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Pursuit Of The Perfect Jump Smash

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Mag, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. Mag

    Mag Moderator

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    ... or "How to jump smash without losing power"

    Yes, it is I bringing up this topic -- I'm the one who always says "worry less about power and more about angle and placement" when people want to talk smashing technique.

    Although I sometimes do jump smashes, I am by no means a "frequent flyer". In essence, the jump smash is about trading power for a better shot angle. Well, at least I thought so, until last week when I was coached by a player just below elite level. He pointed out that to gain power and air time one has to have very active knees during the jump. Quite honestly, I hadn't paid this so much attention. I just used to jump towards the shuttle as high as possible and then deliver the smash with an air-borne split-step, or sometimes even using straight knees. He explained to me that the key is to jump up (with non-racquet shoulder towards the shuttle as usual), then bend BOTH your knees back -- but keep your thighs fairly straight pointing down -- and then simultaneously start the body rotation and perform the arm swing AND straighten your knees fast. (I call it a Pete Townshend jump, for reasons that should be obvious to anybody who knows who Pete Townshend is) This will make it possible to deliver a smash which is as hard as a regular smash, but still get that extra angle. And man, it takes practice, it is extremely hard to coordinate these movements correctly. You see, if you do it even slightly wrong you will actually lose power instead because the movements will counteract eachother... The guy who coached me has been playing for 15 years and training on a high level for at least 5 years... and he said he was only now getting the true hang of it... go figure...

    Once I got home I checked some matches and noticed right away that even at the top international level, not that many players do this. Usually, especially in doubles, there just isn't enough time, I guess. But some do the "knee trick" more often and with greater success than others -- mainly the Asian top pairs. You seldom see the Danes do it, I didn't see Kim Dong Moon do it, seldom did Ricky do it, etc etc. Sure, they jump smash, but some bend just one leg, and some just jump straight up. Result: they don't get the same air time... (on the other hand they can recover faster, heh)

    I can't understand why I hadn't thought about this before. I mean, sure I've noticed the technique before but there are zillions of smash variations and just as many variations of the jump smash. I just never figured it was so vital to power production.

    I just wanted to share this tip with you all. You may have perfected your jump smashes already, if so I hope you excuse me for telling the obvious here. Or you may be like me, aware of the technique but oblivious to its significance... well, go try!

    BTW, I can't execute this properly yet, not with any high degree of accuracy anyway. I have resorted to doing it without a racquet, just trying to coordinate the arm and knee movement. It is also very tiring to practice, as you have to jump really high and that takes its toll!
     
  2. badrad

    badrad Regular Member

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    work on your abdomenals as well. the reason the knees are bent back, and thighs are straight down is that you body is about use your abs to start the process of the smash. crunches will help you strengthen the abs, and will improve the speed of your jump smash.
     
  3. Phil

    Phil Guest

    I do this knee-bending when I do attacks/spikes in Volleyball. When I started doing jump smashes in Badminton, the knee-bending just naturally carried over. It's funny when after doing a jump smash, someone says "Whoa, you get like 5 feet in the air!." (insert smiley here)

    Phil
     
  4. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    Not sure if understood correctly. Are you referring to doubles smash? In singles, movements are mostly diagonal, front/back. Doubles have more lateral movements. Looks you have more opportunities doing this when playing doubles. It's harder in singles, probably when you are able to force a high lift or clear.

    Kicking, or moving your legs when airborne - before hitting - helps, in my opinion, add your body weight behind the shuttle, thus transferring more power to your strike. In singles I'd prefer the - similar - scissors type legs movement, or because I was more used to that one. And another issue is how you land. Concern is not only the smash - it's also if that 'damn' decides to return to your side of the net.
     
  5. TDotSmAsHer

    TDotSmAsHer Regular Member

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    would this not be very tiring?
     
  6. Mag

    Mag Moderator

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    Of course. The cost is high, but so is the reward -- if it wins you the point.
     
  7. Mag

    Mag Moderator

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    Yes, this is more common in doubles, but one sees it in singles too. It really depends on which player it is, some have a sweet tooth for it... but most use the "traditional" scissor type leg movement as you mentioned. It gives less power and less "hang time" though.

    I was also intrigued by the fact that there was a definite difference in Danish players vs Asian players. The Danes all favour the scissor leg movement, while many Asians use the leg movement I described with both knees bent. It reflects a difference in training I guess. And maybe the Danish players, quite tall as they are, don't have to rely as much on spectacular jump shots? Their recovery time would probably be longer too, so maybe the cost is just too high?
     
  8. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    Mag, it is because average asian players are shorter than the danes and height generation is a paramount component in their jump smashes
     
  9. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    cool. jumpsmash is my favorite topic... i am a "frequent flyer". (i think that's a really cool term for jumpsmasher :) )

    it takes a very long time to learn and execute a jumpsmash. i first started learning it around 4 yrs ago, it took me more than a month of pretty solid practice to be able to hit the birdie correctly, the next 4 yrs to refine it, and i still think i am not doing it quite correctly.

    here is a little bit that i have learned about jumpsmashes, this is just my personal experience, so please take it with a grain of salt.

    jumpsmashes are used differently for doubles and singles, and there are different consequences when used.

    *doubles*

    for doubles, you are aiming for two things, power and "time to shuttle" (ie. get to the birdie early).

