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    Default Backhand clear technique against a baseline punch clear/attacking clear/shooting lob

    Hey guys,

    Actually I have 2 questions. A basic question, then the one stated in the title of this post. For reference, my backhand technique is like the one in this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNvGWHhSDxQ

    1. My backhand only seems to work with shuttles that are in line with my body, not once they pass behind my body for about 1ft. I have seen mentions of the panhandle grip as the only modification made to deal with this, but it has not worked for me and perhaps logically so.

    Think of going through the whole motion of leading with your elbow and swiping at a shuttle already 1 ft behind you with a panhandle grip, I just can't see nor feel how power can be generated that way.

    2. How do you backhand clear a punch clear/attacking clear/shooting lob at the baseline (I'll be even satisfied to clear to 3/4 court) even if it's in line with your body?

    I have seen 1. and 2. countered at least to 3/4 court by a few friends breaking into the state team even when the shuttle is very low, and it seems there is not much movement on the arm (no time nor room for it to swing) but a very quick, strong, flick of the wrist from an awkward position. Pan-handle grip? Probably, but not really the standard elbow leading motion.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    in addition to leading elbow, also need relaxed forearm, and finally supination and finger power
    Last edited by visor; 07-04-2014 at 03:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FeatherDance View Post
    Hey guys,

    Actually I have 2 questions. A basic question, then the one stated in the title of this post. For reference, my backhand technique is like the one in this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNvGWHhSDxQ

    1. My backhand only seems to work with shuttles that are in line with my body, not once they pass behind my body for about 1ft. I have seen mentions of the panhandle grip as the only modification made to deal with this, but it has not worked for me and perhaps logically so.

    Think of going through the whole motion of leading with your elbow and swiping at a shuttle already 1 ft behind you with a panhandle grip, I just can't see nor feel how power can be generated that way.

    2. How do you backhand clear a punch clear/attacking clear/shooting lob at the baseline (I'll be even satisfied to clear to 3/4 court) even if it's in line with your body?

    I have seen 1. and 2. countered at least to 3/4 court by a few friends breaking into the state team even when the shuttle is very low, and it seems there is not much movement on the arm (no time nor room for it to swing) but a very quick, strong, flick of the wrist from an awkward position. Pan-handle grip? Probably, but not really the standard elbow leading motion.
    I personally would recommend not trying to get caught too much on the details. If trying to lead with the elbow is uncomfortable, then just focusing on actually hitting the shuttle.

    When the shuttle has gone past you, you need to use some sort of panhandle/bevel grip. Notice that, in the video (at 4:00ish) all of the backhands are taken once they have gone past the players body (about a foot). When the player makes contact with the shuttle, their arm is roughly shoulder height - i.e. they are not reaching as high as possible - contact is made just above head height. This is important - not reaching too high will help keep your arm relaxed.

    The key to generating power when the shuttle has gone past you is the proper use of the forearm and the fingers - in particular, think about the fingers and just think about squeezing the grip. If your technique is already reasonable, you will be able to play a powerful backhand shot from any position as long as you keep the swing small and focus on the tightening of the grip and the fingers (and a little bit of extension in the arm - but don't focus on it - it will lead to overextension).

    Leading with the elbow, whilst a useful tip, is not something to get distracted by - stay relaxed, and use your fingers with the correct grip. If you are not making very good contact, or your fingers aren't strong enough, then increase your finger strength (just squeeze a tennis ball as hard as you possibly can for 10 minutes a day) and do some practice using a sharp and small but powerful motion. This practice exercise is particularly good:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYOs5h4BIyI

    Important to note: at 3.30 he is using the racket cover but with a REGULAR thumb grip (NOT a backhand overhead grip). This is a very useful exercise to do, as the feel and motion is very similar for overhead backhands. However, it is NOT the correct grip for the shots you are trying to play. In general, I am not a fan of LJBs more recent videos. This one, however, is quite useful!

    Good luck

    p.s. using a similar training exercise (using the racket head cover), I have taught an intermediate player (with no backhand skills at all), to hit a full court backhand clear in 15 minutes. Training using the racket head cover, for backhands, really does work well!
    Last edited by MSeeley; 07-04-2014 at 03:55 AM.

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    Visor, I think my problem lies with the elbow thingie.

    Thanks MSeely. Tried a few swings of my racket and altered my focus to getting a smooth, relaxed motion. When I get the grip and forearm swing right, it seems to generate reasonable power (using whipping sound to gauge, about 70% of backhand in line of body). When I get it wrong, being forgetful to change to bevel/pan-handle grip it goes to 30-50%. To generate 70% I also needed to cock my wrist, thereby angling the racket face towards me to finally 'flip' upwards. Will only be on the court on Monday, but I'm guessing it's now timing and contact that needs to be right. But since my normal backhand is just 'reasonable' I feel that this will come out short even with right contact, let alone trying from the baseline.

