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Flawed technique and/or cold hall?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by rulebavaria, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    Hi there,

    I'm new to this forum and to badminton. I have only been playing for a few months so I'm definitely a beginner.
    I have quite some experience from tennis and ping pong which I both used to play at club level. I guess it's kind of useful at first (especially in terms of power) even if the techniques and grips are very different in Badminton.

    My main problem right now and the reason I have started this topic is the speed of the shuttle at the hall I'm playing at. It's quite cold right now in Germany and I would estimate the temperature ofour hall to be around 10-12 degrees celsius so my training partner and I have recently switched to fast shuttles (Red Yonex Mavis 2000).

    However we are both unable to hit a baseline to baseline clear. The shuttle falls short about one meter every single time and it's quite unnerving. We are aware that our technique is most likely not perfect but it's still very annoying for two >1m90 >85kg guys with a tennis background not to be able to hit baseline to baseline shots. It also disturbs the flow of the game and makes it less interesting.

    What would you guys suggest?
     
  2. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Improve the technique :) It's not a shuttle problem.

    Tennis players in particular have problems clearing to baseline. Badminton coaches in HK always dread coaching kids who come from a tennis background. It's far easier to switch from badminton to tennis than tennis to badminton.
     
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  3. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    Thanks for the quick answer.

    Is it possible to improve the technique only by reading/watching videos/playing or is it necessary to get a coach who will correct the mistakes?
     
  4. Charlie-SWUK

    Charlie-SWUK Regular Member

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    It’ll be technique, especially if you’re off by that much.

    Do both, watch some videos, give it a try. Ask more experienced players for help too, and if you still can’t get there go to a coach. Doing these things incrementally is usually a good idea if you’re just having fun.

    Check my post about professional secrets stickied in this board, it has some good links for you.
     
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  5. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    You could be able to perfectly imagine the correct overhead stroke and still not manage to move your body anything close enough to resemble it.

    Therefore, if you don't want to/can't get a coach, I highly advise you to video yourself (and your training partner) trying some back to back clears.

    Upload it to YouTube, play it in slow motion. Compare it side by side to the pros. If you link it here too, we can give you some pointers on the bigger things that will make a difference.

    Don't feel bad for being 85kg 190cm+ guys who can't hit hard. I mean the world record for fastest recorded smash in competition is from a 5"8' 60kg guy...technique>raw strength.
     
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  6. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    Thanks for the advice and the insights guys.

    I will try to focus on forehand clears only during my next session. I have thought about it a bit today and I think I have problems with the follow up (both arm and leg). I will also try whipping the shuttle more. I'll let you know how it goes.

    I might also register in a small club where there is a session for beginners/hobby players once a week. A coach should be there, maybe he can help me.
     
  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    It doesn't have to be a coach. Ask a few experienced players how they manage to clear the shuttle all the way to the back of the court.
     
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  8. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    +1 on video taping yourself playing. a lot of issues will be revealed. and it is much easier these days when everyone has a video camera with them almost 24/7.
     
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  9. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Yes, but the small details are very hard to pick up. Depends on how good you want your strokes to be.
     
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  10. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    I am playing tonight and tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll even take a camera with me tomorrow, we'll see. I will try to focus on the mistakes that I think I'm aware of for my clear (leading with the elbow, body rotation, weight shifting to my left leg, follow up).

    Just one question: should I also try to do the pronation or first try to master the technique without it?
     
  11. Charlie-SWUK

    Charlie-SWUK Regular Member

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    Don’t think about it too much.
     
  12. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    By the way, how are professional players able to hit baseline to basline clears while out of balance and without body rotation and proper follow through?
     
  13. Charlie-SWUK

    Charlie-SWUK Regular Member

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    They can use those muscles without turning. It takes a lot of practice, start with the step through hits.
     
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  14. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    Progress report after tonight's session for those who are interested. I played 90 minutes with two friends, beginners as well. We all play just for fun but I'm the only one who is really getting addicted and wants to really improve.

    The beginning of the session was a nightmare. I tried to use the correct grip and motion for my clears (without pronation) and I kept SYSTEMATICALLY hitting the shuttle with the frame of the racket.

    I then decided to revert to my usual grip which is slightly different than the correct one (a little bit leaning towards the pan grip, not really but maybe you know what i mean). I feel like I have a better control of the shuttle with this grip and wanted to focus on the motion for the clears. It's kind of funny because my tennis coaches also tried for years to teach me the correct serve grip and I was never able to learn it, playing more effectively with my own hybrid grip.

    It got better for the rallies, the guys wanted to play for points which we did for a while but near the end of the session I practised clears again with one of them. I still have lots of difficulties which are probably related to my poor footwork. I hit the shuttle way too often off balance and so I'm not able to use the proper motion and have a good follow through. So I still kept falling short the whole time until I tried to add the arm pronation to my hits. My clears immediately improved. I still fell short but I was able to hit clears from service line to service line on a regular basis (not baseline to baseline though).

    I am probably still not doing right and haven't tried to used the pronation for my smashes yet but it feels good to be able to hit somwhat better. If we play tomorrow (my training partner hurt his shoulder today) I'll make sure to take a camera with me and film some sequences. Maybe you can point out my mistakes if I upload it?

