jump smash / smash racket grip (PLEASE HELP)

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

  1. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    I think people overstate LJB's grip rotation >> he says 10 degrees, but as far as I can tell, that's only as much as the racket will naturally rotate when tightening a basic grip. As such, I don't think what he's advocating differs substantially from what I've seen in any clip of LCW (whose smash setup most closely resembles that taught by LJB).

    As for his stance, he does seem quite front-on at times, but I always assumed that was for the benefit of the camera. Any of his clips discussing the role of the non-racket arm stress the importance of body rotation.
     
  2. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    I have probably given my opinion on this too many times. Basically, I do not like the explanation he gives as to why rotating the body sideways and racket elbow and racket arm positioning "must" be a certain way and why everything else is wrong. Actually, his explanation as to the defects of other methods of preparing are exaggerated so as to support his teaching. There is a subtle difference between saying "these things are wrong, therefore this is right" and saying "in my view, I have found that focusing on this can help players as it can help eliminate common problems I have seen when doing it other ways".

    I also agree with visor regarding his grip - he talks about a "10" degree shift, but the actual amount he shows is nowhere near 10 percent - much closer to 45 degrees. For me that's too panhandle. And it accompanies the front on hitting action (yes there is some body rotation).

    What alarms me is how the things he teaches don't seem to match what I see in the best players in the world. As a basic example, his style of gripping the racket and hitting is completely different to Lin Dan in 2008/2009... and I view that as the best that badminton can be played. So why appear to teach something so diametrically opposed? Another example of a player going completely the opposite in terms of elbow position and upper body position is Tai Tzu Ying - and she is quite clearly the best player in the world with the most deceptive shots, and deception comes from the body turn - so clearly there is no impact on power or accuracy from turning the body in that way. But if you teach everyone that turning is wrong, then you remove these fantastic elements from the game in the long run, which I find unacceptable. God - this turned into a rant and that was not intentional.

    And that's basically it - its not what he teaches but the forceful way he misrepresents problems with other techniques to make his point. I can also say that his hitting technique has completely changed over the years - he produced an early DVD called "play to win" which was excellent... but his smash technique now vs then is completely different, even though the principles are more or less the same. I much prefer his old hitting action - it matches what I see now in professionals, and I don't know why he changed.

    Rant over. Sorry.
     
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  3. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    Is the clip you're referring to this one?


    If so, the technique still seems to be broadly the same, though I'd say every element has been exaggerated in his later teachings (perhaps deliberately in order to make certain points clearer, perhaps because he was forced to change with age). Certainly the extent to which the top players turn and position their elbows can vary wildly with his teachings, but it does look to me like this is pretty much what LCW does in his smash prep (elbow straight back, wrist slightly cocked, racket parallel to head). One can see LJB's later teachings demonstrated with a greater degree of body rotation and agility by Robert Blair in this video:


    What are your views on his suggested use of the non-racket arm? A lot of coaches and online guides don't discuss this at all, whereas others suggest it should drop naturally; LJB teaches that it should be pulled down fast to add power to the racket swing.
     
  4. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Yes - the first video is from his Play to win DVD. The second video is one that I paid for when it originally came out, and the whole series of demonstrations from Robert Blair and the other professional are excellent. It is the more recent videos that I didn't appreciate. My view is that enough elements of the technique have changed or been exaggerated that I think it has progressed "too far" over time for my tastes. As you say - this may be done intentionally for the sake of teaching, but that goes to illustrate further the importance of not believing everything you see in a video if it is taught one way but performed in practice another (which is central to our earlier discussion regarding grip).

    I have seen that video before. Lee gives a good account of what the non racket arm should be doing roughly speaking, and highlights things that it should not be doing. He also mentions it in the "power smash" video with Robert Blair. I do see it frequently discussed in person when coaching, or in some videos. A video I particularly liked was this one:

    Specifically with regard to the non racket arm.

