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Types of Badminton Shots and How to Use Them: Complete Guide

Badminton is a widely popular racket sport similar to tennis as they both require hand-eye coordination along with the ability to be quick on your feet. Instead of using a tennis ball you hit a shuttlecock/birdie, this requires players to be able to move quickly. As it will not be able to bounce off the ground to be hit easier.

There are many types of badminton shots that can be used to score against your opponent. The most common shots used in badminton are:

  • Clear
  • Drive
  • Drop
  • Smash
  • Defensive

All of these shots are used in different ways, and mastering each will help you to have an advantage over many opponents.

When playing badminton, it can be very hard to master different shots and know when you should use them. You will need to be able to think on your feet while running back and forth playing a high-stamina sport.

While badminton can be a laid-back sport it can also get fairly intense. Read on to find out how and when to use different badminton shots.

What Are the Different Types of Badminton Shots?

While there are many different types of shots one can use when playing badminton there are six main shot types that you should perfect. Learning each of these shots will help you to know when to use them to score against your opponent. In this section, you will learn when to use each shot.

Here’s a good video explanation with more info below:

Serves in Badminton

There are many ways to serve in badminton but the most common are high, low, and flick. Each is used in a different way to start the game. There are also times when you can and can’t use for example high serve is only used in singles and flick is only used in doubles. It is a good idea to learn each of the serve shots.

The Clear Shot in Badminton

The clear shot is one of the first shots you should learn when starting badminton. This shot is used when your opponent is a little faster or better than you. A clear shot will send the birdie flying up high into the air to give you time to get your bearings for the next shot.

You will have a few extra seconds to line up correctly with the next shot while sending your opponent running to get the birdie.

The Drive Shot in Badminton

Drive shots are also very aggressive shots to use against your opponent. The drive shot involves hitting the birdie horizontally. This is not always a winning shot but is typically used to quickly increase the speed of the game. Unlike the drop shot that slows the pace.

If your opponent catches you off guard with the drive shot you can always use a clear shot to buy yourself time.

The Drop Shot in Badminton

A drop shot is your typical shot in badminton. This is a shot that is used quite often and is used to keep up a steady pace in the game. This shot is to be used when your opponent is on the same level as you or to throw off your opponent, get them used to the simple back and forth before hitting an offensive shot.

The Smash Shot in Badminton

The smash shot is just what it sounds like, if you want to smash your opponent out of the game this is your shot. The smash is one of the most powerful shots in the game of badminton.

A smashing shot involves a hard swing of the racquet that sends the birdie flying forcefully at your opponent’s side of the net. Only use this shot when you need to make sure you do not lose your balance.

Defensive Shots in Badminton

A defensive shot is made up of a number of shots. These shots are known as defensive as they are needed when your opponent has one up on you and you are trying to prevent them from scoring. There are many variations to defensive shots that can be used in different circumstances. (source)

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Here’s a quick video sum up of the 7 types of drop shots:

What Is the Most Common Shot Used in Badminton?

The clear shot is the most commonly used badminton shot. The clear shot is also known as lobbing and is the first shot that you should learn when starting. The clear shot is a shot that will help you get a moment to right yourself when your opponent is better than you.

Even the best badminton player can have someone one ups them. With the clear shot, you essentially hit the birdie up into the air.

It will take a few seconds to get low enough for your opponent to reach it sending it flying back over the net towards you. In these moments that the birdie is in the air, you will be able to position yourself better.

This is a great shot to use when:

  • Anytime you want to reposition yourself
  • You are in trouble or your opponent has one up on you
  • You are too far away from the base and need time to get back
  • Your opponent is better than you

This is not a winning shot as it’s almost always a gentle enough shot for your opponent to have time to hit. It can however work in your favor if your opponent happens to be very close to the net.

You’re your opponent is close to the net this opens them up to hit a smash shot. A clear shot will force them to back up in order to hit the birdie.

What Is a Lob Shot in Badminton and How Do You Use It?

A lob shot is used when the shuttle is very low to the ground, and you need to get the shuttle off the ground quickly. When you do not have much time to get to a shot before it reaches the ground a lob shot is a perfect solution.

