I can't seem to improve my smash

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Thomas_Zheng, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. Thomas_Zheng

    Thomas_Zheng New Member

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    I'm an intermediate player that has struggled for a long time to improve my smashing power.

    Check out 2:09 mark in this video of me

    In that rally, I did 2 full power jump smash but the speed is not fast enough. The technique for the second smash looks fine to me but I don't know why it's so slow.

    Can someone please give me some advice or correct my technique?
     
  2. Thomas_Zheng

    Thomas_Zheng New Member

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    i'm the guy in blue
     
  3. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    Maybe the sound quality is not great, but that sounds like someone who is unable to generate power with a string tension that's too high. If you don't get that nice explosive feeling on a smash, like you're hitting through it, and instead it just pings off the strings, the tension being too high is probably the problem. If I play with my preferred tension I'm firing bullets. If I play with a tension that's too high, I'm firing blanks.

    To get the most out of higher and higher tensions, you need perfecter timing and faster racket speed on your shot.

    Do you have the same problem with standing (non-jumping) smashes? It's harder to use the full chain of power when in the air. Furthermore, even though you were fast, you were still moving backwards on the first jump smash, and didn't have a whole lot of time for the second either. If you have all the time in the world to play a smash, are they still unsatisfactory?
     
  4. Thomas_Zheng

    Thomas_Zheng New Member

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    Very nice observation on the string tension. The way you describe hitting with too high tension does kinda match how I feel when smashing. I usually use Nanogy 95 with 27lbs but I'm going to try 25lb next time.

    My smash is weak even if I have more time or when I do a standing smash. This problem is especially noticable when I play doubles because very frequently I would be unable smash through their defense. I'm mainly a singles player and not having a threatening smash is really holding me back.
     
  5. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    See if you can't borrow someone else's racket with a lower tension to see how it feels. Getting it restrung just to find out it the tension wasn't the problem after all would be unfortunate. Have you played with lower tension in the past? If so you should have realized that you lost your smash when you upped the tension. So I'm guessing you either always played with tension this high, or you upped the tension in your youth before you got that 'adult power' in the arms.

    Do you ever feel like you hit a smash absolutely perfectly and it's nice and powerful? Is it just rare, or do you never have that feeling?
     
  6. Thomas_Zheng

    Thomas_Zheng New Member

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    I used to play with lower tension but as I get better I naturally just increase the string tension because I thought the better you are the higher the tension you use. I was never a big smasher but there are times when I smash perfectly the speed is actually very respectable. That is what frustrates me because I feel like I have the power and ability to do a good smash but it is just rare.
     
  7. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    Yh, it sounds like it's the tension to me. When I play with a tension that's too high, sometimes when the stars line up I hit a perfect shot, but they are outliers.

    It can't hurt to experiment with string tension (or different strings), or even try some different rackets (it's probably not the racket though).

    You should also ask a coach to specifically look at your smash (if you haven't already). Maybe someone else on the forum with a finer eye than myself will have something to add as well.
     
  8. Thomas_Zheng

    Thomas_Zheng New Member

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    Thanks alot for the advice! My current racket (Astrox 99) string is actually very close to breaking so it's perfect time for me to test out lower tension. I'll let you know if lower tension works or not
     
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  9. justforfun

    justforfun Regular Member

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    Also, have you watched Momota's explanation on the key of smashing? You should preserve your energy and apply just enough to guide the racket before squeezing it hard at the point of contact.

    Turn on CC for subs:


    I don't believe it's the string issue here, after all tension does drop over time and you mention that on rare occasion you do generate powerful smashes. It's hard to tell just from the video since it's not exactly the best of angles but I would suggest that you have a coach look at your form and see if they can provide any advice.
     
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  10. Thomas_Zheng

    Thomas_Zheng New Member

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    Yeah I've seen that video before and also few others by Viktor Axelsen and etc. I followed their advice but it didn't help that much. I think my swing speed is not fast enough or my smash mechanics is off. How do I increase my swing speed?
     
  11. Thomas_Zheng

    Thomas_Zheng New Member

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    If you check out that smash at 4:11, it looks like I'm not snapping/pronation my wrist correctly. Do you have any advice on that?
     
  12. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    1. Lighter racket. Aeroframe racket. Headlight balance racket.
    2. Train your forearm. Keep a backhand or bevel grip and swing your racket from left to right. No movement from the elbow or the shoulder, just rotate your forearm. It will seem easy at first, but if you keep going you will start to feel it. There are other ways to train your forearm, but I like staying close to actual hitting actions rather than using weights for example. To make it harder you can use a heavier racket, or put a half cover on the racket head to create more air resistance.
     
  13. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    Hey. Sorry, I don't want to hijack your thread but I overheard some guy saying you have to contract the abs when doing a jump smash, he said it gives more stability and more power.
    Someone could confirm this, please ?
    I've never done that before and I don't what it means : should I contract my abs before jumping, during jumping rotation, or just before hitting like when you tighten your grip before hitting the shuttle ?
     
  14. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    It's a general rule for most sports (but emphasized more in fighting sports) to exhale forcefully on points of contact, like throwing a punch, or hitting a power shot in badminton. This automatically makes you contract your abs (and your back) to stabilize the core. So yes, it will give you more stability and more power than if you didn't do it, but most people will automatically do it already anyway, because it feels very natural, at least when you are really trying to put maximum power into the shot.
     
  15. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Had a look without the sound on. I thought tactically, the smash is very good as it is steep.

    The first smash, you are going backwards a bit when hitting the smash.

