Smash - What to try next?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Abu Tanki, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. Abu Tanki

    Abu Tanki Regular Member

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    So I have a problem. My smash still isn't as good as I want it to be. I can hit with pretty good power but still can't cannon it like I want to xD. I've been trying to find out what I'm doing wrong for years now and nothing I've found works. I've studied every video and read every forum thread on technique and grips that I can find and I've tried putting it into my game. Nothing has given me the power I'm looking for. What do I try next?

    To give a bit of background information to help people give help, I'm an intermediate player (lower level county/bronze player for people who know the UK system) who trains/plays about 6 days a week and really wants to get better but can't seem to find the way to push forward to the next level. :/
     
  2. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    First thing that comes to mind is the smash is not the be all and end all.

    Secondly, have you tried videoing yourself? You should see the improvements @DarkHiatus has made. He was running around like a headless chicken when first posting and now he's improved footwork, court coverage and court sense. Obviously some way to go but he's getting there.

    Thirdly, if you are doing six days a week and stuck at that level, you will have to tweak the way you train and you haven't given enough details for us to comment.
     
  3. Abu Tanki

    Abu Tanki Regular Member

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    Haha yeah you're definitely right. The smash isn't everything. This kinda started as a question about the smash and turned into more of a general thing accidentally.

    About videoing myself: that's a good idea. I'd definitely like to try that when I get the chance.

    About my training: I do a mixture of games and drills sessions. My drills sessions are pretty standard. I have a group session with my county coaches and a one-to-one session with a coach who's a high level player himself. I do standard singles drills based on shots and movement. That's been helping a lot since I started but I still don't feel like I'm making the jumps I'd like for how often I play.

    Thanks very much for the reply Cheung :)
     
  4. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    As @Cheung said to me, at my/your level (also play bronze but never past a group...), the improvements you see as you get better start to become much finer where you need 3-4 separate technique changes to see a marked improvement.

    The videos are a great idea - if you asked me today how much I think I've improved since 6 months ago, I'd have told you I think I've gotten a bit better at retrieving forehand rearcourt shots.

    However, I've improved waaay more than that when I look at my videos. Not just in stroke/footwork techniques, but in demeanour and tactical play too. LCW and LD must get a load of enjoyment watching themselves play, and these days must wonder how they'd play themselves in the past :D

    Still got plenty of improvements to make, and the returns are diminishing, but that should just make the improvements/achievements all the sweeter! :)

    Anyway, if a picture can say a thousand words, think of how much better a video is!
     
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  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I am a bit confused. Have you started with the one to one for a long time?

    I give you my story. I am quite similar to you in being stuck at not quite county level and not sure how to progress. But I didn't receive the proper coaching when younger. I would put a lot of effort in for not much return. Recognising lack of fundamental technique was the problem, eventually I found a high level player to coach me from the very basics upwards. He was a top twenty international player. We went from the very basic foundations upwards. I couldn't even get a footwork pattern right as the bad habits were so ingrained. Being a stubborn git, I sorta predicted my game would suffer initially. For the greater good, I swallowed the bitter pill to get to around county first or at least near county first. My whole game changed. One very important thing I told the coach is that I would not be happy training bad technique shots to be more consistent in going over the net (many people do this). I needed good technique. Quite a lot of frustrations along the way but I was able to make a huge change. The coach said I was probably the most focused student he had trained and as a teacher, derived a lot of satisfaction.

    Are you the same being stuck in poor fundamentals limiting your ceiling potential?
     
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  6. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Next thing to try? Is smashing accurately with strategic placement, vary the pace and angle, and finally throw in the deceptive smash drop.
     
  7. Abu Tanki

    Abu Tanki Regular Member

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    I think your story (before you got your coach) probably sums me up pretty well. I've only been working with my coach for about 4 months. Like you said I feel like my technique could be a lot better/smoother and I feel like if I could find a way to get better at this it would help a lot.

    Sent from my SM-J500FN using Tapatalk
     
  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    When away from your one to one coach, how do you know if you are doing the drill technically correct? After all, you could be doing the drill incorrectly by dropping back into old habits.
     
  9. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    I struggled with my smash for years. Whilst I will always be able to improve it, the consistency and power really improved a lot recently when I just happened to revisit stick smashing in a 5 minute training session with my old coach (I don't currently receive individual coaching, so this was quite a treat to get a few minutes). Lo and behold, a drill done many times before, with an explanation I have probably had before, but with my understanding where it is now, the explanation just clicked. So I improved my stick smash, and thus improved my full smash (and clears and fast drops etc) because the wrist action is basically the same for the stick smash, but just doesn't have the full blooded swing associated with it. Simples.

    Now that its better, I will use it more, and thus it will improve even more, just through practice and use.

    If you want some better advice, please post a video :)

    p.s. a note on expectations from coaching: fundamental coaching changes, with a good coach and regular practice, can take years. 4 months really isn't enough time to see large scale changes for most people (there are normally too many fundamental things that need work movement and basic hitting wise!). Keep at it, and this time next year you will be much better!
     
  10. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    @MSeeley
    Even if though it may not apply to us individually, please tell us what was the secret to improving your stick smash action?
     
  11. Abu Tanki

    Abu Tanki Regular Member

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    I'm not sure. That's part of the problem. I just try to make sure I put into practice what I've worked on with my coach.

    Sent from my SM-J500FN using Tapatalk
     
  12. Abu Tanki

    Abu Tanki Regular Member

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    Thanks for your reply. This info was useful, and so was your reminder that you have to be patient and keep at it to see changes in your game. :D

    Sent from my SM-J500FN using Tapatalk
     
  13. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    There's always the concern you are reverting back to old habits. So do be careful.

    When I first went for proper sustained training, I worked with the coach twice a week for three or four months. 2h sessions with training partner. It was specifically to break those old habits ingrained into my muscle memory as I already had years of playing. Took notes and practiced footwork patterns at home by just going through the motions. A couple of other days I had playing sessions but not concerned about the score. Just tried to shadowed the correct footwork and body movements inbetween points. Those were low level games with a bit more time on the shot. I think that does help not revert too quickly back to old habits in the heat of a battle. About six months later, I was ready to move up and was introduced to a hard core singles group.

    So something you might want to ponder upon. I.e. you could do fewer hours but have higher quality training for a few months.
     
    #13 Cheung, Nov 1, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
  14. cn1766

    cn1766 Regular Member

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    I'm going to be the "devil's advocate" here. How did you determine your smash is not hard? Is it based on the opponent returning it. They may have a very good defence. Even Fu Haifeng smashes get returned.
     
  15. edogaktop

    edogaktop Regular Member

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    You cannot expect to get valuable advice without risking to humiliate yourself :) Record a video and post it here so the kind people in BC can help you in your path.

    I did it about a year ago, asking for advice to improve my backhand. Trust me, (most) active users in BC know what they are talking about, and will give you valuable advice.. for free!
     

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