Featured Image Badminton Net Shot

Badminton Net Shot – Definition, Types, How-To & Much More!

Net play is often underappreciated in badminton. Unless other skills that only benefit singles or doubles players, net play is extremely valuable for both.

In this post, we are going to clarify what we understand for net shot, and we will describe all the different types of net shots. After that, we go through a step-by-step process on how to perform the different types of shots. Last, but not least, we will explain when you would want to use net shots and why. Ready? Let’s get started!

What is a net shot in badminton?

A net shot in badminton is a shot that is performed from the front of the court, near the net, to the front of the court of your opponent.

In the image below, you can see the trajectory of a standard badminton net shot.

Trajectory net shot
Trajectory net shot

This type of shot is considered mildly offensive. It can be a winner and it usually brings the rally to a situation where it can finish very fast. However, it is also used as part of the in-between face, where players are just looking for a crack in order to start the attack.

What are the different types of net shots in badminton?

There are four types of net shot, all with their forehand and backhand variant.

  • Basic net shot
  • High net shot
  • Flat net shot
  • Spin net shot

Basic net shot

The basic net shot is the first net shot that beginners should master, both forehand and backhand. In this type of net shot, you are using your fingers to give just enough power to the shuttle to pass through.

In this type of shot, the shuttle will pass quite close to the net and land somewhere in between the net and the service line. It is the most basic shot and it is usually seen in the first stages of the rally, whenever players are testing each other and trying to find a crack.

High net shot

The high net shot is similar to the basic net shot in terms of how you perform it, but it has a very different trajectory. In this case, you want to be passing the shuttle quite high from the net so then it can fall vertically very close to the net. If the description is difficult to understand, have a look at the drawing below.

Trajectory high net shot
Trajectory high net shot

This shot should be used only in singles whenever your opponent is far from the net. This way, he/she will not have enough time to reach the shuttle to kill it. It then becomes very difficult for them to lift the shuttle without it hitting the net or staying in middle court.

If you were to use this shot in doubles, the likelihood of receiving a net kill as an answer is very high. Since your opponents have less court to cover, they can pressure more the net and one of them will be able to reach it before it has fallen enough for it to become a dangerous shot for them.

Flat net shot

The flat net shot is another variant of the basic shot, with a different trajectory. In this case, the aim is to pass the shuttle very close to the net so that the opponents cannot kill it. It is not as important where the shuttle lands as it is how close to the net it passes. Have a look at the image below to better understand what I mean.

Trajectory flat net shot
Trajectory flat net shot

This shot can be used both in doubles and in singles. By making it pass close to the net, you are making sure that the opponent cannot attack it. Contrary to the high net shot, where you are risking the rally a little bit in order to get an advantage, this type of shot is mostly safe. You are not risking too much, but you won’t get much advantage either.

Spin net shot

The last type of net shot is the spin net shot. This is the most difficult one to perform, but also the most effective. This is the type of shot that you see the pros perform time and again. With the spin net shot, the shuttle passes very close to the net and lands also very close to the net. It is called spin net shot because the shuttle does a spin when it is flying. You can see the trajectory in the image below.

Trajectory spin net shot
Trajectory spin net shot

This shot can be used both in singles and doubles. By giving it a spin, players manage to be much more accurate with their shots and can adjust the shuttle more to the net.

Tobias Wadenka explains here how to perform the spin net shot in badminton

How to perform a net shot in badminton?

Now that we had a look at the different types of shots, let’s talk about how to perform them. For this, I have also pasted some videos from other sources that support the written explanation I am giving.

How to perform a basic net shot

Step 1 – Getting ready

The first step is the preparation of the shot or the position you are in before you start with the motion to hit the shuttle. In this position, you should be in the center of the court with your racket leg slightly forward and your non-racket leg slightly backward.

It is very important that your racket is pointing upwards. If your opponent is also in the front of the court, you can bring the racket even a bit more upwards, just in case he/she delivers a weak net shot and you can kill it.

Step 2 – Moving towards the shuttle

While moving towards the shuttle, you need to direct the racket also towards the shuttle. The head of the racket should be lower than your hand, orientated in a way that, when the shuttle hits the strings, it will rebound in the right angle in order to go over the net.

You should be making the last step with your racket leg, leaving your non-racket leg behind you. Your non-racket arm should also be extended behind you in order to keep a good balance.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

The last step is hitting the shuttle. This step is fairly easy for a basic net shot. You simply need to place the racket at the right angle so that it will go over the net and do the necessary small movement with your fingers. If forehand, the index finger will be the one doing the movement. If backhand, the thumb will be done the necessary movement.

While hitting the shuttle, you should be landing with your racket leg. Your legs should be as wide apart as you can without getting stuck or injured.

In this video, Prairie Badminton explains how to do the basic net shot.

How to perform a high net shot

Step 1 – Getting ready

This step is the same as for the basic net shot.

Step 2 – Moving towards the shuttle

This step is the same as for the basic net shot, but the angle of the racket should be different. Because you want the shuttle to go high, the racket should be almost perpendicular to the net.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

This step is also the same as for the basic net shot. Because of the type of shot you have performed, you can stay close to the net to put pressure on your opponent for his/her next shot.

