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  1. #52
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    Maybe I should properly explain so that there's no possible chance of confusion. The way you think you understand it at the moment is that you can give your arm some momentum by pronating concentrically and then relaxing your arm and letting it pronate further eccentrically, and then supinating concentrically. While it's true yes, that you can do this, it does not produce the racket head speed needed to hit a backhand clear. Why? Because this method does not produce enough power in order to sufficiently eccentrically pronate.

    So how do you produce the power needed to sufficiently eccentrically pronate? Well that's easy, through a backswing generated by power from other parts of your body, which you then transfer to your forearm through a proximal-distal sequence known colloquially as the whipping motion.

    Oh, another question you could ask is why can't you pronate concentrically to add to the power? Because you don't have time in a proximal-distal sequence. By the time you pronate concentrically, the power you've generated would have dissipated.
    Last edited by kenzo; 05-21-2011 at 09:32 PM.

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    So if I understand rightly, you shouldn't try to pronate, it should just happen as a side effect of your arm action?

    Are you sure "backswing" is the right word? I thought the pronation happened at the start of the forwards movement, as the elbow comes up.

  3. #54
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexh View Post
    So if I understand rightly, you shouldn't try to pronate, it should just happen as a side effect of your arm action?

    Are you sure "backswing" is the right word? I thought the pronation happened at the start of the forwards movement, as the elbow comes up.
    Just as you don't forcibly try to supinate winding up in preparation for pronation in the forehand power stroke, you also don't forcibly try to pronate before supinating in the backhand power stroke. That's why the arm should feel relaxed in the backswing in both types of strokes, otherwise it is difficult to properly transfer the "proximal to distal" forces of the whipping motion that kenzo refers to, ie. from the legs to hips to core to shoulder to arm to forearm to fingers to handle to racket head.

    As to the second part of your question, as you turn your chest away from the net in preparation for the backhand, you'll notice your hand and racket go towards the backcourt while pronating in a relaxed fashion even before your elbow starts going forward. That is the backswing.
    Last edited by visor; 05-22-2011 at 03:04 AM.

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    Hi visor, thanks for the reply...
    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    As to the second part of your question, as you turn your chest away from the net in preparation for the backhand, you'll notice your hand and racket go towards the backcourt while pronating in a relaxed fashion even before your elbow starts going forward. That is the backswing.
    Sorry, I'm not getting this. Looking at the video (first post of this thread), if you pause between 1:58 and 2:00, you'll see that the side of the racket that's going to hit the shuttle is facing outwards (away from the player). It looks as though the forearm is pretty much in a neutral position, neither pronated nor supinated. I don't see the pronation happening until 2:01 when the elbow comes up. Am I missing something here?

  5. #56
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexh View Post
    Hi visor, thanks for the reply...

    Sorry, I'm not getting this. Looking at the video (first post of this thread), if you pause between 1:58 and 2:00, you'll see that the side of the racket that's going to hit the shuttle is facing outwards (away from the player). It looks as though the forearm is pretty much in a neutral position, neither pronated nor supinated. I don't see the pronation happening until 2:01 when the elbow comes up. Am I missing something here?
    look at 2:17 to 2:20 slow mo

    there is a very short and quick drop of the hand and racket head along with very quick pronation on the backswing... just before the elbow leads upwards on the forward swing. that right there is a very quick eccentric contraction that kenzo refers to
    Last edited by visor; 05-22-2011 at 04:48 AM.

  6. #57
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    @thejym,

    after looking at the video again, it looks like you missed something important...
    like the backhand clear and the backhand smash!

    seriously, those were only half court shots, drops and slices...but not clears nor smashes as your title suggests
    Last edited by visor; 05-22-2011 at 04:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexh View Post
    So if I understand rightly, you shouldn't try to pronate, it should just happen as a side effect of your arm action?

    Are you sure "backswing" is the right word? I thought the pronation happened at the start of the forwards movement, as the elbow comes up.
    It's not just the side effect of your arm action, it's the whole purpose of a "backswing". A backswing is just a term used to describe the motion leading up to the final pronation/supination. In the correct backswing for a backhand clear, you shouldn't try to pronate concentrically as you said. This is commonly referred to by people saying you should relax during a backhand clear.

