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    Regular Member M3Series's Avatar
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    Default Men's Double Tactics

    I've been looking for quite sometime in and out of this forum for any tactical strategy for men's double. But so far, I can only see the very basic on how to transition between attack/defend. Lee Jae Bok's video's is the one I like most, it teaches how to help each other in court, not just a simple transition between attacking/defending.

    So here I am looking/asking from you guys if there is ANY tactics you guys love to apply while playing against a good opponent.

    And also, what would you guys do if you guys have a partner who have a fair stroke but zero knowledge on tactical. Teach him on court? I found out most of these kind of people doesn't even bother how to play tactically correct when I told them when to move to the front or back. It pisses me off sometimes, shuttles ain't free you know. At least try to learn instead of saying 'relax dude'.

    I know what I'm asking is too general, so why don't we discuss what is the most common problem you have when you are playing men's double. . .

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    Regular Member nokh88's Avatar
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    I agree with :

    And also, what would you guys do if you guys have a partner who have a fair stroke but zero knowledge on tactical. Teach him on court? I found out most of these kind of people doesn't even bother how to play tactically correct when I told them when to move to the front or back. It pisses me off sometimes, shuttles ain't free you know. At least try to learn instead of saying 'relax dude'.

    They will say they have been playing like that for so many years and can't change and just playing for fun. It's so frustrating when you run around retrieving all the shots and when the shuttle was played to them, they mishit of hit out, etc.

    I have another partner who is slightly better than me but never smashes. Opponents will attack me and when I made the chance for him to smash (half court), he drops or lobs and the rally continues and that exhausted me.

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    Regular Member extremenanopowe's Avatar
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    Avoid partnering with ignorant, lazy or hopeless people. Your life will be longer. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by nokh88 View Post
    I have another partner who is slightly better than me but never smashes. Opponents will attack me and when I made the chance for him to smash (half court), he drops or lobs and the rally continues and that exhausted me.
    ME : "Y U NO SMASH?"
    HIM :" RELAX BRO, JUST A GAME"
    ME : *face-palm*

    what i usually do with these kind of partner is that I'll try to push him to the front court and start to cover the backcourt most of the time. to do that:

    1) Lift the shuttle deep behind and hope the opponent do a drop shot and said ' YOURS!'
    2) Before the serve starts, I'll tell him to cover the front
    3) Ask him to play at the net since he doesn't like to smash
    4) Leave the court and ask him to find a replacement

    But the thing is, usually with this typical kind of human-being, when they play at the front court, they love to lift the bird and we back to defensive again. Agree? So what's next? I'll do the no.4

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    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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    With respect to your question regarding tactics in doubles, here are a few points which have been of help to me so far:

    1) If you've seen your opponents playing before, recap their weakpoints. E.g. is one of them usually or always playing a (weak) backhand in the backcourt instead of an around-the-head shot? Then in case you are under pressure, you don't have to worry about clearing or lifting to his backhand corner.

    2) Try to gain attack at the very beginning and don't give it up. Don't feel tempted by the more comfortable feeling to play a clear when you have the chance to hit the shuttle downwards - try to always go for the downwards direction (except if e.g. you are sure that a shot to the backhand at the backcourt will be returned weakly, this way you can prepare to smash or netkill the returning shuttle).

    3) Cause misunderstandings between your opponents by hitting the shuttle just between them. If the shuttle is just above their head, they most of the time don't know who of them has to take the shuttle

    4) Put some variation to your game. E.g. don't find yourself in an endless drive war - better let the shuttle suddenly drop close behind the net, the opponents usually have to lift it, then you can smash.

    5) Try to isolate one player. It often happens (at least on a recreational level) that one of your opponents is in one corner of the backcourt, playing a straight drop shot, you are there already and instead of a netshot, you can play a cross drive to the other backcourt corner - this works if the backcourt player is quite slow and thus not able to play a good return. On a recreational level, the other opponent remains somewhere around the T position (classical attack formation) and doesn't know how to help his/her partner in that situation.

