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  1. #18
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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.
    You should indeed find it easier to return with your racquet held at approximately chest level.

    I myself, usually return a smash to my head with a block or turning the racquet to angle the block to one of the sides.

    It sounds pretty much just like you could do with practice at this too. Get a decent player that's a good friend, book a court, and Ask them to either play normal games and focus their smash at your head, or just to do drills of it. Doesn't sound the safest or most fun thing to do, but practice makes perfect. If the shuttle is going for your eyes then just turn and avoid it, it shouldn't be a problem.

  2. #19
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    my friend always smashes a god damn powerful shot--- almost horizontal, but real forcefully towards my chest - head area. this might be because i am much taller than him

    initially it was hard to make a good return, but after doing the following

    -position yourself nearer to the back

    -BEND your knees a little and make yourself 200% more alert in that precise moment

    -anticipate the shuttlecock's flight and position ur racket accordingly.

    i can now convert his smashes into my very neat dropshots by simply placing the racket in front of my face(use a desirable slant angle to control the path left or right)........... or better, whack it right back to his head by exploiting the strong repulsion.

    far-end clearance of such shots might still be a little hard though

  3. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hyun007
    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?
    I am good in defence when they hit it low about knee level.
    Im about 5 foot 6.

  4. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DivingBirdie
    my friend always smashes a god damn powerful shot--- almost horizontal, but real forcefully towards my chest - head area. this might be because i am much taller than him

    initially it was hard to make a good return, but after doing the following

    -position yourself nearer to the back

    -BEND your knees a little and make yourself 200% more alert in that precise moment

    -anticipate the shuttlecock's flight and position ur racket accordingly.

    i can now convert his smashes into my very neat dropshots by simply placing the racket in front of my face(use a desirable slant angle to control the path left or right)........... or better, whack it right back to his head by exploiting the strong repulsion.

    far-end clearance of such shots might still be a little hard though
    Sometimes i try to do a block with the back hand grip my lifting the racket up from waist level like a clock hand from 6 o clock to 12 o clock and if i have a bit of time attempt a push but most of the time the shuttle ends up flying out of the court.
    When facing forward, the shuttle is blocked and it flies at a bearing of 45 - about 80 degrees from like 1:30 to 2:30. And it ends up onto the next court. Is this timing or technique?

  5. #22
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    Yes I think you need to keep your racket higher and actually since you can predict or anticipate when the shot is coming to your head, you should even hold it at head level, protecting your face! Depending on where you're standing, nearer or further from the net, you need to adjust your racket height accordingly. Sometimes you may not have sufficient time to move backwards, therefore bending your knees (even very low) and body will help you achieve your desired result.

    Indeed you need to bend your knees even lower to allow your racket to meet the bird head-on at about tape level if possible. This will give you a better chance to return the bird in court and not into the net or out of court. As stated, the professional Chinese lady players do this very well and they can counter not merely by blocks but by powerful overhead drives. They are of about the same height at you.

    To do it more effectively, you should change from your habitual backhand grip to a forehand grip and practise more of the overhead or round-the-head forehand strokes, bending both knees and body at varying levels if possible to adjust to different situations. Bending low will help you avoid the smash hitting your head or body and instead you should visualize that your racket face is your head and as such, you should move the racket accordingly. As you progress, you should find more confidence converting mere blocks to counter-drives.

  6. #23
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    I typically just block the smash by protecting my face with the racket using a backhand grip. At the intermediate level, the smasher is usually too busy admiring his smash that he gets caught flatfooted when the return is a block that barely clears the net. The speed of the incoming shuttle is all the force you actually need. Sometimes also, I'll redirect the block to fall crosscourt.

  7. #24
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    Didn't read all the replies. But you're probably standing too close to the net because a head smash will no doubt end up outside of the court.

