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  1. #1
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    Default I read the badminton bible but still need help with improving my smashes

    ok heres the thing

    ive experimented with the grips of my smashing

    1) when i use the Basic Grip, i can smash really hard (but have potential to improve the power of my smash), however, they rarely go at a steep angle, usually towards the body or the knee.

    2) when i slightly adjusted to the Panhandle grip (while the birdie is high on top of me OR in front of me) i can smash but have less control in power (not powerful) BUT in return it will go steeper, really steep.

    sometimes i see people holding the racket using the panhandle grip or basic grip when smashing, so obviously its a matter of preference and which is comfortable.

    now MY PROBLEM is that i HAVENT found that comfort with my smashing grip, there are times when it would go fast and steep at the same time.

    i experiment with both all the time, and yet i dont know which is better, because each grip is missing the other grip's advantage (to me)

    so i was wondering how can I:

    1) Find the comfortable grip (I know the farther the ball is the more you have to shift to pan handle, but my problem is when the ball is high above you, or at least you know when it CAN be smashed)

    2) Improve the steepness of the angle

    3) Improve the power of my smashes

    4) Learn to hit at the highest point possible without missing a lot

    5) why do i see people bang the floor with their feet as they smash (does it really add power?)

    is it technique? when i smash i do the following

    1) chasse steps
    2) use left hand as guide
    3) ready racket pointing 60 degrees-ish
    4) i TRY to hit it at the highest point but i cant tell if its high enough
    5) swing the racket by going behind my shoulder then forwards with a follow through.

    help please thank you dear badminton experts =)

  2. #2
    Regular Member jhirata's Avatar
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    Why don't you get someone to feed shuttles for you, so that you can work on your consistency ( both steep and powerful ) ?

  3. #3
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    try hitting at at the highest point comfortable. the fact that the highest point is always stressed is a bit concerning. in reality, it should as high as possible but still comfortable. some people might go too high and end up playing awkwardly, putting too much stress on the joint.

    i think you're being confused on this thing about steepness. how steep is steep? i'd say a smash reaching your body from the rear court to be of average steepness, and from the rear court to your knees is a bloody good job. only top players have the ability to hit it onto the floor mid court, which is aided by a jump. next time, take a look at your feet. are the right at the back? in that case,, a smash that is near the lower torso is considered standard.

    most importantly, the best way to gauge what is working is to listen. if it's a clean, crisp bang, then you're doing it right and all that needs to be done is practise. and remember, in badminton, you need to practise a lot. i've played seriously for 3 years with constant coaching nd still, i can't always hit the perfect smash. but as long as i'm getting the right contact sound, i know i'm on the right track. if the sound is dull or not very loud, there may be something with your technique wrong.

  4. #4
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    Well, I haven't actually written a guide to smash technique yet...

    As for the grip: it's a subtle adjustment, and ultimately you will need to experiment to get the feel for it. Remember that not all smashes are played from exactly the same position: sometimes the shuttle will be in the perfect place, sometimes a little too far in front, and sometimes too far behind. For the best results, you will need to be able to adjust your grip.

    1) when i use the Basic Grip, i can smash really hard (but have potential to improve the power of my smash), however, they rarely go at a steep angle, usually towards the body or the knee.

    2) when i slightly adjusted to the Panhandle grip (while the birdie is high on top of me OR in front of me) i can smash but have less control in power (not powerful) BUT in return it will go steeper, really steep.
    These two observations suggest to me that you may be smashing with the shuttle directly above you. In this situation, the basic grip works best.

    When possible, you should try to smash with the shuttle slightly out in front of you. In this situation, a slight adjustment towards panhandle helps to keep the racket facing forwards. I cannot emphasise enough: the adjustment is slight.

    It is also possible that your problem comes from overdoing the towards-panhandle adjustment. This is a very easy mistake to make. Apart from causing you to slice the shuttle, this error will make your finger positions more awkward -- it will be harder to make effective use of grip tightening and arm rotation.

    If you're in doubt about which grip to use when, I recommend this: start with the grip that gives you the most power, and then make your adjustments from there. Generally, changes of shot angle are easier than increasing your power.

    Finally, you should note that less powerful shots travel more steeply, because the shuttle drops more as it slows. I would look at how close the shuttle is to the net tape on your smashes, and also at the height of your contact point.

    From the rearcourt, a powerful and steep smash is likely to be passing around the opponent's hip. If you can make a smash from the back that is powerful and passes below the defenders' knee height, then:
    • They are defending way too far back; or
    • They are nine feet tall; or
    • You are a magician.
    sometimes i see people holding the racket using the panhandle grip or basic grip when smashing, so obviously its a matter of preference and which is comfortable.
    Not really. Just because you see a player using a technique does not mean it's a good technique. In particular, a full panhandle grip is a bad choice for any smash (well, except maybe a late backhand smash ).

    5) why do i see people bang the floor with their feet as they smash (does it really add power?)
    Well, ideally they would have their feet off the ground as they hit the shuttle. Not sure I understand what you're describing here; it sounds an odd thing to do.
    Last edited by Gollum; 08-21-2008 at 04:32 AM.

