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  1. #1
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    Default How to tell a friend to improve more?

    tl;dr backstory and rant about my current group. New player is making dangerous plays and quality of games drop with him playing. He seems willing to learn but without being blunt what is the best way to approach him with basics, such as reading material etc.

    So the regulars of my group consists of 7 people, 3 of them (including me) have somewhat tried to learn the fundamentals and basics of positioning and technique in badminton during our time playing. I am by no means trying to sound elitist as none of us have been coached but I think I speak for many others that if everyone in a group learns the very basics of badminton such as positioning then the quality of our games will rise.

    We only ever play doubles and that means there is always 1 person that is lacking if us 3 are playing. We have tried talking to the other 3 about stuff like this and while they feigned interest and went back to old habits after a week we just left it and decided not to bother with them, I find that the fact they weren't willing to learn even after +1 year of playing was disrespectful to the group but because they make up the other half I don't feel like I'm in a position to say anything. This leads to annoyances when paired with one of them and also a very stale game as they always play the same, they haven't improved since their first ~six months of playing and aren't willing to either. It also leads to dangerous play as they (+1 the other person I'll be talking about) will frequently jump into the wrong positioning or go out of their way to hit the shuttle etc which if it is meant for me means that we're both in danger of hitting each other, which has already happened once. (Back/Front positioning, I was back friend was front, opponent clears I get ready to smash, swing my racket and friend walks back about 3 steps very quickly in which I hit him on the shoulder hard) I only call for the shuttle when it is ambiguous as to who should hit it.

    A very new player/friend joined us as while he seems pretty interested in the sport he doesn't seem to know the basics of badminton, while I dont blame him since he is new I'm not sure how to tell him. I almost cracked last time because when I get paired up with him I almost hit him at least 5 times every game because he walks right into my area. I told him privately afterwards about positioning and while he seemed interested in it (deja vu) he was still trying to justify how his play style would still work given the situation. I try not to be too blunt or harsh with him but I feel like I wouldn't be able to control myself if it keeps on happening. Thus we could lose a potential 4th player who is willing to learn about badminton.
    Last edited by aboveNbeyond; 02-12-2014 at 05:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    With something like this, I would always try to start with work on encouragement rather than telling someone what they are doing wrong or not doing.

    You want to spark their interest to learn which will get them in the mindset to ask more questions and to think about their game more.

    It is far better to do this than be critical about someone. Starting on a negative is never a good way to start.

    Talk about what he or the pairing does well, what skills he has before suggesting things to explore. Once their interest in improving their game increases, they will be self critical and look for advice from others.

    However having said that, there are some people who are stubborn or aren't interested in improving. If you are bothered by that then the only way is not to play with them when training... but if its just a social thing, then just learn to take treat it lightheartedly.

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    You can be "willing" to learn badminton all you want, but if you are convinced you are right(about positioning etc) when you are wrong then it is impossible to learn and get better. If I am convinced and no matter what I constantly try to justify 1+1=3 then I can not learn that it actually equals 2. If you have a good understanding of the game then you could explain to him via a demonstration why his positioning won't work, or show him videos maybe that will work. Failing that, better being blunt with him when your reasonably calm rather than "cracking" and being worse.

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    R20190 is right about positive encouragement and tell him why that's good. If that gets him interested to improve then u can explain more. If he seems to be disinterested to improve then there is nothing much u can do.

    My groups has such players and when I happen to partner such guy I just play to exercise and practice our shots, no need to be so hard up to win all the time. I even once told him that whether we can win or not 70-80% depends on him on that day because the opponents almost always aim for the weaker player.

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    I used to be in a group like that, with half good and half not so good players. The problem was the few not so good ones were unwilling to learn or take constructive advice re positioning, shot placement and selection, the usual doubles tactics. Their reasoning was they're just there for the exercise, saying don't take it so seriously, it's just a game.

    In the end after a year of stagnant play where I was beginning to get bored, I began to find out more about groups and after a few drop in sessions, switched groups to become a regular there. Sometimes you just have to find the right group for your level.

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    to be honest, starts with simple stuff
    when you serve, ask the person to go behind you, and stay there, don't move to the front, only go for left and right.
    keep praising them, that they got it right, their smash is good, etc
    and then, when on receiving serve, go for left right position, tell them, yours is on that side, and this side is mine, do not take any shuttle that moves to here.

    and then, when they are used to this kind of thing, say to them, I want you guys to move to the back / front if I move to the front / back, and I will do the same. say to them the logic behind it
    now, play, and keep saying to them what to do, if you score with that formation (for example the front guy intercept and wins a point. then say, look, this is why we are on attacking position when the opponent lift

    and on then, same, ask them, I want you to form left and right formation if one of us lift or clear.
    if you can defend a smash / win a point from it, then say, this is why defending position is important

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    Quote Originally Posted by R20190 View Post
    With something like this, I would always try to start with work on encouragement rather than telling someone what they are doing wrong or not doing.

    You want to spark their interest to learn which will get them in the mindset to ask more questions and to think about their game more.

