How to increase power in a badminton smash?
How to increase power in a badminton smash?
This is a really common question for badminton players. In this post, I will share with you the most common and effective ways to execute a deadly shot. The tips below are used by many players and definitely work. If you follow the tips well, you will greatly improve in your badminton smash.
First of all, power is such a strong word to use that could mean a variety of different things. Most people associate the word “power” as using as much energy as possible to create the shot. This is where most people aren’t creating the best shot they can. It is actually about: the biomechanics of how your arm works, how quick your arm can move through the air (dynamics), the timing of the shot, balance of your upper body and the angle of the shot.
Using this, you can create a shot that requires less effort with more efficiency. These tips will make your shots look effortless!
Use Your Wrist
The difference between Badminton and other racket sports is that wrist is often used in Badminton, but is not as common in Squash and Tennis. Using your wrists will prove to be extremely important in higher level badminton gameplay. Wrist usage can generate more power and more accuracy at the same time. For example, when doing a smash, using your wrists will give you steeper shots.
Using your wrist is one of the best ways of giving your shots lots of power without making big moves. Advanced players do not need to do a full swing to do a proper clear (to the backcourt). Instead, they use their wrists and achieve shots of equal power. In fact, using wrists in a key aspect to badminton gameplay.
Like I mentioned above, many good players do not have to turn their body to do clears. However, if you are a beginner, I highly recommend that you start with the basics and do the proper steps for everything. The basics are extremely important. As you become more and more advanced, you will learn more about using wrists. Of course, you can incorporate your wrist usage in your strokes.
Balance of Upper Body
To create the angle of the shot and power downwards you need to keep the upper body balanced. To achieve this you don’t want to overstretch your trunk as this will then overtake the movement. Example: if have a dog on a lead and it is pulling you around you are being led and having no control on what’s going on. You need to be in control of what’s going on or else you will become unstable.
To perform this your legs are the movement part out to the shot, your upper body follows and doesn’t drop forwards or leans back.
When your muscles are relaxed, they will provide a cleaner and quicker movement. I call this “Muscle Isolation” as you need to isolated to only a few muscles to create the shot. If other muscles come into the shot that you don’t need, the shot won’t be as powerful due to the other muscles getting in the way. The biggest muscle that gets in the way is the shoulder, it shouldn’t be the main focus of the movement as you won’t perform the shot correctly.
Your speed of reaching the shot is directly related to how powerful your shot is.
If a shot goes to the backcourt and you want to smash it, you must be fast, especially if your opponent did a very powerful clear. To perform a smash, the shot must be in front of you. Being slow will lead to the shot directly above you, forcing you to do a clear. Even worse, the shot can end up behind you, causing you to do a ‘saving’ shot or a backhand.
To allow you to reach for all shots within the fastest time, always return to the center (this is extremely basic, everyone should know this). Always be ready for the next shot. Countless times I see players moving before the opponent hits the shot and players assuming the shot will not go in a certain direction. You need to get ready for every single shot and expect your opponent to do any kind of shot. This will give you a faster response to different shots.
When the shot goes to the backcourt, use your proper footwork to reach there. There is a reason why footwork is invented. It is the fastest, most efficient and most stable way of receiving a shot.
Some players fail to realize that when they smash, they can jump and give your shot more power. Jumping back can also help you reach your shot quicker. When you see professional players do powerful smashes, they jump right?
Note: After you jump backward, you might lose balance, so you must practice this. When you land after the jump, make sure your right (if you are right-handed)/left (if you are left-handed) leg is in front after the jump. This will help you go back to the center and prepare for the next shot.
Hitting the shot at the Highest Point
When doing a smash, an important thing is to hit the shot when the shuttlecock is still high in the air. This will affect the steepness of your shot. The higher the contact point between your racket and the shuttle, the steeper your shot. This will give your opponent lots of difficulties if executed well.
But how exactly do I hit the shot at the highest point? You must jump. But to do a really accurate jump, you will need practice. To hit the shuttle at the highest point, you must be fast, which leads us back to your speed. Now, do you see the importance of your speed and jumping to receive the shot?
If you want to create the most power in your shot, you need to time your jump correctly so you hit the smash at the highest point. Before contact with the shuttle, you need to make sure you have got your muscles relaxed so you can drive your arm quicker through the air. Once you have done this you have to rotate your wrist.
Just using one of the above tips is not enough to improve your power. They work together, as if it is a flow. Once you practice this long enough, these steps will come to you naturally. You will also realize that these tips are linked (e.g. To hit at the highest point, you need to jump).