Is the V formed by the thumb and index finger on the top edge of the racket handle?
Are the fingers slightly spread along the handle and not bunched together like a fist?
Is the index finger higher up the handle than the thumb?
This is called an orthodox forehand grip.
This should be a firm but relaxed grip that there must be no feeling of tension in the wrist. You should feel that the control is mainly with the thumb, index finger and little finger. The paramount importance is to get the racket out of the palm of you hand and into your fingers.
This, then, is the forehand grip which is used by most people for shots played on the forehand side of the body and a great many players also find that this is also an all purpose grip which they can used to play shots on the left-hand side of the body as well, ie the backhand.
You should be advised to play as much as you can and think about the way you hold your racket while playing. This is not easy in the middle of a game but try to concentrate on the firm but still relaxed grip.
If you are a kind of a player who can cope with all sorts of shots using the same grip, you may not find that it is easier to change the grip slightly to play shorts on the backhand swing. See the following diagram for a common Backhand Grip:
You thumb should be resting on the flat side of the handle of the racket and it should be higher up the handle than the index finger.
Press hard with the thumb and you will feel the tremendous amount of leverage you can now exert against the handle and therefore against the backhand face of the racket.
There is a third grip frequently used in badminton which is usually referred to as the 'frying-pan' grip. This grip is achieved by turning the racket from the forehand grip through 90 degrees so that the face of the racket is horizontal to the floor. The V of the thumb and index finger runs down the back, flat edge of the handle. The advantages of this grip are that as the face of the racket is always facing the net, no change in grip is needed to play shots like forehand and the backhand. This grip enable player to execute very sharp dabbing shots at the net.
The Wrist Action
It is the wrist that governs most of the art of deception, an art which must be mastered by all who wish to improve the game. It is the action of the wrist which imparts speed to the head of the racket. The vitally important technique is known as 'cocking' the wrist. This means that for forehand shots, the wrist must be cocked back as far as possible. This can only be done if you have a very relaxed grip. Try this on your shots played overhead on the forehand.
To execute a good stroke and swing with good grip, you need to position yourself into the right place in relation to the shuttle. What puts your body into the right position is your feet. Hence, footwork is a subject that should be seriously studied. Good footwork will enable you to get to the shuttle in time to balance; then you can concentrate on playing the accurate shot. There is no mystique about footwork, for what we really mean by it is court-covering, movement, a means of traveling from one part of the court to another as simply and economically as possible, but quickly. With anticipation and acute judgment, the advanced player will already have decided, before the shuttle is struck, where he thinks it is going and will have shifted his balance in that direction. Do not allow your feet to become glued to the floor, keep them fidgeting around whilst you wait for your opponent's reply. Hold the racket, with a bent arm, slightly in front of you, and above all, keep the racket head up..
- The short service
- The Flick service
- The high service
- The drive service
Return of Service
The foremost idea in your mind when receiving service should be to hit the shuttle down. The stance you adopted should be the same no matter whether you are playing singles or doubles. You have to be capable of dealing with every type of service. Stand in your receiving court, about 3 feet from the center service line and one to two/three (lady) feet behind the short service. Place your left foot forward so that your feet are comfortable apart and you are evenly balanced. Bend the knees a little and lean slightly forward, so that your weight is mainly over your front foot. Hold your racket in front of you, with the head of the racket up and just above the height of the net, in a forehand grip.
It will take time to develop the ability to stand so close to the short service line and still be able to get back to deal with the flick service.
Your reply to a short serve will depend on how early you can intercept the shuttle. Once you defined it as a short service, push off with the back foot, with the racket raised in front of you, towards the shuttle and do not wait until it reaches you, cut it off ASAP. If you can meet the shuttle just as it crosses and is still above the net, a sharp dab downwards is the answer. You will not have time for a backswing so you have to rely on a wrist action for power.
When a download stroke is not possible, you will have to drop the racket head beneath the shuttle and stroke it back as close to the tape as possible.
If a high service is delivered, you will have ample time to move back and deal with the shot as you would any other overhead stroke. The best reply is a smash. You may be deceived by a flick service and if you really are deceived you must make the best of it. Move quickly backwards and if you can smash the shuttle. Often you will not be able to get behind a good flick service and you will be left with either a drop shot or a clear. Try to ensure your reply is to a spot that your opponent have left unguarded.
To return a drive service, because a drive service is so flat and fast, the best return is to put the face of your racket in its path to allow the shuttle to bounce off it. Use your wrist to flick it downwards or upwards to a suitable space or aim directly to your opponent so he will not have sufficient time to return.
The Overhead Forehand Strokes
- Drop Shot: Slow/Fast
The Overhead Backhand Strokes
Although most of the advanced user can deal with smash, clear and drop shot with forehand as well as backhand, the clear is the most important in the group when backhand is played. Most player especially novices find the backhand corner of the court rather difficult to cope with and naturally their opponents tend to take advantage of this fact.
A sound backhand clear has therefore come to be recognized as the main defensive measure to be taken. The ability to execute an effective backhand clear depends entirely on a very powerful wrist flicking action and perfect timing.
Very few player can be really effective with the fackhand smash unless it is a sitter near the net. It is not a shot to be played from the base line area nor even from as far back in court as you would expect to be able to play your forehand smash. Play it from mid or forcourt area and place the shuttle in proper position to make it an effective skill.
Return to a Smash
Your aim in returning a smash is to play the shuttle into your opponent's court, in such a way that he will have difficulty in making a good reply. Prepare for smash by adopting an open stance, biased towards the backhand with your right foot just in the lead. Bend your knees slightly and keep on the balls of your feet. You cannot afford to be glued to the floor for you will have to move rapidly if your opponent does not smash. With a backhand grip, bring the racket across your body, with its head opposite your left shoulder. Keep the racket head up because you have to be able to move into the smash and take it early. With experience and as your timing improves, move forward and try to take the shuttle earlier and higher. There will not be much time for an appreciable backswing but with the racket held up you are half way there.
For the lob to the back of the court, the action will be just as in your underarm clear, more wrist movement will be needed.
For the drop, just over the net would be more effective. With practice your timing and touch will improve so that you will be able to pop the shuttle just over the net.
For the drive, the power combined with the speed of the shuttle make the drive return to a smash a very formidable shot. You will have to get your eye in and play the shuttle early for the shot to be fully effective.
Round The Head
Rule: play to his weakness; make him play to your strength.
Angle of Return
In men's double, the accent is on attack and pace. The frequency with which you can keep the shuttle going down and the understanding you have with your partner will determine your success.
In singles and mixed you largely had to play for your openings by careful placements and a variation of pace before you could finish off a rally because there is so much ground to cover on your own and in mixed you have a partner at the net in a very vulnerable position in front of you. These considerations do not apply in men's double. Assuming you have a partner of equal strength and ability and between you the whole court filled. You can afford to force openings with sheer pace alone.
You must try to attack the whole time, never forget this.
You should play front and back as this is the only attacking system. Some men do adopt a side by side formation. The drawbacks are obvious. Each partner must play a mostly defensive game because even when he smashes he has to rush in to take any weak return at the net, probably arriving rather late. It is also allowing your opponent to single out one palyer and work him into the ground whilst never allowing his partner to hit the shuttle at all.
The idea of switching positions, depending on whether you are attacking
or defending is not difficult to follow but it often breaks down because
the players are slow in adjusting their formation.