Badminton: Backhand Serve - Don't Watch the Shuttle

Badminton: Backhand Serve - Don't Watch the Shuttle

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

In most sports, our students have been taught to watch the ball until the point of contact. This is good advice when catching a football, hitting a golf ball or swinging at a baseball.

As a result, most badminton beginners watch the shuttle when making a backhand serve. However, the backhand serve is an exception to the rule—it's actually better not to focus on the shuttle!

Why Not Focus on the Shuttle?
The nature of the backhand serve makes it unnecessary to watch the shuttle.

At the starting point of the backhand serve, the shuttle almost touches the surface of the racquet, so it's almost impossible not to make good contact. Besides, the racquet moves too fast to actually see it contact the bird.

As a result, it's better for players to focus on their aiming point—the top of the net tape—as a way to improve their serving accuracy. Here's the procedure:

  1. Line up the shuttle with the racquet.
  2. Focus on the net tape.
  3. Serve the shuttle with a quick, sharp movement of the racquet.

1. Gong Chen and Carol Chen, Coaching Badminton 101, Coaches Choice, 2009.
2. Edith Hayman, Manual from the Black Knight Badminton Enrichment Clinics, Ontario Badminton Association, 1992.

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