    6) Be ready to get to the net quickly, so don't put your balance too much to the backcourt. If the shuttle travels to the backcourt, you often have a bit more time than if it goes the short way just behind the net.

    7) If you are under pressure, being forced to clear or lift, still try to hit the shuttle to a position which doesn't make it too easy for your opponents.

    8) This applies to recreational level ONLY: If you defend a smash, try to block it to the closer corner of the net. Usually the opponent at the net is not fast enough to perform a netkill in that case but is forced to lift it, giving you the chance to attack.

    9) If you see your opponents returning most of your smashes, it may be because they are quite far away from the net. This gives them time to react to your smashes, but they are in trouble if you suddenly play a drop, preferably to the middle (thereby creating a misunderstanding again). Either you get the point immediately that way, or often the lift from your opponents only goes to your midcourt area, giving you the opportunity to play the winning smash.

    10) Remember: Every lift/clear is a present to your opponents (except if there is some weakness as stated in 1))! So avoid lifting/clearing as much as possible! Especially the return of serve is unnecessarily played as a lift by too many players. If you feel you are not fast enough to return it as a drive or netkill, randomly return it either to the left or right line of the court close to the net or (better in my opinion) midcourt, thereby creating misunderstandings again.

    11) Avoid flat trajectories (such as in drives) from the backcourt. This gives the opponents too many options of different returns, especially if their return is a fast drive to the left or right of the court, this creates lots of pressure. So use drives when you are closer to the net. From backcourt, better smash or drop.

    12) Use deception - especially at return of serve (make it look like you return to the other side of the court), dropshots (make them look like a smash) and smashes (make them look like you smash straight, but turn the racket in the last moment to smash it to the other side). The last point, however, applies rather to a recreational level when your opponents don't cover one side of the court well at that moment. If your opponents are advanced / professional players, their coverage is better, then you better play straight smashes, which reduces their time to react, hopefully forcing weak returns.

    Of course this is far from complete, just what came to my mind and what has worked for me most of the time so far.

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    Regular Member M3Series's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanDO View Post
    With respect to your question regarding tactics in doubles, here are a few points which have been of help to me so far:

    1) If you've seen your opponents playing before, recap their weakpoints. E.g. is one of them usually or always playing a (weak) backhand in the backcourt instead of an around-the-head shot? Then in case you are under pressure, you don't have to worry about clearing or lifting to his backhand corner.

    2) Try to gain attack at the very beginning and don't give it up. Don't feel tempted by the more comfortable feeling to play a clear when you have the chance to hit the shuttle downwards - try to always go for the downwards direction (except if e.g. you are sure that a shot to the backhand at the backcourt will be returned weakly, this way you can prepare to smash or netkill the returning shuttle).

    3) Cause misunderstandings between your opponents by hitting the shuttle just between them. If the shuttle is just above their head, they most of the time don't know who of them has to take the shuttle

    4) Put some variation to your game. E.g. don't find yourself in an endless drive war - better let the shuttle suddenly drop close behind the net, the opponents usually have to lift it, then you can smash.

    5) Try to isolate one player. It often happens (at least on a recreational level) that one of your opponents is in one corner of the backcourt, playing a straight drop shot, you are there already and instead of a netshot, you can play a cross drive to the other backcourt corner - this works if the backcourt player is quite slow and thus not able to play a good return. On a recreational level, the other opponent remains somewhere around the T position (classical attack formation) and doesn't know how to help his/her partner in that situation.

    6) Be ready to get to the net quickly, so don't put your balance too much to the backcourt. If the shuttle travels to the backcourt, you often have a bit more time than if it goes the short way just behind the net.

    7) If you are under pressure, being forced to clear or lift, still try to hit the shuttle to a position which doesn't make it too easy for your opponents.

    8) This applies to recreational level ONLY: If you defend a smash, try to block it to the closer corner of the net. Usually the opponent at the net is not fast enough to perform a netkill in that case but is forced to lift it, giving you the chance to attack.

