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  1. #1
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    Default Doubles - Strategy/Shot selection

    During the course of a close game, my partner who has a lot more playing experience than me said that I should not clear the shuttle when he is at the front of the court (about 2 feet from service line).

    I prefer smashing any clears/lifts but switch to clears (to the back line) when I notice that the defenders are side to side but moving forward or when I am out of position.

    I thought that the person hitting the shuttle should dictate how/ where the shuttle should be hit. In other threads that I have read they suggest that you should play for your partner. Most of these threads are in relation to smash/drop placement during an attack.

    Does the position of your partner dictate whether you force an attacking play?

    My shot selection process is generally whether we are on the attack or defense, am I out of position and the position of the opponents.

    But now I think my shot selection needs to be much more sophisticated but then I may be heading towards thinking too much and miss the shuttle .

    I would be grateful for your opinions/ pointers.

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    well, I agree with your partner..clears in doubles should be faulted with a point deduction (joking...)

    there're maybe only 1 r 2 situations where a clear is suitable...but generally you have these disadvantages:
    - you're giving the attack to the opponents for free
    - your partner has little time to move back, he wasn't expecting your clear as well..
    -if you clear a little to short you're in trouble..

    and, for advanced play (still working on it myself) the person in front dictates where you smash...though that's a little complicated to explain through the www

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    It's tough to change pace with punch clear during fast rallies. Especially when you don't use it often because it's afterall a fairly returnable shot. Most often with all the andrenaline going in a fast rally, the shot will go out. If it's too short, you have just given your opponent a juicy setup for his smash.

    It's better to hit in a downward trajectory to deny your opponents the time and chance to return it. What you were doing is playing the positions of your opponents by hitting to the empty spots. Unfortunately, you chose a bad area to do it. Hitting to the backcourt only works if your opponents are inexperienced and they don't play proper rotations (ie. maintaining side-by-side formation). If you had faced a faster and more experienced team, your offensive chance would turn into a defensive situation. Worse, your partner would have eaten feathers.

    When players are on the move constantly (experienced players move fast and move throughout the rally), the 'empty spots' are hard to attack. Safest shots to attack those spots would be smash, blocks, netshot and drops - all except netshot are hit downward.
    Last edited by cappy75; 04-19-2007 at 06:10 AM.

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    If I were your partner and you were clearing needlessly, I'd tell you to stop doing it, too. Having said that, trying to attack when you're not in a good position to do so is also something that you should try to avoid. If you must clear, and your partner is at the net, always call them back straight away. Afterall, you know what shot you're playing, but your partner won't know until the shuttle has already passed overhead (because he'll be looking forward), and if it's not a good clear, he's likely to wear the smash. He won't be happy about that!

    Wayne Young

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    Default Clear when out of position in attack

    IMO clear when you are out of position is a viable option, but should happen only occasionally. If it is necessary frequently when your side is on the attack, some of the following may need work:
    • Your previous shot is poorly chosen or executed.
    • Your side don't have effective rotation. e.g. you smash from deep BH court, opponent returns to far FH court, and your partner doesn't cover for you and you get there late.
    • Back person footwork is slow or wrong, or not returning to base.
    • Your around-head shot is ineffective and rely on BH clear.
    I noticed that at int'l level doubles match, back person on attack can keep attacking with extreme left-right lift return, while this is a common problem in intermediate or below double.

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    i'd say to ur partner keep ur racket up =P hahaha... but then again i can block smashes at the net pretty well (unless itz one of those world champs smashes) as long as i keep my racket up. when to clear is a matter of position. in doubles when ur clearing itz either when ur out of position. in ur case, u said ur opponent is moving up. if you clear then it better be a good deep offensive clear to push ur opponent out of position. it would probably be a hard push followed by a drop so that person would come forward and backwards. special rotations has to be made with ur partner too. if you watch many badminton videos... there's a "standard" rotation which is typical for all situations, and then when u see players actual play, it is modified to fit their need and speed.

