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  1. #1
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    Default defending against single smasher to the side lines

    how do you defend against someone who's good at smashing at the side lines, either down the line or cross court. I tried making all my clears as deep as possible but while he wont smash as fast/hard so far back the smashes are still so very close to the sidelines that I have a hard time anticipating left or right. some suggestions and tactics would be helpful. thanks

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    Regular Member extremenanopowe's Avatar
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    keep the shots low always. when he smashes, just net the shot be it straight or cross court. Most likely its because of your legs are not ready to move to defend.

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    Prevention is better than cure!!!
    If you are playing singles, you must try not to give an easy lift or defenssive clear to the side. For the same reason, a high serve also should be played to the extream back middle. From there angles your opponent can use against you is very limited. If you lift to the center back, and if you move to your default base location, his shots will be easy to cover. The most powerful shot which will be a straight smash is coming straight at you and you don't even need to move. And if he choose to attack side lines, you are just one simple step away from covering that. At the same time, your opponent will find it hard to get the angle right and attack side lines.

    At the same time, it is a good idea to direct your atacking clear & lifts to the side corners. Your opponent will be under movement pressure which will not let him play his best shots.Once you play to the corner, move your base to the same side to cover down the line smashes which would be the biggest threat. Crosscourt smashshes are also deadly from here. But if you manage to scmble it back to his court-say a st block or chip, he will be under more pressure to retrive it as he has to move the long diagonal.

    NP

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    what I have notice from blocking smashes is that you should move your feet and take a step before you try to block it with your racket. Many times I notice that players just swing their rackets and their body without taking any steps.

    So next time try to MOVE your feet and get closer to the birdie before you do anything with your racket.

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    Regular Member extremenanopowe's Avatar
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    yeah.. move it move it...

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    I think nprince has given you awesome advice! Lift to the middle. If he can STILL hit the lines without making errors, then he is very skilled indeed! Mix up blocked and driven defence (particularly drive straight if he hits cross) for good effect, and remember to move forwards on defence, as well as sideways. You may be able to get it earlier/better.

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    I've observed that alot of players when they are REALLY in trouble reaching a good sidelined smash, they lead with their arms, then move their legs afterwards to stop them from falling. Almost like a dive but you put your feet out after you've reached the shuttle. Obviously this only really applies if they haven't predicted /moved in time or it's a really good smash.

    But otherwise I would agree with fruitychees, try and split step and make sure you at least move towards the shuttle or to intercept it, as soon as you are stationary recieving a smash, you will find it alot harder to reach side to side.

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    thanks for the insights. when clearing down the middle and you anticipate a smash is coming, do you "guess" and favour one side of the court or actually wait for the smash to come?

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    Yes, push off strongly with opposite leg and lead with arm, often playing shuttle BEFORE foot contacts floor, this may lead to a slight stagger or into a dive

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    capnx: I wouldn't guess before he hits which is coming, unless he obviously favours one or the other. The movement is as dlp describes.

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    As I also said, that is the right technique- but sometimes it's not strictly 100% true, if you only manage a half court lift
    you generally have to try and committ to a choice if you stand any chance of returning it, at the same time hope the player has already made his choice on where the smash is going.

    The best person defense-wise is without doubt LCW these days, in Mens Singles. if you watch him on youtube and how he reacts to different smashes, you will see exactly how he does this. Almost too quick sometimes- it's scary. Sometimes if he's in real trouble he will guess a direction first and commit to it, though he does this less often now because he reads the game so well.

    As a rule of thumb, always try to react as soon as you see the direction of the smash and move accordingly.

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    thanks guys. I think I need to work on my mind-body reaction. In doubles I'm good at returning smashes because they're usually just an arm's length away, but in singles I have to bring my footwork/stepwork into play which is not as comfortable for me. I'll work on this.

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