Badminton Tips and Tricks #7 – How To Improve Control

Khosit Phetpradab

Whether you’re playing net shots, smashes, drops, or clears, no matter how much power you have, you won’t win any games if you miss all your shots. Control is absolutely crucial to one’s ability to play accurate badminton shots. Here are badminton tips and tricks #7 on how to improve control.

Doing Badminton Drills

One of the best ways to improve your control is to do badminton drills. There are many badminton drills for different badminton shots which I’ll link some here that you can do to improve your badminton skill. Focus on the shots that you have trouble with. For example, if you’re bad at drop shots, practice drop shots more.

With badminton drills, you want to try and make each shot as accurate as possible. This is also a time where you can test your limits. With net shots, for example, see the minimum amount of power you need to get the shuttle over the net.

It’s all about consistency. The more good practice you put in, the better you will be in general.

If you ever watch pro players do drills, all their shots are incredibly controlled and accurate without fail. There was a clip of Viktor Axelsen on Instagram actually showing Viktor’s net shots, and he was able to hit every single one of them!

With badminton drills, you can also do things like set goals on where to hit and how many. Examples include trying to net roll the shuttle five out of ten times or putting up pylons to try and hit by smashing.

General Playing

Drills are by far the best way to improve badminton skill in general, but playing games all the time helps as well. You’re basically trying to get as much badminton playing time as possible.

There is something called implicit learning, and something called explicit learning. The difference between the two is that implicit learning is when you’re sub-consciously learning while explicit learning is when you’re mechanically thinking about how to improve.pv sindhu badminton

The idea of general playing feeds off of implicit learning. Basically, if you just play badminton, you will automatically be improving sub-consciously. It is why people always say that players that start young are destined to become good. The younger they start, the more time they use as implicit learning. Most younger players don’t usually spend all their time specifically training certain aspects; they want to have fun!

General playing works better though when a player already has decent technique. Then all the player is doing is learning what kind of touch to put on the shuttle to give it good accuracy. Less experienced players may just find themselves making the lousy technique a habit, which in that case, general playing can significantly hurt your ability to improve.

Hitting The Shuttle Up And Down

One of the first things coaches make us do when we start playing badminton is to hit the shuttle up and down and try to keep it up for as long as possible. Over time as we gain experience, we become able to keep the shuttle up forever.

That’s because we are gaining control over our racket and the shuttle. We can keep it up longer because we know exactly where it’s going up and where it’s coming down.

With this activity, just grab a racket and hit the shuttle up and down. If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend you hit it up really high with either your forehand or backhand.

As you get better, add variations such as switching between forehand and backhand and then also start hitting it at lower heights. When the shuttle doesn’t have as much height, it will come down faster, making it more challenging to hit it.

As you get even better, start to add variations such as slicing. When you give a spin to the shuttle, it becomes even more difficult to hit back because to hit it accurately and consistently, you’ll need to hit it right at the tip. If you hit the feathers, the shuttle will likely end up somewhere that you’re not expecting so doing this definitely takes a lot more skill.

I like this drill because it’s something that you can do just about everywhere. All you need is a racket and a shuttle and a little space.

If you feel like you want another challenge, try doing this outside with the wind. If you’re used the shuttle going straight up and down, doing it outside will test your reaction speed. It won’t necessarily improve your control much, but your footwork and reaction will improve.

Holding The Racket

Has anyone seen the anime, Haikyu?

Well if you haven’t, it’s an anime about volleyball with the main character being this short guy who’s aspiring to become one of the best spikers. The anime is pretty motivating for badminton players too haha…

But what I want to talk about specifically from Haikyu!! is the scene where an old coach tells the kid to be entirely in sync with the volleyball and to do that, he must hold the volleyball everywhere; when he goes to school when he sleeps, etc.

You can do the same thing with your racket. Hold it as much as possible and spiritually make it a part of you.

Walk around everywhere with the racket and make random swings etc. It’s all about getting the feel of the racket.

Conclusion

I hope that there were some badminton tips and tricks in this post that helped you out on how to improve badminton control. Remember that consistency and focus in practice will always lead to better playing.

If you would like to look at more badminton tips and tricks, check out this link here.

Badminton Tips and Tricks

Any questions? Any suggestions? I’m happy to listen to them. Write it down in the comment section below and have a great day!

Different Uses Of A Badminton Clear That Improves Your Game

Zhao Yun Lei Clear

The badminton clear is one of the first shots you’ll learn when you get started playing badminton. It might seem like a fundamental shot, but it’s actually crucial to playing badminton well. Here are 4 different uses of a badminton clear that can improve your game.

Time and SpaceZhao Yun Lei Clear

The most common use of a clear is to create time and space for you to react to your opponent. Since a clear is characteristically a high and relatively slow shot, you get time to go back to the middle and respond to the next shot your opponent is playing.

Most of the time, you’ll need to give yourself time to get back to the middle when your opponent is pressuring you heavily. Say your opponent has just smashed and you dived to return the shuttle, but then your opponent plays a push shot. Almost always, a good clear is needed for you to get back to your ready position.

Sometimes, it also depends on your playstyle. If you like to play it slow, playing high clears will slow down the pace of the game and make it easier for you if your playstyle corresponds to that. In the next section, I will talk a little more about this concept.

Disrupting Rhythm

Clears are also great at disrupting rhythm. When you play a rally, you want to be the one in control of the rally pace and where the shuttle is going. At the same time, your opponent also wants to do the same thing. If you let your opponent get into their rhythm and you become the player that’s responding to their pace, you’ll probably lose the rally.

A good clear is excellent at disrupting your opponent’s rhythm; especially if they like to play fast and low. Clearing is like a reset or restart button in games. When you do it, the rally basically restarts since you’ve neutralized the rhythm of the rally. Thus, you can try to create your own pace again.

You do have to be careful about resetting with a clear. If you’re pressured really hard and you’re moving all over the place, it may not be possible to play a high clear that goes all the way to your opponent’s backline. On lots of occasions, it may only reach the mid-court where your opponent has the best opportunity to smash and end the rally.

