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    Default Doubles: Do both partners need strong smashes?

    I was just wondering if at the advanced level whether you can be a successful doubles team if only one partner has the hard smash while the other has a below average smash?

    I play regularly with a guy who can do everything but does not have a hard smash. We do well when I'm in the back court because he can put away the weak returns but when I set up for him to smash, we usually go back on the defensive because he doesn't have the power to put the opponents in trouble.

    We once played opponents who caught onto this and they minimized the number of times they lifted to me. They would lift to my partner if he was in the back or lift to his side on a clear. They would pull me into the net by dropping to my side.

    Any similar experiences? Suggestions?

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    does your partner has good other strokes than smash? can he do deceptive drops? good attacking clears? is he a good net player? is he a smart player?

    if he is weak on all fronts, then you are in trouble. work on the basics.

    it is a standard tactic to feed all the birdies to the weaker smasher, i mean, who'd want to feed the birdie to the guy who has a 200mph smash? or feed it to the guy who runs out of gas after 2 smashes.

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    My partner is an outstanding singles player and very smart. We never lose points on drop shots. We're both very fit too so neither of us gets worn down.

    The thing is that opponents poach at the net because the smash isn't that strong and we have to give up the attack with a clear or the opponents return the smash with a drive. Playing people who have average smashes isn't a problem because we can return their smashes but having to lift to opponents who can hammer it down on you takes it toll and makes winning a lot harder.

    If we lose, it is usually by 1 or 3 points so it's not like it's a big hindrance but I'd like to get over the hump against some of the stronger opponents. I get my fair share of smashes because my partner sets them up for me.

    I guess the question is how do we keep the attack on when my partner (who doesn't have a big smash) is in the back?
    Last edited by valourarc; 10-07-2003 at 02:31 PM.

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    Hmm, Valourarc, are you my doubles partner going under another name or something? I know what you are talking about, and maybe I can offer some advice from your partners perspective. A few quick questions:

    1) How's your partner's mobility when at the back on the offense?
    2) Does your partner jump for shots when on the offense and timing permits?
    3) What type of drop shot does your partner use? Slow, Fast, both?
    4) Does your partner pronate when he smashes?

    If your partners mobility is good, and he has no trouble staying on the offense, then the problem is just finishing.

    If your partner doesn't jump when he smashes, he wont get the kind of angle you need to put away a bird. A powerful smash is not as important as a fast shot heading straight down to the floor. Have him work on his angle on his smashes, definately work at hitting all the corners, or smashing down the middle, etc.

    If your partner doesn't use a fast drop, you're in trouble. A slow drop is great if it drops below the net, but if your opponents are already poaching his smash, they are going to be all over his drop shot. He needs to jump and take the bird early, hitting a faster dropshot -- again, placement is everything. Since he cant really unload a smash, he's going to try and draw a weak return that you can put away.

    Can you and your partner work on his power? Power is something that can be developed...pronation, timing/technique. Worst comes to worst he can do some weight training


    As far as keeping on the attack when your partner is back...have your partner hit those fast drops and be ready to try and cut off any weak or low returns. You may want to consider taking a step back to give you that extra little bit of coverage on clears, but be ready if your opponents drop.

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    Maradona, thanks for the advice. I'll try to answer a few of your questions.

    1) Partner is pretty moblie on offense
    2) Partner jumps.. smash angle/placement is actually pretty good but doesn't have the power to back opponent off (sometimes you just have to unlease a few chest level power shots to back them off)
    3) Uses slice/fast drops
    4) Don't think he pronates.. that's probably the problem.

    I normally stand 1 foot behind the short service line when I'm at the net because it's more defensive and I'm quick enough to put things away/cut off net shots or drives at that position.

    Are there any strategies to rotate the stronger player to the back during rallies? I was watchin Gunawan/Haryanto play and it's obvious that Haryanto is the smasher. It also amazes me that Haryanto is always the one smashing and Gunawan is the set up person. How do they always get into this formation?

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    If you partner go forward, you can rotate to the back. But your partner have to setup a controllable situation for you to go back and attack with power. Sometimes your opponents use low/fast pace/passing lobs to keep your partner under control. What you need is a high/slow lob that you can apply your power, or a low return that you can anticipate and intercept with control well ahead of time.

    Do you and your partner have a good defense? The worse you can have is lifting and prepare for a defense. Doing defense is not bad. Be able to control your opponents' attack is just as offensive.

    I am in the process of learning as well. Please feel free to comment.

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    To be successful in double, ideally you need both player to be strong in all area equally. However, it is not a requirement. Most pair will complement each other to win games.

    To play a game, you need to watch how your opponents react to certain shots. Here are a few ways (not necessarily exhaustive, mind you):

    1. Try to vary the game tempo.
    2. Do both of you have excellent shuttle placement? To move the opponents around and break their formation, for your rotation, etc.
    3. Do both of you recognize each other's shot? For example, does one recognize that the other is setting up and he should be ready for the execution?
    4. etc. etc.

    Again to do testing you both need to have a very strong defense first. If not, you might get slaughtered. Usually to shorten the testing period, if possible, you might want to watch your opponent and see their weaknesses and strengths and discuss between you and your partner regarding strategies. Lastly, I hope that if you are playing advanced level, there is a coach that you can consult with.

    Cheers.

