5 Basic Skills in Badminton (The Fundamentals With Examples) (2024)

The 5 basic skills in badminton involve:

  1. Grip
  2. Serve
  3. Footwork
  4. Stance
  5. Stroke

To be a good badminton player, you need to master all of these.

So, if you’re looking for:

  • Explanations for what each skill means
  • Examples of how to utilize the skills
  • Videos and images to demonstrate what to do

You’ve come to the right place.

Let’s now dive into the article.

1. Grip

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Like any racquet game, having a proper grip in badminton is essential.

The correct grip will allow you to have more control and will help you dictate where you place your shot.

There are numerous ways of holding a badminton racket depending on whether your shot is forehand or backhand.

For example, you could use the:

  • Forehand grip: Anything on your racquet side (right side if you’re right-handed, left side if you’re left-handed) whether it be overarm or underarm.
  • Backhand grip: Anything to your non-racket side (left side if you’re right-handed, right side if you’re left-handed) whether it be overarm or underarm.
  • Universal grip: A type of backhand grip where your thumb has moved to the edge of the fatter face of your grip. This is used for backhand cross-court net shots, backhand clears, and backhand straight drop shots from the rear court.
  • Panhandle grip: Where your thumb and the finger pinch the top of the racket in order to tap/net-kill the incoming shuttleco*ck.

How to Improve Your Badminton Grip?

  1. Choose the right grip size: A grip that is too small will make it harder for you to hold onto your racket, leading to wrist and forearm strain. Conversely, if your grip is too big, it will negatively impact your shot accuracy.
  2. Hold your badminton racket lightly. The grip should be so light, that someone can come along and pull it away from your hands. This will help you prevent wrist injuries and improve the angle and flexibility of your shot.
  3. Use overgrips. By absorbing sweat, overgrips keep your hands dry during long training sessions or matches. This minimizes the risk of slippage and helps you maintain a firm hold over your racket.
  4. Keep your grip new and clean. A worn-out grip will make it difficult for you to maintain a firm hold over your racket. Similarly, a dirty grip can invite slippage. Wipe down your grip with a damp cloth to keep it clean.

2. The Serve

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Service is another necessary skill you need to master for badminton.

A good serve is likely to get you points and may give you some advantage during the rally.

There are two types of services used in badminton:

a. High Serve

High serve is used when you want to force your opponent to run to the back of the court by hitting the shuttleco*ck toward the rear end of the court (sometimes the corner).

A good high serve will usually save you from receiving a smash from your opponent.

b. Low Serve

The low serve is used to bring the opponent forward by hitting the shuttleco*ck toward the front of the court.

If you managed to send a fabulous low serve, the opponent would have to dash forward and move under the shuttle to return it.

Depending on the quality of the return, you might be able to return the shot with a net kill/smash.

How to Improve Your Badminton Serve?

  • Adopt the right stance. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your non-racket foot slightly forward. This will not only make your body stable while serving. It will also enable you to impart maximum power to your shuttleco*ck.
  • Practice wrist exercises. Many beginners don’t know that a lot of power in the badminton serve emanates from the flick of the wrist. It’s thus essential to strengthen wrist movement with the help of different exercises.
  • Don’t ignore your non-dominant hand. While serving, your non-dominant hand should move downward and backward. This will help stabilize your body and keep you from losing your balance.
  • Keep your body relaxed. Have you ever studied the body language of professional badminton players just before they’re about to serve? If you have, you’d know that their body appears fully relaxed. This is because a tense body hurts your serve.

Let’s move on to number 3 on our list of basic badminton skills:

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Footwork is another vital skill for badminton.

Good footwork not only rewards you by helping you move more nimbly across the court, increasing your chances of picking shots more often.

It also makes sure that your balance stays intact while moving and hitting shots, reducing the strain on your joints and decreasing the risk of injuries or falls.

Besides, right footwork helps you cover more of the court without tiring yourself out in the process, conserving your energy levels to reduce fatigue.

Therefore, if you want to win tournaments, it’s essential to develop footwork that helps you move quickly across the court while maintaining your balance.

How to Improve Your Badminton Footwork?

  • Begin with the right posture. That means that your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent. Another thing you have to make sure of is that you’re standing on the balls of your feet.
  • Practice small and quick steps during training. Small and quick steps won’t just make you nimbler during matches by helping you quickly change direction. They will also improve your stability and put less strain on your knees.
  • Treat your steps as a miser treats his money. This means that you shouldn’t waste any movements during training or games. Instead, you should make sure that every step you’re taking is fulfilling a purpose.
  • Practice leg strengthening exercises. Strong legs make you nimbler on the court by letting you change directions quickly and stably.

4. Stance

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While returning strokes from the opponent, the stance is a crucial skill required in badminton.

Proper posture will allow you to return the opponent’s strokes efficiently and enable you to get an advantage in rallies.

There are three basic stances in badminton:

a. Defensive Stance

You can use the defensive stance to defend opponents smashes.

To take the defensive posture, face the net with your body and put the racquet at about your waist height.

You can also use this stance to perform a high clear since you’ll need to make a fast, unconscious decision when returning the shot.

Using the defensive stance, you could perform a lift to buy some time.

This time will help you regain your posture and prepare for the opposing player’s reply.

Lifts allow the opponents to send a return smash but this doesn’t make them an ineffective defensive stroke.

By using the lift from a defensive stance, you can look for the perfect opportunity to counter-attack your opponent, such as by playing a net shot.

b. Attacking Stance

The attacking stance will allow you to return a short or high lift from your opponent.

To utilize the attacking stance, try to get behind the shuttleco*ck, raise your arm, and then transfer your body weight to your racquet leg, and hit the shuttleco*ck as a smash.

