So when I first started playing badminton, I was told that a good serve would set the foundation for my games and would mean that I stood a chance when playing. I took this on board and was shown how to do a backhand low serve.
I was told for my serve to be legal, I had to serve from below my waist. This has to be height level with the lowest part of my rib cage. As you can imagine, with me being short this could present a bit of a challenge because the lowest part of my rib cage will be significantly lower than the net! Then I have to send that shuttlecock over the net, but not too high and have it land just on my opponent’s service line.
My husband showed me that if I hold my racket with a shorter grip and using the thumb grip, this will give me more control which is what I want. This helped me so much!
I find the angle of the racket makes a huge difference too! I don’t have the racket head facing up too much as this will make my serve higher and the opponent can smash it down. The idea is for it to just skim the net and land short and sweet at their feet! Obviously, I don’t want this to be too short either!
The trick that worked for me in the beginning was to imagine that my racket head is a mirror, look into it then rotate it down until I am looking at my imaginary watch on my wrist (not move my hand at all). This gets the angle right for me. Then I hold the shuttlecock from one feather, release it and push it with my racket. I don’t find myself doing the mirror/watch thing anymore, as I move my racket down to the right position automatically now. I usually stand with my right foot slightly in front of my left foot but I think my posture when serving is something I can work on!
I practiced this serve for an hour to start but now I practice it at every opportunity. This Tuesday I found myself doing nothing during my group coaching session, so I practiced it some more.
My serve is something I am quite proud of to be honest. It probably isn’t perfect, but nearly every person I have played with or against has admired it. I have been nicknamed ‘the server’ which is hilarious. Opponents are always telling me that they don’t like my serve! Hehe! I’m not saying my serve is perfect, but it even catches out much more advanced players and I have found I can rely on it when I find myself in a pickle.
This will sound really obvious, but I think keeping your cool and taking your time when serving makes all the difference! If you rush a serve, you end up messing up! If I rush my serve, it ends up being higher than I want.
I must say that it is true, learning to serve does lay a good foundation for playing badminton. It has definitely helped me! I haven’t learnt how to do a high serve yet and am scared that this might mess up my low serve! I do need to learn it though because everyone expects a low serve from me so it would be good to catch them off guard!
My Tuesday coaching session was a good one. Me and my sister in law practiced more positioning which was great….once we knew what we were doing that is! If the shuttlecock was dropped near the net, one of us would move to the front and the other would cover the back. If we sent the shuttlecock up high, then we would split and move to the middle of our respective sides of the court to defend. We definitely need more work on this, but I can see how useful it could be!
One thing I was particularly pleased about this Tuesday was that I wasn’t running to the shuttlecock. I stood in the middle of the court and was able to step to the net and return net shots. I felt like I used a lot less energy and got there much quicker too! Granted I missed a couple, but I returned the majority!
Me and my sister in law played against the two strongest players in our group and won, not by a little, but by a lot! We were so chuffed!! I think we are definitely improving. I have to add rather begrudgingly though, that the two players are strong individually, but I think they hadn’t worked out how to play well together.