When someone is looking to play badminton for the first time, or even when someone is looking to improve their game, the first thing that they should do is learn how to grip the racket properly. The right grip can affect one’s game majorly, so it is absolutely essential to learn the correct technique involved. Anyone who is experiencing difficulties with gripping the racket will definitely have a hard time playing the game properly and learning other aspects of badminton as well.
The Badminton Racket
Badminton rackets have traditionally been very light, and they typically weigh anything between 70 and 95 grams. The materials used for manufacturing these rackets are varied in nature, but they are typically composed of carbon fiber composites, graphite reinforced plastic or even solid steel. In the beginning, badminton rackets were made of wood or aluminum. The shape of the rest of the racket is oval, but some new rackets are also shaped isometrically. The head has many taut strings that are pulled tight so that they can transfer kinetic energy easily, and some rackets even have materials like carbon nanotubes or fullerene in order to increase the transfer of this energy.
The strings (which are generally made of nylon) generally have a thickness of about 0.62 – 0.73 mm and the tension at which they are tied makes a big difference in the shots that a player makes. Strings with lower tension provide more powerful shots, whereas strings with higher tension improve the control and the direction of the shots. When it comes to the grip of the racket, it is the personal choice of the player that gains importance. Sweaty palms can affect the grip in many different ways, so the player must choose between a towel-like material grip or a polyurethane synthetic grip.
Gripping the Racket Right
The shape of the grip of the badminton racket is octagonal, and each of these sides are known as bevels. You should also be aware that when you hold the racket, you should relax your forearm muscles. Gripping the racket too tightly will spoil the shots you make, and this is something that most people do not realize. You should only tighten your muscles when you are actually hitting the shuttlecock, but at other times you should hold the racket in a flexible manner so that you can shift it around in your hand easily.
In order to learn the proper grip, you must hold the racket so that the face is perpendicular to the ground. Now you must extend your right hand towards the grip as if you are shaking hands with the racket. Now simply wrap your fingers around the racket, and move your thumb so that you feel comfortable. You can further adjust the thumb and the index finger to get to the most comfortable position. Now move the racket around and see if you can do so freely. This is the best way to grip a racket in order to play a forehand shot, and even to play a backhand shot in most cases. Many experienced players say that the best way to see if your grip is right, is to check if there is a V-shape between your thumb and your index finger when you see the back of your hand. If this position fits the V-shape then the grip is absolutely correct.
While this orthodox forehand grip is great for playing backhand shots, you can also use the common backhand grip for playing such shots. In order to do this you will have to break the V-shape of the thumb and the index finger, and move the thumb higher up the grip than the index finger. The biggest benefit of this grip is that the individual can exert greater leverage on the racket by pressing the thumb downwards. A third grip known as the frying pan grip is also commonly used and in this case you will need to grip the racket in the same manner as in the forehand grip. The only difference here is that the face of the racket should be parallel to the ground, rather than perpendicular to it. This grip allows one to freely play forehand shots and backhand shots without changing the grip in the middle of the game.
All these tips are commonly known to many players, and anyone who is starting to play the game should also be well aware of this. You can try experimenting with a few grips before you settle on one that you are comfortable with, and this is something that you should never forget. It is far more important to grip the racket in a manner that comforts you, rather than just blindly follow a predetermined grip.