How to improve the quality of your smash

The smash is the most direct and lethal way to gain a point when playing badminton. The smash also is a stroke that places the greatest demand in terms of physical requirement and mental precision. It is surely frustrating that, while you’ve given all your effort to ensure that you can gain that point from your smash, but in the end, the outcome is not what you expected it to be, and thus, a waste of effort. Therefore, especially for beginners, the path to improving your smash also requires you to understand what are the qualities there are about a smash and then learn to master these qualities first.
In your effort to improve the quality of smash during your practice, make sure that the quality of your smash follows the below sequence:
Validity ———-> Accuracy ————> X
1. Validity
There is no point to execute a powerful smash if the outcome is not valid i.e regularly out or stuck into the net. It would be a waste of physical and mental effort. Learn first to make sure that your smash is 100% VALID. While practicing, ensure that your smash:
– Passes over the top of the net cord 100% of the time, and,
– Lands within the court 100% of the time.
While learning and concentrating on this effort, it doesn’t matter if your smash is:
– Not steep
– Not powerful
– Land mostly in the back court
2. Accuracy
Accuracy in smashing is all about how accurate you will place the shuttlecock to the intended area while playing. It can be into an area beyond your opponents reach, to a specific area towards your opponent’s body or to a specific strategic area that will make the most difficult retrieval that will create a winning opportunity for you later.
Among all the qualities that exist when you execute a valid smash, accuracy has the most impact to the outcome in any of your smashes. Having a high accuracy in any of your valid smash is so important because:
– it can yield a higher chances of giving a winning point by itself or
– opening an opportunity for a winning point later.
The level of accuracy in any of your valid smash also will dictate the level of effectiveness of your smash. If you combine your valid and accurate smash with the other additional qualities such as power then it will be very lethal.
Effective smash = Valid + Accurate
Lethal smash = Valid + Accurate + X ( power, steepness etc)
Therefore, its very important to diligently learn how to improve accuracy in any of your valid smash. You cannot simply master how to accurately place your smash overnight so, therefore, its imperative for you to continuously train hard through numerous smashing drills if you have the opportunities. Mastering a high level of accuracy in any of your valid smash is not an easy skill to do and even world class players also practice hundreds to thousands of smashing drills to conquer that accuracy.
3. The other qualities (X)
If you are a beginner and starting to learn how to smash then ignore this this section for a while but if your smash has the decent validity and accuracy qualities, then lets move on to this section .
The end sequence to learn in regards about improving the qualities of your smash will include:
– Power
– Steepness
– Deception
Adding these qualities, whilst already able to execute a high degree of validity and accuracy in any of your smashes, will indeed make your smash a more effective one. These are the additional qualities that need to be learnt, especially if you are playing competitively in any tournament, since you need that extra flare in your smashing department in your game play.
If you have fully understood these principles, it is easier to upgrade the qualities of your smash by following this sequence. The only issue is how dedicated are you to willingly learn and practice continuously hard until you can master those qualities. The technical aspects about smashing preparation, technique of execution and footwork have been numerously discussed elsewhere in badmintoncentral/forum, and will not be explained furthermore here. This post just emphasises the aspect of what qualities there are that you need to focus while learning to improve your smash.
Good luck.