The Badminton Bible


All original content copyright © Mike Hopley

Overhead preparation

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Good overheads require good preparation. You can’t expect to hit hard if you leave everything till the last moment!

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Turn sideways and get your racket back

Many players move back with their chest facing the net. This means the hitting action is too short, and they’re not using their body effectively.

Instead, prepare by bringing your racket back and turning into a side-on position. The racket should be high, not down by your ankles. The elbow is well back, behind your shoulder, so that you open out in your chest. The non-racket arm is also high.

Get the feet right

The racket foot should be pointing roughly sideways, with the non-racket foot pointing more forwards. Sometimes this can change a bit, depending on the type of movement you’re making; but this is a good starting point.

It’s very important that the racket foot does not point forwards, as this is unstable. This can cause injuries such as spraining your ankle or tearing your Achilles tendon.

How this helps you generate power

Before the hit, lean backwards slightly and transfer your weight onto your racket foot. From this position, you can generate power by turning your hip, shoulders, and [throwing the racket](/shots/overheads/general/throwing-action at the shuttle.

I recommend focusing on the racket

When you’re practising without a shuttle, you can check every detail of your preparation and make sure it’s right. Once you start hitting a shuttle, however, this isn’t practical. There’s to much to think about.

I recommend just focusing on the racket. If you get the racket back, there’s a good chance you will automatically turn into a side-on position. This happens because it’s not possible to get your racket back properly, unless you also turn your body and move your feet.