    The second smash, you are fairly upright with your body posture.

    In practice, try making the contact point 8 to 12 inches further in front of the body but this time, you have to lean forward (like the leaning tower of Pisa) launching yourself up at an angle (not straight up). Try to contract your core a little more at the same time as hitting the shuttle. The leaning forward, going up and forward, helps you hit down a little more forcefully. It takes quite a bit of time to get used to as you will be almost feeling like falling forward.

    Looking at the other smashes, the way you grip the racquet could improve a bit. You don’t quite use the fingers in a way the other higher level players do. (This is why you think you are not using that “wrist snap”. BTW “wrist snap” is out of fashion). Overall, you are pretty good though.
     
    #15 Cheung, Oct 2, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  16. Zalmon

    Zalmon Regular Member

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    Train your forearm and try to master your finger power. Your stroke is already correct. I found a Chinese coaching video a while ago and he made a really good point on how to actually using finger and create faster racket speed. He demonstrated that once a player can perform an overhead stroke” naturally” then the player have to try to tighten the grip as hard as he can then the forearm will start pronating naturally. So instead of trying to throw your shoulder and arm as hard as you can, trying to tighten grip as hard as you can will generate more racket head speed (hence the shoulder and elbow will follow by itself) that why professional player has to train their forearm.
    This technique is not recommend for beginner since it will ruin the whole stroke. Players must be able to play overhead stroke perfectly first. You can try it by timing your stroke too. The usual step of hitting an overhead shot would be four phase 1-2-3-4 but with this technique you will feel it is just 1-2 because it is a lot faster.
    A good way to train your forearm I got from Tony Gunnawa’s channel is very practical is using two racket together put them in a racket head cover and shadow hitting it using finger.

    https://fb.watch/8oTrUEh67D/ sorry but the video doesnt have Eng subtitle, but it might help you to get a picture from what I said earlier.
     
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  17. Signature

    Signature Regular Member

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    Firstly I agree with both @Cheung and @justforfun, your point of contact is too far back (and I think too much ontop of your sholder, can go to the right hard to tell off the angle) and you are lacking in finger strength. I would advise against doing any equipment changes until you know that your technique is on point or that your coach advises it.

    Regarding the technique I think there is 3 parts you can focus on:

    1. Generating a more stable core in the swing. 2 of many ways to implement this, but more intuitive imo than just contracting stomach.
    • Create body separation by starting the swing earlier from your legs and try to hold back your torso to increase flexion in abs. Tobias wadenka has a good video on this:
    • Having your contact point more in front of you automatically creates tension in abs.
    2. Your back swing feels a bit rushed you are missing the forearm + pronation flexion before hitting the shuttle. This can be seen in the smash at 2.21 for example. Here you should be bringing your elbow more forwards before adding the pronation and forearm to maximize flexion output.

    This will get better when your contact point gets more in front of you and a way to check if your swing is correct you can swing in the air and the sound of the swing should be infront of you. Video of Kenichi Tago expalining can be seen here:


    3. Finger power. This will be improved just if you actively think about holding the racket more loose and tightening on impact. Look up finger exercises on youtube, couldn't access the above messages video from tony gunawan but im sure its good aswell!

    Otherwise I think your technique looks solid and you have great speed on the court :D
     
  18. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    This one is a bit clearer. It’s kind of tricky to diagnose the problem with this camera angle.

    It is very clear that you should not expect to smash very hard in this situation.

    You are travelling backwards at the time of hitting the shuttle

    You haven’t turned your body.

    That means your right arm is not far back enough. Mechanically, you can’t generate the speed of a full smash (don’t complain you can’t do a full smash :D)

    Tactically, a stick smash would be better here. Go for steepness. Are you able to do stick smashes? Some find it really hard.


    Secondly, it’s your body rotation and footwork coming out of from the net that doesn’t let you do a full smash. After you play the push to the back from the net, the opponent lifts. You step backwards with your body square on to the net. There’s no way you are ever going to be able to do a full smash with a lot of power. It’s just impossible for mortal men. Take a quick look at your feet under slow motion. The toes and feet are pointing forward so you definitely haven’t rotated your hips and upper body going backwards.


    Let’s go back to the original smashes at the rally of 2.10. This is a different situation with the footwork where you have time to wait underneath the shuttle.
    For the first smash, you can see very clearly you set very well. Then you have to jump up and backwards to make the contact point. That reduces velocity in your smash. Here, the problem is you are not far back enough in the court. You need to take an extra full step back in the court when positioning yourself underneath the shuttle.

    The second smash is better. This time you go straight up so we know your court position relative to the shuttle is much better for a full smash, but I feel you can still have the contact point a little further forward. For this one, it looks like you could contract your core a little more at point of contact.
     
  19. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Hard to hear from that noisy video, but does your smash and clear sound crisp and crunchy? If not, then you're not generating a fast and explosive enough racket head speed.

    One way is to add grip tightening right at the end of your kinetic chain, by using the space between the racket handle and your palm to accelerate the racket into the shuttle. Like this...


    Secondly AX99 is very stiff (to bend and unbend the shaft) so is very demanding to generate power unless you have perfect technique. Try the 3U AX88D for singles and you'll be easily getting more power.

    Sent from my SM-G988W using Tapatalk
     
  20. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    This, if you want to smash really hard,you need to move/jump into the shuttle and use your body rotation. To be honest, if you move backward a hard smash is not desireable in singles, because it is fast and the response is fast too. A steeper angle and well placed smash is better in this case.

    Watch this too:
     

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