Smash in badminton is considered as one of the dangerous shot and most of the rallies get ended by it, but what if you know how to defend a hard smash and put your opponent in trouble , In this article i will be telling you how to defend smashes in singles, FOR DOUBLES POSITIONING READ THIS ARTICLE
If you want to learn smashing technique read this article
Steps to defend smash in badminton
- Grip for defense
- Where to stand while defense
- How to stand
- Split step
- How much force to use
Let’s start with the grip for defense
This is a forehand grip, Just hold the racket like you are doing a hand shake to a person (while keeping in mind these things):
Always make sure that you are holding the racket in fingers not with the whole fist.
Hold the racket(hand shake ) like it make a 90* degree angle with face of racket as shown in the above picture
For backhand you can use side grip(as shown in above picture) , thumb on side.
It helps you to effectively do cross court backhand drop against smash.
Where to stand in singles to defense smashes?
The best place to stand while defending a badminton smash is a point slightly behind the center of the court (for singles).
Standing slightly behind the middle of the court gives your eyes some time to ‘catch’ the flight direction of the shuttle.
That way, you can respond to the smash quickly and return a quality shot.
In singles you have to cover larger area compared to doubles so it is necessary to choose you position wisely.
As you can see in this picture the player in blue T-shirt is standing on right side of the center position, this is because shuttle will travel more quickly on straight smashes compared to cross court smashes.
Same thing need to be done when attacker is on left side of court, combined with split step.
How to stand while making defence shot in badminton?
In singles and doubles stance for defense is same.
Step by step guide
- Open your legs more than your shoulder
- bend your knees little (like in picture)
- keep your upper body little bit forward
- raise both you arm above your hips
- and defend it
When to use it?
Whenever you hit a High Clear or perform a High Serve, move to your base position and adopt the defensive stance. Ideally, you want to be at your base position before your opponent hits the attacking shot.
How to practice?
Do Five set of 30 sec by staying in the defensive stance.
Timing of the most important aspect of defensive shot
Without this you cannot play badminton ,you might be already doing it consciously or unconsciously and that is split step
What is Split step or prep jump in badminton?
Split step in badminton is a technique where you take a small jump before moving which allows you to move on court more quickly as there are are much more change of direction movement involved in badminton.
As you can see the above picture player is performing a split step he is in the air while opponent is making shot.
Steps for Performing a Split Step
Before you get too excited about this thing first master these techniques, to not look like a player who is jumping unnecessarily on court .
The split drop involves widening your base (the split) and lowering your base (the drop) at the same time
Step 1 get yourself in position as explained earlier where you should stand while defending smash so it won’t be a problem knowing which position is best
Step 2 initiating jump now there are two two types of split jump one in which player widens his legs like you are doing jumping jacks and another is jumping from ground it is up to you which type of jump you want to use but in my opinion jumping while whitening leg will be more beneficial as it consume less time but for a beginner who is trying to get his split step timing right then jumping from standing position is much better choice
Step 3 Now as you land on the ground band both of your knees to lower your centre of gravity as it will help you staying in balance
Step 4 land on the ground and push off to the direction where where opponent head hit the shot.
It is crucial that you want to land on the ground after your opponent has made the shot, otherwise the whole purpose of split step will be gone.
The whole purpose of doing a split step is when you are in the area you get the time to know what shot your opponent is playing and as you land on the ground you are ready to go
There are some other important things which you need to know so I have a dedicated article on this topic which you can read.Read more
Footwork while defending a smash
Forehand side defence
Step 1, is doing a split step which we dicsussed earlier, timing of your split step should match with the shot of your opponent meaning that when shuttle touches your opponent racket you should be in the air.
Step 2, after doing a split step as soon as you land perform a chasse step to your forehand side so that you can reach to the side line, because if you are a short player with a single lunge it is not possible to reach side lines.
Step 3, now after performing a chasse step strecth you racket leg and perform a lung in a way so that your toe is facing the side line as shown in picture below
Note that my non racket arm is not hanging but a little bit strecthed for maintaining balance.
Also non racket leg is touching the ground with toe only.
Backhand defense in singles
There are two ways by which you can defend smashes from backhand side.
Scenario 1 :- When shuttle is closer
In this situation doing full movement is way of time so ony perform these two steps
Step 1, Split step
Step 2, As soon as you land on the ground lung with your non racket leg while toe of that leg is pointing towards side line. See the picture below.
Scenario 2 : – When shuttle is close to line
Movement is same as the previous one but only difference is the lunging technique.
Instead of lunging with your non racket leg use your racket leg to reach the shuttle after making split step.
Look the picture below for more clarification
Keep the shot loose
There is no need to add force to your defensive shot as the smash itself is having enough force and adding extra power in your defensive strokes can led to poor shot quality giving your opponent opportunity to smash.
So always try to make defense with low hands to make the shuttle go more closer to net, but always keep in mind the speed of smash , because accordingly you have adjust power in your contact point with the shuttle.
Now the final phase :- Recovery
After defending the smash get into the ready position and be prepared for the next shot.
One pro tip for smash defense
Sometime you might be in a situation where your lift is much shorter so here instead of being ready for both side try to anticipate your opponent smash and who knows your anticipation might prove right
Your racket should be no higher than the net, and but above your waist, because in singles most of time players hit a sharp smash instead of long smashes so by keeping your racket low can be prove helpful in returning those low steep smashes.
Their are so many things you can do wrong check this article for common mistakes done by beginner
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Thank you for reading…….