How can you smash faster?
What changes do you think you need to make?

Every player would like to win more quick and easy points by using a fast and accurate smash, but what can you do to make that happen? 

Lots of players may think about the string tension, the racket balance, the 'snapping' of the wrist, a higher contact point and ensuring you follow-through, but not a lot of the resources online are evidence-based or have grounding in good science. Here are some questions you may ask?

  1. Where should I be positioned prior to performing the smash stroke?

  2. How should I position my trunk - side-on or square?

  3. What orientation should my racket-arm be in?

Is this optimal technique? What would you change?

Luckily, more and more research is being conducted on the badminton smash, and researchers at Loughborough University and other institutions around the world have identified critical technical factors that distinguish between those who can smash fast and those cannot. Recently, it was found that motions of the trunk and shoulder were critical in determining smash speed [1].

The next stage of research should aim to perform intervention studies so that new strategies can be developed for coaches to use with their players to increase smash speed, which has been found to increase linearly with level [2]. Another important question maybe to understand what factors determine an effective smash - is it primarily smash speed? How much impact does smash placement, angle and accuracy have? And finally, what are the injury risks associated with the smash?

To find out more about what research has shown please use the links below.

References:

[1] King, M., Towler, H., Dillon, R., & McErlain-Naylor, S. (2020). A correlational analysis of shuttlecock speed kinematic determinants in the badminton jump smash. Applied Sciences, 10(4), 1248. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10041248.

[2] Phomsoupha, M., Laffaye, G. (2014). Shuttlecock velocity during a smash stroke in badminton evolves linearly with skill level. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, 17 (Suppl. 1), 140-141.

 

Performance and Injury preventions in other Sports.
What could we learn and transfer to Badminton?