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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Please Critique My Video: How to Improve?

    Hi all,

    This is a singles match I played vs. a guy better than me. I am in black with white shorts. Any thoughts on racket strokes, timing of hitting the shot, and footwork?

    Here's the 7-minute video below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHud...ature=youtu.be

    Some things to note:
    - The ceiling in this court is very low, so it does restrict a few shots from being played
    - I tend to play backhands a lot more than I should -- perhaps my preparation footwork is incorrect?

    Thanks for any advice!

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    You should work on your speed if you want to continue doing low serves. After almost every serve you were under pressure. Most of the points you got while serving were due to errors on your opponent's side. That's propably the same reason why you play so many backhands.

    Apart from that it was hard to see something cause you two mostly played short rallies. May I ask what level of play you have?

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    Quote Originally Posted by exalted View Post
    Hi all,

    This is a singles match I played vs. a guy better than me. I am in black with white shorts. Any thoughts on racket strokes, timing of hitting the shot, and footwork?

    Here's the 7-minute video below.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHud...ature=youtu.be

    Some things to note:
    - The ceiling in this court is very low, so it does restrict a few shots from being played
    - I tend to play backhands a lot more than I should -- perhaps my preparation footwork is incorrect?

    Thanks for any advice!
    Some points:
    - Your opponent is not better than you, you are fairly equally matched.

    - Your footwork going forwards is very slow. Particularly after a short serve.

    - A general point - your speed off the mark (when you first start moving towards the shuttle) is very slow. You need to make better use of your calves and ankles to push off the mark, do not rely on your legs. There is a good video about this (the Zhao Jianhua video series) but I can't remember which one.

    - When you serve short, ask yourself: what are you expecting? (Answer: your opponent will play the net). However, you do not seem ready for this their response! And you should be!

    - You need to work on your defence. When you opponent smashes at you, or drives flat, you lose most of the points. Work on your speed off the mark and on your racket skills.

    - You should reach further with your racket when you defend or play the net - you are getting too close to the shuttle and hence having to move too much! Reach further! This also means take the shuttle earlier at the net - you take the shuttle very low, but you are letting it drop (i.e. you could have played it earlier must by reaching higher)! Make the effort and take it higher!

    - When you play a spinning net shot, expect your opponent to play a net shot back - don't back away from the net! Especially as its a low ceiling! Move forwards and make him lift it!

    - Your base (how far apart your feet are) is not wide enough. Watch some professional mens singles players to see how wide they stand. This will make you much faster around the court and improve all your movements.

    - Regarding backhands and round the head:
    You do not appear to be able to play any shots around the head.

    There is a difference between getting into position to play a regular forehand from the backhand side, versus being able to arch your back and play shots that are a long way out to the sides with a forehand hitting action. As such, you are forced to keep playing backhands as you do not have the movement skill or the racket technique to play around the head.

    Practice taking one large step around the head (with your right foot), and then reaching across to the left to take shots that are deep in the backhand corner. This will mean you need to play fewer backhands. Remember, the hitting action for an around the head forehand is very small by comparison to a normal forehand - simply position your racket where you will make contact, and then use supination and pronation to hit the shot (do not move the arm too much).

    However, your opponent is not forcing you to play backhands. You are forced into playing backhands because of your foot positioning. You stand with your right foot too far forwards (sometimes, after you serve, you are completely sideways to the net). This means that it is extremely difficult to make a round the head movement, as you need to twist your body a long way. Try to stand with a wider, lower stance, and face the net more squarely (still have the right foot slightly in front, but be more square).

    Summary:
    My review has been quite negative, because there is lots for your to improve. Given what I have seen, I expect you to be better. You could be better. You have all the skills, but your game is sloppy and needs more focus and attention.

    However, there are many good things about your play. Your footwork patterns are fine, your overhead hitting seems to be relatively accurate and powerful. You are able to hit smash winners when the shuttle is short. You are able to impart reasonable spin on the shuttle at the net. Your backhand technique is above average (but not very powerful - you do not use a small enough hitting action - you need to make it smaller!). I have not mentioned these things because I do not think you need to worry about them too much (but you should always continue to practice the things you are good at - to perfect your skills!).

