Are you looking for new and exciting ways of getting fit and healthy? Maybe you’re just looking to get involved in a new sport as a way of getting out of the house? Whatever you’re looking to achieve, you may wish to consider taking up badminton.
Badminton is a very popular sport enjoyed all across the globe, that is surprisingly beginner friendly and is relatively easy to pick up, especially if you stick with it for a while.
Badminton is a racket sport in which players will utilize a racquet to hit what is known as a shuttlecock across one side of a net to another. Each game of badminton that is played will be played to 21 points. Players will score a point whenever they win a rally. You can play badminton indoors or outdoors, so it isn’t weather dependent like other sports.
Okay, so, now that we’ve familiar with the basics of badminton, here are 8 top tips for beginner badminton players.
Check the flight of the shuttlecock
As mentioned, badminton is played with a shuttlecock as opposed to a ball like many other racket sports out there.
Before you begin a game of badminton, or indeed, before you invest in a shuttlecock, one of the first things that you should do is check the flight of the shuttlecock itself.
When you hit a shuttlecock, it should move smooth and straight. Be on the look out for shuttlecocks that wobble when they’re in flight as wobbly shuttlecocks are generally unreliable, poor quality, and are likely on their last legs.
Before you begin a game of badminton, or any other sport or physical activity for that matter, is set aside 5 – 10 minutes to stretch and warm up first.
Before you start playing badminton, you need to get your muscles warm and loose, and your blood circulating. Warming up will not only improve your physical performance, it will also reduce your risk of injury.
Perform some light cardio and stretches to really stretch out the muscles and get your hear rate up, making sure to stretch all major muscle groups before you begin your game.
Now get ready, your ready to play!!
Work on your grip
One of the most common mistakes made by people new to the world of badminton, is gripping the racket too tightly.
Those who are new to the world of badminton grip the handle of the racquet for dear life and squeeze it as tight as possible as they think this will allow them to generate more power for each stroke.
In truth, the perfect way to grip a badminton racquet is loosely with a relaxed grip in your fingers.
This will help you stay in control of your swings, and will reduce your risk of rotator cuff injuries, wrist injuries, and forearm injuries.
Familiarize yourself with the rules
This sounds fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised by just how many people sign up for badminton classes or teams even, despite not knowing the rules entirely.
We provided a very brief overview in the intro today, but in truth there’s heaps that we didn’t cover which is why learning the rules is so important before you signup.
We’re not saying that you will need to memorize the rule book inside and out if you’re just planning on maybe taking badminton classes once a week, but try to learn the basics and pick up the more complex rules as you go.
Always keep your eye onthe shuttlecock
This may sound like common sense, but when it comes to badminton, people do tend to take their eyes off of the shuttle at the last minute, and wonder why they’re striking nothing but air when they try to return the shuttle to their opponent.
A great way to work on your accuracy and to help you focus on the shuttle is to work with a partner, take several shuttlecocks, and perhaps add a colored dot on the base of some of the shuttles, keeping the others blank.
Have your partner hit shuttles to you at random, and you ignore the blank ones and return the shuttles with the colored dots on the base. This way you’ll be watching each shuttle like a hawk as you’ll be looking for the ones with colors on them. Over time, this will improve your hand-eye coordination and your reaction speeds enormously.
Work on your fitness
Whether you’re looking to play badminton competitively, or simply as something to do one or two nights each week, working on your fitness levels will make your badminton experience much easier and much more productive.
Improving your fitness levels will not only make you a better badminton player, it will also help to reduce your risk of injury, and improve your overall quality of life.
As mentioned, badminton courts can be found indoors and outdoors, so badminton is a sport that you can enjoy all year long, regardless of the weather. With that said, though, as a beginner, it is recommended that you begin playing badminton indoors until you’re confident that your abilities have improved enough to permit playing outdoors.
But what’s the difference between playing indoors and outdoors, other than the weather, or lack thereof? Well, shuttlecocks are incredibly light in weight which means that the gentlest of breezes can blow your shuttlecock off course and whisk it away.
As a beginner, when hitting it accurately will already be tough, if you factor in wind, the sport will become a whole lot tougher. Begin playing badminton indoors and as you do improve and get more confident, if the weather allows you to do so, then you can think about heading outdoors for a game or two.
Finally, if you do decide you want to get into badminton, it’s always worth investing in a good quality racket.
There are plenty of badminton rackets out there, yet not all of them are good quality and are particularly up to the task at hand.
You want a racket that is balanced, has the right shaft flexibility, has the correct grip size for your hands, and isn’t too light or too heavy. Try a few before you buy and see which feel best in your hands.