Badminton movement pressure is one of the most common tactics used when playing singles. The aim of this strategy is to move your opponent around the six corners of the court to force him to return a weak shot so you can finish the rally. In order to perform successfully this strategy, your footwork must be good and you must be able to shoot the shuttle accurately and consistently.
In this post, we will explain everything you need to know about badminton movement pressure, how to perform it and how to avoid it being used against you.
Badminton movement pressure – A definition
As we said in our introduction, badminton movement pressure consists of moving your opponent around the court, from corner to corner. With this strategy, the aim is for your opponent to arrive at a shot in a bad position and return a weak shot so you can finish the point.
One example of a rally where this movement pressure is used would be the following:
- Your opponent serves a high service
- You shoot a clear shot to his or her backhand
- Your opponent returns a drop shot as best as possible
- You shoot a net shot to his or her forehand
- Your opponent returns a net shot
- You shoot an offensive lob shot
- Your opponent returns a weak clear that only reaches the middle of the court
- You finish the point with a smash
In the above rally, you kept moving your opponent from corner to corner until he couldn’t make a good enough shot, and then you finished it off.
Some famous players also use this tactic very often. One example is Kento Momota, the Japanese player. As you can see in the video below, he likes moving his opponents around in order to gain advantages.
What skills are important to be able to perform badminton movement pressure?
Now that we have clarified what exactly movement pressure is, let’s have a look at the most important skills in order to be able to use it to your advantage. If you want this strategy to be successful, you need to make sure that your skill level in these areas is better than that of your opponent. Otherwise, the strategy is bound to backfire.
Good footwork is key to sustain the movement pressure
If you want to use this strategy, make sure your footwork is better than that of your opponent. If you intend to move your opponent around, you need to make sure you can move around faster than him or her. Otherwise, the strategy will backfire and he will be the one using this against you.
If you want to improve your footwork in order to use this strategy, check our extensive footwork guide, where we explain how you can move effectively around the court.
Physical stamina is needed to keep this strategy up during the whole game
Movement pressure is usually a synonym of long rallies. So, if you want to perform this strategy successfully, you need to make sure you can actually do it. You need to be in a good physical condition that will allow you to play long rallies during the whole match. If your opponent is in a better physical condition than you, the strategy is doomed.
You need accurate and consistent shots
If you want to perform this tactic, one of the keys is your ability to send the shuttle to the corners. The more accurate your shots are, the more your opponent will have to move. The more consistent your shots are, the fewer mistakes you will do. Therefore, being able to shoot accurately and consistently is an important skill to have if you want to apply this tactic.
Being able to hide where your shot is going can help
The last skill is to have the ability to hide where you are planning to send your shots. Especially for beginners, it can be very obvious which type of shot a player is planning to play only by the way he or she is positioning and moving the body, even before they hit the shuttle. If that is your case, your opponent will be able to know where you are intending to send the shuttle before you even hit it, so they can actually start moving in that direction. If so, the strategy is bound to fail.
On the other hand, if you are very good at hiding your shots so that your opponent does not have any clue what you intend to do until the very last moment, it will be much easier for you to move him or her around the court.
How to perform badminton movement pressure?
As we said before, movement pressure is based on the idea of moving your opponent around the court until he or she has a very unadvantageous position so he or she shoots a weak shot and you can finish the rally.
In order to use this strategy, you need to always be looking for a variety in your shots so your opponent is never sure where you are going to send the shuttle. You can never make the sequence too obvious because otherwise, your opponent will know where the shuttle is going next so he or she will be able to move ahead and reach the shuttle with an advantage. For a complete list of all the badminton shots you can use, check our badminton shots post, where we explain all the shots that exist in badminton.
It is also important not to overuse this strategy and also sprinkle some repetition into your shots. What do I mean by that? I mean that it is good, sometimes, to also repeat a shot and send the shuttle to the last position you sent it before. This will keep your opponent alert so he or she doesn’t assume that the shuttle will never go back to the previous position.
How to avoid badminton movement pressure from an opponent?
What if you have an opponent with very good footwork who is killing you with this tactic? How can you change your game so that this tactic becomes less successful? You can use what are called neutralization shots. These are shots that neutralize the advantage that your opponent is gaining in the rally by slowing down the game enough so you can recover your base point with enough time. The following video does an excellent job of explaining this.
In addition to that, if you have an offensive playing style, you can try being more aggressive in your game and shorten the rallies by taking some more risk in your shots. By being aggressive and keeping the advantage of the rally, you will force your opponent into uncomfortable positions so he will not be able to direct the shots so accurately.
When is it a good idea to perform the pressure movement?
The pressure movement tactic is an excellent strategy to be performed in singles, but you should never try it in doubles. In doubles, the amount of court that each player has to cover is not big enough for this strategy to be effective.
As for in singles, this is a good strategy to use if you are stronger than your opponent in the following points:
- Better footwork
- Better physical condition
- More consistent and accurate shots
If this happens, you can use pressure movement as one of your main tools in order to beat your opponent.
And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you want to know a bit more about other badminton tactics or strategies, check out our badminton tactics post, where we explain several tactics that you can use to increase your chances of winning. On the other hand, if you would like to know something else about the movement pressure strategy, let us know in the comments below and we will answer your questions.