    Also never enough backhand smashing
    Last edited by kenzo; 05-22-2011 at 08:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    look at 2:17 to 2:20 slow mo

    there is a very short and quick drop of the hand and racket head along with very quick pronation on the backswing... just before the elbow leads upwards on the forward swing. that right there is a very quick eccentric contraction that kenzo refers to
    No, it is at 2.11 - 2.12 that when the pronation happened and yes if my understanding is correct it is not a forced (concentric) contraction as it is in a relax state. I think we are going too deep with physio-kinetical stuff even it is very interesting ,can we use simpler term so everyone on the forum could understand.


    the backhand smash and the clear is already covered in the end of the video , once you got the basic technique then it is down to you to interpret it and add some implementation. ---he is not going to hold your hand and teach you the exact way of how he hit his backhand smash.

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    Well it's needed to explain why you do the things you do to hit a backhand clear. It's very easy to explain footwork, why you do a split step and position your feet the way you do, why you land heel first and slide your non dominant foot in when you lunge, etc etc. But when anyone asks why you do the shots the way you do, no one ever seems to come up with a good enough or convincing reason except for, that's how you are supposed to do it, or that's how the pros do it, or that's how you generate power.

    All the coaching cues and jargon used to describe what you should do in order to produce the same shot just really disguise what is actually happening. There has been so much research done to figure out what exactly happens in motions too quick for the eye to see, and most of it goes unnoticed because there is a huge lack of interest, when all it takes is a simple google search. When you understand how something works, it's a lot easier to learn how to do it. Coaching cues are very useful when it's not practical to explain what is really happening, but on a forum you don't have this problem.

    For a backhand clear, most of the time all you are lacking is a bit of strength in supination to do the correct technique, and if you understand what the correct technique is, then you can simply train to increase your supination strength by using a heavy racket and practicing the correct technique focusing on supination snap or any other preferred method.

  10. #61
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staiger View Post
    No, it is at 2.11 - 2.12 that when the pronation happened and yes if my understanding is correct it is not a forced (concentric) contraction as it is in a relax state. I think we are going too deep with physio-kinetical stuff even it is very interesting ,can we use simpler term so everyone on the forum could understand.
    You should know that the most important concept of eccentric contraction and it's effectiveness is that it preloads ie stretches the muscle fibres just before it needs to concentrically contract. Just as in the slight drop in wt just before the lift in weight lifting, and as in the split step in badminton, you also can't preload the supinators too early. In order for it to be effective, it has to occur a fraction of a second before, not 2-5 seconds before.

    the backhand smash and the clear is already covered in the end of the video , once you got the basic technique then it is down to you to interpret it and add some implementation. ---he is not going to hold your hand and teach you the exact way of how he hit his backhand smash.
    I'm sorry but not by any stretch of my imagination did I see a backhand clear or smash in that video from beginning to end. In that case, the video title is misleading and clear and smash should be removed from the title.
    Last edited by visor; 05-22-2011 at 01:27 PM.

  11. #62
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    To add on to an earlier point, it's true that you don't actively pronate your arm as you raise your elbow. I mentioned it in the video simply to illustrate that, as with the forehand stroke, by leading with your elbow you will automatically pronate (eccentrically pronate, if you will) so long as you are relaxed. This will result in a whip-like motion which is the goal of your power strokes. It's for this reason that you don't actually do the stroke in 4 separate parts as I explained, but rather you start to merge the parts together as the stroke gets faster. I just find it easier for most people to understand it if it is broken down into parts.

    Visor, since I made this video I do know that I WAS clearing and smashing at some parts in the video. It's very easy to distinguish a clear from a drop simply from the trajectory that the shuttle makes upon leaving your racket. Given my height (5'9"), a clear will travel upwards while a drop will travel pretty much parallel to the floor. The first clear I do in the video is in the very first second in the intro, and the next one is at the 2:00 mark. This one is pretty clear because the shuttle doesn't even remotely look like it's going low over the net.