    However having said that, there are some people who are stubborn or aren't interested in improving. If you are bothered by that then the only way is not to play with them when training... but if its just a social thing, then just learn to take treat it lightheartedly.
    I see how encouragement would work compared to what I'm doing and looks like I'm gonna have to see past that everytime I feel like criticizing their play. Yes, it is just a social thing so hah guess I'm getting too serious about it

    Quote Originally Posted by craigandy View Post
    If I am convinced and no matter what I constantly try to justify 1+1=3 then I can not learn that it actually equals 2. If you have a good understanding of the game then you could explain to him via a demonstration why his positioning won't work, or show him videos maybe that will work. Failing that, better being blunt with him when your reasonably calm rather than "cracking" and being worse.
    Thanks for that perspective, a demonstration might be good if I can't do it via playing an actual game. I did ask him to look at the olympic games as when I watched it it was great to see the partners coordinate their plays, I don't expect us to be on the same level yet but at least have an understanding.


    Quote Originally Posted by sautom88 View Post

    My groups has such players and when I happen to partner such guy I just play to exercise and practice our shots, no need to be so hard up to win all the time. I even once told him that whether we can win or not 70-80% depends on him on that day because the opponents almost always aim for the weaker player.
    That is a better way of thinking about it, making it exercise and practice. It's funny, I always told myself to not take it too seriously and instead of trying to win all the time get some rallies going but it always feels a wee bit too fake of a game. Got to get that winning mindset outta my head as imo being too competitive amongst friends ruins the atmosphere of what badminton should be. Bit of hypocrisy going on there ey?




    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    the few not so good ones were unwilling to learn or take constructive advice re positioning, shot placement and selection, the usual doubles tactics. Their reasoning was they're just there for the exercise, saying don't take it so seriously, it's just a game.

    In the end after a year of stagnant play where I was beginning to get bored, I began to find out more about groups and after a few drop in sessions, switched groups to become a regular there. Sometimes you just have to find the right group for your level.
    Are you in my group? Because it sounds exactly like what my mates said about badminton when I confronted them about it! :P If groups is the same as clubs then yeah I should really find a social club and see how they go, just a bit intimidated by the unfamiliarity to go alone as I've brought it up with the other 'good players' and they don't seem interested even if they complain about the 'not so good' ones.


    Quote Originally Posted by Avenger View Post
    to be honest, starts with simple stuff
    when you serve, ask the person to go behind you, and stay there, don't move to the front, only go for left and right.

    say to them the logic behind it
    now, play, and keep saying to them what to do, if you score with that formation (for example the front guy intercept and wins a point. then say, look, this is why we are on attacking position when the opponent lift
    then say, this is why defending position is important
    What you said looks like a great way to slowly graduate in learning during game play while using actual examples that should still be fresh in his mind, thanks!

    On a side note and completely unrelated to the topic. When playing doubles is it considered bad etiquette that when you lose your point you mention what you did wrong and how it's my fault? Would it just bring morale down? Whenever a point is lost is it best just to move on and not mention a single thing?
    I frequently mention things when I lost a point and while I thought for a while that it helped me realise my mistakes I thought about the other side of the coin on how it may seem like making excuses.

    Cheers for all the wonderful replies and suggestions, I'll definitely put them to good use!

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    i think you have to find a group or better a club to play

    you cannot force other ppl in any way to get better..they have a good point in doing just exercise and not willing to learn..i think its not to blame

    if you wanna play good games you must find a spot where ppl are at your level..and where you find better ppl in case you improve more

    so I would try to persuade your better friends to try a club out! dont be shy about it!
    you are already 3 so its even easier to try it out



    everybody knows how bad it is to play with players who constantly run into you because they have no clue about positioning
    it gets even worse if they dont see their error and defend their mistakes...very annoying

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    Quote Originally Posted by aboveNbeyond View Post



    That is a better way of thinking about it, making it exercise and practice. It's funny, I always told myself to not take it too seriously and instead of trying to win all the time get some rallies going but it always feels a wee bit too fake of a game. Got to get that winning mindset outta my head as imo being too competitive amongst friends ruins the atmosphere of what badminton should be. Bit of hypocrisy going on there ey?






    Are you in my group? Because it sounds exactly like what my mates said about badminton when I confronted them about it! :P If groups is the same as clubs then yeah I should really find a social club and see how they go, just a bit intimidated by the unfamiliarity to go alone as I've brought it up with the other 'good players' and they don't seem interested even if they complain about the 'not so good' ones.!
    Go first. No need for other people. I have been to badminton clubs in Brisbane and Sydney by myself, not knowing a single person.

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    how was your skill then?

    its way way easier if you have club experience already...

    when i joined my first club i was maybe at the stage of abovenbeyond now and its a complete other thing than when i joined my second club where i already had teamleague experience


    but still..look for a club! no matter your skill-level, if youre behind you can catch up fast
    most ppl should be friendly

  14. #11
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    ^^^ Cheung is a bit of a pro, so he can walk into any club and show them up! lol Seriously though, I often get paired with a very weak player as there are some people at my clubs who always want to beat me, whatever it takes. But I see it another the other way. Pairing up with a weaker player against good opponents is a nice challenge. Obviously the odds are against us and so the pressure is on the opponents not to give too much away. And so I get to try different things out. I would always prefer to encourage and lead by example than to beat someone with a stick if they did something wrong, afterall we all got into badminton because we enjoy playing the sport.

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  16. #12
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    i totally agree with you but i think OPs problem is that the weak player is so weak that it really gets annoying because you have to watch your rackets and bones all the time because his mate does not know how to play doubles

    that takes fun out of it imo

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    I had to start going to clubs in my early days as a player. School badminton wasn't enough when I discovered the great game.

    Go to the more social clubs first to get a feel of things and find a group that's good for you and for them. Also, it doesn't mean you have to leave your friends behind either. Keep playing with your friends.
    Last edited by Cheung; 02-13-2014 at 07:36 PM.

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