The Modern Badminton Men's Singles Play Style

The Modern Badminton Men’s Singles Play Style

Over the last few months, my badminton coaches have emphasized tactical strategy more and talked quite a bit about how current men’s singles pros play. If you watch a lot of pro play, you’ll notice that many men’s singles players play a flatter, box-style game nowadays. Let’s get into what that means and why they do so.

What Is The Modern Badminton Men’s Singles Play Style And Why Players Play This Way

When I say box style, I’m referring to a style where you play most of your shots within the back doubles and front service lines. This is a style where most of your shots are very quick. Lifts should be fast and flat to put pressure on your opponent, and your shots at the front should generally go to the service line to prevent your opponent from setting themselves up for kills.

This style developed out of evolving badminton players and technology. The big emphasis on physicality coupled with better badminton technology means that current badminton players are hitting harder than ever, particularly in men’s singles.

You will notice when watching pro play that whenever a player gets a super high lift where they have time to get two feet behind the shuttle and full smash, the rally is usually over. Think of players like Lee Zii Jia, Viktor Axelsen, Li Shi Feng, and Chou Tien Chen full smashing. It’s hard to get their shots, regardless of how good your defense is.

To prevent strong players from using their biggest weapon, playing flat, fast lifts that don’t give your opponent time to hit the shuttle at their max height will help you immensely. And the reason you play most of your shots past the service line is to make it difficult for your opponent to play spin nets. Most high lifts are a reaction to spin nets, after all.

You’ll also make fewer mistakes playing a box style since you’re not reliant on controlling the shuttle super tight to the net or the backcourt lines.

What You Need To Make This Play Style More Effective

It’s all about your ability to move fast and take the shuttle early to become better at the current men’s singles badminton playstyle.

First, your rhythm has to be fast. When you see the shuttle, go for it right away. Don’t let it drop even if you can still reach the shuttle on time. The moment you have to take the shuttle low, your options become significantly reduced, and your best bet is to lift high and reset, which isn’t exactly what you want to do. Take it early, however, and you can play anything.

To help you play faster, you also need to be able to move more quickly. Playing a box style relies quite a bit on quick hip turns and small foot movements, so agility training is a must-have.

Regarding what badminton shots you should be good at, blocks, drives, push shots, jump-out smashes, and slices are generally the shots you play the most. You must also ensure your late forehand and backhand are good when playing the box style.

Drills To Practice This Style

To practice box style, one of my favorite drills is a one-on-one full-court drill where you play against each other with certain shots restricted. Either do this drill timed or based on the number of shots hit.

The first level is where you play one another, but neither person can hit in front of the service line and can only play blocks, lifts, or drop shots. If you can keep the rally going for a long time (for example, hit 30 shots in a row), you can then upgrade to the next level.

The second level of the drill is the same, except both players can now play drives as well. Again, once you can do this consistently, move on to the next level.

In the third level, both players can smash, which is the final level.

The key to this drill is to play quickly and take things early. Being consistent doesn’t just mean making no mistakes, but making no mistakes while playing high-quality shots.

The Modern Badminton Men’s Singles Play Style

I hope you enjoyed this article on the modern badminton men’s singles play style and learned something! As always, let me know what you want to see next or if you have any questions in the comment section below.

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