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View Poll Results: where do you look when you serve?

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  • i look down at the birdie

    381 20.97%
  • i stare at my opponent

    567 31.21%
  • i look at where i am planning to hit

    414 22.78%
  • i look at empty space.

    219 12.05%
  • i look all over the place

    329 18.11%
  • other.

    201 11.06%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #18
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    i look where i want to serve then when i hit the bird i look where it would land to make sure depth is good. which for some wierd reason is a huge issue for me

  2. #19
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    For doubles, usually I look at the top of the net. Where I aim the shuttle direction is a different matter.

    I have one trick up my sleeve against receivers who rush the serve. Maybe after 3 or 4 serves, I deliberately do not look up when starting the service motion. The receiver thinks he can rush the serve but then I play a flick serve.

    Catches quite a number of people out

  3. #20
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    I usually look at the T. No matter where I intend to serve.. usually peripheral vision is enough to tell the body language of an opponent if he is going to rush or no...

    as with Cheung, I sometimes deliberately look at the bird, then do a flick serve, it does catch a lot of peeps unawares...

  4. #21
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    ...i usually just try to screw the opponents up by either serving to where i'm looking at or serving to where i'm not looking at. i usually try to this whereas it doesn't become a patern and the opponents can't pick it up. but other than that...i just try to mix in a bit of everything so that they dont' catch on or predict where i might serve. sometimes...i either stare at the opponent or where i'm going to serve...and then just all off a sudden focus on something else or their partner for a split second hopefully to screw my opponent up and confuse them and then serve to where i initially intended to and try to catch them off gaurd.

  5. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy
    Agree with SystemicAnomaly. Looking at the opponent or the target area at the point of serving will cause inaccuracy in the shot.
    depends how good you are at serving, and how consistent your action is.

    After getting ready to serve, you should be able to do a good serve with your eyes closed.
    It's possible to do a tennis serve with your eyes closed, if you have practised enough to have a consistent action.

  6. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Nicholls
    depends how good you are at serving, and how consistent your action is.

    After getting ready to serve, you should be able to do a good serve with your eyes closed.
    It's possible to do a tennis serve with your eyes closed, if you have practised enough to have a consistent action.
    I don't think it is good advice to serve with your eyes closed, no matter how good you are.

    Having taken a routine position on my side of the court, without stepping on the lines of course, I would look at where my opponent is standing. His position will normally be different playing singles from doubles. I will try to exploit any 'loopholes' and target my serve towards them to make it a little difficult for my opponent to reach.

    For example, if he is standing too near the short service line, a long fast high serve for singles and a flick serve for doubles, especially to his BH, would be preferred. Or if he is standing close to the T, a quick low serve to the fore opposite corner of the service line may throw him off guard. If you have perfected your low serves, then you should have no worry serving to him anywhere as he cannot attack them. But as always, one should vary his serves so that one's opponent cannot anticipate them and make life difficult for the server.

    But never keep your eyes off the bird. Make sure you look at it and your racket actually hits it before you shift your eyes on your opponent. This goes the same for any rally, especially at the net. I've seen players mishitting the shuttle or completely missing it because they look elsewhere (mainly at their opponent) instead of at the bird when hitting it! I wonder how anyone can hit a shuttle really well without seeing it and focussing his concentration on hitting it!

  7. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loh
    But never keep your eyes off the bird. Make sure you look at it and your racket actually hits it before you shift your eyes on your opponent. This goes the same for any rally, especially at the net. I've seen players mishitting the shuttle or completely missing it because they look elsewhere (mainly at their opponent) instead of at the bird when hitting it! I wonder how anyone can hit a shuttle really well without seeing it and focussing his concentration on hitting it!
    Conversely, I can ask this question: how can anyone choose where to hit the shuttle, unless he can see the opponent and the opponent's court? If you are not looking at the opponent, then you are only guessing where to place the shuttle.

    Of course, you want to watch the shuttle onto the racket, to make sure you achieve a good contact. But you ALSO want to be watching the opponent!

    On the service, you can control the exact position and angle of the shuttle. Therefore, you do not need to watch the service so carefully as for other strokes. Indeed, with enough practice, you can do a perfect service without looking at the shuttle. This is easiest if you use a backhand service with very little arm movement (mainly wrist).

    For other strokes, you must learn to be aware of more than one thing at once: the shuttle, the opponent, and the opponent's court. This is more difficult, but it allows for more accurate strokes (you can see where you are hitting it) and better tactical play (you can see what your opponent is doing).

  8. #25
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    Hi Gollum, let me make my position clearer.

    "I would look at where my opponent is standing"

    Of course, I need to know where my opponent is before I serve and that's why I preceded my discourse with the above statement and went on to give some examples.

    But when it comes to the actual time of serving the shuttle, as you've put it, "you want to watch the shuttle onto the racket, to make sure you achieve a good contact".

    Therefore it is especially important for the less experienced and less skilful player to always keep his eyes on the shuttle when serving.

  9. #26
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    Agreed. Especially when learning or improving a stroke, it is important to watch the shuttle all the way onto the racket.