The lob shot should lift the shuttle sending it to land very close to your opponent’s baseline without being out. It is typically hit underhanded as the shuttle is very low to the ground.

Your opponent may be able to return the shot as it may go high in the air like a clear shot. This gives your opponent time to get under the shuttle and return it to you.

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What Is a Drive Shot in Badminton and How Do You Use It?

A drive shot sends the shuttle flying horizontally over the net forcefully at your opponent. This is a very good way to increase the speed of the gameplay. It’s a flat shot that comes at your opponent quickly they will need to react fast.

  • In many cases, it will make your opponent hit the shuttle in an upward swing.
  • This is a benefit to you as you can hit a drive shot back at your opponent potentially winning a point.
  • The goal of the drive shot is to have a fast and flat shuttle flying over the net.

When a drive shot is hit your opponent will most likely need to dive forward or run back to not miss the shuttle. Either way, it shakes up your opponent. You will most likely score and if not you will have worn out your opponent a little.

What Is a Drop Shot in Badminton and How Do You Use It?

The drop shot is a commonly used badminton shot when you are in the first half of a badminton court with a shuttle coming at you. There are two types of drop shots fast and slow drop shots. This shot makes the shuttle land very close to the net on your opponent’s side.

  • Many people fake put their opponents when doing a drop shot because it looks like a drive shot it is just gentler.
  • They will assume your shot will be a harder one and stay near the back of the court.
  • This gives them very little time to run towards the net and reach the shuttle before it hits the ground.

The softer you hit the shuttle the closer it will land to the net this will send your opponent lunge towards the net and almost always result in a win on your part. Perfecting this shot while making it look like you are about to hit a drive shot is an ideal move to stump your opponent.

What Is The Most Powerful Shot in Badminton?

The smash shot is the most powerful shot you can use in badminton. This shot is used to knock your opponent off of their game. If hit correctly you will send the bridie flying over the net forcefully at your opponent. This is typically a winning shot if mastered you could score every time.

It is very hard to return a smash shot, it is fast and catches you off guard.

There are two ways to use this shot:

  • Aim at your opponent’s torso this makes it very hard for them to return the shot and most likely fall back.
  • Hit the shot as far away from your opponent as possible. This will send them sprinting to a shuttle they will most likely miss.

Both of these will send your smash shot flying to a hard to return spot. It is also important to make your smash shot never look like you are about to hit a smash shot. If a shot that aggressive is returned chances, are it will come back at you equally as fast catching you off guard.

How to Improve Your Badminton Game?

The quickest way to improve your badminton game is to practice, practice and practice. If you are fast on your feet and perfect the basic shots of badminton, there will be no stopping you. You also need to be able to read your opponent. If you are able to predict their next shot, you will be able to return it every time.

Perfecting your shot can go a step further if you are able to disguise your shots as a different ones. If you are about to send a smash shot flying over the net but make it look like a clear shot, they will never see it coming.

This gives you an advantage on every shot and can also get into your opponent’s head as they will not be able to read you.

There are technically many shots and even more variations of those shots that you could teach yourself over time. While it is not likely that everyone will be able to hit a spinning shot if you learn the basic shots you will be able to hold your own while playing badminton.

Is Badminton for Everyone?

Badminton is a game that can be played by all ages from children to the elderly. It is a very versatile game, and you only need to play as tough as your opponent is. Children enjoy running around smacking the birdie not knowing what shots mean. The elderly also enjoys the game as a little force goes a long way to send the birdie flying over the net.

It’s getting people moving and staying healthy. It can also be played indoors or outdoors. While there are much more intense versions of the game to be played it is up to you and your opponent how hard you want to play.

Some people will not worry about what type of shot or keep score as officially as those that are playing in tournaments. No matter what age you are or your level of capability you will be able to easily play badminton.

Using Badminton Shots Correctly in Badminton

When watching badminton, you may think you can just whack the birdie and that’s all there is to it. While some people do play that way for fun if you want to beat your opponent or play a more challenging game you should learn every badminton shot you can to know when to one-up your opponent to win the game.

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