Forehand and backhand

There is a wide variety of basic strokes, and players need a high level of skill to act upon all of them successfully. All strokes can be played either forehand or backhand. A player's forehand side is the one with which they play - their playing hand side and backhand the other one: for a right-handed player, the forehand is their right side and the backhand is their left side. Forehand strokes are hit with the front of the hand leading (like hitting with the palm- such that the palm is facing the sky), whereas backhand strokes are hit with the back of the hand leading (like hitting with the knuckles- such that knuckles are facing the sky).

In the forecourt and midcourt, most strokes can be played just as effectively on either the forehand or the backhand side; but in the rear court, players will try to play as many strokes as possible on their forehand side. Playing a backhand overhead has two main disadvantages.

  • The player must turn their back to their opponents, blocking their view partially of them and the court.
  • Second, backhand overhead strokes cannot be taken with as much power as forehands: the hitting action is limited by the shoulder joint, which allows a much greater range of movement for a forehand overhead.

Defensive badminton shots

The Clear Shot

In this stroke, the shuttlecock is hit around the middle of the racquet head. The aim of the clear shot is to make the shuttle to go up high in the air and land at the opponent's back court.

The Drive Shot

The drive shot is a fundamental level shot, directly hit over the net. It is a powerful, quick counter-attacking shot that is easy to accomplish.

Offensive badminton shots

The Drop Shot

  • The drop shot is best used when the shuttle is directing towards the receiver in the first half of receiver’s court. To execute this stroke, the receiver must hit the shuttlecock downwards directed towards the opponent's fore-court, aiming for it to go just over the net.
  • The player uses merely a little force to push the shuttle over the net.
  • The closer the shuttle drops to the net, more the difficult it is to return. However, it also becomes riskier for the player as it may not cross the net and cost him/her the rally and the opponent a score.
The Smash Shot
The badminton smash is measured as the most powerful shot in badminton and one can think of it like a drive that is inclined downwards. It is best used when the shuttle is high in the air, so it can be inclined downwards.


Lifts, where the shuttlecock is struck upwards towards the back of the opponents' court, and can be played from all parts of the court.