That’s why strength and speed are so important. The power to play an excellent clear even when pressured and the speed to get to the shuttle faster will help a lot. You might want to try a training racket if you find yourself failing clears and do some footwork drills to improve stability and speed.

Stamina Battle

Another use of the badminton clear is for creating a stamina battle. Do you know why female singles players play a lot of clears and high shots against each other?

It’s because both players know that their stamina and arm strength are generally lower than men and they’re trying to make it a stamina battle. It’s why kids who can clear well perform a lot better than other average players because it becomes a stamina battle is created where whoever has the weaker arms will eventually falter.

Playing lots of clears also puts immense pressure onto your opponents. It keeps them guessing on whether you’ll play a drop or smash or some other shot; therefore, your opponent will always move back to the middle to try to anticipate your attack and lose stamina. And if they don’t move back to the center, merely play a drop shot and force them to.

This strategy isn’t for everyone though. I talked about how you can stall your opponents out by clearing a lot, but as you’re doing so, you’re going to lose the same amount of stamina. Only clear battle if you know that your physicality is better than your opponents or if you know that your opponents are not good at clears.

Attacking or Pump Clear

Continuing with the idea of using the clear as a way to win rallies, there’s a particular type of clear known as the pump clear that can mess with your opponent and cause them to lose the rally.

This clear requires that you’re on the offense. The idea is that if you have been smashing or dropping a lot when your opponent clears or lifts, he or she will expect you to do the same again and be ready. You can keep your opponent guessing by playing a pump clear.

This clear isn’t as high, and it’s much faster and flatter. It’s like a drive but higher up. Usually, you should play these straight and towards your opponent’s backhand side. If they’re not ready for it, you’ll win the rally off of it or at least create an opportunity to net kill.

Also, add in a jump for more of a deception to confuse your opponents!

The problem with this clear is its speed and height. If your opponent is ready, playing this kind of clear will mean a stronger smash or drive from your opponent. And it doesn’t give you the time to be prepared. That’s why you have to make sure that you’re on the offense.

For the same reasons, it’s also why you don’t play this type of shot cross court. Playing shots cross court gives your opponent more time to move back up and intercept this shot.

The pump clear works best if your smashes and drops are scary as well. It’ll give your opponent a harder time anticipating what you’re going to do which will lead to more domination from you on the court.

Conclusion

And those are some of the uses of a badminton clear! To recap, most of the time a good clear will reset the pace of the rally and give you time to react to your opponent. Other times, you can use it as an attacking strategy either by stalling out your opponent’s stamina or by playing a deceptive pump clear that throws your opponent off guard.

Do you have anything to add? I would love to hear what you have to say in the comment section down below! As always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

4 Badminton Grip Techniques You Should Know – Better Technique

Something that has been asked a lot is, how do you hold a badminton racket? Whether or not you’re interested in learning about different badminton grip techniques, it’s also you should know as a badminton player.

In this post, I will talk about 4 different badminton grip techniques you should know.

Standard Forehand

Standard Forehand Grip Standard Forehand grip

This is your standard forehand grip. An easy way to hold your racket like this is to give your racket a handshake basically. Try to hold the racket rather loosely and make sure your thumb is in a position between the index and middle finger.

You’re going to use this grip for all of your overhead shots. This means drop shots, clears, and smashes. The standard forehand grip is the grip that generates the most power.

Standard Backhand

Standard Backhand Grip

The other standard grip is from the backhand. This type of grip offers the most control and is usually used for shots that need a lot of control and quick reactions such as net shots and drop shots.

When holding your racket with the standard backhand grip, your hand should be making a thumbs up, and your thumb should rest on the flat part of the grip.

Net Shot Forehand

Panhandle Grip

When you play a forehand net shot, it’s better to use a different grip than the standard forehand grip. Sometimes called the panhandle grip, this grip is much like a backhand grip, but the thumb is still in a position between the index finger and the middle finger as depicted above.

This grip allows for much better control, but it does lack in power severely. It’s why you can use it for playing net shots but never use it for overhead swings.

Power Backhand

Power Backhand Grip

The power backhand grip is optional. It’s meant for making backhand clears, drops, and smashes easier. With this grip, hold your racket with a standard backhand grip but move your thumb onto the angled side of the racket.

You could still use the standard backhand grip to play backhand clear, drops, or smashes but this grip makes it easier because you allow for more use of the wrist.

Next Steps

Understand the types of grips you can use? Your next step is to practice using these grips. If you’re a beginner and you have never played with these types of grips, it can be incredibly awkward to get used to.

I recommend you go and try some of these drills using these grips but only using them and not switching back. Remember to watch yourself!

In fact, in the beginning, you’ll probably miss more shots and perhaps even play with less power and control. Once you get used to these grips though, you can play so many more various shots with power and accuracy.

Also, make sure you hold the racket correctly when you do footwork. It’s a great way to improve your grip technique as well!

Like always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below in the comment section. I would love to hear what you have to say! Good luck in your games and have a great day!

Badminton Net Shot Drills – Improve Your Net Play

Having great net play in badminton is what allows you to play offensively and force your opponents into tight situations.

On the other hand, if you lack good net play, you are subject to your opponents’ offense and cannot play many strategies which will, in turn, cause you to lose rallies and games.

That’s why practicing your net shots is crucial to your success in badminton!

But before we get into different net shots, first we need to talk about certain types of net shots, when to play them, and how to play them.

Types of Net Shots

For types of net shots, I’m going to talk about the cross court net shot, spinning net shot, and a soft push net shot.

First the cross court net shot. There are two ways to play this, one is for the offense, and one is on the defensive. For the offensive one, you should approach the shuttle like you’re going to hit it straight and then change direction last second by turning your wrist and hitting it cross.

On the defensive, it’s generally the same concept you’re hitting it from under the net. This is what you play if the opponent plays an extremely tight net shot or net rolls on you and you can’t play a lift.

If you’re not on the defense, cross court net shots are usually used to play variations or make your opponent run more by making the go cross court.

