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How to Teach Badminton Drills & Skills

Step 1

Place four targets, such as boxes or buckets, in the corners of one service box. Position players in the opposite, diagonal service box and have them take 20 serves apiece, aiming five at each target.

Step 2

Practice hand-eye coordination by having a player hold a racket horizontally, with the player's palm facing up. Have the player hit a shuttle straight up about 1 to 3 feet, then continue hitting it each time it descends. Perform the drill for 30 seconds, then have the player repeat the drill with his palm facing down.

Related Reading: How Is Badminton Scored?

Step 3

Work on players' reaction times by setting two players on opposite sides of the net, one with a shuttle and the other lying on the court. Have one player serve the shuttle and then immediately lie on the court. The opposite player rises quickly from the court to return the shuttle, then lies back down. Continue the pattern for five minutes. Have players use a variety of basic shots such as forehands, backhands, overheads and volleys.

Step 4

Set up a doubles drill by positioning two players on each side of the net. Have the players begin a rally. The first player to make a mistake leaves the court and is replaced by another player. Continue the pattern until all of your players receive adequate time on the court.

Step 5

Practice rallying by placing two players on the same side of the court and having them hit the shuttle back and forth without letting it touch the floor. As the players progress, place them on opposite sides of the court so the shots must clear the net.

Court Drill

Instruct a player to step out onto the badminton court. Serve the shuttlecock to the player and direct her to move around the court as if she were playing a professional badminton player. Instruct the player so she covers the front court, back court and mid court while using overhand and underhand moves to hit the shuttle back over the net. This exercise not only helps a player's overall fitness level, but gets the player used to moving around the court and how to best move while on the court.

Accuracy Drill

Place baskets or buckets that are at least 1 foot in diameter around one side of the badminton court. Have the player stand on the other side of the court and see how many shuttlecocks she can hit into each basket. Have the player move closer as well as farther away from assorted baskets, and move the baskets to different positions if you want to make the drill more challenging. This drill improves players' ability to hit the shuttle in desired locations more accurately, though you can also use the drill to work on long end shots and short drop shots.

Speed and Balance Drill

Lay four shuttlecocks in the four corners of the court--use one shuttle per corner. Instruct the player to run as quickly as she can to each of the corners to set the shuttlecocks in upright positions. Time the drill if desired to look for improvements in speed. This drill helps a player work on speed as well as balance.

Reaction Time Drill

Group players into pairs and have them face their partners on either side of the badminton net. Play this drill at the court's service line. Tell one of the players from each pair to lie down on the court while the other player serves the shuttlecock. The player that is lying down must jump up as quickly as possible and serve the shuttlecock back across the net using the correct form, whether it be backhand, forehand, volley or overhead smash. The player that served the shuttlecock must lie down on the court until the shuttle is served back to her.

Badminton Serving Drills

The serve is often overlooked as a simple, easy shot without much room for improvement. Serves are, however, undoubtedly the most important shot in the game. If any one shot affects a rally the most, it’s the serve. This guide not only stresses the importance of serves, but also provides drills to help improve your serve for both your backhand and forehand side.

Serves are King The importance of serves simply cannot be stressed enough. While there are certainly

Serves are King

The importance of serves simply cannot be stressed enough. While there are certainly more factors that affect a rally than just the serve, it’s so crucial because it sets the tempo for the rally. Once a serve is taken, it immediately determines how a rally will play out. A poor serve will either lead to a kill shot for opposing team, or at least an opportunity to go on the offensive. On the other hand, an excellent serve will either score a point straight away or give your team the chance to attack.

Of course, this doesn’t mean a poor serve will always result in a losing rally for you, but it certainly gives your opponents the chance to gain control. You should aim to create more opportunities for your team while denying your opponents these same chances.

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

The simplest way to improve your serve is by practicing over and over. The more you serve, the more consistent you’ll become. Of course, you need to practice properly in order to reap the most benefits from your sessions. To set up an ideal practice session for your serves, you’ll need:

An entire court to yourself

Around 20 to 30 shuttles

A partner to help gauge the quality of your serves


The first two things may be difficult to acquire, but they’re also the most essential. Having an entire court will allow you practice serves in any manner you wish. This means short and long serves from either side of the court. Also, having an abundance of shuttles will make your sessions much more efficient. If you have only a few shuttles available, a bulk of your time will be spent gathering shuttles when you could be practicing.

Service Drills

There are essentially two main categories — short and long — for both backhand and forehand serves. While forehand serves are predominant in singles because of the long service court, it is not strictly limited to that.

To begin any serving drill you’ll need to position yourself correctly in the service court. For singles, stand about two steps behind the short service line and near the center line in either service court. For doubles, stand right where the short service line meets the center line with your dominant foot forward.

Hot Tip: Get Ready!

