In badminton, there are offense, defense, and deadlock plays. The purpose of badminton defense is not to let the opponent score in a rally. The correct defensive tactics are not just knowing to defend and not attacking.
If a player is kept on playing defensively, then it is considered a negative defense. The principle of defensive tactics should be active defense. A player should find the opportunity to counterattack while defending.
Therefore, when you use defensive tactics, you are adjusting your tactics in your passive situation. The purpose of defensive is to eliminate the disadvantages of the opponent’s offense, to regain the lost initiative, and thus to carry out organized and purposeful tactics.
We must have good defensive ability when using defensive tactics. The abilities include tactics and footwork, and at the same time achieving a counter-attack in defend. What we need to remember is our ultimate goal of defending is to seek the opportunity to reverse the passive situation and do a counterattack.
While planning for your defensive tactics, you need to have a good ability to return to the court after the high clear. You need to have a fast reaction and carry out the right footwork. If you are good at playing baseline blocking, crosscourt shot, and drive back, you can better play the counter-attack and active defensive tactics.
How Do You Block a Smash in Badminton?
Pre-judgment: When the opponent starts to swing the racket, you should have a rough pre-judgment.
By judging the standing position and movement of the opponent, you can measure what is the possibility for you to do a return shot. But you shouldn’t act too rashly, especially when you are facing opponents who are having good consistency in their motion.
Your opponents can change their playing strokes at any time to hit you when you are unprepared. This is not just about smashing, you need to pre-judge for each stroke of your opponents and come out with ideal strike back tactics.
Reaction: When the racket is in contact with the shuttle, the direction of the shuttle is roughly judged according to the holding direction of the racket frame and the sound when the racket is hitting the shuttle.
At the same time, you should carry out the corresponding footwork to return back the shuttle. Here is an extension of the pre-judgment. If you can’t determine how your opponent going to play by seeing on their racket head, you can still roughly do your judgment through the angle of the shuttle that strikes back to you.
Conditional reflex: Sometimes you will face the sudden strike of the shuttle. At this time, you can only rely on the feeling to make your swing. The feeling of making the right swing can be practiced.
Manage your own footwork well: You should always return in the right position after hitting the shuttle. Your smashing speed needs to be fast and difficult for your opponent to return. If you give your opponent more than half of the empty court, you are making suicide for yourself to get killed.
Shuttle speed: A slow and long clear shuttle will give the opponent sufficient preparation time. You should play more drive clear and mobilizing your opponent. If you can’t even stabilize your standing position, it won’t possible for you to do powerful smashing.
You need to avoid the following:
Blindy steps back: Many players like to step back when their opponents do a smash to them. If you are doing this, your hitting point is often too low and the returning quality is not high. Even if you can return the shot, you can still easily get killed by the next shot.
Return with a strong shot: It is not that you can’t return the shot vigorously. It is difficult to make a force when you are returning a shot passively. It is especially difficult for beginners to return a perfect backcourt shot. Because of this, instead of returning a low-quality high clear in midcourt, it is better for you to return a delicate net shot.
In fact, instead of discussing how to receive a smash, it is better to discuss how to prevent the opponent from smashing comfortably. After all, the offensive power of the shuttle is extremely powerful, and it is not easy to defend.
The most comfortable smash is the high clear shuttle that comes to the midcourt. So to ensure the quality of the return shuttle to get back to the opponent’s backcourt, you should not step back to the backcourt. Also, you should try to avoid using backhand most of the time.
When you are at badminton court, you should do more observation on how other people doing a powerful smash and then think about how to avoid these situations when you are playing.
Finally, since smashing is a flashy action, so the most important thing is to practice more. Amateur players do not have to pay too much attention to routines when playing badminton. What is more important is the feeling.
10 Defending Skills That Worth Learning
In doubles, the common problem for amateur players is that when they are receiving the smash at the rear court, they tend to get smashed or scared by the opponent. Most of the players cannot receive the smash cleverly. Also, they do not know how to make a counterattack.
