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Badminton Shots - Cross Court Slice
As an ex junior England International i was known to have a big smash, good attacking clear and a tight net shot. That was pretty much enough with a decent all round game to get me a few England caps and to play at the top Junior level.
That was until 7 years ago when i busted my shoulder good and proper! A metal plate and some screws later, along with 3 years recovery time and i quickly realised that:
A) I would have to change my game
B) I would not be able to get back to the same level i once played at - My shoulder would swell and become very painful after each training or match session and would not go down for at least 2-3 days, so i could no longer train most days.
Without my big booming smash i had to come up with other ways i could pull opponents out of position to get the weak reply to finish off, bearing in mind i was a doubles player this was no easy feat.
The first shot that became my best friend was:
- Cross court slice - Now many coaches and doubles partners alike will kill me for saying this and granted it is a risky shot (especially for your doubles partner :P) but when you are in the forehand corner, your oppositions base moves slightly over as the player opposite wants to cover the line and the opponent on the diagonal therefore moves over slightly to cover the middle therefore leaving a bigger space on the cross court net area.
The key to playing this shot is to be deceptive, it is no good if it looks like you are going to play a cross court slice as your opponent will just charge the net and leave your partner cowering on the floor with his racket covering his face. When played well it should look like you are playing a smash but at the last second you change the racket head angle, the only way to get good at this is repetition. A good exercise for this is as follows
Have a racket feeder serve high into the forehand corner varying height and distance so you do not only get used to hitting from a certain angle. You need to really think about how you are hitting the shuttle, you will find you can smash at about 70-80% power and as long as you turn the racket head enough (cut the shuttle) it will not go flying out the sides, it might to begin with but keep perservering. The other key is to look like you are going to smash down the line, everything is the same from body position to wind up, to bending the legs as your straight smash - the one difference is the angle on the racket.
What you can do is keep tweaking it, if the shuttle is not dying as it goes over the net then you have got to much racket on it and need to cut/slice even more ( you really can hit the shuttle very hard as long as you are cutting across the cork to get the shuttle dying in height and speed as it crosses the net. If the shuttle is going into the net then you need to have the point of contact higher and change the racket head angle so it is less down at point of contact. It is all trial and error and once you have got the hang of it place 3 shuttles over the net cord about 1-1.5 metres from the post so they straddle the net slightly and try to knock them off or at least hit them as the shuttle goes over.
If your opponents do get a read on this, a punch clear down the middle of the court should give you a weak reply, good peripheral vision is very helpful here as you can see if your opponent is looking like they are going to charge just before you hit the shuttle giving you time to hit the shot the same way but change the angle for a punch clear.
What you will find is the cross court drop will make your straight smash and straight punch clear much more effective, because if you only use it 3 or 4 times it is enough for your opponent to worry and to move there base to cover this shot.
I will cover another shot next week
Thanks for reading
Victor Bravesword 10 Badminton Racket Review
The Victor Bravesword 10 is the "second" racket in the Bravesword series by Victor, sitting either side of the 9 and 11.
The first impressions were great - a lovely charcoal frame with the odd flash of red and white. The Bravesword series come in a high quality full cover racket case with the rackets name on the case to differentiate between different models.
Grip size is a G3 which is the smaller of the two grip sizes on Victor rackets, it is roughly 3.5 inches or a Yonex G4, which can be a tad confusing! Weight is 86g and the racket has a maximum recommended stringing tension of 30lbs which should be more than enough for any player.
The racket is pretty well balanced with a slightly head heavy feel. Perfect combination for the big hitters who also like the increased feel of a more balanced racket around the net and in defence.
The Bravesword 10 is one of those rackets you can instantly pick up and get a good feeling about it, the type of racket where you chuckle to yourself walking on court before unleashing the hardest smash you are capable of.
The racket cuts through the air giving greater racket head speed and therefore increasing the power achievable.
Touch players should not be put off though, it is exceptionally easy to manoeuvre changing grips from forehand to backhand and gives fantastic feel around the net.
To Summarise this is one of the finest rackets we have ever played with, giving performance to men and women, power players to touch players - it offers something for everyone!
You can purchase it here Victor Bravesword 10 badminton racket