... 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!