How To Play A Cross Court Net Shot In Badminton (Step-By-Step With Pictures)

How To Play A Cross Court Net Shot In Badminton (Step-By-Step With Pictures)

A net shot in badminton is a soft shot that is played from the front court, and lands in your opponents front court – ideally as close to the net as possible. 

The cross court net shot is when the shuttle travels from the left side of the court to the right, or vice versa! It can be played on both the forehand and backhand side.

To play the cross net shot in badminton well, you need to have a loose grip, slight bend in the elbow, then pull your elbow back and down as you rotate your forearm to guide the shuttle cross court.

The cross court net shot can be a great weapon to use in your game, but it can also be a difficult shot to master! So, we’ll now cover everything you need to know, including:

  • Why you should play a cross court net shot
  • The correct preparation
  • The correct hitting technique
  • Common mistakes we see

Why Should You Play A Cross Court Net Shot?

There are 2 main reasons:

  1. To manoeuvre your opponents around the court making them move the longest possible distance.
  2. To make your opponents change direction at the last second to put them under pressure and hopefully win the rally or force a weak reply.

However, it’s important not to overuse the shot. Even if you think it’s your best shot, it’s not going to be as effective if it’s predictable!

What Is The Preparation For A Cross Court Net Shot?

The first and probably most important point is that your preparation needs to look the same as all of your other shots in the front court – whether that’s a lift, push or straight net shot. This will make the shot much more effective!

Forehand Cross Court Net Shot: Preparation

As you approach the shuttle, you should be in a loose forehand grip. We’re emphasising the word loose, because if you’re gripping the racket too tightly, then you won’t be able to get the control you need, and your shot may end up being either too hard or too high over the net.

You should have your racket arm extended out in front of you, with a slight bend in the elbow, and your non-racket arm behind you for balance (as you would for other shots from this position).

how to play a cross court net shot in badminton step by step with pictures
Forehand cross net preparation

Backhand Cross Court Net Shot: Preparation

For the backhand lift or straight net shot, you would be in a backhand grip, but for the backhand cross court net shot, you will need to start with a backhand grip and slightly change to a bevel grip as you turn the racket.

This is because staying in a backhand grip makes it difficult to bend your wrist and turn your racket comfortably so that you can play a high quality cross court net shot. You can learn more about the different grips in badminton here.

For this reason, it’s even more important to have a loose grip. As with the forehand side, you should have your racket arm extended with a slight bend in the elbow, and your non-racket arm behind you.

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Backhand cross net preparation

What Is The Correct Hitting Technique For A Cross Court Net Shot?

Forehand Cross Court Net Shot: Hitting Technique

As the shuttle is crossing the net, you need to pull your elbow back and down towards your body. This improves your control of the shot and adds a bit of deception too.

As you are finishing this pull back, you then rotate your forearm and turn the palm of your hand. This movement means your racket is now facing cross court, and you then push or guide the shuttle over the net. 

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Forehand cross net hitting action

There are 2 common mistakes that people make here:

  1. Doing the wrong type of forearm rotation. We often see people simultaneously rotating their shoulder when rotating their forearm, but you don’t want to do this! Keeping your shoulder relaxed in the same position and only rotating your forearm allows you to use your wrist and fingers, which enables more control.
  2. Trying to use the wrist too much. This really limits the control you can get over your shots. As a guide, your wrist should always be parallel with the palm of your hand, as shown in the picture below.

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Wrist parallel with palm of hand

💡 It’s important to keep your body controlled as you hit the shot. The ability to turn the shuttle cross court comes from your forearm and racket face (you don’t need to turn your whole body cross court)!

Backhand Cross Court Net Shot: Hitting Technique

Similar to the forehand side, you should pull your elbow back and down as the shuttle is crossing the net. As you move your elbow back, you need to slightly move your thumb onto the ridge (to have a bevel grip), which enables your racket head to start rotating.

Then, just before you strike the shuttle, you should bend your wrist slightly. This is important because it enables you to get the shuttle travelling tightly across the net. Then you guide the shuttle over the net.

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Backhand cross net hitting action

Despite talking a lot about playing tight net shots, you actually don’t need to try and play the shot super-tight every time.

Often just being early enough to the shuttle to play a quick turn will achieve the desired impact, and the tighter you try and play your shot the higher the chance of you making a mistake. 

You should be aware of when you need to play a really tight net shot and when you don’t. Playing the percentage game like this in order to reduce the risk of mistakes is something the best players in the world do very well!

Learn More

We hope you’ve now learnt how to play the cross court net shot – it’s definitely a very satisfying shot to play when you get it right!

If you’d like more visual explanations or drills you can do to practice your cross court net shots, you can watch our YouTube video below!

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