Every battle for a badminton point starts with a serve. It’s the first step that opens up the game and introduces players to each other. Every contact in badminton is important, but the first time you hit the birdie may have a very significant effect on you.
A good serve can put you in an enormous advantage, since if played correctly; the opponent might use up a big portion of mental and physical strength for the return. This means that their counter won’t be as effective, which gives the serving player the before-mentioned advantage because the next progress of the exchange can be decided freely and entirely based on their judgment and needs.
Nonetheless, serving has its rules and technique as well. These need to be obeyed in order to execute a correct initiation of the exchange. These are the three basic serve rules:
- The player must hit the birdie when it’s below the waist.
- The head of the racket needs to be below the racket handle before it touches the birdie.
- Both feet should be on the court.
This article will cover the several types of badminton serves that represents the basic toolbox. It’s essential to master this part of the game since many professionals and experts in badminton agree that even a single serve can decide the match.
A nice and solid backhand serve can be taught in 5 easy steps. Firstly, pick up your racket and hold it in the backhand grip, but not too tight, just the right amount to feel comfortable. The position of the racket doesn’t have to be 100% perfect, you can always modify it depending on the respective serve, just get the basic grip right.
Next up, use your thumb and forefinger to pick up the birdie so its head points to you and the feathers to the net. Bear in mind that the angle of the birdie will have a big effect on the overall trajectory of the serve, so choose it carefully and adapt to the situation.
As far as the positioning is concerned, stand with your racket foot forward and with your racket and birdie facing the net.
Once you are set, aim and execute the serve.
The recommended area to strike the serve to is the beginning or the end of the square diagonally to your serving position. The momentum for the serve is created by the shift of weight from the back foot to the front foot. The release of the birdie should be done by a gentle flick. Be careful to maintain a sufficient distance to be able to create enough momentum. Don’t be afraid to experiment in this regard.
The power of the serve then depends on the type of serve you want to execute, be it a low or flick serve. The low serve should get barely over the net and land behind the service line.
A nice tip is to aim at the white band of the net to achieve that extremely close precision. Your positioning should be close to the front baseline. The flick serve requires a more upwards tilted birdie and a little bit more force to hit the wanted area in the rear part of the court. This should be, however, done with vigor and little height to the birdie, so it can travel the distance quickly.
Similarly, to the previous badminton serve technique, forehand can also be described in five steps which are needed for the basic understanding.
The first step would be to use the forehand racket grip, which was already discussed in previous articles. The grip should be comfortable and close to the base of the racket for more control.
Secondly, take the birdie into your hands and use your thumb and other fingers to hold it at the head while moving it up all the way to your shoulder height. The birdie should experience a free fall to your thigh level height until it’s sent to the opponent’s side.
Be sure to make two separate movements, one for the birdie and a second one with the racket, don’t do it simultaneously. The forehand service is mostly used during singles matches and requires a stance approximately 2 meters from the net.
Your arms should be raised and the racket leg behind. You should be always aiming diagonally and into the front or rear part of the square on the court. This of course depends on your serve type as well, which in this case are: the high, flick and low forehand serve.
High and flick serves should land in the back area of the square, whereas, the low forehand serve should be aimed at the beginning of this part of the court and the contact with the birdie should be below your waist. The momentum is created mainly by your hips and the upper-body movement. The weight is initially positioned on the back foot and then changes to the front foot.
The distance between the birdie and the racket can be once again freely modified to fit your needs but prepare to be in a full swing position. This means that the racket needs to be approximately at your side. To hit the forehand badminton serve you intend to, you need to change the power and angle of the birdie. The high serve, for example, should have the qualities of height and distance to hit the rear of the court.
The flick serve, on the other hand, should be quicker and travel faster to the back area. The birdie should slide over the net and hit with precision. The low serve is intended to just make it over the net and fall behind the serve line.
To sum this up, the long serve’s main idea is to open the game up for the player with the help of a high distant serve. This enables to create a strategy starting already with the first touch. The short serve represents the opposite, in the sense that it should land very close to the net and thus requires a quick reaction.
From a tactical point of view, doubles give you more freedom and creativity in terms of the serve. A very important quality is to always look confident and aware of what you are doing. Give your opponents signals so they can worry about every inch of the court, be it the front part or the corner. Make little subtle changes at the very last second to throw them off and score a winning serve.
This way you will gain an advantage since they might not be able to react fast enough to your actual serve.