Badminton is a dynamic and fast-paced sport that demands exceptional skill, agility, and precision. One of the most exhilarating shots in the badminton repertoire is the cross-court smash, a technique that can turn the tide of a match with its power and unexpected trajectory.
And in this article, we will delve into the art of the cross-court badminton smash, exploring its mechanics, and how to perform this game-changing shot.
But before going further with the post, let me define to you what a cross-court smash shot actually is.
So let’s dive in:
What is a cross-court smash?
A cross-court smash is a powerful and aggressive shot where a player hits the shuttlecock diagonally from one side of the court to the opposite side, typically aiming to land it in the opponent’s backhand or midcourt area. This shot is often used as an offensive strategy to surprise and outmanoeuvre the opponent.
Hitting a cross-court smash is similar to a normal smash, apart from a few differences. In a normal or forward smash, the shuttle travels diagonally, whereas, in a cross-court smash, the shuttlecock needs to travel a long distance to reach the net and go over it.
It means a cross-court smash will have slightly less power than a forward smash, as it will give the opponent more time to answer the shot.
So, to make the smash more difficult for your opponent, get a good angle for your cross-court smash, and take the shuttle from the highest point possible! Or else your shot will not pass the net. If your shot is too flat, your cross-court smash will go wide.
To learn more, click on the video below:
Mechanics of the cross-court smash
While hitting a cross-court smash you need to hit the shuttle at the highest point and remember these key features:
The forehand grip is the most commonly used while hitting a cross-court smash. However, we can twist a wrist slightly over to a hammer grip. It will help you hit more cleanly and make rotating the arm to send the shuttlecock cross-court easy.
On the way to hit a cross-court smash you need to position yourself like you’re just gonna hit a forward smash, but facing the opponent’s court diagonally to your desired target. This is not a right way to perform a cross court smash, as it does not involve any deception.
But 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.
So, in order to add a little bit of deception to your shot you need to use your arm and body in a right way
To play any badminton shot footwork plays an important role. Without proper footwork, it’s impossible to play badminton well.
Check out this post to learn the fundamentals of badminton footwork if you want to enhance your footwork.
All badminton shots begin from the base position, which is the middle of the court, using the same footwork. The movement begins with a directional split-step towards the backcourt if the shuttle is in the back corner. Afterwards, take a few steps to the corner, where you should be prepared to hit the smash.
To learn more, click on the video below:
How to hit a cross court in badminton?
Here’s how a cross-court smash is typically executed in badminton:
The player needs to be in a good position to execute the smash. Usually, the player will position themselves closer to the rear of the court, a bit behind the shuttlecock, to generate more power for the shot.
Timing is crucial for a successful smash. So, the player needs to anticipate the trajectory of the shuttlecock and move into position to hit it at the optimal height.
As the shuttlecock approaches, the player should prepare for the shot by winding up their racket behind them. The non-dominant arm is extended for balance, and the dominant arm is cocked back, ready to swing.
4. Swing and contact
With a swift and forceful motion, the player swings the racket forward, making contact with the shuttlecock at the highest point possible. The goal is to hit the shuttlecock with the racket’s sweet spot to generate maximum power and accuracy.
5. Direction and angle
The player aims to hit the shuttlecock diagonally across the net, sending it to the opponent’s backhand or midcourt area. The angle of the shot makes it challenging for the opponent to react quickly and return the shuttlecock effectively.
After hitting the shot, the player’s racket should follow through across their body. This follow-through helps maintain balance and control after a powerful swing.
To understand better, click on the video below:
You might have seen some of the best badminton players in the world, like Lin Dan and Kento Momota, play the cross-court smashes very skillfully and with a little bit of trickery.
It proves that cross-court smashing is a skill that can be acquired, and with enough repetition, you can master it. But you have to work a lot, and to perfect it, you need to put in the time and practice.
Try to use the shot a few times in match settings after you are confident in hitting it in practice sessions. Your subconscious mind will eventually grasp the method, and it will come naturally to you.
And in case you face any problem or is there any question going on in your mind regarding these drills and exercises, then feel free to ask us or pin it up in the comment section below.