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  1. #1
    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    Default Epiphany... (long post)

    TL;DR: pics of how I am using two new grips. I feel more control AND power now. Arm pain from poor technique is gone. --- After watching the All england open on the tube I decided I should copy the pro's and use a very short panghandle grip. I'm not sure how much I pronate but power is not an issue due to how fast I can accelerate the racquet head now. I think it is mostly flexion. Racquet is faster for defense too. Result: much more speed, power, control for no downside. I also decided to look up "badminton pronation technique" on the tube. It seems weird and I thought that was what ruined my elbow before I had a 8year break from racquet sports. I have narrowed the elbow pain to two things: Inner elbow pain is from flexion on an already pronated arm (pic to follow, it is as wrong and horrible as it sounds). I found I was getting tennis elbow pain yesterday which I havent had before. I put this down to waiting til last second to whip the racquet with fast supination then pronation. Resolved by slow supination when doing my "A frame" rather than pointing racquet head at the shuttle. Fast pronation to hit the shuttle caused no discomfort. I now have a faster smash for less effort. If I have time, I use a very long grip with all fingers close together and loose enough grip to fit a finger inside my racquet hand as well as the handle (reduced this in size too - the pros didn't have silly fat grips). Slightly turned the racquet away from pan-handle into a more backhand friendly grip. Result more power, consistency, less effort. Only negative is that I have to move my grip down, but if I have time this doesn't matter. I mis-moved it once in 2 hours. I need to get used to changing back to pan handle quickly so assume I'll need a short fast follow up rather than two big smashes in a row. Backed up by smashing outright winners into the body, which I haven't been able to do in a long time. I do not play for outright winners though, I for gor a shallower smash to force and easy net kill for my partner. This has definitely made me play for shuttle placement and light touches. I still do drives which seem unaffected, faster if anything. I don't overstrain any part of my arm doing this. When I am going to wind up for a big smash I only do this when I have time to move the grip so there are not sudden jerky movements trying to force power from an inappropriate shot. For the first time ever my legs felt more tired/abused than my arms. I showed my partner, and on the clear/smash he consistenly got a much cleaner/crisper hit and got similar power for "putting in no effort". He started winding it up a bit and I have never seen anyone takes 5 feathers off a bird in one hit before. Clearly a mishit on an old bird but still impressed me New strings were a massive help too. I definitely feel that 22lbs is the way forward for me for now. I also changed my low serve from a push to a small tap. My flick is the same shot with follow through and it seemed to work well. I don't have any back swing just put shuttle there and pop. I hope this helps someone, if nothing else try a new technique especially if you get arm pain. I welcome any comments on how I could improve more/anything I am still doing wrong while I'm changing it up anyway.

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    Holy Formatting batman! I'll try and get my paragraphs back in. I dont suggest reading as is.

  3. #3
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    I went blind trying to read that .

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    TL;DR: pics of how I am using two new grips. I feel more control AND power now. Arm pain from poor technique is gone.
    ---
    If an admin could delete first post I'd be happy I hereby ban myself from posting until this mess is sorted, sorry.
    ---
    After watching the All england open on the tube I decided I should copy the pro's and use a very short panghandle grip.

    I'm not sure how much I pronate but power is not an issue due to how fast I can accelerate the racquet head now. I think it is mostly flexion. Racquet is faster for defense too. Result: much more speed, power, control for no downside.

    I also decided to look up "badminton pronation technique" on the tube. It seems weird and I thought that was what ruined my elbow before I had a 8year break from racquet sports. I have narrowed the elbow pain to two things: Inner elbow pain is from flexion on an already pronated arm (pic to follow, it is as wrong and horrible as it sounds).
    Pics of how I hurt my arm




    I found I was getting tennis elbow pain yesterday which I havent had before. I put this down to waiting til last second to whip the racquet with fast supination then pronation. Resolved by slow supination when doing my "A frame" rather than pointing racquet head at the shuttle. Fast pronation to hit the shuttle caused no discomfort. I now have a faster smash for less effort. If I have time, I use a very long grip with all fingers close together and loose enough grip to fit a finger inside my racquet hand as well as the handle (reduced this in size too - the pros didn't have silly fat grips). Slightly turned the racquet away from pan-handle into a more backhand friendly grip.