By utilizing the attacking stance, and depending on the opponent’s stroke, you can also send a drop shot.

Drop shots can be used when receiving the shuttleco*ck from the front or back part of the court.

c. Net Stance

The net stance in badminton is used to return the opponent’s stroke after sending a net shot.

Place your racquet foot forward and your other foot backward. Place the racquet in front of your body slightly above your waist for the net stance.

One way to get into the net stance is by first using a tumbling net shot.

The tumbling net shot makes the shuttleco*ck tumble and spin right above the net and into your opponent’s court.

After sending a tumbling net shot, your body will naturally put itself in the net stance.

When you are in the net stance, get ready to perform a net kill move to an attacking stance to perform a winning smash.

5. Strokes

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Strokes are fundamental to becoming a good badminton player and executing superior shots.

Broadly categorizing, there are two main kinds of strokes:

a. Forehand Shots

Forehand shots should be played when the shuttleco*ck is on your racket side.

Your index finger will control the forehand stroke as you swing overarm or underarm.

Swing the wrist along with your index finger as support to play a forehand stroke.

b. Backhand shots

Backhand shots should be played when the shuttleco*ck is on your non-racket side with your thumb controlling the strokes.

While playing badminton, your light grip will mean you’ll be able to switch between the forehand and backhand grip with ease.

To play a backhand shot, hold the racquet with the back of your hand in front and swing your wrist forward while using your thumb as support.

Bonus: Advanced Skills In Badminton

While starting this article, it was our aim to help you know more about the basic skills in badminton and how you can develop/improve them.

However, the fact that you have come this far tells us that we should reward you by unveiling a set of bonus skills most beginners aren’t aware of.

Make sure to master these skills to take your game to the next level.

1) Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination refers to the visual ability to track the movement of the shuttleco*ck in such a manner that you can accurately hit it with the racket.

With good hand-eye movement, you can hit the shuttleco*ck with as much power and as much accuracy as you want.

Without it, you may struggle to hit the shuttleco*ck consistently, putting you at a disadvantage against players with better hand-eye coordination.

How to Improve Hand-Eye Coordination in Badminton?

  • Practice shadow badminton: Try different badminton strokes without a shuttleco*ck. Regular practice will make your body familiar with the movements required to play different shots, enhancing your ability to hit the shuttleco*ck accurately.
  • Play catch. Playing catch with a mate is one of the easiest yet most effective ways to improve hand-eye coordination. Ideally, you’d want to start with a bigger ball before gradually making your way to a smaller one or even a shuttleco*ck.
  • Try hitting the shuttleco*ck at increasing speeds. This practice won’t just improve your hand-eye coordination – it will also positively impact your reaction time.

2) Mental Toughness

While preparing for tournaments, professional badminton players spend weeks on exercises designed to improve mental toughness.

That is because they know that badminton doesn’t just challenge your body to extreme limits. This game also puts excessive pressure on your mind, forcing you to either cope with setbacks or go home.

As such, if you want to take your badminton game to the next level, it’s essential to develop mental resilience. Only then you’d have the mindset to handle the challenges this game is going to throw at you.

How to Improve Mental Toughness in Badminton?

  • Engage in positive self-talk. Make sure to engage in self-talk that reinforces your strengths and plays down your weaknesses. Remember, you shouldn’t aid the world as it tries to bring you to your knees.
  • Perform different breathing exercises. One of my favorite breathing exercises involves inhaling to the count of 5 and exhaling to the count of 10. This calms my mind and stops negative thoughts from racing around.
  • Visualize yourself achieving your goal. Whether it’s beating an opponent that has always gotten the better of you, winning a tournament, or becoming the No.1 badminton player in the world, visualize yourself succeeding in your game.

What are Open and Closed skills in badminton?

Depending on the pace, there are two types of skills in badminton – open skills and closed skills.

Closed Skills in Badminton

A closed skill in badminton is one that is internally paced.

It means that you can decide the pace and position of the shuttleco*ck.

For example, during the service, you can determine where you want your shot to land.

Furthermore, both you and your opposing player are stationary when you are serving.

In addition to that, you will always serve diagonally or cross-court. So, there are not a lot of external factors that can affect your service.

Open Skills in Badminton

As opposed to closed skills, open skills in badminton involve more variables and are externally paced.

For example, during a rally, the speed and position of the shuttleco*ck will always vary.

There will be a lot of external factors in place during a rally.

The factors include the power of the shot, the trajectory of the shuttleco*ck, the position of the opponent, the area of the court from where the stroke was hit, etc.

All these factors will decide where the shuttleco*ck will land in your court.

For open skills in badminton, you need to make quick decisions and return the shuttleco*ck efficiently.


What are the 5 basic skills in playing badminton?

Grip, footwork, serve, stance, and shot technique are the 5 basic skills in playing badminton.

What is the importance of basic skills in badminton?

Each of the basic skills in badminton plays an important role in your performance on the court. For instance, while a proper grip will give you adequate control over your shots, good footwork will help you reach and return shots more efficiently.

How can I improve my badminton?

To improve your badminton skills, practice regularly, focus on acquiring and refining the basic skills, and do exercises that will enhance your endurance and stamina. If possible, play with experienced players.


I hope you have found these top 5 basic badminton skills useful, and you’re able to put them into good practice.

Remember, any professional badminton player has spent countless hours practicing each and every single one of these skills, no matter how ‘basic’ they seem.

A solid foundation is the first step to anything. Whether it’s a building, your body, or your badminton skills.

Now I’d love to turn it over to you:

  • How often do you practice these badminton skills?
  • What’s the first skill that you’re going to practice in the near future?
  • Do you prefer a forehand or backhand serve?

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below or a direct message on Instagram.

5 Basic Skills in Badminton (The Fundamentals With Examples) (2024)
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