If you’re new to badminton, a lot of factors can affect your journey from newbie to intermediate player. From your training schedule to your shot techniques and footwork, it can take months before you start to feel skilled at the sport.
But as you practice, you might wonder, “What have other players done to see the biggest change in their game?”
To help you level up faster, we’ve compiled five of the top badminton tips for beginners below.
5 Key Badminton Tips for Beginners
Without the help of a skilled mentor, the tips below can often be overlooked — but they’re some of the best ways to change your game for the better.
Here’s what to keep in mind as you train:
1. Focus On Your Grip From the Beginning
If you want to improve your game fast, it’s key to practice the different grip types — and understand how they influence your shot power and placement.
The four main grips to focus on include:
- The forehand grip, also known as the handshake grip. Used for forehand smashes, clears, serves, and other forehand shots.
- The backhand grip, also called the thumb grip. Used for backhand serves, drives, and other backhand defensive shots. Especially useful in doubles defense.
- The bevel grip. Halfway between the forehand and backhand grip, this grip involves placing your thumb on the edge of your handle. Great for backhand rear corner shots, but also used for specific net shots and other defensive shots.
- The panhandle grip, which is best for late backhand shots.
2. Technical Skills Can Make or Break Your Game
Experienced sports players often say it’s easier to learn something the right way from the beginning than it is to unlearn a bad technique.
This is especially true for the technical skills in badminton. That said, it’s a great idea to work with a coach or experienced friend, or watch pro YouTubers — whatever is more accessible to you. By taking this step, you can ensure you learn the right techniques from the get-go.
As a beginner, some technical skills to focus on might include:
- Proper footwork, which can help you reach shots and recover more quickly
- Serve techniques, which can help you avoid starting rallies at a disadvantage
- Forehand and around-the-head clears
- Forehand and backhand frontcourt shots, including lifts
3. Shot Placement Is Everything
You might not think about shot placement as a beginner. But if you want to win more rallies, it’s one of the most effective tactics to focus on for two main reasons:
- Moving your opponents around on the court is a great way to tire them out, especially in singles
- Hitting the shuttle to an unexpected area can force your opponent into a weak shot, giving you the upper hand
Examples of strategic shot placement might include hitting a soft net shot when your opponent is expecting a far lift, or smashing to the right side of their court when they’re standing to the left.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Practice With Better Players
When you first start your badminton journey, you might feel most comfortable rallying with players near your skill level. But once you have the basics down, it can actually be a good thing to practice with more experienced players.
Now, you might not want to play with a pro when you’re a complete beginner. But don’t shy away from practicing a few rallies with players closer to an intermediate-to-advanced level. Expect to lose — but pay attention to their tactics and techniques while you play.
This can give you a world of insight into how players strategize at a higher level. A good player will also punish your mistakes and poor shots more directly, so you can identify your weak points earlier on.
5. An Expensive Racket Doesn’t Always Mean Better
Although you might feel excited to invest in your badminton gear, a more expensive racket isn’t always better for beginners.
This is because high-end rackets are usually geared toward advanced players. They’re often stiffer and built for higher string tensions. And without the right skill set, they can be unforgiving — making it trickier to generate power and hit accurate, controlled shots.
Ultimately, the right racket for you depends on your playstyle and preferences. Here’s what to look for if you haven’t yet invested in a racket, and here are some affordable options if you need somewhere to start.
Looking For More Badminton Resources?