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Smash in badminton for beginners

Smash in Badminton: An Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Smash in badminton is the most aggressive and powerful shot which often brings positive results. But it is also not easy to execute and also difficult to return to your ready position after the smash. Frequent smashing also drains out your energy during the match. So, as a beginner, it is wiser to continue rallies with drop and clear shots and create opportunities by forcing your opponent for a weaker shot. At that time, take advantage to use the most devastating shot from your armory and smash out your opponent to win a crucial point.

Smash is a shot that is hit with power and timing in front of your body. The objective is to hit the shuttlecock with more power to a steeper angle on your opponent’s side.

Why is Smash an Effective Shot in Badminton?

Smash, the winning stroke in badminton
  1. When you try to smash, the length of the stroke is maximum compared to the other shots in badminton. So you can hit the shuttlecock with greater momentum which will produce the maximum power in your smash shot.
  2. You can create a steeper angle which is always difficult to return.

Types of Smash in Badminton

In general, there are three types of smashes in badminton:

  1. Forehand smash
  2. Backhand smash
  3. Jump smash

The forehand smash is the most used stroke among the three and it is also easier to execute than the other two. For a beginner, it is suggested to concentrate more on the forehand smash and after being a master of it, try to learn the backhand and jump smash.

Forehand Smash

There is a good Youtube video from Sikana English on the learning of forehand smash.

Before learning the forehand smash, practice by throwing a shuttlecock as if you are aiming the wicket from the bowler’s end in cricket.

How to Hit a Forehand Smash in Badminton

  1. Quickly reach underneath the shuttle and stay at one arm’s distance, keeping in mind, that the shuttle is always being hit in front of your body.
  2. Your legs should be apart from the shoulders and take a sidewise approach so that the shoulder of your non-racket hand points towards the net.
  3. You have to hold the racket with a forehand grip. Hold the racket to form a letter “V” between the thumb and the index finger with the side of the racket.
  4. Put your body weight on the rear foot.
  5. Take a 1-2-3 approach, bring your racket hand from in front to the back of your body with an angle of 90 degrees between the upper and lower arm, and then stretch your racket hand to hit the shuttlecock above your head pointing towards the desired area of your opponent’s side of the court.
  6. At the time of striking the shuttle, transfer your body weight on the front foot.
  7. Try to hit the shuttle at the highest point possible to create a steeper angle to make it tougher for your opponent.
  8. Follow through the racket hand to complete the stroke.
  9. Your non-racket hand will have a vital role, first pointing towards the shuttle and then bringing it down to complete the balancing act.

Always try to make the whole process as simple as possible, don’t be tense, relax your muscle and wrist, and make the whole execution rhythmic. 

Some Vital Considerations

  1. Your footwork is very important. Always return quickly to your base or ready position and prepare for the next shot.
  2. Stress more on the accuracy, not power at the initial stage. There is always a temptation to go for more power but it will occasionally result in a miss-hit. If you opt for more power, it is also tough to get back to your base position for the next shot.
  3. In a singles game, try to place the shuttlecock near the sideline of the court to make it difficult for your opponent to reach the shuttle.
  4. In the doubles game, there are two players to cover the area, so it is wiser to target the area of the torso to make it feel awkward for them.

Backhand Smash

The backhand smash is the most difficult shot in badminton and it is better to avoid this stroke to the maximum extent possible. As the shot is taken facing the back of the court, it is tough to get back quickly to your forehand area, and also during the stroke making, you may lose your body balance. However, in some circumstances, there are no ways other than to go for the backhand smash shot.

How to Hit a Backhand Smash in Badminton

  1. The most important thing is that you need to hold the racket with a backhand grip for this shot and the switch over from the forehand to backhand should be done while you are approaching the shuttle facing the back of the court.
  2. Your weight should be on the front foot and your racket arm should be close to the body for maximizing the path of the racket swing. 
  3. Your non-racket hand should act to maintain body balance.
  4. After initiating the stoke-making, the swing of your racket will be smooth and at a stretch until your racket gets in touch with the shuttle.
  5. To get the power in your shot, you have to use your wrist action. At the time of contact with the shuttle, flip your wrist and give a last-minute slap to generate power in your backhand smash. Your thumb of the backhand grip will help in the flicking action for better control.
  6. Don’t hold the racket too tightly, it will destroy the flexibility of your wrist and you will not be able to take full advantage of your wrist action. 
  7. Hit the shuttle at the highest point possible to create a killer angle.
  8. A backhand smash is a very difficult shot and there is a high chance that you will lose control of your balance. So make use of your non-racket hand to maintain your body balance.
  9. Complete your follow-through and come back to the ready position for the next shot.

Jump Smash

Badminton Insight has a very good visual explanation regarding the jump smash.

Like the backhand smash, the jump smash is also a very tough shot that needs lots of practice to get the correct result. So, in the beginner stage, it is better to deal with the regular forehand smash shot.

But if executed properly, the jump smash is the most powerful and devastating shot in badminton that can give you the best outcome. When you jump, you have the opportunity to hit the shuttle at the highest point, and also your racket speed will be maximum. You can generate more power and a steeper angle in a jump smash compared to a forehand normal smash.

How to Hit a Jump Smash in Badminton

  1. When you get a weak return and the shuttle is high in the air, you have the opportunity to kill the point with a jump smash.
  2. Get behind the shuttle quickly so that you can hit the shuttlecock in front of your body.
  3. Hold your racket with a forehand grip. 
  4. Stand sideways and press your front foot to jump high in the air.
  5. Take a deep breath to expand your chest and bend your legs backward. Don’t try to overdo it, this should be a natural process.
  6. Don’t get tense, relax to increase the flexibility of your body.
  7. Stretch your racket hand to the furthest behind possible and at the same time extend your non-racket hand to maintain your body balance.
  8. Swing the racket and hit the shuttle at the highest point possible in a forward and as well as downward motion. Your non-racket hand will act simultaneously.
  9. Land by putting your body weight on the front foot to keep a good balance and get back to your ready position quickly.

Key Points to Remember

  1. Don’t try to jump too high at first. First, practice to get the correct technique, and then you may increase the height of the jump in a sequential manner.
  2. Your timing of the strike is the key to a good jump smash. Improper timing may end with falling the shuttlecock on the same side of the court.
  3. Try only when you get a weak return with the shuttle floating high in the air and also you are in a position to hit the shot properly.
  4. Hitting the shuttlecock at the highest point makes the angle steeper which increases the effectiveness of the jump smash.

Conclusion

As discussed above, smash is a difficult shot in badminton and needs a lot of practice. Timing has a vital role in the smash which depends on hand-eye coordination. So practice hard to be a master of this powerful shot.

I have tried to give you an idea of the basic techniques of smash shots. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me by entering the comment box below.

Related Topic: “Top 7 Best Badminton Rackets for Smash

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