Does Height Matter to Be a Good Player?

by Russell


Question: Hey my height only 5.1″. Age 20. Can anybody please tell me what practice should I need to be a good player as I am not tall.

Hi Russell,

Being a tall in badminton has both advantages and disadvantages. The same goes for shorter players.

I’ll mention some of the strengths and weaknesses for both tall and shorter badminton players.

Tall Player’s Strengths

1. Able to generate steep badminton smashes. Since tall players are able to hit the shuttle at a higher point, this creates a steeper angle for the smash.

There are more choices for shot types with steeper angles. For example, they can choose to hit a cross court smash or straight smash.

2. Better quality serves. Since low badminton serves are more commonly used nowadays, tall players have the advantage in producing better quality services.

The rule in badminton states that upon making a badminton serve, the head of the racket must swing upwards from BELOW THE WAIST. Otherwise, it will be considered a service fault.

Since tall players naturally have higher waist lines, it’s easier to produce better quality low serves.

Tall Player’s Weaknesses

1. Weaker defence if the shuttle is hit directly towards the body area. It’ll be difficult defending against smashes that come towards their chest and throat area. They have to squat and return the shuttle with an overhead stroke.

2. Weak badminton drives. Since badminton drives require the player to hit the shuttle horizontally across the net, tall players often have to squat lower to hit an overhead drive.

Nobody feels comfortable when they’re squatting very low. Therefore it’s less likely that they’re able to produce quality badminton drives.

Some examples…

A tall badminton player such as the 2003 All England Men Singles Champion, Mohd Hafiz Hashim (Malaysia) is able to perform beautiful cross court drop shot. This is because he’s able to reach the shuttle at a relatively high point.

Thai badminton doubles player, Songphon Anugritayawan, is good at intercepting shots. During a match, Songphon is extremely good in intercepting his opponents’ shots when he’s standing at the front. This surprises his opponents’ and catch them off-guard.

Shorter Player’s Strengths

The strengths of a shorter badminton player will be the weaknesses of the taller player.

1. Good defence against shots hit towards the body area. Unlike tall players, shorter players can easily squat low to hit an overhead stroke when the shuttle comes toward their throat area.

2. Good badminton drives. Without needing to squat low like taller players, shorter players can easily hit strong overhead badminton drives. This makes it easier for hitting horizontal shots across the badminton net.

Shorter Player’s Weaknesses

1. Less power in smashing. When the shuttle is lifted right to the back of the court, a taller player’s smash or jump smash will have a steeper angle than a shorter player!

Some examples…

But height is never a problem in badminton. There are some very successful world class players that are not tall. They CAN SMASH WITH POWER TOO!

2008 Beijing Olympic Men Doubles Gold Medalist, Markis Kido (Indonesia), is a very strong smasher from the back of the court although he does not have a good height for smashing.

2 times Silver Medalist for the World Championship Men Doubles event, Jung Jae Sung (South Korea), is also a strong smasher from the back of the court. Similar to Markis, Jung Jae Sung is not tall but delivers very strong smashes.


Here are some suggestions for you.

1. Train your drives. Engage in badminton drives with your opponent if he’s taller than you.

2. Play badminton doubles. In doubles, it’s more common to get smashes to the body area, consider playing doubles since your strength lies in defending against shots against the body area.

3. Be patient when you get a shuttle at back of the court. Do not force yourself to attack at the baseline, it won’t be very strong. Be patient. Force your opponent into error and create a chance for yourself to perform a smash from the half court.

This is usually done by hitting badminton clears and badminton drops until your opponent produces a weak return.

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