To begin, I am fairly new to badminton. I have been playing for the past four years at an average of five times a year. This year I have really begun to enjoy the game and had played more in the last few weeks then I had in my life. The school try-outs are coming up but I have a few major problems: -miss the court left and right -hit it too far too often -hit flat smashes -have no power on backhand -have little power in forehand clear (often find it difficult to clear it end to end) -lose significant power over time -am uncomfortable with running backwards -mis-judge where birdie is and often rush to birdie's that are going out I have referred to the articles listed on this website briefly, but would prefer if I could ask some direct questions on the subject. In my opinion the obvious reason for my short-coming lies in my inexperiance, but more importantly I feel I have poor form which I want to combat early on - preventing bad habits to be instilled in me later on. I am 18 and 6'3" tall and often play against shorter competitors, their returns are often just above my head which makes it seemingly impossible to hit a strong shot - with my elbow up and my arm extended above my head while I follow through. What do I do in a case like this? Wait and move back, letting the birdie almost hit the ground before sweeping it with my underhand? I am clueless here, I have such long arms and they seem to get in the way, when theoretically they should give me an advantage. . . What doesn't is that shorter opponents are lightning quick and either my very slow or very flat smashes spell disaster for me. Hitting the birdie downward is very hard for me (especially when i can't extend my arm upwards). Is it advisable to stop the movement of my arm early while letting my wrist snap downwards? This touches on the issue of contradicting statements I've heard from different people. I have been told to extend my arm fully and to always keep my elbow bent. My backhand is even worse, I turn my body and am forced to either clear it to the middle of their court or blindly snap it towards their front service line. Any drills or weight lifting excercises that can help me on this? Another issue that probably confuses me the most is where I should look. I have tried many things, from just looking at the bird to just looking at the player until the final moment. Maybe it is unreasonable for me to assume there is a proper way of doing this, but what's your take? I do have some success with mind-games, but I am always so concerned with my basic skills and making perfect contact that it's difficult for me to pursue reading my opponents mind. My goal is to make as few unforced errors as possible, do you have any tips or thoughts, possibly some weblinks to sites that show pictures with their descriptions? Sorry if some of what I had written is redundant, I am very tired.