    Result more power, consistency, less effort. Only negative is that I have to move my grip down, but if I have time this doesn't matter. I mis-moved it once in 2 hours. I need to get used to changing back to pan handle quickly so assume I'll need a short fast follow up rather than two big smashes in a row. Backed up by smashing outright winners into the body, which I haven't been able to do in a long time. I do not play for outright winners though, I for gor a shallower smash to force and easy net kill for my partner.

    This has definitely made me play for shuttle placement and light touches. I still do drives which seem unaffected, faster if anything. I don't overstrain any part of my arm doing this. When I am going to wind up for a big smash I only do this when I have time to move the grip so there are not sudden jerky movements trying to force power from an inappropriate shot. For the first time ever my legs felt more tired/abused than my arms.

    I showed my partner, and on the clear/smash he consistenly got a much cleaner/crisper hit and got similar power for "putting in no effort". He started winding it up a bit and I have never seen anyone takes 5 feathers off a bird in one hit before. Clearly a mishit on an old bird but still impressed me New strings were a massive help too.

    I also changed my low serve from a push to a small tap. My flick is the same shot as the low server but with follow through and it seemed to work well. I don't have any back swing just put shuttle there and pop.

    I hope this helps someone, if nothing else try a new technique especially if you get arm pain. I welcome any comments on how I could improve more/anything I am still doing wrong while I'm changing it up anyway.

    I really, really hope the preview of this post is not lying to me so this makes a readable thread.

  5. #5
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    I am glad you have found a way to play pain free!

    I am not sure you should ever feel pain from using forearm pronation, and the picture shown of your wrist in the painful position (picture 3) is not normal technique even when using pronation. However, all thats important is that you can play the way you want to!

    Not sure I have seen many (any?) professionals smashing with a short panhandle grip (or any kind of panhandle grip), but perhaps you can post some examples of where you seen this?

    In my opinion, the last two pictures you showed are what I would consider a "normal" forehand overhead grip to hit clears and smashes, and you shouldn't ever need to play a power shot with another grip (unless the shuttle drops very low -> more panhandle).

    Good luck with your game!

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    To clarify, I play every shot with minor variations of the short grip. Includes quick smashes but generally only quick smashes like returning flick serve. More of a fast drop/steep drive If I have time, then I adjust to long grip and let rip.

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    Duckfeet,

    Your previous habit of leaving your racket down for incoming forehand shots and then frantically swinging back and forward was a surefire way to get tennis elbow. I know a fellow who does the exact same thing. He thinks it's deceptively clever, but it's just plain poor shot preparation. Congrats on self-correcting. We also very lucky on BC to have clever and gracious coaches, like MSeely, who give further advice we can all learn from.

    That third photo, with your wrist in extreme ulnar deviation, looks quite scary. Another recipe for injury. What sort of shot was that for?

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    I don't follow, I keep my racquet up at all times 8-)


    I think the ulnar deviation was using rear court grip for all shots, and trying to use it with flexion for drives. Was told "hit the shuttle in front of you" which I agree wiht but not like that!. Chuck in too stiff a racket and probably gripping and oversized handle too tight for good measure.


    Thanks for advices. I'll try and get a video, to check I'm still not doing anything wrong especially as my partner looks like he is copying my old bad habits...

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    I think thats an important point you've made - trying to play a shot in front of your body with a regular overhead grip is not worth trying to do.

    If the shuttle is in front of you and not overhead, you will probably be using a shorter (not necessarily short) grip, and will certainly want to shift your grip towards a panhandle grip (on the forehand) or a thumb grip (on the backhand). Using a full thumb/panhandle grip is a point of personal preference, but certainly a shift towards one of those grips is going to increase the quality and control of most shots.

  10. #10
    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    Another thing I have thought: how much wrist extension/flexion is there during the overhead? I think I was over-extending during supination last session so I'll try and keep my wrist more still (but not stiff!). Back to scrutinising youtube videos

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    There is some wrist flexion and extension, but I wouldn't even think about it! For me: relax and supinate, and there will be a fair amount of grip loosening and wrist extension (please correct me if I picked the wrong word as I always forget which one is extension and which is flexion). I like to think about this movement as letting the racket "flop" backwards - very relaxed and natural. From there, you want to flop the racket back in the other direction so that you are using grip tightening, SOME wrist flexion (to get back to neutral) but mainly pronation. If you are relaxed and think about the movement of the forearm, you will probably get it right.

