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Thread: Hitting at different heights
06-09-2007, 12:00 PM #1
Hitting at different heights
Lately, after gaining some more insight into the nature of the overhead shot, I have been becoming slightly confused.
My dilemma deals with the height of the contact point of the shuttle.
Take a look at this video
Apart from the parts with the footwork and service returns in doubles matches, I was very much intruiged with how the players hit their overhead shots. Lin Dan, I think it was Chen Yu, and another woman player, all hit their shots very much identically. That is, they pronate their forearms quite fully.
Now that is all good and well, but I have always been under the impression that hitting a shot higher is not only better for the rally, but generates a faster shot. It is especially good in the deceptive drop shot.
Yet, as I continue to watch pros and peers play alike, I see them hitting at low heights while I try to hit it as high as I can without sacrificing swing speed. A general trend I see is that players swing with their arm at a roughly 45 degree angle (if you face in front of them). But my swing tends to be a lot higher, and in the process tends to be more difficult to produce pronation and a loud sound on contact.
I can't decide whether the pros are doing the right thing by sacrificing height for power. Personally, I would like both; a combation of height and power in my shot.
(like Martin Luundgard Hansen, but his swing is so weird that it is unreal. it looks like he grips the racquet like a panhandle shot)
Any insight would be beneficial and very much appreciated.
06-09-2007, 12:17 PM #2
They hit alright... it's not really that low. There's an optimal height for overhead shuttle contact and it's not at the top of your reach. It's just as important to take the shuttle infront of you. So taking the shuttle at the top of your head, while technically is the highest reach, sacrifice vision and the potential for forward momentum transfer into the shot.
06-09-2007, 12:41 PM #3
That might be why I dont get a lot of *BANG* in my smashes... my contact point is really high too
Like you, I hit the shuttle really high, but not at a 90 degree angle from the floor, but like a 60-75 degree angle. It helps get better angle instead of power. I do it because most of teh time, when I hit lower, I get more power, but the bird goes flying out.
For you, you should try to hit at about 45-60 degrees IMO, to get a good combination of power and angle.
06-09-2007, 01:14 PM #4
It's a combination of factors, I'll try some:
-they might not always be in time to hit it "as high as they can"
-attacking players, but generally all pros, hit the shuttle pretty well in front of them (especially Lin Dan is verr focused on hitting everythign in front of him, going the extra mile to do so) Paying the shuttle in front offers you more control, power and pace in your shot, but not as high as possible
-in order to hit it "as high as possible" your have to hit it above your head. Which doesn't allow you to attack, put the pressure on your opponent and be deceptive.
-varying the height were you hit (and thus the angle) is a form of deception
- the variations between power/angle in smashes and drops are crucial for top players. Pros aren't dumb players and learn fast on court (never to mention some amazing anticipation) It would be foolish to keep hitting everything at the same angle, the 'same' power (never exactly offcourse) and (therefore most like also) the same angle.
06-09-2007, 01:33 PM #5
To me, it seems to be a lot about deception because if u hit it lower, you can alter the angle of contact faster in all 4 directions.
06-09-2007, 01:41 PM #6
You all seem to be discussing the of where the shuttle is hit in front of a player rather than relative to the height of the player. It's a good point, very much a part of the initial issue.
A general trend I'm picking up is that if you hit the shuttle in front of you, but not necessarily higher, you are better off in the shot. But the question then becomes: is there no better alternative for producing better angle? Or is angle really a silly judgemental factor overall?
Thanks for the feedback!
06-09-2007, 01:42 PM #7
Oh, and before I forget, do you all think that the pronation of the forearm is easier to accomplish when the shuttle is hit lower? That is what I seem to be picking up through practice and watching that video I linked above.
06-09-2007, 02:14 PM #8
But then, generalising a lot, everythign you do that is beneficial for a good angle, doesn't aid in 'power'
angle is definatly improtant though, but the variations in power and angle a more important than black & white picture and standard solutions.
as for pronation, I think it's easier, Though too far in front of you messes up your stroke, just a little bit is enough to make it 'easy' (if powershots are getting easy you should hit harder)
06-09-2007, 07:38 PM #9
pronation is probably easier if you hit it with a bent arm, feels more natural. if you contact it too high, you sacrifice power, too lower, you sacrifice angle. pros all have different preferences, and so should we all. find your middle ground. there's no right or wrong, really.
06-09-2007, 10:09 PM #10
Thanks, Shifty, for the general statement. Will definitely try to keep that in mind.
In the meantime, I will ponder Martin Lundgaard Hansen's awkward swing. Time to pull up that video.
06-10-2007, 05:37 AM #11
regarding MLH's swing...quite hard to see on video's...
but it looks like he doesn't always rotate his body like most players do (a lot of the timeboth his shoulders face the net, maybe because he's not always on time?) but he does rotate fully when given the time.
Not saying it's "wrong", his smashes have an amazing angle (directly scoring with a smash winner isn't really an option for him...)
as for the grip: he panhandles slightly, a lot of players do it when they smash. It 'ensures' you hti the shuttle square on, for a good clean smash. This grip is advocated by a lot of trainers, www.ibbs.tv Lee Jae Bok for instance. For me, I'm experimentign with it and it works quite well (don't overdo it though)
06-10-2007, 10:25 AM #12
his smashes definitely have an amazing angle.
it also looks like he just taps the shuttle most of the time, which seems to me that his forearm has great strength if he can just tap the shuttle and create so much speed.
i took a gander at the ibbs.tv video on the power smash, and i noticed that Lee wasn't hitting it very high, but his orange friend was. Yet, his point of impact was somewhere above his head, but probably in front of him too.
I'm going to practice today with these points in mind. it shoudl be interesting.
06-10-2007, 11:14 AM #13
there's definitely an optimum contact point which every individual has, which produces the best power. but the best angle, of course, is to be taken high. So, it's up to you to find a compromise, or rather, choose to hit at different contact points on different occasions
06-10-2007, 07:24 PM #14
As with almost all factors in badminton, everything seems to boil down to footwork. If you aren't there at the right time, you can't make the shot anyways. That was one of the biggest problems I encountered today.
It's time to focus on footwork! YA!
06-11-2007, 11:10 AM #15
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