A good defense is not just about defending, but also about having a tactic to do a counterattack. This way, even if you are in a defensive play, you will be aggressive, and the thinking in your head to get out of the defense will be very clear.
The most important point is that when you stop the opponent to score, the opponent will gradually lose their fighting spirit. And you will become more and more confident!
As long as you master the defending skill very well in the training, in addition to the tacit cooperation with your teammates, it is rather easy for you to win the game.
So what should we do when facing fierce attacking from the opponent?
1. Overcome your negative mindset
Be confident for yourself. Don’t run off the court every time you see your opponent make a smash. That can be very awkward.
2. Actively receive the shot
You are not going to be a human shield to let your opponent smash the shuttle on your body. You are consciousness and mentally prepare to receive the shot. You should have a very firm belief that you are invincible and you are not afraid of any attack. You can then return the shot back to your opponent’s court.
3. Receiving shot in a ready posture
Try to choose the position of the middle or backcourt. This can extend the flight distance of the shot from the opponent, and you can have more reaction time.
At the same time, lower your pivot to ease your body to move to the sides. Place the racket in front of your body, and the eyes need to be focused on your opponent’s racket. Judge the swing direction and the touch of the racket to gauge the possible shot that going to play by the opponent.
If you can do a flexible standing position with a low pivot, it will be very beneficial for you to move quickly.
4. Don’t do too much on the backswing
Since receiving smash from the opponent does not require too much power, so you should use very little power on a circular backswing. You can then adjust the forehand and backhand grips according to the shot coming from the opponent. The arm is almost directly extended to hit the shuttle. The backswing not only needs to be fast but also is good in controlling the stability of the return shot.
If the action of the backswing is too much, the speed of the swing can’t keep up with the speed of your opponent’s stroke. This may cause you to miss the shuttle and losing point.
5. Backhand grip
First, the backhand grip has a large area to take care of. It can take care of the entire backhand area to the area of twenty-thirty centimeters outside the forehand area.
Second, because the backhand grip is more powerful than the forehand grip.
The trick is to hit the shuttle in front of your body, mainly from the wrists and fingers. At the same time, your leg should be in front with the hand you grip the racket. This can provide you with more space for lifting and you can be more focus on your backhand stroke.
6. Receive smash with a powerful shot
You can do a powerful forehand or backhand swings to smash the shuttle or hit the shuttle back to the opponent’s backcourt.
Its characteristics are the more power the opponent smash, the faster the counterattack will return. And the return shot is mainly in the opponent’s backcourt.
The inadequacy of this stroke is you will give your opponent with high clear. This will not reverse the passive defending situation.
- The defensive play needs to be very stable, but at the same time need to get ready at any time. Because there is still a drop shot you need to play.
- Keep the elasticity and flexibility of your foot. When hitting the shuttle, you should stabilize your pivot before making the shot.
- Place your racket close to your abdomen. Prepare for the defense with a backhand shot. Try not to turn around on both sides at half court.
- The racket head needs to place upward and swing horizontally. Don’t be afraid that the shuttle cannot cross the net.
- The wrist is responsible for backswing, and the arm is responsible for taking the shot. Get the rhythm and make the shot, and you shouldn’t worry too much about your shot.
- The upper body is pressed down to the front, ready to do a counterattack at any time. Don’t make your waist to be too straight.
7. Block the return shot
Don’t make any force on forehand and backhand. By controlling own racket frame, use the power of the opponent to return the shot, the shuttle will be blocked back to the opponent’s court. It is best if you can block back to the empty zone where your opponent can’t receive the shot.
It has the characteristics of shifting from defense to attack, which is better than the first technique. But if the opponent is doing net play, you need to pay more attention to the curve and the drop point.
