The Beginner's Guide to Mastering Different Shots of Badminton

The Beginner's Guide to Mastering Different Shots of Badminton

Badminton is a popular sport in India. It won't be inaccurate to say that almost every Indian knows about the sport or has played it at least once during their lifetime.

If you want to play badminton professionally or occasionally to get fit, you must have a comprehensive knowledge of the various badminton shots.

Learn the Badminton Shots to Diversify your Game

From powerful smashes to delicate drop shots: each serves a specific purpose on the court. Let's master different shots and know when to execute them effectively.

  1. Overhead Clear
  2. Drop Shot
  3. Drive
  4. Smash
  5. Lift Shot

Overhead Clear

Drop Shot



Lift Shot

Shuttlecock Trajectory:

High in the air and lands in the opponent's backcourt

Low and close to the badminton net

Flat and straight toward the opponent's body

Very close to the badminton net

High in the air and lands in the opponent's backcourt

How to Play:












1. Overhead Clear: Most Important for a Singles Player

There will be times when you have caught the shuttlecock at an inopportune moment and want to reposition yourself in the forecourt. Now, you need a shot that can push back the opponent in their backcourt and, thus, allow you some time to get back to the base or starting position before the next return. In such a situation, a clear shot can be helpful.

Overhead Clear Shot

The overhead clear shot is a fundamental badminton stroke that sends the shuttlecock high in the air and deep into the opponent's court. A few players also call it lobbing. You can also use the shot to push back the opponent in the backcourt. Aim to hit the shuttlecock in the center of the racquet head to play an excellent defensive clear shot.

The offensive/attacking clear shot is another type of clear shot that is a lot flatter than the defensive clear. The purpose of this shot is to baffle your opponent, especially when they are expecting a different shot.

A Tip for Beginners: You do not need too much power for clears. Instead, it is a game of correct form and timing. Ensure a smooth movement of your arm and wrist to place the shuttlecock deep into the opponent's backcourt.

2. Drop Shot: Close to the Net; Closer to the Win

When your opponent plays a clear shot, or you find the shuttlecock in your backcourt, you can hit the birdie flat in the downward direction, just over the net, and place it in the opponent's forecourt. It is especially beneficial when your opponent is still in the backcourt or expecting a different shot.

Drop Shot

A fast drop shot travels quickly and lands away from the net. This powerful and lightning-fast shot is often used in doubles games to compel your opponent to hit a higher shot, thus, giving you more chances of attack. Ensure the accurate placement of the shuttlecock by keeping it close to the net. It will be hard to return and, thus, win you a point.

Please note you can play the shot slowly to place the birdie as close to the net as possible. However, it requires some practice as the shuttlecock may not cross the net, and you can lose a point.

In certain situations, you can play drop shot from the front court. Players call it the net drop as you play it very close to the badminton net. It is a delicate shot, often arduous for beginners, and requires hours of practice.

A Tip for Beginners: If your opponent is heavy, you can use the slow drop shot because they will be forced to move their body weight to get close to the net. And it will make them expend more energy. With a short and more petite opponent, go for a fast drop shot because it will give them less time to react.

3. Drive: Overwhelm your Competitor

With the drive shot, the shuttlecock travels parallel to the ground, just over the net, and flies close to your competitor's body. By keeping the feather birdie close to your opponent, there is a high chance they cannot react quickly and, thus, win you a rally.


Now, one must remember that the practical application of the shots may not always be the same as its theoretical explanation. Drives are usually flat. However, you can play them with an upward or downward trajectory.

You can play the drive shot either on the forehand or backhand. But, the former shot is much preferable because the backhand drop shot will deliver a slightly higher trajectory, thus, allowing more time for the opponent. No matter how you play the shot, your racket must face straight ahead.

A Tip for Beginners: Your wrist and forearm must be strong for successful drives. You should be able to generate power and speed with precision. Practice as many drive shots as possible to avoid soreness and increase strength.

4. Smash: The Most Devastating Weapon in your Arsenal

When you want to overwhelm your competitor, use the smash shot because it will give them less time to react and be hard to return. When the shuttlecock is high, use the extra time to deliver a downward shot with immense speed and power.


It is similar to a drop shot because a player plays it from the backcourt, and you try to place the shuttlecock's trajectory downward. Now, it differs from the drop shot because you can place the smash anywhere you want. Usually, you will play the smash away from your opponent so he does not have time to react. However, in practice, many players play it toward the opponent's body, thus, forcing them to duck.

When playing the smash, your goal is to create a steep angle so, when the shuttlecock is at the highest point, use your wrist strength to flick it downwards with power and speed. Make sure you pass your smash as a drive or drop shot till the end so it confuses your rival.

A Tip for Beginners: Increase your upper body strength for powerful smashes. You need to practice accurate form and rotation of the upper body so that you can transition your power into a strong smash. Additionally, you need to focus on the angle of the shot. For a steep shot, make sure you hit the shuttlecock at its highest point, which means you must make contact when it is above and in front of you.

5. Lift Shot: A Skill that can be a Game-Changer

The lift is a defensive shot that you typically play from the front of the court (very close to the net) and place the shuttlecock deep into the opponent's court, thus pushing them to the backcourt. Badminton coaches call it the lift because you lift the shuttlecock high before it lands in the backcourt.

Lift Shot

It is a defensive shot because your opponent gets enough time to reach the backcourt. A high lift will also give you extra time to come to the base and avoid the circumstances of your opponents using the net kill. The net kill is a flat and downward shot that a player executes when their opponent plays a weak or too high net shot/lift.

You must place your racket accurately under the shuttlecock and bring it upwards until you make the point of contact with the shuttlecock. The lift involves an advanced blend of power and control of the movement of your arms, wrist, and fingers.

A Tip for Beginners: You may think the net lift is not as popular as other shots. But, it is necessary to practice the shot because if your opponent plays a menacing net shot, you will return it and increase your chances of winning the point. Additionally, you will push your opponent in the backcourt, and he will have to exert more energy to continue the rally.

In conclusion:

As a beginner, the different types of badminton shots can become overwhelming. But understanding and mastering them will diversify your playing style and elevate your game. Take time to learn the varied shots and practice each shot diligently. In addition to perfecting your technique, improve your footwork, positioning, and posture to become a formidable player.

To excel in the game of badminton, you need the best beginner-friendly badminton rackets. Shop with India's favourite badminton store to improve your game.

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