Choose your badminton skill to learn or improve:
The badminton smash and jump smash are the most powerful offensive techniques in the game of badminton. The smash is a steep downward angled shot aimed to finish opponents. Steepness and power translate to high shuttle flight speed and are the main threats. Hence, those with good athletic abilities should maximize the angle of steepness with their jump. Proper body mechanics and techniques can further enhance the transference of power to the shuttle.
The badminton backhand shot is particularly difficult to master for many players. Having a weak backhand leaves open an easy section of the court for opponents to consistently exploit. While it is possible to cover that weak court area with a forehand shot, it usually requires more steps to get there to execute the forehand. And when there is no time for a forehand, the backhand must be used. Therefore, it is important to develop a strong backhand to minimize obvious weaknesses in your game.
Use the badminton drop shot to pull your opponent to the front of the court and open up a large area of their backcourt for a consequent attack. Novices who have not been properly instructed may try to hit the shuttle softly. However, a soft hit results in slow shuttle flight, giving the opponent time to reach the shuttle making the shot ineffective. The proper technique involves the face of the racket slicing the head of the shuttle. This slicing motion allows for deceptive placements of the shuttle because the shuttle does not necessarily fly towards the direction of the swing.
The badminton net shot is hit from very close to the net. The idea is to tumble or spin the shuttle just enough to get it over the net. This is a risky and delicate shot; if the hit is slightly soft, the shuttle won't make it over the net, and if the hit is slightly hard, the shuttle flies too high and the opponent performs an unstoppable net kill. Exchanging net shots with an opponent is like a game of "chicken": who is going to give up the risky shot first?
The badminton net kill, as the name suggests, is a kill shot at the net. The shot is executed when you want to execute your opponent for hitting a bad shot, such as a net shot that went too high above the net. This shot is nearly unstoppable when performed correctly. Be sure to avoid touching the net with your racket or hitting the shuttle before it passes the net to your side of the court; both cases result in you losing the rally and losing out on an easy point.
The badminton net lift is a shot hit close to the net. Like the tennis lob, it is a high arc shot that gets the badminton shuttle deep into the opponent's backcourt. When used defensively, the net lift can create time for yourself while under pressure, allowing you to recover to ready position for the next shot. When used offensively, the net lift can push the opponent deep into their backcourt, thus, opening up their frontcourt for attack!
A badminton serve or service is the beginning of every rally. An excellent serve can instantly win a rally whereas a poor serve can instantly lose a rally. Similarly, a good service gives you an immediate advantage over your opponent, and a bad service hands the advantage over to your opponent. Therefore, it is extremely important to be able to consistently dish out good to excellent serves. Also, don't forget to target different areas of the court to keep your opponent guessing.
Use the badminton drive shot to hit the shuttle flat across the net. When the shuttle is too low to smash, the drive shot can be an excellent offensive shot. Hit a fast drive shot with the intent to get the shuttle past your opponent causing them to perform an awkward return. The drive shot can also turn a defensive situation into a countering attack.
The badminton clear shot, like the tennis lob, is a high arc shot that gets the badminton shuttle deep into the opponent's backcourt. When used defensively, the clear shot can create time for yourself while under pressure, allowing you to recover to ready position for the next shot. When used offensively, the clear shot can push the opponent deep into their backcourt, thus, opening up their frontcourt for attack!
Playing badminton doubles and mixed doubles involve much more than individual player techniques or physical abilities. How well you and your partner work together can mean the difference between winning or losing. Novice players tend to make the mistake of staying on their side of the court and end up watching as their partner gets assaulted by the opponents. Hence, it is important to understand how to maximize court coverage and how to rotate in to and out of attack and defensive formations.
Offense is undoubtedly exciting; who doesn't want to destroy their opponents with a series of jump smashes. However, badminton defense techniques should not be overlooked. While offense gains you points, defense keeps you from losing points. A good defense can frustrate your opponent and force them to make errors. There will be rallies when your attacks just aren't falling on target, but your impenetrable defense can keep you in the game while you work through the rut.
A solid foundation in badminton footwork is the best way to improve your overall game. Novice players like to go after flashier skills such as a more powerful jump smash, a prettier drop shot, or a stronger backhand. However, to perfectly execute those shots, you have to reach the shuttle first! Efficient and proper footwork helps you outlast your opponent by expending less energy, prevents injuries to your ankles, knees, hips, and back, and gives you more time to see where your opponents are and decide your shot and target.
Practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more! Badminton drills and exercises help improve coordination, speed, agility, power, and most importantly, solidify your foundational badminton skills before you step on the court against an opponent. We're not all born with natural badminton abilities. If you want to be the best badminton player (or just better than your friends), then you need to put in the work!
Meet your professional badminton coaches:
Coach Zhao Jianhua, nicknamed the Badminton King, is the former 1991 World Champion. Competed in Men's Single, Zhao Jianhua was deemed one of the most talented players of his time. Teaming up with Coach Xiao Jie, the Complete Badminton Training by Zhao Jianhua & Xiao Jie television series is one of the best-produced badminton training series to date. Coach Zhao Jianhua has a great sense of humor and a mean backhand.
Coach Chen Weihua was a former coach of the popular world and olympic champion, Lin Dan. With the China National Badminton Team, Chen Weihua created a comprehensive badminton training video series. Each training video focuses on the detailed mechanics of one badminton skill, so it is ideal for beginning, intermediate, and advanced players who want to learn and refine their badminton techniques.
Coach Xiao Jie, nicknamed the Badminton Professor, is an actual professor teaching at the Capital Institute of Physical Education University in Beijing, China. With a Master of Education degree from the University of Maryland in the United States, Xiao Jie has taught the sport of badminton all over the world. Xiao Jie was also on the first Chinese national women's badminton team. Coach Xiao Jie has an amazing ability to be able to break down the technical aspects of any badminton skill or technique.
Coach Peter Rasmussen was the 1997 Badminton World Champion in Men's Single. He was always very goal-oriented and structured; keeping a detailed training diary. Peter used many deceptive strokes and was very good at the net. Peter Rasmussen was one of the most talented players coming from Denmark, yet he is very modest.
Choose your favorite badminton training series:
Badminton training series hosted by former World Champion Zhao Jianhua and badminton coach Xiao Jie. Guests, who are regular badminton fans and enthusiasts, are brought on to each episode and given opportunities to learn from Zhao Jianhua/Xiao Jie. The playing levels of the guests become progressively more advanced as the series progresses. The training videos are in Mandarin with English subtitles.
Badminton training series hosted by badminton coach Chen Weihua; former coach of the popular champion Lin Dan. The badminton training videos focus on the detailed mechanics of each badminton skill, so it is ideal for beginners or intermediate players who want to refine their badminton techniques. The training videos are in Mandarin with English subtitles.
Badminton training series by Coach Peter Rasmussen, former Badminton World Champion in Men's Single. This series contains in-depth instructional content explaining the most essential badminton skills that you need to know to become a better badminton player. The course is comprehensive and explained by Peter Rasmussen himself, complete with demonstrations for better learning and visualization.