Basic Badminton Strategies

Single Strategies

A basic strategy when playing badminton singles is to serve far into the back court, forcing your opponent to move back. This opens the forecourt and allows you to make a shot closer to the net when the shuttle is returned. Of course, if your opponent is expecting a long serve, then a short one can throw them off balance as well.

The best strategy is to watch your opponent and play your shots to take advantage of their style of play. Your shots and plays should be planned to keep your opponent moving around the court, and not allow them to set up any strong shots of their own.

Doubles Strategies

Part of doubles strategy is how you position yourselves on the court. Side-by-side is considered a defensive position as you can cover more of the court, but a front-and-back position is an attack position. When attacking, the back player makes shots that open up space in the forecourt for the forward player to take advantage of on the next play. The most important part of doubles strategy is communication. Both players should talk to each other and make their intentions clear. Plan your plays based on each others strengths, as well as the weaknesses of your opposing team.

Mixed Doubles Strategies

When playing a game of mixed doubles badminton, the women usually take the front position when the men picking up the shots to the back of the court. With this arrangement, the women should try for net shots and the men should use horizontal drives or downward shots. If using a side-by-side defense position, then the men and women can take either side.

Overall, the game of badminton is not just about physical strength, but also mental agility and speed. Tactics are just as important to a winning game as the actual shots played.

Pieces of Equipment Needed for Badminton

Badminton gear is really quite simple – every player uses a badminton racket (racquet), there is a badminton net in the center of the court, and one participant starts off the action by striking the birdie, or shuttlecock, across the net

It is either played in single mode with two people on opposing sides of the net, or doubles in which you have four people divided into two teams with two people on each side of the net. If the shuttlecock is hit into the opponent’s part of the court the player that hit it scores points. Now when the players hit the shuttlecock back and forth without it landing on the ground it is a rally.

This sport can be played competitively indoors or for fun in your own backyard or other outdoor setting. It is a great game for kids to learn how to play. In fact many badminton sets are sold each year for kids and families to enjoy.

This game is unique to other racquet sports because of the shuttlecock’s make up. It is basically a feathered projectile that is designed to be aerodynamic. It moves faster than balls, but decelerated quicker than they do. Because these can be adversely affected by the wind that is why competitive matches are held indoors out of the wind.

Now very little though is needed to play badminton outside at your house. You need:

  • A badminton net which usually comes with its own poles for installation.
  • A flat area to install the net and play.
  • Some shuttlecocks say about two or three of them in case one gets torn up or lost.
  • Enough racquets for the number of people playing.

See how easy it is to set up for a game of badminton? Get yourself a badminton set today if you do not already have one. You will get some good exercise in playing as an added benefit.

Basic Badminton Skills Should Learn

In Asia, badminton is a game where families (especially fathers) bring their kids to badminton courts on weekends. Dad will teach their kids the very basic skills in badminton. Since young, kids would have picked up the basic techniques. When they grow up, they’ll find their group of friends to play badminton. With a solid badminton background, these kids explore further skills in badminton and start to develop new advanced techniques. Badminton is not only a national sport to some Asian countries; it is also an inherited culture where families and friends maintain relationships.

My point here is, you will only need to learn basic badminton skills at the beginning. Once you have mastered these basics, you won’t need to learn advanced techniques. You will naturally develop them! Executing strong smashes, performing quality deceptions, or diving to defend a smash… You’ll find badminton exciting when you are able to perform these techniques! Learn the correct basics in badminton and practise them. When you possess strong basic skills, you will eventually develop advanced techniques by yourself.

The most important basic badminton skills you should learn are:

Gripping technique: The correct way of gripping a badminton racquet enables you to transfer more power into your badminton strokes.

Basic badminton stroke (full arm swing): When you have mastered the basic badminton swing motion, you will be able to use it to perform a badminton clear, drop shot, and smash.

Footwork: Badminton is a game of speed. Effective and organised footwork plays an important role in enabling you to move faster around the badminton court. It’s simple! Just learn, practise, and master these 3 basics and you will find yourself exploring new advanced techniques by yourself.

A few examples of advanced badminton techniques are: Fast attacks (maximum wrist action). Attacking clear. Net kill. Deception.