A common mistake players make when practicing serves is simply watching the shuttle while their rackets hang at their side. Build a good habit by getting into a ready stance after each serve you take. This will make you instinctively prepare for a return during an actual match, where it really counts.

Forehand & Backhand Short Serve

Although the mechanics for the forehand and backhand serve differ greatly, the concept of practicing them is the same. Ultimately, the quality of your short serve is determined by how low you can hit the shuttle over the net and how close it lands to the short service line.

Knowing this, have a partner hold a racket several inches over the net and parallel to it. Your goal is to get the shuttle to pass between the net and the racket. As you improve, your partner can move the racket closer and closer to the net to increase the challenge. Set goals for yourself as a way to measure your progress. For example, if you hit five consecutive successful serves, then aim for 10 the next time.

Singles Long Serve

Here, the long serve only refers to singles. As such, you should place the shuttle in the appropriate service court as close to the baseline as possible. Have your partner stand at the long service line with the racket straight up in the air. Again, you should be able to see the flight of the shuttle, making sure that it passes over the racket and lands between the long service line and the baseline. Similar to the short serve, you should set goals for yourself as you are practicing the long serve.

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Doubles Flick Serve

The flick serve is the doubles version of a long service. It’s so named because of the flicking motion of the wrist that is required to execute this serve properly. The best way to practice the flick serve is to have your partner attempt to return the serve. If he cannot make a strong return, or if he can’t return it at all, then it’s definitely a quality serve. The more likely scenario is that your partner will return most of your serves with ease because he’s expecting it, but that’s okay. Once you develop a consistently solid flick serve, mix it up between short and long to keep your partner honest. This will be a more accurate way to gauge the quality of your flick serves.

Remember the Fundamentals

As you practice hundreds of serves, you’re likely to lose focus at some point. While this may be unavoidable, it’s important to practice your serves regularly to stay on top of your game. However, mindless repetition of fundamentals can often become sloppy. Practice with a purpose. Remember to maintain your form, be mindful of your placement, and get into your ready position. To help break up the monotony, switch between short and long serves. You don’t have to look at drills as a chore. Find any way to keep it fun and light, and your practices will go a lot more smoothly.

Read more at:

Badminton Skills, Strategy, & Drills

by Brian Sather, created Apr 5 2010 - 8:10pm

Grip & preparation to hit

Types of grips:

  • 1. Forehand: Required for stroke on right side of body and strokes above head. Grip like shaking hands with racket. V formed by thumb and forefingers is at left edge of top bevel.

  • 2. Backhand: Turn so thumb is on side bevel if swinging with elbow up. Or keep same forehand grip if backhanding with elbow down.

Drill: Students practice hitting forehands and backhands over net standing on short service line. Make sure students use proper grip.

Court positioning:

For singles play stand directly in center of court.

Stand in ready position: relaxed, knees bent, racket up, feet shoulder width

apart. Footwork

Moving to side spring sideways and shuffle step to shuttle.

Right baseline: Drop step and shuffle.

Left baseline: Drop step with left foot and crossover with right turning with back to net. Turn 360 under shuttle to return.

Drills: Practice proper footwork while partner hits to each section of court.



Serve rules: Whole head of racket must be discernibly below hand holding racket when shuttle is contacted. Both feet must be on ground and may not be sliding during the contact.

Basic serve position:

3 feet behind short serve line and to right or left of centerline.

Hold shuttle at base with forefinger and thumb.

Extend left arm forward about level with shoulders.

Avoid brining racket up to shuttle to hit it. Let the shuttle drop.

Types of serves:

  • 1. Low serve: Used as change of pace and to keep opponent guessing. Make stroke almost entirely with forearm guiding shuttle and may want firm wrist. Must barely clear clear net.

  • 2. High clear: Hit very high. Utilize wrist and forearm pronation to get power.


Place targets on court that server is assigned to serve to. Work for highest


percentage hitting targets. Practice serves against opponent: Opponent attempts to return serve but

play is stopped immediately after return. Practice short serve and long serve against opponent: Any time the opponent

cannot return the serve in the server gets a point. Any short serve that the opponent does not smash also earns the server a point.

High arcing shot that travels deep in the court. Use to keep the opponent back away from net. Gives person time to reset and move up to net.

Underhand clear:

Use wrist to swat birdie high.

Hit it hard

Move into attacking position


Practice underhand clear with toss to self.

Partner serves short and receiver hits high underhand clear.

Overhead Clear


Racket back behind head.

1. Racket back behind head.
1. Racket back behind head.


Lead with elbow


Snap wrist.


Hit hard and high.


Partner serves high clear and receiver must return with overhead high clear.

Play a game with high clears only.

Drop Shot

Slow shot that drops just over the net.



Disguise shot as an overhand high clear.


Use similar arm motions but little wrist rotation. Locked wrist.


