The Badminton Bible


All original content copyright © Mike Hopley

Drives introduction

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Let’s look at the technique for an attacking drive. We’ll start with the preparation and grip.

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Bring the racket up early

To get good power in your drives, you need to prepare well. Bring the racket up early, and bend the wrist back so that the strings are facing upwards.

Many players lack this preparation, and simply reach the racket to the shuttle. This makes it more difficult to generate power, so they try to compensate with a big, forceful follow-through instead.

But no matter how hard you try, there’s no substitute for good, early prep.


Because you are taking the shuttle out in front of you, the grip should be panhandle for forehands and a thumb grip for backhands.

However, you would normally be waiting with a more neutral grip such as a basic grip. When you see where the shuttle is going, bring the racket up and change grip at the same time.

These shots benefit from opening up space in your hand. This helps you get the strings pointing upwards, and also helps you make a relaxed, flowing action. Open your grip as you bring the racket up, and close it as you hit the shuttle.

Get ready for the next shot

After playing your drive, you can expect your opponent’s shot to come back pretty quickly. So in most cases, it makes sense to limit your follow-through and bring your racket up quickly for the next shot.

Taking a big swipe at the shuttle may also make your drives inaccurate. You may hit the shuttle in the net or out the back.