Then you have a spinning net shot. These net shots are usually straight, and as the name suggests, the shuttle should spin over the net. Typically, you achieve this with a little slicing for your shot.

Playing a spinning net shot will force your opponent to make short lifts, play back uncontrolled net shots, or just miss the shot in the first place. You almost always want to play a spinning net shot, but it isn’t necessarily possible to play it all the time without making mistakes.

That’s why we also have a soft push net shot. This net shot usually goes forward towards the service line and you play it in the times you can’t play a spinning net shot. You see these shots being played a lot more while on the offense after you smash because it’s quite difficult to control the shuttle when you have momentum.

With net shots, it’s all about your control.

Straight Net Shot Drills

Practicing straight net shots are easier than cross court because you don’t need anyone to throw the shuttle to you. You just need a partner to play with you.

It’s a simple drill. For three to five minutes, just net shot to each other on a half court and then switch sides. This way you get both backhand and forehand net shots.

Every time you net shot, it’s a good idea to move back and then lunge forward, and net shot again. This simulates a real badminton match where you’ll likely move back after you net shot.

One drill I also like to incorporate into my training is playing three net shots and then attempting to net kill or flick it into the back. This practice gives you a better understanding of what you can or can’t kill as well as more control around the net. Plus you’ll be more confident in not hitting the net when you’re net killing.

Cross Court Net Shot Drills

It’s tough to cross court net shot back and forth to each other mainly because, unless you’re a professional, cross court net shots don’t consistently make to the sideline. Sometimes they end up in the middle or at a point where your partner will use a different grip to hit it back.

For practicing cross court net shots, I like to have a partner throw shuttles which I hit cross court. Do about 5 sets of 20 for both forehand and backhand sides.

You should incorporate the defensive and offensive cross court net shots into your practice. This way you’ll have more tools for different badminton scenarios.

One thing to note about these drills is your approach. Around the net is when we often play a lot of deceptions, and they always come from your approach. Try to approach all your net shots with a straight net shot position and then turn/flick your wrist last second to play a different shot.

Speed Drills

Have you ever had a moment where you played a net shot, and then your opponent cross court net shotted back? Or when you cross court net shot and they play a straight net shot back?

These drills don’t focus as much on the quality of your net shots or technique but rather your speed of getting to each side of the net. This is how it’ll go.

Your partner will throw a shuttle to either your forehand side or backhand side, and then you will play anything. Net shot or lift, it doesn’t matter. After you hit the shuttle, your partner will immediately throw another shuttle to the opposite side, and you’ll hit that.

One thing with this drill is always to move back to the middle. If you’re not moving back to the center, you get no value out of these drills. It’s designed to simulate a real badminton scenario.

Move behind the blue mark after each net shot.

Once you get more advanced, you can have your partner mix it up and throw it anywhere. This way your reflexes get better too, and you can respond to anything your opponent does.

Conclusion

If you don’t practice your net shots, you’re missing out. Do you want to make powerful smashes on your opponent? You’re going need to force your opponent to lift with your net shots.

That’s why it’s a good idea to go out and practice your net shots. They’re crucial for badminton, singles, doubles, mixed doubles alike.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them down below and as always, go out, play some badminton, and have a great day!

 

Badminton Serving Drills – Fix Your Serves

I remember all those points that lost me the game and match because I failed to serve well, especially in doubles. This gave me a despise for playing doubles.

But it wasn’t just badminton doubles, singles had the same effect where half of my serves would be killed right away.

This was when I realized, it was my serves.

So I decided to take it upon myself to practice my serves. Going through all the tedious service practice will reward like crazy. After all, how are you going to use any other skills if your serve never gets through?

Here are some serving drills to help you get good at badminton but first, we need to know some basics about the serve.

Backhand vs. Forehand Serves

So, backhand or forehand?

Unlike some things, there’s actually a right or wrong situation to use each. Let’s start with backhand serves.

Backhand serves are more versatile because they are used in all types of badminton games. In fact, for doubles, you should be only using a backhand serve.

Backhand serves generally have more control. Thus you can make serves as tight and close to the service line and net. That’s why you serve backhand in doubles. You don’t want your opponent to try and kill the shuttle right off the bat. Instead, you want to force them to lift and push your team onto the offense.

A backhand serve in singles is usually faster and goes a bit further away from the service line, but it’s still just as tight to the net. Often times you’ll see professional men’s singles players only serve backhand the reason being the smashes are too strong if they try to make a long serve.

For mixed doubles, it’s generally the same as doubles except that when you’re a guy, you serve like a singles player almost.

Flicks with the backhand serve can be incorporated to mix up your opponent and rack up easy points from time to time. It’s definitely recommended that you practice them. Just be wary of the short line in doubles. Many beginner’s flicks go out in doubles.

White is generally where to aim for singles play and black is where to aim for doubles play.

 

Forehand serves are usually limited to just singles. This is because they’re great for hitting high and into the backcourt which becomes useless in doubles because of the short service line.

Usually, you’ll see youth players and professional women use the forehand serve. Players in these categories are generally shorter, don’t jump as high, and have less power. Which means a long and high serve is great for stalling out your opponent’s stamina.

You can also do forehand short serves to mix things up. The short forehand serve isn’t as good as the backhand short serve thus it’s not used for doubles.

So short summary, use backhand if you’re playing doubles and you have a choice between forehand and backhand for singles.

Service Positioning

Then there’s the positioning of the serve. You stand in different places to serve in singles and doubles. This is mostly to prepare you for the rally.

In singles and if you’re a guy playing mixed doubles, you want to stand in the middle relatively close to the service line but not right next to it. A good way of measuring is taking two to three steps from the center of the service line towards the back.

The reasoning behind this is that in singles you have to move around the entire court. Standing at the middle gives you more time to cover all the areas on the court. The reason you stand slightly closer to the front is if your opponent returns your serve with a net shot/drop shot, you have time to get to it. A net shot/drop shot will land on the ground faster than a push shot, lift, or clear.

When you’re the one serving, you want to be the one on the offense.