    However, if you work at doing some of the above things, you may be able to improve your level of play.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSeeley View Post
    Very good advice
    Thank you MSeeley and Phili for taking the time both to watch the video and provide comments! Very much appreciated.

    I agree with my slowness, and lack of "speed of the mark" but I'm not sure how to improve that. If anyone has come across that Zhao Jianhua video or information about further leveraging the calves and ankles, please post it!

    I will work on the other comments, such as:
    • positioning of the body to be available for a round the head
    • playing more round the head, which is a shot I am weak at
    • wider foot stance in base position
    • reaching out further so I can stand further back
    Last edited by exalted; 05-30-2014 at 09:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exalted View Post
    Thank you MSeeley and Phili for taking the time both to watch the video and provide comments! Very much appreciated.

    I agree with my slowness, and lack of "speed of the mark" but I'm not sure how to improve that. If anyone has come across that Zhao Jianhua video or information about further leveraging the calves and ankles, please post it!

    I will work on the other comments, such as:
    • positioning of the body to be available for a round the head
    • playing more round the head, which is a shot I am weak at
    • wider foot stance in base position
    • reaching out further so I can stand further back
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWxQ...66C14B081F5032

    Really focus on the feeling of pushing the the ankles.

    In order to practice, practice taking small sharp movements from base. Move your feet quickly, but do not bother moving a long distance, just a couple of quick steps. Don't lift your feet up high, and don't "jump" too high when you do your split step. Remember to stay low and balanced.

    Good luck!

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    I skimmed the first couple of replies then watched your vid - you're a lot better than I was expecting after having read the posts!

    No one mentioned your elbow/contact point - it's pretty low on overheads 6:07 is a clear example (pun intended...). Some times you artificially raise it by leaning so one should is higher than the other

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    Hi,

    I noticed that you fail to retrieve counters to your serve.
    Ex. You serve and then your opponent does an offensive push, causing you to run back and either hit a weak shot or miss.

    You would normally not get there fast enough and lose.
    I suggest you serve and split step better, so that you are ready to deal with push shots.

    Sometimes your defense is a little bit casual, as in you would hit it but not ready yourself for the next shot.

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    The way you respond to returns are slow. It seems like you are still unable to predict what kind of return the opponent will give you. You got pretty much the correct swings and I would say your backhand drives are nicely done. Try to switch opponents, sometimes, find someone who plays slightly or way above your caliber, this is probably the most effective way to improve. You might get massacred but after that game I guarantee you when u play again with your opponent in the video, you'll notice the improvement.

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    I agree with my slowness, and lack of "speed of the mark" but I'm not sure how to improve that. If anyone has come across that Zhao Jianhua video or information about further leveraging the calves and ankles, please post it!

    I will work on the other comments, such as:
    • positioning of the body to be available for a round the head
    • playing more round the head, which is a shot I am weak at
    • wider foot stance in base position
    • reaching out further so I can stand further back
    Some great drills for speed are four corner drills and multi shuttle drills. A four corner drill is where the feeder stands at one corner of the court and can hit clears, pushes and drops anywhere he/she chooses and you have to hit back to them. Do maybe 20 shots with them standing at each corner of the court. This is a great drill for footwork and endurance.

    Multi-shuttle drills are also good for pushoff speed and reaction time. There are many variations all involving the feeder with a basket of birds. In these drills you have a routine such as backcourt clear then netshot, and then repeat (you can make it whatever you want). To compensate for knowing where you are going to run and hit the next shuttle, have the feeder hit the next bird almost right after you make your shot (this is why you use multiple shuttles and not one). Obviously, these drills will make you tired quickly so take breaks and switch feeder/runner. The worst/hardest drill is multishuttle smash and netkill. You have to rush the net and get there quick enough to hit down after the smash.

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