Blocking the net is to use the racket to directly block and return the shuttle. This stroke is mainly used when facing a strong shot from the opponent. The speed tends to be very fast and the angle is large. The time left for the defensive side to react is very short. At this time, blocking the net is the best way to return the shot.
Use the power of the return shuttle to bounce back. If you block the net fast, you can quickly turn to play offensively.
Note to blocking the net: You need to keep on changing the course. You can do straight smash, return the shuttle diagonally, smash on the diagonal shuttle, block the straight shot, and etc. In this way, it is possible to increase the difficulty of the opponent’s returning shot. By doing so, you can turn to play passively to active.
8. Strengthen foot training
The function of leapfrog exercises enhances the strength of the thighs. It is preferable for you to do in a small number with many sets. This can effectively enhance the explosive power.
9. Strengthen wrist training
The easiest and most practical way to do wrist exercise is to use a badminton racket to make a splay or use a Coke bottle to do the strength training of the wrist.
10. Strengthen practical training
Find a good partner, the trainer does smash with multiple shuttles, and the practitioners do the receiving shot exercises to train the reaction speed and judgment ability.
All in all, to improve the ability to catch the shuttle and the speed of response, you need to practice more on the badminton court based on the above basic points and methods.
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Only in repeated practice can we find out the feeling of catching the shuttle and improve the reaction speed.
Receiving Smash in Badminton is not too hard as you think
No matter what kind of smashing techniques, they are all emphasizing on quick respond, good judgment, move quickly, well control of the racket frame, and control the strength.
The pivot needs to be low with proper standing position. I believe that by doing this, you will be able to defend your opponent’s smash and turn to offensive and give your opponent a killing shot.
Doubles Defensive Position
When you lift the shuttle to the opponent’s court, you and your companion should have a tacit defense: the player one who defends the opponent’s straight shot should be ready close to the edge of his court, and the player two who defends the opponent’s slash shot should be ready close to the middle court.
The player two need to get closer to the front of the net because the slash shot has a long distance and he will have enough time to react.
For example, when the shuttle was hit to the back of the opponent’s head, the defender in the right court is near the right side of the court, while the left defensive player approaches the middle to reduce the gap between the two players. The line between the offensive point and the two sides of the defensive side is roughly connected to form an isosceles triangle.
When you lift a high clear in front of the net, remember to go straight back! Because your companion can clearly see your actions in the back. When you step back, your companion is less threatened and he will have enough time to run the slash.
When your companion plays a straight high clear in the backcourt, you need to slash back!
For example, a companion playing a straight high clear on the top of the head, you should slash back to the right side of the court, and let the companion defend the left court. This is because you can’t see the action of the companion in front.
When you realize that the companion is returned with a high clear, the opponent may be ready to smash. If you recede in a straight line, it is not only easy to collide with the companion station, but the position of the slash will form a gap. Even if the players in the backcourt make up the position in time, the defense will become more difficult.
In the court, the defensive formation between you and your companion should be close to the court where the shuttle is located. The distance between the two is guaranteed and the focus is on the area between the two.
When the shuttle hits the corner of the opponent’s backcourt, the thing that we need to aware is the player who defends the straight line need to stand close to the sideline, and the player who defends the slash shot need to get close to the center court and stands a little ahead.
This is the basic formation that I have repeatedly emphasized, even for beginners, they also need to practice in forming such defending position.
You may have the question on such doubles standing position. When you and your companions are moving to the side where the shuttle come from, then what to do with the opponent’s slash attack, since the position of the big slash seems to have a neutral.
Let’s analyze this. When you lift the ball to the corner, the opponent must make the shot to the slash court and must pass through the middle court. That is, for most of the angles, the player who is close to the middle court can take care of.
If the opponent wants to make a shot to the position that seems to be neutral. The angle of the offensive line is very large, and it is played outside the sideline of the court. The distance after crossing the net is short, usually, the power is not strong.
When attacking in this position, the offensive player must take into account on how to do a continuity attack when the opponent returns the straight shot.
