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  1. #1
    Regular Member wilfredlgf's Avatar
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    Default Courtside Inspiration and You

    I returned to my regular badminton session on Saturday nights last week after several months away and I truly enjoy it for one good reason.

    As I sat at the bench awaiting the current game between my crew, I took notice of a group of three young guys aged between 21-25 and an older guy aged between 40 - 45, who dueled away in a fashion I have not seen since the heydays of my brother-friend in their inter-school days.

    They played the game at high speed, high intensity, using both power and deception to full potential to try to outdo one another. Jump smashes come at will, hardly any lifts unless pressured, all strokes mostly drives and carefully placed shots. The synergy between them and their partners were equally impressive, with hardly any miscommunications and positioning errors; they simply know how to move as if they already know how the opponents will respond.

    (Incidentally, one of them looked 90% like Lee Chong Wei, losing out in the deceptiveness dept, but poses such great calmness, even when the opponent in doing a jump smash, flicking it back like he'd been doing it all his life)

    One amazing thing that I saw was how one of them who was the tallest did a jump smash from a weak reply and hammered it down to close to the net.

    The illustration says it all.

    After watching them play, I felt a sudden inspiration to play better than I normally do and true to that, I actually played so much better than I did in the past two weeks back at the Saturday session; drops fall so much closer to the net and so very steep, smashes work more accurate and less error in defense.

    How about you?

    1. Are you more likely to perform better when you're surrounded by good/great players?

    2. Are you likely to perform better (individually) if you have a good:

    i) partner?
    ii) opponent?

    or does it have a negative effect on you?

    I didn't entertain the thought of challenging those guys as I am WAY out of their league. They're perhaps somewhat a rung below or on par with national level trainees!

    p/s - I had a heavy use of 'Sigit-Candra Defense' (body perpendicular to the net, racquet front) that and it is proven to be very effective against opponents who are on the offensive; once I went through five consecutive hard smashes unscathed. It became a problem when I had to move to the back to hit - slows down the body a lot. IMHO.
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  2. #2
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    if your body is perpendicular to the net, wouldn't that make returning smashes to your backside impossible?

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    It is possible, but you have to return more or less in front of you.

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    Default Re: Courtside Inspiration and You

    Originally posted by wilfredlgf

    p/s - I had a heavy use of 'Sigit-Candra Defense' (body perpendicular to the net, racquet front) that and it is proven to be very effective against opponents who are on the offensive; once I went through five consecutive hard smashes unscathed. It became a problem when I had to move to the back to hit - slows down the body a lot. IMHO.
    I would like to ask if the legs were split and none of them are behind.

    Also, wouldn't it be equally difficult to move to the front to receive the drop?

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    When playing with better players, one has to work extra hard to correct the imbalance. In recreational or tournament games, opponents will likely take advantage of that and work alittle more on the weaker player. Speed or pacing will also increase, that's another reason why groups with similar levels like to play against themselves and seldom pick lesser skilled/ slower players for games. Watching great players play inspires naturally, I can't tell you how many times I have watched the video of All-England 2001 finals for motivation.

    With regards to the Candra/Sigit defense stance, I find that it's harder to defend against smash or drive to the forehand side. However, defense is generally stronger against shots to body and to backhand side. Often caught flat-footed when my opponent smashed it wide while I use this stance, faster reflex and foot speed is probably needed to make it more feasible for me than the regular defensive stance (square to the smasher/parallel to the net).

    Teddy, in the stance the legs are spread and knees bent with your body forward. The trick is to attempt intercepting the shots in front of you than backing up to receive. Drops are easy for me, cuz I only have to lunge forward to receive (like a fencer going for a hit).
    Last edited by cappy75; 12-17-2003 at 05:29 AM.

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    I though Sigit defended very forehand, with racquet foot and racquet arm back.
    Which is why he often plays the round the back shots to defend against shots to his backhand.

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    Regular Member wilfredlgf's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: Courtside Inspiration and You

    Originally posted by teddy
    Also, wouldn't it be equally difficult to move to the front to receive the drop?
    Not really. As cappy had mentioned, you do the 'fencing tap' to handle that. The biggest trouble I had with this stance is when the shuttle flies high to the back - the 180 turn to go back kinda made it hard to keep at it often if your opponents are those 'a high one for you, smash it down!' type of people. I was caught many time with the shuttle flying over the head from crosscourt, and since I am not that used to this stance yet, I could actually miss the shuttle completely because I can't turn in time.

    Still, I am beginning to make it a habit now to stand perpendicular to the net, racquet up to tap as if it's second nature when under attack. It felt that it was more... 'comfortable' than the common method, I have no idea why. Any ideas?

