13 Essential Badminton Tips for Beginners To Improve Fast

Hi I'm Liam. I've been playing Badminton for over 17 years. Second only to my family, Badminton is my biggest passion in life. If I'm not with family I'm either playing or watching Badminton with the mission to be the best I can be. I'm a qualified Badminton coach with a UKCC Level 2 Certificate from Badminton England. This site is where I can share what I've learnt from playing, coaching and from watching the best in the world! BadmintonsBest.

Badminton is a beginner-friendly sport, even still, if you’re picking up the sport for the first time it’s always useful to get some tips. Here are 13 top Badminton tips for beginners that will help you improve fast.

So if you’re a beginner wanting to get better fast, keep reading for some top Badminton tips.

Always warm-up properly

Our first Badminton tip is to make sure to warm-up properly is so important for any sport. You need to get your muscles nice and warm so they can stretch easily. This will help avoid needless injuries and will get you ready for some fast-paced Badminton.

Preferably you want to get some dynamic stretching alongside some jogging or skipping done before you play. See our Badminton warm-up guide for an example warm-up routine that will get you fired up.

Learn some basic footwork

Badminton is a fast-paced sport, it requires a good amount of agility and speed to play well. You need fast and efficient footwork to be able to get around the court easily.

Badminton doesn’t use a lot of movements that people are used to. In Badminton, you rarely use any jogging or running. Badminton relies on a lot more chasing, lunging and jumping. Getting some basic understanding of how to use these movements will help a lot.

See the video from Badminton Famly below where they explain moving to the four corners of the court.

Get comfortable with your grip

The fundamental thing to get right before you can get any shot right is the grip. Whether it’s forehand, backhand or panhandle grip it’s important to get comfortable with how you hold the racquet in each way.

Practice it daily at home. Just pick up your racquet and practice switching from forehand to backhand and shadowing some basics shots. The more you do it the more natural switching and finding your grip will become.

Lee Jae Bok from Coaching Badminton has a great video on getting the Badminton grip right. It’s something you learn once the right way and it becomes so natural you don’t have to think about it.

Know the rules

This might sound like an obvious one but you can’t expect to get very far playing a game of Badminton if you don’t know the rules. Now, this doesn’t mean knowing the rulebook inside and out but it does mean understanding the basics of scoring, serving, what’s in and out and what you can and can’t do.

Nothing can be more daunting for beginners then having to learn the rules for the first time. That’s why we put together or guide for Badminton rules. It covers the rules in a beginner-friendly way with links to more detailed guides if you want to learn more.

Watch some quality YouTube content

We’re lucky in this day and age to have access to so much great content on pretty much any subject you could want to learn. Badminton is no exception, YouTube has some amazing educational Badminton channels. This has only gotten better over the years, especially in 2019-2020.

You can find Badminton content on any aspect of the sport. Whether you want to learn the backhand serve or the backhand slice drop shot there is a video showing you how. Head over to our complete guide on the Best Badminton YouTube channels and look under the educational section to get started.

Keep your racquet up

This tip is easier said than done. Naturally, people want to drop their arms to there sides when they’re not active. You want to resist the urge to do this a lot of the time, especially if you’re playing at the net in doubles.

When I say keep your racquet up as well I don’t mean above your head, I simply mean having up and pointed up and outwards so that getting ready is quicker. Having to raise your racquet from your side each time is slow so keep your racquet up.

We mentioned doubles netplay, look at this video featuring Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo. He’s always got his racquet up ready. If he’s close to the net he might have his racquet even higher to intercept. But always have your racquet up somewhat

Don’t try to be perfect

A lot of beginners make the mistake when they’re learning something new that they have to get every aspect perfect. Don’t focus so much on getting everything absolutely right, instead focus on making progress.

If you’re learning a new shot focus on learning the individual parts of the technique but bring spend just as much time on bringing them all together. The chances are you won’t have mastered every aspect and that’s fine. Focus on incremental improvements, that will add up to big improvements over time

Perfection itself is unattainable, the greatest players who ever lived never achieve perfection. Accept that you’ll make mistakes and that you’ll find some things harder to master than others. As long as you focus on small improvements that will make the difference.

Play with a positive mindset

Easier said than done but a lot of times players beat themselves before they step on court. If you know you’re up against a stronger player don’t think “oh gosh I’m going to get stomped now” instead think of it as an opportunity to learn. In this situation you have nothing to lose and all to gain, the other player is expected to win go out there and play freely.

Positive thinking can be hard for some. It’s not easy to stand up and hold your ground. You need to foster a positive mindset on and off the court. Martin Hagger did a talk at TEDxPerth where he delves into the mindset of champion athletes.

Relax when hitting

Most people think that power in Badminton comes all from the muscles and strength. They see top players that play with such aggression it looks like they’re exerting so much force. Beginners develop the habit of tensing up too much, trying too hard.

Your muscles need to be relaxed in order to move freely, you can’t generate a lot of racquet speed if you’re gripping your racquet tight and tensing up before hitting. You’re not trying to lift weight here, you’re trying to generate power through motion. Stay relaxed when hitting and let the racquet and your swing do more of the work.

Recover back to the centre

Badminton is all about control, you always want to be in control of the shuttle and the rally. You don’t want to be the one running all over the show just to get the shuttle back. Instead, you want to be the player always in the middle of the court choosing where to play next.

When you play you always want to think about getting back to the centre of the court after each shot. Now, the centre of the court can change depending on the situation but that’s for another time. From the centre of the court, you’re an equal distance away from each corner. This makes it easier to reach the next shot

Lee Jae Bok from Coaching Badminton has a great video that talks about recovering after playing your shot, watch below.

Have a purpose for every shot

When you’re first starting out it’s better to focus on the basics and just being able to return the shuttle consistently. As you improve start to think about which shot you should play and why. This becomes part of a bigger game plan when you play.

Play each shot with a clear outcome in mind. Whether it’s trying to force your opponent to play it back to a certain spot or to outright win the point. You won’t always get what you’re after but it’s better to a basic strategy then no strategy at all.

Build up your stamina and get fit

Badminton is a physically challenging game. Even as a beginner you’ll be sweating in no time. Building up your overall fitness levels will help you improve faster as you’ll be able to play longer rallies and get around the court easier.

As a beginner you can build up your stamina in a number of ways:

  • Do some light jogging/running 2-3 times a week
  • Skipping daily for 30 minutes
  • Just play more Badminton

The Body Coach has a great 15 minute HIIT workout that doesn’t need any equipment. This kind of workout is great for improving your stamina for Badminton as it’s explosive and dynamic.

Cool-down and stretch after playing

Just as important as warming up correctly before playing is cooling down and stretching out after playing. As a beginner, it’s so important to make sure you cool-down slowly and stretch your muscles afterwards.

A good cool-down will bring down your body temperature slowly which means your muscles won’t stiffen up and go cold too fast. Stretching your muscles afterwards whilst they’re still warm will help improve flexibility and reduce the buildup of lactic acid leading to muscles stiffness and cramping.

If you’re not sure what to include in your cool-down check out our guide for a good Badminton cool-down routine.

How can I improve my badminton skills?

Try and practice at least 2-3 times a week, by yourself or with a partner and work on specific skills with a clear goal in mind. The faster way to improve your skills overall is to just train more regularly with purposeful practice.

If you found this article helpful return the favour and share it with a friend. If you feel I’ve missed anything out or have other advice, please leave feedback and share your help with others below. Thanks again for reading.

EXTRA TIPS: You can use YOGA as your cool down and recovery too as many athletes had doing Yoga for improve the calmness and focus too during recovery. Checkout our 10 Things about YOGA for beginners should know!