Defensive Action Analysis and Benefits
1. Open your feet and bend your knees slightly. You can maintain a low pivot and help you to react quickly.
2. The right foot is slightly forward, slightly ahead of the left foot. This allows the right hip to be in front, which helps to hit the shuttle from the left or front left.
3. The hip is pushed back and the upper body leans forward. This can increase the space for defensive backswing and swing.
4. Keep your hands open and balanced, hold the backhand grip, and place the racket face in front of the navel. When defending, the range, angle, and space of the backhand grip can be maximized.
5. When receiving the shot from the opponent, assume that the attacking player (a) is ready to make the shot in the backcourt (see the station map below), then the defender (A) should stand in the base area and prepare for the defensive posture.
And the defender should be close to the singles boundary area in order to return the fastest straight line shot from the opponent. (The advantage of being close to the singles line is that if the attacker wants to make a shot to a side, the relative chance of mistakes will increase.) At this point, the defender (A) only needs to prepare to defend at the straight line area.
Middle and slash court defense
The defender (B) who is close to the midline near the even area need to defend the middle and slash court. The defender (B) is having a big responsibility as he has to pay attention to the other side of the attack.
Followed by the slash, as mentioned above, in terms of speed, the speed of the middle and slashes is the second fastest and the third fastest, so the defender (B), proportionally, should pay attention to 60% in the middle, 30% in the slash, and 10% in the remaining.
It’s rumored that the shuttle fall in the middle of the doubles defense should be returned by forehand player. After reading this, you will know that the shuttle fall in the middle is going to defend by the diagonal companion.
Doubles is a matter of two players. Only two people understand the concept of standing and work together closely so that they can achieve the effect of 1+1 is greater than 2.
If you don’t know how to attack, how can you know how to defend?
For amateurs who often play badminton like me, although the skill cannot compete with professional players, the general course of playing, whether it is offensive or defensive, I can still be able to handle very well!
Here, I want to share the truth with the beginners who want to play well in badminton and also those who want to improve their playing techniques.
All I can say is, for playing badminton, if you don’t know how to attack, you won’t master the defensive skills!
Your skills, speed, and consciousness, all need long-term practicing and training. But the badminton theory will guide you in the right direction so that you don’t take a detour!
Why you can’t master the essence of badminton defense if you don’t know how to offend? The reason is simple.
I seldom attack when I first learned badminton. I was always defensive in the badminton court and get mobilized by experienced players!
Slowly, I feel that my defense is very good. I can always receive the opponent’s return. In fact, this is just an illusion!
Most of the time I can receive very well the return shot from the opponent. Just like when the opponent lift a shuttle at the front net, I will run fast forward from the midcourt to catch the shuttle.
When the opponent hits a high clear to the backcourt, I quickly ran from the frontcourt to the backcourt to return the shot. The opponent hit another backhand smash, I can still receive the shot by running from the midcourt to the left court. If the opponent does a forehand smash, I can also receive the shot by running from the left court to the right court.
I feel like my defense is simply “invincible”! But when you are playing defense by running back and forth throughout the game, even you can defend most of the shots from the opponent, if you missed one of the shots, you will lose the rally.
Therefore, this invincible defensive is just an illusion. The opponent just deliberately saves physical strength and let you run all over the court to do your defense. This can consume your physical strength very fast!
When your physical strength declines, it is the time for your opponent to start carrying out the ‘real’ attack. By then, I believe you will no longer be able to defend your opponent’s return anymore.
Why are you always mobilized by the opponent to run the defense?
Because you don’t take the initiative to attack. So even you are good in defending, you will still end up losing in the game. To change the situation, you need to take the initiative to attack. Only when you start the attack, you can understand how to do a better defense. You will know how to turn from passive defense into active offense!
Remember, defense is always passive, and the offense is the initiative!
An offense is the best defense. If you don’t know how to attack or don’t dare to attack, you will never defend well!