The True Benefit Of A Big Smash

On May 27, 2009, in Instructional, by Emmet Gibney

I love nailing smashes past people. It feels good, doesn’t it? Lots of players (especially the guys) put a lot of time into developing a great smash, and once you’re good at it, it feels good to practice it even more because it feeds your ego even if it doesn’t make much marginal improvements to your game overall. However, the true benefit of a big smash isn’t the points you get from hitting those smashes past your opponent, it’s the fear that your smash instills in your opponent.

If you have a weapon in your game like a huge smash, or incredible net play, your opponents are naturally going to fear that part of your game. Now, if your smash is your only weapon you’re in trouble, but if you can have a couple other weapons suddenly you’re a real threat. Your opponent is going to do whatever they can to stay away from that big smash of yours. They will try and play to the net when it is probably not safe to do so, or they will try keep the shuttle relatively flat to avoid giving you too much time to prepare for the big smash. All of these behaviours give you some opportunities, and you need to develop your game to take advantage of that. Badminton isn’t about forcing winners, rather it’s about setting up the rally to systematically give yourself as many awesome opportunities as possible. If you do this, you’re going to see results.

You should try and develop your weapons in pairs. Great net play goes well with a big jump smash. Strong flat play goes well with a killer half smash (or slice if you want to call it that). Awesome defense goes great with good fitness (yes, I consider fitness a weapon, a weapon of attrition). You should be using one weapon to force them into another. In the end of course a well-rounded game is going to prevail, but it doesn’t hurt to develop expertise in a few focused areas first.

15 Responses to The True Benefit Of A Big Smash

  1. tommy charles says:

    Emmet you are correct when we are talking singles. The big smash is often misused in double play, Double players often think they can destoy the other team with these smashes but in reality usually your opponets are able to return and your partner is out of postion. Correct double play only uses a big smash just enough to back your opponets off the net so you and your partner can control the tempo of play. You are also correct when you say, if you have a big smash you may win some points but you probably won’t win the game.The key for me is identify your opponet’s weaknesses and play that particular match that way , so proficentency in all parts of the game is important to ensure victory

  2. Aditya Kunte says:

    The better you play, the tougher your opponents get. So, at a higher level a big smash alone isnt going to win you a point because your opponent’s defense is just as good. So I agree with emmet on following up your smash with another shot. You have to be prepared for a return even after a big smash especially :
    - Near the net- so its really important to have a good
    net game and,
    - A weaker return somewhere in the mid-court, but
    away from you. Mostly cross- court. So it’s equally
    important for you to recover quickly from hitting
    such a powerful smash and again leap and intercept
    the weaker return to eventually finish the rally.

  3. kasra says:

    I do agree with pairing your weapons and what tommy said… the key for me is to use my weapon in my opponent’s weak spot so that I always have the advantage.
    I’m 15 but I have good powerful smashes which makes my opponent fear me… but my problem is that I can’y back it up like what u said… when a cross-court defence comes I just freeze and let it go… cause I’m a little bit fat and it puts some limits on my movements… I just have to lose weight or I’ll be out of competetion soon :((

  4. mang buhril says:

    yeah, that’s true a powerful weapon indeed it is – the smash.
    But many of us hesitate to do it because it is physically draining after two/three times continuous smash when your opponent keeps on getting back the shuttle no matter where you smash or how powerful it is.

    Will try to develop the powerful smash as it can come quite handy in the doubles game.

  5. mangbuhril says:

    Yeah, the big powerful smash is quite beneficial. Yet most of the time we hesitate to do it as it is physically draining when you smash continuously for 4/5 times or more, especially when the opponent is as good as you.

    I tend to play the deception shot over the head or drop, then finish the weak return with a smash. Intially try some big smash, then your opponent will be conditioned to expect that big smash every now and then, then you can mix it up and enjoy your game.

  6. Thiagan says:

    Initially, we have define what a great smash is. I play with some friends whose smashes almost break the sound barrier but as they the shuttle travels almost parallel the return is easy but often simple to kill. But if the smash is aimed either at te body, head or elbow and you can generate a weak return, you can easily kill the return with an acute angle smash, a sure winner.

  7. Thiagan says:

    Initially, we have to define what a great smash is. I play with some friends whose smashes almost break the sound barrier but as the shuttle travels almost parallel, the return is easy but often simple to kill. But if the smash is aimed either at the body, head or elbow and you can generate a weak return, you can easily kill the return with an acute angle smash, a sure winner. Therefore the true benefit of a great smash is that if properly targeted, it has the potential of forcing your opponents to make a weak return.

  8. Raj Sharma says:

    I use to play Badminton more or less rgularly. I often see your “Badminton Life” mail.It’s really a treasure for Badminton players, particularly your tips are very useful to follow a real good game.I am very thankful to you for sending me regularly these lovely tips.R.K.Sharma, Registrar, National Institute of Fashion Technology,RAEBARELI (U.P.)INDIA.

  9. JWLee says:

    I fully agreed that a big smasher not necessary to be a winner. The follow-up is the killer. That’s the weak return.

  10. Rob says:

    Great read and good comments that will be of help to myself

  11. Carla says:

    I love to do a big smash, but when someone smashes at you what is the best way to return, I normally instinctively crouch which puts strain on my knees, how can i return them without this strain. I also was wondering what the technique is to do a slice or cross smash?

  12. nishith says:

    Good to hear from others what i always believed. While a great smash helps, it is ultimately a combination of weapons ( footwork, net play, smash, clears, defence, fitness and knowledge of tactical play) and your temperament which matters if you have to win consistently against good players.

  13. raja mohan krisnan says:

    your tips on badminton has helped me in training my students. smashing is quality that a badminton player needs regardless of the gender. there are different types of smashes such as sideline smash, body smash, overhead smash, backhand smash and cross-court smash. if guidelines are given for each and everyone of them, it will be much appreciated.

  14. yatin says:

    I could not understand the “..Strong flat play goes well with a killer half smash…”, please explain.

  15. Tung TRAN says:

    I just want to receive a tutorial clip on how to make a good shuttle shot and a good smash .
    Thanks

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