Top 10 Badminton Tips for Beginners

Written by Amir Bashir | 19 March 2022

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In this article, we will provide you with the best badminton tips for beginners, which you can take help from whether you’re a complete newbie who hasn’t held a racket before or have already started learning the ropes of the game.

Most of these tips are easy to apply yet have the potential to improve your game. The ease with which you can put them into practice on the court will make it impossible for your opponent to decide whether you’re a beginner or a pro.

Let’s jump into it.

Contents:

1. Limit the Number of Smashes

When I first started playing badminton, I tried to return every loose shot from my opponent with a smash of my own.

Clears and drop shots, the number one choice of professional players, were nowhere near my top priorities on the court.

Hindsight has told me that was a mistake.

Unlike smashes, which are hard to execute and require force most beginners don’t have.

Clears and drops provide you with an option using which you can tire out your opponent, increasing the chances of your fellow player committing a mistake and giving away a foul.

2. Focus on Technique Over Power

Most beginners I have played with or against commit this mistake.

They try to bury every shot in the ground. This goes on for a few minutes, after which they tire, making it easy for their opponent to carry the day.

Producing power isn’t just about how big your muscles are – badminton techniques play an equally crucial role in determining how quickly you return shots.

For instance, hitting the shuttle with a relaxed (but firm) grip will impart more power to your shots than if you were gripping the racket too tight.

Related article:

3. Use Your Height Strategically

If you are taller than your opponent, play net shots or drop shots and avoid badminton drives. This will force high lifts from them, giving you the opportunity to smash from a favorable angle.

If you are shorter than your opponent, aim your shots at their body and force them to play badminton drives. As far as possible, don’t tempt your luck by giving them the opportunity to playback shots.

4. Record Yourself Playing

Recording yourself as you play will help improve your game in various ways.

Watching yourself on the court will give you the kind of perspective about your strengths – and, more importantly, weaknesses – no amount of advice from your coach or fellow players would ever do.

Besides, after a passage of a few years, you can look back at those tapes and pat yourself on the back for how much skill you have gained in badminton.

You’d thus be able to draw inspiration from your past self and how far you have come from those early days at the court.

Recording yourself playing is important in every sport. Here is a wonderful piece of advice from the legend on how he did this for basketball:

R.I.P Kobe

5. Use Your Non-Racket Arm

One mistake most beginners make is to leave their non-racket arm dangling on the side as they play their smashes, drop shots, clears, and whatnot.

What you should do instead is point your non-dominant arm in the direction opposite to that of your racket – this will stabilize your body and impart more power to your shots.

My badminton coach would always tell me to keep my arm out in front of me, strong, and at the moment you hit the shuttle, turn your hand into a claw — like a tiger — to capture the precision of the stroke.

Almost every professional I have played with or seen videos of does this to stabilize their body on the court.

6. Swing the Racket without Shuttlecock

Fu Haifeng is one of the greatest badminton players of all time.

In a career spanning under two decades, he won every trophy a doubles player could win.

From the Asian Games to Thomas Cup, Olympics to the World Cup, and Asian Championships to the World Championship, Haifeng has a gold medal to show for every tournament he ever participated in.

Before he started playing with shuttlecocks, his coaches trained him to swing the racket without hitting a shuttlecock.

Haifeng credits the drill for helping him develop the swing technique that helped him enjoy a trophy-laden career.

Look at how elegantly he plays:

7. Always Keep Your Racket Up and Ready

When I first started playing badminton, I had a (bad) habit of dropping my racket during a rally, thinking keeping a racket up and ready would consume power which is better retained for shots.

How wrong was I! Dropping your racket during a rally makes your swing less efficient due to the time as well as the force it takes to bring the racket back up.

For this reason, try to keep your racket up and ready at all times during a rally.

8. Avoid Wearing Running Shoes

Running shoes aren’t made for playing badminton.

Dedicated badminton shoes can withstand abuse better than their running counterparts.

Also, in contrast to running shoes that only offer repetitive shock absorption, badminton shoes provide the support and maneuverability that playing the game demands.

Check out what badminton shoes look like on Amazon here.

9. (Try To) Stand Still Between Rallies

Most beginners have a habit of moving around after hitting the shot.

This is akin to a football goalkeeper leaving the goal wide open for the opposition attacker.

When you move around the court with little thought, you get off-balanced, giving your opponent everything he needs to nick a point off you.

So, whatever you do, don’t jog around during rallies.

10. Warm-Up Before Play and Cool Down After Play

Every badminton player is aware of the importance of pre-game warm-ups. The game of badminton puts considerable demands on the body. And if you don’t get your muscles nice and warm before stepping into the court, you’ll be inviting needless injuries.

And after you have played your fair share of games, take a few minutes doing basic stretches along with jogging.

This will allow your body to return to a resting state. It will also alleviate muscle soreness, reducing your chances of a muscle injury.

Conclusion

Beginners have all the time in the world to excel at badminton, as long as they know what they need to do to take their game to the next level. The tips given above will help you do just that, provided you apply them to the letter.

Now I’d like to hand over the mic to you.

Which of the abovementioned tips do you think are the most beneficial?

Are there any tips you think I have forgotten or missed?

Perhaps you have a query?

Feel free to reach out to me in the comments section below, I’d love to answer your questions and hear your feedback. We are also on Instagram @healthyprinciples_.

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Amir Bashir

Amir picked up his first badminton racket at the age of 4 and fell in love with the sport. He joined Healthy Principles to help his fellow badminton enthusiasts get better at the game. In his spare time, you'll find him watching long rallies on YouTube. Learn more about Amir Bashir.