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Thread: Focusing Power

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    Default Focusing Power

    I've been watching the coaching videos by Zhao Jianhua, and the thing that's really interested me is the way he teaches the wrist snap. When hitting a smash, he doesn't teach the player to swing through and down the natural arc of the body like a tennis serve, but to use an almost rebound action, with a whip-like snap at the moment of impact. He really stresses the importance of the wrist in channeling power from the body to the shuttle.

    The guy he is teaching has a long swing, and Zhao says his power is too diffused, and he should focus it more just at impact.

    I've been trying it for a few weeks now, and I can definitely feel more power on clears and smashes, and it's a lot easier on the shoulder muscles, but accuracy is a little off sometimes. But I'm definitely having fun practising it.

    Question: is there a particular exercise/drill I should be doing in addition to just practising the shots? The technique also seems to be a bit harder on the elbow joint, as it causes more of a sudden movement at impact. I'm not feeling anything yet, but can this technique cause elbow pain?

    Thanks for any advice

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    I haven't seen the video your talking about but I certainly can understand what you're saying since I have been trying to change my smashing technic for the last month or so. I used to smash from the arm but now I smashing more from the wrsit, like a whip movement. I don't master that technic yet but the results are obvious. When I am hitting the birdy the right way, you can hear it and see how much more powerful my smash is.

    I don't know of any drill for this beside pratice, sometimes what I do is pratrice the movement at half speed so to speak just to get the hang of the movement.

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    the whip-like snap is important, but make sure you're not overdoing it and bending your wrist foreward of your arm.

    As far as practicing it goes, the best you can do is repetition. Practicing line to line hard, high clears will help. Also, doing a four-corners drill with drops will help your accuracy and precision, as long as you use a touch drop rather than a slice or cut drop (a touch drop will have an almost identical form to your smash and be very similar to the clear, it's not as accurate/tight as a shot but makes an excellent fast drop, and great for acheiving the result you want here out of your ovehand stroke).

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    wait.. so to get more power out of a smash, clear or drive, you should snap your wrist instead of following through? My coach (im in high school) stresses the fact that we should follow through. Is it because this is easier for newbies? For this wrist snapping movement, do you do a swing and when you hit the bird, you snap your wrist back or do you snap your wrist a split second before hitting the bird?

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    No, you must still follow through. The snap of the wrist is not a forward snap, as is often perceived.

    Basically, you take your racquet back, and with most people, your palm will be facing you. The snap occurs when, as you move your forearm foreward, back to the upright position, you pronate the hand to straighten out the racquet face, and your knuckles will be facing you.

    The follow-through begins when your upper arm moves, and is less important to power than it is to moving your momentum forward so you can return to the centre (same as with the scissor-kick).

    In my opinion, the snap is more felt in the elbow than the wrist, since the wrist is basically moving where the forearm dictates, but it's often considered as being in the wrist. The important part is that it's not a forward movement of the wrist... your hand will not move out of line with your forearm forward very far.

    I hope that made sense... kind of an obscure explanation...

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    i don't really get it.. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by midknightblue
    i don't really get it.. lol
    as soon as I finish my last exam I'm going to make an animated .gif photo montage to help illustrate the overhand technique that I've been taught, and seems to be advocated in this forum.

    It'll probably help explain things a lot more than words can do.

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    An animated .gif could be a good teaching aid

    In my view, there are two main important elements that you need to learn the feeling for:

    • Throwing action: your arm movement should be like throwing a ball for distance, not like throwing a dart.
    • Grip tightening and timing: the last part of your swing is the most important part.
    To practise the throwing action, you can try throwing shuttles over the net from the rearcourt. Then copy this sort of movement with your racket. Try to keep the swing compact and balanced, rather than wild.

    To practise the grip tightening and timing, try hitting half-smashes from the net with a very short action. It's the very end part of the throwing action. In this practice, you don't make the full swing, just the last part with your arm turning and grip tightening.

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    Default Q:

    Gollum

    You mentioned grip tightening and that was something Zhao Jianhua also mentioned but I didin't quite get.