Contact shuttle farther ahead of body.


Shuttle should land as close to net as possible.


Use in combination with clears to keep opponent guessing especially in

singles. Use to move opponent out of center of court.


Players practice hitting drop shot from endline by hitting the shuttle straight

up to themselves then executing the drop shot. Partner executes high clear serve to be returned with drop shot by his

partner. Use same drill as above but receiver gets one point if shuttle lands between short serve line and net. Server gets a point for a shuttle that lands anywhere else.


Smash is a hard hit downward shot intended to win a point.



Disguise shot as a clear or drop shot.


Contact shuttle at highest comfortable point.


Rotate wrist and forearm quickly to snap the birdie down.


Rotate trunk and shoulders forward to throw weight into shot.


Players practice hitting a smash from a shuttle lobbed by a partner from the

other side of the net. Partner practices short serves. Opponent must smash short served that are

too high over net. Play rally’s where only high clears and smashes are allowed.


Drive is a flat sidearm stroke that travels low over the net and deep into the opponents court.


Forehand drive


Similar to sidearm throw in baseball


Turn body so left shoulder is pointing at net.


Contact shuttle between shoulders and waist.


Use wrist rotation and weight transfer to drive shuttle.

Drills: Players hit forehand drives from shuttle hit underhand from partner on same side of net. Partner should stand to side of person hitting drive so they are not in the path of the shuttle flight.


Backhand drive


Adjust grip so thumb in on back bevel


Turn body so right shoulder is pointing at net.


Elbow points at oncoming shuttle.


Use wrist and elbow release along with weight transfer for generate power.


Players hit backhand drives from shuttle hit underhand from partner on same

side of net. Partner should stand to side of person hitting drive so they are not in the path of the shuttle flight. Play rallies where players are only allowed to hit drives. No high clears or drop shots.


Hairpin is a shot played from close to the net the barely clears net and lands close to net on opponents side.


  • 1. Be quick to move to shuttle.

  • 2. Racket should fact up.

  • 3. Use wrist to finesse the shuttle barely over the net.


Practice hitting hairpin shot with partner on other side of net.

Keep score with partner. Only hairpins or smashes are allowed.

Partner practices hitting drop shots from around end line and opponent must return a good drop shot with a hairpin shot.


General Strategy

For offense shots are directed downwards such as drop shot, smashes, and

low serves. For defense shots are directed upwards such as high clears, high serves,

underhand drop shots. Drives can be offensive or defensive.

Singles Strategy:

Position yourself on court where greater percentage of serves will come.

Move to right side of center if you hit to opponents back hand. Move forwards if shuttle is hit deep. Try to make the opponent over anticipate your shots.

Ready position for serve should be stance staggered and close to center line

on right side and a few feet off center line on left side. Be close enough to smash a poor low serve. Most effective shots are high deep serve, overhead clear, underhand clear,

and hairpin. Force opponent to play backhand from deep court.

Hit to forehand corner in order to open up the backhand side.

Drill: Practice rallies using strategies just talked about by playing king of the court. Plays is started with a high clear. The winner of the point stays on the court. Loser is replaced by waiting player.

Doubles Strategy:

Most effective doubles serves include the low serve and drive serve.

Side by side defensive formation: Each player covers half of court. Stronger

player plays middle shots. Disadvantage is opponents can exploit weaker defender or tire one opponent by playing all shots to one side. Defends better against attack by opponents. Up and back: There is always a player at the net to put away poor returns.

Cross court shots are more easily blocked by player at net. Mid-court and sidelines are more vulnerable. Combination: Utilizes up and back formation but teammates switch to a side by side formation when they have to play a shuttle upwards that may be attacked by the opponents.

Drill: Students play a game of doubles alternating between side-by-side formation and up and back for each point.

How to Serve in Badminton

Service in badminton is one of the most important, and overlooked, shots. A key to playing good badminton is to gain an advantage by forcing your opponent to hit a weak, high-arching shot. If you can do that with consistency, you will get more opportunities to end the rally with an offensive shot or kill. The easiest and quickest way to do this is through service.

Service in badminton is one of the most important, and overlooked, shots. A key to playing

There are generally two styles of service: Forehand and backhand. These styles can be used interchangeably in both singles and doubles. This guide will go over the basics of service, including styles and usage.

Badminton Service Rules

Serve diagonally: There are four service courts with two on each side of the net. Service must be directed

to and from diagonal service courts. Be stationary: The server must be stationary with some part of both feet in contact with the surface of the

court when service is taken. Stay inside the box: The server must not touch or cross the boundary lines of the service court at the time

of service. Below the waist: The entire shuttle must be beneath the waist at the moment of contact.

Fluid motion: The motion of the racket must be fluid and in a forward direction.

