The Badminton Bible


All original content copyright © Mike Hopley

Changing grips

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You must be able to change between different grips, so that you can adapt to different situations in the rally. Grip changes need to be quick and accurate.

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[Note: in the video, I use the term basic grip. Nowadays I would call it a neutral grip]

How to change grip

Start with a relaxed neutral grip. Use your thumb and index finger to turn the angle of the racket. Let go and then hold again to get the fingers positioned. To make fast grip changes, coordinate them with the movements of your wrist and arm. This gives you a quicker change, and you can use the larger movement to let go and hold, rearranging your fingers.

When you’re changing grip, you must get the direction right. You can go either way around the racket handle, but one way is more natural because it’s coordinated with your wrist and arm. It may also help you use arm rotation in your shot.


Start without the shuttle

You can do these exercises while you’re watching TV or doing something passive; you don’t have to be on a badminton court.

Just change grips in your hand. Start slow, and make sure your grip changes are correct and your fingers are positioned effectively and comfortably on the handle. Then build up speed.

Practise changing grip with your fingers only. Then practise combining this with bringing your racket into position for a shot.

You can also try spinning the racket in your fingers. This helps you use a relaxed grip, and gets you used to the feeling of twisting the racket between your index finger and thumb.

You can even practise spinning and then catching the racket in a particular grip. Make sure you’re not spinning the racket too fast for this. Spin the racket both ways to get the feeling of changing in both directions.

On court

Try playing a push from the net. Don’t make the shot or movement too difficult; concentrate on the grip change. Stand close to the net.

The feeder should stand behind the service line and throw the shuttle flat over the net, but don’t make them too tight over the net tape, and make sure the player has time.

Angle the feed slightly to the forehand or backhand side. Start by feeding to the forehand side, and practise changing to a panhandle grip, back to basic after the shot, then back to panhandle for the next shot, and so on. Then do the same thing on the backhand side, changing from a basic grip to a thumb grip.

Then feed alternate sides, and finally feed to random sides. The feeder needs to make sure their arm movement doesn’t signal which side they’re feeding to. This should be a good test!