Stop Your Opponent Moving You Around The Court

When you’re moving around the court because you’re chasing the shuttle around the court is frustrating, exhausting, and demotivating. Aside from being better than your opponent(!), you can employ various strategies and techniques to try and prevent this from happening. Here are some tips to help you maintain control and minimize your opponent’s ability to dictate the game.

Keep Your Balance

Maintaining good balance will help you move more smoothly to each shot and more efficiently as well as quicker. It is also the case that very good players are put off balance because they have either been deceived or are late to the shuttle. While it’s difficult to do anything about being deceived, staying in good balance will help mitigate your lateness to the shuttle.

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Lee Chong Wei’s excellent footwork kept him in balance

At the core of this is developing a solid foundation in your footwork. Many players fall out of balance because their footwork is poor. So it’s extremely important to be very familiar with the elements of good this vital skill. Aka: the split step, lunges, chasse, scissor jumps etc.

Check out this aritcle by Badminton Justin to help improve your balance.

Anticipate Your Opponent’s Shots

Pay close attention to your opponent’s body positioning, racket preparation, and shot selection. By observing their movements, you can anticipate their shots and be better prepared to intercept or counter them effectively.

This will also require significant experience to enable you to read body language. Not only that but many players are able to mask the intent of their shot very well making it difficult to anticipate.

In addition, you can also try to read patterns in play. For example, some people might play 3 smashes in a row, and the fourth is always a drop. If you can read the pattern, you can take the shuttle earlier, forcing the opponent to chase the shuttle instead!

Use The Base Position To Your Advantage

Position yourself strategically. The base position is by default referred to as the centre of the court because you can cover all eventualities with minimal movement.

However, the base position is not limited to the centre of the court. The base position can be anywhere on the court that you deem appropriate to play the next shot. It just so happens the centre of the court is the one with the most utility.

Stop Your Opponent Moving You Around The Court - The Base POsition
The Base Position

When playing a net shot, for example, your base position could be at the net as you’re expecting a net reply. Rather than moving to the centre of the court. Likewise, if you lift the shuttle down one side of the court, you can bias your base position slightly to the side you expect the next shot to come. Usually, it is to cover the straight smash.

Improve Your Fitness

Yes, yes, I know it’s boring, but to play the best badminton, you need to be physically fit to play extended rallies and move around the court.

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Without this crucial element, you’ll soon find yourself struggling to keep up with a fitter opponent who will run you all over the court. The fitter you are, the less your opponent can take advantage of you.

Enhancing your overall fitness, speed, and stamina will help you endure longer rallies and remain in control of your movements throughout the match. Regular cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and agility drills can significantly boost your physical capabilities on the court.

Vary Your Shot Selection

You might be chasing the shuttle because your opponent can easily read your shots and pattern of shots. Utilize a mix of shots, such as clears, drops, smashes, and slices, to keep your opponent guessing and off balance. By employing a diverse range of shots, you can disrupt their rhythm and prevent them from dictating the pace of the game.

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This also requires you to be able to play a variety of shots. If you can’t play certain shots, this becomes more difficult. For example, if you continually lift instead of playing a net shot they opponent doesn’t have to worry about 1/3 of the court! Making you much more predictable.

Don’t Play Faster Than You Can Play

It sounds stupid but many amateur players believe faster is better. So they start smashing as much as possible, trying to win easy points. But the problem is, a good player will absorb that defence wearing you down eventually.

That lack of energy causes you to be slow in getting to the shuttle and the opponent can easily move you around.

Or the other potential is that the shuttle comes back much quicker than you anticipate because the opponent can feed off your shot. Which means you then have to move much faster.

If you are a slower player than your opponent, don’t try and inject speed into the rally because the opponent is superior to you in that strategy. But if you take the pace off the rally, they will find it harder to play at your pace. The faster you try to play, the faster you must move, and it’s much harder to adjust your direction once you’re moving at that pace.


Remember, in order to truly avoid chasing the shuttle all over the court, you need to take the initiative and turn the tables on your opponent. Mastering the above requires practice, patience, and experience. Focus on developing your skills and adapting your gameplay to different opponents to become a more effective player.

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