In this section will help to improve your grip and give you advice on better footwork. We cover handshake grip, thumb grip, lunge and when they might be used in a game situation.

Ready position

Being in the ready position allows players to move sharply in the direction that the shuttle is traveling. In the ready position a players feet should be square, or slightly staggered depending on the player and how they feel most comfortable.

If a player prefers the staggered position it should be with the dominant foot furthest forward. The feet should be spread about shoulder width apart with the knees slightly bent, and a players weight should be on the balls of the feet.

The racket should be held up in front of the players body, but slightly over to the backhand side.

Some players use the staggered feet position because they feel that it enables them to move from side to side and front to back quicker. The staggered position is very beneficial when a player is returning a serve, as it allows them to anticipate a short serve quicker. However when receiving a serve a players non dominant foot should be furthest forward.

Side Step (Chasse)

This type of step formation can be used to move to any corner of the court, and does allow players to move further and faster, especially towards the net. The next phase is to move the non-dominant foot up behind and slightly closer to the corner, so the back leg is slightly crossed behind the front leg. Then once again move the racket leg forward in the direction of the shuttle, and extend the racket arm out in front of the body.

Moving back: If a player wants to move back towards the backhand side then the first stage is to take the dominant foot back towards the corner they want to move to. The next stage is to bring the non-dominant foot back and behind the dominant, so that the non-dominant foot is closest to the net and the side that they are traveling.

The dominant foot should then take another step back towards the corner and because players can travel further with each step this should take them into the corner, so no extra steps have to be made.

Racket arm and non-playing arm should get higher with each step taken preparing to aim and return the shuttle. Remember to keep both eyes on the shuttle at all times.

Lunge

The lunge is frequently used in badminton. For the purpose of the drill start in the ready position and then stretch the racket foot out. Making sure that the heel touches the floor first place the racket foot on the ground, then move to the toes. Bend the knee of the racket foot taking care to keep the shoulders back and balanced above the hips. Use the none racket arm behind the body to balance the move. During game play the player may need to incorporate a sidestep or a Cross Over Step to move across the court.

Scissor kick

This type of step formation can be used to deliver a powerful shot from the back of the court. In this shot the legs switch position in mid air resembling the closing and then opening of scissors. It is often proceeded by a chasses step, so the player will find they are still moving backwards when the jump is started. Stage one is to jump straight off the ground, then swap your dominant foot with your non dominant foot in mid air with the non dominant foot landing momentarily before the other.

Parts 1 & 2

Whilst in the air turn the body to hit the shuttle using the momentum of the switch to deliver a powerful blow.

Parts 3 & 4

This step is used for travelling quickly across the court. The step-close step footwork uses the non-dominant foot (left foot for a right handed player) as a pivot and the dominant foot as the leading foot. The non-dominant foot is the one that also closes the body away from the shuttle hence the name step-close step.

Players should aim to reach for the shuttle with the dominant arm and leg as this saves time and makes for a faster recovery. Diagonal movement is the fastest way to move from the centre to the corners.

To go from the mid court to the back forehand corner a player must pivot on the non-dominant foot so the toes are pointing towards the side of the court that the player is moving to. Then the dominant leg should take a step towards the forehand back corner.

The next stage is to bring the non-dominant foot across behind the other foot, with the toes and body facing the corner they are traveling to. Both arms should be raised slightly from the ready position to about head height at this stage. Shoulders should be facing forwards.

The last phase of the step-close step is bringing the dominant foot around so the feet are almost square facing the side of the court, with the body also in a side on position. The non-playing arm should be up above the players head out in front of them guiding the shuttle in. The dominant hand should be behind the head with the racket up. Remember to keep both eyes on the shuttle at all times.

This type of step formation can be used to move to any corner of the court, and does allow players to move further and faster, especially towards the net.

From the Net: After hitting a shot from the front of court use the dominant foot to step back with first then the other foot, and then the racket foot again and this should take a player back into the ready position, able to move towards the next shot.

From Back court: After hitting a shot from the back of the court, the legs perform a scissor like action as they leave the floor. This means the dominant leg swings forward and the other leg swings back. The non-dominant leg should then be the one that takes the majority of the weight as a players lands on it first, and this should propel them back towards the middle of the court.

Then use the same 3 step pattern of dominant leg, non-dominant, and dominant leg again to get back into the ready position once again.

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