Warm-up for badminton
Ensure your body is properly prepared for the badminton game ahead. As badminton involves both stamina and agility you need to concentrate on these areas in your warm-up. Ideally you could start with a gentle jog around the court or some skipping. Once your pulse is raised and you body is feeling warmer, stretch the major muscle groups, particularly focusing on legs, back and shoulders to get fully prepared for all the lunges ahead.
The badminton grip
When choosing a racket, the grip is crucial. Small grips are best for small hands and large grips for large hands. When holding the racket, don’t grasp it tightly, have a relaxed grip. Having a flexible wrist will help you to perfect both your forehand and backhand shots.
Check the shuttlecock flight
Beware of shuttles which 'wobble' in flight. A wobbly shuttle indicates that it is on its way out, is of poor quality or faulty and should be returned or disposed of.
Keep a central base position
It is good advice after playing a shot to return to a central base position. By positioning yourself in the middle of your area of play you are more likely to reach opposing shots.
Play badminton indoors
The shuttlecock is designed to be lightweight and the slightest breeze can whisk it away. So if you want to avoid forever retrieving your shuttle, find a place to play indoors.
Be prepared for any outcome
As badminton is a fast-paced, unpredictable game you must be prepared to move in any direction at any given time. So it is important to know your body’s limits. You don’t want to reach for that all important shot only to find yourself on the floor with a painful injury.
Badminton game planning
Just because you are a beginner, it does not mean you can’t incorporate some strategies into your game. So much of badminton is psychological. When starting out with minimal skill, try to understand your opponents psychology and use their weakness to your advantage and catch them out.
Cross-train around your badminton
As badminton requires stamina and agility it is good advice to get involved in other activities that can benefit your game. Brisk walking and jogging are ideal for providing good all-round knee strength, allowing your knees to cope with the impact during a fast paced badminton game. Also, an effort to increase your flexibility and range of motion through other flexibility-focused activities such as yoga will also benefit your game.
Use your head when playing
Don’t be fooled by badminton, it is quite a workout for the mind. The game requires constant thinking and planning, but as a novice these things may take a while to develop. So when starting out, the best way to develop these skills is to make sure every shot has a purpose and try to keep an eye on as much of the court as possible at all times. Soon your strategy will fall into place. Your attitude is also a major part of your game, don’t go into a match thinking you will lose as this negativity will be reflected in your performance.
Cool-down after playing
As with any exercise or physical activity, make sure you round off your game with a period of cool-down. Finish as you began, but this time with a gentle walk around the court. You can then focus on some light stretching. Focus on the major muscle groups but you may wish to concentrate on other areas depending on how the game went. Hold your stretches for around 30 seconds (a little longer than in the warm-up) to ensure a really deep stretch.