    Once you are proficient at a stroke, you can try to watch the opponents more. But this must come after you are confident of making an accurate contact. It is more important to hit the shuttle cleanly (usually on the sweetspot) than to be watching your opponents.

  10. #27
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    I believe it is worth noting what professional players do on service.

    Some of them look at the shuttle all the time, and only look at opponents just as they finish serving (or just afterwards). Others stare at the opponent for the whole time.

    So probably there is no clear advantage either way, at the top level.

    At my level, I find that watching the opponent during service can be very effective. The reason for this is that the opponent may not be balanced, or may only be ready for one type of service. Often you can see this from their posture.

    At the professional level, the opponent is always well balanced and ready for any type of serve. It will be difficult to gain an advantage by watching the opponent during service.

  11. #28
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    If it's doubles, i tend to check the bird and racket before I serve to see what my grip looks like, and my bird-holding position is... then i look glance to see my opponent's position and posture, then for the rest of the service i'm looking at the net tape. i find that whether I'm serving long or short in doubles, the tape is my worst ennemy. I seldom make 'too-high' short serves, if anything my faults are more exclusively on too-low (into the net).


    In singles, using forehand serving, I tend to look at my opponent for the entire time, just to see if there's an opportunity for a short serve.

  12. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Nicholls
    depends how good you are at serving, and how consistent your action is.

    After getting ready to serve, you should be able to do a good serve with your eyes closed.
    It's possible to do a tennis serve with your eyes closed, if you have practised enough to have a consistent action.
    Hi Neil,

    Try hitting a golf ball with your eyes closed.

    Golfers will always look at the ball before they hit it. But before hitting they would be looking at the target a few times. This also happens during putting.

    They seemed to have a sense of where to hit the ball. In badminton we are always told to look at the birdie before hitting. But before that we should have a sense (not to the extent of a ninja) of where the bird will go. So have a sense and look at the bird during serving. Loh mentioned about the importance of accuracy at the point of servicing and pball mentioned about the importance of peripheral vision
    Last edited by speedy; 02-02-2005 at 12:08 PM.

  13. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedy
    Hi Neil,

    Try hitting a golf ball with your eyes closed.
    That's not a good comparison. With a backhand serve, the motion is very small. Besides, in golf there is less reason to look elsewhere - the hole won't move! But a badminton player might give away some hint about his thoughts.

  14. #31
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    Default Look up!

    I'd really look at the tape, its not where i wana hit. But i konw that the trajectory will send it up above the tape.

  15. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by tranvi007
    I'd really look at the tape, its not where i wana hit. But i konw that the trajectory will send it up above the tape.
    Of course the tape is the main obstacle!

    I would presume you've already practised the serve many, many times in training so that it becomes a routine or a second-nature and a part of you.

    But before you clear the main obstacle, you must first ensure that you strike the bird in hand properly to START the rally. If you fail to do so, eg, you have missed the bird or you have struck it so poorly that it never reached the net or was caught in the net, then all else is presumptuous.

    A perfect low serve is one in which its highest point barely sails above the net but has the strength to just touch the opponent's short service line to make it a good service. An inch or so higher can be disastrous as it can be pounced upon and severly attacked by a quick and alert opponent!

    Once you have attained this high level of service, you should fear no one, except yourself as you are human and can't be expected to maintain this level of consistency throughout.

  16. #33
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    I'm somewhat better with the delicate things in badminton like net shots, drop shots, and short serving... The serve Loh just described I am able to do about 85% of the time... I like to start by looking at my feet...but I'd take an extra few seconds, shuffling them a little, and really just to visualize how I'm going to start off my next serve. Also this down time really helps attack the opponent's nerves. Then I look quickly at where the opponent is standing and his position then quickly glance back at the shuttle and start my serve. I find once in a while, it's very fun to do a head flick that you commonly see Huang Sui perform. (Doing a short serve and then quickly look up as if you expected the shuttle to fly high into the ceiling) Then I will find the shuttle but somewhat unfocus my eyes a little so that I can everywhere, instead of just pinpointing the shuttle which causes me to have a very slow reaction time.

    Oh by the way, I wouldn't pull ALL of the "tricks" I mentioned everytime I serve. Especially not when it's just a very friendly match. However, during something competitive, I will do whatever it takes to win because I expect and get that from my opponents as well. It's true that the serve is just to start a rally and isn't intended as any sort of attack. However, I'm just doing things that help me win.

    I guess since I like to use some "tricks" once in a while, I expect them back as well when I recieve. I will simply hold up my hand signalling that I'm not ready, then I look at my feet...make sure I'm in a good position to recieve, then I look at my opponent and analyse his positioning and which serve he's using. Finally I lower my arm a bit to get into a ready position and unfocus my eyes. I find that if I try to focus too much on the shuttle, I will end up focusing on the person, then go back to the shuttle, then analyse its speed and angle to decide my move. Generally, I'm more successful by unfocusing my eyes and when I hear the racquet hitting the shuttle, I will find the shuttle in the air, focus on it, analyse, and make my move.

    I put "I look everywhere" for the poll.

  17. #34
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    When I'm facing an aggressive net-rusher, I focus on the top of the net tape because my intention is to make the serve just barely clear the net, and it helps me not to worry about the receiver's rush.

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