So, you want to become the best badminton player. Whether that’s the best in your school, club, country, or the world, the things you need to do to become the best badminton player are the same. In this article, I will show you how to become the best badminton player so you can take your initial steps to become the best badminton player you can be.
To become the best badminton player, there are four vital cores of your game you must develop:
- Mindset and Mental Strength
- Badminton Techniques
- Physical Strength and Endurance
- Badminton IQ
Let’s start with your mindset and mental strength.
Start With Your Mindset and Mental Strength
Although you need to develop and strengthen all four cores of badminton to become the best badminton player, I consider your mindset and mental strength the most important pillar to build. How you think, and your ability to overcome adversity is crucial to developing the other three pillars of your game.
It is often the case that we are not limited by our bodies but by our minds. Have you heard the story of Sir Roger Bannister?
On May 6, 1954, Sir Roger Bannister did what the world thought was impossible; he ran a sub-4-minute mile. At the time, physiologists told Bannister that a sub-4-minute mile was impossible and dangerous. No one has ever done it before, and it is possible that you can die.
Then Bannister did it. He ran a mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.
What happened after was even more shocking. One month later, John Landy’s 3 minutes and 57.9-second run would break Bannister’s record. And in three years, 15 more runners would do what the world previously thought was an impossible feat.
When Bannister ran a sub-4-minute mile, he broke a collective mental barrier. Many high-performing long-distance runners have always had the physical ability to run the 4-minute mile. They just couldn’t do it because their minds told them no.
So if you want to become the best badminton player, you need to remove all mental barriers telling you no. Lack of talent, no time, lack of money, and other people telling you that you can’t be the best are all excuses. If you have the will to be the best badminton player, there’s a way.
Developing your mindset goes beyond just believing in yourself, though. Developing your mindset also means developing how you go about improving, how you think on the court, and more.
Self-awareness is one of the most critical aspects of your mindset.
A strong sense of self-awareness means you can see your thoughts and understand how you’re feeling at all times. This is especially helpful when it comes to training and playing games.
Let’s say you’re lifting weights. You might do nine reps and start thinking, “Oh my gosh, that’s it. I can’t go any further.” A self-aware person would hear himself saying those thoughts and try their best to recorrect that thought by telling himself, “Just one more, I can do it.”
More often than not, the person lifting the weights can go that extra rep or 5 seconds, which are the most important reps. The reps you do after your mind initially tells you that you can’t are the reps where you gain the most because you’re breaking mental barriers.
But I digress.
Another example of self-awareness helping you train is when you’re practicing various badminton techniques, such as your smash. A highly self-aware person would take time to experiment with different contact points, swing speeds, and other movements and be conscious of what’s working and what’s not.
Training with purposeful thoughts will help you get better infinitely faster than mindlessly swinging a racket.
If you can identify and change your thoughts in real-time, you will also perform significantly better in high-pressure situations, such as playing games in tournaments. Imagine being in a position where you just made a very frustrating error. If you let this error get to your head, it will lead to more errors and cause you to lose the game.
Being self-aware lets you correct your thoughts and reset them in real-time, which helps you play the subsequent rallies without the emotional bag from your previous error.
Good ways to help you become more self-aware include meditating, journaling, and any other activity that lets you reflect on your thoughts. A highly self-aware person kind of has this little angelic version of yourself pointing out your good and bad first reactions and helping you correct those reactions if needed. The activities above can help that little angel’s voice become more apparent.
Unfortunately, I forgot who exactly it was that said this, but a top NFL coach once said, “The best performing athletes are often not the ones with the most motivation, talent, or ambitions, but the ones that could get up every day and do the tedious work without complaint.”
You might not want to do hundreds of practice serves or go to the gym and lift weights, but you have to do it consistently with an excellent focus to become the best.
It’s not about how good you can be on your best days but how you perform on your worst days. The best badminton players perform well even on bad days due to their discipline and how much time was spent building up their fundamentals.
It’s challenging and not recommended to go from sitting on the couch every day to suddenly training like an Olympian. You might have the motivation to do it one day, but you can’t depend on motivation to keep you going, not to mention all the potential career-killing injuries from increasing the intensity of your training too fast.
One of my favorite books is Atomic Habits by James Clear. This book is about changing little habits in your life for the better because small changes add up and eventually create drastic changes.
In the case of badminton training, a small change to help you strengthen your body might be doing 20 squats every day.
Yes, you’re not going to become the best badminton player by only doing 20 squats every day, but if you can’t consistently train at a professional level, you have to start small and build your way up.
You might start with 20 squats every day. As you become super comfortable where you do those squats the same way you brush your teeth, you might begin to increase the number of squats and add more exercises.
The key is that every new addition/change must be something small. It should not take much motivation to make the change. By purposely choosing small improvements, you can build discipline so much easier.
It doesn’t matter where you are right now. As long as you start making small changes in your life and stick to them, you will get to the point where you’re training on the same level as the best badminton players. Being consistent with your training is truly the key, though.
Badminton Technique – Learn Good Technique
The best badminton players in the world have very efficient badminton technical skills. They have fantastic swing techniques and phenomenal footwork. Badminton technique is the most noticeable skill that needs to be built as it relates directly to how you play on the court.
