Badminton is a game of anticipation, reflexes, form, and speed — and using these skills, you can execute a wide variety of shot types and variations on the court.
But no matter your experience level, it’s common to struggle with certain strokes in badminton. The good news is that if you’ve been feeling stuck lately, there are steps you can take to overcome your plateaus and strengthen your skills.
In this post, we’ve compiled the best tips to help you improve all types of badminton shots. Read on to learn how to level up your game and start dominating the court!
1. Practice a Lot — Against a Variety of Players
When it comes to badminton, practice makes perfect. And while practicing alone is valuable, nothing beats the experience of playing against others with a wide range of playstyles.
So, whenever you train, make it a point to play rallies against offensive, defensive, and balanced players. In addition, you can mix it up by playing both singles and doubles games.
This variety will force you to use all kinds of different badminton shot types. And with time and consistency, you’ll intuitively pick up on when, where, and how to execute each one more skillfully.
2. Identify Your Weaknesses & Learn From Your Mistakes
Ever noticed that you always seem to miss certain shots while playing badminton?
Maybe your angle is slightly off on your smashes, or perhaps your clears never seem to land near your opponent’s baseline. Whatever the case may be, take note of your weakest shots, and set a goal to build them up.
So, what can you do once you identify a weakness in your badminton game? Try:
- Filming yourself while playing to study your form, footwork, and technique.
- When you make a mistake, mentally note what you could have done differently — whether that be your swing motion, positioning, timing, etc.
- Ask an experienced friend to give you pointers on the shots you struggle with most.
- Watch YouTube content from professional players on specific techniques that you want to improve upon.
- Consider short sessions with a coach to learn how to execute each shot correctly.
3. Half-Court Games & Exercises
Badminton half-court training is exactly what it sounds like: Playing on a half-court with one other person. Half-court exercises make it easy for both partners to practice any shot (or shot sequence) they’d like to work on. Some of the best drills to try include:
- The half-court drive drill: This drill involves hitting drives back and forth with a partner until one of you misses the shuttle. Drives can be tricky to pull off (especially for newer players), so this is a great way to improve your technique.
- The pressure-defense drill: In this drill, one partner will use fast, aggressive shots, while the other player will defend.
- Half-court singles: This is like regular singles, but with half the space. This exercise will put your precision, accuracy, and consistency to the test.
4. Multishuttle Drills
Multishuttle drills are one of your best tools for improving specific badminton shots.
In a nutshell, they involve one player rapidly feeding shuttles to a partner across the net. The way the feeder hits each shuttle will depend on which type of skill the drill is focused on.
For example, in a smash-and-push multishuttle drill, the feeder will start with a high, far shot. Right after that, they’ll hit another high shot closer to the frontcourt area. This will allow their partner to practice hitting a smash and following it up with a kill shot.
The benefits of multishuttle drills? Because of their lightning-fast pace, they allow you to practice your reflexes, agility, and technique all at once.
To get started, try this random multishuttle drill the next time you hit the court:
5. Train Your Body in Other Ways
Aside from on-the-court activities, there are plenty of other exercises that can improve your badminton skills as a whole. Here are some of the most popular types of training to consider adding to your routine:
- Agility training uses agility ladders and other fast-paced exercises to improve your movement.
- Reflex training involves direction-change exercises, rapid-fire shuttle returns, and wall rally drills to boost reaction speed.
- Strength training helps to improve explosivity and all-around performance.
- Endurance/stamina training increases cardiovascular health, which can help you outlast opponents in games.
- Hand-eye coordination training can help you improve accuracy and hit your racket’s sweet spot more often.
6. Master Your Footwork
Finally, if you want to improve all types of shots in badminton, remember that footwork is your foundation.
It’s the only skill that allows you to get in position fast enough to line up for a great shot. Plus, it enables you to recover quickly, change direction, and maintain your balance when smashing and defending.
Even though basic footwork is relatively simple to understand, even advanced players can have trouble mastering it. Fortunately, you can sharpen your footwork by implementing a few simple exercises into your weekly training routine. These include:
- Six-corner footwork drills
- Shuttle run exercises
- Shadow footwork drills
The Bottom Line
When it comes to improving badminton shots, most players start by working on each technique, one by one. And while that can certainly help, there are other ways to level up your game as a whole — and all your shots along with it.
With that in mind, these are the tips to remember if you want to improve overall:
- Study and learn from your weaknesses on the court.
- Play and practice against players with all kinds of skill levels and styles.
- Use half-court and multishuttle drills to master specific shots.
- Support your body off the court by using strength training, endurance training, etc.
- Don’t forget to practice your footwork!
As a bonus, you can spend some time learning from content created by pro badminton players around the world. The Badminton Justin YouTube channel is one resource where you can find everything from training drills to strategies and more to level up your game.