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Badminton fundamentals: how to play the key badminton strokes

In short, badminton is a sport that can be played by volleying a shuttlecock over a very high net. Unlike tennis, the rackets used in badminton are extremely light, long-handled, and thin.

Like most ball or racket sports, choosing the correct shot in badminton is essential for success. For this reason, if you are a beginner, you must go about learning the different types of shots that are associated with this game. On top of this, you will need to understand some of the fundamentals of badminton. There are various ways in which you can go about improving your game, including increasing your strength, flexibility, and mobility training. 

In this article, we will be discussing everything that you will need to know about badminton, including the 4 basic strokes. More so, we will mention alternative shots that are commonly used by some of the best players in the world. 

The 4 Fundamental Shots of Badminton

If you are a complete badminton beginner, the first thing that you should learn is how to perform the 4 basic shots. 

Overhead Forehand

When it comes to any racket sport, the forehand shot is by far the easiest and simplest to perform. Most players use overhead forehand shots when serving - in the process, they will start by throwing the shuttlecock into the air. Then, as it falls back down, the player will pull their arm behind their head (hence the name) and strike the shuttlecock once it is a few inches above eye level. 

This shot is also frequently used to return lob shots. In other words, if the shuttlecock is passed at a very high angle, the player will need to strike while it is still above head level. 

Overhead Backhand

The overhead backhand shot is less commonly used than its forehand alternative. With that being said, this type of shot is still essential to learn. 

The overhead backhand is used to return high shots that are passed to the weaker side of your body. For example, if you are right-handed, you would need to use this backhand move to reach the shuttlecock in time. 

To perform the overhead backhand, you will need to start by crossing your strong arm over your neck region. You should also twist your body so that it faces the direction of the shuttlecock. Unlike during a forearm shot, you will be using the backside of the racket to strike. 

Underhand Forehand

The underhand forehand shot is another relatively simple skill to learn. Unlike the overhead shot, you will strike the shuttlecock while it is at the same level as your waist or lower. This means that you will not have to reach over your head to return a pass. 

Underhand Backhand

The underhand backhand is also very similar to its overhead alternative. The only difference is that you would strike the shuttlecock while it is at the same level as your waist or lower. Again, this makes the shot much easier, as you will not have to reach over your head on the weaker side of your body. 

Alternative Badminton Shots

There are various types of shots that you can master to improve your badminton play. This includes the clear shot, drop, drive, net kill, net lift, and smash. 

Clear shot

The clear shot is always aimed towards the back of the opposite court and is used as a defensive shot. Unlike the drive (which has a flat trajectory), the clear shot follows a u-shaped line. Other defensive shots include the net lift and drive. 

Drop shot

On the other hand, the drop is an attacking shot that loops close to the net. To correctly execute this shot, the player will have to hit downwards towards their opponent’s forecourt. 

The smash

The smash is designed to provide the opposite player with less time to return a pass. In short, the player will have to hit the shuttlecock as hard as they can in the direction of the forecourt. 

Net kill

When executing the net kill, the player will block the shuttlecock and deflect it towards the ground. This move is often used to end a rally. 

How To Improve Your Playing Ability

The Importance Of Coordination

When it comes to badminton, coordination is key. Like most racket or ball games, you will need to have very good hand-eye coordination to return passes and complete the most basic of moves. More so, if you wish to take your badminton to the next level, you should be able to do this at high speeds.

There are several drills that you can practice to improve your coordination. This includes playing simple games of catch with a ball and juggling a shuttlecock on your racket. 

If you start a game of badminton without adequately warming up or getting your eye in, the chances of you missing easy shots will be much higher. For this reason, you must make time for these basic drills before every match. 

Developing Your Physical Attributes

Like with most sports, being in a good physical condition is also of utmost importance. To improve your overall health and fitness, you should adopt a balanced diet and partake in some form of exercise every single day. More so, to increase the strength of your hitting arm, you can begin doing weights or simple body-weight routines. 

As you start increasing your training volume, it is essential that you also incorporate flexibility and mobility exercises. For example, you could take part in supplementary pilates or yoga sessions. More so, foam rolling, stretching, and sports massages can all drastically improve your performance in the long run.

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