jump smash / smash racket grip (PLEASE HELP)

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by gavin1234, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. wguan126

    wguan126 Regular Member

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    LOL! That's what I do if I have the time to prepare. Grips vary from person to person. No rules about it, so whatever works goes. Kenichi Tago and Wang Yihan use beveled grips as their "basic" grips. Apparently it worked out fine for them considering their remarkable achievement on the badminton world stage. Appreciate you stand out and substantiate the existence of the hammer/fist grip. I can point people to those post next time when people ask me "what have you been smoking?"
     
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  2. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    Postscript to the above: search YouTube for "Badminton in Slow Motion — Lee Chong Wei vs. Chen Long- 2015 BWF World Championships" and right at the beginning of the clip you can see Chen Long hit a smash with a "fist" grip (or, as I'm more inclined to call it, the Lee Jae Bok grip, as he's the only one who seems to teach it). The grip is clearly deep in his palm and his fingers are wrapped all the way around. My point is that this is the norm for smashes at the highest level, not the exception and should be acknowledged as such.
     
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  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    One player uses such a grip and this is described as the norm?
     
  4. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    No, please read the older posts >> Chen Long was cited above as a player who used the "neutral" grip for smash preparation, which that video clearly disproves. I've studied as many HD slow-motion clips as I can find, all of which show the same for Lin Dan, LCW, Taufik, Fu Hai Feng etc. etc. Indeed, I can't find ANY exceptions, so yes, I'm calling it the norm.
     
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  5. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Firstly: I do not believe that Lee Jae Bok teaches a fist grip. Unless you mean something different to me when you say fist grip. When I read fist grip, I make a fist, and put the racket in. There is no gap between fingers.
    Secondly: Chen Long has a gap between his middle and index finger - therefore it is not a fist grip. However, I do agree it is more or less the grip taught by Lee Jae Bok in terms of finger positioning (although I think Lee rotates his more towards panhandle for smashing). The reality is thats more or less a basic grip (possibly a forehand grip or neutral grip if you read the new badminton bible grips guide) but where the fingers are slightly less spread (because they have been tightened) - hence it is going towards looking like a fist, but it is still just a tight basic grip (or forehand/neutral grip depending on who you ask)
    Thirdly: on what basis do you believe nobody teaches the grip used by Chen Long for smashing? That looks exactly like the grip advocated by all other online coaches I have seen, and matches what I would teach. If I take my normal basic grip (the relaxed grip I wait with), and then squeeze it hard, I end up with the grip Chen Long is using. Thus, I start the stroke with a basic grip, and as I squeeze the racket during the stroke, I end up with the same grip as Chen Long. Thus, I don't see why saying I use a basic grip is wrong. Can you elaborate why I shouldn't say that I use a particular grip?

    It seems to me your definition of "fist" grip is "The grip is clearly deep in his palm and his fingers are wrapped all the way around". Whilst I agree with you that this is normal when gripping for smashes and other power shots, it is not a fist grip. The grip, as you describe it in the sentence I quoted is taught by almost all coaches I know and have seen, but would not be referred to as a fist grip.

    So I wonder what your point is: are you simply saying that when smashing, the racket is not so much held in the fingers as deep in the palm of the hand? Then yes, I agree. And I believe all decent coaches who advocate finger tightening would agree as well. It may be LJB explicitly says that in one of his videos (but I can't remember them all - its been years since I have seen some of them). However, that does not make the teaching of every other coach wrong.

    It seems to me like you have correctly identified correct technique with regard to smashing, but have labelled it as a fist grip, and hence it seems to contradict other coaching. Have I understood you correctly?
     
  6. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Just rewatched the video you posted, and saw there was a very clear smash by Lee Chong Wei at the end of the video. You can clearly see the grip he is using - I would describe it as a basic/neutral/forehand grip depending on definition. Would you call it a fist grip?
     
  7. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    I think I read the term "fist grip" in other posts in relation to LJB's teachings, but just disregard that if it's confusing things >> as you say, it's not really a fist given that the index finger is up the racket. To clarify, you're exactly right in that what I really mean is "the grip is clearly deep in his palm and his fingers are wrapped all the way around" PRIOR to hitting.

    What I'm observing is that most of the teachings I've read/seen online advocate that the racket starts out in the fingers (with a space in the v between the thumb forefinger) prior to hitting the smash (in other words the basic/neutral grip), whereas LJB teaches that the grip should already be deep in the palm with the fingers already wrapped around (and, in doing so, the racket has also been rotated somewhat so the wrist can be full utilised and the racket will be flat on contact in front of the body). Looking at those videos I've mentioned, it seems clear that pro players are all following the LJB model, in that the racket handle is deep in their hands prior to hitting the shots (I would also wager that they've rotated it slightly as per LJB, as that's how the racket will naturally sit in the fingers).

