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  1. #1
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    Default Making the transition from singles to doubles/mixed

    Hi, i really consider myself to be a singles player.... and a VERY defensive/receive player at the same time (which, on a side note, drives my coach insane cuz she wants me to attack)...

    i was wondering what kinds of things i could do to improve my doubles/mixed game... because the only time i win in a doubles or mixed game is when i'm actually more skilled than my opponents....


    i guess i'll give a short description of how i play doubles/mixed...

    serve reception: this is probably my BEST aspect of mixed and somewhat good for doubles..... i generally hit an offensive shot (drive/half court/netshot) in doubles and about 80-90% of the time in mixed

    when the bird is lifted to me: i generally smash, but usually i smash as hard as i can (which isn't very hard at all) without aim, or really caring where i hit it, as long as it is in (this is probably REALLY bad)

    when i'm being smashed at: generally i lift the return back, which is probably not a good idea....

    dropped at: almost guaranteed i will lift it back, unless i am quick enough to push it

    drives: jeez... probably my worst aspect of doubles/mixed... i TRY (keyword, try) to drive back, but it's usually me lifting it up again......

    i think that's about all i have to say, so feel free to comment or ask more questions


    and thanks for all the help guys!

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    One thing I'd say - when you smash as hard as you can, perhaps you will get an opening, but consider this: you are going to get tired if your opponents have good defense! therefore, dont focus so much on hitting it hard, and try to place your smash to make your opponents guess on defense. throw in some slice smashes. if you vary the attack, your opponents will have a much harder time anticipating your shots.

    Also, when you play mixed, try not to get only in a situation where the guys are driving back and forth and running all over the place. That's a pain! In mixed doubles you should always be blocking and re-directing the shuttle to eventually force your opponents to lift, or to get your partner an easy put away.

    hope i've helped! let me know if you need clarification.
    gregory

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    aside from the service, you sound like a defensive player. sometimes the best defense is the best offence, as blcknght said, "when you smash as hard as you can ... you are going to get tired if your opponents have good defense!"

    but you should also make sure that your defense is strong enough. else you will just be subject to butchering in the court...

    another thing that i'd like to point out is that mixed and doubles are two very different game even though they both involve two players. it is often a bad idea in mixed to defend as you will open up the girl to be smashed at.

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    Originally posted by kwun


    another thing that i'd like to point out is that mixed and doubles are two very different game even though they both involve two players. it is often a bad idea in mixed to defend as you will open up the girl to be smashed at.
    Totally agree.

    A little bit similar as my game type, the difference is my strength is the drive shot. However, without a killing smash / power shot, a lot to times, I only seems to be much more effective when i am close to the net. Therefore, playing mix might get my partner very frustrated, as the poor girl/lady has to have relatively good back court coverage sense / ability.

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    Just curious, but how do you play with your doubles/mixed partners? You mentioned how you play doubles and the kind of shots you do, but you didn't really say anything about your positioning and movement around the court. That's the biggest transition people need to understand when moving from singles to doubles, and I've seen many singles players try to dominate the doubles court without success because they try to do everything on the court.

    Think of using your partner to win points for the team. Instead of doing powerhouse smashes, think of making shots that will force weak returns so your partner can pounce on them.

    There are tons of different tactics you can try. Try attacking the weakest player on the court. Or you can also try causing confusion between your opponents by placing shots between them.

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    I guess I'm not a doubles expert as I play more singles than doubles, and know how to play singles better than doubles..hope I can be some help.

    Well, because you said you're a more defensive player in singles, I would guess that would carry into your doubles game (such as not killing it at the net when you have the opportunity, but instead always net drop it back). So a suggestion is to play more doubles games and practice a more aggressive style.

    However it sounds like you've got a good start. Returning short serves by drives, net shots are good. Clears are good too if the situation calls for it. Just do a mixture of shots, but a suggestion is to return by driving the bird back 75% of the time, the other 25% can be split by net shots and clears.

    You mentioned that when people smash at you, you generally lift back. Well, that's not too bad because at first, that's how you'd react. I've looked at many videos and see a ton of the doubles pairs lift return their opponents smashes. At you get to a higher level, you'll be able to return a smash so it basically goes over the net similar to a net shot.

    When people drop at you, try to get to the shuttle earlier and net drop back. An occasional lift is alright, but a tight net shot is good. If your opponent's drop shot is high, try to get their fast and net kill it.