    Good luck

  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    ...block with the back hand grip my lifting the racket up from waist level like a clock hand from 6 o clock to 12 o clock...
    Based on my earlier questions (as suspected by others) you are standing too close to the net. You should take a step back where you are almost between the front service line & the back lines, AND as long as you can reach the net for a drop shot!

    Your defensive stance is good but let's look at your racquet positioning. It sounds like you hold the racquet in front of you with the backhand grip, BUT are you holding the racquet head below your hand (like you're serving) with the racquet 2 feet in front of you Then your attempt to block is like moving the racquet from 6 to 12 o'clock?

    If you are comfortable using the backhand grip, try holding the racquet
    - with the handle at waist level
    - with the head of the racquet a little higher than your hand
    - the racquet head pointing away from your body (like hand of a clock 11-5)

    Then you need to
    - bring the racquet straight towards your head
    - at the same time bend your knees (further) so that from your elbow to the racquet head is aligned and straight
    - the racquet head should be the height where your head was
    - then you just flick your with the backhand grip

    The best drill to practise this is to have you and a partner stand 2 feet behind the front service line on opposites sides of the court. You tap the shuttle straight towards your partner's head, trying to keep the shot flat and low to the net. When you feel more comfortable, both of you take one step closer.

    Cheers!

  9. #26
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    I know this may sound stupid but how tall are you? I stand 5'8" and a jumpsmash from the far side of the court during a singles game that sends the shuttle straight to my head would definitely send the birdie beyond the long line. So unless your opponents are extremely tall like Yao Ming tall, then their smashes should cross the net about chest or waist level for the birdie to fall within the long line. Other than that, I'm guessing you're standing too close to the net during doubles play and you should shift to side-by-side from front-back when the birdie goes up... or you keep sending clears that fall mid-court... or, you're bending your knees too low.

    I don't know if this helps but considering they go for your head, I'm sure you've tried dodging... and when you do, does the shuttle fall in or out the court? I've been hit lots of times on the chest and even on the head during doubles games before but only because I stayed front court even if the shuttle went up for a clear.

    Good luck!

  10. #27
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    there a couple of tall players taller than 6 foot, TO me thats tall, i stand 5 foot 6. Most of their smashes land in the back tramline and this not a steep smash at all.

    I've tried dodging to the side and most of them land in the back tramline area and only a few are out, they are the extra flat ones.
    When dodging they sometimes actually fly right past me at like neck height.
    But i try standing further away from the net. (THink i better watch out of the drop shot as i have short stubby legs, but they are quick )

    (well once i did a low serve, clipped the net, gave the birdie extra height and the opponent rushed in and killed it at my head.
    Then he told me to keep racket up all the time so i do now .) part is brackets is irrelevent.

  11. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Break-My-String
    Based on my earlier questions (as suspected by others) you are standing too close to the net. You should take a step back where you are almost between the front service line & the back lines, AND as long as you can reach the net for a drop shot!

    Your defensive stance is good but let's look at your racquet positioning. It sounds like you hold the racquet in front of you with the backhand grip, BUT are you holding the racquet head below your hand (like you're serving) with the racquet 2 feet in front of you Then your attempt to block is like moving the racquet from 6 to 12 o'clock?

    Cheers!
    Well i have always held it just below my hand so its quite hard for the opponent to smash passed me. But its a different story when they smash at my head. I hold my racket in front of me slightly above and in front of my right knee so i do a flick motion to return the smash.

  12. #29
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    Always try to keep the racquet head higher than the handle. That will improve control of shot return (especially drives). The only time you do keep it lower is when you're at the backcourt defending.

    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    Well i have always held it just below my hand so its quite hard for the opponent to smash passed me. But its a different story when they smash at my head. I hold my racket in front of me slightly above and in front of my right knee so i do a flick motion to return the smash.

