Badminton is a fun and fast-paced racket sport that players of all skill levels can enjoy. Basic badminton skills and drills can help new students become confident badminton players. We explore the important skills to cover for badminton beginners and provide 5 instructional videos from PLT4M’s badminton skills program.
Skills In Badminton
You don’t need to be a professional player to grab a racket and have fun with the game of badminton. But basic badminton skills can help build confidence and comfort when stepping onto the badminton court. The skills in badminton require a balance of hand-eye coordination, speed, agility, and endurance.
The basic skills in badminton include:
Racket Grip – Before even practicing the swing and shots of badminton, players can fine tune the forehand and backhand grip so that they are ready for any shot on the court.
Ready Position – Before worrying about more advanced footwork, the foundation to badminton technique is a solid ready position. Otherwise known as an athletic stance, this position allows badminton players to be ready for any shots that their opponents send to their side of the court.
Footwork – Because badminton is dynamic, badminton players need to use footwork to move throughout the court. In addition, proper footwork can help set up for shots throughout a game.
Racket Swings – Players can develop the basic forehand strokes and backhand strokes. Badminton players can practice the overhead forehand stroke, overhand backhand stroke, underhand forehand stroke, underhand backhand stroke so they can hit the shuttle consistently.
Badminton Serve – Beyond the important skills of different badminton racket swings, an essential component of the game is the serve. It is important to be consistently get the shuttle into the opponent’s court on a serve.
5 Badminton Skills & Drills For Beginners
Before jumping into a badminton game, beginner skill level players can work on the fundamentals of the game through basic drills focusing on badminton technique.
At PLT4M, we have developed an introductory series of badminton skills videos and written lessons that help beginner students and players learn the game. Below is a sample of 5 videos with written notes from PLT4M’s badminton lesson plans breaking down everything from stance, swing, footwork, and more.
Want to check out the full slate of badminton skills videos? Reach out to PLT4M to learn about our badminton program and hundreds of hours of PE lesson plans for other units like fitness, weightlifting, yoga, pickleball, and more.
1) Badminton Ready Position
Before we start using our rackets and shuttles, let’s just quickly review our ready position. This is the foundation for all things badminton skills and drills. (You may have learned this in other sports or activities, but let’s just make sure we are all on the same page!)
When playing badminton, you need to be active and ready to move. Your badminton ready position is just like any other basic athletic stance or ready position stance. From this position, you can move forwards, backwards, and side to side.
The points of performance of our badminton ready position are:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Sink your hips back into a small quarter squat position with a soft bend of the knee.
- Place your weight in the balls of your feet.
- Have a slight lean in your torso with a neutral gaze forward.
Once you find your badminton ready position you can practice moving forward and backward (left and right) and side to side. As you start to practice moving in different directions, always return to the starting position like it is your “home base”.
2) Forehand Grip
Before we start practicing badminton, let’s make sure we know how to hold the racket properly. We can use this with an overhead shot and underhand shot when the shuttle is hit towards on our racket leg side.
The steps to a proper badminton grip are simple:
- Handshake – Grab the racket like you are shaking someone’s hand.
- V Shape – Your hand should create a V shape around the racket.
- Index Finger – Create space between your index finger and middle finger.
- Loose Grip – Just like shaking someone’s hand, we don’t want a death grip! A loose grip will give you flexibility and mobility as you hit your different badminton shots.
To see how this grip feels, take a few practice swings before getting going.
3) Backhand Grip
The backhand grip is used for backhand underhand and overhead shots. This grip is used when the shuttle is hit on the opposite side of our racket leg.
Frying Pan – With the backhand we want our thumb on top, with your racket facing parallel to the ground. Your thumb is holding the racket the same way you would hold a frying pan in the kitchen.
Wrap Fingers – Wrap your other 4 fingers around the grip and notice that you have more of a knuckle/close grip compared to the forehand.
Loose Grip – Much like our forehand grip, we want a loose grip to allow us to move and hit our different shots.
To see how this grip feels, take a few practice swings before getting going into more advanced badminton skills and drills.
4) Overhand Forehand Swing
During many badminton rallies the shuttle is cleared above the net and players are in a position to hit the shuttle overhead. This is one of the most common badminton techniques we see and can practice rallying with an overhand strike. In this drill we will have one partner throwing, one partner hitting the shuttle. The reason we start here is because the throw helps us to practice our badminton skills without the racket.
Partner 1: Thrower
Start with a shuttle in your throwing hand.
Bring your throwing hand overhead creating a 90-degree angle with your shuttle facing your target.
Step with your opposite foot as you extend your arm forwards.
Follow through and finish with your throwing hand pointing at your target.
Our goal is to throw the shuttle high enough that our partner can hit the shuttle overhead.
Partner 2: Hitter
Start by holding the racket with a forehand grip.
Turn into the sideways position with your body perpendicular to the net.
Bend your racket hand and raise it behind the head. The racket should be pointing down.
Raise your non-racket hand and point it towards the shuttle to help with timing and balance.
Straighten your elbow and rotate your forearm as you hit the shuttle, snapping your wrist to make contact with the shuttle. The goal is to hit the shuttle as high in the air as possible.
Practice 5-10 hits before switching roles. Eventually, this drill can be progressed to both players using rackets and practicing overhand forehand shots back and forth.
5) Forehand Serve
The forehand serve drill is the most popular badminton serve variation. The steps to this serve are:
- Start behind the service line facing the net in a ready position.
- With a forehand grip, draw the racket back and away from the body.
- Gently toss or drop the shuttle as you bring your forearm forward and flick your wrist trying to hit the shuttle in the center of the racket just below waist height. Think flick serve.
- For footwork, either keep your feet still or bring your step your opposite foot forward as you hit the shuttle.
Note: The serve must always be completed in an underhand motion below waist height (no overhand serving).
For this badminton skills drill, have players on only one side of the net. If possible, have multiple shuttles to practice hitting the forehand serve multiple times. Once partners have hit all the shuttles over, they can walk to retrieve them and reset on the opposite side of the court.
**For safety, we want to have all partners practicing on one side of the net, hitting an open court when performing this drill.
Key Takeaways on Basic Badminton Skills
Take time to introduce students to basic badminton skills! While some of these basic badminton skills might come naturally to some students, it is crucial to cover badminton techniques like grip, footwork, stance, and swings so that every student can succeed.
Over time, students can learn more advanced badminton techniques like different shots (clear, net, smash, etc), badminton rules, and more. But start every student with a foundation in which they can grow and develop.
Does PLT4M have other racket sports?
Yes! PLT4M also has PE lesson plans for popular games like pickleball! In addition, PLT4M is continuing to come out with other units and lesson plans. (Stay tuned for more!)
Does PLT4M have other units and lesson plans for physical education?
Yes! PLT4M has a full library of different units ranging from fitness, weightlifting, yoga, dance, SEL, and more.
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