    I think that it is generally acknowledged that the non racket arm has a part to play in power strokes (and some coaches teach that it initiates the entire stroke), but from my point of view it is more of a secondary point. I would certainly correct what I saw if the arm is left up or left dangling in some way - it should end up tucked into the chest/rib/side in some way. However, this is an extremely natural occurrence for anyone who is asked to perform some sort of throw and not a key teaching point for lesson 1. Its more something to consider if its causing a problem for the player. If you are not currently using a forceful pulling motion with the non racket arm, I would not say you need to rush out and change what you are doing. As always: if the technique is efficient, then nothing needs to change. Its so easy to decide to make a change based on a video when it wasn't necessary - often times you are already doing the correct technique, and thinking about it further leads to exaggerations and inaccuracies.

    I hope that made sense.
     
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  5. Brillopad

    Brillopad Regular Member

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    That makes perfect sense >> indeed, I think I basically ignored all the reservations you mentioned (which I share to some degree) and focused in on the factors relevant to me, primarily the grip and position of the elbow/wrist/racket relative to the head.

    Re: the non-racket arm, over thinking on my part has at times definitely led to both exaggerations and inaccuracies. Would you say that basically if the non-racket arm raised out in front prior to the stroke, it's just a question of letting whatever happens naturally happen? Looking at Robert Blair in that clip he (like many other players I've seen) starts with the non-racket hand near the racket head before then outstretching the arm >> would I be right in thinking that this is generally more applicable for jump-smashes (rather than a standing smash with minimal elevation)?
     
  6. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Very sorry - I don't quite understand your question, but yes I believe the process is extremely natural and happens as a part of the stroke without any real intervention needed.

    I believe you should start with the non racket arm elevated and extended in front (it may or may not be near the racket head depending on your preferences), and as part of the stroke, the non-racket arm pulls inwards towards the body and tucks into the chest and ends with the non racket hand near the heart - the role of this arm is balance and recovery, rather than power (of course, balance affects power as it is by definition the control of your bodyweight).

    I would expect the technique for a standing smash and a jump smash to be extremely similar (if not identical).
     
  7. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Re non racket hand, just watch how some pro female players smash, like Ayaka Takahashi, Tai TzuYing, etc when they want to generate more power.

    Not only is the non racket arm used for targeting the shuttle when extended but also used for adding rotational momentum to the body rotation when tucking in to bring the racket shoulder forward.

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
     
    #47 visor, Jun 13, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  8. Limmylom

    Limmylom New Member

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    I agree that LJB teaches a smash that appears to be completely different to what pro players actually do.

    What I didn't notice anyone mention (although I may have missed it) is that it's so different because of forearm pronation.

    This is especially highlighted in one of LJB's videos where he advocates using a flattened birdie tube to practice the smash. In this video (and all others) you can see it advocates a near pan handle grip and emphasises using wrist action. However, this naturally ends in a wrist flex similar to this... IMG_0175.PNG

    This is completely different to what pro's do who absolutely do not use pan handle. They continue to use basic grip that naturally produces much more pronounced forearm rotation rather than solely wrist action which naturally ends with wrist position like this... IMG_0177.PNG
     
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  9. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Agree. Zhao JianHua in his coaching series with Xiao Jie also uses more wrist flexion than current pro players. Must be how the previous generation of players smash.
     
  10. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Perfect post by Matt.

    I think there are always variations between players so it is best for us to compare and find something not too near the extremes and near the middle ground as a reference point for grips. The only top player now who I really notice hold the racquet to the side preparing for the smash is Misaki Mastutomo.
     
  11. Phil Adams - Coach

    Phil Adams - Coach New Member

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    The grip you need to have when making contacting with the shuttle is a hammer grip, but that is only 1 out of about 10 or more points to hit the smash. I coaching loads of players the smash, have a look at the first video on my website.

    https://www.dynamicbadminton.co.uk/videos
     
  12. warmrain

    warmrain New Member

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    An interesting discussion.
    I am not a professional coach and would not presume to advise on what is more 'correct' or a better grip for the average player's smash but it seems to me that if your index finger is extended to any degree you will be putting more strain on your index finger long tendons & muscles. If you have a more 'fist-like' grip then you are purely using a stronger set of wrist muscles both for wrist snap and for cushioning the recoil.

    Therefore at the highest level where eg.LinDan is smashing with such ferocity (impossible for most of us!) he may be wise to keep his fingers curled in more -- and perhaps they are doing that to reduce/prevent injury.
     

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