By Nicole Lee
After mastering your badminton footwork, it's time to learn the different types of shots and when best to use them. All shots in badminton can be classified broadly into either offensive or defensive shots. Here are some of the most popular ones.
Defensive badminton shots
The Clear Shot
In this stroke, contact the shuttlecock around the middle of your racket head. The aim of the clear is to cause the shuttle to go up high in the air and land at your opponent's back court.
This is used when you need to buy more time for yourself to return to base before the next return. It is also strategic to use when your opponent is near to the fore-court, forcing him to retract to the back to retrieve the shuttle.
The Drive Shot
The drive shot is a basic flat shot, directly hit over the net. It is a powerful, quick counter-attacking shot that is easy to execute. Your racket should be held with the head facing straight ahead.
It can sometimes be strategic to aim the shot at your opponent who will be unable to react or shift his body in time as their natural reaction will be to duck the shot.
Offensive badminton shots
The Drop Shot
The drop shot is best used when the shuttle is heading towards you in the first half of your court. To perform this stroke, the player must hit the shuttle cock downwards towards the opponent's fore-court, aiming for it to go just over the net.
You want to make it look like a drive, but instead you only use a little force to push the shuttle over the net. This shot is strategic to use when the opponent is near to the back court, anticipating your stroke to be a clear or drive.
For more advanced play, if you are in the mid-court you can try slicing the shuttlecock so it will bounce nicely over the net. If the opponent is in the back court, this shot will make the opponent dash forward.
The closer the shuttle drops to the net, the harder it is to return. However, it also becomes riskier for you as it may not cross the net and cost you the rally.
The Smash Shot
The badminton smash is considered the most powerful shot in badminton and you can think of it like a drive that is angled downwards. It is best used when the shuttle when its high in the air, so it can be angled downwards.
When the shuttle comes in from a high angle, it will allow you enough time to arch and get in position to strike. At the highest point of contact, with a flick of the wrist aim the shuttle downwards in a steep gradient.
You ideally want to aim for spots furthest from your opponent, but another tactic is to aim it towards his upper torso, making it hard for him to defend.
There are other types of shots in badminton like the more advanced spinning shots, lifts and net kills. But the shots mentioned above are the core shots you should first learn to master.
Lastly, its always important to disguise your shots so will not become easy to predict. For example, your offensive shots should look like either a drive or a drop shot until the very last second. This will make it hard for your opponent to react.
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