    As for what cappy said, some of these guys have a sense of pride as well -
    "we don't play with the.. 'juniors' "... and it's a fact. It'd do bad to their standards if they play against much weaker opponents as it could actually have a negative effect on their skills. My brother told me of his boss and his 'Group of Six' that play only among themselves and people are only invited, not allowed... something like an exclusive club kinda thing.

    (The Gang of Six, based on what my brother had said of the only time when he joined them; are better than those that I have mentioned on the first post... and come to think of it, he once asked to join him for a game or two. Creepy... I would, but I don't feel like "wasting my time", if you understand what I'm saying...)

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    1 & 2 summed up: im more likely to perform when playing/surrounded with good/great players. although if i get paired up with one, i'll get really nervous and start shaking. if i play against players that are not up to my level, i'll let my guard down and start to play pretty crappy

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    me too.

    and the contrary is also true for me. i play poorly around poor players, but i play well around good players. so in tournament, i force myself to just watch the good players and sometimes magically, i can do things that i didn't know i can do...

    somewhat related, if i watch badminton tapes before badminton games, i play better too.

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    It's a bit like the weather really, isn' t it when you watch people play? If you watch some people play who are under your own standard, it seems to influence me with lethargy. I won't concentrate properly so my reaction time goes down, I won't put everything into my smashes and I probably won't even run around the court and keep to my never say die motto. On the other hand, when I watch people whose standards are equal or above my own, now that really gets my blood boiling. I'd give it 100% and no mercy, I just want to win.
    I don't think the standard of my partner or opponents affects the way I play though. When I'm on court, I'm pretty much in a world of my own.

  11. #11
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    Default Sigit defense stance

    For me, it's easier since a high clear to the forehand side give me enough time to chasse back abit and turn to my forehand. As for a high drive to the forehand, I usually rely on my reflex to jump back, doing a reverse scissor- cross (racquet leg shift from front to back) and try to cut off the drive. A high clear to the backhand side is abit trickier for me, I would chasse back and hit it with a over shoulder swing or chasse abit, take one giant step and backhand the shot when under pressure.

    As for defending a drive to the forehand, I saw in the All-Englands video that Sigit was defending that area with an extended backhand sometimes. I tried it and sometimes I managed to get them, but I can't do anything if the drive is wide and good.

    Just like Wilfred, I get really comfy with this stance as it reduces my profile to attack. Drops are easier to get... especially fast drops where it land abit further from the net than slow drops.

    A quick note here: my stance is not totally perpendicular to the net, maybe 45 degrees or more with my racquet side leading. Racquet is stretched out to chest level to cut off any shots to the body. Preferred grip in this stance is a slight panhandle. The more experience you have, the sooner you can cut off shots instead of waiting for the shot to get into range.

    Originally posted by wilfredlgf
    Not really. As cappy had mentioned, you do the 'fencing tap' to handle that. The biggest trouble I had with this stance is when the shuttle flies high to the back - the 180 turn to go back kinda made it hard to keep at it often if your opponents are those 'a high one for you, smash it down!' type of people. I was caught many time with the shuttle flying over the head from crosscourt, and since I am not that used to this stance yet, I could actually miss the shuttle completely because I can't turn in time.

    Still, I am beginning to make it a habit now to stand perpendicular to the net, racquet up to tap as if it's second nature when under attack. It felt that it was more... 'comfortable' than the common method, I have no idea why. Any ideas?

  12. #12
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    This thread is going off topic

    Yes Sigit does often cover one side when defending. A couple of points regarding this, at the worlds I saw him get hit with the shuttle in the body several times and play weak shots behind his back which were straightforward kills.

    Defending backhand on the forehand side has it advatages (power , don't have to change grip) but the only shots playable are stright high lift or straight block/drive. This means that if the rear court player successfully smashes into the forehand area (when defender in his right hand half of court) , seeing the player play a backhand the forecourt player will only have to cover the straight net and the rear court player only cover the straight lift. Without the crosscourt option which the forehand defence gives a good attacking pair should be able to win the rally from that situation.

    Many indonesians seem to get away with this one sided defending due to their incredible speed, strength and flexibility but I prefer the "Korean" style of starting with the racket pointed towards the shuttle and defending the forehand side with forehand grip.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to both stances.

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    to comment on the original topic,

    i do get that little inspiration to play better after watching high level skilled players. whether it be in person or watching videos, right after (the next hour, next day, so forth) i seem to play quite better, more consistent, etc. I think i mentioned in a previous thread that i tend to watch international players on videos before i play in a tournament. Same idea, it tends to give me some motivation like, "Oh man, i gotta play like "so and so"."

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