Badminton Clears are the most common and important of all badminton strokes that can be played overhead or underarm. These shots can be played both on the forehand and backhand sides.
Use the clear to move your opponent to the backcourt. It will create space in the frontcourt for you to exploit.
It will also give you more time to go back to your base. The optimum hitting zone is located somewhere above the central area of your racket.
You can play two types of Badminton Clears, Attacking Clear and Defensive Clear.
Attacking clear has a trajectory that runs almost parallel to the ground. The shuttle travels flat and fast towards your opponents back court. These badminton shots allow less time to your opponent to get behind the shuttle, potentially causing weak returns. The shuttle is hit square with your racket face.
Defensive Clear has a high and deep trajectory. These badminton shots give you more time to return to your base and prepare for the next shot. The shuttle is hit with your racket face leaning slightly backwards.
Forehand Overhead Clear
The forehand overhead badminton clear is similar to the action of throwing a ball. If you can throw a ball well, you shouldn’t have problem playing this stroke. You can always practice throwing with a shuttle first before stepping on to the court.
Here are some pointers for playing a forehand overhead clear.
- Adopt the forehand grip.
- Turn your body and stand sideways to the net with your non-racket shoulder facing the net.
- Shift your weight on to your rear foot.
- Bend your elbow and lock your wrist preparing to swing forward.
- Raise your non-racket hand and point at the shuttle to improve timing and balance.
- Contact the shuttle as high as possible and in front of your body using a strong throwing action as if you are going to throw your racket high and forward through the air.
- Straighten your elbow as you hit the shuttle.
- Let your wrist unlock with a whip action as you hit the shuttle.
- Follow through with your racket and shift your weight from your rear foot to your front foot.
- Move back to your base position.
Backhand Overhead Clear
It is not easy to play a backhand overhead clear. Even experienced players have problem with this badminton stroke. You shall always try to play an ‘around the head’ forehand clear whenever possible.
However, it is important that you know how to play the backhand overhead clear. There are times when you just can’t play the shuttle with your forehand.
Here are some pointers for playing a backhand overhead clear.
- Adopt the backhand grip.
- Turn your body so that your back is facing the net.
- Lead and shift your weight to your racket foot.
- Lift your arm from the shoulder with the forearm parallel to the floor.
- Hold the racket across your body with the racket head pointing down.
- Keep the racket arm and elbow close into your body.
- Hit the shuttle at a high point of contact.
- Flick your wrist powerfully towards the shuttle.
- A follow through is not needed.
- Push your body back to your base position.
Around the Head Clear
This is actually a forehand overhead badminton clear played at the non-racket side of your body. Try to use it whenever play permits as a forehand stroke is always better and more accurate than a backhand.
The techniques for hitting these badminton clears are about the same as the forehand overhead clears with only some minor adjustments.
Here are some pointers for playing a forehand around the head clear.
- Stand squarely to the net.
- Bend your upper body sideways to your non-racket side as your arms come through.
- Shift your weight to your non-racket leg.
- Bend your elbow and bring the racket behind your head.
- As you swing forward, your forearm will brush the top of your head before straightening.
- Transfer your body weight rapidly as your non-racket leg pushes your body back to your base position.
An important thing to note here is that whether you are playing a badminton clear, a drop shot or a smash, your wrist plays a key part in creating deception.
The basic preparations for these badminton shots are the same, only the angle of the racket face, the speed of the racket head and the point of impact is different. Keep your opponent guessing.
The underarm clear is usually played from the front court area to your opponent’s back court. Whether to play it high and deep or a flatter, cross court clear will depend on the situation at that time and your opponent’s positioning on court.
In any case, try to reach the shuttle as early as possible so that you can have various shot options. Your wrist action is the crucial element in creating a deception for your shots.
Here are some pointers for the underarm clear.
- Adopt the forehand grip for a forehand underarm clear or the backhand grip for a backhand underarm clear.
- Extend and put your racket up when you go for the shot.
- The point of impact shall be well out in front of you and as high as possible with your racket leg leading in a lunge position.
- Swing your racket upwards as the shuttle drops in the hitting area.
- Unlock your wrist as you contact the shuttle, producing a whip action.
- Follow through with your racket in the direction of the shuttle’s trajectory.
- Push with both legs and move back to your base position.