Smashes are one of the most fundamental aggressive strokes in badminton. Put simply, you must be good at smashing to finish the rally and win a point. Some people argue that a rock solid defense is as good as an effective offense. But a player must be able to smash properly if not very hard.
Just like any other stroke which a player hits from the base line smash can also be played at different corners of the court. A player can either hit a straight smash or a cross-court smash. Most players prefer hitting straight smashes as the time required by the shuttle to reach the floor is minimum. Hitting a cross-court smash requires more strength and it also takes more time to reach the floor which thereby gives your opponent to receive it.
A player can hit two types of smashes for both straight and cross-court. A smash can either be a full-fledged smash or a half-smash. Now we cannot call half-smash as half-hearted stroke. Half smashes are very effective to catch your opponent by surprise and make him return a weak stroke.
A straight full-fledged smash, as we all know, it to use all the strength in us and hit the shuttle with maximum force so that it reaches the ground before your opponent receives it. But sometimes in trying to hit the shuttle very hard we put in extra force than needed which will take the shuttle parallel to the ground and lead it outside the court. We have to avoid it at all cost. There is a slight change in your grip which if done will guarantee that your stroke will fall within the court. While smashing, just slide your palm to the end of the racket holder. You must be still holding it with your complete palm but not like you hold your racket normally. This will give the racket greater length and also greater feedback effect. This is what the flexibility of the racket is. You will realize that your smashes are going deep and also faster. Moreover, you will not make any unforced errors.
Now for the half smash part. Half smashes are are another name for very fast drops. You hit these strokes just like drop shots but with some efforts and force. These smashes decline quikly unlike the usual smashes which give your opponent some time to return them. Using half smashes at the proper time can be devastating for your opponent. You can win a point outrightly or at least a weak stroke returned which can then be killed and scored.
These two smashes can be made more effective by combining a jump which gives the player greater height. But lets keep those smashes for some other post. Until then enjoy hitting smashes with changed grip and see the results.!