STEP 3: OVERHEAD STROKES
The overhead is the most important stroke in badminton. All the fur basic shots in badminton may be delivered from the forehand or backhand sides and with an overhand action: the clear, the smash, the drop shot, and the drive. You can use both forehand and backhand to move your opponent around the court.
The forehand is played with a full, throwing motion from the back half of your court. The backhand is played with a full, upward extension of your dominant arm from the backhand corner of your court and is a mirror image of the forehand stoke. If you showed a film of your forehand overhead in reverse, you would see a replica of your backhand. The extension of your arm at the elbow and vigorous forearm rotation provide most of the power for your overhead stroke. Forearm pronation occurs on your forehand stoke, and forearm supination occurs on your backhand stroke. Anatomically, your forearm works or rotates only in these two ways. Some coach will say "wrist snap" is occurs very little, if at all. For myself, I tell my player to use that wrist with the arm rotation. The proper technique should allows your wrist to uncock naturally, with the racket following through in the direction of your return.
Why Is the Forehand Overhead Stroke Important?
Well, without a good forehand overhead stroke there's no game. All your shot will come from a good overhead stroke: Clears, Smashes, Drops, and Drives. Overhead stroke may employ as an offensive or a defensive shot to move your opponent into his/her backcourt, up to the net, or to the side. A good overhead stroke from backcourt should attempt to make all the shots look like the same. Then you keep your opponent guessing the whole time what kinda shot you're going to make. If you disguise your shots well enough, the shuttle may not be returned at all. The difference between the various shots lies in the point of contact between the shuttle and your racket. Thus, the angle at which the shuttle leaves the racquet and the speed of your racquet at contact determine the speed of the returning shuttle.
How to Execute the Forehand Overhead Stroke
Gripping your racquets correctly is very important for a good solid forehand overhead stoke. The forehand oerhead stroking motion is similar to throwing a ball. The mechanics are almost identical. A god performance of this throwing motion is defined as the properly timed coordination of accelerations and decelerations of all body segments that produces maximum absolute velocity to your dominant hand and in turn to your racquet.
As the shuttle is hit upward, turn your body so your feet are perpendicular to the net. Point your nondominant shoulder toward the net and shift your weight to your rear foot. Some coach will ask you to point your nondominant forefinger at the shuttle, that's simply just raising your nondominant arm up to keep yourself in balance, that will also help you keep your concentration on the shuttle. Make sure you are slightly behind the dropping shuttle. This is your hitting stance.
As you move to the oncoming shuttle, raise your racket arm, cock your wrist, and pint your racket slightly upward as your shoulders turn into your hitting position. When you make your stroke, your forward swing begins with a drive off your rear lg, followed by hip and shoulder rotaqtion. Extend your nonracket arm in front of your body for balance and assistance in rotating your upper body. The racket head drops down behind your head into a backscratch position. Your dominant arm extends upward led by your elbow and vigorous rotation of your forearm and wrist. Throw your racket up to meet the shuttle with the edge of the racket leading. However, the rapid pronation of your forearm causes the racket face to rotate until it is almost flat at contact. The angle of the racket face determines the direction of the shuttle. At contact, the rapid rotation of your forearm has provided most of the power, with your wrist uncocking so your arm is fully extended. Contact the shuttle at the highest possible point and in front of the body. It's offen describe by coaches "to contact at 85 degrees to the floor."
Your hand and wrist allow the racket to follow through naturally. Your racket travels through the contact area and then downward in line with the flight of the shuttle. Your rear foot swings forward in a scissors action continuing your weight transfer and possibly providing momentum for additional height and power.
Why Is the Backhand Overhead Stroke Important?
The backhand stroke allows you to return your opponent's shots from your backhand side even when they are completely behind you. Without it, you'll find your opponent keep hitting to your backhand side resulting a point.
How to Execute the Backhand Overhead Stroke?
The backhand overhead motion can be compared to popping a towel at the ceiling. As the shuttle is hit upward to your backhand, pivot and turn your body so your back is toward the net. Reach with your dominant foot toward the backhand corner untill you are slightly behind the dropping shuttle. Shift your weight to that rear foot. This is your hitting stance.
The backhand grip is simply slightly ease off the pressure on the grip, then rotate just a little so you can raice your thumb to support your racquet by line up your thumb to the centerline of your racket face. And this grip is important because it allows greater wrist action on a backhand stroke. It permits the face of your racket to dirrect the shuttle into your opponent's court even when your back is to the net and the shuttle is significantly hehind or to the side of you.
As you move to the oncoming shuttle, raise your racket arm, cock your wrist, and point your racket slightly upward as your shoulders turn into the hitting position. The upward swing begins with a drive off your rear leg, followed by hip and shoulder rotation. Lift your arm from the shoulder with the forearm paralel to the floor and the racket head pointed downward. Extend your dominant arm upward, led by your elbow, and vigorously rotate your forearm and wrist. Throw up your racket to meet the shuttle with the racket edge leading. The racket face angel determines the direction of the bird. At contact, your wrist should be snaping "SIDE WAY", not fliping it up and down. If you have the right grip, you'll find your racket face perpendicular to the side of your arm when you hit, so by snapping your wrist sideway you're giving more power to the contacting point. Again, DON"T FLIP YOUR WRIST. Follow through naturally, with your racquet traveling in line with your shuttle path, and finishing the weight transfer by moving your back feet toward the center of the court.
Errors are apparent at all levels of badminton competition. Even world-class competitors often demonstrate poor technique and improper stroke production. Correct stroke production is a result of proper practice and will provide more success on the court. And isn't that what sports are all about?? =>
Some Erros and Corrections
1. Your overhead lacks power.
Correction: Increase your racket speed at the top of your swing. Shift your weight foward as you swing. Use the correct grip and attempt to develop more forearm strength.
2. You lack arm extension.
Correction: Many beginners fail to extend their arms completely when throwing the racket upward to hit an overhead stroke. Throw your racket upward as if attempting to scrape the ceiling. Do not "SHORT ARM" your forehand or backhand overhead stroke.
3. Your contact point is inconsistent.
Correction: Another common problem, failing to contact the shuttle over your racket shoulder. Instead, the shuttle is hit off to your side or behind your body. Move quickly to get behind the shuttle and keep your racket up. This problem is generally corrected by concentrating and hustling to get into position.
4. You have no deception.
Correction: ROTATE YOUR BODY, use every part of your body to provide power for your swings.
5. You have an incorrect backhand grip.
Correction: It's hard for me to explain in text, ask your coach to correct your grip. Check out the pictures, videos, I provided here.
Wall Rally Drill Practice your forehand or backhand overhead stroke by rallying with yourself against a high, flat wall. Emphasize a high, deep return similar to the clear to have enough time to prepare before each hit. Try to hit as straight as possible. 5 min. on the forehand side, and 5 min. on the backhand side.
Shuttle Clears Get a partner and clear back and forward from a big step in from the end line. Hit as straight as possible.