Badminton Net Play
Badminton net play is a vital skill when you’re playing along the net with your opponent. This is a fairly difficult skill to master because you need EXTREMELY good control over your racket.
If you’re good at net play, you can easily win a rally at the front of the court, by performing the tumbling net shot or the badminton net kill.
Don’t worry so much if you don’t get what I’m saying right now. I will guide you through with simple steps and you’ll master the various badminton net play skills with enough practice.
Steps to Master Badminton Net Play
To master this badminton skill, you’ll need:
1. Good badminton footwork to bring you quickly to the front of the court to return the shuttle. Always try to take the shuttle when it’s still high in the air. In this case, hit the shuttle at the highest point possible near the net.
If the shuttle is near the badminton net and is still high up, JUST TAKE YOUR CHANCE TO SMASH!
Engage in badminton net play only when your opponent returns a perfect drop shot, or if he gives you a net shot and you wish to return another net shot.
2. Good control of your racket. First, make sure that you’re holding your racket the correct way. Review your badminton basics to maximise your badminton net play skills.
Good control over your badminton racket is important to ensure you exert just enough power into your net shot (and not too much power, but sufficient power for the shuttle fly across just above the net).
You’ll have to practice a few times and figure out how much strength to exert for a net shot; and also find out where’s the best point to ‘slice’ your racket against the shuttle.
Other Useful Tips for Effective Badminton Net Play:
- Take the shuttle at the highest point possible.
- Exert appropriate strength to send the shuttle across the other side (preferably having the shuttle fly RIGHT ABOVE THE NET)
Types of Net Shots
The following are the tutorials for the various badminton net play skills.
1. The Tumbling/Spinning Net Shot
Badminton Spinning Net Shot (a.k.a. Tumbling Net Shot)
Force your opponent to lift the shuttle high up to you. If you can play extremely good spinning net shots, the net shot itself can be a ‘killer shot’ and you’ll find yourself winning rallies at the front of the net.
2. The Net Kill
Badminton Net Kill (Offensive)
When your opponent returns a weak net shot, strike it swiftly with net kill!
3. The Net Lift
Badminton Net Lift (Defensive)
The net lift is an important defensive shot. Send the shuttle to the back of the court with a net lift! This skill is important to keep you out of trouble if your opponent plays very well along the net.
Get the Basics Right
I personally consider this as the biggest challenge in badminton, even more challenging than doing a jump smash!
I suggest you learn this skill AFTER you’re familiar with all your basic badminton strokes.
Put your racket near the net and let the shuttle ‘BOUNCE’ over the other side of the court whenever you get a front shuttle.
Get a feel of where’s the best point to touch the shuttle in order for it to ‘bounce’ just above the net.
When you already master the technique of ‘bouncing’ the shuttle to the other side of the court, you might want to bring your net play skills to the next level.
How to Win Rallies with Badminton Net Play
The basic idea is to:
- Force your opponent to the front of the court. This is usually done by hitting a drop shot (if you’re at the back of the court) or hit a spinning net shot (if you’re at the front of the court)
- Play along the net with your opponent until he decides to lift the shuttle high up
If your opponent:
- Returns a weak net shot (shuttle flies high above the net), perform the net kill
- Returns an extremely good net shot (shuttle hits the top of the badminton net and tumbles over to your side of the court), perform the net lift
Badminton net play is mainly used to FORCE your opponent to lift the shuttle high in the air, so that you can execute a strong attacking shot.
The competition is based on who gives up playing along the net and lifts the shuttle.
If you give up playing along the net and lift the shuttle, you are inviting your opponent to attack you.
However, you’re sometimes forced to lift the shuttle if your opponent plays very well along the net.
If you’re good at playing near the net, your opponent may decide not to engage in badminton net play. This forces your opponent to “lift” the shuttle high up, giving YOU a chance to produce an offensive shot!
If You’re a Beginner…
This is not the badminton skill you should learn first, if you haven’t mastered your badminton clear/lob and badminton drop shot.
This doesn’t mean you can’t learn this, BUT it will be A LOT EASIER if you learn the basics first.
If you’re wondering whether you should learn badminton net play, ask yourself whether you have good control over your racket. If the answer is yes, GO AHEAD!
It’s not a big problem if you’re not good at playing along the net. You can always avoid engaging in net play by doing an underarm badminton clear or a net lift (a “net lift” is a lob performed near the net).
However, you should know that as you lift or lob the shuttle, you are technically ‘inviting’ your opponent to perform an attack towards you.
Tell me what you think!
What do you think about what you just read? Leave me a comment below.