Basic Skills of Badminton

To be a good badminton player, you need to master all of the basic skills of Badminton, which are:

  1. Grip
  2. Serve
  3. Footwork
  4. Stance
  5. Stroke
  6. Hand-eye coordination
  7. Timing and Rythme
  8. Anticipation

In this article I will give you full details of all of them, including:

  • Explanations for what each skill means,
  • Examples of how to utilize the skills,
  • Videos and images to demonstrate what to do,

So let’s start with Racket Grip:

The Badminton Racket Grip

Like any racket game, having a proper grip in badminton is essential.

The correct grip will allow you to have more control and will help you dictate where you place your shot.

There are numerous ways of holding a badminton racket depending on whether your shot is forehand or backhand.

Here are the 4 main grips in badminton:

Basic Skills of Badminton - Forehand grip

Forehand Grip

You should aim for a ‘V Shape’ between your thumb and index finger, with a small gap between your index and middle finger.

Maintain a relaxed hold on the grip. A firm grip will hinder swift transitions between different grips during a rally. The Forehand is use for:

  • clears, smashes and drops,
  • drives, lifts and net shots.

Basic Skills of Badminton - Backhand grip

Backhand Grip

A simple method to master the backhand grip is by positioning your thumb on top of the broader part of the grip, ensuring the strings are oriented towards the floor and ceiling as shown in the image.

Keep your fingers gently curled around the side. The Backhand grip is used for

  • Backhand drives, lifts, net shots,
  • Backhand serves and Doubles defence.

Basic Skills of Badminton - Panhandle grip

Panhandle Grip

The Panhandle grip involves positioning your thumb along the racket’s side, clamping the edges between your thumb and fingers as illustrated. This grip tends to be instinctive for novices due to its ease in executing overhead shots. Despite common usage, the Panhandle grip is specifically used for:

  • Delayed backhand shots in the rear-court,
  • Responding to a net-cord on the backhand side,
  • Certain net kills or drives.

Basic Skills of Badminton - Bevel grip

Bevel Grip

For the bevel grip, begin with a backhand grip, then rotate your racket head so that the strings face diagonally, positioning your thumb on the ridge or bevel. For right-handers, rotate the racket anti-clockwise from the backhand grip, and for left-handers, do so clockwise. The bevel grip is used for:

  • Backhand rear-court strokes (clears, drops, and smashes),
  • Certain forehand and backhand net shots,
  • Some defensive plays in singles when significantly stretched.

Make sure to hold your badminton racket lightly no matter what type of grip you use.

In fact, the grip should be so light, that someone can come along and pull it away from your hands.

This will help you prevent wrist injuries and improve the angle and flexibility of your shot.

Badminton Equipment

Or check out what equipment you need to start playing badminton.

Badminton Rackets

If you would like to learn more about Badminton Rackets for Beginners then check out this article! It also provides some recommendations for rackets to get you started.

The Basics of Badminton Serves

Service is another necessary skill you need to master for badminton.

A good serve is likely to get you points and may give you some advantage during the rally.

There are two types of services used in badminton:

The High Serve

High serve is used when you want to force your opponent to run to the back of the court by hitting the shuttlecock toward the rear end of the court (sometimes the corner).

A good high serve will usually save you from receiving a smash from your opponent.

The Low Serve

The low serve is used to bring the opponent forward by hitting the shuttlecock toward the front of the court.

If you managed to send a fabulous low serve, the opponent would have to dash forward and move under the shuttle to return it.

Depending on the quality of the return, you might be able to return the shot with a net kill/smash.

Want to learn more about The Basics of Badminton Serves, then check pout this post for loads to helpful details!

Let’s move on to number 3 on our list of basic badminton skills:

Badminton Footwork Basics

Footwork is another vital skill for badminton, you will need to aim to;

  • continually adjust your speed according to the speed of the shuttlecock,
  • move around quickly in limited space,
  • conserve energy throughout the game,
  • turn to face shots coming toward you from any direction.

