The overhead clear is a fundamental shot in badminton since the preparation for the shot also applies to the drop shot and the smash. The clear is used to push your opponent deep to their rear court and exposes court space near the net to follow up with a drop shot or net shot. The clear is also used to buy time and recover during a rally. A defensive clear sends the shuttle high & deep whilst an attacking clear keeps the trajectory of the shuttle lower, giving your opponent less time.
Many beginners attempt the overhead clear standing square to the net and try to develop power with a bent arm but the correct technique involves the use of body weight transfer and the classic ‘throwing action’ with arm rotation as outlined below.
Key points of the overhead clear are:-
Follow clear by returning to a base position to anticipate reply (e.g. drop shot or cleared return). Tip! Have a relaxed racket grip, tighten on impact.
Watch this video narrated by Gail Emms concerning the forehand clear.
Remember that in singles you should clear out wide or cross court to move your opponent around the court as much as possible.