    9) If you see your opponents returning most of your smashes, it may be because they are quite far away from the net. This gives them time to react to your smashes, but they are in trouble if you suddenly play a drop, preferably to the middle (thereby creating a misunderstanding again). Either you get the point immediately that way, or often the lift from your opponents only goes to your midcourt area, giving you the opportunity to play the winning smash.

    10) Remember: Every lift/clear is a present to your opponents (except if there is some weakness as stated in 1))! So avoid lifting/clearing as much as possible! Especially the return of serve is unnecessarily played as a lift by too many players. If you feel you are not fast enough to return it as a drive or netkill, randomly return it either to the left or right line of the court close to the net or (better in my opinion) midcourt, thereby creating misunderstandings again.

    11) Avoid flat trajectories (such as in drives) from the backcourt. This gives the opponents too many options of different returns, especially if their return is a fast drive to the left or right of the court, this creates lots of pressure. So use drives when you are closer to the net. From backcourt, better smash or drop.

    12) Use deception - especially at return of serve (make it look like you return to the other side of the court), dropshots (make them look like a smash) and smashes (make them look like you smash straight, but turn the racket in the last moment to smash it to the other side). The last point, however, applies rather to a recreational level when your opponents don't cover one side of the court well at that moment. If your opponents are advanced / professional players, their coverage is better, then you better play straight smashes, which reduces their time to react, hopefully forcing weak returns.

    Of course this is far from complete, just what came to my mind and what has worked for me most of the time so far.
    love this. . . as a recreational player, it helps me a lot!

    Btw, here's a situation :

    1. i am at the right side of the court, me n partner in def mode
    2. opponent smash to me
    3. I blocked it and the shuttle went in front of the net ( not in the middle line, but exactly opposite of me while i'm defending/blocking )

    Question :
    1. Should I move forward to the middle line and start the attacking mode?
    2. Is there any other better move than this cause if I do that, sometimes the opponent might still able to drive the shuttle to the baseline which made us back to defending again ( if it is a good drive ).
    3. My partner is unreliable at the back court, so I can't keep blocking and move forward all the time. What's the option? I blocked and he move to the front? ( dont think it such a good idea somehow )

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    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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    1) When the shuttle falls close to the net, it's regarded as an attack (I would rather call it the preparation to attack, anyway, commonly blocks / drops already belong to attack). Therefore, you should start the attacking mode. In this case, the best would be if you move forward to the net (not your partner), for 2 reasons: a) In case the opponent does a straight netshot (not crosscourt), it's easier for you to return it, because on your way to the middline line in front, you "pass" the place where the shuttle may go to in case of a straight net return from your opponent - so you can easily intercept. b) In case your opponent does a crosscourt return, you are already moving to that direction.

    2) If opponents are able to return blocks as a drive, it's difficult, because if they can do that, they usually also have all other options like drops, netkills etc. If you see they got those chances, it's better to remain in defense formation and wait for a better opportunity to attack. To prevent the situation, I suggest the following: When your opponent gets the chance to smash, get a quick court overview and think where you would like to block the shuttle to. When you are the one who's getting smashed at, tilt the racket face to your preferred shuttle destination during the blocking stroke. Of course this is difficult if your opponent's smash is really good, because then you get timing difficulties, so that maybe all you can achieve is a straight block, and the other opponent may be waiting there to perform e.g. a netkill. That's why it's so important to gain attack as early as possible and never give it up.

    3) That's a tricky one, because there are "competing interests": a) You may want to win the current match. b) You definitely want to practice the right doubles tactics. On the long run, you should go for b), which means even if your partner is unreliable at the backcourt, go to the front in attacking formations (if it's obvious that you are the one to go there, not him). This serves three aims: On the one hand, you will do the right thing when you play with others sometimes. On the other hand, your partner gets practice to improve his play at the backcourt. Last but not least, you don't get used to wrong tactics (which are *very* difficult to get rid of once you got used to them). Maybe the only situation in which you should "adjust" to his weakness is in a tournament situation, but as a recreational player, I guess you don't find yourself in that situation too often. Otherwise better practice with your partner until you think there's sense in participating in tournaments. If he mishits a lot in the backcourt, analyze possible reasons (bad timing just needs more routine, bad technique such as tilted racket face during impact in case of clears needs improvement via slow-motion / step-by-step demonstration of right technique and/or video feedback). Or maybe his smashes are not steep enough, so that opponents can easily block or return via drive? He should practice taking the shuttle early and at the highest position (with slightly bent elbow!).