    - to execute a powerful jumpsmash properly, you need whole body coordination, pretty much every limb and muscles in the body is used to propel your arm and racket forward and down, the whole body need to be arched, and then spring back to generate power, arm swing is also very important. all muscles need to be perfectly timed and coordinated, and all of these need to be done mid-air, and focus on a little object that is fed to you by your adversaries. all these need to be executed within a second with very little preparation time. thus it takes a lot of time to master it.

    this is also the reason why jumpsmahes are so tiring, you have to move the whole body all the time, honestly, i get exhausted after 5 or so consecutive jumpsmashes.

    this is a "real" jumpsmash IMHO, those who jump up in the air and flick their wrist aren't doing a jumpsmash, they might have a effective shot, but i don't call it a jumpsmash.

    - "time to shuttle". jumping up in the air shortens the time between your opponent hitting the birdie and the birdie returning to them, giving them a fraction of a second less to prepare, this is very useful when your opponent is off balanced after a hard to retrieve shot. by the time he got to his feet and look up, the birdie will be on his chest.

    angle also helps, but as Mag said, it is only a little gain in angle, perhaps not too much. and the coverage of both players is so large that the angles probably wont' matter that much.

    *single*

    the point of jumpsmash in singles is different, in singles, the angle and placement matters. there is only one person covering the court, if you can find the hole and nail the birdie there, you get a winner.

    power on the other hand, isn't as important in singles, your opponent don't have your partner at the front of the net to worry about, he can just block the shot to the net leisurely. so if you hit very hard at him, it won't do as much.

    the biggest drawback of a full blown jumpsmash is the long recovery time, you are airborne and often it takes more time for you to get out of the air and land securely than for the birdie to comeback. this is when you need to gauge your risk in using a jumpsmash. are you in a good position? is your opponent in a bad position? in doubles, is your partner aware of your position and be prepared to rotate to cover a well returned defense?

    and back to your point, the two legged jump takes not only more preparation time, it also takes more recovery time. but i personally find the two legged jump easier to execute and give me more power than the one leg version. so perhaps that's why we need more two legged jumpsmashes in doubles than singles...
     
  10. viver

    viver Regular Member

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    Right to where I wanted to. After your smash there is the situation where your opponent returns the shuttle. As for myself power, placement and landing are equally important.
     
  11. Mag

    Mag Moderator

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    (I think that's what I suggested, no?) :)

    In any case, just because the Danes are tall doesn't mean they wouldn't benefit from high jumps... OK, Gade has a fair enough jump smash ;) but the doubles players seem less eager to do it. Hmmm... the more I think about it, the more convinced I get that it's because their recovery time is longer, considering their build.
     
  12. cooler

    cooler Regular Member

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    i'm sure the taller danes can execute the double footed jumpsmash if they wanted to. Your presumption(longer recovery) lead me to another presumption of mine, that heavier players would be subject more ankle and knee impact stress from landing than the lighter built asian players. It is not only landing a 2 footed jumpsmashes but also moving(recovering) to the return shuttle as soon as he/she landed, creating an added stress to the joints. If one observe international volleyball games, tall players do execute 2 footed jump spikes but they usually land straight down without worrying too much about recovery or repositioning for a second shot where as in badminton, the rear attacker is not done after executing his jumpsmashes. So there is a trade off between extra height versus quicker recovery, and that individual ability and physical built eventually dictates the optimum form.
     
  13. shabs

    shabs Guest

    hey mag really interesting article
    keep the info coming
     
  14. coops241180

    coops241180 Regular Member

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    hmmm, frequent flyer... think i must be a trainee... i've only recently started working on my jumpsmash - and agree - it is exceedingly difficult - and frustrating to learn, when you know that staying on the ground has better results (for the time being neway)

    i looked into the mechanics of jumpsmashing. and discovered that the power is generated through twisting ur body as well as the arm action - similar to when you play a normal smash, the only difficulty is the follow through is totally different cos your not on the floor, which means twisting ur upper body without your legs doing the work - altho bending ur knees up makes it easier to get that twist, similar to when iceskaters do spins - they draw their arms and legs in to get more torsion.

    hope this makes sense..

    Neil
     
  15. Mag

    Mag Moderator

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    Interesting how a two year old thread suddenly can get activated again... :D
     
  16. wilfredlgf

    wilfredlgf Regular Member

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  17. herovc

    herovc Regular Member

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    Hi Mag,

    So after 2 yrs, are u able to do the 2 bended knee jumpsmash yet?! :p
    Just curious...

    vc
     
  18. Ben Beckman

    Ben Beckman Regular Member

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    I love the jump smash, I use it all the time and have been told I create very good angles(a few umpires have said it and its my best attribute). I am 16 years old and I am in the england cells and I find the jump smash second nature now. At first it was very difficult to do but when I got older and stronger it became very easy. It takes alot of leg strengthening to do it so a lot of training needed. The best example I found was this one:
     

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  19. leonheart88

    leonheart88 Regular Member

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    jumpsmash

    i like jumpsmash too...i always use my toe to do jumpsmash.....for me,,,i think to success in jumpsmash, we have to skip a lot and do a lot of footwork plus frog jump...:)
     
  20. tranvi007

    tranvi007 Regular Member

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    Jump Smash!!!

    I like the looks of the knee thing. But i oppose it, cuz when u land, wouldn't it make u less balanced. This would make it hard for u to return your next shot.
     

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