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How to win at Badminton doubles

Team GB’s Lauren Smith and Heather Oliver are here to help you perform better together on the badminton court


Heather Oliver: “Attacking is where one of us is in the rear court and the other is up at the net. The player at the rear will use a smash shot, so our opponent is forced into a weak return, then we keep attacking different areas of the court.” 


Lauren Smith: “Defending is when we are positioned side by side in mid-court so we cover the court. Our positioning ensures one of us is always able to cover wherever our opponent is ‘smashing’ the shuttle to.” 


LS: “We have different roles – I tend to be at the rear because I’m more powerful, and Heather is quicker to cover the area I might leave exposed as I take my shot. When picking a partner, it’s good to identify your roles and stick to them.” 


LS: “The whole point is to use different shots to manoeuvre your opponent around the court. When we attack, we use drop, drive and push shots to build pressure and force them into either a weak return or out of position for us to win the point.” 


HO: “You and your partner need to be on the same page at all times, so communication is crucial. We shout out signals like ‘middle’, ‘mine’ and ‘straight’ so our partner knows whether to cover or to attack the shuttle.” 


HO: “We’ve been partners for two years, but it took a year or so to build up to a stage where we know each others’ movements. There is no quick shortcut, it’s just the experience of playing and training with each other which builds a rapport.”