    Though the neutral grip and the LJB grip will end up broadly the same after impact, the starting points are both very different and will, in my experience, make a BIG difference on the quality of the smash (and the angle of the racket face) >> all of which leads to my reason for posting, namely that only LJB seems to actually teach that approach, in contrast to Badminton England, various online guides, coaches etc.

    Essentially the two contrasting approaches are best summed up in these two videos:

    Neutral grip:


    LJB Grip:
     
  8. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    As a postscript to the above, having checked in the mirror, I would say that the LJB grip is just the basic grip tightened, with the subtle rotation he talks about occurring naturally. As such, one should probably view it as a grip modification rather than a different grip, but it's one that makes a big difference to the stroke production and yet (to the best of my knowledge) only LJB seems to discuss it.
     
  9. wguan126

    wguan126 Regular Member

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    To your definition of fist grip in the quoted text above, I need to say the difference between fist and natural does not lie on the gap between index and middle figures. Rather, the difference differentiating the two is thumb over or covering the index finger. Some players even have their thumb over the middle finger.

    My observation is that a natural grip is used by many prior to finger tightening; but after finger tightening, the thumb ends up covering the index or middle finger and the gap between index and middle is closed only to some players. Chen Long is a good example that he never closes the gap between index and middle fingers and sometimes finish a smash with a natural grip. Others like Lin Dan, Li Xuerui, and Endo sometimes end finger tightening with no gap between index and middle fingers and thumb over index finger for sure. The link below to a YouTube video showing some examples. To me, Lin Dan at 6'34" is quite telling.
     
  10. wguan126

    wguan126 Regular Member

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    Another good example from Lin Dan is around 12:13. Note that grip difference before and after finger tightening or racket-shuttle contact.
     
  11. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    Good point Re: the overlapping of the thumb. I'd completely forgotten, but Kowi Chandra (of YouTube channel KC Badminton) also mentions this, in addition to advocating holding the grip in the palm. I've experimented with various thumb positions, but once I started resting my thumb on my middle finger I started to whip that much faster.

    Re: the clip of Lin Dan at 12:13, what is the difference before/after? No doubt he'll have tightened it, but it looks broadly the same as far as I can tell!
     
  12. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Right! I am with you now. And I broadly agree with you, although I know many players who would argue they initially hold the racket looser and more in the fingertips before they smash. Thats normally because they describe how it feels to them, rather than it being exactly what they do.

    However, I would caution you against guessing what another coach teaches if they haven't explicitly said it in the video. I don't know that Jimmy Lin who produced that video would make the assumption you have made e.g. that his demonstration of a relaxed basic grip will automatically lead the world to assume that you must have a huge gap in the grip immediately prior to striking a smash. It was more an effort to demonstrate what the basic grip is (which was correct) and tell everyone that a basic grip is used for a smash (which was correct).

    For example: If I told you to use a neutral grip, and showed you the neutral grip (the most important aspect being the rotation of the racket handle, and a relative spread of the fingers), you should not now assume that you know how tightly I will hold that grip unless I specifically say so. What is good (as you say) is that LJB has specific videos where he teaches how firmly to hold the racket prior to the stroke. This is obviously a detail that you have found useful to see in a video (I saw it in a previous smash video from him years ago, and I experimented).

    Once again though, I would urge you not to guess what other coaches may say on a particular subject without specifically asking them. When someone says you hold the racket in a relaxed grip, and then it tightens at impact, they may be supporting exactly what you have said works for you, or they may be advocating something completely different. This is why I dislike the way people assume what is seen in coaching videos is the whole truth, the only truth, and the end of the story. It is ACTUALLY, that coaches best attempt at teaching and helping other people, and I do not think it my right to criticize them for their efforts. They actually made a video to help the world, which was very good. Even if incomplete on some details somewhere. Its better than my "I haven't even made a video" position.

    Having thought about this a little further, I am wondering if it is a necessary coaching point for most people. Here is the sequence to learn a world class smash:
    Use basic grip
    Use side on hitting position
    Use correct footwork
    Get high contact in front of you (allowing you to hit steeply and powerfully downwards)
    Practice 10,000 times
    End

    The practice bit, is the bit most people don't ever really bother with. We like to keep reading and tweaking and learning, but actually, all the details sort themselves out when you have done that huge amount of practice. Imagine I am a coach with many many high level players, and the way I taught them was to use that above sequence, and never told them any details about the "tightness" of the grip during a smash. Should I then assume that my teaching is incomplete, given it works for all those players? Should I even be aware that more details are needed, when all my players were successful.

