What Is a Kill in Badminton?

What Is a Kill in Badminton?

If you are wondering what a kill in badminton is, you have come to the right post. In this post, I am going to describe what is a kill, its different variants and how to perform one.

So, what is a kill in badminton? A kill, also known as a net kill, is an offensive shot that is performed on the net and in which the shuttle has a fully downwards trajectory. The shuttle has the same trajectory as a smash, but because of your location on the court, the movement you need to perform is different.

In the following section, I am going a bit more in detail on what a kill is, its different variants, and how to perform them.

Badminton kill, what is it and which variants are there?

As I explained before, a badminton net kill is a shot that is performed on the net. In order to perform this shot successfully, you need to catch the shuttle over the net so you can give it a downwards trajectory.

Like the standard smash, this is a very offensive shot and you should only attempt it if you are confident that you can finish the rally with it.

The net kill has two variants, the forehand net kill, and the backhand net kill.

If you are not sure what forehand and backhand mean, please check our badminton grip post. In it, we explain the difference between these two types of grip.

Forehand net kill

The forehand net kill is any net kill that is performed with a forehand grip. These are the shots that are on the racket side of the court. If you are right-handed, whatever goes on the right side of your court is your racket side. Therefore, anything that goes on the racket side should be a forehand net kill.

Backhand net kill

The backhand net kill is any net kill that is performed with a backhand grip. These are the shots that are on the non-racket side of the court. If you are right-handed, whatever goes on the left side of your court is your non-racket side. Therefore, anything that goes on the non-racket side should be a backhand net kill.

For shuttles that go to the center of the court, it is better to perform a backhand net kill because it is an easier shot to perform and control.

How to perform a net kill

In order to perform a net kill, you need to be sure that you have a good advantage over your opponent and that you can finish the rally with that shot. Why? Because once you perform it, you will leave all the court uncovered and, if your opponent manages to return the shot, you will have a hard time reaching it.

This is not so critical in doubles where your partner can cover you, but it is certainly a big problem in singles. With that in mind, let’s have a look at how you can perform this shot.

How to perform a forehand net kill

Step 1 – Your ready position

It is very important that your ready position is correct. You need to be located on or slightly in front of the front service line. If your opponent is going to perform his or her shot from one of the two sides of the net, then you should be moving your center position towards that side as well. If you don’t know what the center position is, you can check our post “What Is the Central Base Position in Badminton?“, where we go in detail into the topic.

Your racket leg ( left leg if you are left-handed) should be forward.

Your racket arm should be raised so that your hand is roughly at the same height as your shoulder, with the racket pointing toward the net.

As far as your non-racket arm should also be raised in a position that can help you accelerate the jump.

Step 2 – Jump towards the shuttle

Once your opponent has hit the shuttle and you think you can reach it in time to perform a net kill, it is time to jump towards the shuttle. The reason behind jumping is in order to reach the shuttle as fast as possible, so it is still over the net and you can send it in a downwards trajectory. That is why it is also very important that your center position is so close to the net.

To jump towards the shuttle, you will jump with both feet, but the foot that is a bit more backward (the non-racket foot) will be the one making the most work. In order to help with the inertia, you can also bring your non-racket arm towards the back.

While jumping, you will raise the racket arm and the racket a bit more in preparation for the shot.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle with a fast hand movement

This is the trickiest part. You need to make sure that the racket head is facing the shuttle before you hit it and then hit the shuttle with a “tap” movement where you mostly use your fingers to do the movement.

You should be landing on your feet at the same time that you hit the shuttle, landing with the racket leg in the front and the non-racket leg in the back.

This video from Coaching Badminton explains the net kill very well. The one discussed here is what he calls the “tap” net kill.

How to perform a backhand net kill

Step 1 – Your ready position

It is very important that your ready position is correct. You need to be located on or slightly in front of the front service line. If you don’t know what the ready position is, you can check our post “What Is the Ready Position in Badminton?“, where we go in detail into the topic.

For the backhand net kill, there are actually two different ready positions.

In doubles, you would usually turn your whole body a bit so you are not facing the other court but are facing the side of your court. With this rotation of the body, then have your racket leg forward and your non-racket leg backward.

If you are playing singles, you would usually keep your body facing the other court and move forward your non-racket leg instead, and have your racket leg backward.

Your racket arm should be raised so that your hand is roughly at the same height as your shoulder, with the racket pointing toward the net.

Your non-racket arm should also be raised in a position that can help you accelerate the step two.

Step 2 – Jump towards the shuttle

Once your opponent has hit the shuttle and you think you can reach it in time to perform a net kill, it is time to jump towards the shuttle.

If you are playing doubles, you jump with both feet, but the foot that is a bit more backward (the non-racket foot) will be the one making the most work. In order to help with the inertia, you can also bring your non-racket arm towards the back.

If you are playing singles, you also jump with both feet but, in this case, you will need to rotate your upper body while jumping and also bring your racket leg forward so when you land you are in the same position as in the other type.

While jumping, you will raise the racket arm and the racket a bit more in preparation for the shot.

Please note that this differentiation between singles and doubles is not fully accurate. If, for example, you are playing singles and you do a net shot with your backhand and you see that your opponent will struggle to reach it, you can put yourself in the ready position that we classified as “doubles”. This is because there is a good chance that your opponent will react with a parallel net shot. If not, because of the position in which he or she will reach the shuttle, you will have time to react to it.

What the other ready position does is give you a bit more flexibility to react to a different shot, but that might not be required in certain circumstances even in singles.

Step 3 – Hit the shuttle with a fast hand movement

This is the trickiest part. You need to make sure that the racket head is facing the shuttle before you hit it and then hit the shuttle with a “tap” movement where you mostly use your fingers to do the movement.

You should be landing on your feet at the same time that you hit the shuttle, landing with the racket leg in the front and the non-racket leg in the back.

When to perform a net kill

As I said before, net kills are risky shots so they should be done only when you think you can finish the rally. This is especially true in singles. In doubles, where your partner can cover the part of the court that you are leaving unprotected, you can risk it a bit more. This is in order to keep the initiative of the point and try to finish a rally. However, bear in mind that, in doubles, the chances of returning a net kill are higher. So, if you leave a big part of the court uncovered, your partner might reach the shuttle but you might lose the initiative of the point.

Apart from the more tactical side, only perform a net kill if you see that the shuttle is high enough above the net for you to be able to kill it with a “tap” movement. Otherwise, you may end up hitting the net and committing a fault. If the shuttle is too close to the net, you can perform a net swipe shot.

Final words

And with this, we have arrived at the end of the article. If you liked the post and would like to know more about other shots, you can check our Badminton Shots post, where we have a brief description and a link to a more in-depth article for all the different badminton shots. Do you have any doubts about what I have explained? Then let me know in the comments below!

License for featured image

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons license “Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International”.

Attribution:   Antony StanleyFlickr, CC BY-SA 4.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *