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  1. #1
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    Default I cant defend from a head smash

    I am a good alround player but one thing that i can not do is to return a head smash directed towards me. I can defend low smashes but never the head and its the most vulnerable part of my body when the opponent is smashing at me.

    I either try to hit the shuttle and most of the time i hit is but it goes out or doesnt get passed the net.

    I just dont know the technique to defend head smashes.
    Most of the players at my club notice this and i keep losing because they smash at my head.

    Any tips or techniques to help me?

    Much appreciated

  2. #2
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    One suggestion.
    Keep your knees and hip loose and relax. When the shot is coming to your head, knee down and "bend" down. Swing your stroke like an around the head shot but with the racquet head just pass above our head.

    Need to practice this to control the power of your shot. You can drive, drop or clear with this stroke. Watch the top female mixed player in a match. Her head is always the target.
    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    I am a good alround player but one thing that i can not do is to return a head smash directed towards me. I can defend low smashes but never the head and its the most vulnerable part of my body when the opponent is smashing at me.

    I either try to hit the shuttle and most of the time i hit is but it goes out or doesnt get passed the net.

    I just dont know the technique to defend head smashes.
    Most of the players at my club notice this and i keep losing because they smash at my head.

    Any tips or techniques to help me?

    Much appreciated

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    I am a good alround player but one thing that i can not do is to return a head smash directed towards me. I can defend low smashes but never the head and its the most vulnerable part of my body when the opponent is smashing at me.
    Are you holding your racket too low? Many players have the bad habit of holding it low. Try having having racket head at chest level. By doing that, you need less time to bring up your the racket to block or counter-drive any flat smash(I assumed flat smash since it is coming to your head).

  4. #4
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    In my view, holding the racket at chest level is too high to defend a smash.

    If you are positioned correctly -- not too far forward -- then most smashes that come to your head will go out. All the other ones will be slow, so you have plenty of time to raise your racket.

  5. #5
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    practice drive, practice it alot. it will train your wrist power, then u will have enough power to return it properly. once your reflexes get really quick, u will be able to return with no problem. the head level smash is quite easier to return than the lower smashes.... in my opinion

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    ...Most of the players at my club notice this and i keep losing because they smash at my head...
    What kind of badminton club/players are they if they continuously smash at your head?

    I know aiming for the head is a ligitimate tactic during tournaments but not appropriate under a friendly club setting. I hope these players apologise when they hit you, otherwise you'll need to start wearing a goalie mask!

    How are you standing when preparing to defend?

    (1) where in the court are you standing?
    (2) are your feet parallel to the net or staggered?
    (3) are you standing up-right or knees bent with torso forward?
    (4) at what height is your racquet head? and is it in front of you?
    (5) which grip are you using? backhand or forehand?

    Cheers!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum
    In my view, holding the racket at chest level is too high to defend a smash.

    If you are positioned correctly -- not too far forward -- then most smashes that come to your head will go out. All the other ones will be slow, so you have plenty of time to raise your racket.
    Just below chest level will be standard but since he knew that every smash is coming at his head(reading opponent smash), then chest level should be fine.

    I suspect he is standing too near to the front?

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    Surely not every opponent is smashing at your head? You just have to consciously think to hold your racquet higher when playing such an opponent. I know I have difficulty dealing with such fast flat smashes, because you have limited shot selection and low preparation/reaction time.

    It's often not possible to return with a high clear, so your options are limited to blocks or drives. What makes it worse in my case is lazy feet, if you can take a side step just before making the shot, you can get more backswing, but as you have discovered , if you want to add power or play overhead, it is hard to control. You should try and control the speed (varied slices) and direct it into neutral/open space. As the above poster mentioned, watch the top ladies in mixed, they often reply to such shots with blocks/sliced shots and then charge the net. But hey, it's easier said than done!


    Quote Originally Posted by hyun007
    Just below chest level will be standard but since he knew that every smash is coming at his head(reading opponent smash), then chest level should be fine.

    I suspect he is standing too near to the front?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hyun007
    Are you holding your racket too low? Many players have the bad habit of holding it low. Try having having racket head at chest level. By doing that, you need less time to bring up your the racket to block or counter-drive any flat smash(I assumed flat smash since it is coming to your head).
    im not sure if this is too low but when defending i hold my racket the same level as when i serve, just below the waist.
    But i will try and hold it at chest level

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Break-My-String
    What kind of badminton club/players are they if they continuously smash at your head?

    I know aiming for the head is a ligitimate tactic during tournaments but not appropriate under a friendly club setting. I hope these players apologise when they hit you, otherwise you'll need to start wearing a goalie mask!

    How are you standing when preparing to defend?

    (1) where in the court are you standing?
    (2) are your feet parallel to the net or staggered?
    (3) are you standing up-right or knees bent with torso forward?
    (4) at what height is your racquet head? and is it in front of you?
    (5) which grip are you using? backhand or forehand?

    Cheers!
    well they dont continously smash at my head, but they know that that is like a weakness of mine and they do it more frequently like once or twice per point.

    in response to your question:
    (1) I stand about 2-3 feet behind the service line and am in the middle between the middle line and the singles wide service line.
    (2) My feet are not parallel to the net. Generally my right (because im right handed) is closer to the net than my left foot is. Like a shoulder width wide and a half step forward.
    (3) Stand knees bent , torso forward
    (4) Racket head is in front of me and is just below my waist
    (5) I am using backhand grip all the time (unless the smash is far to my right i change grip)

    Hope u understand, my badminton terminology isnt that great.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    (1) I stand about 2-3 feet behind the service line and am in the middle between the middle line and the singles wide service line.
    You're standing too close. You are halfway between the front and the back; you need to be closer to the back than the front.


    (5) I am using backhand grip all the time (unless the smash is far to my right i change grip)
    Probably more effective to use a neutral "forehand" grip to defend, rather than commit to your backhand. Against a powerful smash you have no time to change grip.

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    Say if they do smash at your head and you are able to return it, which option would be best if you have a somewhat weak return. Drive, drop or lift?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GunBlade008
    Say if they do smash at your head and you are able to return it, which option would be best if you have a somewhat weak return. Drive, drop or lift?
    If the smash comes flat to your head, it is both difficult and undesirable to lift. Since the smash is flat, you can counter-attack with a block or drive.

    If possible, block to the net away from the front player, follow the shuttle in and take control of the net.

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    One of my friend, who is better than me, often win point by playing a flat drive to the side, and since i cant reply long enough, his next shot is a straight smash at my body. I still have no answer for this attack. It's not that i am slow to defend the smash, but just i cant reply the precedent shot - flat drive - long enough to his rear court. When I recover, the smash comes already so close.

    I think it has some thing relevant to your case. IMO, smash to the head is not a good option is single, unless you're smashing from mid-court or, your opponent is losing balance. Because, a flat smash to the head, when blocked, come back very fast, and if you smashed from rearcourt, you need to cover the full court length to retrieve the shuttle.

    So, try not to give your opponent short lift. And you should be able to block a smash to the head when your opponent plays it from back court

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    Actually a shot to the head area forces weaker replies more than shots to other areas. Of course, one could return strongly if one's ready and on the alert.

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    well i am quite small and if the flat smash is aimed at my head probably about 85-90% of the time the smash would have been in if i left it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    well i am quite small and if the flat smash is aimed at my head probably about 85-90% of the time the smash would have been in if i left it.
    Ahhh.... That might be the reason.
    Try holding racket higher when defence and see whether any different.
    Let us know what is the outcome.

    People who are small size are suppose to be good in defence!!!
    As they are lower, they can counter-smash with drive, block or push much easier.

    By the way, what is your height?

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