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  1. #1
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    Question Question about the Around-the-head shots (grip)

    I noticed that I tend to misse alot of 'around-the-head' shots and I think the problem comes from my grip...

    I know that the swing motion for 'around the head' shots is really different from the regular forhand shots and I was wondering if the grip was different aswell...
    I read the posts/articles about the 'new' way of holding the racket (which is 15-20 degrees away from panhandle) and I think that it is to make the pronation of the forearm easier and more powerfull (and it does make sense) but I am wondering if this grip is good for around-the-head shots aswell because the power in your around-the-head shots does not seem to come from your forearm pronation (the pronation seems to be affecting wether the shot goes down-the-line or cross-court) , but more from your grip tightening/core muscles/weight transfer/shoulder muscles (Is that correct?!)

    So the question is.... Should I use a regular (neutral, 'shake-hands') grip or the 'new' grip for around-the-head shots.

    Also, I'm open to any suggestions about improving my around-the-head shots even though I know it's mostly all about technique/practice.

    Thanks you
    Mathieu

  2. #2
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    I think footwork is very important here. Many players tend to really 'lean into' their shot at the around the head corner. It looks cool and lazy, but it's not effective.
    when the shuttle is high enough, and you have enough time: you can practically "walk out of the court" and play it like a forehand/overhead.

    as for the grip: I use the "new grip" (or a sort of: the very bottom of the V from my index-thumb part is 'exactly' on the beveledge) and don't change for an overhead. I suspect you might be hitting the shots too far away from your body, or perhaps behind your body.

    check out Chen Hongs footwork, contact point and hitting action:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skmpJldLPQk
    (don't look at taufik getting lucky)

    see both players hitting the shot ~abvoe their left shoulder
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E04Ss...elated&search=
    Last edited by jerby; 05-16-2007 at 02:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    The coordination of the body movements is slightly different.

    From a somewhat sideways position, the legs normally turn at about the same time as the upper body -- as you swing, your legs swap over, with the racket leg coming forward and the non-racket leg going back.

    With a round-the-head forehand, you need to make the leg turn earlier. You throw your non-racket leg backwards just before your shoulder turn.

    (This is one coaching point that really, really benefits from a demonstration.)

    The reason for doing this is to allow you to make a more complete turn of the shoulders/upper body, so that you can bring your arm across to your non-racket side. You will be hitting the shuttle later into the shoulder turn than for a normal forehand. With a normal forehand, the hitting point is when your shoulders are roughly level: square-on to the net. With a round-the-head, you will be hitting with the racket shoulder somewhat ahead.

    If this doesn't make sense, try thinking about it this way: you can play a forehand smash from behind your body, but you can't play a round-the-head smash from behind your body. Why? It's due to how your shoulders must rotate before you can get your arm over to the non-racket side.

    As for the grip: for most shots, I think you can use the same grip as for your normal forehands. Round-the-head shots do have a tendency to go out at the side, however, so it can be useful to move slightly farther towards panhandle sometimes.

    For the crosscourt reverse slice, you may find that the basic grip -- the "new" grip -- prevents you from turning the racket face enough. Moving a bit farther towards panhandle can help make the slicing action more natural and comfortable. Zhao JianHua teaches this grip change for straight reverse slices. Tracey Hallam, however, told me that she doesn't change her grip for reverse slice dropshots, and recommended sticking to the basic grip.

    I recommend that you start by using the basic grip ("new grip"), but experiment to see what works. Not every shot or situation is the same; for the more extreme round-the-head stretches, or for reverse slices, you may find a shift towards panhandle is essential.

  4. #4
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    I recommend Yoga. I have no professional training on roundthe head and I have no regrets.

    Somehow, it works for me. I think I use the "lean into" style Jerby was talking about but works for me and is quite powerful maybe because of the winding action of my hip and my shoulder (you probably cannot picture what I am talking about).

  5. #5
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    The round-the-head action is really well explained in detail by Gollum.

    I've adapted to this "new grip" and don't find a switch towards the panhandle grip to do crosscourt reverse slice shots necessary anymore.

    With this "new grip" the stroke executement (as in crosscourt reversed slice) is a bit different though, you need to bring the racket a bit down at the same time when executing the forearm pronation. When you do this, the forearm pronation doesn't have to be that violent either. A bit hard to describe, I guess I will be filming my own shot and post it here when I have the time. Personally I learned it after seeing once an elite player of Finland executing it.

    Note that unlike Chen Hong, Taufik Hidayat doesn't use this "new grip", he uses a grip towards the panhandle. It is obviously effective too, but you have to get earlier behind the shuttle to use it to the fullest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Monster
    I recommend Yoga. I have no professional training on roundthe head and I have no regrets.

    Somehow, it works for me. I think I use the "lean into" style Jerby was talking about but works for me and is quite powerful maybe because of the winding action of my hip and my shoulder (you probably cannot picture what I am talking about).
    errrr, glad it works for you...but I'd advise against it. leaning into the shot messes up your coordination, shots direction and power..and the recovery to your base is slower, never mind about keeping the attack.

    I do think the yoga part helps though...I'm not that limber

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    Round-the-head shots are most effective when your body position is closer to a normal forehand -- that is, when you are not leaning out much.

    To achieve this, you need to move quickly towards your backhand side. It's better to move farther into your backhand side, rather than lean farther.

    Nonetheless, there will be many times when your only choice is: lean for a round-the-head, or turn for an overhead backhand. Often the round-the-head is better than a backhand, even if your are leaning/stretching for it.

    It's important to understand, however, that the shot will be better if you can make it more like a normal forehand (less leaning).

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    But.... but......Do you guys not think that leaning is easier as opposed to sidewaying (?) to the backhand side ? I'm referring to when you are standing behind your partner and about at the centre from the two sides of the court.

    Maybe it is not the best way since it has been disputed by the gurus here. I think I tend to lean - my right hand moving (or crossing over?) to my left shoulder behind my head and subsequently my body naturally leans or trails with that motion. I don't know if that is what you guys refer to as "lean into" but of course with my two legs still catching up with my upper body's leaning motion. And I think Yoga really helps - no kidding. Maybe it's because of the complement from Yoga that makes my ineffective round the head motion ok.

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    The point is simply this:

    Round-the-head forehands are not as effective as normal forehands.

    Where possible, you should stay upright and hit the shuttle above your head, rather than lean out to the side.

    Of course, this is not always possible. Often you don't have time to move underneath the shuttle, and you have to play a round-the-head. But you should not choose the round-the-head action if you have enough time to move underneath the shuttle and play a normal forehand.

    Don't lean more than you need to. Move your feet instead.

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    Yep round the head gives less power than a normal forehand overhead, use a normal forehand grip slightly rotated, you should experiment yourself to see which angle gives the correct head-face direction at impact. The further the shuttle is to your backhand side the more you'll have to rotate the racket, so there isn't just one correct grip for all around-the-head shots.

  11. #11
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    Alright! thank you for your very interesting replies! I will try those techniques as soon as I play badminton again (Unfortunately, the season is over now but I might just play in Private clubs just because I really want to try this stuff as soon as possible )

    I guess the Around-the-head shots also take a lot more concentration than regular overhead shots since they are not so natural...

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