Monthly Tip - November 2013

Using the 'Cross Behind Step' in Badminton

My friend and fellow coach Pete Higman has kindly responded to my request to give his thoughts on the cross behind step in Badminton (singles mostly).

Pete is a highly regarded Badminton England UKCC Level 3 Tutor as well as being a former top player.

Hope his feedback is helpful in informing / provoking thought about a movement which often seems to confuse coaches. 

Forehand Rear Court Corner (FRCC)

Used when the player is hitting off the racket leg (Lunging) into the FHRC corner, particularly dealing with a flat cross court lift into that area or attacking clear. The player will usually have no time to rotate enough to do a cross step in front particularly if it's a deceptive shot.  The player may split with the racket side slightly forward when their opponent hits as the opponent is hitting from the forehand side and the easiest way to get the racket side pointing into the FHRC after the split is:

  • Pivot on the non-racket foot
  • Step to Forehand Rearcourt Corner with the racket foot and place it down.
  • You may not have time to place your racket foot down on the correct line to the FHRC therefore the most direct line to the FHRC is the cross step behind with the non-racket foot
  • Place the non-racket foot down and push
  • Point the racket foot into the FHRC as you lunge
  • Slide non racket foot as the heel of racket foot hits the floor to keep hips from tilting
  • The cross step behind also gives the player more control over their movement into the FHRC allowing the player to gradually turn their shoulders and racket into position rather than rush it.
  • The cross behind also allows the player to get into the push phase with the non-racket leg faster prior to the lunge into the FHRC as the player is generally under pressure in this situation


  • The cross step in front is a longer step 
  • Therefore it takes longer to get into the push phase
  • There is a trade

Do you step further?

Do you get into the push phase faster?

The cross behind also allows the player to keep the instep of the non-racket foot 90 degrees to the FHRC Corner when pushing into the lunge into the FHRC, this helps stability on the lunge.

  • Crossing in front tends to make player point their non-racket foot into the FHRC
  • This makes for a more unstable lunge

Forehand Forecourt (FHFC)

Sometimes a player will split in a forward attacking stance in their forehand mid court ( racket side forward ) and the racket leg blocks the non-racket foot from taking a straight line to where they need to go. If a player is in a forward attacking stance in their Backhand mid court and their opponent plays a cross court

  • In this situation the cross step behind to the FHFC allows a player the most direct line to the FHFC 
  • In this situation the player might step towards the FHFC with the racket leg and place the racket foot down 
  • Cross step behind to the FHFC allows a player most direct line to the FHFC and place the non-racket foot down
  • Lunge to forehand on racket leg 

Pete Higman

BE UKCC Level 3 Tutor

November 2013