All original content copyright © Mike Hopley
This guide will teach you how to play forehand clears and smashes.
We’ll concentrate on how you can generate more power, so that clears reach the back and smashes are more threatening.
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The techniques explained in this article are mainly about helping you generate more power when you play a clear or smash.
Top players can hit the shuttle extremely hard: the fastest recorded smash is 421 kph (262 mph). Generating this much power requires excellent technique.
At a more basic level, many club players struggle to hit clears all the way to the back. Because their technique is poor, clearing the shuttle requires a lot of energy, and they soon become tired.
Some badminton players think that developing big muscles is the way to improve their power.
It’s true that fitness training will help, but the main issue is technique. No matter how big your muscles are, you will have a weak smash unless your technique is right.
There’s not much difference in technique between a clear and a smash. In both cases, the challenge is getting enough power.
The main technical difference is the contact point. Clears are hit with the shuttle directly above the right shoulder, whereas the contact point for smashes is slightly out in front of the body. This difference occurs because clears are hit in an upwards direction, whereas smashes are hit downwards.
For this reason, getting behind the shuttle is especially important if you want to play a good smash.