How to perform a flat net shot

Step 1 – Getting ready

This step is the same as for the basic net shot. If you are playing doubles, though, your racket needs to be a bit higher than if you are playing singles.

Step 2 – Moving towards the shuttle

In this case, because your aim is to pass the shuttle as flat as possible, you need to be holding the racket in a different way. Instead of placing it as shown in the video above, where your palm is facing upwards, you will rotate your wrist ninety degrees so that the head of the racket is perpendicular to the floor.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

This step is similar to the basic net shot. However, because of the orientation of the racket, you will be hitting the shuttle from the side and not from the bottom. You need to make sure that the angle of the racket is good so that the shuttle passes close to the net.

As far as the legs are concerned, follow the same steps indicated in the basic net shot.

How to perform a spin net shot

Step 1 – Getting ready

This step is the same as for the basic net shot.

Step 2 – Moving towards the shuttle

This step is also the same as for the basic net shot.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle

Here comes the tricky part. In order to perform a spin net shot, you need to go “around” the shuttle while hitting it. You need to do this while at the same time having the right angle. The more around the shuttle you can go, the more spin you will give to the shuttle and the more difficult it will be for the opponent to return it.

This is quite difficult to explain with words, so be sure to check the video below from Badminton Famly where they explain thoroughly how to do this shot.

Our friends from Badminton Famly explain in this video how to do the spin net shot

When would you use a net shot in badminton?

Now that we have covered how to perform these shots, it is time to talk about when to perform them.

When to use a basic net shot

You can use the basic net shot very often, especially in singles and if you are at the beginner’s level. With this shot, the aim is to stay in the exchange phase until you find a crack where to attack.

When to use a high net shot

You can use the high net shot in singles, whenever your opponent is not very close to the net. Due to the trajectory we discussed before, if the opponent is close to the net, the chances of receiving a net kill are high. So, this is a very effective shot only when the opponent is far enough.

For example, if your opponent performs a drop shot, a high net shot might be a good answer to it. In this situation, your opponent needs to go from the back of the court to the net. That gives the shuttle plenty of time to go down so that he/she cannot kill it.

When to use a flat net shot

You can use a flat net shot both in singles and in doubles. However, you will most likely use it more in doubles. With this type of shot, the idea is to stay in the in-between phase by not doing a net lift. But because the opponents will be pressuring you, the net shot needs to pass close to the net.

For example, if in a doubles match you are reaching the shuttle at around your waist height but you want to still fight for the initiative of the point, performing a flat net shot that is going to land nearby the service line is a good option to consider. This ensures that your opponents cannot hit the shuttle over the height of the net so the chances of them making an offensive shot and gaining the initiative are reduced.

When to use a spin net shot

Spin shots can be used both for singles and doubles. They are offensive shots because the aim of the shot is to adjust it as much as possible to the net. With this shot, you want to put pressure on your opponent by really adjusting the shuttle to the net. The most likely answer to this type of shot, if performed well, is another spin net shot.

For example, you can use this shot if you reach the shuttle in a high enough location where the spin is easy enough to perform. After performing it, you will want to stay fairly close to the net in order to put pressure to your opponent.

Why would you use a net shot in badminton?

Net shots in badminton can be used for a lot of reasons. These reasons will vary depending on whether you are playing singles or doubles.

Why would you use a net shot in singles?

One reason if you are playing singles can be part of the movement pressure tactic, where you want to move your opponent around until you find a crack and you can attack. By adding net shots to the mix, you give more variety to your range of shots so the chances of your opponent guessing where the shuttle will go next are lower. If you don’t know what the movement pressure tactic is, you can check our post “What Is Badminton Movement Pressure?“, where we explain that in detail.

You can also use it as a tactic on its own if your net play is much more powerful than that of your opponent. If that is the case, you can try to bring the rally to the net as often as possible, where your opponent will either have to fight you there or lift the shuttle and give you a chance to attack. This is one of the tactics we talk about in our Badminton Tactics post.

Why would you use a net shot in doubles?

If you are playing doubles, the main reason to use a main shot is to try to keep or regain the initiative of the point.

In doubles, the general setting is for one couple to be in attacking formation (one on the back of the court and one near the net), and the other couple to be in defensive formation (one next to each other at the middle of the court).

Whenever the shuttle is at the net, both teams will try to put pressure on the other team so that they can be the ones adopting an attacking formation next.

If, for example, you are in the attacking formation and your opponents do a good defense shot close to the net, you will want to return a net shot in order to keep the initiative, so they are forced to lift the shuttle and you can stay in the attacking formation.

If, on the other hand, you are the team in the defensive formation in the example above, once the other couple performs a net shot, you will do your best to perform another net shot so they are forced to be the ones lifting the shuttle and you can gain the initiative of the point.

What you have to consider when doing net shots in doubles is that you will have one opponent on the net, ready to attack the shuttle. So, if you are in a forced position, it is best to lift the shuttle and go into a defensive formation than to have your opponent do a net kill and finish the rally.

Final words

And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. Do you have any lingering doubts about the badminton net shot? Let me know in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check our Badminton Shots post, where you find a brief explanation and links to all the other types of shots in badminton.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Attribution: Marcus CyronWikimedia Commons.

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