    As for the smashes, I did not record them at the best angle. I knew I wanted to record a smash headed straight for the camera, so I positioned the camera in front of the net. However, this angle makes it hard to distinguish a drop from a smash since it's not so easy to determine the shuttle's speed. At 4:03, you can see a pretty distinct smash. It was not fast-forwarded so the speed is real time. Also, to give you a reference of distance, the blue line you see in the back is NOT part of the badminton court. The cluster of 3 shuttles you see at 4:03 is outside the badminton court by about a foot, so in that particular video the shuttle had traveled to the rear doubles service line.

    Maybe after another viewing with what I've pointed out, you can see the different shots that I've performed based on how the shuttle left the racket. If you focus only on my stroke and can't tell a drop from a clear or smash, then to me that's great news. To be harder to read, you want your strokes to look the same whether you are doing a clear, drop, or smash right?

  12. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexh View Post
    Hi visor, thanks for the reply...

    Sorry, I'm not getting this. Looking at the video (first post of this thread), if you pause between 1:58 and 2:00, you'll see that the side of the racket that's going to hit the shuttle is facing outwards (away from the player). It looks as though the forearm is pretty much in a neutral position, neither pronated nor supinated. I don't see the pronation happening until 2:01 when the elbow comes up. Am I missing something here?
    Try this at home:
    Hold a racket in your hand, then go from step 1 (tucked in position) to step 2 (elbow raised). If your racket is pointed almost vertically downwards, then your forearm should be fully pronated. To pronate any further after this point would feel very strenuous. A neutral position, on the other hand, would result in a racket that is pointed roughly 45 degrees from the normal axis. If you rewatch 1:58 again, you will see that the racket does indeed point almost vertically downwards before it makes the upward swing (supination). Therefore, it means the arm must have pronated (eccentrically) almost fully before the supination begins.

    I find it easier to focus on the racket head movement to see whether a person's technique is correct or not. Since the racket head is about two feet from your hand, it means that any motion in your wrist/arm becomes exaggerated. If everyone starts off with the correct grip, it is my belief that you should be able to develop the right technique if you think about imitating a proper racket movement (e.g. Taufik) in three dimensional space. As evidence, go look at Lin Dan's forehand smash in slow motion (I have a video on Youtube of this). His pronation finishes when the racket is pointed nearly vertically downwards, with the racket face parallel to an imaginary wall. The same can be seen from kwun's slow motion video of Tony Gunawan smashing. Therefore, you can verify whether your forehand smashing technique is correct by looking at a video of yourself and seeing whether your racket also follows the same 3D path. But I'm sure there is still a way you can deviate from the correct technique and finish with the same racket position, so you also need to analyze all other parts of the stroke and compare it.

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    thejym: unfortunately it was fairly obvious to me which were clears and which were drops but not from the preparation so thats ok

    I look forwards to seeing some more videos - they provide an excellent reference point to discuss the basic strokes, and it always interests me to see the stroke taught in different ways than I have seen before - some, like your "lick the elbow" comment from the forehand clear tutorial, I have shamelessly stolen for use when I explain the stroke to a beginner whilst others provide me with an alternative should my regular explanations not have the desired effect! Thanks for taking the time to put the videos together.

    My only wish was that I had court time to practice my strokes (and a willing feeder!)(and money to buy shuttles!)(and three cameras to record myself from different angles for later analysis)(etc ).

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    Quote Originally Posted by thejym View Post
    Try this at home:
    Hold a racket in your hand, then go from step 1 (tucked in position) to step 2 (elbow raised). If your racket is pointed almost vertically downwards, then your forearm should be fully pronated. To pronate any further after this point would feel very strenuous. A neutral position, on the other hand, would result in a racket that is pointed roughly 45 degrees from the normal axis. If you rewatch 1:58 again, you will see that the racket does indeed point almost vertically downwards before it makes the upward swing (supination). Therefore, it means the arm must have pronated (eccentrically) almost fully before the supination begins.