    Driving comes with practice. At first, you may not drive well (I know I didn't when I first started, not that I drive well now)...but try to keep your racket up. Remember, it's a drive so it should be flat. Try to take the shuttle higher and use wrist, finger technique (thumb on the back) to do a backhand drive. It's a little harder to explain on here, it's too bad I don't have any pics.

    For MIXED, I'm not too superb of a mixed player, but yes, the key is to drive to the sides. Try to put it at the sides, in the middle of both the girl and the guy where they both cannot reach the shot. That's as best as a tip I can give for mixed, as you get to a higher level, the opponents will know how to play that game

    Hope that helps

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    Defensive singles? That means you wait for the opponent to make mistakes or give you the easy shot - am I right?

    How is your acceleration? A lot of doubles is changing the pace, slow (but not as slow as singles) and fast. If you can't change to the fast stroke, you will have problems because good opponents will start to force the pace of the game on to you.

    Good doubles players can dominate the net. Can you do this? ie know when a push/block will force the opponent to play the net area and then you anticipate this return to play another pressure shot on them?

    We see this more in mixed doubles now as well.

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    thanks for the tips guys, here are some answers to the questions asked and some more questions:

    blckknght : "try to place your smash to make your opponents guess on defense"
    does that mean i should smash to their forehand sometimes and to their backhand some other times?

    kwun: "but you should also make sure that your defense is strong enough"
    i'm noticing a problem with switching between forehand and backhand (ie: if i squareoff on backhand and they smash to forehand) any suggestions on grip? or things to look for so i can anticipate where they will hit?

    " it is often a bad idea in mixed to defend"
    yeah, i find i play much more offensively in mixed then i do in doubles.... or maybe i've been able to keep the offense more because i haven't played many strong pairs in mixed...

    pointfore.ca: " you didn't really say anything about your positioning and movement around the court"
    well, i don't try to get everything myself, and i TRY (keyword, try) to cover for my partner..... actually, when i'm at the net, i'm having a huge time figuring out when i should go for a cross court shot..... a lot of the time i go for it, and it turns out my partner would've had it, while other times, i leave it for my partner and my coach says "that was yours..."

    "think of making shots that will force weak returns"
    any suggestions? for now, the only shot that seems to generate weak returns is my smash

    "Or you can also try causing confusion between your opponents by placing shots between them"
    i find that this is easy to do against a lefty-righty pair by hitting it down the centre... but i find it much harder to do against a righty-righty/lefty-lefty pair... any suggestions on how to do this?

    Cheung: "Defensive singles? That means you wait for the opponent to make mistakes or give you the easy shot - am I right?"
    yes, you are correct

    "How is your acceleration? A lot of doubles is changing the pace, slow (but not as slow as singles) and fast"
    my feet are pretty quick, i've been trying to get the fast part down by playing people who like to drive the bird a lot..

    "Good doubles players can dominate the net. Can you do this?"
    in my opinion, i am a terrible net man... and i'm trying to work on this..... in terms of hitting the bird over the net i'm fine... but it's the extras like anticipation and other things like that i don't have...

    and now some random questions to anyone:
    1: i've heard about the half smash... but i'm not quite sure the usefulness of it.... is it used to throw off timing?? i sometimes find it useful in singles, but not quite as useful in doubles... unless i am doing it incorrectly..... for me, i do a quicker drop shot that lands about halfway between the smash area and the drop area...

    2: in mixed, if i return the serve with a net shot, in which i know that the opponent will hit a netshot i cannot kill (or a lift), should i go back and let my partner hit the return? or should i stay up and have her cover the back? keep in mind that my partner does not have a particularly powerful smash

    3: i was told by a few people that if i'm going to hit a drop shot, hit it to the centre... what is the validity of this statement?


    thx a lot guys!
    Last edited by Nanashi; 09-01-2003 at 01:30 AM.

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    Hey Nanashi,
    good set of questions! as for your question to me, lets assume we're talking about men's doubles.
    dont think about only in terms of smashing on their forehand or their backhand. Smash in various places - their right hip (if they are right handed), their right shoulder, deep to their backhand, right at their body - try these places and see what is most effective. watch how they prepare to defend. are they lazy and dont bend their knees? smash away from their body and they will have a hard time reaching it!


    [Net Man - I have a lot of fun playing net, because I can do a lot of small things to help out my partner in the back.

    1. first thing I do is watch when my opponents clear. that way I know where their clear is going, and therefore where my partner will be hitting from, so I know which side to tend towards (ie, if they lifted to our back left corner, I would take a step to my left to cover the fast straight drive/block, and still be able to cover the possible cross drive/block.