Red is for mens and womens doubles, and mixed doubles girl players while blue is for singles and mens mixed doubles players.

For mixed doubles guys, the reasoning is slightly different. Instead of trying to cover the entire court, you only need to cover the back. Then why do you need to stand closer? It’s mainly to make your serve tighter. The further back you are, the more power you need and the less control you have which leads to more service mistakes.

Doubles players of both genders and mixed doubles girl players should stand right at the service line. This is meant for you to do the best service you can and you can stand that close because you have a partner covering the back.

When you serve backhand in singles, dominant leg forward and non-dominant leg slightly behind. With forehand, your non-dominant leg should be forward, and the dominant leg is back. This has to do with racket motion. You don’t want to hit yourself while serving.

For doubles leg positioning, it’s the same as singles except you also have a second option. The second option is to stand with your legs parallel to each other. This works because you’re mainly moving horizontally after you serve in doubles. But it’s up to you.

Standard Serving Drills

I’m going to start with the standard serving drills.

These drills are extremely simple and also dull. Pick a type of serve and then serve cross court over and over again keeping in mind what you play and your positioning. You can do these by yourself.

Try and make serves of the highest quality. As tight to the net as possible or as high and far back as possible depending on what you’re practicing for. Also, remember to practice both short and long serves, so you have more options against your opponents.

Start with something like 5 sets of 20 every time you practice, and I guarantee, as long as you maintain focus while you serve, you’ll get great serves that can crumble your opponents.

Advanced Serving Drills

Advanced drills are great if you have a partner with you.

What I like to practice along with serves are service returns. Basically, you will serve, and your partner will play a return of their choice, and you try to get it back. Then you switch.

When you’re making the service returns, make them as high quality as possible like you’re in a real match. These drills are meant to simulate real games situations and make you more responsive to popular plays. There are only so many shots you can play with a high-quality serve.

Common returns for short serves include push shots, net shots, and if the service is really good, a lift. Common returns for long serves include clears, drops, and smashes. Try to get used to all the different options.

If you’re having troubles getting to these shots, definitely check out my footwork articles and tips.

These drills also help your own skill at returning people’s serves. You’ll gain more knowledge and a better understanding of the shuttle which will make your overall play stronger.

Among these improvements, you can also see if your serve is too high for a short serve or too low for a long serve by what your partner returns. If your partner can net kill your short serve or you can’t receive a steep and powerful smash from a short long serve, then that’s a terrible sign.

Another tip I have for these types of drills, especially for doubles players, is to flick occasionally while serving. You get some flicking practice in, and you and your partner can get better at anticipating and returning flick shots. This will help mitigate the damage caused by flicks in a real match.

Conclusion

Serving in badminton is a crucial part of our game. You can’t serve well? You’ll have a hard time winning as well. That’s the blatant truth.

One of the things that make Chinese doubles pairs world beaters in badminton is their ability to serve. Opponents of Chinese players have a hard time attacking because of their simple yet super effective serve. Go check out this video where Chinese Olympic medalists teach you how to serve and smash properly. It’s well worth the watch if you want to get better.

Then after you watch that video go practice that technique they show with these drills you’ve just learned!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them down below and as always, have a great day!

 

 

 

 

Badminton Tips and Tricks #1 – Some Footwork Tips and …Bonus!

Alright, badminton tips and tricks number 1. I’ll be doing lots of these tips and tricks in the future so if you like them, definitely give it a shout out! The first few tips in today’s article will be mostly based on footwork as well as how and what to generally practice. These two things are some of the most essential fundamentals everybody should know.

Having these tips in your mind will definitely help you win your games and play better. Let’s get started.

Getting to the Shuttle Early

Just knowing this can make your life so much easier when playing badminton. If you build this into your head and start subconsciously getting to the shuttle early, you will gain control of the pace and flow of the game. Let me explain.

When you play badminton, do you ever have those moments where you feel like you’re having a tough time running everywhere? This is because you’re consistently late to the shuttle. If you arrive late to the shuttle, you only have a few options depending on where on the court they opponent hit. For example, if you’re late to the front, you can just play a high-quality lift. If you’re late to the back, you can really only play a drop or clear. In these situations, any other shots you try to play will likely be low quality which then your opponent forces you to run some more or straight up kills it.

It’s all about time. A few seconds can mean the difference between you making your opponent run or your opponent making you run. Arriving early on a shuttle means you have many options. Let’s say your opponent decides to play a drop shot. If you come early onto the shot, you can play shots like cross court net shots, straight net shots, push shots, all at a high quality. If you arrive late and take the shuttle close to the ground, there is a lower chance of your net shots being as tight as you want and in that situation, push shots are basically impossible. You can only play a lift. Now you see if you’re always late, you’ll never be able to do anything to push the opponent.

Always try to get to the shuttle early so you can control the game. In the end, you’ll actually be less tired because, with some experience, you’ll know what your opponent can do if they’re late to the shuttle and you’ll be ready for the next shots and then win the rally.

So how do you get to the shuttle early apart from having pure speed? Let’s jump into the next tip.

Split Step

The split step. If you’ve been in the badminton scene, you would have listened to people talk about split stepping or even practiced it yourself! If you have already heard about the split step, let me emphasize the importance of it and if you haven’t, let me show you why it’s so important and helpful to our game.

A split step, also known as a prep jump is when you make a tiny jump before you move to boost your speed and make your movement towards the shuttle smoother. Imagine doing a jumping jack without any arm movements. Then when you play, badminton make that same movement with your legs whenever your opponents are about to hit the shuttle. It will allow you to react much better to the shuttle.

The reason split stepping is so useful is because it gives you that little extra bit of force to push off the ground which will accelerate you to the shuttle faster. You will also feel more agile than if you plant yourself into the ground. Go test it out!

Staying On Toes

In badminton, agility, speed, and a feeling of air will help your game immensely. Try to remain generally light and on your toes almost like you’re hovering a little above the ground. Make sure you keep your balance though!

Staying on your toes will allow you to move and react faster, especially towards the front. If you ever have any trouble returning drop shots and net shots when you’re at the middle, propping yourself up onto the front of your feet just might solve your problems. Since your weight is more forward, accelerating towards the front will be much easier.

