The return of serve in badminton refers to the shot or sequence of shots played by the receiving side after the opponent’s serve. It is the first opportunity for the receiving side to gain an advantage and initiate the rally.
The main objectives of the return of serve are to:
- Get the shuttlecock back over the net and into the opponent’s court: The primary goal is to ensure that the serve is returned legally and lands within the boundaries of the opponent’s court, forcing them to play a shot.
- Gain control and neutralize the opponent’s serve: The return of serve aims to nullify the advantage the serving side may have gained with their serve. By returning the serve effectively, the receiving side can establish a balanced position and initiate the rally on more equal terms.
- Set up an advantageous position or attack: The return of serve can be used strategically to gain an advantageous position on the court or set up an attacking shot. By placing the return in a way that forces the opponent into a defensive position or by executing a well-placed shot, the receiving side can gain control of the rally.
The return of serve can vary depending on the type of serve, playing style, and the preferences of the players. Common techniques used in the return of serve include low clears, drops, smashes, drives, or deceptive shots to catch the opponent off-guard.
Successful returns of serve require good anticipation, quick reflexes, effective footwork, and proper shot selection. It is an important aspect of the game and can set the tone for the rest of the rally.
How to return serve in badminton singles?
Returning the serve in badminton singles requires quick reflexes, good footwork, and proper technique. Here are the steps to effectively return the serve in badminton singles:
- Be ready and anticipate: Position yourself in the center of the court, slightly towards the back. Anticipate the opponent’s serve by observing their grip, body positioning, and racket movement.
- Quick first step: As soon as you see the opponent’s racket make contact with the shuttlecock, take a quick step towards the area where you anticipate the shuttlecock to land. React swiftly to cover the court and be in a good position to return the serve.
- Use proper footwork: Utilize a split step to prepare for the return. Just before the shuttlecock is hit, jump slightly and land with your feet shoulder-width apart. This allows you to change direction and move toward the shuttlecock quickly.
- Keep the shuttlecock low: Most serves in badminton singles will be aimed low over the net. To return these serves effectively, use a short backswing and try to hit the shuttlecock early. Aim to keep the shuttlecock low over the net, forcing your opponent to play a difficult shot.
- Maintain control and accuracy: Focus on maintaining control and accuracy rather than going for excessive power. Aim to place the shuttlecock in areas that make it challenging for your opponent to return effectively.
- Vary your returns: Mix up your returns by using different shots. You can play a straight return down the line, a cross-court shot, a drop shot, or a lift to the back of the court. Varying your shots will keep your opponent guessing and make it harder for them to anticipate your returns.
- Recover quickly: After returning the serve, be ready to react to your opponent’s next shot. Recover quickly to a balanced position and prepare for the following rally.
Remember, practice and experience are crucial for effectively improving your ability to return serves. Work on your footwork, timing, and shot selection to become a better returner in badminton singles.
How to return serve in badminton doubles?
Returning the serve in badminton doubles requires coordination with your partner, good communication, and effective positioning. Here are the steps to return the serve in badminton doubles:
- Establish a ready position: Stand in the center of the court, slightly towards the back. Maintain a balanced and ready stance with your racket up and in front of you, anticipating the opponent’s serve.
- Decide on the return strategy: Discuss with your partner the return strategy before the serve. Common strategies include the “up and back” strategy, where one player moves forward to intercept the serve, while the other player moves back to cover the deep court, or the “side by side” strategy, where both players stay side by side at the backcourt to cover a wider area.
- Communicate with your partner: Effective communication is essential in doubles. Clearly communicate with your partner to decide who will take the serve and who will cover which areas of the court.
- React quickly and move as a team: As soon as the opponent’s racket contacts the shuttlecock, both players should react quickly. Use a split step to be ready to move in any direction. If one player intercepts the serve, the other player should adjust their position to cover the court effectively.
- Return with control and placement: Aim to return the serve with control and accuracy rather than excessive power. Keep the shuttlecock low and place it in areas that make it challenging for your opponents to counterattack. Look for gaps between the opponents or play shots to the sidelines to exploit weaknesses.
- Vary your returns: Mix up your returns to keep your opponents guessing. Use shots like drives, lifts, drops, and smashes to create variety and make it difficult for your opponents to anticipate your returns.
- Maintain good court coverage: After returning the serve, reestablish your positioning and maintain good court coverage. Move quickly to cover your respective court areas and be ready to react to your opponent’s shots.
Remember to practice and coordinate with your doubles partner to develop a strong return game. Effective communication, positioning, and shot selection are key to returning serves successfully in badminton doubles.