Badminton is one of the most followed and fast sport which demands utmost fitness. At the same time, badminton is a beginner friendly sport which anyone can start without much hesitation. In fact, playing the sport has many health advantages added to the fun. If and when you start playing the wonderful sport, you need to work on some basics to make it the top in the individually demanding sport. Besides, if you decide to go pro, basics are something that will haunt you in the journey if not paid proper attention to them. Here are 7 basic badminton skills that you can learn without coaching.
The right grip in holding the racket is really important to achieve control on shots while avoiding the chances of a wrist injury. A proper grip will allow you to play both backhand and forehand strokes effortlessly.
Holding a racket is similar to a friendly handshake. Just the thumb will be comfortably placed against the wider surface of the handle grip. The rest of the hand will imitate a handshake. Remember to keep the handshake friendly, avoiding tight grip. It will hinder the flexibility in motion and also might lead to wrist injuries in the long term.
Backhand and forehand Grip
The only difference while playing the 2 kinds of strokes is in the use of fingers.
- Push the index finger forward while playing forehand strokes.
- Push the thumb forward while playing backhand strokes.
The stance is how you stand while playing badminton, both in between a rally and before the serve. A stable and correct stance will bring a huge change in the results due to easier movement. There are 3 types of stance:
It is used to get into position before playing an overhead forehand stroke. To stand in the attacking stance turn your body facing the sidelines with racket leg behind and both legs shoulder-width apart. Now raise both racket and non-racket arm to generate the power to attack the shuttle on its downward trajectory.
To defend the opponent’s smash, you need to be prepared with the defensive stance. Face the body to the net and place your racket in front at waist height, slightly pointing forward. You can keep the non-racket arm as comfortable while ensuring a better balance.
This stance is to be ready for the opponent’s return after playing a net shot. To play this shot, place your foot on the racket side forward while keeping non-racket foot at the back. Place the racket in front of the body, slightly above waist height while raising the non-racket arm. Shift the body weight slightly forward to be ready to pounce forward.
Badminton is played on a court with limited space, and the athletes have to take care of the same while playing. Footwork plays a huge role in helping with an effective and organised movement on the court. In fact, some coaches even raise footwork to prime importance over other skills.
Tips for proper footwork
- Always remember the base (starting point).
- Move only 2-3 steps backwards.
- Shuffle only 1 step sidewards.
- Move only 2-3 steps front.
Service is among the most basic skill that you need to master in Badminton. Also, you should ensure to make a legal service otherwise it might lead to penalty points. Check out Badminton rules and dimensions here.
There can be 2 types of service in badminton, depending on the landing aim of the shuttle.
High serve aims at the back end corner of the opponent’s court. Ideally, a good high serve results in shuttle dropping steeply downwards at the back end of the court. In fact, a high serve is presented to opponents having ability to executing a strong smash. You can always expect a lob or a drop from your opponent as a reply to a properly executed high serve.
Generally, it is recommended to serve the shuttle to opponent’s backhand area. This to exploit the weaker backhand that exists in the game of most of the players.
Unlike high serve, the low serve aims to the front of the court. The objective is to let the shuttle fly just above the net landing in the front corner of the court. In this case, your opponent has the opportunity to dash forward and smash the shuttle to you if the execution is poor.
Smash is the most potent and powerful stroke in badminton which naturally turns out to be the most familiar term to all. The shot is basically to hit the shuttle powerfully towards the opponent’s body or downward on the court. A perfectly executed smash has no defence. Technically there are 3 types of smashes:
The forehand is an overhead smash which is similar to the action of throwing a ball. You shouldn’t have a problem playing this stroke if you can throw a ball well.
This is one of the toughest strokes in badminton, and even experts face difficulty in playing the stroke. Still, it is important to practice and get the technique to rise in the skill level. To execute this stroke, getting the backhand grip is extremely important. Also, it is equally important to return back to stance.
A forehand smash with a timed jump added to it counts under jumping smash.
Badminton Drop Shots are delicate badminton shots that can win you points that aim at scoring points in deception. Played with both backhand and forehand, these are used to move the opponent to the frontcourt. This creates space in the midcourt and backcourt for you to exploit. There are slow and fast drop shots, played judging the situation.
Clear or Lob
The lob shot in Badminton can be imagined as a shot with an inverted ‘U’ trajectory. It is normally played from the forecourt with an aim to lift or ‘lob’ the shuttle over the opponent. The idea is to land it as near to the baseline as it is, at an angle that is impossible to clear. This is similar to the drop in challenging the opponent with sudden motion backwards this time. It can also be executed by both backhand and forehand. This generally results in the creation of space in the front and midcourt, opening plenty of opportunities.