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Tactics for singles beginners
For beginners to badminton the main points to focus on are:
- Hitting the shuttle consistently high and deep to give time to recover.
- Try to aim shots to the opponents weaker side (usually backhand), to give the advantage off a weak return.
- Try to place shots before adding more power, because more power will usually result in more errors.
- Try to keep the opponent on the move as much as possible and not play me to you badminton. This is when two players just stand in the center of the court and hit the shuttle back and forth between them. Try moving the opponent from the net to the back and from the forehand to backhand side to fatigue them quicker.
- Keep winning, keep playing the same way
- Keep losing change the style of play
- Try to change the speed of play, by mixing up shots. For example hit some slower shots, such as, drop shots and net shots, with faster shots in between, such as, smashes, and drives.
- Always play to personal strengths and try to exploit the opponents weaknesses.
Men's and women's doubles
Avoid lifting or clearing the shuttle, which is like punting in football. By clearing, you are giving the opponents a chance to win. If you do clear, your team should adopt a side-by-side defensive position. The whole point of the rally, starting with the service, is to hit shots that force the opponents to lift. This is why when you are serving your partner stands behind you because you hope to make the receivers lift with your good short serve. This is also why when you are receiving serve your partner stands behind you because you hope with your aggressive return you will make someone on the serving team lift to your partner.
If your opponents clear to your side, the person who will hit the shuttle must hit downwards (either smashing or dropping) while the partner must be moving to the front as soon as he realizes the shuttle is not his. This is the up and back offence position, the better to control the net. From now on the smasher gets all the deep ones, while the net man cuts off or puts away everything else.
If you have the offence, it is safest if you do not smash cross-court, since their down-the-line return will be directed at your undefended open space.
Find out how your opponent directly across the net from you waits for your smash. If he waits on his backhand, smash wide to his forehand or close to his forehand hip or shoulder. If he waits on his forehand, smash to his body or his backhand. If he stands deep, hit drops or cut smashes. If he stands close and waits with his racket up, try a quick clear.
If you are on defence, try to flatten the smash out so that the smasher cannot smash again. You can return cross-court with the aim of tiring the smasher or forcing him to hit a laterally off-balanced shot, but the cross-court must avoid the net man.
In the classic mixed formation, the woman stays in front of the man, playing along and just behind the short service line, while the man retrieves shots hit to his half-court or backcourt. In mixed it is even more imperative not to lift, since the woman is so close at the net and vulnerable to smashes. Classic mixed is a slower game with more finesse than in regular doubles, the better to bring both partners into the rally. Again, each team is trying to hit shots that make the other team lift. Avoid shots that your opponents can meet above the tape, unless you manage to get the shot behind the striker.
If you do lift, the woman should not stay at the T and duck, but run away cross-court from where the shuttle is on the other side and take a position about 2-3 feet behind the short service line, squatting down and keeping the racket head up. She is only responsible for smashes and drops directed at her; the man gets everything else, including the down-the-line drop.
Since you are playing in an up-and-back formation, hitting cross-court is risky since you are vulnerable to a down-the-line return. Hit cross-court only if both opponents are on the same side of their court as the shuttle is on your side, or if you know you can hit a winner through the opposing woman.
Video of Shots