However, I recommend you master the basics first before trying these new skills. Badminton basics are the most important techniques in the game and the key to master the game is to master the basics first. Pick these skills up and you’ll be well on your way to better game performance!

Ideal Badminton Set For You

If you are playing badminton for fun, you can easily purchase a badminton set from either a supermarket or a large sports store. In some places, you can find badminton set sold in a hardware store or even a pharmacy. There are certain sets which are nicely packed together in a carrying case with a zip. These usually consist of everything you need in a badminton set and do not cost much but they are basically quite useless and can easily hurt your wrist. It is best to get medium cost rackets. You may need to purchase several packs of shuttlecocks as the feathers can easily be damaged or perhaps you can use the plastic types which are more durable. Lastly, a badminton bag would be helpful and handy to carry your badminton set around.

As for purchasing a badminton set for competitions or tournaments, it is advisable to obtain advice from badminton centers or refer to the sports specialist as to which set is appropriate. You can also consider purchasing the equipments online using search engine. The rackets used for competitions are usually of a higher quality than those used for fun and therefore the cost is heftier. You will need a minimum of at least two rackets just in case if the strings were to snap in the racket which you are using.

As for the shuttles, you will require at least two packs of the feathered ones. Get the high quality types of shuttlecocks which are packed separately. There are also synthetic nylon plastic types that can withstand the forceful hitting and last longer but ensure that the heads are made of cork and not plastic. Where the net is concerned, it is usually provided by the badminton courts, both indoor and outdoor. If you need to purchase a net, then look for nets with metallic poles. Also check for an all-weather net that can withstand both sun and rain if you intend to play on an outdoor court.

About Badminton Shots

Drop Shot. This badminton shot is supposed to just go over the other side of the net. It is used mostly at the front part of the net and transferred to the side lightly to make the opponent run in getting it.

Drives. This power hit is used to aim at someone. This badminton shot is very low and is hit to the front of the body. In this shot, the opponent should prepare themselves with their racket up. This shot is very precise and quick, a good reflex is very useful to counter this shot.

Long Drops. Commonly used from a badminton shot done at the back part of a court. The receiver should hit the ball at high before it hits low and by then it is already too late. When you want to counter this shot, hit it low, you want it to land just over the net. Hitting it high would cause your opponent to smash it. You would not want that to happen, you want to hit it low to not give them the opportunity.

Cleass. This is the badminton shot you want to use when you want your opponent to move backward. This is a technique that one uses when they want to return to position them in the middle of the court. Hit this shot high making sure you got it before it starts falling. Hitting high means stretching your elbow to reach for the shot. This could drop at the back part of the court.

Smashes. This is perhaps the most popular or the most feared of all the badminton shots. Hit high shots quick and hard. This is a strategy one uses when they want to end the game quickly. It is best to aim at side part of the court to make your opponent run. And because this is designed to be hit high but land low, there is a big chance that your opponent would not catch the shot.

Serves. This is used every time a game starts. This is also the distinguishing factor between who is going to score on that game. The contact between the racket and the bird should happen below the waist. It should be nice and lot make for a good serve. The badminton shot is important in the game and it should only be aim in one direction.

Items in a Badminton Set

The first item is a badminton racket. Just like squash or tennis, badminton is a racket game. Many people are unaware of the effect a badminton racket has on the game. The two factors that are different from each racket are its weight and size. This is mainly influenced by the material the racket is made by. For example, carbon fiber remains as the best material as it is both strong and light. The size of a racket shall not exceed the length of 680mm or 230mm while the stringed area shall not be longer than 280mm or 220mm.

A badminton racket needs its string. The tension of the string affects the velocity and impact of the shuttle when struck. Therefore, the tighter the string is tied onto the racket, the better as its tension increases. Another item that is essential to the game is the shuttlecock. The shuttles in the past were made out of feather which is the same ones used in all major tournaments. Now however, shuttles are also available in plastic form. It has become popular as it can be used for a long period of time. Feathers, on the other hand, must be changed very often as they wear out faster. Although a plastic shuttle may sound good to you, there is a vast difference in feel as they are heavier when compared to the feathered shuttles.

