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  1. #1
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    Default Singles Smash Defence

    Hey guys,

    So lately I've been playing singles quite a bit and there were situations where I was late to the shuttle and was forced to play a backhand clear which wasn't full length and my opponent had the opportunity to smash it and chose to smash cross court.

    Normally I can reach the sides but I was anticipating the straight smash and I was caught off guard. When I tried to jump sideways at the shuttle I missed the shuttle by a few inches.

    Then I thought to myself that if I were to dive, i would've reached it.
    But the thing is, I don't know how to properly dive and frankly I am kind of scared of trying... I don't want to break myself.

    I know this might seem stupid and you guys would suggest I work on my side corner footwork, or concentrate on generating more power, but I'm sure that there are always going to be times where I'm going to be caught out of position and have to do something 'special' (dive).

    I also found this video online on singles smash defence where the guy is performing a dive.



    If you guys have any suggestions as to if I should follow what this guy is doing in his video or somethingthing else, that would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you !!

  2. #2
    Regular Member Tadashi's Avatar
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    Ever heard about the four corner shuttle run test? Or the multistage shuttle run?

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    I actually think you are wrong... there are NOT always going to be times when you need to do something special. Lets imagine you are wrong footed and have to go back and play that backhand clear... the "special" thing you need to do is to play a good backhand clear, or play some other neutralising shot (i.e. keep cool and not panic and lift half court), or avoid letting your opponent put you in that situation ever again, or anticipate the cross smash not the smash straight at you (this is fairly standard practice for most players) or... etc

    You do NOT need to learn to dive (at the moment). From the sounds of it, there is LOTS of other stuff you NEED to learn to do, and you NEED to learn to do it all BEFORE you learn to dive.

    So, whilst you might have reached it if you had dived for it...
    1. perhaps you should stop anticipating (GUESSING) where the shuttle will go - you seem to be bad at guessing based on what you said. Then you might have reached it with normal footwork. i.e. you NEED to learn to defend without anticipating, even against a short lift.
    2. perhaps you should take a step and a lunge rather than jumping for it (i.e. use long distance defensive footwork, not just the "short distance" jump to the forehand side). Then you might have reached the shuttle. i.e. you NEED to learn to use different defensive footwork when under pressure (or covering a long distance).
    3. perhaps you should choose a more central base (better recovery footwork), before anticipating, then at least you would still get there. i.e. you NEED to learn better recovery footwork or you NEED to develop better court awareness, so you position yourself in a place such that you can actually cover the whole court, even when under pressure.
    4. perhaps despite being "forced" to play a backhand clear, you should play a backhand drive instead (i.e. better shot production or better clarity of thought). i.e. you NEED to learn to play better/different backhand strokes.

    The reason I am saying this, is that the very best players do not NEED to dive - Peter Gade doesn't need to know how to dive. He will win matches and tournaments without diving even once. However, he CAN dive, for the single rally at the end of a long match where it is important. From the sounds of it, you are thinking about saving that single rally with a dive, than learning how to avoid playing those rallies for entire tournaments!

    Regardless of what you choose to do, good luck I hope you practise hard and enjoy yourself

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    Wow thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it.

    I shall follow your suggestions

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    Adding to what MSeeley said:

    1. You should also consider lowering your body more as you return back to the middle. This really helped me get ready for those steep smashes.
    2. Another thing that I would recommend while defending a smash near the sideline is to extend your arm out towards the bird before you move the rest of your body. This way you'll be able to reach out to receive the shot quicker compared to moving your arm and body at the same time. So basically just throw your arm out at the bird and let your body follow. (Sorry my explanation is bad :P)
    3. You can also try to do a split step (a small hop you make right before the opponent hits the shuttle) to speed up your reaction time. This will take some getting used to but it also gives you a slight advantage.
    4. Try to avoid backhand and use overhead if you can.
    5. If you know your opponent is going to smash, stand back a bit to give yourself more time.

    Just some little tips I learned through my badminton training.

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