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The Badminton Smash: How To & Strategy

Updated on May 13, 2012

What is it?

A smash is the quintessential badminton offensive shot, played at a downward angle at high power and speeds. This shot is every bit about power as it is technique and the strategy used with it.

A player about to jump smash.
A player about to jump smash.

The Basic Smash

Smashes do not have to played from a jump. In fact it's generally easier and more practical to play a smash from the ground as there's less room for error in your technique. That being said, backcourt smashes are far more effective as jump smashes as you have a higher attacking point, greater power if done correctly so therefore a faster and more downward shot. A good player should be able to judge whether or not to jump and the power of his/her smash as you don't want to put all your power and energy into one shot and then have your opponent return it. Mastering the basic smash is essential to progressing into intermediate badminton.

Things to know:

-Get behind the birdie/shuttle/shuttlecock! This gives you far more control and power.

-Contact the shuttle high! The higher your racket is, the greater angle at which you can smash.

-Use the wrist! Some people may disagree with this but I have found from personal experience that a high arm plus wrist force equals great beginner smash. Add the more complex arm movements and such only after you can hit a half decent wrist smash.

Trajectory of a basic smash.
Trajectory of a basic smash.

The Jump Smash :D

Yay! The moment that every beginner-intermediate badminton player dreams of. The learning of the jump smash. This is the most potent force on the badminton court and can be combined with a variety of basic strategies to cripple the opponent's defense. Depending on how you execute your jump smash, you may end up trading your power for a better shot angle. This can easily be prevented with enough practice.

Things to know:

-Jump! Duh?

-Get everything in position like a basic smash BEFORE you jump! Don't try to get your legs and all that staggered in mid air.

-Use your core and arm muscles to release the energy through your racket into the shuttle.

Trajectory of Jump Smash
Trajectory of Jump Smash

Many people tend to jump smash with one leg up leaving the other trailing far out behind. This works but it means your going to have to sacrifice some power. Not to mention you looking rather ridiculous. So why do it? Once you've got something that looks somewhat like a jump smash, you're eventually going to need more power. Smashing just isn't as effective without power. So how does one go about doing this? If you watch professional players, their smashes are clean and well excecuted with both legs raised and bent. To do this, bend your knees and raise BOTH legs when you jump but keep your thighs relatively vertical. Look at the first picture for an example. Then rotate, swing and straighten your legs simultaneaously. This is difficult, particularily trying to coordinate each one of these actions at the same time. But don't give up! Practice makes perfect. And the results are worth it. Once you've got it down you'll be a force to be reckoned with on the badminton court.

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