And with that, those are some of my tips for footwork.

Bonus! – How and What to Generally Practice

Here’s the bonus: How and What to Generally Practice. Since it’s the first badminton tips and tricks post, I decided to give some tips on practicing if you do not precisely know what you need to work on.

All around practice will usually include 3 to 4 parts, and you must at least have one other person to practice with. The first part will be warm up and footwork. This usually starts with a few minutes of half-court rallying and a small jog. Then you move into stretching. Make sure you stretch all parts of your body thoroughly, especially your legs. Training can be incredibly intense sometimes and without proper stretching and warm muscles, pulling muscles and being sore is common. Check out this article on warm-up exercises for more information.

After your muscles have been warmed up, it’s time to get into footwork. Footwork arguably is the most crucial part of your game. Without the proper footwork, getting the shuttle back to the opponent becomes very difficult. Check out my drills and exercises for improving footwork article for ways to practice footwork. The most basic way is pointing footwork. Six spots on the court, back two corners, front two corners, and side to side in the middle and then just move to those spots randomly or have a partner point to those spots. I recommend 5 sets of 20 for basically all people. If you want to be challenged, I recommend doing 5 sets of 20, then 2 sets of 30, then 1 set of 50, and finally 5 sets of 15 at full speed. The challenge will prepare you for different rally paces.

The next part/2 parts are drills. At our training centers, we usually just do some two-on-one drills. It’s often based around attack and defense. Two people would either attack or defend, and the one person would defend or attack respectively.

The other part is drills that are simple and sometimes tedious, but people underestimate its power to improve your game. In fact, these drills are part of the reason why Chinese players are so good. The drill is practicing basic shots. So pick a few shots and spend a few minutes only playing those shots. For example, clear for 5 minutes straight, drop for 5 minutes straight, etc. Make sure all of your shots are of high quality. Don’t try to practice trick shots that much because they have way less use than your basic shots. How many more times are you going to drop, smash, and clear than play a drive behind the back?

Also, don’t forget about practice serving! It may be tedious but taking some time to practice serve 50 or so times will actually automatically make you a better player. Your opponent will have a hard time to return your serve!

The last part is playing games. What’s the point of doing drills? To win games of course. Playing games will help you win games in the sense that you get more experience on what happens in certain situations, understand the whole process of winning a rally, and get used to the pressure.

After playing a few games, take some time to cool down and stretch. This is important so that you are not sore the next day. Training like this consistently will make you better as a whole. If you have anything that you are not good at, definitely put more emphasis onto those things.

Conclusion – Stay Tuned

Alright, we have reached the end of badminton tips and tricks #1. Today I presented some basic tips to improve your footwork and thus game drastically. These tips include getting to the shuttle early, split stepping, and staying on your toes. I also gave you some tips for you to go and create your own training regime! Definitely get out there and practice some of the things I mentioned. Don’t just read and know, use the skills!

For now, if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them down below in the comment section. Stay tuned for badminton tips and tricks #2!

 

 

 

 

Badminton Backhand Drills – Improve Your Backhand

When we start out playing badminton, coaches and other mentors will tell us to try not to use our backhands, they might even not practice our backhands at all. This is because your coaches and mentors want you to not get lazy and use your backhand when you can use your forehand since the forehand will always be stronger than the backhand.

But there are definitely situations where you will be forced into use your backhand. Players will even specifically target your backhand so here are some badminton backhand drills to improve your backhand.

 

Technicalities

Before we get into actual drills, make sure you have the right technique. This includes footwork, grip, and swing. Let’s start off with grip.

When you’re doing backhand swings, you want to hold the racket like a thumbs-up. The thumb should be on the flat side of the grip. There are also different variations where you put your thumb on the angled side to supposedly generate more power but personally it makes no difference to me.

Then we go into the footwork and swing. All of your backhand swings will start with a lunge toward the backhand side. After that, we want to make a swing. To generate power in a backhand swing, it comes from the flick of your wrist and forearm at the same time. It takes some practice to get used to.

One mistake that I have personally experienced before is slicing too much. In the beginning, make sure you keep the racket going in one motion without any slicing. Slicing will weaken the power and there’s only certain times when slicing is good.

Basic Drills

In many of my articles, I reference a standard, very easy drill. An example is person A serves, person B smashes, person A blocks, person B lifts, and repeat. In this case, try to do these drills with your backhand. Stand a little further away from your backhand corner and then try to do the shots with only your backhand. E.g. clears, drives, drops, smashes etc. Drives should be already solid if not better than your forehand so I recommend doing clears and drops with your backhand in the beginning. Then moving to smashes as these are the shots players have the most trouble with.

You can also your partner just lift over and over again to your backhand. In which you can focus down a specific backhand shot.

Feeding Drills

The most basic feeding drill is having someone repeatedly lift to your backhand. You can try a pattern where you clear, drop, and smash. You can also add in variations where you hit it cross court or straight. If you’ve got this down, you can probably move onto some more complicated drills.

Doing more complicated drills will help you determine how you will use your skills in a real game. There’s one main drill that I like for practicing your back court backhand shots. Have the feeder feed a shot to the player towards the front of his forehand side. Then you want to feed another shot into their back court backhand area. This is a really good drill because almost all the time that you’re playing a back court backhand will be because you played a forehand shot towards the front first.

Another drill is the multi-feed drill. While this doesn’t specifically work on your backhand, it improves speed. The feeder will hit shots anywhere on the court and the player can hit any shot back. This will give the player some idea of when it’s possible to use a forehand and when they must use a backhand.

Practicing Anywhere

I’ve saved the best for last. It’s likely you don’t get to spend more than 6 hours on a court every day but there’s still a way to practice your backhand even without having to be on a court or even have a shuttle!

This is my personal way of getting good backhands. First understand the swing and grip then when you’re at home or anywhere with enough space, pull out the racket and make backhand swings. It will allow you to build muscle that’s good for backhand swinging and if the technique is right, you will understand how to swing on the court with a shuttle as well.

