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.

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