In this area, your opponent’s expectations will depend on whether the shuttle is high above the net waiting to be killed, or just below net height. Let’s break these areas down and give you a couple of examples.
Shuttle above the net
1) These are the “kill” shots that shouldn’t be missed. But, in top class doubles, the shuttle keeps coming back. So let’s start with the “old classic” where your opponent is expecting the kill, a hard shot, and at the last second, you stop your racket and touch the shuttle over the net. Taking the pace off the shuttle is unexpected and usually catches your opponent flat footed.
2) From a classic attack position, your partner has set up rising shuttle opportunity for you at the net. The easier shot is to kill the shuttle and win the point which is preferable. But, you may wish to check smash again to add that element of surprise and pace that can be just as effective and also a winner.
Shuttle below net height
OK, we’re into high skill territory here.
1) Nora Perry, English badminton legend used to play a beautiful shot on her backhand where she took a slightly longer backswing before gently taking all the pace off the shuttle, slightly cutting across the shuttle delivering the most exquisite spinning straight net shot that won her so many points
2) Whichever side the shuttle is on, wait until the last second looking as if you’re about to play a straight net shot. Just as you’re about to hit the shuttle, turn your hand and send the shuttle cross court with a bit more pace.
I’ve covered a number of scenarios here but there are always more. Test these in your next game and see for yourself what response you get.
Invariably, the most attacking side should win a match, but that doesn’t mean they are the hardest hitter. You can attack with or without pace, and usually the winning shot follows a change in pace.
The more you can break down your opponents playing rhythm, the more you will upset their game and find mistakes creep in. Understand this and add it to your tactics bible. It will help you win more games.
Feel free to email me at email@example.com or comment on my thoughts here. Add a few scenarios of your own too as this article wasn’t written with the intention if listing every possible combination of moves.
I’m confident you will find something here that will improve your game, no matter what standard you are playing. Some of these shots require extremely high skill, especially the ability to “hold” the shot until the last second. For this you have to master using your hands well and have extremely fast grip changes.
To your success