    All I am saying is: don't assume we know the coaches mind just from having seen a brief free video. The teachings are not (most of the time) contradictory. But you have to take into account the coaches mindset when he made the video. He might teach it completely differently if he made the video again today.

    I hope that makes sense - it wasn't intended to be a rant!
     
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  13. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    I would actually disagree with your definition of the fist grip (especially as its just a made up term, with no real definition - I am just going by what I have read and talked about in the past). If I hold my racket with a basic grip, my thumb touches the top of my middle finger. When I tighten the grip, my thumb stays in about the same place, and the gap between all my fingers decreases - its still a basic grip (but a tight one).

    But thats my view - as I said, these grip names are all made up and open to interpretation. The only thing that matters is that you hit with good technique.
     
  14. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    Certainly it's not my intention to criticise the work of other people (especially Jimmy, whose video has been very helpful to me in a lot of other respects). That said, I don't think it's a question of "guessing" the coach's mind, so much as there being a missing step in a lot of tuition with regards to this subject >> as you say, the assumption seems to be that people will figure this out for themselves en-route to their 10,000th practice. That might be true, but personally I found LJB and Kowi's videos greatly accelerated my understanding and ability (which is surely what most people want from a coach), when prior to that I was gripping far too loosely and tightening the grip much too late as a result, losing power and accuracy. As such, my thinking is that it's better to discuss things in greater depth, especially with a subject as easily misunderstood or misinterpreted as the grip.
     
  15. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Yes that's fair - and its good you found this important detail that helped you. Unfortunately this is the danger of seeing coaching material online versus actually having a coach - these misunderstandings would be quickly spotted in person and corrected. You also have to bear in mind the audience for the video: as an experienced player and coach, I see Jimmy's video and others and I don't even question how tightly to hold the grip, thus I take away what I want from their video. However, a complete beginner would obviously see and understand different things. Indeed, if never told about grip tightening and being relaxed, an actual beginner may never have the problem of someone else who learns that there is something important about using the fingers and relaxing etc. So its just so difficult to judge what should be taught and what shouldn't be, especially for a fixed length free video. By saying nothing, you either ignore a problem, or you prevent someone from creating a problem for themselves.

    This is all exactly the reason why self learning without a coach is so fraught with difficulty. Yes the content is out there, but without actual feedback in realtime, it is often difficult to actually get things right. Ultimately, if someone gets the important things right (grips and stances and movement) and then constantly compares their own movements and shots to professionals session by session, and has a structured way of 1: learning the shots in sequence and 2: putting in many thousands of repetitions, then I think self teaching should be possible.
     
  16. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    I ought to point out that the problem outlined above was actually compounded by several coaches, all of whom emphasised the importance of holding in the fingers etc. and actively discouraged what I would now regard as a correct grip for smashing (as others on this forum have argued against LJB's teachings). I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that people describe what they think they're doing (holding it in their fingers etc.) when they're actually making all manner of adjustments intuitively.
     
  17. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Yes - this happens frequently. As we take advice from other sources, just need to be careful to treat it as something that may help only, rather than something that must be done or must be true. It all hinges on the language used, which is very imprecise no matter what you do. Also bear in mind: those coaches may have learnt it that way, or may teach it that way, with great practical success. Therefore the teaching isn't necessarily wrong, but it was, for you, unhelpful and led to problems.

    I will point out that I myself do not agree with all of Lee's teaching - mainly to do with the grip used for overheads and his preparation before hitting overheads.
     
  18. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    I think the issue with regards to the two coaches I'm thinking of is that they were both former international players who played from very young >> as such, both are hugely accomplished, but neither is really able to explain what it is that they're doing or make technical corrections for others (which was certainly what I required at that point). What I've since come to realise is that different coaches have different strengths >> some are what I'd call "technical" coaches, whilst others are great at running drills and sparring etc. and taking established players to another level. Ideally I'd want both.

    Out of interest, what are your objections to Lee's teachings? I'm particularly curious Re: the overhead preparation.
     
    #38 Brillopad, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  19. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Don't know if it's his body mechanics since he has gained weight from his younger years or simply gotten older or he's unknowingly demonstrating it this way, but he is practically the only one coach who teaches showing an overhead stroke with negligible body rotation and not much shoulder input. As such, his stroke involves mostly upper arm and forearm, with a grip towards pan handle.

    Only way to tell if he practices what he preaches (and also vice versa) is to watch him play a semi serious game.


    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
     
    #39 visor, Jun 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
  20. eelvis

    eelvis Regular Member

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    I have noticed than Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei play lots of shots with unconventional grips for those shots, is it maybe strategies to speed reaction time between different shots or fakes. Watch them play doubles, their games a honed for singles and playing as near the net as possible. Great player don't follow guide books.
     

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