  13. #30
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    Hi BMS,

    I feel it is irrevelant where the opponent stnds to smash on his head.If the opponent is poor in strategy it is easy to bring him to the front and smash on his head. I am of this bad habbit of smashing on the heads and I deliberately make set up for the same though it is usual friendly club matches.
    I also suspect Goku is standing too near to the front.If not,I suspect he can be easily brought to the front.
    I think eye-arm coordination practice will help Goku 999 a lot. Experts will comment.

  14. #31
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    It's not uncommon to pick on a player who has crept too far forward by smashing towards their head or racquet-arm armpit area, especially when they have a habit of tucking their racquet elbow close to their body with low defensive racquet head position.

    Or indeed against a player who defends with far too much weight on the front foot with a defensive racquet position too far across their body.

    To counter this type of attack, the defender should adjust the defensive stance such that the racquet elbow is relaxed and remains in front but away from the body.

    In this position, when a flat "beamer" smash comes along, you can drop your elbow and raise the racquet head into an upright position. Great for turning defence into offence.

  15. #32
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    Some of the time i play against tall people who sometimes do steep smashes or fast drops.
    If i stand too far back i sometimes can not get them and am also thinking about what if they do a very steep drop shot, I may not have enough time as i have to cover more distance. Especially drops which budiarto does against cai and fu.

    And on one of the match nights i saw a person who is small like me but has a very low defensive stance. Everyone has a difficult time smasking past him as he just deflects every type of smash you throw at him. I think he used a backhand grip and when they smash at his head, he like dodges to one side and rotates his wrist and do a backhand return.
    Is it best to have a very low defensive stance?

  16. #33
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    This situation tells you something right? That you shouldn't be lifting too much to tall people anyways. In fact, you should try not to lift to anybody, unless you want to push them back. Even when you got no other options, make the backcourt players work for their shots by lifting away from them.

    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    Some of the time i play against tall people who sometimes do steep smashes or fast drops.
    If i stand too far back i sometimes can not get them and am also thinking about what if they do a very steep drop shot, I may not have enough time as i have to cover more distance. Especially drops which budiarto does against cai and fu.
    Some players just have amazing reflex. But yes, that's kinda how you should defend. Racquet head up and infront of you. Lean forward with your racquet foot slightly forward. Be careful though as the lower your stance is the more solid it is, so the harder it is for you to move around. That's why you see strong calf muscles on alot of good players.

    Quote Originally Posted by goku999
    And on one of the match nights i saw a person who is small like me but has a very low defensive stance. Everyone has a difficult time smasking past him as he just deflects every type of smash you throw at him. I think he used a backhand grip and when they smash at his head, he like dodges to one side and rotates his wrist and do a backhand return.
    Is it best to have a very low defensive stance?

  17. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by cappy75
    This situation tells you something right? That you shouldn't be lifting too much to tall people anyways. In fact, you should try not to lift to anybody, unless you want to push them back. Even when you got no other options, make the backcourt players work for their shots by lifting away from them.



    Some players just have amazing reflex. But yes, that's kinda how you should defend. Racquet head up and infront of you. Lean forward with your racquet foot slightly forward. Be careful though as the lower your stance is the more solid it is, so the harder it is for you to move around. That's why you see strong calf muscles on alot of good players.
    Cappy is right. If the opposition is tall and able to play steep angled smashes or slice drops, then you should avoid lifting especially if the lift has too much air and isn't deep enough. You should always practice a good fast and deep lift anyway.

    There's way too many league players who fail to lift accurately and consistently into the last "one foot" at the back of the court.

    Try playing a flatter game against the taller players and where possible, keep that shuttle return in a steep downward angle.



    If you find that the opponent is small but has quick reflexes and defends remarkably well, then just make sure you smash into clear open space making them cover distance to return it.

    It looks as if your opponent has learned to manouvre himself well and has good balance. I'm not that tall (5'7") and find myself doing the same type of move as your guy, if I cannot move into the smash in order to add some interest into the return.

    My aim is always to return a smash with some sort of creative interest - even if it's simply by positively pushing the racquet head through the shuttle from the wrist with little arm movement.

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