Top 6 Badminton Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Published November 3, 2021

Do you find yourself making the same mistakes on the badminton court over and over? 

You’re not alone. Badminton players of all skill levels can struggle with slip-ups during games. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome common badminton mistakes and sharpen your skills for future rallies.

Keep reading to learn about the most common badminton mistakes, as well as how you can fix them with practice, dedication, and new techniques.

1. Hitting Shots Without Good Balance and Stability

Hitting shots before you’re stable and balanced can impact your performance and cause you to lose a significant amount of power on the court. And that loss of power means the shuttle might not reach its intended destination during certain shots.

For example, jump smashes and underhand backhand clears are two shots that you might have trouble hitting effectively without solid balance. Without good stability, you won’t be able to jump very high for smash shots. And when you lunge forward for underhand backhand clears, you might wobble as you try to hit the shuttle. 

For strong balance, keep your legs more than shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent. You’ll want to use your non-racket arm to help balance yourself as you swing your racket. 

Beyond that, you can also try balance exercises to help yourself build stability on the court.

2. Not Observing Your Opponent

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Some players go into a game of badminton ready to use their favorite techniques without considering the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents. 

But the truth is that being unobservant of an opponent can cost you points — and in some cases, it can even cost you the game.

So, figure out your opponent’s play: What shots do they like to make? How is their defense? Are they fast and high-pressure, or are do they play at a strategic and less aggressive pace? What are some ways you can catch them off guard?

All in all, being observant of those strengths and weaknesses can help you adapt your strategy and increase your odds of overcoming a tough opponent. Aside from that, observation helps you learn to predict how your opponent will return shots. 

For example, when you hit a lift or a clear, your opponent might respond with a smash. With that in mind, you’ll know to prepare your defense after you hit either of those shots during the game.

3. Inefficient Footwork

Skillful footwork is essential for reaching the shuttle accurately and quickly. When your footwork is off, it can throw your whole game off by costing you critical time.

To get specific, inefficient footwork can hinder your ability to place yourself accurately on the court — which means you might end up having to hit the shuttle from the wrong angle. Luckily, there are some incredible resources out there (like online footwork drills) that can help you hone your skills in this area. 

All in all, practicing the proper footwork is an excellent way to speed up your game. With training, you’ll know exactly how to move efficiently and reach the shuttle with superb timing and technique.

4. Standing Still on the Court

When you stand in the same place you were at after you hit the shuttle, you’re much more likely to miss your chance to return shots from your opponent. Standing still after every shot will leave you with weak spots on your court almost every time.

That being said, it’s best to go back to a ready position after a shot. Or you can move towards the area where you think your opponent will hit the shuttle next. 

There’s almost no reason to stop after you’ve hit the shuttle — unless you have reason to believe it’s coming straight back to you.

5. Playing Emotionally

We all get frustrated when things don’t turn out the way we planned. You might have missed a few easy shots, or maybe you just aren’t having your best game. 

When this happens, it’s easy to get stuck in your head about what happened earlier — and that’s why playing emotionally is one of the most common badminton mistakes.

But it’s best to let go of those thoughts and focus on the moment you’re currently in. Just remember that you can change what happens right now in a game — not what happened a few minutes before. 

Each chance to hit the shuttle should be another exciting challenge for you. When you’re having fun, all of the frustration bogging down your game will ease up, and you’ll be able to play at your best! 

6. Too Much Muscle Tension

Because badminton is an intense sport, you might tense up during matches without even realizing it. However, overly tense muscles in badminton could hurt your game. Your muscles need to be loose and relaxed to receive sufficient blood flow, and oxygenated muscles move faster when you need that speed the most. 

Beyond that, being too tense during a game can lead to muscle cramping later on. And we all know how hard it is to move fluidly once your muscles start cramping.

To ease tension in your body, do a warm-up routine before every badminton game. Spend some time letting go of all of the anxiety and stress before you start, and do your best to stay moderately relaxed. 

After all, your muscles only need to be tensed up when you’re using them for your movements on the court.

Overcoming Common Badminton Mistakes Takes Time

Many common badminton mistakes can become bad habits. So, remember that it will take time to replace your bad game habits with good ones. You’ll probably forget sometimes and accidentally repeat some mistakes. But it’s nothing to worry about!

Getting good at something comes from the time you spend learning and practicing it. If you want to be great, you should spend as much time as you can sharpening your skills.

When you keep practicing your new moves and habits, they’ll eventually become an automatic response during games. Good luck!

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