    And of special importance: Talk to your partner! Discuss weakpoints and how you think you should deal with them. And to be more polite - mention also own weakpoints and what you try to do about them, so that he doesn't feel like he's on a much lower level or even regard you as arrogant or so.

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    Regular Member M3Series's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanDO View Post
    1) When the shuttle falls close to the net, it's regarded as an attack (I would rather call it the preparation to attack, anyway, commonly blocks / drops already belong to attack). Therefore, you should start the attacking mode. In this case, the best would be if you move forward to the net (not your partner), for 2 reasons: a) In case the opponent does a straight netshot (not crosscourt), it's easier for you to return it, because on your way to the middline line in front, you "pass" the place where the shuttle may go to in case of a straight net return from your opponent - so you can easily intercept. b) In case your opponent does a crosscourt return, you are already moving to that direction.

    2) If opponents are able to return blocks as a drive, it's difficult, because if they can do that, they usually also have all other options like drops, netkills etc. If you see they got those chances, it's better to remain in defense formation and wait for a better opportunity to attack. To prevent the situation, I suggest the following: When your opponent gets the chance to smash, get a quick court overview and think where you would like to block the shuttle to. When you are the one who's getting smashed at, tilt the racket face to your preferred shuttle destination during the blocking stroke. Of course this is difficult if your opponent's smash is really good, because then you get timing difficulties, so that maybe all you can achieve is a straight block, and the other opponent may be waiting there to perform e.g. a netkill. That's why it's so important to gain attack as early as possible and never give it up.

    3) That's a tricky one, because there are "competing interests": a) You may want to win the current match. b) You definitely want to practice the right doubles tactics. On the long run, you should go for b), which means even if your partner is unreliable at the backcourt, go to the front in attacking formations (if it's obvious that you are the one to go there, not him). This serves three aims: On the one hand, you will do the right thing when you play with others sometimes. On the other hand, your partner gets practice to improve his play at the backcourt. Last but not least, you don't get used to wrong tactics (which are *very* difficult to get rid of once you got used to them). Maybe the only situation in which you should "adjust" to his weakness is in a tournament situation, but as a recreational player, I guess you don't find yourself in that situation too often. Otherwise better practice with your partner until you think there's sense in participating in tournaments. If he mishits a lot in the backcourt, analyze possible reasons (bad timing just needs more routine, bad technique such as tilted racket face during impact in case of clears needs improvement via slow-motion / step-by-step demonstration of right technique and/or video feedback). Or maybe his smashes are not steep enough, so that opponents can easily block or return via drive? He should practice taking the shuttle early and at the highest position (with slightly bent elbow!).

    And of special importance: Talk to your partner! Discuss weakpoints and how you think you should deal with them. And to be more polite - mention also own weakpoints and what you try to do about them, so that he doesn't feel like he's on a much lower level or even regard you as arrogant or so.
    thanx man! really help me out. would love to try out tonite. . .but yeah, you are right on "competing interest". I'm the guy who goes for b.

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    Regular Member M3Series's Avatar
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    Well, I've tried it last night with some few recreational friends. As I thought, it goes well for me but not for my partner. . Same thing still happen when I blocked the shuttle and get to attacking mode but the good thing is, the more it happens, the more we learn. Apparently my partner already know how to cover at the back while I block the shuttle. The rally goes on more like 20+ strokes non stop. It was the tiring point we ever played. The opponent was good so we also learned few stuffs from them while playing.

