A badminton net kill is one of the sharpest, fastest, and most powerful ways to end a rally — but pulling one off is trickier than it looks.
To score a point with one of these shots, you’ll need to find the perfect time to kill the shuttle. You’ll also need to be quick and decisive, with a razor-sharp technique. There’s no time to second guess yourself before going in for the shot, meaning it can be extremely challenging to get right.
Luckily, we’ve put together a simple guide to help you score more points with this elusive move. Read on for six tips on how to master net kills in badminton, from stance to power generation and more.
What Is a Net Kill In Badminton?
A net kill is an offensive-style shot that involves a sharp, short, downward motion from a high point directly in front of the net.
Because these shots have such a sharp angle (and take just a few split-seconds to execute), they’re one of the most difficult to defend against. In fact, some players will say there’s almost no good defense against a skillful net kill.
This shot type is typically used in response to a weak move from an opponent, such as a tumbling net shot or short lift that was just a little too high and close to the net.
But what makes a net kill different from a classic smash shot?
A net kill is much faster, snappier, and shorter than a smash. And since it’s a frontcourt shot that only needs to travel a small distance, it takes much less power and preparation time than a classic smash.
Badminton Net Kill Tips
Ready to start net kill training? Here are six of the best tips to remember the next time you hit the court:
1. Aim to Hit the Shuttle at an Early, High Point
Striking the shuttle while it’s above the net is crucial. So, as soon as you see your opponent hitting a weak, upward-angled net shot, pull your racket up in the air and get ready to swing.
2. Practice Your Net Stance
Your net stance is one of the several different ready positions that can help you jump into action during a rally.
By adopting this stance at the right time, you’ll be able to save valuable milliseconds at the net and strike the shuttle at its highest point — which can ultimately help you execute a powerful net kill.
Here are the steps you can take to achieve this stance:
- Keep your feet a little over shoulder-width apart.
- Position your racket leg ever so slightly ahead of your non-racket leg.
- Shift your body weight forward.
- Extend your non-racket arm out behind you for balance.
3. Train Your Reflex Speed
A net kill is a shot of precision and speed, but not everyone starts playing badminton with fast enough reaction time or body movement to pull it off.
The good news is that you can improve your reflexes by adding drills like these into your training routine:
- Start with wall rally drills. These drills involve standing next to a wall and using your racket to bounce the shuttle off of it as many times as you can. Once you’re skilled at regular wall rally drills, you can find a textured or bumpy wall to shake things up and challenge your reflexes even more.
- Try rapid-fire shuttle returns. Grab two partners and have them rapidly fire a random assortment of shots at you from across the court. Do your best to accurately return as many of these shots as possible for 2 to 3 sets of 5-minute rounds.
4. Avoid Getting Too Close to the Net
Standing too close to the net is a common mistake among newer players trying to net kill.
After all, it can be easy to inch forward in the heat of the rally, especially when all you’re thinking about is attacking the shuttle. But if you want to score the point, you’ll need enough time and space to secure a downward angle on the shot. So, always try to stay mindful of your position in relation to the net.
And although it’s important to hit the shuttle early during a net kill in badminton, you don’t want to be too early. If you jump the gun too quickly, you may end up striking the shuttle before it reaches your side of the court — or even hit the net itself.
These actions are both considered badminton fouls, so be sure to keep them in mind to avoid losing points!
5. Generate Power Through Your Fingers
Whether you’re using a backhand or a forehand net kill, the power should mainly come from your fingers — not your arm or shoulder.
For example, hitting a net kill with your racket arm might look something like this:
- Start by holding the racket in the forehand or panhandle grip.
- Keep your grip relatively relaxed until it’s time to swing.
- When you’re ready to strike, tense your muscles and use the power from your fingers to snap your racket in a downward motion.
When it comes to the backhand net kill, the steps are similar to those above — but since you’d be using your backhand grip, you’d use your thumb power to whip your racket instead.
6. Keep Your Follow-Through Short
Although many shots require a full follow-through, the badminton net kill isn’t one of them.
To give yourself more control over where your shot lands (and help maintain your balance), it’s better to use a short and snappy follow-through instead.
Net kills are one of the sharpest, fastest, and most powerful shots you can use to end a badminton rally. They’re often executed after a strategic exchange of tumbling net shots between two players, but they can work any time your opponent hits a weak defensive shot over the net.
Overall, mastering these shots takes time, and there’s no substitute for regular practice if you want to improve at them. But by staying consistent and remembering the tips above, you may be able to start scoring points with this technique sooner than you think.