As a badminton player, training with other people is one of the most fun (and effective) ways to level up your game. However, it’s not always easy to visit your local badminton club or find a pal to practice with.
Luckily, there are countless ways to practice badminton on your own time — even if you don’t have access to a net or a partner.
Below, discover ten easy ways to play badminton alone, including tips for practicing your smashes, footwork, and more.
1. Practice Your Backhand Flick Strength
Improving the power in your short backhand shots (aka your flick strength) is one of the easiest skills to practice at home. All you’ll need is a few shuttles to get started.
Position the shuttles so that they’re within easy reach. Then, drop one in front of your racket, keeping a loose grip as you do so. As it falls toward your racket, tighten your grip and use a short backhand swing to flick the shuttle forward.
Repeat until you run out of birds, focusing on producing as much power as you can with your wrist.
2. Transition Between Grips
Working on your grip transitions can improve your accuracy, boost your speed, and save you valuable milliseconds on the court. And the good news is, it’s one of the easiest skills to practice alone.
- Start by holding your racket in a relaxed forehand grip.
- Lift your racket as if you’re about to hit a backhand shot. While you do so, use your pointer finger and thumb to rotate the handle to the backhand grip.
- Then, rotate back to a forehand grip, and swing your racket in a forehand motion.
- Continue to alternate between various grips and shot types to build muscle memory.
3. Use a Wall to Practice Your Forehand and Backhand Shots
To practice your forehand and backhand shots, all you need is a sturdy wall, your racket, and a bird. Then:
- Toss the bird in the air, and hit it toward the wall using your forehand swing.
- Quickly transition to your backhand, and hit the shuttle again as it bounces back to you.
- Continue to alternate between forehand and backhand until you miss a shot.
4. Do Shadow Footwork
Shadow footwork drills can help you improve your footwork anywhere, alone, and without equipment. They’re extremely handy for replicating on-the-court situations while allowing you to fully focus on your footwork, rather than the shots themselves.
Here are five variations to help you get started:
5. Increase Your Speed with Agility Training
Lightning-fast speed is one of the best advantages you can have on the court — and when it comes to practicing badminton alone, it’s also one of the simplest skills to train.
As a first step, you can try agility ladder exercises, which involve using a piece of equipment shaped like a ladder that lies flat on the ground. (If you don’t have one on hand, you can also use tape or string to make your own.)
Then, you can get started by practicing a few of the drills below:
6. Practice Your Low and High Serve
As long as you have a few shuttles on hand, you can improve your high and low serves with this easy one-player service drill. Simply:
- Place several shuttles close by, so you can easily grab one after the other.
- Choose a point to aim toward, such as a line or object on the ground. Select something that is about as far away as your opponent’s service court would be in a game.
- Toss one shuttle in the air, and hit it using your low-serve technique.
- Toss another shuttle in the air, this time using a high serve.
- Continue to alternate until you’re out of shuttles.
- Then, repeat from the other side.
7. Juggle the Shuttle with the Racket
Shuttle juggling is one of the best ways to boost your coordination, improve your patience, and get a feel for your racket’s sweet spot.
To try it, simply toss your shuttle in the air and hit it upward in the forehand motion. As it falls back down, hit it again with your backhand. Use low hits for a faster pace and high shots for a slower pace.
If you need an extra challenge, you can juggle the shuttle while you jog, or even add a few trick shots to the mix!
8. Practice a Stationary Smash
Stationary smash training might not give you the exact experience of on-the-court play, but it’s still a useful tool for improving your smash technique and power. Here’s how to try it:
- Toss the shuttle above your head, and slightly in front of your body.
- Swing to smash the shuttle, using the entire motion of your body to generate power.
- Repeat for several minutes, or until you feel your arm start to fatigue. While you practice, feel free to try a mix of the standard, jump, and stick smash variations.
9. Coordination Training
There are tons of ways to train your coordination for badminton, and wall rally drills and shuttle juggling are both great places to start.
But if you don’t want to get your racket and shuttles out, you can also train your hand-eye coordination using a simple tennis ball:
10. Challenge Yourself With a Two-Shuttle Wall Rally Drill
Finally, one of the most fun and intense ways to train by yourself is to practice an advanced, two-shuttle wall rally drill. This exercise is a great way to push your speed, strength, and reflexes to the limit.
Here are the steps:
- With your non-racket arm, hold two shuttles by their feathers above your racket.
- Rapidly hit each shuttle, one after the other, into a sturdy wall.
- Immediately try to return each shuttle back to the wall.
- Go as long as you can without missing a shot.
More Ways to Level Up
Figuring out how to play badminton alone can be tough, but the good news is that certain strategies can help. From coordination exercises to solo smash drills, there’s always a way to level up your game — whether you’re on the court or at home by yourself.