    Thank you for your time and help. :)
     
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  15. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    Hey there, I haven't been able to play yesterday because of my friend's "injury" but I played today for a bit. I also made a video though the camera ran out of battery life when we played more seriously. I am still upload this little clip from when we were warming up, it should be more than enough to point out the many technical mistakes in my strokes and footwork. I will try to film the next game we play and upload it. I am the player in the back, I would be very grateful for any kind of advice. :)

     
  16. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    For me the biggest thing I notice is that your body (torso/legs) barely moves on your overhead strokes. You move you body to the shuttle, then the stroke is entirely play with your arm - if you watch your racquet shoulder, it pretty much stays where it is from the start to the end of the stroke.

    There are 2 reasons I can immediately see for this:

    1) you don't have the room to do it:
    Especially on the higher strokes that travel over you, you move the minimum amount backwards (racquet shoulder behind the contact point, but leading shoulder in front) and play the stroke. You preferably want the shuttle to land in front of your body (and both shoulders) to allow you to step through the shuttle and allow your torso to add extra power by rotating. You need to move further back in a sideways stance, which should allow you the room to rotate and step through.

    2) your timing of the contact
    The tennis background is very strong here as you are hitting through the shuttlecock with a reasonably locked wrist. In badminton, a sizeable amount of power is generated by having a small wrist angle with the racquet head cocked backwards (supination), and then uncocking the wrist as you tighten your fingers to quickly accelerate the racquet head (pronation). Critically, the swing is focused on the contact of the shuttle. Swinging through the shuttle dissipates power, the ideal is to generate power and concentrate it for that 0.1 seconds that it takes for the shuttle to bounce off the strings, then stop accelerating, as any further swing is a waste of energy.

    One is footwork related which will probably yield the biggest gain in power and should be relatively easy to implement - using your whole body vs. just your arm!

    The second is technique related which is tougher to learn and may not give you massive amounts more power, but allows to you use your power more efficiently. This becomes particularly important as a stroke that is less efficient also tends to give telltale signs of your intentions, whereas a short energy efficient stroke is quick and leaves your opponent's guessing.

    Good video by the way - keep it up!
     
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  17. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    Thanks for the feedback and the quick answer. I have a few questions though:

    1) I am aware that my movement to the shuttle is suboptimal (to put it mildly). However if I position myself further back so that the shuttle would land in front of me I am under the impression that I would contact the shuttle too low when hitting it. How can I position myself further back (both shoulders behind the shuttle) and still contact the shuttle at it's highest point?

    2) I think I understand the concepts of supination and pronation but I'm not sure about the "position" of my arm while preparing for the hit. Should my arm start in full supination (which would be an "unnatural" arm position) and end with full pronation or should it be something in between? Also I have difficulties understanding the "stop accelerating" part. How can I have a proper follow through if I don't swing through? Seems contradictory to me.

    Thanks for enlighting me. :)
     
  18. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    1) your beginning position is fully behind the shuttle, but you move towards the shuttle to get he high contact point. I.e. reach out for the shuttle, don't wait for it to come to you.



    Here is an example - he starts on a bench behind the court tramline, but he's timing his forward movement to even jump and reach the shuttle with a VERY high position. Yours will be less extreme - you want to move back enough for one step forward to rotate your shoulders around. Currently you don't quite move back as much as you could, and consequently that is why it looks like you're waiting for the shuttle a lot.

    2) you start with the racquet in a neutral position, you cock it back as you begin which looks a lot like you trying to scratch your back with the racquet head. You keep this wrist angle until you wait for the suddenly acceleration, and you uncock it at the top of the swing. Lin Dan demonstrates on his jump smash very well.



    Regarding follow through - the purpose of following through is to ensure you do not decelerate the racquet head before you've actually contacted the shuttle. In a sport such as tennis or golf, the head had significant mass, therefore you have to let it swing round more fully. But the idea is the same - you accelerate hard into the ball/shuttle, then you follow through in a relaxed manner. You are NOT adding any power during the follow through.

    In badminton the racquet head is a hell of a lot lighter, so a follow through might only mean your hand ends up near your chest rather than near your hip.

    The point is that you need to time your sudden acceleration of the racquet head for an instant, rather than extending the swing. You can see it in the Lin Dan video above that his racquet head looks like it suddenly whips round, it's not a gradual acceleration through the whole swing. His follow through is also reasonably short, even on a full power smash.
     
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  19. rulebavaria

    rulebavaria Member

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    Thanks again for the help:

    So basically:

    1) Improve the footwork: move further back in order to have time and space to reach actively for the shuttle (up and forward) and use the body rotation. Does this mean that clears/smashes have to always been hit in a jumping motion (basically jumping from one foot to the other) ?

    2) Try to improve the stroke, cock the wrist when reaching back and uncocking it when swinging.

    PS: At 1'13 in the video I am hitting a cross court smash? Is the motion "more correct" than the other times when I only use the arm?
     
  20. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Roughly the movement in 1:13 is closer to what you want to achieve for all strokes, whether it is a smash or not. The one legged hop is a bit odd, but the gist is there I suppose.

    Correct about 'jumping' on every stroke that you can. The coaches call it a "scissor" movement as you are swapping the position of your feet to allow you to rotate. Sometimes you can't scissor because you don't have time to and all you can do is use your arm and nothing else, but when you have time, you should move back and scissor.

    I would not worry too much about your stroke itself as your stroke isn't too bad - the footwork is a bigger issue. Just stay relaxed and imagine you're flicking a wet towel and youll get the cocking of the wrist and the follow through about right.
     
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