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    Default Different coach, different footwork preference

    Hi BC-ers,

    I'm new here. And following the forum's guidelines:

    your level of play, beginner/intermediate/etc.
    - intermediate


    your physical built, male/female, age, tall/short, weak/strong
    - 50/50 mesomorph/ectomorph (think 1500m runner), male, 23, 171cm, proportionate muscle support in lower and upper body


    I used to be a middle distance runner, but as it isn't quite a national sport, I've recently switched to badminton. After moving to another state, I've been training under a different coach. During shadow footwork, my former coach used to advocate chasse as means for going in front, and he never had a problem with me lunging or jumping a bit to the front. However, my new coach insists on me 'stepping' to the front, left leg, then right leg. This left leg forward first thing, is it common?? Even to the forehand side (I'm a right hander)? The rationale is to retain balance at all times.

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    Yes, I am beginning to see the "newer" footwork (if you consider the chasse forward the classic movements). In Denmark/Netherland some camps are teaching the 2 steps.

    With the classic style, after a net play, the player back off a bit, but still with racket leg in front. With the new footwork (at least new to me), it is reversed. For righty, it is the left leg in front. I guess for a big guy, he can take a big step to reach the net again.

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    Both can be done. A chasse moving forward is easier used by taller players and when you are already closer to the net.

    The left-right step is better if you have more distance to cover. At a higher level play, there are disadvantages to using chasse to cover longer distances.

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    Thanks Cheung and captaincook, those are interesting insights. I'm not that tall(171cm), so I guess the coach could have made such an evaluation.

    Also, there's this former state player that I play with once a week, and he is asking me to slice the shuttles when retrieving smashes (non-clear retrievals). Sometimes it's too fast paced that a cross court is not viable of course. But from watching some games (by lin dan or lcw), I've noticed that the straight returns they do arch down right after crossing the net (making it not quite a drive, nor a drop near the net). It doesn't appear to be a typical block as there's a slight 'flick' in the return racket action so I reckon it puts a slight spin to the shuttle which makes it go down. It's like the small slice you do when serving to make the shuttle go down right after crossing the net. I'm not imagining things, am I?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FeatherDance View Post
    The rationale is to retain balance at all times.
    arent you more balanced with chasse? if you make steps the shoulders move whereas with chasse the upper body can stay completely calm and balanced

    i only make chasse..maybe my size allows me that? (189cm)

    but im on a low level anyway (or intermediate i dont know what exactly low level and intermediate is)

    i see a lot of those steps to the front in my club but it looks awkward to me

    and most important: coach lee never mentioned that so i dont do it

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    Quote Originally Posted by FeatherDance View Post
    Thanks Cheung and captaincook, those are interesting insights. I'm not that tall(171cm), so I guess the coach could have made such an evaluation.

    Also, there's this former state player that I play with once a week, and he is asking me to slice the shuttles when retrieving smashes (non-clear retrievals). Sometimes it's too fast paced that a cross court is not viable of course. But from watching some games (by lin dan or lcw), I've noticed that the straight returns they do arch down right after crossing the net (making it not quite a drive, nor a drop near the net). It doesn't appear to be a typical block as there's a slight 'flick' in the return racket action so I reckon it puts a slight spin to the shuttle which makes it go down. It's like the small slice you do when serving to make the shuttle go down right after crossing the net. I'm not imagining things, am I?
    For smash return, I don't think I can control the birdie with slice (at least not at my level). For the half smash, or half drops - to retrieve the birdie low, I do change my grips and slice it with a slight hit at the end of the slice (due to natural pronation/sub).

    In double smash defense, I do drive back with a slight top spin like slice. I am trying to keep the drive flat or else the shuttle may rise.

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    Astute observation on the difference in smash return. A slight slice action should take more pace off the shuttle making it land in forecourt area. It makes the opponent move a further distance.
    However, against an opponent with good footwork, they can easily reach such a shuttle to play a tight netshot. A player who controls the net has an excellent chance to control the rally.

    Most of the time you see the top players play a different block that makes the shuttle go past the forecourt. It's actually harder for your opponent to create an attacking opportunity with this flight of shuttle.

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    I didnt say before that my advice refers to the singles game.

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    arent you more balanced with chasse? if you make steps the shoulders move whereas with chasse the upper body can stay completely calm and balanced
    That reasoning seems sound. Weirdly enough, I do feel 'calmer' in doing the steps, as it is less explosive and more paced. It may also have to do with my own habits. During lunging, perhaps when making the slight jump my feet are too high above the ground. We're playing on a court with standard measurements. As a taller player, you'd probably be able to lunge comfortably with your feet never lifting too far off the ground. But it will be near bounding forward for me.

    Most of the time you see the top players play a different block that makes the shuttle go past the forecourt. It's actually harder for your opponent to create an attacking opportunity with this flight of shuttle.
    So what kind of block is this? In those vids the returns actually do go past the fore court but arch downwards. Seems that it's also a sliced shot, but one with more power in it to travel that distance.

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    Aha, looks like I can't edit the post. The advice given to me was when I'm playing doubles, but I saw singles clips. Whoops.

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    Doubles soft block returning a smash - chip and charge the net.

