Almost every badminton player has a poor backhand game. At the very least, their backhand will be weaker than their forehand. When someone hits a shot to the backhand area at the backside of the court, it is often difficult for most of us to clear that shot.
If you’re having trouble with your backhand and want to learn how to improve it, you’ve come to the right place.
I was having the same problem. I was playing a singles game with a friend, and he kept sending all of his shots to my backhand. I struggled to take points in that match, and it was then that I realized I needed to work on my backhand.
I did some research and discovered how to improve backhand in badminton, and I’d like to share what I discovered with you in this article.
Some of the most common causes of a poor backhand clear in badminton
Changing grip is one of the most fundamental, yet frequently overlooked skills. Badminton is now played at a faster tempo, so basic skills must be mastered to keep up. The only time you could use a forehand grip would be if the shuttle had already passed you by. A forehand grip will then, and only then, properly present the racket face to the shuttle in order to play this shot, which is extremely difficult.
To hit any power shot, you must be properly positioned. To provide a solid base on the backhand, your feet must be firmly planted on the floor, more so than on the forehand. That is not to say that this shot cannot be played while in mid-air, as the pros can hit the clear from this position. However, for the vast majority of players, having both feet on the ground is critical to generating the power needed to hit a good backhand clear.
Position of the body
When I study players with poor backhands, I find that most are so afraid of the bad results they expect on their backhand that they fail to properly prepare to hit the shot. They step to the side after moving to the backhand and only partially turn the shoulders to hit the shot. This means the racket is starting in the wrong place and taking the wrong path towards the shuttle – an in-to-out path. Unless you’re extremely lucky, the racket’s path will always be opposite the direction you want the shuttle to go. That’s similar to trying to drive a nail into a wall when the starting position and path of the hammer are on one side of the nail – it’s nearly impossible to hit straight.
The shuttle’s position
To hit a good clear, strike the shuttle when it is parallel to your body. If the shuttle is in front of you, closer to the net, you have enough time to hit a round-the-head shot. The majority of mistakes I see are caused by the shuttle being struck from behind the body, which is the most difficult shot to master.
There are several common hitting errors. Allowing the shoulder to lead effectively turns your body before the hit. This means that you change the path your racket must take to connect to the shuttle, resulting in an in-to-out action. Another common blunder here is throwing the entire arm at the shuttle with strong follow-through. This technique lacks power and direction, and the clear will always be weak.
It is critical to hit and move no matter what shot you are playing or where you are on the court. It’s amazing how many times you see players admiring their shot while stationary, rather than hitting, watching, and moving. You won’t be able to cover a possible return if you don’t recover from the shot. The risk here is that some players attempt to push off from their racket leg while playing the shot, which completely alters the path of the racket.
The amount of tension in your body and racket arm is probably the biggest cause of weakness in any power shot. When your muscles are tense, they cannot function efficiently or effectively.
*** Read more: Top 5 Best Badminton Rackets For Advanced and Professional Players
How to improve backhand in badminton?
What steps can you take to improve your backhand game? Is there a secret formula that you aren’t aware of? Let’s see how it goes.
Backhand Clearing Techniques in Badminton
The majority of people’s weakness in their backhand game is due to poor technique and footwork. To play backhand shots effectively, it is critical to learn the proper technique and footwork.
Now, let’s go over some pointers for perfecting your backhand technique.
The backhand is our weak point, and we rely on it frequently when we’re under pressure. In this situation, the most important shot to learn is the backhand clear.
Yes, it’s a defensive shot, and you should learn to attack backhand shots like the backhand smash or the backhand drop. However, a backhand clear is the fundamental shot that you should learn before moving on to attacking shots.
You can easily adjust your power and speed to make a smash or a drop if you know how to hit a backhand clear shot with ease.
Before you can learn the proper technique, you must first forget about the technique you used to hit the backhand. Let’s take a look at the proper technique required to pull off a backhand shot.
The Backhand Shot Grip
To begin, you must use the proper grip when playing backhand shots. When playing backhand shots, don’t grip the racquet so tightly. Use a light, loose grip.
I hope you understand the distinction between a forehand grip and a backhand grip.
However, a backhand grip should not be used for an overhead backhand shot. For an underarm backhand shot, we can use the standard backhand grip. To generate some power on overhead backhand shots, we need to use a different grip.
If you want to play the backhand clear from the backside of the court (overhead backhand shot), you must turn away from the V-grip and towards the panhandle grip, which is similar to holding a frying pan.
Instead of placing your thumb on the flat side of the racket, rotate it slightly to place it on the diagonal bevel.
*** Read more: Top 10 Best Badminton Rackets To Smash And Control in 2023
Footwork and timing
We hit the shuttle at its highest point when we play forehand shots. If we want to hit a powerful attacking shot, we usually don’t wait for the shuttle to come down further.
When it comes to overhead backhand shots, however, this is not the case. You don’t have to hit the shuttle at its peak. In fact, if you get to your position early enough to hit the shuttle at its highest point, you can use a forehand shot.
Why do we continue to use the backhand shot even when it is ineffective? We don’t have time to get to the backside corner and hit it with the forehand. If we have time, use the strong forehand to hit the shuttle.
When playing a backhand clear shot, you must hit the shuttle when it is approximately the height of your head. You must keep your gaze fixed on the shuttle until you hit it with your backhand.
Until you hit the shuttle, keep your entire hand and grip relaxed. After the initial acceleration of the hand towards the shuttle, you must squeeze the grip at the point of contact.
To generate power, use the elbow. Raise your elbow in the direction of the shuttle. You can also use the forehand rotation (also known as the super nation movement) to add power to your shot.
At the contact point, you must transfer the momentum generated by your movements into the shuttle in order to make the shot as powerful as possible.
You don’t want to complete the follow-through and turn around after hitting a backhand clear. That is something that none of the professional players do. If you’ve ever done that, you may have noticed the opponent hitting at you before you were ready to return.
As a result, do not rotate 360 degrees to return to the original position. That is a clumsy and inefficient movement.
Instead, you want to return the racket to its original position. Once you’ve hit the shuttle with your backhand, take a step back, remembering to reverse the footwork you used to get there. Return to the middle of the court, facing the net, and prepare for your opponent’s return.
*** Read more: Yonex Voltric Z Force 2 Review: Generating Power In Every Hit
How to Improve Your Badminton Backhand Shots?
To improve any shot in badminton, obviously, a lot of practice is required. Try to play your backhand as much as possible with the proper technique. While practicing, use the proper grip, footwork, and other theoretical concepts that you’ve learned.
When you practice it enough times, the technique becomes muscle memory, and you’ll be able to play the shot correctly during the match.
Improve your footwork because it is essential when playing a difficult backhand shot. If you have good footwork, you can move quickly around the court and time the shuttle correctly. This will also help you use your forehand more often rather than your weaker backhand.
While practicing, have a friend hit the shuttle around your backhand area on a regular basis. If you’re alone, you can also practice by trying to keep hitting the shuttle upwards with power and the proper grip with your backhand.
You’ve learned a lot of fundamental theoretical concepts about how to improve backhand in badminton. It’s now time to head to your badminton court and put what you’ve learned into action. You’ll eventually become good at backhand shots if you practice with patience and hard work, and no one will take advantage of your weak backhand to score points.
There is nothing worse than reading this far and then walking away without putting these ideas into action. Let’s practice, and you’ll become a master of backhand shots.
I hope you found this article useful in expanding your knowledge and skills about this wonderful game. If it was useful to you, please share it so that others can benefit from it as well.