The Badminton Clear (from the archives) to Unscrew the Lightbulb

From the archives (yes I do look younger) – and as usual this is about hitting up instead of forward or down on the serve!

Badminton – Many parallels exist between the badminton overhead clear and the up and out snap on the serve.

And I have found that experienced badminton players ALWAYS serve extremely well.

Players strike the defensive overhead clear with an “up and out” action to drive the opponent back as far as possible from the net.

With practice, this overhead clear motion transfers directly to the feel of the serve, and in particular imprints the feel for the forearm roll rather than the wrist snap.

The pictures of the badminton overhead appear identical with the sharp “inverted V” moments after contact on the tennis serve.

From – Qualitative Analysis of the Badminton Forehand Smash: Gowitzke, Barbara and Waddell, David in Racquet and Sports Symposium; 1979

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  • Donald McDonald

    Reply Reply October 20, 2019


    Now if we could only get tennis and golf instructors to realize the same wrist action works great on groundstrokes too.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply November 4, 2019

      Don – but as I keep on this project, the question (for tennis or golf) is whether this occurs on its own from aspects of the delivery, or whether it is made to happen. What do you think?

  • Zhenya

    Reply Reply October 20, 2019

    Thank you for this, Jim! Always enjoy your instruction! Great analogies, you always connect to a story and it speaks to me indeed. I have experienced, what you described, playing with table tennis and badminton national team guys back in Belarus in the 80s, who trained and studied with us. They had great hands, served with ease and teased us, tennis players: “You will never win a point”, cause back then had to be on serve only. Not the least I think, “badminton clear” is contingent on the height of the net, which makes the action “up and out” necessary to push opponent back. To your point shuttle cock design and tactics, are certainly fit in nicely in that puzzle. Thank you!

  • robert beckvall

    Reply Reply October 20, 2019

    we had the table tennis in the basement and the badminton in the backyard
    and true to your word, tennis was the game I mastered all the way from juniors to seniors, team championships, etc. I believe that the feel I have is from a lot of ping pong, and the solid serve/overhead is from the up hit of the badminton great idea, proof in pudding this picture also looks very similar to the scissor kick overhead

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply October 20, 2019

      Robert – thanks for the note – we have a great one with Pmac, and I imagine yours is the same

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