As I have mentioned in previous articles, badminton is rather a technical sport. The entire game style and strategy are influenced and built on technique which is often very hard, similarly to golf. The first practice sessions in badminton are also focused on the basics – the right racket grip.
Thanks to a correct racket grip your hits can be much faster and more accurate, which are the fundamental attributes of a quality performance. Badminton has, of course, its specifics and these are also applied to the grip. Like in other racket sports, we distinguish two basic grips:
- Forehand grip
- Backhand grip
The grips change constantly during the game, depending on the situation and that’s why it’s important to practice this change and speed it up.
The faster you can do this grip switch and change from forehand to backhand, the faster you can return the birdie to your opponent’s side.
Forehand badminton grip
This is probably the most basic position in which you will have your racket ready, before a serve or during the game. It’s therefore important that you master this grip since it will be your first-hand help. It’s mainly used for playing birdies which are on the forehand side of your body and for overhead shots.
It’s essential that your racket points straight down and the grip is relaxed.
Now let’s move to your fingers. Your thumb and index finger should make up a V shape while holding the racket. The lowest part of the V should be in line with the racket’s head. As far as your thumb is concerned, only the side should be touching the handle. You can either wrap it around the handle or have it straight.
The bottom part of the thumb doesn’t touch the racket at all.
Of course, the grip will change and tighten when you are striking or putting power on the shot. In addition, there should be gaps between the remaining fingers. The gaps are more or less the same with the exception of the index finger and the middle finger, where the distance is bigger.
The index finger should be curled around the handle and in no circumstances straight.
This is a common error that can lead to injuries. You can also move your grip up the handle to increase accuracy by serving or when you are in the forecourt or midcourt, but nothing extreme, you have to feel comfortable with it. Your hand’s position towards the racket should resemble a handshake, like when you are meeting with an old friend – easy and relaxed.
Backhand badminton grip
To learn the backhand grip, you will need to master the forehand, because the easiest way to learn a new additional grip is to start from the basic one.
Position the racket for a forehand grip and turn it about 90 degrees which will give you a full thumb grip on the handle. In the case of a backhand grip, you only have to turn it to 45 degrees. This angle is, however, only an approximate reference, since you will have to act and adapt based on the situation and adjust it.
The pad of the thumb should be placed on the wide bevel of the handle which will also ensure a power boost for your shots. Don’t forget, the racket should, similarly to the forehand grip, rest and be relaxed on the fingers, not the palm of the hand. Moving the grip to the top part of the handle will have the same effect on accuracy as in the case of the forehand.
With these steps, you should be able to master both grips in no time. Be careful to check all the items on the list and remember to create a V shape from your fingers while holding the racket. If you somehow end up with a U-shape grip, try again. This rounder grip means that you are holding the racket too tightly and won’t be as flexible as by the correct grip. Flexibility in your wrist is very important because it enables you to move freely and hit your targets more accurately.
Once you have mastered the technique of the grips and are able to position yourself in one or another, the next challenge awaits – badminton shots.
It’s nice to know the grips, but you can only be effective when you can use them quickly, efficiently and on time. Therefore, try to change between grips as quickly as possible, because as mentioned in the beginning, it’s crucial to be able to switch between them instantly. This is mainly due to the fact that badminton is a fast-paced game and the situation changes fairly quickly.
The grips are your tools by which you can adapt and defend yourself against your opponent’s attacks or, on the other side, strike yourself and place the birdie in an unreachable fashion and win a point. The best way to get better at this is of course to practice.
Grab your racket, train, switch and win!