I have a question about mixed doubles and how you know what shot to play. I am an intermediate man and want to cut out the shots that are stopping me from going up to the next level.
If you have any tips and general patterns of play please post. I have read Jake Downey and learnt a lot from that and have checked out YouTube for clips etc. I am also thinking of getting specific coaching for shot selection. Cheers guys
I would avoid doing a dropshot from back court if you opponent is in position and is rather fast. Not worth the risk imo.
Try to hit away from your opponent or hit directly at their body on a smash if they have fast reflexes/movement.
A typical match goes like this:
Short Serve or Long serve
Dropshot once the opponent is waiting at the back a little too long or if they can smash your clears too easily.
Clear or Netkill
Rinse and Repeat, maybe throwing in some smashes or slices for a surprise
I would avoid doing a dropshot from back court if you opponent is in position and is rather fast. Not worth the risk imo.Try to hit away from your opponent or hit directly at their body on a smash if they have fast reflexes/movement.A typical match goes like this:Short Serve or Long serveClearClearClearDropshot once the opponent is waiting at the back a little too long or if they can smash your clears too easily.Dropshot DropshotClear or NetkillRinse and Repeat, maybe throwing in some smashes or slices for a surprise
Me thinks you are talking about singles not mixed doubles. Thanks anyway.
When they're in a front back formation, try fast shots passing the girl onto the mid side alleys. If drops make sure they're not slow as that'll be picked off by the girl. If they're in side by side, then try to push the girl back... assuming she's the weaker one. Whichever is the weaker one, bias your shots to that person.
Practicing all the possible shots selection in mixed double will be no different from training yourself and your female partner a lot of drills for that specific shot i.e straight smash, smash return, drives etc. What makes each of this shot an advantage by itself while playing mixed double depends on how you and your partner can correctly plan the right combination of shots selection while playing so that your tactical plan can achieve the strategy that you want to achieve while playing that is to win the game in the end. What already have been mentioned here by the other BC members will be some of the examples of the shots selection that you can device as your plan while playing.
Unless your female partner is a world class player then you can have the leisure to play similarly like an open double formation and you'll most likely will have less headache to cover her most of the time and most likely she will cover you all the time at the end. However, in this case, I'll assume that you'll be the one that needs to retrieve most of the hits given and cover the length of the court more and therefore, you must smartly plan what are the right series of shots combination to do so that your female partner will be more threatening rather than becoming the weak spot in your court and at the same time the shots you've already decided to perform will also advantageously allow you to follow up swiftly for your next hit so that you will always be one step ahead.
The other aspect that is important for you to realize is that, how weak your female partner may be, she also plays an important role in your plan to decide what shot that you will make and therefore knowing what are her strength and weakness will be vital for you. If she is very good in killing any weak front court return or anticipating any front court drives, yours shots selection should harness her strength and therefore your selection of shots should always be low or fast flat if you can't attack so that she can positioned herself optimally at the front court. Its morally better if she can do some front court kill if there is any opportunity and it's psychologically even better if that kill is a return from the male opponent.
Thanks shooting stroke. Strategy is what I am trying to work out. Playing to our strengths but also trying to improve on our weaknesses. For me to take the next step I need to be able to work out what strategy we should be using and implement it on the court. I know we need to adapt to our opponents during the match, not play to their strengths and get them to play to our strengths. I am thinking a lot about the tactics of mixed doubles but sometimes I find it hard to see the wood for the trees and repeat the same shots that have got me in trouble previously. I have watched a lot of matches on the web and have noticed a lot of the players especially in mixed don't play 100% strength shots, like smashes and drives, and tend to concentrate more on staying balanced and ready for the next shot, then when an opportunity comes it is taken. The players seem to be more in control. I will try this approach next at our practise sessions.
What else can I work on? I find I can do most shots but need to be more confident in using a backhand cross court smash. Does any know any drills that practice spotting the gaps the opponents have left before playing a shot?
