Types of Badminton Shots: 5 Fundamentals to Know

Justin Ma - June 1, 2022 - 0 comments

As a beginner, there’s a lot to learn before you can start to feel confident on the badminton court. There’s footwork, grip techniques, stances, shot variations — and the list goes on.

As you’re learning all of these new skills, you might be wondering: What are the main types of badminton shots? How can you get good at them, and how can you avoid common mistakes along the way?

In this post, we’ll cover the main types of shots in badminton, as well as give you some powerful tips and resources to improve your skills. 

1. Serves

Serves are one of the first types of badminton shots that beginners learn. Mastering your serves is vital because they are what set each rally in motion. And when you know how to serve skillfully, you can put yourself at an advantage from the beginning. 

Here are four main types of badminton serves to know about:

  • Low serves
  • High serves
  • Flick serves
  • Drive serves

Each of these variations will require different skills, and it takes practice to master them all. With that in mind, here’s an excellent resource to help you get started improving your badminton serves.

2. Clears

So, what is a clear in badminton?

Clears are fundamental badminton shots that all new players should spend time practicing. In simple terms, a clear is an overhead shot that you’ll hit from your backcourt to your opponent’s backcourt. 

There are two main categories of clear shots to know about: Attacking (or punch) clears, and defensive clears.

An attacking clear is a flat, quick, straight shot to your opponent’s backcourt. A defensive clear will also head towards your opponent’s baseline, but at a higher trajectory and slower speed. Defensive clears can keep the shuttle in the air longer, so they’re the shot to use when you need to buy yourself some extra time.

Need some help perfecting your clear techniques? Be sure to check out this complete guide for step-by-step instructions and tips from a pro.

3. Smashes

Smashes are arguably the most fun, offensive, and powerful badminton shots that you can play. 

When you hit a smash shot, you’ll send the shuttle at a rapid, downward trajectory towards your opponent’s court. Because of its velocity and power, a skillful smash can be what it takes to score yourself a point and end the rally.

Knowing the different types of badminton smash shots can help you surprise your opponent in your next game. Here’s a tutorial on how and when to use each of them:

4. Drives

Badminton drives are flat, horizontal shots that you’ll hit from your midcourt directly to your opponent’s midcourt. 

You’ll often use drives to respond to offensive shots, speed up the pace of a rally, or try to trick your opponent into returning a weak shot. Drives are especially helpful during doubles games, but there may be times when you use them in singles as well. 

While you practice drive shots, be sure to spend some time getting comfortable with both the forehand and backhand variations.

5. Drops

Badminton drop shots are powerful, deceptive shots that can send your opponent scrambling to defend their frontcourt when they least expect it. 

You’ll typically hit a drop shot from your backcourt, using just enough power to send the shuttle over the net. This can be tricky to learn, so be patient with yourself as you practice. In the meantime, here’s a complete guide to help you understand the basics.

As you work to improve your drop shots, it’s also important to keep these common mistakes in mind:

Justin Ma

I am passionate about helping people find joy in playing badminton, while also showing them how competitive the sport can be.

Justin Ma


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