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    I used to use the chasse all over the place. In the forecort, I've now been coached to start with the non-racket foot first as well. The biggest difference, as already mentioned, is that you can cover more court quickly. What could take 3 chasse steps can be done in a bounding 2 step. The only time I'll do a chasse at the net now is when waiting at the net for a kill, but even that is less a chasse and more of a one legged hop on the racket foot. What I also noticed is that I have more energy left. Chasse-ing around is like jumping all over the court as opposed to a more natural run. You MAY feel more balanced (it's a practice thing) with a chasse, but you lose that balance as you lose energy for the rally/game/match. IMO take it for what it's worth. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhSearsTower View Post
    arent you more balanced with chasse? if you make steps the shoulders move whereas with chasse the upper body can stay completely calm and balanced
    Chasses will leave you more balanced. But by definition they will also cover far less ground for the same number of movements. Of course the movements are smaller and so maybe are quicker, but I still think a "cross over" step is quicker than a chasse. Note: your shoulders do not need to turn to make a "cross over" step.

    Note: I like to use the term crossover step as opposed to "step" or "running step", as I feel it is more appropriate to call it that. A cross over step is not the same as putting one foot forward when running - a crossover step can still be played with the upper body angle in the same way that it would need to be for a chasse.

    In general, I would mainly stick to teaching the crossover step. The chasse step is just a smaller version of it (feet don't go as far). Of course, there are even smaller versions of these steps too, where the feet do not get very close together - sometimes called a "hitch", and used by many professionals when performing jump out movements, returning serves, and recovering after hitting a shot. The point about this is moving a short distance EXTREMELY quickly, often preparing for a jump afterwards. Note: that although I will only really teach one movement, I will point out the differences between crossovers, chasses and the smaller chasse/hitch movements where necessary. They are all useful at different times. However, most people struggle to get to the shuttle: these people should practice cross over steps in my opinion. As they master this and become faster, they should find they naturally start performing chasse movements sometimes (particularly to the forehand side), as their legs become more explosive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSeeley View Post
    Chasses will leave you more balanced. But by definition they will also cover far less ground for the same number of movements. Of course the movements are smaller and so maybe are quicker, but I still think a "cross over" step is quicker than a chasse. Note: your shoulders do not need to turn to make a "cross over" step.

    Note: I like to use the term crossover step as opposed to "step" or "running step", as I feel it is more appropriate to call it that. A cross over step is not the same as putting one foot forward when running - a crossover step can still be played with the upper body angle in the same way that it would need to be for a chasse.

    In general, I would mainly stick to teaching the crossover step. The chasse step is just a smaller version of it (feet don't go as far). Of course, there are even smaller versions of these steps too, where the feet do not get very close together - sometimes called a "hitch", and used by many professionals when performing jump out movements, returning serves, and recovering after hitting a shot. The point about this is moving a short distance EXTREMELY quickly, often preparing for a jump afterwards. Note: that although I will only really teach one movement, I will point out the differences between crossovers, chasses and the smaller chasse/hitch movements where necessary. They are all useful at different times. However, most people struggle to get to the shuttle: these people should practice cross over steps in my opinion. As they master this and become faster, they should find they naturally start performing chasse movements sometimes (particularly to the forehand side), as their legs become more explosive.
    I would love to learn the front "cross over". I can only do the "back cross over" - the chasse version - under pressure. Saw it in video, but just can't do it in court.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaincook View Post
    I would love to learn the front "cross over". I can only do the "back cross over" - the chasse version - under pressure. Saw it in video, but just can't do it in court.
    A lot of people do the "back cross over" as you put it naturally on the forehand side when moving to the front court. However, I think the regular cross over (in front) covers more ground more quickly (it may be just my personal preference though).To perform the in front cross over, position your hips as if to chasse (not the back cross over - this requires you to twist your hips even more) to the forehand forecourt. Then just step towards the front on your non racket leg, staying low, and keeping your racket ready in front of you to hit the shuttle early (which should keep your upper body from twisting too much). Then perform a lunge as normal. The difference between the front and back cross over is in how much you twist your lower body.

    Good luck.

    While I am here - I like to impart a small amount of slice to smash returns in singles (and sometimes doubles). I move the racket so that it is pointing completely square to the net (i..e pointing directly forwards). Then as I move my racket forwards (hitting the shuttle towards the net), I then "open" my racket face, so that the strings begin to point upwards. However I still hit "forwards" towards the net (not upwards). I find this gives me the perfect block every time - start with the face closed, and then open it as you push through the shuttle. I do not think of it as slicing the shuttle, but I am giving a hint of slice.

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    i have seen several sets now of chen long and he NEVER did that crossover stuff...not even once..since he is about my height i watched him closely

    also juliane schenk and wang yihan do not do walking steps from midcourt to the front

    only time there is a walking (running) step is when they really have to come from the back to the front in one flow (without splitstep)


    edit: just after i wrote this post i see juliane schenk do it, she comes from the backhand back corner and runs to the forehand front corner with a little splitstep in the middle and then keeps running with a step and not chasse
    Last edited by OhSearsTower; 12-30-2012 at 05:34 AM.

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