Overhead Form

Overhead form is important to get right because it will give you better power, save your rotator cuff muscles from unnecessary wear and tear and because it’s used for so many hits: clear, drop and smash.

Here are general instructions for a right handed player:

  1. Stand with your left side facing the net and your weight on your right foot. Both arms are up, elbows slightly bent with your right hand about head height and your left hand slightly higher.
  2. Shift your weight forward onto your left foot and lift your right heel as you rotate your hips so they’re facing the net. Drop your racket head back behind your back (elbow up!) so your strings are perpendicular to the net.
  3. Swing your racket forward and snap your wrist. Your wrist will flex forward, but you are also pronating in your forearm (rotating it inward about 90 degrees) so your string are parallel with the net by the time you make contact with the shuttle. Follow the swing through just outside your left leg.

The same form is used for the clear, drop and smash. When you clear, you will hit the shuttle behind you with your strings facing slightly up. When you drop, you will hit the shuttle directly overhead, with your strings flat (perpendicular to the floor). When you smash, you will hit the shuttle early (it is slightly ahead of you) and your strings will angle down slightly.

Here’s the form broken down.

And practicing against a wall is a great way to make sure you’re using good form!

Here’s a great clear motion video from Coach Chandra.