    Now back to tactics, there's a situation where lifting/clearing was like 90% in a game. I was damn bored. It got me sometimes. I had this guy be my partner few times and man, partnering with him was like damn bored cause he keep lobs the bird and don't know how to go for attacking mode. So :

    1. As a partner to this guy, what should I do when the opponent, also, keep clearing/lifting the shuttle to him, leaving me watching them like doing almost 10 strokes just clearing.
    2. How to go for attacking when you have a partner like this?
    3. If let say the opponent clear the shuttle to me, should I smash? Cause in my mind, I would be thinking my partner is not going to front of the net, judging how he played ( recreational level ).
    4. What would you say to change his mind of his game play? I believe he don't have a slightest idea that his partner were bored and often off-guard when he plays like that.

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    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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    It's interesting that some rallyes lasted for 20+ strokes despite clearing / lifting from your partner most of the time. So I guess you were lucky that your opponents were also lifting / clearing a lot. With opponents playing the recommended attacking style, I guess you would have been less bored, because soon after the first clear from your partner, the rallye would have been over. Maybe you should search for such opponents, otherwise your partner may not realize that it is a very bad idea to clear / lift if there are other options.

    I suggest you ask him why he's clearing / lifting so much. Maybe he'd say that these strokes feel more comfortable most of the time / that he feels he has no other choice. This may be related to weak footwork, causing him not to be behind the shuttle in time. In that case I'd practice with him at least during warm-up on half of the court: You play a drop, then a clear, a drop again etc. - making him move forwards and backwards. This way you'll also be able to judge if he gets behind the shuttle when he has to quickly move from the net back to baseline. Or maybe he isn't turning his racket arm's shoulder backwards enough (the rotation doesn't only serve to get more power into the following stroke but also to return the shuttle in an attacking fashion by using the wrist to hit it downwards even if the shuttle is already behind your body).

    Is he aware of the transition between defense and attack? From your third question, it doesn't really look like that. Does he even care? If he's not motivated to improve his tactics, you'll have a very hard time.

    With respect to your questions:

    1) If your opponents clear to him and he returns with clears, unfortunately you can't do much in that situation. You may tell him something like "hit downwards" or "attack" during the rallye, but as long as it's definitely him to take the shuttle, you shouldn't e.g. think about getting to his position and taking the shuttle before he can get it. That would not only contradict teamplay but also leave a huge area of the court uncovered. In breaks, you should explain why you wanted him not to clear / lift again. Tell him that when your opponents clear / lift to him, you go to attacking mode, and for attacking mode it's crucial that the player in the backcourt really attacks, because otherwise 1) the front player can't help much anymore (he is supposed to e.g. play a netkill after a weak return of the partner's smash, but if there's no smash, it's very unlikely that there will be a weak return the front player could netkill), and 2) as the front player expects an attacking shot, there may be too little time to change to defense if the backcourt player plays a clear.

    2) Just follow the classical double tactics regarding change between attack and defense - you know them. Apply them. Go for attack if the opponents clear or lift - even if you expect your partner not to attack. Don't stay in defense mode, this would be hard to get rid of once you got used to it.

    3) Yes, even if your partner doesn't move to the front, smash if you got the chance! But be aware that the front of your half of the court is not covered well if your partner is still in defense formation, so be prepared to move forwards immediately after your smash. But don't be in movement in the moment that your opponent hits the shuttle - he may lift to the baseline in your half of the court, and if you're (still) moving forwards at that time, you and your partner will be in trouble.

    4) It all depends on his motivation. Is he willing to learn and improve? If so, make sure he doesn't get too frustrated. Practice tactics and footwork when playing 1 on 1 on half court (maybe full court later), focussing on only one weakpoint at a time. Give feedback in a polite manner by telling him when he's done a good job or when you could see that he's improved in some aspect, but also tell him about possible improvements in your opinion. For matches, try to find opponents who are slightly better, so he can learn without getting too frustrated. For the other condition, if he's not willing to improve, you got no chance. He would improve by time, just because of experience, but it would take him *much* longer.