The one principle badminton technique focuses on is how we generate more power and speed while spending the least energy. Let’s start with footwork.
Badminton is ultimately a game of not letting the shuttle touch the ground within the boundaries on your side of the court. Your badminton footwork technique is super important because it affects your ability to reach the shuttle.
As I mentioned earlier, good footwork is all about being able to move to the shuttle quickly and efficiently. To start, you should focus on having good proper technique. It doesn’t matter if you’re slow initially, but make sure you are split-stepping well, making correct lunges, being light on your feet, etc. As your technique improves, then you can work on speeding up your footwork.
Here are some resources on Get Good At Badminton for improving your footwork:
- Badminton Tips and Tricks #1 – Some Footwork Tips and …Bonus!
- Badminton Drills and Exercises For Improving Footwork
Along with footwork, your ability to play certain badminton shots, such as lifts, smashes, clears, and more, is very important. It’s not enough to just get the shuttle over the net. You have to be able to hit the shuttle to different locations with different speeds and angles from anywhere on the court to get points against the best badminton players.
Developing good shot quality starts with your badminton swing techniques. First, you should start with how you hold your badminton racket. Here’s a blog post I wrote previously on badminton grips:
When you feel comfortable with your badminton grip, you should work on various swing techniques, such as your overhead swing, underhand, and backhand. As you develop your swing, getting on the court and practicing hitting certain shots to develop good shot quality is crucial to becoming the best badminton player.
I would start with basic drills where someone throws or hits a shuttle for you to hit and build into more advanced rally drills with different types of shots played as you get better.
It would also help to find a qualified badminton coach to help you in the earlier stages, where you don’t necessarily know if you’re using the proper technique. A good coach can help you develop good fundamental techniques, which will be crucial to helping you become the best badminton player.
Physical Strength and Endurance
Ah, physical strength and endurance. It’s one of the things many badminton players would like to work least on, but it’s so imperative if you want to become the best badminton player.
Speed and Power On The Court
When I talk about physical strength, a big part of it has to do with your legs. The stronger your legs are, the faster you can move around the court. Strong legs improve your ability to retrieve the shuttle, making it significantly more difficult for your opponent to score points on you.
Your upper body is also vital in badminton. The stronger your arms are, the harder you can hit the shuttle. Solid backs and cores are needed to help you be stable on the court as you turn your body in different ways to hit the shuttle. Just note that with your upper body, strength can only go far with the correct technique.
Working out your body also improves your endurance. Your endurance will determine how long you can keep long rallies going. When everything else is equal, the best badminton player will ultimately be the one who can outlast their opponents.
Having good endurance does wonders for your badminton technique training as well. Playing at high energies for longer ultimately means that you can train longer. The person who practices the most with good focus will be the better badminton player.
Going back to our conversation about discipline and atomic improvements, it doesn’t matter if you’re training like an Olympian at the moment. Start with something straightforward, like a couple of squats and push-ups daily, and add things like weight lifting over time.
Additionally, don’t forget that cardio is just as important as lifting weights for badminton. Get out there and do some light runs. Skipping and biking are also good ways to train your cardiovascular fitness.
Nutrition and Sleep
One crucial aspect of building your body that many overlook is the recovery process. Exercise is essential, but recovery is often even more critical.
Your body outputs what you input. You feed it good nutrients, and it will perform well. Feed your body junk, and you’ll perform like trash. In addition to food, the quality of your sleep will also determine whether you can get up the next day and go for another round of high-intensity training.
So if you want to become the best badminton player, start finding out how to sleep and eat better and make it consistent.
Badminton IQ – Improve Your Badminton Strategy
Badminton IQ differs from mindset and mental strength because I am talking more about game strategies and your game sense.
For good reasons, many people call badminton a game of physical chess. To win rallies at the highest level, it’s about putting your opponent in bad spots to set you up to play a winning shot.
As you get better and better at badminton, you’ll notice specific patterns you can anticipate and react to accordingly. For example, if your opponent’s racket contacts the shuttle with the racket facing upward, the shuttle can only go up. Knowing this, you can expect either a net shot or lift, which means you should be ready to attack.
Another example of good badminton IQ is knowing what shots to play when in certain positions. For example, you might not want to full smash when you’re out of position. If your opponent is skilled, he will quickly return the smash, and you’ll be left sprinting toward the net, trying to reach the shuttle.
There are tons of different examples of badminton IQ in motion. You build badminton IQ over time by playing lots, but also by watching other players play and actively thinking about why they do what they do.
How To Become The Best Badminton Player Summary
I hope this article helped you understand how to become the best badminton player. To recap, there are four vital cores of your game you need to develop to become the best.
The first is your mindset. This is fundamental to how you train, and the thing that will allow you to do the necessary difficult things that being the best requires you to do.
The second core is your badminton technique. Efficient footwork and swing techniques are core to keeping rallies going on the court.
The third core is your physical strength and endurance. Developing your body allows you to increase the intensity of your game and how long you can perform at peak conditions.
The fourth and final core is your badminton IQ. When all else is equal, whoever has the better badminton strategy wins.
Now the critical thing to note is that just knowing these things won’t make you the best badminton player. Becoming the best badminton player lies in your consistent actions to improve yourself. Make a plan and start training!