Defending against a smash that is really high

by Gabz


Question: How do I return a smash that is really high?

Hi Gabz, thanks for your question.

I assume you mean a smash that travels high across the net and is aimed to hit the baseline area.

Let’s just call it the badminton baseline smash. These smashes generally travel very high and lands at the baseline.

Learn to Judge: Baseline Smashes Have a High Chance to Fly Pass the Baseline

When it comes to defending, it’s not just trying to retrieve it. You can win a point through good judgement.

Note that there’s a chance that baseline smashes can send the shuttle OUTSIDE the court (fly pass the baseline)

Therefore, learn to judge whether the baseline smash is going to go out. If you think it’s flying out, dodge it!

How to Defend High Smashes

You can return the smash with a badminton drive.

If your opponent hits a baseline smash, you can drive the shuttle back, he’ll have too little time to respond. Consider that a player needs time to regain balance after hitting a strong smash.

In order to defend a baseline smash, you should have a solid badminton defense. Click here to see the step by step tutorial for badminton defense.

Important-to-Know Info About Smashes to the Baseline

Against Tall Players
The baseline smash is very effective against tall people. This is because if the smash is aimed at a tall player’s body, the shuttle will be coming towards the player’s throat/chest area.

A tall player will find it hard to position the racket to that area of the body quickly and execute a swing. This makes it harder to defend.

Against Shorter Players
For shorter players, it’s fairly easy for them to squat down. They can execute an overhead stroke to retrieve the baseline smash.

You can squat/bend down to hit an overhead stroke. Or shift your body to hit an underarm stroke.

Using the underarm stroke to retrieve the baseline smash is very difficult. It may not be the best as well.

If you’re forced to use an underarm stroke, practice returning the shuttle so that it flies RIGHT ABOVE the net.

Important Points

The baseline smash is a difficult skill to execute. It’s no doubt effective especially against tall players.

However, remember it’s also risky in the sense that your opponent might hit the shuttle pass the baseline. You get better at judging this through experience.

Lastly, having a solid badminton defense helps you defend these smashes. Learn from the tutorial for defending smashes.

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