18 Badminton Tactics You Must Know

I believe that if you want to to be a better badminton player you must be tactical. Here are what I believe the top 18 badminton tactics.

Badminton Tactic #1

Vary your hold time on your serve. This can confuse your opponent. You have 5 seconds to serve, so use them…

Badminton Tactic #2

Dress according to you game plan. If you want to intimidate your opponents, then wear all the badminton gear (shoes, shorts, shirts, socks, wristband…). If you want your opponents to under-estimate your abilities, then wear whatever.

Badminton Tactic #3

Deliberately serve a bit short to players who love to rush your short serve. They end up having little time to decide if they want to return your serve.

kid playing badminton

Badminton Tactic #4

Always remain calm and poised. Your negative behavior can influence your partners’ badminton play and can give fuel to your opponents’ confidence.

Badminton Tactic #5

The single most important shot in doubles is the serve. Nail it. The next two most important are the serve-return, and the serve-return-return (first three hits in a rally). All else is secondary…

Badminton Tactic #6

Players must be able to full court clear from any part of the court. The only exception is concerning appropriate developmental expectations at the younger age levels (under age 12).

Playing Badminton

Badminton Tactic #7

Use the 80/20 rule in your badminton play. 80% of the time are staple shots (ie short serve, smashing, pushes, drops, lobs, attacking clears. 20% of the time are flick/long serves, clears, lifts, trick shots, low percentage shots, and all non-attacking shots. Of course, sometimes rules are meant to be broken…improvise.

Badminton Tactic #8

Always communicate positively with your partner(verbally and via body-language). Think positively within yourself as well. If you or your partner miss, say “Good try”, or “It’s ok”. When you or your partner do well, give praise.  Research has given proven links between thinking and doing.

Badminton Tactic #9

Watch out for south paws. Sometimes we forget there are left handed players.

Badminton Tactic #10

Watch your opponent play in matches prior to yours. Look for any advantages.

is badminton a real sport?

Badminton Tactic #11

If you notice that your opponent is weakening or missing some shots. Do not give them any extra time to regroup. You can do this by getting to the serve line faster, and pick up the pace of the game. Try not to give them water breaks or change the bird.

Badminton Tactic #12

Singles is essentially a game of chess. He who lasts longest is the victor.

Badminton Tactic #13

When serving, consider your opponents’ physical characteristics. Flick long high serves to much shorter players, as they may be able to punch short serves easier. Taller players can cut off high serves easier and quicker(they have longer legs), and they have more difficulty with tighter short serves(more effort to stay low).

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Badminton Tactic #14

At your service, consider where your opponent is standing. If they are too close, flick serve. Try to serve to the “T”(at their body) most times; however, if they are close to the “T” serve to the opposite side. Use all four corners of the service box to your advantage, and to keep them off guard.

Badminton Tactic #15

Smashing down the center of the court, or dropping at the “T” is the safest and most effective attack(also can aim for their body). Advantages:

  • keeps your partner at the net in the game, as the returns should come straight up the middle
  • your partner can cover most of the front court equally and with one step
  • the opponents can collide due to both going for the bird, or miss if neither go for it
  • the bird can never go out wide, only out length ways
  • it is harder for the opponent to do an effective cross court return
  • in more advance strategies, the attackers can channel attack*

(*Channel Attack: Your partner at the net moves slightly over one side of the court to which the two of you focus your smashing and attacking on one opponent)

badminton hit

Badminton Tactic #16

If you are at the net playing doubles, try to duck low if you want your partner in the back to take an oncoming shot. This also gives greater visibility to your partner when they hit the shuttle.

Badminton Tactic #17

When your opponent comes in towards the net to return your drop, make sure you are there. Keep your racket up and make a quick, over-bearing lunge (maybe like a smash attempt) towards the anticipated return direction of the bird (you need to come in anyway in case they may do a drop return). Your opponents’ peripheral vision will pick up your aggressive movement, and this could affect the quality of their return as part of their mind is distracted by this looming figure rushing into the net.

Badminton Tactic #18

When playing doubles, expect to participate in rotation throughout the rally. Avoid playing sides. In any given rally, an athlete may be on a side, at the net, or at the baseline.

      Badminton Master