    If you get along well and he doesn't get it the wrong way, you could also check if he's got the knowledge but only problems applying it. Ask him what would be best to do in certain situations. If he usually gives the right answer but plays differently, he has problems applying the tactics. In that case footwork / stroke technique / coordination with you are the usual suspects. You would have to focus on these aspects then rather than on tactics. However, as revealed by your third question, he seems to lack tactical knowledge, but usually that's not the only point, so you can also practice the other aspects I mentioned. This also helps to learn how to put theory into practice. Even during 1 on 1 play, your partner can practice to always return the shuttle in a way which causes most trouble to you, and this also helps for playing doubles.
    Last edited by StefanDO; 09-04-2012 at 04:05 AM.

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    Regular Member M3Series's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanDO View Post
    It's interesting that some rallyes lasted for 20+ strokes despite clearing / lifting from your partner most of the time. So I guess you were lucky that your opponents were also lifting / clearing a lot.
    This partner is the different one. We played recreationally so I don't stick to only 1 partner. He's slightly better than the lifting one . There've been a lot of smashes,drives and other strokes as well. The other team can't kill us and we can't kill them either. It end up with me smashing 5 times in row. *faint*

    For the past few months since I started seriously learning badminton, reasoning with partners is the last thing I'll do. . But thanx anyway for the advices, it really helps me to think of a way to handle such partners. At least I got the feel.

    Btw, when it's like critically needed to use a clear whether backhand or forehand, where should I be aiming? I know deep clear is good but where to? middle line or the sides?

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    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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    Why is reasoning with partners the last thing you would do? I find communication very important, especially when something goes seriously wrong in one game, it often helps us to talk about that before the second game.

    If you can't avoid a clear, and if you are lucky enough that both opponents are still in defense formation (for whatever reason), aim between them. Assuming they are both right-handed, aim a bit more to the player who would have to return the shuttle with his backhand. This creates more misunderstandings between the players, because the backhand guy would think it's easier for him to get it, but the forehand guy would think forehand is preferred, and when the forehand guy wants to hit it and the backhand guy has not moved away from the shuttle, the forehand guy would not hit, because he doesn't want to accidently hit his partner with his racket.
    If your opponents are in attack formation, a clear should aim at the backhand of the backcourt opponent (unless there are other weakpoints, e.g. if the forecourt opponent stands too close to the backhand opponent, it may also be okay to point the clear to the midline, because the backcourt opponent may not be able to play a good smash, as he may feel afraid of hitting his partner with his racket).

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    When lifting or clearing in doubles, aim for the corners. Lifting to the middle invites a smash down the middle. This is harder to convert defense into attack from. As you have already stated, the deeper your opponents hit the shuttle from, the easier it is to defend.

    Good thread. I can certainly empathize about tactically/positionally poor partners. It feels like driving with the hand-brake on!

    I would certainly agree not to compromise your own game too much. For example, if you have a good opportunity to smash, take it. If your partner wasn't covering the slow block back, then they can pick up and hand over the shuttle to your opponents. Otherwise, they will never learn.

    As for tactics which give the most satisfaction against good opposition, I'd say it's the points where 1) we win the attack 2) we keep the attack 3) we wear them down and win the point without them getting out of defense. Not a tactic as such, but is there anything more satisfying?

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    Regular Member M3Series's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanDO View Post
    Why is reasoning with partners the last thing you would do? I find communication very important, especially when something goes seriously wrong in one game, it often helps us to talk about that before the second game.
    My 1st post and 2nd post answers that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Line & Length View Post
    Not a tactic as such, but is there anything more satisfying?
    agreeeeeeed!!

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    Does drives are used for making opportunity or it's used for killing the bird? Which one is used commonly? I find it usually not for killing. . .
    Last edited by M3Series; 09-30-2012 at 11:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M3Series View Post
    Does drives are used for making opportunity or it's used for killing the bird? Which one is used commonly? I find it usually not for killing. . .
    If one is good with drives, one can force the opponent into making errors, whether mishitting into the net or giving a weak return that can be killed. Either way, it'll win a point...

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