pointing towards the back. Keep your racket-arm close to your body, bent such that your elbow is pointing down. As the shuttle approaches above your head level, slightly tilt your arm downward to gain momentum then swing up and flick your wrist upward until the racket is pointing up and your arm is straightened out. Remember to immediately go back to your ready stance once you’ve hit the shot.
Underarm Forehand– the underarm forehand allows you to hit low shots with a lot of strength, but it is quite challenging to aim at first. To do this, from your ready stance, lunge forward with your racket-leg and keep your racket arm slightly bent with the top of the racket’s head slightly below shoulder level. Straighten your arm out to make the racket tilt backwards then flick your wrist, followed by your arm, to swing forward when hitting the shuttle. Bend your body forward slightly to keep your balance.
Underarm Backhand– the underarm backhand is actually easier to do than the overhead counterpart since you won’t need to turn backwards. Lunging towards your backhand area, Bend your racket arm downward with the racket handle parallel to the floor and the racket head parallel to your body. Flick your wrist upward, followed by your arm until your arm is extended straight and aligned with your shoulder.
5. Underarm Backhand Serve
Underarm Backhand Serve
The underarm backhand serve is the most basic badminton serve that you can practice as a beginner because it gives you easier control in terms of how strong you’ll hit the shuttle and where you will make the shuttle go in terms of height or placement on the court. By learning how to utilize this serve, you can already start to strategize where you place your serve depending on your opponent. To start, have a ready stance with your backhand leg slightly forward with both feet pointing forward. Lift your racket up to so it is parallel to the floor, with the head parallel to the net and aligned with your shoulder. Using your non-racket hand, hold the shuttle cock by the feather about 5-6 inches in front of the center of the racket’s face. Bend the wrist of your racket hand downward to generate momentum and flick upwards with varying strength depending on how far or how high you want the shuttle cock to travel. Try to play around with how strong you hit the shuttle and how high you follow through. Try to aim for different spots in the court with this serve and you’ll immediately have the upper hand against your opponents.