The last item that is essential in a proper badminton game is the net. Yes, the net is important as it sets a height to where the shuttle must go over. There is not much to it when choosing a net as it is simply an indicator of height. With all these items above, you are now ready to go out and have a blast. There are several other items which are ‘add on’ items in the badminton set such as badminton shoes, headbands, wristbands, etc. Prices of these items are based on its brand and material.

Badminton Bags

Characteristics

Badminton bags are commonly rounded on one end and then tapered on the other side, mimicking the shape of your racket. That way, you can also squeeze in your racket inside so you can carry everything in one go. They are also spacious enough to accommodate up to 8 rackets, depending on their size and the way they are designed. You can also find them in varieties that have separate areas to hold shuttlecocks, water bottles, food, and others.

The bag for you

Badminton bags can be chosen according to how you want them to look, how much equipment or things you need to fit inside, or how you want to carry them. There are over-the-shoulder bags that are lightweight, slim, and can be slung over one of your shoulders. These bags can accommodate one to two rackets and they can also have additional compartments on the strap or outside.

If you wish to carry your badminton bag like a tote, choose a duffel-type one that also has the capability to house a lot of rackets that can be secured inside along with other things like extra clothes, your tennis shoes, and others. However, not every duffel bag is tapered so some of them may resemble typical sports bags.

The right one

In choosing your badminton bag, make sure that you can fit inside all your essentials for playing. This includes your racket, shuttlecocks, and others like a water bottle, shoes, towel, etc. Make sure that you can also pick up and carry the bag easily. Cushioned handles can make lugging your bag easier and more comfortable.

Getting the Perfect Serve

  • Don’t delay – The service form in badminton consists of a position where you raise your back foot. The moment your back foot is raised you cannot go back and forth but have to serve immediately. Failure to do so will result in the point being awarded to the other side
  • Positioning – Service in both badminton and tennis involves both players being on the opposite diagonal side of the court. If you serve right in front of your opponent, the point will again be given to your opponent. Positioning is also important in doubles badminton. In the case of doubles badminton you cannot block the view of your opponent to the server. In addition, both feet must be touching the court
  • Racket rules – In badminton it is required that the racket hit the bottom or base of the shuttle cock. It is also important to note that the racket shaft only be pointing downward. This means that the head of the racket must be pointing upward. It is also important to remember that during a service the racket only starts from the back and continues forward. You cannot move the racket back and forth once it starts to move forward.
  • Shuttle cock rules – During service the shuttle cock must always be below the waist of the person serving. In addition, during service, the shuttle cock should never be hit in a downwards motion but always in an upward one to end up on the other side of the court. Missing the shuttlecock during service is considered a point for the other side and a service error for the server
  • Etiquette – The server shall not make an attempt to serve if the opponent isn’t ready. However, should the opponent try to hit the serve, it will be considered a good service.

Ideal Body Types For Badminton

Something you may notice is that very few professional mens singles players are much taller than 6 feet. This seems to be the height at which you start finding fewer and fewer players. Each inch taller seems to be something of a disadvantage on the whole. There are of course some advantages to that extra height like the extra reach it provides, but in a sport that demands so much agility, it proves to be more of a burden. Going the other direction you find very few mens singles players that are much shorter than 5 foot 6 inches, or perhaps even 5 foot 8 inches. At this point your court coverage is going to start being hindered compared to the other players. There are of course examples of players who have been outside this range, like Ong Ewe Hock who was 5 foot 3 or 4 inches tall, and Thomas Stuer Lauridsen who was 6 foot 3 (I thought he was much taller, but wikipedia argues otherwise). Thomas Stuer was a great player, but he also battled with injuries that were no doubt caused by his size.

If you go into the other events you start to see a lot more variation is the heights of players. In mens doubles you see small players like Yap Kim Hock player with a much taller partner, Cheah Soon Kit. Yap was a lefty, and Cheah was a righty. While Cheah was the big gun from the back, Yap was a force at the net. In mixed doubles Zhang Jun won the Olympics, and if you were to see him outside of badminton with no knowledge of his sporting success, you would assume he was terribly out of shape. He is a very stocky guy, and while he will never cover the court like Lin Dan does, he is ridiculously strong. I’m sure nobody looks forward to returning a smash from Zhang Jun.