This way of practicing does not apply only to the backhand. You can do this drill with anything you want to improve. Another tip is watch yourself in the mirror, then you can see if your swing has problems or not.

Conclusion

So that concludes some of my backhand drills for you. One thing to never forget though, is no matter how much you train your backhand, it will never be as strong as your forehand. For this reason, when you’re still able to use a forehand, it definitely takes priority.

Another note is that all these drills can be done in sets of time or quantities. I personally prefer doing time for basic drills and quantities for feeding drills. 3 minutes is a good time for a set if you’re going to do it by time and depending on how much practice you need, you should feed in 16 to 25 shuttles per set. Then you should do about 2-3 sets.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below, and as always, good luck in your games and have a great day!

 

 

 

 

Badminton Drills for High School

In high school, you don’t often have as many resources like clubs or national teams. The most notable things that high school badminton lack are shuttles, experienced or skilled coaches, and time to train. While this isn’t always the case, it happens most of the time. That’s why we need badminton drills that work for high school or any type of school to be honest.

Whether you are a teacher becoming a coach for the school’s badminton team, a high school student preparing for tryouts and tournaments, here are some badminton drills for high school.

Simple Drills

In this article, I am going to focus on drills that only use one shuttle, does not require coaches to feed, and maximize the practice between all players in the least amount of time. There are some simple drills that all high schoolers should do for practicing consistency shots. The first one being clears.

Clears are one of the greatest shots because they’re so easy and they’re foundations to many other shots. This simple drill just involves two people on a half court clearing to each other. Yep, that’s it. Make sure players have the proper swing when clearing and try to aim for high clears that reach the back line (of course the school roof can be a problem). Clearing is a great warm-up drill as well.

The next drill is for drops, smashes, lifts, blocks, and net shots. Though you won’t be practicing all these shots at the same time, you will be practicing many of these in conjunction. The drill is one person lifts, the other person then smashes or drop shots, then the first person blocks or net shots respectively, and then the other person lifts and repeat. This drill should be done on a half court as well.

The next type of shot high schoolers can practice is driving. Like the clears, this one is simple as well. Just drive to each other! If you and your partner are skilled enough, you can add in variations where one of you would be more on the offensive and the other on defense. The one on the offense would be hitting downwards almost like a smash and the one on the defense would just hit it back over and over again. Like the other drills, this should be done on a half court as well.

These are great drills for practicing consistency and could also act as a warm-up.

More Complex Drills

Doing only the simple drills won’t get you that far though, there are patterns which make it easy. If the high school players can do the simple drills comfortably, doing these drills should be okay as well. Complex drills involve more shots and different patterns so it allows players to play shots in a more game-like situation.

The first drill I’m going to talk about is the clear, clear, smash or drop drill. This drill is great for improving overall offensive play. Here’s how it goes. Person A high serves, person B clears, person A clears, person B clears again, and person A also clears. Then person B would smash or drop and A would block or net shot. Finally, B lifts and it restarts. In this drill make sure players move back to middle after each shot.

The next drill I want to talk about is the smash, drive, lift. Person A would start off with a high serve once again, then person B is going to smash. Person A should drive block (play a drive off of the smash) the smash and person B should follow up with a drive and then person A would lift. Repeat. This drill is great for improving offensive play for whoever is smashing and defense for whoever is lifting. It is also a great drill that shows off what happens in doubles most of the time; smashes and drives. Of course after a few minutes, the players should switch roles.

There are definitely more drills you can try but those are some great drills to help you improve.

Singles

Getting into the high school badminton team likely means that they give you positions such as singles, doubles, and mixed doubles. If you are a singles player, here’s how you can practice.

In this article, I’m going to focus on 2 on 1 drills, attack and defense. 2 on 1 drills are great because it allows for maximum practice for the singles player without draining the 2 people too much.

First, let’s start off with defense. In this drill, we want the 2 players to be front and back. The person at the back will do most of the work and is allowed to play any shot. The player at the front should play net shots, lifts, and the occasional net kill. Don’t play net kills too much because it ruins the practice by not being able to push the defender’s stamina. Here the singles player can’t play drops, smashes and drives unless it is a block.

For attack, the doubles pair should be side-to-side and now they’re like the singles player in defense; they can’t drop, smash or drive. The singles player on the other hand can play any shot and the goal is to win the rally.

One thing to note about these two drills is that everyone is using singles lines, meaning the first sideline and the very far back line. This is because this drill puts emphasis on the singles player, not the doubles.

Doubles

With doubles and mixed doubles, we’re going to do a drill very similar to the drills I mentioned in singles. Once again we’re going to focus on attack and defense except this time it’s 2 on 2.

In this drill you want one doubles pair to be front and back and the other to be side-to-side. Yep, you guessed it, the front and back doubles pair will be attacking and the side-to-side pair will be defense. Like the singles drills, the defenders can’t drop and smash while the attackers can make any shots.

And with that, those are the drills I recommend for high school!

Conclusion

While you were reading, you may have been wondering why I didn’t include footwork drills. For footwork, there are no differences between high school drills and regular footwork drills so you can check out my article, Drills and Exercises for Improving Footwork. If you are a high school badminton team coach, generally you want to build a schedule for the training. If you have a 1-hour time limit, try to incorporate simple drills into the warm-up, approximately 10 minutes, and then doing complex drills or splitting up singles and doubles into their drills for 20 minutes. Then have players play each other for the rest of the time. I have an article, Badminton Warm-Up – Exercises to Prevent Injuries for more information on warming up.

There are also plenty more badminton tips, skills, drills and others on this site!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and as always good luck in your games and have a great day!

Badminton Drop Shot Drills

The drop shot is one of the most useful shot in badminton. You can play defensive shots or offensive shots from almost anywhere on the court. Knowing how to do good quality drop shots can lead you to many points and wins. In this article I’m going to tell you about some drills you can use to practice your badminton drop shot.