The skill to find any weak opportunity that exist within your opponent requires you and your female partner to train together a lot of playing exposure (formation training) that eventually will sharpen your visual skill and playing experience. That maturity that you will gain from regularly exposing yourself with her as a playing pair will strategically allow you to sensibly know and plan what pattern of winning shot that both of you have to win and at the same time sharpen the other facet of skills pattern that both of you have while playing together i.e court coverage, anticipation, etc.
Improving your technique and skill alone by yourself will be useless in double if you don't combined your strength with your partner strength as your not playing alone but together with her and the only logical way for you to have that mutual patterns of winning shots is to regularly play together. Formation training with her regularly with an opponent with an equivalent or better strength and preferably with a male double opponent will improve much on how you can sharpen you and your partner strength and at the same time to easily spot your opponent weakness.
There are a few things that you and your partner must know a head of time.
1. Serving options, and covering options.
2. Return of serve options, and formations following each options.
3. And more difficult ones, driving and different formations; you can call it trapping.
You will notice in BWF super series, sometimes a pair will overload one area to over power the opponent (yes, leaving a wide gap in other area on purpose). By the time the opponent realized it, it was either too late or not able to punch through the wall into the open area.
If you get tired,do clears and drops.Move around the court with precison and consistency.Make some unexpected moves that will surprise your opponent.Spot his or her weakness quickly.Smash while you still can.Place the shuttlecock where your opponent might not reach it in time.
For me Mixed is all about drop shots & low tramline shots to set up a lift. You need to be able to play different tramline shots from the drop, just past the lady, & a full drive down the line. On both the forehand and backhand. Once the lift is generated then you smash. . .
Best Advice I ever got for Mixed was not go cross court to early. If your playing flat and down the line then your lady has a chance to cut it out, you then also have more time to cut out a diagonal (assuming your back at base position) Returning a straight shot off a diagonal also means your opponent has to move the whole width of the court in the shortest time. I usually only play the diagonal when I've forced the man to pick up a tramline shot just behind behind the lady. You'll usually find the lady & man bunched together and masses of space on the cross at that point.
Apart from that my cardinal rule for mixed is DO NOT LIFT. If you do then don't expect your partner to stay at the front or be effective at the net. . .
Several posts have eluded to this, but no-one has explicitly stated that doubles is doubles, mixed or otherwise. Therefore, the overwhelming majority of tactical considerations that apply to level doubles will also apply to mixed too:
1) Don't lift, unless there are no viable alternatives
2) When the shuttle is lifted to your partner, take up a position to complement their attack. Modify that position based upon what shot your partner plays
3) When attacking, the partner at the net needs to cover drives, especially cross-court drives. They can always move forwards to intercept (kill) blocks and net shots.
4) When your partner lifts/clears, take up a complementary defensive position
The (not always true) presumption in mixed is that the man is substantially stronger than the lady. If this is the case, then:
1) When defending, the lady is x-court, the man is down-the-line. Therefore, if you have to lift, the man should tend to lift/clear straight, the lady tends to lift/clear x-court. Never leave your lady at the net when defending. If you can't defend smashes from there, why should she have to?
2) Try to get their lady to the rear or (frequently forgotten) their man to the fore-court. Straight drops or x-court net shots can bring their man into their fore-court & yield an attacking position.
3) If their lady is standing on or ahead of the service line when they are defending, they are vulnerable to smashes and fast drops either side of them.
4) If their lady is standing on or ahead of the service line when you are defending, they can be vulnerable to x-court drives and blocks/pushes just past them.
A useful tip during practice matches is to deliberately start rallies off the "wrong-way-round". For example, if the man is serving or receiving, then take up positions as if you are playing level (with the lady in the mid/rear court). Practice getting yourselves out of trouble, then the attack, then win the point from the attack. It'll be tough (especially for the lady), but she'll improve far faster than being pinned to the net.
When you gain proficiency with this, expand it to when the woman is receiving (i.e. the man stands at the front).