At one point or another, we’ve all stared in awe at the TV, as a badminton player sends the shuttlecock plummeting down to the opponent’s side, scoring a point. That shot, the smash, when executed with the right amount of power, speed, and technique, is one of the most difficult plays to return. The badminton smash requires a good deal of power, can be performed with both the forehand and backhand, and can break a rally easily to earn the player points.
So, what can you do to perfect the badminton smash?
It’s all in your feet
Your footwork can make or break your game. If you don’t have the speed to get behind the shuttlecock before you hit it, hitting a powerful, accurate smash would be impossible. Badminton coaching revolves mainly around helping players perfect their footwork.
To execute a perfect smash shot, you need to be in the right position – behind the shuttle. Only then can you apply your bodyweight in the direction of the smash with ease to add more power to your shot.
Get a grip
In badminton, the right grip goes a long way. The way a lot of badminton players move exhibits a lot of tension. Truth is, when your body is tense, you cannot perform optimally. To execute a perfect smash shot, you need to have the right grip. You should hold the racket handle tightly, but not too tight. Your grip should be relaxed and comfortable, and your thumb should be placed behind the grip. This will give you better control over the racket, and you will be able to hit the shot with more power and accuracy.
Time it right
Badminton is a sport that requires skill, agility, and precision. So, timing is crucial, especially when it comes to smash shots. To execute a perfect smash, you need to time your shot with absolute precision. The shuttlecock needs to be at the right height before you hit the shot in order to generate maximum power. You should also make sure that you direct it to the right location.
Get into it
Engaging your core and putting your body into a smash amps up the power in your shot. Not just that, ‘pushing up’ off the court when smashing also adds to the power. If you are off the ground when you smash, the power of the stroke increases without you ‘trying’ to hit it harder. You don’t really have to jump 1m off the ground to hit hard, although it enhances power, angle and the tactical aspects involved in taking the shot. Jumping just enough to allow an effective, powerful rotation will suffice. Using both legs to jump can help you achieve maximum height.
Here's what you can do
Practice. Badminton practice is the one thing that won’t fail you. The more you practice, the better you get, at smash shots and badminton in general. The best badminton training doesn’t just involve teaching techniques or giving out tips, but also about builds a practice routine that hones every skill.
During badminton practice, focus on drills to improve technique and power. Simply trying to smash the shuttlecock from different angles and heights could help improve your technique. Play a few shots with a relaxed grip and squeeze a little tighter the second before the racket connects with the shuttle to improve your grip. You can also practice hitting smashes against a wall to improve your power.
The smash shot is a key element in badminton, and improving your smash shots can turn the game in your favour. Improving the power of your smash requires a combination of strength, technique, and practice. So, practice regularly, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. In time, you’ll be smashing it on the court!