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Types of badminton serves

Badminton Serve Types: Low, High, Flick & Drive

Badminton undoubtedly is the fastest racket sport and it’s also a very aggressive game. Every player is in attacking mode right from the beginning. So you have to be very careful when you serve in a badminton game. Don’t give any easy smash which may cost a point. And for this precision and placement are the key in badminton for a good serve. When you serve in a game, you have total control. So take advantage of that and wait for the right opportunities to finish off a point.

Also, remember the serving rules in badminton, otherwise, you will be trapped for doing an illegal serve.

Let’s see:

What are the Types of Serves in Badminton?

According to the path of the trajectory of a shuttlecock, there are 4 types of serves.

  1. Low/ Short
  2. High/ Long
  3. Flick
  4. Drive

Low (Short) Serve in Badminton

Shuttlecock holding technique in low serves
Sketch of low serve in badminton

“Low Serve” means it directs the shuttlecock low over the net to land just inside the short service line. The aim is to keep the shuttle as low as possible so that the receiver is not able to smash it. Low serve is a soft stroke to strike the shuttlecock in a manner so that it starts losing speed just after crossing over the net.

Low or short serve is the default serve in doubles as it restricts your opponent from playing an attacking shot. In singles, the low serve is also frequently used against payers who have the ability to play strong smashes.

Step-by-Step Procedures

  1. Hold the racket with a backhand grip (For backhand low serve).
  2. Stand just inside of the short service line.
  3. Hold the shuttle by clipping two or three feathers with your fingers.
  4. Place your racket just below the base of the shuttlecock.
  5. Your racket and not racket hand should be away and in front of your body.
  6. The cork should point to the path of the trajectory.
  7. Flick the racket by pushing your thumb with the flick of your wrist.

Check the nice video uploaded by “Shuttle Life” regarding some vital tips for an effective low serve.

High (Long) Serve in Badminton

Sketch of high serve in badminton

The aim of a high (or long) serve is to land the shuttlecock at the back of the court with a steeper angle. You have to swing your racket to lift the shuttle high enough so that it reaches the peak near the furthest point of the court and then falls sharply preventing an easy smash.

As the backhand side is more vulnerable for most players, target the high serve near the furthest corner of your opponent’s backhand side court. If he tries a forehand return against the high service, he has to move further away which requires quick footwork to come back to the base position quickly.

This long service is not at all good for doubles games because the service area is shorter in length for doubles in comparison to singles.

Step-by-Step Procedures

  1. Hold the racket with a forehand grip (For forehand high serve).
  2. Take a side-on position with one step behind the service line.
  3. Take a relaxed approach.
  4. Your bodyweight should be on the rear foot with the racket just behind the side of your body.
  5. Hold the shuttle in front of your body, near chest height for an easy swing of the racket.
  6. Drop the shuttle and swing your racket in an upward movement to direct the shuttle to the desired location. Timing is very important, otherwise, it may be a mishit.
  7. Simultaneously, transfer your body weight from the rear to the front foot to give more energy to your shot.

Swift Badminton has an excellent visual explanation to increase the effectiveness of high serve. Check the video below:

Flick Serve in Badminton

Sketch of flick serve in badminton

The flick serve is an aggressive backhand serve that looks much like a low serve. A flick serve is taken to deceive your opponent. When the receiver is expecting a low serve, a fast flick service well above his head puts him into trouble. Flick serve should not be predictable, it should be taken as a surprise element.

Flick serve is not an easy shot to play for beginners and even for intermediate players. It needs sufficient practice to do flick serve correctly.  

Step-by-Step Procedures

  1. Start with a backhand grip.
  2. Your approach will be the same as a low service.
  3. Hold the shuttle pointing the path of trajectory which depends on the height of the receiver.
  4. Flick the racket harder by using your thumb and fingers. You have to squeeze the racket with enough power to direct the shuttle high and back of the court.

Check the Youtube video of “Shuttle Life” regarding the visual presentation on flick serve.

Drive Serve in Badminton

Sketch of drive serves

The drive serve is another deceptive serve, the purpose of which is to surprise the receiver. It is a flat and fast serve. The approach and body positioning for drive serves are the same as the low or flick serve. The only difference is the angle of the racket face targeting the trajectory.

While playing this shot, you need a fast wrist action by squeezing the racket with your fingers and thumb just before the strike. Target the drive serve on the backhand area of your opponent.

This service is effective both in singles and doubles to add variety to your surprise elements.

Badminton Insight” has uploaded a very good video to present some vital tips on drive serve. Check it below:

Wrapping Up

Learning different types of serves is vital for a successful journey in badminton. Don’t be predictable. Use your serves strategically to end up with good results.

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