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Thread: Defending Smashes down the Line
04-11-2011, 08:29 PM #1
Defending Smashes down the Line
Just got back from playing at the club.
Just got my racket restrung, and today didn't go too well :S.
I don't know if it's just not being used to the string (New tension + BG65 which i've never actually used.)
Anyhow, i had trouble getting smashes going right down the side lines.
1) Where would you stand?
2) What's the best way to return it? What shot/best place to put the bird?
04-11-2011, 10:27 PM #2
Singles or doubles?
04-11-2011, 10:30 PM #3
1. You stand where you would always stand. In the middle!
2. There is no best place to return it, it only depends on your opponent. If he does a straight smash in the corner down the line as you said, then you have 3 choices. (The corners) You could return it back to the spot where he delivered the shot but only do that if hes in motion going forward.
So to keep it simple hit away from him.
What is the tension that you are using now and what did you have before?
04-12-2011, 12:05 AM #4
Before i used BG80 at 25.
New strings don't feel "right" at the moment, hopefully after playing with it more tomorrow, it'll be fine.
So do you recommend blocking it to the net?
04-12-2011, 01:51 AM #5
you had 25 before what do you have now?
Blocking to the net is a drop which is still or can be in the corner.
04-12-2011, 08:42 AM #6
04-12-2011, 09:48 AM #7
I'm going to assume we're talking singles, but like Alex says, doubles is different...
Your positioning when receiving a smash depends on the position of your opponent. If the opponent is in a back corner, then the most threatening shot he can play is a smash down the line, so you need to stand slightly over to that side of the court to cover it. He might play a cross-court shot instead, but that would have further to travel, and therefore give you more time to get there. It's also less likely that he would play crosscourt, because that would leave him vulnerable to a straight block (easier to play than a crosscourt block). If he's smashing from the middle of the rearcourt, then you would stand in the middle.
If the opponent is further forward, then you would stay in a more central position, as it's much easier for him to create dangerous angles.
The best return in singles is generally a net block. If the opponent smashes crosscourt, a straight block is usually better, as it forces them to move further. If they smash down the line, a crosscourt block may be more effective (for the same reason), but if it's a really good smash, you may still want to play the easier straight block instead (or even a lift, if you're not sure you can keep the block tight enough).
If they're very aggressive and always charge the net after smashing, then you can mix in a few drives/attacking lifts to catch them out (much like using a flick serve).
And yes, IMO blocking smashes is one of the shots where a difference in string/tension is really *very* noticeable, and takes a while to get used to.
04-12-2011, 09:58 AM #8
LCW is the king in diving man. Ambush your opponent with those dives...
04-12-2011, 04:06 PM #9
I want to ask, what grip do u all use when a person smashes and u want to return it back to the baseline ? I seem to have trouble returning smashes back to the baseline. everytime i try it will ended up mid court where they will jsut smash me again.
04-12-2011, 05:07 PM #10
I personally use the patented "oh crap this one's coming at me real fast grip"
and when it doesn't go far enough, I hit harder next time until it does.
04-12-2011, 05:40 PM #11
I think sketchy gave great advice in regard to singles regarding positioning and shot choices, and urameatball has given you a very true answer for the grip
In terms of grip, I would personally use a basic grip with my thumb extended up the wide part of the racket (so quite a bevel grip) so that i can reach my forehand easily, but should the shuttle come directly at me or to my backhand, I can push slightly with my thumb to rotate my grip towards a thumb grip/backhand grip/bevel grip/ whatever you choose to play backhand defensive shots with - you can get to them all easily if you thumb is up ready beforehand.
In doubles, blocking to the net can be very dangerous unless performed correctly. However, often a soft push, aimed to land just a bit further back than the short service line, can be very very effective, as its a little quicker than the block, pushed flat, and hopefully getting past the front court attacker, and before the guy who just smashed. Straight is normally the best option, because trying cross court in doubles means you have to be VERY accurate so that the well placed front court attacker can't intercept the shuttle (and it will have to go fairly close to him, if he's in the correct place).
For those struggling for length on their lifts - try using a smaller swing (but more focused), focussing on finger power and forearm rotation to generate power on your forwards swing (but try not to have much of a backswing) - you should be looking to punch the shuttle forwards with a small crisp tapping action. Developing a smaller swing (no swiping please) and increasing finger strength will help to develop this shot - maybe use a heavy racket to practice if you are struggling.
04-12-2011, 11:45 PM #12
Sorry. I'm talking Singles here.
My racket is now strung at 24 with BG 65, and the only thing i'm concerned about is my drops take a lot more effort! It's very noticable to me.
Before my drops were quite good..
Aaaanyways, thanks for the advice guys.
I just have some trouble reaching the bird when it literally lands very close to the line.
If he smashes on the left side of the court, should i be standing slightly over to the left?
04-13-2011, 03:20 AM #13
If you're not actually getting your racket on the bird, then it's nothing to do with your string tension! Two things to check:
1. Footwork. Go to badmintonbible.com and remind yourself what a "split drop" is.
2. When he smashes, is he right at the back of the court? Possibly your lifts and clears could be going a bit deeper.
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