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Thread: receiving smashes
10-31-2011, 07:48 AM #18
What I find in that situation is that the reaction speed and leg strength do not accommodate, so even if you can see the shuttle or predict it flying that direction, your body may not respond in time to retrieve the shot.
For reaction speed, I suggest driving and defence practices with a fast player. For leg strength, go for fitness exercises such as lunges, invisible chair and skipping will be of some help.
Remember to try take the shuttle in front of your body whenever possible. Once you take the smash that has gone past your body, it is difficult to control it and return it over the net. That's where your reaction speed will be depended on so you can take the shuttle as early as possible.
Sometimes as well, depending on your height, you might even need to take two smaller steps to retrieve the shuttle. A lot of players use only one long lunge; while this is effective in reach, you will be off-balanced and it will be difficult to return in time for the follow-up shot. Again, this also involves reaction time and how fast your feet can move in co-ordination with the shuttle. So fitness exercises such as skipping here will be of some benefit for the calf muscles to facilitate the body movement.
Of course though, the steeper the smash, the more difficult to retrieve on the side. Sometimes you will find it's uncomfortable blocking these standing upright. In general, one must bend very low and shift backwards slightly to prepare for a smash. Perhaps this is one of the reason why. Bending your knees lower can also help your thigh muscles generate energy to attract and release, making your movements to the side much faster. Some players even feel bending low allows them to see the shuttle better and read the angles; but theoretically is only a psychological factor that depends on personal experience. The same goes for flatter smashes as well. If you've watched Bao Chunlai, he does bend very low and it's very noticeable because he's a tall athlete. So it is important that once you know you've played a very passive shot, you are always ready and bending down low to prepare.
Easy to say, but of course difficult to put in practice.
Last edited by Heong; 10-31-2011 at 08:02 AM.
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10-31-2011, 11:40 PM #19
another method is to cover the net with a cloth and ask a friend to drop the shuttle across the net and you try to reach for it. this is more for net play rather than smash though
or even simpler, ask a friend to hold a long ruler with you hovering your fingers just below his then measure how fast your reaction time by the length of the ruler when he randomly lets go in relation to your starting point.
you can do it youself but you'll know when you're dropping it and you'll look weird playing with yourself :P
long enough practise and you'll be a ninja but in general improving your speed would be more beneficial in the long run.
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