    I find it easier to focus on the racket head movement to see whether a person's technique is correct or not. Since the racket head is about two feet from your hand, it means that any motion in your wrist/arm becomes exaggerated. If everyone starts off with the correct grip, it is my belief that you should be able to develop the right technique if you think about imitating a proper racket movement (e.g. Taufik) in three dimensional space. As evidence, go look at Lin Dan's forehand smash in slow motion (I have a video on Youtube of this). His pronation finishes when the racket is pointed nearly vertically downwards, with the racket face parallel to an imaginary wall. The same can be seen from kwun's slow motion video of Tony Gunawan smashing. Therefore, you can verify whether your forehand smashing technique is correct by looking at a video of yourself and seeing whether your racket also follows the same 3D path. But I'm sure there is still a way you can deviate from the correct technique and finish with the same racket position, so you also need to analyze all other parts of the stroke and compare it.
    "Downwards" = upwards?

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    Regular Member demolidor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by demolidor View Post
    "Downwards" = upwards?
    Never mind, thought it was about the forehand smash reading upwards ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by thejym View Post
    To add on to an earlier point, it's true that you don't actively pronate your arm as you raise your elbow. I mentioned it in the video simply to illustrate that, as with the forehand stroke, by leading with your elbow you will automatically pronate (eccentrically pronate, if you will) so long as you are relaxed. This will result in a whip-like motion which is the goal of your power strokes. It's for this reason that you don't actually do the stroke in 4 separate parts as I explained, but rather you start to merge the parts together as the stroke gets faster. I just find it easier for most people to understand it if it is broken down into parts.

    Visor, since I made this video I do know that I WAS clearing and smashing at some parts in the video. It's very easy to distinguish a clear from a drop simply from the trajectory that the shuttle makes upon leaving your racket. Given my height (5'9"), a clear will travel upwards while a drop will travel pretty much parallel to the floor. The first clear I do in the video is in the very first second in the intro, and the next one is at the 2:00 mark. This one is pretty clear because the shuttle doesn't even remotely look like it's going low over the net.

    As for the smashes, I did not record them at the best angle. I knew I wanted to record a smash headed straight for the camera, so I positioned the camera in front of the net. However, this angle makes it hard to distinguish a drop from a smash since it's not so easy to determine the shuttle's speed. At 4:03, you can see a pretty distinct smash. It was not fast-forwarded so the speed is real time. Also, to give you a reference of distance, the blue line you see in the back is NOT part of the badminton court. The cluster of 3 shuttles you see at 4:03 is outside the badminton court by about a foot, so in that particular video the shuttle had traveled to the rear doubles service line.

    Maybe after another viewing with what I've pointed out, you can see the different shots that I've performed based on how the shuttle left the racket. If you focus only on my stroke and can't tell a drop from a clear or smash, then to me that's great news. To be harder to read, you want your strokes to look the same whether you are doing a clear, drop, or smash right?
    Thank you , thats was exactly what I thought .....To be honest it was not hard to distinguish which were drops , clear or smash from observing the contact points and the speed and angle of the racket head (it is not going to be as deceptive as forehands);

    thus the video did the job and thank you.

    But the one that would fool me on court (in singles) would be those reverse drop which I would try to read your racket's head and wrist try to cover the cross-court drop, realize it was too late.shifted the balance on to the wrong side and point lost virtually

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSeeley View Post
    thejym: unfortunately it was fairly obvious to me which were clears and which were drops but not from the preparation so thats ok

    I look forwards to seeing some more videos - they provide an excellent reference point to discuss the basic strokes, and it always interests me to see the stroke taught in different ways than I have seen before - some, like your "lick the elbow" comment from the forehand clear tutorial, I have shamelessly stolen for use when I explain the stroke to a beginner whilst others provide me with an alternative should my regular explanations not have the desired effect! Thanks for taking the time to put the videos together.

    My only wish was that I had court time to practice my strokes (and a willing feeder!)(and money to buy shuttles!)(and three cameras to record myself from different angles for later analysis)(etc ).
    That can be sorted , where about in England are you ? I got tonnes of feather shuttles and have a camera ....I get a few junior players to feed us the shuttles and we can both demonstrate the forehand smash (is best I be the feeder for this one, we dont want any juniors to get stunt !)

    and high backhand + late backhands

    I would also demonstrate a few backhand smashs and clear in super slow-mo , full court view + camera above court especially for our friend Visor here ,

    x

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