Check out this video where Johnathan from Swift Badminton School takes us through how to use different combinations of the Split Step, Lunge and Chasse Step to reach all 4 corners of the court.

Once you’ve learnt the different step combinations to help you reach the 4 corners of the court, the key is to focus on repeating these step combinations correctly before you think about speed.

Once you’ve mastered the footwork form and technique, increase in speed will come naturally.

If you’d like to learn more about the Chasse, Lunge and Split Step then check out our post on Badminton Footwork.

3 Badminton Stances

While returning strokes from the opponent, the stance is a crucial skill required in badminton.

Proper posture will allow you to return the opponent’s strokes efficiently and enable you to get an advantage in rallies.

There are three basic stances in badminton:

Defensive Stance

You can use the defensive stance to defend opponents smashes.

To take the defensive posture,

  • face the net with your body
  • hold the racket at waist height

Using the defensive stance, you can:

  • perform a lift to buy time to regain your posture and prepare for the opposing player’s return,
  • perform a high clear to make a fast, unconscious decision when returning the shot,

Lifts allow the opponents to send a return smash but this doesn’t make them an ineffective defensive stroke.

By using the lift from a defensive stance, you can look for the perfect opportunity to counter-attack your opponent, such as by playing a net shot.

Attacking Stance

The attacking stance will allow you to return a short or high lift from your opponent.

To utilise the attacking stance, try to get behind the shuttlecock, raise your arm, and then transfer your body weight to your racquet leg, and hit the shuttlecock as a smash.

By utilising the attacking stance, and depending on the opponent’s stroke, you can also send a drop shot.

Drop shots can be used when receiving the shuttlecock from the front or back part of the court.

Net Stance

The net stance in badminton is used to return the opponent’s stroke after sending a net shot.

Place your racquet foot forward and your other foot backwards. Place the racquet in front of your body slightly above your waist for the net stance.

One way to get into the net stance is by first using a tumbling net shot.

The tumbling net shot makes the shuttlecock tumble and spin right above the net and into your opponent’s court.

After sending a tumbling net shot, your body will naturally put itself in the net stance.

When you are in the net stance, get ready to perform a net kill move to an attacking stance to perform a winning smash.

Want to learn more about The Basics of Badminton Stances, then check pout this post for loads to helpful details!

Basic Badminton Strokes

Strokes are fundamental to becoming a good badminton player and executing superior shots.

Broadly categorizing, there are two main kinds of strokes:

Forehand Shots

Forehand shots should be played when the shuttlecock is on your racket side.

Your index finger will control the forehand stroke as you swing overarm or underarm.

Swing the wrist along with your index finger as support to play a forehand stroke.

Backhand Shots

Backhand shots should be played when the shuttlecock is on your non-racket side with your thumb controlling the strokes.

While playing badminton, your light grip will mean you’ll be able to switch between the forehand and backhand grip at ease.

To play a backhand shot, hold the racquet with the back of your hand in front and swing your wrist forward while using your thumb as support.

Timing and Rythme

Badminton is not just a game of speed and power; it’s a rhythmic dance that requires impeccable timing to master.

A badminton player must connect with the shuttlecock at the right time to maintain control over the game’s tempo.

Developing a keen sense of timing and rhythm is essential, achieved through solo and partner drills that emphasize consistent shot delivery and footwork patterns.

Observing and analyzing professional matches also serves as a valuable learning tool, offering insights into how the experts seamlessly weave their movements and strikes into a harmonious flow of play.

Take a look at this post to understand more about Timing and Rhythm in Badminton.


I hope you have found these top 5 basic badminton skills useful, and you’re able to put them into good practice.

Remember, any professional badminton player has spent countless hours practising each and every single one of these skills, no matter how ‘basic’ they seem.

A solid foundation is the first step to anything. Whether it’s a building, your body, or your badminton skills.

Now I’d love to turn it over to you: 

  • How often do you practice these badminton skills?
  • What’s the first skill that you’re going to practice in the near future?
  • Do you prefer a forehand or backhand serve?

Check out this post on what type of equipment you need to play badminton.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below or a direct message on Instagram.

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