1. ## Crosscourt clear/lift

One of the tips I've heard many people say is that "when you are in trouble, do a crosscourt lift/clear to buy yourself some time."

So I was thinking about this... according to physics, an object falls with the same acceleration regardless of which direction its going in. In other words, as long as the object starts at the same place and reaches the same height, it will take the same amount of time to fall, whether its going straight up or going up at an angle.

So.... doesn't this mean that a lift/clear down the line will take the same amount of time to fall as a crosscourt one? Additionally, a down-the-line lift will probably drop at a steeper angle than a crosscourt one, forcing your opponent to stand farther back. Finally, a crosscourt shot will go over the head of the opponent, making it a bit more risky. So... doesn't all of this mean that its better to lift down the line than crosscourt?

2. the cross court lift is done for a numerous number of reasons.
i'm guessing you are using this in a doubles context?

i always figured this was done to 1, move your attacking opponent horizontally. 2, open your partner to attack, since people almost always smash straight since its the fastest shot. this is done because your partner is probably ready and on the defensive while you're scrambling and in trouble.

lifting and clearing cross courts in defensive situations, and when you're flicked upon serves in doubles will also prevent problems in returning a smash.
your partner (who is now open to attack) will only focus on the tram line, the straight drop or smash, right? so its easy for him, and he's already in position.
you on the other hand, now cross-court from attack, will worry about every other shot, whether it be your partner's forehand shot or not. you are cross-court and have lots of time to recover and get into position. plus all cross-court drops and smashes take a lot longer to come over anyway.

you just recieved a smash down the line, so lifting it back up the line is almost suicide since he can 1, drop it back, and you'd be in trouble. or 2, smash it back and you, being in a bad position from lifting in the first place, will probably not be able to take that smash.
and besides, if you keep lifting it back up, will eventually run out of gas, and will begin lifting it shallower and shallower each time. eventually your attacker can run foward and kill it.

when you clear the flick serve cross-court, you will also possibly create confusion on part of the opponents.
the server (who is now backing up because he flicked it), will have to back up far to retrieve your clear... or his partner, might have to go cycle around his partner to get the shot. both of them are now pretty much out of position and will always be left with a few shots... 1, a poor smash you might be able to drive back, 2, a drop, or 3, a clear, giving you the opportunity to begin attacking...

i think i was all over the place while explaining that. so if i missed anything, i hope someone will correct or add to my blurb.

edit!!!!
i will also wanna say everything i said up there relies on your trust and faith in your partner's defense.
and it applies primarily to mens doubles. or atleast evenly skilled partners in doubles!!!!!

you probably don't wanna try that kind of shot in mixed doubles unless you're really in trouble because at our play level (not pro, or anywhere near pro), girls usually are of less skill and speed than the guy. not always, but usually, since theres simply a ton more guys that play than girls do.
but the girl will beat you up afterwards for opening her up to attack like that haha.
in mixed doubles, you'll wanna be attacking cross-court to the girl, and lifting straight.
and it should be up to the girl to realize that when you're lifting, she should be moving cross-court away from the attacker anyway.

3. Wow, thanks for the great reply! That cleared it up a bit. So it's more about buying you time to recover by handing most of the defensive role off to your partner. Thanks!

4. A crosscourt lift has more distance to travel than a down the line lift, so it will give you more time to get back into position. If you imagine a right triangle, the crosscourt shot will be down the diagonal, which is the longest side...

5. Right, it travels a longer distance, but as long as it reaches the same height as a down-the-line lift, I think it should spend the same amount of time in the air. It just travels farther because it has a greater horizontal velocity.
Thats what I was trying to say in the first half of my first post.

6. Okay, here's my understanding of basic physics : supposing we have basic ballistic flight here (parabolic flight path), then the flight path is determined by two variables initial velocity and initial angle.

Now, if you're lifting to get out of trouble, it probably means the bird is below the level of the net, and you're probably in a poor position. As a result, initial angle is constrained by the position of the bird relative to the net.

That leaves initial velocity as the variable which you still have control over. Velocity has a scaling effect on the parabolic flight path. So suppose you wanted the bird to land at the very corner of the court, you would need a bigger parabola to fit the flight path of the cross court lift as compared to the straight lift. Now, a bigger parabola would have a higher maximum hieght - but flight time is a function of maximum height so.... how do can you conclude that they both have the same flight time?

7. You're right in that if the initial angles are the same, then the crosscourt lift would have a longer flight time. However, the net only constrains how flat the angle can be. If the player wishes, he can angle the shot a little bit away from the net (so its a steeper shot) and hit it with more force such that the birdie reaches the same height as the crosscourt lift, but travels down the line.

8. Okay, then given the same flight time, the opponent will have to move a longer distance within the same amount of time -> which is more tiring.

9. to simplify things further, even if the time of flight is exactly the same, isn't it harder for someone to move diagonally than just reversing ?

10. the distance to cover while moving diagonally is greater than moving backwards, but i can probably say that most people here will agree that moving diagonally backwards in either left or right directions will be more comfortable than moving straight backwards.

i'm not sure why, but to me, its something about the aspect of balance i guess.
i just feel more balanced moving diagonal than straight backwards...

11. I think cross-court clears buy you time because the opponent has to move further to retrieve it in the same amount of time.

Suppose you did straight clear (not diagonal), the opponent will have time to move (more) into position and hit the birdie overhead. However, with a cross-court clear, the opponent may not be in as good a position and may have to take the birdie at a lower height, which means more time for you.

...just randomly guessing...

12. i guess the discussion is talking about doubles so far, but my question is, why not just lift it high? its not going to be tiring for ur opponent bc its doubles, so you can just lift the birdie as high as you can.. if your talking about singles tho.. which would make more sense in buying time and wearing ur opponent is:

what really matters is where your opponent is, not where u lift. if ur opponent is still near the net, i would prefer a straight lift, because i can make it drop faster and give them less time to respond. if the drop is on the right side, then i especially would not lift xcourt bc then the opponent can just swivel their body to hit it with their forehand (if they are, of course, right-handed). if you opponent has already returned to the middle, then it doesnt really matter which way you lift, unless they have poor footwork to one corner or the other..

13. Actually, I've always heard that the lift to the middle is the shot to hit when in trouble. It's a higher percentage defensive shot than a lift to the corner. This is especially important in the return of the spinning net shot.

14. Originally Posted by tonyw85
One of the tips I've heard many people say is that "when you are in trouble, do a crosscourt lift/clear to buy yourself some time."

So I was thinking about this... according to physics, an object falls with the same acceleration regardless of which direction its going in. In other words, as long as the object starts at the same place and reaches the same height, it will take the same amount of time to fall, whether its going straight up or going up at an angle.

So.... doesn't this mean that a lift/clear down the line will take the same amount of time to fall as a crosscourt one? Additionally, a down-the-line lift will probably drop at a steeper angle than a crosscourt one, forcing your opponent to stand farther back. Finally, a crosscourt shot will go over the head of the opponent, making it a bit more risky. So... doesn't all of this mean that its better to lift down the line than crosscourt?

my thoughts - good physics - altho it just means that in order to make your clear long enough to move your opponent you actually have to hit the shuttle higher (if you give it the same velocity as the straight clear)

the cross court clear is always going to be the best way to move your opponent - but executing the shot is pretty hard because of the greater angle and velocity required to get them to the back of the court. a cross court clear is no good if ends up mid court (hehe i know this from experience :s ) i think a high long clear is the best option if your really stuck - so long as you get it to the back and get the shuttle dropping as vertically as possible then it should reduce your opponents attacking power.

cheers

Coops

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