A smash is the main ingredient in attacking badminton. Hitting smashes with power and consistency is one of the most important skills that a player should develop to win rallies. But what if we add some flavor to our smashes?
A cross-court smash is a great variety of smashes that you can add to your arsenal of attacking shots. In this article, we will learn how to hit a cross-court smash with power and consistency.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is A Cross-Court Smash?
First of all, let’s what a cross-court smash actually is.
In badminton, a smash hit diagonally to the other side of the court is called a cross-court smash.
The technique used in hitting a cross-court smash is pretty similar to that used in hitting a normal smash apart from a few differences.
A normal smash or forward smash travels straight to the opposite court, whereas the cross-court smash travels diagonally. Hence, for a cross-court smash, the shuttlecock needs to travel a longer distance to reach the net and go over it.
That means, compared to the forward smash, the power behind a cross-court smash will be a little less. The opponent will have a bit more time to react to the shot.
So, in order to make the cross-court smash difficult for the opponent, you need to add a slight deception to this shot. Also, try to hit the shuttle at the highest point possible so that it will travel at a steeper angle.
If you know how to hit the jump smash, that will help. Jumping before hitting the smash will help you to hit the shuttle at the highest point.
If you don’t hit the shuttlecock from a high point, chances are the shuttle will hit the net, and you’ll lose the point. So it is really important to come to the right position, behind the shuttlecock, and hit the shuttle at the highest point at a steeper angle with a little bit of deception.
The grip used for cross-court smash is the general forehand grip. However, we can twist the wrist just a little bit over to the hammer grip. This is because, with this grip, we can hit more cleanly, and it is easy for us to rotate the arm to send it cross-court.
If you don’t know about the various grips used in badminton, check out this article to learn the fundamentals of grips.
One way to hit the cross-court smash is to position yourself just like you’re gonna hit a forward smash, but facing the opponent’s court diagonally to your desired target. This is not the right way to do a cross-court smash as it doesn’t involve any deception.
When you turn towards the opposite side, the opponent will know that a cross-court smash is coming and he/she will be prepared for that.
In order to add a little bit of deception, you need to use your arms and upper body in the right way. You need to be in a position so that your side is facing the net. This will help to rotate your body with the full amount of power when jumping and hitting the smash. That will generate more power for the shot.
When you do a scissor jump before the smash, you need to turn your upper body or the hip first, then the elbow, followed by the swing of the arms by rotating your forearm.
You can make it look like you’re going to hit a forward smash straight to the opposite court. The forearm rotation is the key to this deception. You need to rotate the forearm a bit more to push the shuttle cross-court.
If you make this late forearm rotation, the opponent will find it difficult to pick your cross-court smash. At the moment of contact, you can tighten the grip to give more power to the shot.
The right footwork is key to this shot as it is with any other shots in badminton. You can’t play badminton well without making your footwork right. If you want to improve your footwork, check out this article which will teach you the basics of badminton footwork.
The footwork for all shots in badminton starts from the base position, which is the center of your court. If the shuttle is at the back corner, the movement starts with a directional split-step towards the backcourt. Then, you need to make a few steps to the corner and be ready for hitting the smash.
You’ll deeply understand the technique of hitting a cross-court smash if you watch all the required steps in a video format. Check out the following video and learn the technique.
This is by far the best video I could find online on teaching the cross-court smash. But it needs a lot of practice to execute the shot correctly. So make sure you understood the technique and try to practice it as many times as you can. You will be able to master this shot easily.
Cross-court smash is learnable, and you can definitely make it work if you can practice it many times. We can see that the top players in international badminton like Lin Dan and Kento Momota play the cross-court smashes very accurately and with a bit of deception as well.
But what we don’t see is the amount of practice that they’ve done to make the shot perfect. It takes time and practice to make it perfect. Once you are comfortable with hitting the shot in practice sessions, try to implement the shot a few times in match situations. Gradually, your subconscious mind will master the technique, and it will be second nature to you.
So learn and practice. Hopefully, you’ll become a great exponent of cross-court smash in the near future.
I hope this article was helpful to you in learning some new things related to badminton. If it was helpful, do share this article so that others can also find it.
Thanks for reading. Enjoy badminton!