How to flex racket for max energy transfer?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by frostcone, Feb 2, 2022.

1. frostcone Regular Member

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I've been wondering these 2 ways of swinging my racket. Ex. My stiff racket needs to bend to store energy. If it does not flex right, then I don't generate much power.

1. Left drawing shows the racket has already flexed from the initial swing and is recovering from the bend at the moment of impact. Racket is bouncing back to original shape while energy is released.
2. Right drawing shows the same racket is still being flexed(and moving fast) at the moment it hits the shuttle.

People say tighten your grip until moment you almost hit the shuttle, but if I tighten too early it result in racket bending early and shaft is almost straight when hitting the shuttle(left). If I'm too late, the racket start to bend or bending at the moment of impact(right). Which drawing is correct to transfer more energy to the shuttle for clear & smash?

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1. The racket should not bend back to straight by the time you contact the shuttlecock. If it does, it means you are not asserting (enough) force throughout the swing.

2. Most of the bending should be caused by the impact with the shuttlecock.

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3. Ballschubser Regular Member

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When you hit the shuttle while your racket is still bended like in the right image, only your own movement defines the speed of the racket. When you hit the shuttle while the racket is already whipping forward, the racket will add additional speed to your own movement. So the latter (left image) is the goal, because it produce an higher total racket face speed (think about moving in a train, if you run forward on a train, your total speed will be train speed + running speed, while when you run backward, your total speed will be train speed - running speed).

This illustrate the 'issues' with very stiff rackets. To generate the same addtional speed with a very stiff racket, you need to invest a lot more force to bend it at the right time ( 'just' before impact). This is the reason everyone tells you to use your finger power to generate some extra speed (bend) just before impact, the same reason you hear this grunting from professional players when hitting a hard smash, they tighten up the whole body to add some more force just before impact, which although press the air out of their lungs resulting in a grunting sound.

The whole issue is, that you need to time it exactly, because if you tighten up the grip too early or too late, or tighten up the whole body too early or too late, all the additional force/speed is wasted. And this timing can be only archived by excessive training.

Choosing a more flex racket will 'open up' the time window in which you can generate force to bend/release the racket, so it is a lot easier to archive a hard shot if you don't have the time to train >4hrs, 6 days a week

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4. Budi Regular Member

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Little trick that im told by a better player little long ago.
Do double swing. Swing your racket backward hard as you move your racket on ready state (this create swing force backward) & followed by swing forward to hit the shuttle (affected by backward force, the racket will be easier to bend).

But thats just little trick. If you had correct technique & can lower your ego to not using the stiffest racket, bending a racket still possible. Med flex are easily accessible to any adult without physical training i think. Stiff racket require more physical training.

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5. ralphz Regular Member

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Are you seeing pro players doing that?

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6. ralphz Regular Member

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I think what Kwun said is important.. he wrote

"
1. The racket should not bend back to straight by the time you contact the shuttlecock. If it does, it means you are not asserting (enough) force throughout the swing.

2. Most of the bending should be caused by the impact with the shuttlecock.
"

Re his point "1" I have seen at times the racket shaft bending during the swing, it's very hard to catch that kind of thing on video.. But I can second his point "1"..

I haven't seen his point 2, as it's hard to catch that kind of thing on video, though it seems very likely to me to be the case..

Squeezing the fingers should add a little more bend.. It shouldn't make the bend earlier or later. As the bend starts before any finger squeeze.

It can take good coordination though to add finger squeezing into a swing particularly into a longer one.

That is an interesting thing to catch on film, difference in bend with and without finger squeezing!

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7. Budi Regular Member

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nope, thats why i said it just little trick. It could help but not the right way to do.
Also as i mention any regular adult with the right technique & without physical training would be able to handle mid flex racket. Just that many times our ego hit us wanting stiffer racket, higher tension string thinking its way better.

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8. Ffly Regular Member

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It's actually bad practice. i.e: intentionally supinating before pronating.

for anyone else reading : if the elbow is correctly used and the grip relaxed enough, your forearm will already be supinating from the motion. if you have to consciously supinate yourself, it means that you are too tense or not "throwing" your elbow

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9. Ballschubser Regular Member

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I think, that there's some truth to it and that most players will do it unintentionally.

The idea is based on reflexes, when a muscle is stretched, it will counter it by contracting (patellar reflex, the patellar tendon is stretched, this stretches the quads, which will contract). We already utilize this with the split step, the sudden force on the calf muscles triggers a contraction, which helps us to accelerate.

I think that we already do it when playing a backcourt backhand shot,a stick smash, a flick serve etc., by swinging the racket in the counter direction first, which will stretch and provoke a muscle contraction of the muscles we need to hit the shuttle in the desired direction. Basically it is a simple backswing, which not only increases the range of motion , but triggers a split-step like muscle contraction.

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10. Ffly Regular Member

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I understand what you're saying, but I think your examples are not proper.

In a backcourt backhand shot, stick smash or flick serve, you do not actually swing backward before going forward. The racket head does go backward in the motion, but that's because your elbow goes out first (like in a wave) and you don't actively and consciously pull it. Not enough to bend the shaft anyway.

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11. Ballschubser Regular Member

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I think, that most people do it automatically, without thinking about it. Even when you pull the elbow forward, I believe that you initiate a counter movement, but you do it unconsciously.

I tested it doing flick serves. I got better depth when swinging back the racket first, I trained it and now I do them without thinkig about it, much like you don't think about doing a split step anymore.

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12. Budi Regular Member

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now you made me think, did i actually do that to....
Tought it just small trick to reason with player ego playing with stiffer shaft which he couldnt handle.

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