Qualities of a Drop Shot

Before we get into drills, the first thing we want to know about is some qualities of the drop shot. As I mentioned before, there are many types of drops. I will discuss two, the fast drop and the tight drop.

A fast drop looks almost like a smash. It is a drop shot that usually reaches pretty close to the service line and also travels at a straighter angle. As the name suggests, it travels at a fast speed as well. This shot is great for pretty much all situations and are also the easier drop shot to learn.

A tight drop is a little different. Tight means that your drop should be very close to the net. The tight drop shot is usually slower than the fast drop (unless you make a slice) and usually used offensively. In the beginning, it may seem like it’s easier to play tight drop shots and many of your shots will look like one. The shuttle travels a high arch right next to the net. But this is not a proper drop shot.

Many players make the mistake of playing a drop shot that travels too high giving your opponent chances to net kill and win the rally. Try to keep your drop shots low; almost touching the net or even hitting the net and rolling over. You want to be able to consistently hit drop shots that are just above the net.

Basic Drop Shot Drill

A basic drop shot drill you can do with a partner is where you drop, your partner net shots, you lift, then your partner drops, then you net, and then your partner lifts and repeat. The other version of this drill is where you repeatedly drop shot while your partner lifts and then switch after a while.

The first drill I mentioned should be done on a half court but you can do the other drill differently with the worker dropping to only one place and the feeder lifting to any place. These two versions of this drill is great for practicing consistency for both your partner and yourself.

Doing 3 sets of 5-10 minutes on each person is a good start.

Feeding Drills

Feeding drills involves a feeder, usually a coach or experienced badminton player, who would hold around multiple shuttles and then hit them to you without returning your shots. A basic feeding drill is having a feeder just hit shuttles for you to drop. The feeder would hold onto around 20 shuttles and then he would lift each one up.

Doing 5 sets of 20 shuttles is good for practicing consistency.

Another note with feeding drills is that it can be used to improve your speed. For this basic drill, the feeder should lift to both your forehand and backhand corners at moderate pacing to work the worker, the one hitting the shuttle.

Drills with Variations

You may have noticed that with the feeding drill, it wasn’t much different than the basic drop shot drills. Well only if you don’t add anything. The reason feeding drills are here is to make the worker work hard without working the feeder. Generally we want to make the drills more complicated.

In a game, you’re not only going to make drop shots right? Doing feeding drills with variations is going to prepare you for games much better and also allow you to practice a variety of shots. A few drills I’m going to talk about in this article are drop and net, drop, smash, half-smash, and multi-feed.

This first one I’ll tackle is drop and net. In this drill you want to drop shot to one place and then follow up with a net shot to the same place. The feeder can hit lifts or net shots anywhere on the court. Make sure to change things up like occasionally net shotting twice in a row, cross netting and lifting, etc. Also note that you can use just one shuttle for this and it may be even easier to do so. 3 sets of 5 minutes or hitting 25 shots back and forth is good. Make sure you change up where you are dropping and netting.

The second drill I want to talk about requires a feeder to feed multiple shuttles. This one is the drop, smash, and half-smash. With this drill, a feeder would lift to either your backhand or forehand and you would make shots as the title says, drop, smash, and then half-smash. You can choose to make any shot cross-court or straight depending on what you want to work on. This drill is great for working on your overhead swings. 5 sets of 20 shuttles should be okay.

The third and last drill I want to talk about is multi-feed. While this drill’s focus is actually speed, it can give you an idea of how to actually implement drops. In this drill, the feeder should hit anywhere on the court at a fast pace. The worker can also hit any shot back. 5 sets of 20 is also good for this drill.

Conclusion

Now I want you to take these drills and practice, practice, practice. Like every badminton shot or everything in general, you will only get better if you practice. I can’t stress the importance of good quality practice. This means when you practice, you want good quality drop shots as well. Don’t just hit a random shot and forget about it.

With these drills you should have a good start as to how to practice drop shots. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and as always have a great day!

 

 

 

 

How To Improve Your Badminton Smash

Have you ever wondered how pro players manage to smash at 400km/h? It’s always extremely exciting to see a powerful and accurate smash ending the rally and game but sometimes we just can’t replicate it! To up your badminton game, I’m going to share the secrets of a pro smash. The most important things are Technique, Contact Point, Accuracy, and Strength in that order.

Here’s how you can replicate their smashes.

Technique

If you follow pro play, you may have noticed that there aren’t any heavy lifters and body-builders playing badminton but yet pro players are still able to smash at amazing speeds. This is all due to technique.

Grip– The grip is one of the most important fundamentals for badminton. You can never get good with the wrong grip because your power will forever be limited. If you already have the wrong grip, do not fret. Just make sure to maintain the proper grip and only play with it. For smashes, we will be focusing on the forehand grip.

Step 1: Hold out your hand like you are going to shake hands and find the V between your thumb and index finger.

Step 2: Hold out the racket in front of you sideways.

Step 3: Put the handle into the V shape and close your grip loosely. Your thumb should be between the index finger and the middle finger and you should be holding the thin side.

To test that your grip is right, you should be able to wiggle the racket up and down effortlessly and the racket side should be facing forward.

A few common mistakes people have are having the racket face facing forwards, holding a backhand grip to swing, and having a grip in which the index finger is flat against the flat side of the grip. Beginners usually start off having the racket face facing forwards because it simply makes it easier to hit shuttles in the beginning but this is a horrible habit to maintain. The main reason is that you will not have enough power and control to hit proper clears, drops, or smashes. This is the same reason we do not use a backhand grip to swing forehand shots. As for having your index finger straight up, this has the same reason of not enough power but it’s even worse because you can cause injury to your finger from prolonged straining. Once again if you have these problems, do not fret. Just make sure to use the proper technique. It may feel weird the first few times and you will likely miss more shots but it will pay off. Try to check your grip after each rally to make sure it’s the proper grip.

Once you’ve got your grip, we can move onto the overhead stroke.

Overhead Stroke– Having the proper overhead swing is what’s going to generate the power in your smash so I’m going to teach you the steps for your swing.

