Last Updated on 17/08/2023 by Kriss
So you started playing badminton and don’t know what to learn first? Then you’ve come to the right place. Whether you’re drawn to the thrill of the game or just want to have some fun, badminton offers a unique blend of speed and strategy. But how do you get started? What are the secrets to mastering those amazing strokes? We will discuss the basics that you need to jumpstart your badminton journey.
So let’s dive right into it!
Badminton is no doubt a physical sport. But what makes badminton so unique? Multiple factors make badminton an ideal choice for a lot of people:
- Health Benefits: Badminton is a full-body workout in disguise. From a heart-pumping cardio session to a mind-sharpening challenge, it’s all wrapped up in a game that’s as fun as beneficial. We also have a blog post covering all the health benefits and how many calories you burn while playing here.
- Social Aspects: More than a game, badminton is a social experience. Play doubles with friends, join a local club, or engage in family fun. It’s about laughter, competition, and building connections.
- Accessibility: Think you need a fancy setup to play? Think again! Badminton is wonderfully accessible. You don’t need a lot to get started. And the best part? It welcomes players of all skill levels.
Starting Your Badminton Journey
So you want to play badminton. But where do you start? Here’s a simple roadmap to kickstart your badminton adventure:
- Choosing the Right Equipment:
- Racket: Selecting the right racket is crucial. Look for one that fits your grip and playing style. Don’t worry about getting the most expensive one; a decent beginner’s racket will do just fine. We have many articles about all aspects of a badminton racket like this one about racket balance and stiffness.
- Shuttlecock: There are two main types: feathered and synthetic. Feathered shuttlecocks offer better flight but are less durable, while synthetic ones are mostly used in casual play.
- Shoes and Clothing: Comfort is key. Wear lightweight, breathable clothing and non-marking shoes designed for indoor sports. However, should you stick to badminton we highly recommend some badminton shoes.
- Understanding the Basic Rules:
- Scoring: Familiarize yourself with the scoring system, including how points are won and lost. (check out this guide from the Olympics channel for a more detailed breakdown)
- Serving Rules: Learn the proper serving techniques and rules to ensure a fair game.
- Etiquette: Respect for opponents, umpires, and fellow players is a cornerstone of the game. Understanding basic etiquette ensures a positive playing experience.
These are the two most important things you need to check before stepping on the court. In the next chapter, we will see what you should learn ON the court.
Basic Techniques and Skills
Mastering badminton isn’t just about hitting the shuttlecock; it’s about understanding the art and science behind every move. Here’s a beginner’s guide to the essential techniques and skills that will set you on the path to badminton success:
- Grip and Stance:
- Grip: Holding the racket correctly is very important. The two main grips are the forehand and backhand grip, but there are a few more variations. You can check out our guide on all the grips for a complete breakdown.
- Stance: A balanced and agile stance allows you to move quickly and respond to shots. Keep your balance low and your knees slightly bent.
- High Serve: Used mainly in singles, the high serve sends the shuttlecock deep into the opponent’s court.
- Low Serve: Ideal for doubles, the low serve aims to skim the net and land just over the opponent’s side.
- Basic Strokes:
- Forehand Clear: Sending the shuttlecock to the back of the court, the clear gives you time to reposition. This is one of the most important strokes to master as a beginner since it resets the rally. You can also put other beginners under a lot of pressure when you play into their backhand corner.
- Smash: Everyone loves a good smash. The smash is a powerful downward shot, perfect for scoring points. You can practice it together with our next shot: the drop.
- Drop: A delicate shot that just clears the net, the drop is great for outmaneuvering opponents. Ideally, all your forehand shots should look the same in your preparation so you can add deception later on!
- Net Shot: Played close to the net, this shot requires some control.
- Lob: A defensive shot that sends the shuttlecock high and to the back of the court, buying time.
- Movement: Badminton requires swift and precise movement. Practice different footwork patterns to enhance your agility and reach on the court. You should start this early since it can be hard to get rid of bad patterns later on. If you want to know more about footwork you can read our in-depth footwork guide.
Learning all of these might seem intimidating – but you will be surprised how quickly you will make progress – especially in the beginning.
Training and Progressing
The journey from a beginner to a seasoned badminton player is a fun journey but also a lot of hard work. But how do you navigate this path? How do you train, progress, and transform your passion into prowess? Here are a couple of tips to help you get better quicker:
Add Drills to Your Training
Look for someone you can train with and do some drills together. In the beginning, you can practice shots while you are already standing in the right spot and just focus on the basic movement. Take 20 shuttles and do 3 sets just practicing a specific shot. You can swap with your partner after each set.
If you get this down, it is time to add the footwork. Start from the middle of the court, and then move towards the shuttle and hit it.
After that, you can also simulate some gameplay. Do you have your drop and clear down? Cool! Now you and your partner can play some simple patterns on the court. A very simple one is doing 3 long shots (to the back of the court) followed by 2 short shots (close behind the net). So it would be like this: lob (or long serve) – clear – clear – drop – net shot – lob (starting over). These can go on forever and it’s fun to push each other around on the court.
Play Against Better Players
Drills can get boring after some time and getting actual games in is very important. When you look for your next opponent at the local badminton club, try to look for someone who is just a little bit better than you. This will push you and you can learn a lot from them. Also, ask them for feedback on what to improve and what you did wrong. You can also join some tournaments to get more experience.
Get a Coach
Getting a coach can speed up your progress significantly. We already covered this topic in a previous post. But basically, a coach has a plan laid out for you, holds you accountable, and knows what to focus on. A coach also sees your weaknesses and bad habits and knows how to fix them.
We can write a whole series of blog posts about this but basically, the most important things are:
- NOT overtraining to avoid fatigue and injuries(don’t push yourself to the limit each training session)
- Including strength training
- Including cardio training
- Adding some variety with complementary sports
Ready to start your badminton journey? Fantastic! Today, we’ve laid out the essentials, from selecting the right equipment to mastering the fundamental techniques.
Remember, while it’s important to have fun, a touch of dedication and a willingness to learn can elevate your game to new heights. Badminton is a sport that welcomes players of all skill levels, so don’t be shy to step onto the court.
Whether you’re playing casually with friends or aiming for competitive success, the path to badminton mastery is yours to explore.