  12. #12
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    I'm now using the long grip for all shots as the extra reach at the net is good. I need to adjust and be more delicate but I'm getting more power and cleaner contact for less effort and no pain. I think this is down to feeling the head weight more and the extra leverage stops me whipping the racquet about faster than my joints can handle. The extra reach on the overhead drop was very beneficial going by how many times I clipped the tape last night

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    Something that may not be immediately obvious:

    Players often get better when they use the "wrong" grip. This is happens because the rest of their technique matches that grip.

    This creates a big challenge for coaches. We are trying to "sell" the right grips to our players -- in particular, we want players to stop using a panhandle grip for overhead forehands. But the correct (forehand / basic) grips cannot be used effectively without dramatically changing the overall hitting technique too.

    The panhandle grip is useful sometimes, particularly for certain forecourt and midcourt shots. It is almost never useful in the rearcourt, except when playing a desperate backhand.

    It seems your technique currently matches a panhandle grip. If you wanted to improve your technique further, I would recommend gradually shifting your grip away from panhandle and closer to a forehand (basic) grip, while also starting to reach up for a higher contact point. It is not necessary to make the change all at once; many players find it easier to switch over time, especially if they are not receiving regular coaching.

    I would also recommend trying to keep your wrist relaxed. Certainly do not try to "force" power using the wrist.

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    Regular Member DuckFeet's Avatar
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    Reaching higher - check. Definitely feels much better doing this. I wouldn't say I pan handle from rear court, it's more neutral, in line with the rest of my arm when relaxed, but I will take your advice and nudge it back slightly. I will also concentrate on keeping the wrist relaxed as I think I might be tensing it slightly. Thanks for the post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuckFeet View Post
    I wouldn't say I pan handle from rear court, it's more neutral, in line with the rest of my arm when relaxed, but I will take your advice and nudge it back slightly.
    In which case, feel free to ignore a lot of the advice relating to grip. I haven't seen you hitting the shots, and I could well have misinterpreted your post (I was reading pretty fast).

    The way I read it was that you had started using a short panhandle grip for rearcourt forehands. This may reflect more on my comprehension than on your writing.

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    Update: for some reason I cannot rememeber now (probably Gollum's site, AKA "The bible") I decided my "wiry" 6ft-er ex-piano player fingers needed a fatter grip. Much better I think I relaxed my grip and that allowed me more power*. In reference to the pics above with the green grip: that's a G2 with I think one replacement grip. I now use 2 replacement grips and an overgrip.

    A couple of other things I tried: standing a few inches further forward to receive serve. I seem to have more time to get to the shuttle but I've not yet used this to play more attakcing shots. Flick serves didn't seem any harder to deal with.

    I'm also trying split jumps / split drops where I bounce as the opponent hits the shuttle. Seems to be going well so far as I have terrible reactions so need that little help.

    *All the better to smash into the net with
    Last edited by DuckFeet; 04-23-2013 at 04:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DuckFeet View Post
    ...standing a few inches further forward to receive serve. I seem to have more time to get to the shuttle but I've not yet used this to play more attakcing shots.
    For most service returns, the technique changes when you reach the shuttle earlier. Instead of hitting with the racket head below the level of the hand, the racket head is about level with or above the hand. This mainly affects drives and pushes.

    What this means is that your attacking shots don't automatically get better, because you end up waiting in order to take them later with your familiar technique. At least that's something I've noticed when coaching experienced players who are making that transition.

    For this reason, I often suggest that players start with net shots. These are essentially the same technique as before, but you just take them earlier and higher. This allows the player to get used to taking the shuttle much earlier, without having to relearn technique at the same time.

    Once the player has developed confidence in taking the shuttle earlier, we move on to the other shots, making the necessary technique changes (grip / hitting action).
    Last edited by Gollum; 04-23-2013 at 05:09 AM.

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