Strong smashes, quick footwork, and solid defense are all vital skills to master in badminton. But as you level up, there are some other more subtle (but equally important) tactics to use. And one of the most effective options? Learning how to tire your opponents out.
In badminton — especially singles — you’ll need incredible stamina to keep up with a full match. But with the right strategy, you can force your opponent to expend much more energy than you do, ultimately making it easier for you to win the game.
So, what are the best ways to tire out your opponent in badminton? Read on for three tips to keep in mind the next time you hit the court.
1. Make Them Work for the Shuttle
The first (and simplest) way to burn through your opponent’s energy is to move them around the court.
When you have the upper hand, you might be tempted to go for smashes or other high-energy shots to win the point. But in some of your earlier rallies, it can help to choose shots that take less energy for you and more for your opponent. Here’s an example:
Say you hit a high clear to the back left side of your opponent’s court. After they return the shot, you could try to smash the shuttle to the opposite side of their court — but that could end the rally quickly (and take more of your energy).
Instead, you could hit a gentle drop shot to the front right of their court. If they’re able to retrieve it, you can continue to use lower-energy shots to move them around and make them work for the shuttle.
2. Be Unpredictable
Staying unpredictable is key if you want your opponent to run out of steam. Not only will it keep them guessing your next move, but it can also force them to cover more distance when they incorrectly anticipate a shot.
How can you be more unpredictable on the court? As a start, be sure to use lots of variety in your shots, and avoid responding to certain situations the same way every time. And if you’re an advanced player, deceptive tactics can be a great addition to your arsenal.
3. Increase Your Tempo
Finally, a simple but powerful tip is to increase your tempo in rallies. The faster you hit the shuttle, the less time your opponent has to rest — and prepare — in between returns. In turn, this can help you wear them out much more quickly.
One step that can help increase the pace of your game is to add badminton agility and footwork training to your weekly routine. But if you’re looking for a more instant way to speed up your rallies, you can simply try to catch the shuttle earlier in each of your shots.
The Bottom Line
If you’re trying to become a stronger badminton player, tiring out your opponents is a powerful tactic to learn.
The next time you jump into a match, you can give your opponents a run for their money by sending the shuttle all around the court. Pair that with a faster tempo and shot variability, and they’ll be worn out in no time!