Badminton is one of the toughest and most technical sports. And as a beginner, it’s even tougher when you’re trying to learn how to level up on your own, without the help of a coach or mentor.
While the journey can be challenging, there’s also some good news: Specific badminton tips can help you improve key skills and win more matches, regardless of your starting point.
In this post, we’ll cover five of the best badminton tips to boost your game, along with how often you should practice for best results.
1. Focus on Footwork
Badminton footwork refers to the strategic steps that allow you to effectively cover your frontcourt, midcourt, and backcourt. It’s what helps you move fast enough to hit that deadly jump smash, or get behind the shuttle just in time to return your opponent’s net kill shot.
In other words, footwork helps you score points, move rapidly, and defend your court skillfully.
There are several moves that make up badminton footwork. The main ones include the ready stance, split-step, chasse step, crossover step, lunge, and recovery step.
These moves (and footwork as a whole) can be tough to master, but here are a few tips to make it easier:
- Kick off with an explosive split-step to generate maximum energy
- Stay efficient by taking fewer steps when possible
- Practice shadow footwork drills
- Train your legs for more agile movement and stronger lunges
2. Master Mental Toughness
While many beginners focus on the physical aspects of badminton, there’s one psychological skill that can improve any player’s success. It’s called mental toughness, and it can help you push through intense training, overcome mistakes, and stay determined against tougher opponents.
So, how can you build mental toughness in badminton? Try to:
- Avoid comparing yourself to your opponent. Instead, focus on whatever is within your control in each moment.
- Turn your mistakes and failures into learning experiences. Did you miss a perfect opportunity for a smash, or hit a poorly-angled shot that cost you a point? Don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, spend a moment to acknowledge what went wrong and adjust your game accordingly.
- Rely on discipline rather than motivation. Of course, it’s always nice when you get a burst of motivation before training. But sometimes, you might feel tired and unmotivated, which can make it hard to show up and play your best. The good news is that discipline can help you push hard and stay consistent, even on low-motivation days.
3. Strengthen Your Body Off the Court
On-the-court badminton practice is vital to improving your skills and winning more matches. But did you know that your fitness routine outside the court also plays an important role in your game?
The right workout regimen can improve your jumps, footwork, swings, and even your balance — and it can be a perfect complement to your on-the-court training.
To get started, try mixing a few of these workout options into your week:
- Strength training: Use a mix of upper, lower, and full-body days to take your lunges, smashes, and mobility to the next level.
- Agility and reflex training: Agility and reflex training allow you to react faster in intense situations.
- Endurance training: Endurance training helps you outlast your opponents and play your hardest until the very end of each rally.
- Warm-ups and cool-downs: Warm-ups get your blood flowing and prepare your body for action, while cool-downs can support your recovery.
The best part of off-the-court training is that you can tailor it to your unique badminton goals. For example, you can strengthen your wrists for better swing speed or balance train for better mobility. In any case, feel free to personalize and experiment with your weekly fitness routine, and don’t forget to rest and recover along the way.
4. Use Badminton Drills to Improve Your Timing, Reflexes, and Technique
Badminton drills are perfect for practicing specific techniques — such as grips, shots, and footwork — until they become second nature. But drills can also help you with reflexes, placement, timing, and other essential skills.
If you’re unfamiliar with badminton drills, here are a few of the most popular options to consider trying:
- Random multi-shuttle drills to simulate the unpredictability of real rallies
- Two-on-one drillsto improve your timing, placement, stamina, and technique
- Wall rally drills when you want to practice at home or without a partner
Looking for something you can try the next time you hit the court? Try this two-on-one defense drill to improve the placement and technique behind your defensive shots:
5. Play Matches Against Stronger Opponents
Playing with stronger badminton opponents can be intimidating, but it’s well worth it. Even if you don’t score any points, you can gain some spectacular experience (and insight) from practicing with people more advanced than you.
That’s because their speed, stamina, and skill level will force you to compete at your highest level. On top of that, your weak points (aka the areas you should work on) can become very clear when you’re playing with someone of a higher caliber.
And who knows — you might pick up a few badminton tips and tricks from them along the way!
How Often Should You Practice for Best Results?
So, how often should you practice badminton to get the best results?
In short, it all depends on your lifestyle and how quickly you want to level up. For example, some pro badminton players train incredibly hard — up to several hours per day, six days per week.
However, not everyone can dedicate that much time to badminton, and that’s okay. You can still vastly improve your game while working around a busy schedule, as long as you stay consistent.
With that in mind, two to four sessions each week is plenty for most players to see steady, all-around improvements in their game.
For More Badminton Tips and Tricks
For more on badminton tips, tricks, and advice, visit the Badminton Justin blog or subscribe to the YouTube channel today.