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    If one of them cannot smash, then they must have other strengths. In the 2000 olympics, in doubles, Tony Gunawan wasnt a really hard smasher, nor did he smash all the time. His partner candra was a really good smasher though, and they won the gold medal. They both had good defense, but Tony just had really good drops and net play instead of crazy smashes

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    Default Re: Doubles: Do both partners need strong smashes?

    Let me give you a simple strategy maybe this will help.
    It does for me but first you and your partners must be pretty
    good in your defence otherwise it won't work.As long as your
    opponent do a drop short and you and your partner are able
    to lift as high as possible,that will weaken your opponent's
    smash and chances is that he will not smash if your lifting is
    all the way to the base line.The problem with most players
    is because they never realise that their lifting is not all the
    way to base that is why your opponent have a very strong
    smash due to your short lift.Next,i would suggest you do
    more flat lob to the base and move your opponent from left to
    right,at anytime when you notice your opponent using his backhand
    your partner should move to the next,while the one who is doing
    the lobbing will still stay at the back just in case he is not doing
    a backhand drop,but in any case even if the guess is wrong your
    partner who is at the back will still have the chance to smash.
    Try this but be patient,be cool and put your mental strength to
    good use.


    Cheers





    Originally posted by valourarc
    I was just wondering if at the advanced level whether you can be a successful doubles team if only one partner has the hard smash while the other has a below average smash?

    I play regularly with a guy who can do everything but does not have a hard smash. We do well when I'm in the back court because he can put away the weak returns but when I set up for him to smash, we usually go back on the defensive because he doesn't have the power to put the opponents in trouble.

    We once played opponents who caught onto this and they minimized the number of times they lifted to me. They would lift to my partner if he was in the back or lift to his side on a clear. They would pull me into the net by dropping to my side.

    Any similar experiences? Suggestions?

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by chub2003
    If one of them cannot smash, then they must have other strengths. In the 2000 olympics, in doubles, Tony Gunawan wasnt a really hard smasher, nor did he smash all the time. His partner candra was a really good smasher though, and they won the gold medal. They both had good defense, but Tony just had really good drops and net play instead of crazy smashes
    That sounds like a bit of an understatement. I wonder how many of us could return Tony G s smashes. Agree a lot with what Jayes says.

    This situation actually happened with me and my doubles partner. We used to change the rotation around. Then, we underwent some technique changes and now, we are almost equal from the rear court. Of course we have our strengths at the back and front of the court, but we are more balanced and more difficult to beat for it.

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    I think many of the top pairs have had one player who does more of the smashing and one player who excells in the forecourt. Certainley you need the ability to smash hard for your level or a good pair can isolate you at the back. However if one player smashes mostly and the other is more creative (Gunawan) it can be a great combination. Two players with big smashes but relatively poor net play / defence could be very beatable for instance and predictable.

    If you are the "set up player" blocking and following to the net would enable you to get in preferred formation. Similarly ensuring you rotate when the set up player has been moved across the back of the court will get you the "right" way round.

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    valourarc...


    ermm...

    i think your partner is fine, if he cannot produce a hard smash so what? is smashing everything in badminton?

    well.. if he really can't smash.. both of you have to come up with a game that suites his and your sytle.... and coordination that suites both of you....

    smashing hard is not the only way to win rallies......

    In Doubles, most important is the placing of the shuttle.... the pace of the game(in doubles.. fast game is preferred), how deceptive both of you are... also.. how good is both of you at varying the pace..

    ..i've played and seen many played.....

    sometimes a person needs to give a real hard smash twice before killing the shuttle........ but sometimes i see another person... give a average smash... but very good placement... and in one smash... he caught the opponent off guard... also he saves more energy without having to give a hard smash twice.....


    if he can't smash.... why do you still want to concentrate on smashing type of game? can't you switch tactics? maybe more drives... drops.. placement.... instead of smashing.......
    Last edited by fhchiang; 10-13-2003 at 09:21 AM.

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    isn't the situation similar to a mixed doubles combination? IMO i feel that as long as both of your could play to your strengths, opponents will find it hard to expliot your weaknesses.

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    Originally posted by jeffreyk
    isn't the situation similar to a mixed doubles combination? IMO i feel that as long as both of your could play to your strengths, opponents will find it hard to expliot your weaknesses.
    yeah.. in XD...


    the females don't have strong smashes... but their net play are extremely good..

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    But in mixed double, the guy always need a strong attack. Giving slow returns is a formula for losing in mix double.

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    Cheung,

    What technique changes did you guys adopt to increase effectiveness from rear court?

    This is off topic but bear with me. Mentioning Tony G's smash brings back memory of Coach Chan's smash. During one group session, Coach Chan smashed as hard as he could at two of his top students. I stood in front of Coach Chan to intercept anything that comes back to me. To my surprise, nothing came back: his smashes were so hard that his students barely nicked the shuttles.

    Originally posted by Cheung
    That sounds like a bit of an understatement. I wonder how many of us could return Tony G s smashes. Agree a lot with what Jayes says.

    This situation actually happened with me and my doubles partner. We used to change the rotation around. Then, we underwent some technique changes and now, we are almost equal from the rear court. Of course we have our strengths at the back and front of the court, but we are more balanced and more difficult to beat for it.

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    Pete,

    1. we made some technique adjustments improving our overhead action.
    2. We don't always smash hard - we mix up with drops, slow smashes
    3. we rotate better, thereby the rear court player can move forwards while the front player moves back - allows a rest in the rally.

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