Step 1: Stand with your right foot at the back and left foot forwards so that you are facing the side instead of the net. Put your weight towards you right foot. Hold up both arms so that your biceps are approximately 180 degrees to your shoulder. Then bend both arms up at approximately 90 degrees. Make sure you do not rotate your grip while bringing your arms up. If you play left-handed, replace right foot with left foot and left foot with right foot.

Step 2: Reach up with your dominant hand and turn at the same time to transfer weight towards the front. When the shuttle is extremely close to the racket, squeeze your grip and swing while moving your right leg forwards. Follow through your racket arm towards your non dominant arm and then return to ready position. Again if you’re left-handed, change right to left and left to right.

Practice swinging by finding an open room. Just swing step by step until you get hand of it and then move onto full speed swings. Then go to a gym with some friends and practice with a shuttle.

Contact Point and Accuracy

Have you ever smashed over and over again only to have each shot returned and then proceed to lose the rally? This is because your opponents are always ready for your smashes. Where you hit the shuttle will help solve this problem.

Before we get to where to smash on the other side, I want to talk about the importance of the contact point. The basic idea is that the higher the shuttle is, the steeper you can smash. This is the reason why many people jump smash. But for purpose of this article, you want to swing when the shuttle reaches the highest point that you can hit downwards without hitting into the net. The steeper the smash, the harder it is to return.

Now let’s talk about where to aim on the court. There are three main directions to smash; cross court, down the middle, and straight. There are all sorts of situations of when to use these smashes.

Cross court smashes are usually used less because smashing cross court requires more distance to be traveled and thus the smash is also slower. You also want to be wary of the opponent’s return. This is because an opponent’s return is often a straight return so if you smash cross court, you will have to run more distance at a faster pace too. But there are times you would use this type of smash. Lin Dan himself has his signature cross court smashes that ends many rallies. Cross court smashes work when you try to play a variety of shots. So if you have been smashing straight most of the time, the opponent might adjust more to the side you’re smashing which allows you to open up the other side. These types of smashes usually occur in singles play.

The next place you can smash is in the middle. The main places to use these smashes are during doubles games and/or against tall people. If you’re aiming for their body, you have to specifically aim it at the armpit of their racket arm. That spot is extremely awkward to block, even more if you’re tall because of longer limbs. As for doubles games, smashing right down the middle can confuse the opponents as to who is blocking the smash. This can lead to points from opponent’s miscommunication. We don’t use this smash too much in singles because players generally go back to middle so they’re already ready for these types of shots.

Finally, we have straight smashes. These are your common go to smashes. Usually you want to smash straight because traveling less distance means it will go faster and you can pressure on their block easier as most people block straight. However, this means players will start positioning themselves closer to where a straight smash would be so use the other smashes occasionally to diversify your offense.

So now that you’ve learned the right technique and where to smash, it’s time to put it into practice.

Drills For Smashing

Drill 1: This is the most basic drill for practicing straight smashes. I am going to explain two variants. For the simplicity of explaining, I am going to set two people as A and B. A is going to serve high to B on a half court, B is then going to smash, A then blocks, B lifts and repeat.

The other variant is A lifts, then B smashes, A blocks, B net shots, A lifts and repeat. Then swap.

This drill is great for practicing straight smashes and body smashes and it takes the least amount of skill but it lacks a lot for increasing strength and where you smash because you want to make sure you can keep the rally going. With this one just try to see if you can keep the rally going.

Drill 2: Drill 2 is having someone feed you lifts and then you smash. This is great because you can practice straight smashes and cross court ones and go full power as well. The downside of this one is it’s hard to find someone who can feed you really well. Try 3 sets of 16 for this drill.

Drill 3: This drill is 2 on 1. There are also two variants to this drill; one where the doubles stand side by side and one where the doubles stand front and back, defense and offense respectively. This drill is really great to practice defense or offense overall, you just need 3 people though.

Let’s start with side by side. With this drill the doubles pair is defending and the only shots they can play are clears, lifts, and blocks. The singles player is playing full offense so it’s a great time to practice smashes.

When you swap to front and back, the front player can only play net shots or lifts and the back player can play drops, clears, and smashes. The singles player in this case can only block, clear, and lift. With these drills make sure to rotate every 3 to 5 minutes so everyone gets a chance to practice. This drill doesn’t necessarily focus on smashing but it’s great for defense and offense so inevitably you get chances to smash.

Exercises To Improve Strength

I said that body-builders are not necessarily the strongest smashers but you still need to build strength as well; just make sure you have mastered the technique. Badminton is an intense sport and believe it or not, smashing requires use of your whole body. First your forearm rotation and grip squeeze for when you hit the shuttle, your upper body rotation, your lower body steps; these all require strength so here are some exercises you can do.

Push Ups- These are all-around good for your upper body so it’s a basic core to badminton exercises. Do how much you can do but make sure you do them properly. Keep your back straight and have your arms bend to 90 degrees and then go back up. My recommendation is around 3 sets of 10 but increase it or decrease depending on your strength.

Plank- Your core is really important in badminton. One of my favorite core exercises is planking. When planking, it is extremely important to keep your back straight so you get the full work out. My recommendation is 3 sets of 1 minute.

Squats- Legs are very important in badminton, not just smashes. They are how you’re going to get around on the court. Squatting is one of the many exercises good in badminton. When you squat, make sure you bend your knees down to at least 90 degrees. My recommendation is 3 sets of 10.

Pull Ups- Finally pull-ups. These are pretty difficult but worth it. When doing pull ups, make sure you go all the way down and then back up. My recommendation is 3 sets of 5.

Your routine should look something similar to this.

3 sets of 10 push-ups

3 sets of 1 minute planks

3 sets of 10 squats

3 sets of 5 pull ups

Among these exercises there are many more but these are some basic ones to get you started.

Smash a Hole!

What this long article tells you is that the most important things to your smash are technique, contact point, accuracy, and strength. I hope you’ve got some ideas for how to practice your smash! Another thing is consistent practice so make sure you go out and practice your smash as much as you can so you can show off that fearful smash to friends and opponents!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I wish for your best in your games.