|Backcourt Hitting Techniques|
Here's a common situation in a game of badminton: You are standing in the front half of the court when the opponent blasts the shuttle towards your back boundary. You don't react fast enough and the shuttle flies behind you. Even if you manage to hit the bird by stretching your body to its limits, all that results in is a high shot that doesn't fly past your opponent's mid-court, resulting in an easy kill shot. You might even hurt yourself if you are not careful. This scenario happens very often in a competitive badminton game, so what is the best way to for a player to handle this situation?
The situation in the last paragraph happens most often when you go to the net to return a drop shot with a lifting shot. The opponent will hit an attacking clear to your back boundary. Even if you try your hardest, you are still about 1 -1.5 meters away from where the bird will land. At that point, the shuttle is falling close to vertically downwards. Even if you bend and stretch your body backwards, the bird is still too far back for you to produce a good hit. You can try a slice drop or a half-smash, but again you are not in the best position to hit those shots and will probably end up missing or hitting the bird into the net. This is a pretty tough situation to get out of, and there are currently no instruction material or badminton classes that teach people ways to handle something like this. So is there no way to make an effective return? No, there is an answer for this problem, and the answer is an unconventional and sometimes miraculous hitting technique that many players wouldn't even think of.
I am sure a good number of you are familiar with the sport of basketball. If you are, then the concept of a hook shot should be nothing strange as it is a commonly used shot in basketball. A hook shot lets a player use his/her body width and arm length to create distance and prevent the defender from blocking the shot. Some people probably think that there is no relation between a basketball hook shot and a badminton back-court shot, but there are many occasions where the principles of one sport can apply to another. So for the situation where you can't quite get back to the right position to hit the shuttle, you can use a similar motion to a hook shot to maximize your reach. Since you can't really hit a power shot then don't bother with a power shot. Instead, extend your racket arm and use a flick of your wrist to make an arcing drop shot. In doing this you avoid making a low quality return and deny your opponent a chance for the kill. This shot gives you an offensive opportunity in an unfavorable situation, and it usually works quite well. In most cases, the opponent will be surprised by shot and won't be able to come to the net quickly enough to keep up the offense. A famous user of this shot is Indonesia's Hidayat Taufik. Taufik isn't especially fast or powerful when compared to other world-class players, but he uses his sublime skills and quick thinking to produce unexpected and innovative shots (including the subject of this article) to gain the upper hand.
So what is the name of this handy hitting technique? I call it the "back-court hook drop shot". It's not difficult to learn this technique. During practice, you stand about 1.5 meters away from the back boundary and have your partner feed you high shots (ex, a high forehand serve). You should familiarize yourself with the stroke and posture first and then add some footwork into the mix so that you can actually use this shot in a game. Learning this technique will broaden your knowledge of badminton, and it will help you be a more competitive player as well.
Author: Tony Jiang
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