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Relaxing the grip
May 20, 2015
6:54 am
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RogerTremain
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Can anyone help, I have played tennis for more than 50 years, and Badminton only for 18 months. One of my biggest problems is having too strong a grip whilst playing. I try and relax the grip but force of habit in my brain says the stronger I hold it the harder I hit. I know it isnt true, as sometimes I can hit only holding with three fingers and the sound and speed is a lot better. Someone suggested that I spin the racket before hitting, has anyone any other suggestions.

May 22, 2015
2:13 pm
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Matthew Seeley
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Hi Roger,

I used to struggle in the same way – I would get really tense and then not be able to play my shots effectively.

Something I have done a lot of recently, which has really helped me, is to do lots of practice swings with a racket head cover on – this creates lots of wind resistance. Try this: put the racket head cover on and raise your arm high above your head and now pretend to hit clears using only your wrist. Let the racket flop backwards and forwards and try to be explosive about it – really get that racket moving quickly even though you have lots of wind resistance (the more resistance you have the more it means you are hitting the shuttle without slice, which is good). What you will find, if you try to do this 20 times just using your wrist (leave your arm up in the air and don’t move it much) is that its really hard work, and more or less impossible to do without being completely relaxed. Remember: focus on that last part (forearm, wrist and fingers).

Then take the cover off and repeat a few swings – the racket should feel as light as a feather, and you should remain relaxed. Now go on court and hit some shuttles, but just use the wrist power you just unlocked. You will find that you need hardly any power to play your shots – just relax as you did in practice. You will soon get the hang of it.

Good luck!

May 24, 2015
9:48 am
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RogerTremain
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Thank you Matt, what you have said is about the clear, where I am more relaxed with my grip, I think because I have time to prepare and think about relaxing it. I have more problems near to the net, where I am too tense, when I am relaxed, it seems so easy but getting there is not every shot.
Roger

May 24, 2015
6:58 pm
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Matthew Seeley
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RogerTremain said

Thank you Matt, what you have said is about the clear, where I am more relaxed with my grip, I think because I have time to prepare and think about relaxing it. I have more problems near to the net, where I am too tense, when I am relaxed, it seems so easy but getting there is not every shot.
Roger

Hi Roger,

What I have said relates to all overhead shots, but particularly the clear and smash.

So my obvious question is – if you want “more power” for shots, but we are talking about non power shots, why do you feel you need “more power”? You want to be able to “hit harder” but near the net is a position where you do not need any power at all. Here are my thoughts:
1. You are hitting net shots – this is something you need to learn. Practice with a very relaxed grip and you will realise how much better your shots become with a relaxed grip.
2. You are hitting lifts from the front of the court – this is perhaps where some power is needed, but really its all about timing. Doing a similar exercise with the racket head cover but practising lifts will help you to loosen up for these shots.
3. You are hitting intercepts as the front court player – again – you are near the net so you DO NOT need power. However, most men like to try and hit the shuttle hard at the net. If this is you, practice with the racket head cover but with intercept motions – short and sharp that do not utilise the arm.

Im going to be honest – if you grip hard for power (as you suggested), but the problem is not at the back of the court, then I am a little baffled! Perhaps you need to realise that you do not need to hit with power, and thus you can relax a little bit 🙂

Good luck to you!

Matt

May 25, 2015
6:33 am
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RogerTremain
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Thanks for your comments, I am not gripping hard for power, but out of habit from tennis. That is what I am trying to stop doing as I agree with you totally that relaxing is the way to go for all badminton shots. I am doing it from time to time and I notice the difference. I just want to relax more. Thanks for you advice about using the racket cover on the racket. All I want to do is to relax my grip, slowly it is coming but not fast enough for me
RogerT

May 25, 2015
8:33 am
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Matthew Seeley
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RogerTremain said

Thanks for your comments, I am not gripping hard for power, but out of habit from tennis. That is what I am trying to stop doing as I agree with you totally that relaxing is the way to go for all badminton shots. I am doing it from time to time and I notice the difference. I just want to relax more. Thanks for you advice about using the racket cover on the racket. All I want to do is to relax my grip, slowly it is coming but not fast enough for me
RogerT

I see! I understand – I was simply confused by your reference to hard hitting in your first post.

Well good luck to you! Personally speaking, I learnt to relax my grip because of the necessity of a relaxed grip when defending, and I hold my defensive stance most of the time anyway as my “ready” stance in between shots.

May 25, 2015
3:31 pm
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Roger
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Hi Roger
Good to have a namesake on the forum.
Another reason to have a relaxed grip is so that you can change grips quickly and smoothly.
I had the same problem as you and then watched Paul’s grip changing video on YouTube.
Have a look at it, I’m sure it will help.
Let us all know how you get on.

Roger

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