Saturday, June 16, 2012

Offensive Badminton Strategies: Taking the Net

Welcome to another lesson in badminton strategies.

It's been awhile since I've gotten to writing these, so I thought I'd take some time to refresh my tactics and strategies myself. You'll never be at a disadvantage if you've got knowledge, and besides the game is so much better when both sides are battling with mind as well as technique.

I've read some of the stuff on the internet, tried them out and added my little touch to it for your perusal. I've even added in names to make them easier to remember!

This is the sixth and final part of the Badminton Strategies segment. After this we'll move on to the higher level stuff: Tactics.

If you read the overview you'll understand that I term Offensive Strategies as the point-scoring elements of your game. They consist of faster moves and may sometimes demand more concentration and accuracy than the defensive ones we've talked about earlier. You're also opening yourself up to counter attacks, so you might really want to use these as a calculated risk.

The payload is a spectacular smash finish to win the point.

The second offensive strategy I'll touch on is crucial in the game of singles, and is a common one employed by masterful shuttler Taufik Hidayat - Taking the Net.

If you feel like you've got the touch (well, at least better than your opponent anyway), you'll want to move your base position slightly forward to capture the front court area. Doing this will allow you to demand lifts from the opponent whenever you want to.

When executing tight net shots, there are two main methods - spin and drops.

The spinning net shot is when you brush the shuttle with an opposite force of its decent into your racket, making the return shot spin, reducing speed drastically and making it hard for the opponent to give a good return. A well-executed spinning net shot will tumble and turn, recovering well below the tape and forcing a lift from the opponent.

You will want to use the spinning net shot when your opponent is considerably ready to receive your shots. If he's standing at the base position, ready to split step and pounce on a loose shot, make him wait and stretch with a tight spinning net shot. The tumble and receive below the tape will eliminate the advantage he has by being ready in base position.

The other kind of net shot you'll want to practice is the drop net shot. These are hit with an upward sweeping motion so that the shot produced causes the shuttle to arch high upwards and drop vertically down with speed. These may not be as sexy as their spinning counterparts, but used well, the drop net shot can be very tight and close to the net. It's also hard for the opponent to judge how far the shuttle will arch before dropping vertically down.

The drop net shot is used when your opponent has quite some ground to cover, usually when he committed to a offensive shot from the back court. The relatively faster shuttle of the drop net shot as compared to the spinning one plays very nicely to this situation, allowing you to turn your defense into a chance for a short lift and smash finish.

For the strategy to work, you'll have to demonstrate that you're ready to pounce on any loose net shot that he's willing to execute. Stay upfront with your racket up, and watch the shuttle like a hawk. Once he's had a taste of your net kill, he'll stray away from the net and move his base backwards.

And when that happens, he's left with fewer attacking options and opens himself to the drop net shot.

If he comes to the front, he faces a net kill following a tight net shot. If he plays long, he'll have trouble following the attacks because of your drop net shot.

Limit his options, win the game.

Coming up next, Badminton Tactics.

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