Badminton Life

Badminton Singles: Different Styles of Play

In the game of badminton singles, there are three main styles or patterns of play. The fast and aggressive style players, the deceptive stroke players and the straightforward, defensive style players.

For the fast and aggressive style, most of the shots played are smashes, fast drop shots and net shots, attacking lobs, more low services than high services, quick low pushes/flicks to the backcourt from the net and fast pace footwork on the court.

For the deceptive stroke players, there are more high services to the baseline than low services, the lobs are more angled and deep, the drop shots are deceptively played and they drop nearer the net. The net shots are sharper and more deceptive but are not played as fast as the attacking pattern of play. Most of the strokes they play are deceptive strokes to trick and slow down their opponent.

Moreover, the defenses of players who play this style are usually better and more reliable. Their push shots to the back are more angled and deceptive. This pattern of play requires less smashes and the movements of deceptive players are smoother and steadier, with better court craft.

For the straightforward and defensive style, most of the shots are plain and simple as opposed to being deceptive. Most of the services are high and deep on to the backcourt, the net shots are not tricky but simple and very few cross-court net shots. The drop shots are sharp but not as fast as the attacking pattern of play.

In this playing style, the main purpose is to wear the opponent down by playing consistently simple effective shots, making very few mistakes. The players that are categorized in this type of play normally have higher and stronger stamina because they are used to the long rallies.

Nearly all top players play a combination of two styles with one style dominating, such as Zhao Jian hua, combining effectively the attacking style with deceptive stroke play. Foo Kok Keong, Ong Ewe Hock and Ardy Wiranata played a straight forward, defensive style. They sometimes resort to fast attacking style.

Rudy Hartono was a fast attacking player. P. Gopichand is mainly a deceptive stroke player who sometimes uses the attacking style of play. Susi Susanti was a standard defensive and straightforward style badminton singles player.

Nowadays, many players like to play the fast attacking style which was introduced by Rudy Hartono with lots of jumping smashes and attacking lobs. Most of the aspiring young players of today also usually follow or try to imitate their idols or go with the trend because they believe that they can apply it to their badminton singles game to win matches.

You shall always remember that your idols are individuals too and if you want to be a champion like them, you must believe and have confidence in your individuality.

To find out which style suits your badminton singles game, you can ask yourself a few questions such as:

* Do I have a good temper and emotional intelligence to play this type of game?

* Am I the impatient aggressive type who takes risks? A temperament more suited to the attacking style.

* Or am I the hardworking type who enjoys winning opponents using long rallies? Temperament more suited to the defensive style.

* Or am I the patient player who loves playing a quality game and gets a lot of satisfaction in controlling the opponent? A temperament more suited to the deceptive stroke player.

There are also a second set of questions that you can ask yourself such as:

* Do I have the physical ability to play this type of badminton singles style?

* Does the strength to execute continuous sharp and very powerful smashes come easily to me?

* Am I physically too short to play the aggressive type of game, like giving me little time to cover the court well as compared to a tall player whose reflexes are just as fast as mine and their court coverage are better?

* I have lots of physical fitness and good mental toughness. How should I use them effectively?

The third set of questions that you can ask yourself:

* Do I have the ability to produce the shots to play this type of game?

* Are my shots mostly straightforward, consistent and deep or are they deceptive?

* What are my most potent strokes? The smash, the defense, the lob, etc?

It is important for you to discover yourself and your style of badminton singles play. Do not just follow or copy the trend or your idol's pattern of play. Only then can you develop your own style to the highest possible standard and challenge others.

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