All original content copyright © Mike Hopley
So far, all the photos in this guide show the hand holding the badminton racket towards the end of the handle. This is a long grip.
You can also use a short grip, so that the hand is towards the cone (where the badminton racket handle and shaft meet).
Long badminton grips let you make more powerful strokes, provided that you have time to make a long enough swing.
Long badminton grips also give you a longer reach, so that you can take the shuttlecock earlier or higher.
Short badminton grips generally improve your control of the stroke and assist quick responses.
If you only have time for a short swing, then a short grip will give you more power than a long grip.
(There are mechanical reasons for these differences between short and long grips.)
Use a long badminton grip for strokes in the rearcourt. In particular, you should make sure that you use a long grip for smashes and clears, because a long grip gives you more power.
Long grips can also be useful for many strokes outside the rearcourt, including strokes at the net, because they give you a longer reach. The small difference in reach might seem insignificant, but taking the shuttlecock early at the net is crucial: a fraction of a second’s delay can turn a winning net kill into a mere net shot.
Generally, professional singles players will use a long grip in all parts of the court. Short grips are sometimes used in singles, but much less commonly than in doubles.
In some situations, a long grip may cramp your badminton strokes, because the shuttlecock is too close to your body. In this case, use a short grip to give yourself room to play the stroke. This can often happen when you return a flick serve in doubles.
Short badminton grips are useful in the forecourt and midcourt.
Short grips are mainly used in doubles, especially by the forward player when a pair is attacking.
Generally, short grips are not used in singles, even at the net.
Some elite singles players prefer a short grip for spinning net shots, sacrificing reach for control; many players will use a short grip for low or flick serves.
Even in doubles, a long grip is sometimes better at the net than a short grip. This is generally true whenever you need extra reach, such as when you are travelling forwards to kill a loose drop shot.
Many players use short grips too much. This is especially a problem with juniors who copy elite men’s doubles players.
Introduce short badminton grips into your game gradually, starting with the backhand low serve in doubles, and progressing to doubles net play. Then try using short grips for midcourt drives. Be careful: avoid using short grips for singles or in the rearcourt.
Copyright © 2008–2013 Mike Hopley. All rights reserved.
This work is registered with the UK Copyright Service.
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