This is the service style generally preferred in singles play, but can be used in doubles, as well. The key to serving forehand is proper positioning of the body, as well as the transferring of weight from the back foot to the front foot.

Gripping the Racket

The forehand grip should be used for forehand service. The forehand grip, sometimes called the “handshake” grip, should resemble the act of shaking someone’s hand. The idea is to have the head of the racket perpendicular to the floor when it is held straight out in front of you. This grip will allow you to rotate your body and generate the power you need for service.

Holding the Shuttle

Start off by cupping the shuttle with your off-hand. This ensures that the shuttle will drop straight down instead of wobbling as it falls. Next, hold the shuttle in this manner at a comfortable distance away from your body. Your arm should not be locked or stiff; instead, it should be at a distance that is natural to strike the shuttle. A common tendency for new players is to hold the racket beneath the shuttle to help hit the shuttle. Your racket should be cocked back so that you can generate the necessary power with a full swing.

Positioning in the Service Court

Position yourself near the center line in either service box. Make sure that you stand with your legs about shoulder- width apart with your dominant foot back. For singles service, you’ll want to stand about a step behind the short service line, which should be close to your base. After you’ve settled on a position, take a few practice strokes with an imaginary shuttle in hand. The key here is to follow through with your stroke and to shift your weight from the back foot to the front foot in a rocking motion.

Hitting the Shuttle

Ideally, the shuttle should be struck at waist height to shorten the amount of time your opponent has to react to your serve. Doing this also makes it easier to serve the shuttle low over the net or high and deep over your opponent. You should use an underhand stroke that crosses the body and ends up near your opposite shoulder on the follow- through.

Aiming the Serve

You should aim your serve to land in the diagonal service box near the short service line or long service line. Equally important is the path the shuttle takes to get there. For short serves, the trajectory should be flat to force your opponent to return high. For long serves the shuttle should travel high, out of reach of your opponent, forcing him to move back to return the shot. It will take time to execute both serves consistently, but it’s too crucial to badminton to ignore.

Backhand Service

Although a significantly more difficult shot to master than the forehand serve, the backhand serve is much more versatile, as it is used regularly in both singles and doubles play. Backhand serves are more deceptive because of the short, quick motion used to serve both short and long. However, in order to learn this serve you’ll need to be comfortable with the backhand grip. If you need help with your backhand grip or stroke, please check out the guide “How to Grip a Badminton Racket.”

Backhand Service Although a significantly more difficult shot to master than the forehand serve, the backhand

Gripping the Racket

There are many variations of the backhand grip, and different players have different preferences. Here we’ll use the traditional backhand grip as a starting point. The traditional grip has the thumb flushed along the fat side of the handle with the rest of the fingers wrapped around. When holding the racket this way you should be able to point your thumb past both the upright position and the downward position.

Holding the Shuttle

Pinch the shuttle’s skirt just enough so that you can keep it secure between your fingers. You don’t want to grab too much of the skirt, because your fingers will get in the way when you’re serving. Hold the racket at a comfortable distance away from your body and rest your wrist on the head ever so slightly. Remember to keep the shuttle at waist-height or below to maintain a legal serve.

Positioning in the Service Court

As a general rule, you’ll want to stand as close to the intersection of the center line and the short service line as possible. This will help keep the distance and time the shuttle travels in the air as short as possible. You should have your dominant foot forward and the other foot back to allow enough room for the racket to move when serving.

Hot Tip: On Your Toes

To shorten the time the shuttle is in the air and allow for a flatter trajectory, stand on your tip-toes to give yourself more “height” when serving. This is a legal maneuver as long as both feet are in contact with the court. With backhand service needing every bit of precision you can afford, the few inches you gain will be invaluable to improving your serve.

Hitting the Shuttle

Your backhand service stroke should be taken using your backhand grip, with your forearm and wrist providing the power. Sometimes the shuttle may be difficult to contact when simply letting it hang from your fingers. If you’re having this problem, angle the shuttle so that the head is facing the racket. The motion of your arm should be continuous for your serve to remain legal.

Aiming the Serve

Like forehand serves, the backhand serve should be aimed near the short and long service lines. However, if you’re using the backhand serve for doubles play, it would be ideal to aim for one of the four corners of the service court. Again, the trajectory of the shuttle is important, because any short serves that are too high will be attacked by the receiver. Similarly, any long serves that are too low will be cut off without much effort on the receiver’s part. Start by getting accustomed to serving low and short before attempting to serve long. The long serve, or flick serve, is particularly difficult to master, because it requires both power and precision to hit well.

Serving in Style

The service style you use is ultimately your choice, because it should fit your style of play. While forehand serves are generally more defensive and consistent, they are not often used in higher levels of competition. In contrast, the backhand serve produces higher-quality short serves and deceptive long serves. Don’t worry about picking a serve and sticking with it, because they are interchangeable even within a game.