So with these professional players in mind, what should an aspiring badminton player such as yourself do? How should you adapt your style to your build? Well if you’re like me, short stocky, you probably need to rely more on defense. You should focus on deflecting and absorbing your opponents attack in order to tire them out, and seek opportunities later in the rallies. To go too aggressively at your opponent will tire you out quicker than them most likely. Playing flat will eliminate their reach advantage over you, and since you’re shorter, you’re more likely to be able to steal the attack during flat play.

If you’re tall and lanky you want to take advantage of the extreme angles you can produce. Push the play deep to all four corners of the court, your opponent who is shorter than you won’t appreciate the extra steps they have to take. Also, from the back court your drops and slices will be a source of frustration for your opponent who’s standing too far back because they’re afraid of your smash.

Be a Good Badminton Player

Physical Skill

Let’s start with the most fundamental of badminton skill, ie: Strokes, Steps/Footwork, Stamina, and Strategy.

  • Strokes: The basic technique of badminton strokes includes Overheads forehand and backhand clear / smash / drop, drives, lifts, net shot. You are higher recommended to learn from the badminton demo video(see link at the bottom of this page). With the video, it will save you a lot of time learning all the basic strokes. After you have learn the basic strokes, the next step you have to do is practice and practise. Without the ability to execute all the different strokes, one will not be a complete badminton player.
  • Steps/Footwork: Steps/Footwork is always comes together with stroke. A good badminton must have a good coordination of footwork and strokes. This includes foot, body, arms, swing coordination.
  • Stamina: A badminton can last anything from 15 minutes to 1 hour plus and there can be more than one game within a day. A completed badminton match is best of 3 games, that means you got to play at least 2 games continuously. Without good stamina, a badminton player will be unable to successfully execute his/her desired strokes or even cannot finish the game. Again, stamina need to be build over the time via regular training, workouts or exercises. Regular workout will also help to improve your game by increasing your arm strength.
  • Strategy: With good badminton skill and stamina is not enough, you must also have a good strategy to win a game. you have to make the correct shot at the correct time, either a drop-shot, smash, or clear? This is also important to identify the weakest point of opponent. This is especially crucial for doubles game, you should identify your opponent weakness and attack the opponent who is weaker. This is the most simple strategy. If your opponent is weak on his/her backhand clear, then you should hit the shuttle towards his/her backhand more. To go one level higher, it is also important to make the correct choice for a series of return and to lay out a game plan for whole match. This is so called the strategy of a badminton game.

Mental Strength

Besides physical skill, a good badminton player must have good mental strength as well. Mental strength is the ability to make the correct decision even when under pressure or at the crucial moment. For example, when one is down to 5-19, or reaching the match point, 20-20. The player must stay focus to the game regardless whether he/she is leaving behind, leading, or under huge pressure due to the internal or external factor (eg: audience). A good badminton player must also be able to change strategy during the game on different situation. A good badminton player will not go down without a fight and should be able to keep his pace and the accuracy of his shots until the very last point in the game. A good example would be the game in between Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan during the Malaysia Open 2006. Lin Dan was already leading 20-13 in the rubber game and this was a really difficult situation for Lee Chong Wei, But he handled the pressure well and showed a great fighting spirit, slowly clawing back in to the game. And Finally, he won the game by 23-21.

You also have to keep yourself calm in the court and with high EQ. Many incidents, good or bad, can happen during a match either outside or inside the court. For example, bad line calls, umpires decisions or insulted by the audience or even opponent coach. See The Athlete’s Mind Guide(refer link below this page) .

Sport Nutrition

Beside physical skill and mental strength, Sport Nutrition (refer link at the bottom of this page) is also important especially for the player preparing for the tournament. On a day-to-day basis, you have to take care of your nutrition by consuming a well balanced diet comprising carbohydrate, fat, protein, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals and water. A Nutritionist can extend help in achieving this. Water should be consumed in just adequate amounts before, during and after play, ideally at the amounts required to quench the player’s thirst.