  5. #5
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    instead of the scissor jump, i take step forward with my smash. although i lose a bit of power i get better accuracy on down the line smashes

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    In particular, a full panhandle grip is a bad choice for any smash (well, except maybe a late backhand smash ).
    please, oh wise one, show me how

  7. #7
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    Flattery will get you everywhere.

    If you're playing an overhead backhand from behind your body, then a grip adjustment towards panhandle helps to keep the racket facing forwards on impact.

    In this situation, however, you wouldn't often choose to play a smash -- not from the rearcourt, anyway! From the midcourt, it can be effective. It can also be useful to intercept a flat lift or push from the net area.
    Last edited by Gollum; 08-21-2008 at 05:56 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    Well, I haven't actually written a guide to smash technique yet...

    As for the grip: it's a subtle adjustment, and ultimately you will need to experiment to get the feel for it. Remember that not all smashes are played from exactly the same position: sometimes the shuttle will be in the perfect place, sometimes a little too far in front, and sometimes too far behind. For the best results, you will need to be able to adjust your grip.

    These two observations suggest to me that you may be smashing with the shuttle directly above you. In this situation, the basic grip works best.

    When possible, you should try to smash with the shuttle slightly out in front of you. In this situation, a slight adjustment towards panhandle helps to keep the racket facing forwards. I cannot emphasise enough: the adjustment is slight.

    It is also possible that your problem comes from overdoing the towards-panhandle adjustment. This is a very easy mistake to make. Apart from causing you to slice the shuttle, this error will make your finger positions more awkward -- it will be harder to make effective use of grip tightening and arm rotation.

    If you're in doubt about which grip to use when, I recommend this: start with the grip that gives you the most power, and then make your adjustments from there. Generally, changes of shot angle are easier than increasing your power.

    Finally, you should note that less powerful shots travel more steeply, because the shuttle drops more as it slows. I would look at how close the shuttle is to the net tape on your smashes, and also at the height of your contact point.

    From the rearcourt, a powerful and steep smash is likely to be passing around the opponent's hip. If you can make a smash from the back that is powerful and passes below the defenders' knee height, then:
    • They are defending way too far back; or
    • They are nine feet tall; or
    • You are a magician.
    Not really. Just because you see a player using a technique does not mean it's a good technique. In particular, a full panhandle grip is a bad choice for any smash (well, except maybe a late backhand smash ).

    Well, ideally they would have their feet off the ground as they hit the shuttle. Not sure I understand what you're describing here; it sounds an odd thing to do.
    thank you so much for the bolded letters, i used to take peoples shots for granted.

    so now (please correct if im mistaken)

    when opponents smash from the base line, chances are it wont travel towards your knees in midcourt (correct?)
    so i have to be keep that in mind because my anticipation is really everywhere lol xD

    also as you mentioned i have to also keep in mind, the steeper shots are slower when smashed from base line

    ok sorry but two more (hopefully) final questions

    1) when i play in front, how do i smash it down using my wrist properly? because its hard to smash without swinging the racket back first, and then follow through (i hope im making sense)

    because ive seen people just use their wrist when playing in front to smash it down (no arm swing whatsoever), so is this really forearm power (need more forearm muscle?)

    2) also when defending against any shots, always (try) to hit it in front of you right? because the closer the shots are to your body, the harder they are to return?

    thanks again in advance

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by giant_q_tip View Post
    when opponents smash from the base line, chances are it wont travel towards your knees in midcourt (correct?)
    Correct. From the baseline, a steep smash is likely to travel towards about hip height.

    also as you mentioned i have to also keep in mind, the steeper shots are slower when smashed from base line
    Er, yes, that is true. All smashes are slower from the baseline. But that's not what I was getting at.

    My point was that, if your smash is slower, then it's also somewhat "steeper" because slower shots don't travel as far and fast into court. In this sense, drop shots are "steeper" than smashes, and slow smashes are "steeper" than fast smashes.

    1) when i play in front, how do i smash it down using my wrist properly? because its hard to smash without swinging the racket back first, and then follow through (i hope im making sense)

    because ive seen people just use their wrist when playing in front to smash it down (no arm swing whatsoever), so is this really forearm power (need more forearm muscle?)
    You say "no arm swing whatsoever", but really it's more like "very short arm swing".

    At the front of the court, accuracy is more important than power. From the front, you have many opportunities to play an extremely steep angle -- far steeper than you could ever achieve from the back, even if you could jump 2 metres in the air.

    When you go for raw power at the front, you will often find that your smashes/net kills become flat -- and maybe even go out at the back. So just try shortening your hitting action, hitting early and in front of the body, and going for steep, sharp shots instead of monster smashes.

    I'll go into more technical detail when I write some articles, as there's a lot to cover. But that's the basic idea.

    2) also when defending against any shots, always (try) to hit it in front of you right? because the closer the shots are to your body, the harder they are to return?
    Yes, absolutely. Try to maintain a defensive "wall" out in front of your body. If you find yourself unable to do this, just take a step back.

    If the opponents succeed in making you defend near to your body, then it will be much more difficult to control your shot.

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