Badminton net play is a really important skill that you should master to dominate your opponents at the front-court area. Net play is the term that is commonly used in badminton to describe the play near the net or front-court.
Even though there isn’t any particular way to master the net play, you need to learn the basics shots and the right technique to become good at it.
No worries! In this article, I’ll walk you through the basics of net play in badminton. Let’s dive right in.
Footwork and Racket Control
If you want to play the net shots perfectly, the first and foremost thing that you need to improve is your technique, especially footwork. You need to have solid footwork to dominate the front-court.
If you don’t know anything about footwork in badminton, I suggest you check out this article I’ve written on the topic Basic Footwork In Badminton. Anyways, let’s look at the footwork that you should have near the front-court area to play the net shots.
The footwork is based on the base position, which is the center of your court. That is where you take the initial stance. When you take the stance, hold your racket above the level of your belly. Do not hold it downwards. Also, your non-racket arm should be placed out of the way on your side. This is the ready position for net play.
The advantage of this ready position is that it will give you room to the shot without getting jammed to your body with your racket. If you keep your arms and racket close to your body, you’ll get stuck if the shuttlecock comes to your body.
By keeping your racket out in front of you and your non-racket arm on the side, you’ll be able to hit the shots that come at you, and you’ll be a bit closer to moving to the shuttle if it is placed near the net.
When you move to the net area from the base position to hit the shuttle, your racket needs to move first towards the shuttle rather than your feet. After you finish hitting the shot near the net, you shouldn’t drop the racket down.
In match situations, when you finish the net shots, you need to keep your racket steady and upwards. That will make sure that you’re ready for the next move as soon as possible.
It will also help you maintain your upper body balance, which is pretty important in recovering back to your base position to get ready for the next shot.
Basics Of Net Play In Badminton
Net play in badminton is often really quick, and you might have to make quick decisions in your mind. When you play near the net area of the court, always try to hit the shuttlecock at its highest point in the air.
When the shuttle is up above the level of the net, that’s when you should definitely hit it. Don’t wait for even a second. If you’re late to hit the shot, it will end up on the net, and you’ll lose the point. If you can’t hit the shuttle when it is high, then you might have to lift it upwards, which will give the opponent a chance to attack you.
So be quick to reach the shuttle and hit it when it is at the highest point. If it is up there to hit, just hit a smash and kill the rally.
Also, it is important to learn how to adjust the power of your shots to place the shuttle in the area where you want it to land. You’ll get better at it as you practice and play more.
We use badminton net play mainly to force the opponent to lift the shuttlecock up in the air so that we will get enough time and space to hit an attacking shot to end the rally.
Types Of Net Shots In Badminton
Now, let’s look at the basic net shots played in badminton and learn how to implement them.
Tumbling Net Shot
The tumbling net shot or the spinning net shot is one of the important shots in net play. If you can hit a proper tumbling net shot, the opponent either won’t be able to take it, or he/she will be forced to lift the shuttle up in the air. That will give you the chance to hit a smash and kill the rally. So, this is a very good weapon to get points and this shot itself can be a killer shot.
A normal net shot will travel without spin, whereas a tumbling net shot will have a spinning effect on it. This spin effect can make it really hard for the opponent to pick it.
You can provide a spin to the shot if you hit the shuttle at an angle so that the contact point of the shuttlecock is both the feathers and the cork. When you hit only the cork base, the shuttle will travel without the spin. Try to practice hitting the shuttle on both the cork and the feathers at the same time.
The net kill is used to end the rally if the opponent poorly hits the shuttle in the air around the net area. This is one of the easiest shots, if not the easiest, to win a point. This is similar to a smash, but the shot is much quicker and closer to the net.
The net lift or net clear is a defensive shot that can be used when your opponent hits a pretty good net shot to your court. If your opponent is great in playing net shots, then you can hit this shot aiming at the baseline to avoid the net kill.
The net lift or net clear is pretty similar to the normal defensive clear shot. The only difference is that it is played closer to the net.
Cross Net Shot
Apart from these three shots, you can also play the cross net shot. This shot can be deceptive and pretty hard for your opponent to pick if executed correctly.
The cross net shot is similar to the normal net shot, but the shuttle is hit diagonally to the opposite side of the court. This diagonal hitting can be done by rotating your arms and wrists.
To learn this shot properly, take a look at the following video and practice it many times. You can dominate the net area with this shot.
If you want to learn some drills to practice various net shots, then I would urge you to check out this article from the badminton coach Andy. It will be really helpful.
We’ve covered the basics of net play in badminton. Apart from these basic shots, there are a lot of other net shots. You can see several top badminton players play different deceptive shots at the front court. If you want to check out some of them, read the article on Badminton Trick Shots.
I hope this article was helpful to you in understanding the fundamentals of badminton net play. If it was useful, do share it so that others can also find it.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy the game!