close up hand hold serve badminton shuttlecock with blur badminton court background

How to Serve in Badminton

Hello there, fellow badminton enthusiasts! If you’ve clicked on this post, chances are you’re looking to master that elusive badminton serve. Maybe you’ve been watching some professional games and thought, “How on earth can I make my serve as good as that?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and you’ve come to the right place! Here, we’ll be covering how to serve in badminton.

In my journey on the badminton court, I, too, have found it hard to serve in badminton.

Today, I’ll be sharing the tricks of the trade on how to serve in badminton that has helped me and countless others transform our serves, improving our badminton games enormously. We’ll dive deep into badminton serve rules, and I’ll be offering tips on how to make the most out of your terrain on the badminton court.

Quick Tips For the Serve

  • Understand the Different Serves: Each type of serve, including the high serve, low serve, flick serve, and drive serve, has a unique purpose and strategy behind it.
  • Proper Grip and Positioning: Hold the racket at the triangular part of the grip for a consistent low serve and aim to hit the shuttlecock at the top of the racket, not the middle.
  • Be Mindful of Common Faults: To ensure your serves are effective and legal, make sure not to step on or over the service court lines and avoid serving the shuttle illegally.
  • Practice with a Partner: Partner up and practice low serves across the net, focusing on getting the shuttlecock to graze the net consistently.
  • Always Seek Improvement: Continuously hone your accuracy, timing, and service strategies. Knowledge combined with practice is the key to mastering serves. Experiment, adapt, and, most importantly, enjoy the learning process.

Different Types of Serves in Badminton

The High Serve

Hold the shuttlecock by its head, positioning the head downwards to ensure a straight drop.
Position yourself sideways, facing the net, and relax your racquet arm.
Release the shuttlecock and swing your racquet arm upward. Simultaneously, rotate your waist to face the net. Snap your wrist in the desired direction for the shuttle to land (snap your wrist upwards for a high flight).

a diagram showing the flight path of a high serve

Allow your back leg to lift naturally, keeping your toes in contact with the ground.
The high serve proves effective against opponents lacking powerful smashes from the backcourt.

However, some badminton players (particularly taller ones) can execute forceful smashes even from the backcourt, often with a jumping smash.

In such cases, it is advisable to consider using the low serve. This preference for low serve is also observed among professional players today.

The Low Serve

Grasp the shuttlecock’s feather, ensuring the shuttlecock’s head points downward. Place the racket behind the shuttlecock.

Take a small step forward with your dominant leg (right or left, depending on your handedness).
When releasing the shuttlecock, gently flick your racket while pushing your thumb in the desired landing direction. The primary force is generated by your thumb’s push and the subtle flick of your wrist.

a diagram showing the flight path of a low serve

The idea is to have the shuttlecock fly as low over the net as possible, as shown in the graphic. This makes it impossible for the opponent to make an offensive shot. The shuttle cock doesn’t have to land far back, so if you find it landing near the service line, don’t worry. As long as it’s low over the net, it’s a good serve!

The Flick Serve

This serve is a great switch-up play in order to deceive your opponent. If you like your low serve like me, then this is a great serve to practice to keep your opponent on their toes.

The Flick serve is designed to look like a low serve is being played, but at the last second, have it fly higher over the net. So really sell the low serve move and change your trajectory and the end by pushing your thumb and flicking your wrist harder so the shuttlecock flies higher over the net, into the back of the court.

The Drive Serve

The drive serve is most effective when it catches the opponent off guard, as it is struck with force, low to the ground, and in a flat trajectory, leaving the opposing player with limited time to react. For optimal results, the drive serve should be aimed at the opponent’s backhand side.

To execute the drive serve, grip the racket in the handshake position. Stand sideways, facing the forehand side of the court, with the non-dominant foot positioned ahead of the other. Hold the shuttle in the non-racket hand at waist level.

Shift most of your body weight onto the dominant (rear) foot. Pull the arm back into the backswing position with the wrist and hand prepared. Transfer the body weight onto the non-dominant (front) foot. Generating speed on this serve requires rapid wrist movement and forearm rotation. Make contact with the shuttle at thigh level.

Common Faults Beginners Make

Now, we’ve covered the different types of serves, but knowing them is only half the battle. To really shine on the court, you need to devote time to badminton serve practice. And that’s where the old adage comes in: practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

When practising, it’s crucial to pay attention to the basic serving rules to avoid common faults. After all, we don’t want our beautifully executed serve to be disallowed because our feet weren’t in the right place, do we?

One common fault, for instance, involves stepping on or over the service court lines before you make contact with the shuttle. It’s tempting to get a running start, but in badminton, your feet have to be firmly planted within the service box.

Another common fault is hitting the shuttle above the waist or the racket above the shoulder on a serve. This is a tricky one as the definition of ‘waist’ in badminton is the lowest part of the ribcage, not where you wear your pants.

Remember, practice isn’t just about repeating the same motion over and over. It’s about honing your accuracy, improving your timing, and eliminating these common faults. It’s about training your body to follow the rules so naturally that you don’t even have to think about them.

In the following sections, I’ll give you some tips on how to perfect your serve practice, avoid these common faults, and make you serve the superstar of your badminton game. So stick around – we’re about to serve up some great skills!

The Best Tips for a Low Serve

Here I will cover some Tips to perform the low serve as it’s the most common and the bread and butter of serving in badminton doubles.

The first bit of advice is to hold the racket and the triangular part of the grip. This lowers your lever length and gives you greater control of the minute movements of the racket.

Another amazing tip given by Cai Yun, one of the greatest doubles men players, is to hit the shuttlecock at the top of the racket rather than the middle of the strings, as shown in the graphic. This makes the flight path more predictable and helps develop consistency in your serve.

A diagram shoing the part of the racket a shuttle should be contacting for a serve

Practising your low serve

A great way to practice your low serve is to have you and a friend stand on either side of a badminton net, and in time, each low serve a shuttlecock to the other. This may be a little bit boring, but the ultimate goal of perfecting a low serve is to have a consistent grazing of the net every time so that when you’re at the match point, you don’t even have to think about your serve.

Importance of mastering the serve

Now, why is mastering how to serve in badminton so important?

Whether it’s a high serve in badminton to keep your opponent on their toes or a low serve in badminton to catch them off guard, a good serve can be your secret weapon. Maybe you’re more of a forehand serve in badminton kind of player – that’s great too! Each type of serve has its own benefits, and knowing when to use each one can make a world of difference in your game.

The serve is your game’s opening statement. It’s your chance to seize control, dictate the pace, and keep your opponent guessing. But to do all that, you need to master the techniques and strategies that go with it.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, finding the right badminton racket is about understanding yourself as a player. It’s about recognizing your strengths, acknowledging your weaknesses, and picking a partner in crime that will help you conquer the court. It’s a journey, my friends, and an exciting one at that!

By now, you have the knowledge and insights to guide you on your path. But remember, all the knowledge in the world is no match for experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of rackets, and most importantly, have fun with it. After all, isn’t that why we play badminton in the first place?

If you’re ready to embark on your quest for the perfect racket, I have something that might interest you. Check out this curated selection of the best badminton rackets of 2023 here. You’ll find detailed descriptions, customer reviews, and everything you need to make an informed choice.

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