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5 Basic Badminton Skills Every Beginner Needs to Learn

1. The Ready Stance

Always having the right stance when playing makes it a lot
easier to minimize the movements you need to make to hit a
shot. The ready stance done by putting your non-racquet leg
a step forward and about shoulder width away from your
racquet leg. Slightly bend both knees with your weight
balanced between both legs. Slightly bend forward from the
hip, keeping your back straight, and lift your racquet up with
your racquet-hand in front of you slightly above your shoulder
and the head of the racquet to be right above your forehead. Raise your non-racquet arm to help
improve your balance.

2. Forehand and Backhand Grip

Badminton Forehand

Having the right grip is crucial in helping new players control their shots better and protects from
possible injury from putting too much pressure on the wrist. The simplest way to grip your badminton
racquet is by imitating a handshake. Your thumb should press against the handle while the rest of
your hand and four fingers wrap around the racquet. This handshake should be a friendly one. Don’t
grip too tightly because you need to retain flexibility in your wrist. It is recommended that you opt to
put a wrap around your grip to make it more comfortable and less slippery.

This grip applies to both forehand and backhand grips used for both forehand and backhand shots.
The variations lie in that for the forehand grip, it’s better to fold your thumb a bit and let your index
finger control the racquet on the stroke, while for the backhand grip, the thumb pressing against the
racquet will control the stroke. Having a loose grip and being able to quickly switch between grips is
an advanced skill that allows pros to shift from forehand to backhand easily.

3. Footwork
Footwork is basic badminton skill that a lot of
new players often overlook. But having the right
footwork makes the game so much easier as it
allows you to cover more ground around the
court while using less time and energy. Lateral
steps are the best way to move around the
badminton court as it allows you to cover a lot of
ground and change direction fast, while putting
less strain on your knees. By practicing the right footwork, you’ll feel that it is easier to recover to hit
shuttles that are flying towards the other side of the court. Some basic drills to improve your lateral
movement can be very effective in helping train yourself to move around the court better.

4. Strokes

badminton Strokes

There are 4 basic strokes that every beginner needs to learn. By knowing these, beginners can
create good badminton stroke habits, which they can use in the future for more advanced shots like
drops, smashes and drives. These are:

Overhead Forehand – this is the most common stroke and most beginners are very more
comfortable using this especially for stronger strokes. Make sure to have a forehand grip, lift your
racket arm up with the racket slightly above your head, and tilt your body to the side of your racket
arm with your racket arm behind you. Widen your chest and use your non-racket hand to point at the
shuttlecock to aim. Straighten out your racket arm then swing it towards the shuttle in a downward
motion while slightly rotating your waist towards the front. Swing the racket until it’s pointing slightly

Overhead Backhand- the overhead backhand is slightly more difficult for beginners as you’ll have to
face your body backward to use this effectively. This is a slightly advanced shot that is hard to
master at first but doing so will set good foundations to how you play badminton. To start, turn your
body to the back in the direction of your non-racket arm, with your racket arm raised in front of you
and pointing towards the back. Keep your racket-arm close to your body, bent such that your elbow
is pointing down. As the shuttle approaches above your head level, slightly tilt your arm downward to
gain momentum then swing up and flick your wrist upward until the racket is pointing up and your
arm is straightened out. Remember to immediately go back to your ready stance once you’ve hit the

Underarm Forehand– the underarm forehand allows you to hit low shots with a lot of strength, but it
is quite challenging to aim at first. To do this, from your ready stance, lunge forward with your racket-
leg and keep your racket arm slightly bent with the top of the racket’s head slightly below shoulder
level. Straighten your arm out to make the racket tilt backwards then flick your wrist, followed by your
arm, to swing forward when hitting the shuttle. Bend your body forward slightly to keep your balance.

Underarm Backhand– the underarm backhand is actually easier to do than the overhead counterpart
since you won’t need to turn backwards. Lunging towards your backhand area, Bend your racket
arm downward with the racket handle parallel to the floor and the racket head parallel to your body.
Flick your wrist upward, followed by your arm until your arm is extended straight and aligned with
your shoulder.

5. Underarm Backhand Serve

Underarm Backhand Serve

The underarm backhand serve is the most basic badminton serve that you can practice as a
beginner because it gives you easier control in terms of how strong you’ll hit the shuttle and where
you will make the shuttle go in terms of height or placement on the court. By learning how to utilize
this serve, you can already start to strategize where you place your serve depending on your
opponent. To start, have a ready stance with your backhand leg slightly forward with both feet
pointing forward. Lift your racket up to so it is parallel to the floor, with the head parallel to the net
and aligned with your shoulder. Using your non-racket hand, hold the shuttle cock by the feather
about 5-6 inches in front of the center of the racket’s face. Bend the wrist of your racket hand
downward to generate momentum and flick upwards with varying strength depending on how far or
how high you want the shuttle cock to travel. Try to play around with how strong you hit the shuttle
and how high you follow through. Try to aim for different spots in the court with this serve and you’ll
immediately have the upper hand against your opponents.