    Are you supposed to grip the racket handle tighter on impact with all your fingers, or just the lower ones (towards the pinkie finger), or mainly the index finger and thumb?

    Is this only for use on smashes, or on other power shots like clears, drives and net kills?

    Thanks for the advice.

    David

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    I recommend using all of the fingers. In my view, the thumb and index finger are especially important because (for some shots) their tightening can help to control racket head rotation at the end of the shot, and they work well as an opposable pair (gives control).

    Often the fingers will not all tighten at exactly the same time (although the difference will be extremely small). The movement must be coordinated. Some fingers will oppose a motion started by other fingers, keeping the racket movement snappy, compact, and precise.

    Grip tightening should be used for all power shots. Some shots, such as tight net kills, can use grip tightening exclusively, with little or no arm swing. Other shots, such as smashes, use it at the end of an arm swing.

    For this reason, it is very important to maintain a relaxed grip. If you don't have a relaxed grip, then you cannot get the power from tightening it at impact.

    A very slight tightening of the grip -- just in the fingertips -- will also occur on soft shots, such as netshots. This provides stability for the shot.
    Last edited by Gollum; 12-12-2006 at 08:43 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum
    To practise the throwing action, you can try throwing shuttles over the net from the rearcourt. Then copy this sort of movement with your racket. Try to keep the swing compact and balanced, rather than wild.
    I have observed many good players at my club and you're quite right. Those who have the best smash don't use an ample backward motion of their arm. They use a very quick movement, lighting fast, then hit the bidry with a tremendous of force. In fact, it's behond me how they can produce such a force on impact with so short a swing. It's almost like they have a spring loaded in their arm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wurmer
    I have observed many good players at my club and you're quite right. Those who have the best smash don't use an ample backward motion of their arm. They use a very quick movement, lighting fast, then hit the bidry with a tremendous of force. In fact, it's behond me how they can produce such a force on impact with so short a swing. It's almost like they have a spring loaded in their arm.
    You should stabilize your lower body. Even if you have flexible wrist and relaxed grip, your smashes still look like drop shots if you hit the shuttle while the body is moving too (esp moving backward). The following rythme works very well for me: jump (not necessarily high jump) - wind up - stop - hit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by david14700
    Gollum

    You mentioned grip tightening and that was something Zhao Jianhua also mentioned but I didin't quite get.

    Are you supposed to grip the racket handle tighter on impact with all your fingers, or just the lower ones (towards the pinkie finger), or mainly the index finger and thumb?

    Is this only for use on smashes, or on other power shots like clears, drives and net kills?

    Thanks for the advice.

    David
    My suggestion is to practise your drives. In the past I've had training sessions with over 30 minutes spent doing various driving drills, and after these sessions I can feel a tremendous improvement in touch and power for all my shots.

    The emphasis here is on fast drives (not soft push drives). As you keep hitting drives, assuming your basic technique is correct, you'll find that your stroke will become more compact and that you can impart the same amount of momentum onto the bird with a smaller range of motion on your swing. For example, if I haven't done many drives for a while, my racquet might be swing through 45 degrees, and after doing the drill it might only swing 20 degrees (mostly through finger action in this case) to generate the same amount of impulse.

    The benefits are tremendous if this quality (which I call hand reactivity) is not developed. This is especially common when coaches don't give much emphasis on wrist and finger actions in strokes. In these cases, drives can increase power as well as the sensitivity of the fingers.

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    The handle is gripped with your last 3 digits followed by your thumb and index finger. Spread out your fingers a bit and relax. Tighten your grip on impact, almost exactly like you are holding a gun and pulling the trigger. When you tighten your grip the main gripping action or pressure comes from the last 3 digits and your thumb. That index finger is to steady and maintain control of the racquet.

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    Thanks for the info guys. I will try all your suggestions.

    Cheers

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    i was too engrossed in using his technique that I have slight pains in my wrist when smashing

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    david14700 how do you get this coaching videos??

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