    Perhaps the rest will be from finger power? I do train finger strength by attaching a rope to the middle of a stick, and tying the end of that rope to a 1.5l bottle of water. I then hold it out like a bicycle handle in front of me, and roll the stick up with my thumbs pushing forward till the entire length of rope is coiled up. My routine involves:

    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x
    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x
    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x
    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x
    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x

    Each is done for 1 minute, so it's 10 minutes in total. I only do it once or twice a week though as it's quite intensive and usually done after my games.

    By regular thumb grip you mean a firm backhand thumb grip without any web gaps, right? Thanks for the advice, they really make sense. Gonna get myself a racket head cover to train with, plus a tennis ball.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FeatherDance View Post
    Visor, I think my problem lies with the elbow thingie.

    Thanks MSeely. Tried a few swings of my racket and altered my focus to getting a smooth, relaxed motion. When I get the grip and forearm swing right, it seems to generate reasonable power (using whipping sound to gauge, about 70% of backhand in line of body). When I get it wrong, being forgetful to change to bevel/pan-handle grip it goes to 30-50%. To generate 70% I also needed to cock my wrist, thereby angling the racket face towards me to finally 'flip' upwards. Will only be on the court on Monday, but I'm guessing it's now timing and contact that needs to be right. But since my normal backhand is just 'reasonable' I feel that this will come out short even with right contact, let alone trying from the baseline.

    Perhaps the rest will be from finger power? I do train finger strength by attaching a rope to the middle of a stick, and tying the end of that rope to a 1.5l bottle of water. I then hold it out like a bicycle handle in front of me, and roll the stick up with my thumbs pushing forward till the entire length of rope is coiled up. My routine involves:

    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x
    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x
    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x
    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x
    Stroke moves
    Coil 2x

    Each is done for 1 minute, so it's 10 minutes in total. I only do it once or twice a week though as it's quite intensive and usually done after my games.

    By regular thumb grip you mean a firm backhand thumb grip without any web gaps, right? Thanks for the advice, they really make sense. Gonna get myself a racket head cover to train with, plus a tennis ball.
    The method of training your describe is good for your FOREARM, rather than your fingers - do the tennis ball grip thing I mentioned - it will increase your maximum grip strength (which is needed to increase grip tightening strength). When I was training my forearm, I did what you describe several times every day (with a rolling pin attached to a small suitcase full of books!).

    When you play a backhand overhead (expecially from behind), you should keep your wrist constantly cocked back e.g. in this video at 0:30:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBMrmV2DYvo
    You should maintain that wrist position all the way through the shot - it also helps keep the shuttle in when using a bevel grip!

    By Regular thumb grip, I mean the angle he is holding it (i.e. not panhandle) - it is the grip you would use to play a backhand serve, netkill or drive. Note: with this grip there still SHOULD be "web gaps" - these come from relaxing the grip (so that you can then tighten the grip). Make sure the grip is correct - when you hold the grip normally it should feel like its pinched inbetween thumb and index finger.

    Good luck!

    p.s. the racket head cover will train your forearm and your fingers AND improve your timing AND make sure you are using a small swing with no slice - its an awesome training tool for backhands, drives, smashes, and lots of other shots!

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    Matt has got you covered very well.

    I may just add that don't forget to supinate. And in order to that well, make sure you wind up with a pronated forearm.

    Then when you supinate into strike, do it quickly like flicking a drop of water from your thumb towards your opponent.

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    Don't under estimate the importance of footwork and body position to gets good striking point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Don't under estimate the importance of footwork and body position to gets good striking point.
    If we had good footwork and body position, we'd be playing round the head forehand shot instead...

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    If we had good footwork and body position, we'd be playing round the head forehand shot instead...
    Oh really? Should tell those pros who use a backhand.

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    Thanks for all the tips guys. Will try this on court tomorrow and wednesday. My coaches refused to teach backhand and discouraged it. While they are quite right about what happens in an ideal situation it helps to have options when I'm caught.

    visor, yeah, that's what my coaches use to say with some shots.

    Cheung, aye, without footwork nothing can be hit proper.

    Matt, looks like I'll have take finger/forehand training a lot more seriously . I'm rather excited about practicing with the racket head cover and walked to 2 badminton shops immediately after I read the post, but they both didn't have any (now what's the probability of that? ). But man I'm gonna make sure I have it by next week.

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    You can try using cellophane wrap and use it tightly around the racket and tape down any loose areas. It's not the most economical way to do it, but that's why I do it on broken rackets. Let us know how it goes, I personally use cardboard and tape to make my training racket.

    Also, even pros get owned when they try a backhand clear when the shuttle is already behind them, they usually get a smash from their opponent. I usually just whip the racket for a backhand drive or a dropshot. If you find your opponent frequently targeting your backhand corner, your ready position could be a little closer to that corner, which I find helpful.

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    On court today I managed to do a backhand clear while being late back to the centre in doubles, also a clear in reaction to a flick serve (had 1 failure as well). There was one that was too far in front of my body that I resorted to a sliced drop. So I didn't have any opportunity to practice clears where the shuttle was already behind me.

    phaaam, I suppose that can only be done with rackets I don't need any more? No worries though, I got a racket head cover today.

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