    2. once my opponents clear the shuttle and i have an idea of where it's going, I listen. if I hear my partner contact the shuttle soft, I will move in towards the net in case my opponents are fast enough to make a net shot from his drop so I can put pressure on them. If I hear a hard shot, I will stay where I am - a few feet back from the short service line, so I can cover fast drive returns from his smash. if I hear a hard shot and it turns out to be a clear... well, I have some time to position myself, plus I can see my opponents moving backwards.

    sorry that post got pretty long!
    gregory

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    1. half smash - I find this useful but you need to put in a couple of hard smashes. Hit two hard smashes and the opponents 'set' into that smash speed. Play a half smash (70% power), their timing goes awry very subtley and you may find they hit into the net, hit out(pulled the crosscourt out too much), give a weaker shot to the net area for you partner to followup. Usually the opponents will blame it on unforced errors. Good players will realise you changed the pace and made them make a mistake.

    2. Don't play netshot for return of serve in mixed doubles! I was watching the WC recently. The guys almost hardly ever do netshot return of serve. Most often it is pushes to back or downward stroke to just past service line. This is quite different from men's doubles where netshot return of serve is seen more commonly.

    3. you haven't used the search function

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    try this...

    after smashing for few times and noticed you opponent is gradually moving back.. give a drop shot and your opponent will be caught off guard...


    and in doubles... to me.. i think reaction is the most important......especially at the net..... must be really fast in doubles...

    when ppl drop.... try to give them a net shot.. thus forcing them to lift... this will give you an attacking opportunity...........

    try not to lift so much unless your defense is really really good

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    Default Nanashi - Doubles / Mixed Doubles

    Nanashi,


    There has been alot of good advice but most of it in chunks.

    Firstly do you want to know about Men's Doubles or Mixed as the stratergies are slightly different. A few good proffensionals have changed mid stream with different results, the best and most successful example is Ra Kung Min.

    1. Mens Doubles
    1.First find yourself a partner you can play with and understand.
    2. Be aggresive on serves hitting down or pushing down.
    3. Be in communication with partner in attack, defened and transition formations.
    4. In attack when at the front hit shuttle down sharply and cut off lifts just above your head and to sides of you. At the back smash sharply down.
    5. In defensive - last resort lift smash high to back, better clip block to sides of next away from front man, or counter drive push to mid court through or around front man.
    6. Short serve 90% of time, flick when serve charges or for varation.

    2.Mixed Doubles
    1. Work out if typical Mixed doubles or doubles formation to be used. True mixed formation is best, but a doubles might suit you depending on partner.
    2. Smash, drive, cut smash, drop in mostly that order. Aim for tram lines or just to side of opposing lady. if Lady seem hestitant or unsure smash at her.
    3. On serve - short serves to man, high serves to lady - this is general rule.
    4. All shots aim 90% striaght and 10% for cross court.
    5. Driving is best in mixed and flat and hard most successful.


    Sorry if these points are short, there are several websites with articles - one of them being BadmintonCentral.

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    i saw sigit and wijaya doing this all the time...


    when they really need to lift..... they give a crosscourt lift...... thus the attacker need to move to the other court to attack.... making the attack less deadly....

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    I have to disagree that driving is best in mixed. Half court push is the classic mixed shot. You can play a drive to throw your opponents off guard, but if you drive at them all the time, they are going to be able to block it to an area where you are not, and you will not have much time to react.
    g

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    Nanashi,

    can you explain to us why you don't smash very well even when given the opportunity to do so?

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    Default All very good suggestions...

    ...but I would suggest that as a further reading, please get hold of Jake Downey's book on Winning Doubles (www.badmintonbooks.com). In it, he explained a framework for winning and gave a lot of strategies on level and mixed doubles.

    Regardless of what was said here, I think your best weapon is your ability to analyze, think and adapt to your opponents strengths and weaknesses.

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    Originally posted by Cheung
    Nanashi,

    can you explain to us why you don't smash very well even when given the opportunity to do so?
    well, my smash in singles is decent, but i hardly ever use it.....

    a description of my smash is that it is fairly accurate (to the singles side lines), and decently quick, but has little power behind it.....

    this is because i worked on my singles for a long time, and found it to be much more effective than my "power" (i use the term loosely) smash.....

    like i said, i'm a really defensive receiving player in singles, so i generally don't smash too much..... most of the points i win are from forcing the opponent to make a crappy shot and capitalizing with a net kill (assuming it is a crappy netshot) or forcing them to hit a poor deep shot and smashing to the side they aren't on

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