Welcome back! In a continuation of the series, we break down here 6 more essential badminton shots.
Disclaimer: A disproportionate amount of the energy put into writing this article has been to devoted to the smash, given its (not-very-obvious) technical sophistication and popularity.
- The smash is the most aggressive shot in the badminton game
- The smash is done from either the middle or back of the court
- It is hit steeply downwards, typically sending the shuttlecock 'rocketing' to the middle or back of the opponent's court
- To hit the smash, you should move quickly towards the shuttle. This is called an ‘injection of pace’. (However, such phrase is typically used in professional badminton....)
- You would want your body to face the side of the court, when performing the smash.
- Both feet should also be pointing sideways while at it.
- Being in a firm position is crucial for the proper execution of a smash - When not balanced properly, your smash won’t be strong because your body will waste energy on balancing itself.
- As can be seen by Lin Dan in the photo, both his non-racket arm and racket arm are raised during the smashing process
- The racket arm is to be stretched back as far back as possible, to ensure that a full arm swing could be performed.
- While doing so, remember to raise your non-racket arm to balance out the weight of your racket arm, to maintain body posture.
- As mentioned above, the shuttlecock is to be hit steeply downwards - to ensure just such, hit the shuttle at the highest point possible.
- Then, stretch out your chest to the widest extent possible, while also stretching out your Non-Racket Arm.
- Then swing your racket forward as you exhale, contracting your abs at the same time. (The arm swing has to be a full one.)
- Like in tennis, complete your swing by following through.
- Your body should face forward after you have swung your racket.
The smash should ideally finish the point, or add immense pressure on the opponent if not.
The Block Shot
- A backhand grip is ideally to be used
- In anticipation of the opponent's smash, stand in the mid-court in a ready position, with your racket head up and in front of you
- As the shuttlecock comes just right in front of you, move your racket towards it and absorb the power of the smash
- The racket should be almost parallel to the net at and around the point of contact
- There should be no swing, but the string tension and the power of the smash would carry the shuttlecock across to the front or middle of the opponent's court
To defense against the opponent's smash
The Tumbling Net Shot
- Lunge forward towards the net with your racket Foot
- While moving forward, raise your racket arm to around shoulder height. This is the ideal height where you’re going to make contact with the shuttle.
- Tilt your head (but only slightly) towards the shoulder of your racket arm, enabling better control of the racket.
- Slice the shuttle as you contact it, creating the tumbling effect
The purpose of this shot is to force a lift from your opponent, thus enabling you to hit a smash.
The Cross Court Net Shot
- As can be seen in the above photo, this shot is hit from one net corner to the other net corner
- The shuttlecock is hit with a light touch, with a tilt of the racquet to guide the shuttle across the net
- The shot is done at the front of the court near the net
- The shuttlecock is guided from one side of the front court to the other side front court - there is no swing
The purpose of this shot is to draw the opponent to a front corner, opening up more vulnerable space on his side
The Slice Net Kill
- A quick slice is made to the shuttlecock near the net
- During contact between the racket and the shuttlecock, the racket face brushes the shuttlecock, making it drop down
The slice net kill is used when you don’t have enough room to hit a regular net kill, or when you want to change trajectory angles with the slice.
The Wrist Drive
- The wrist drive produces a quick and powerful shot, generated from a quick wrist flick
- This shot is typically made at the mid court
- The shuttlecock is hit from the mid court to the other mid court
- Caution: Only the wrist is involved in this shot
The purpose of this shot is when you need or want to do a fast drive but don't have the time to do the conventional one.
I hope you have enjoyed the second article of this series. Stay tuned for more coming up shortly, and happy playing!
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