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    Default Just my 2 cents..

    Quote Originally Posted by Misbehavin
    During the course of a close game, my partner who has a lot more playing experience than me said that I should not clear the shuttle when he is at the front of the court (about 2 feet from service line).

    Does the position of your partner dictate whether you force an attacking play?
    ..just giving my 2 cents..Misbehavin, your partner is correct..When he is at or near the front of the net, you should *try* your best to maintain your attacks(like cappy75 & Kiwiplayer mentioned)..And usually if your team gets a lift, it means your team has gained the offense/attacking..Even if you noticed your opponents are slightly moving forward, you should keep your shots low and down, either by smash, drops or even drives..Trying to clear the shuttle away is basically giving up your team's attacks..
    Last edited by ctjcad; 04-19-2007 at 03:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misbehavin
    During the course of a close game, my partner who has a lot more playing experience than me said that I should not clear the shuttle when he is at the front of the court (about 2 feet from service line).

    I prefer smashing any clears/lifts but switch to clears (to the back line) when I notice that the defenders are side to side but moving forward or when I am out of position.

    I thought that the person hitting the shuttle should dictate how/ where the shuttle should be hit. In other threads that I have read they suggest that you should play for your partner. Most of these threads are in relation to smash/drop placement during an attack.

    Does the position of your partner dictate whether you force an attacking play?

    My shot selection process is generally whether we are on the attack or defense, am I out of position and the position of the opponents.

    But now I think my shot selection needs to be much more sophisticated but then I may be heading towards thinking too much and miss the shuttle .

    I would be grateful for your opinions/ pointers.
    Do you mean that they are actually moving before you hit the shuttle, or I am assuming that they are standing closer to the net that you think they should. If my assumption is true, that is probably because they are confident in returning smashes, and may stand closer to the net to retrieve drop shots. Against experienced doubles pairs, they know whom to take the clear shot even if they were originally in a side-side situation, so they will tend to focus on returning drop shots/smashes with quality.

    The reason why I no longer play with average players/old people and focus on singles, is simply because those people tend to clear a lot without any purpose in doing so. It is frustrating when the front person work hard to create a favorable situation for attack, only to have the person in the back-court giving it away for free.

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    contrary to misconception. they basic concept is to keep the bird down, low as possible while it can be fast or slow to set you up for ur consecutive smashes making urself on the offense. people however sometimes forget that smashing can get extremely tiring and when you play against people with better defense than ur offense, itz good to know how to outwit them before you completely lose ur energy. if you want to smash, smash at their shoulders or in between both of them. if it seems like ur smashing is useless, mix it with drops. if both are useless...mix it up with clears. generally i think that doubles play is about 70-80% smashing and dropping while the other 20% is having good clears. clears can put people in defense too, especially those that are extremely keen in getting to the net to cut off ur possible drop or bad smash. it is all in relation to your game. work the strategy with your partner. observe their weakness. let your partner know how you want to attack them. your partner probably has some ideas of his too. work it out. there's no one strategy.

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    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    Hmmm... guilty ... of taking an easy way out by lifting and you do get away with it when you are facing weaker opponents .

    I guess its something I need to work on again, as a few months ago having read many threads not to lift the shuttle I tried very hard not to lift/clear. I found that it didn't work very well because my opponents could out maneuver me as my strokes had long back swings and lifting gave me more time.

    Since then after watching Zhao/LBJ/Xie instructional videos (hundreds of times) my strokes are a lot more economical and my footwork has improved substantially ... I should now revisit ways of pressurising my opponents with downward trajectory shots such as smashes, drops and net drops in cases where I could not be effective a few months ago.

    Pressurise by looking for weakness in strokes, positioning, footwork etc rahter than what I was doing in looking primarily at "empty space".

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    You lift because you arrived late and out of position, so you had no choice but to reach for the shot. Don't worry too much though, it's just part of the learning process. Experience will help you anticipate the shots soon enough. You'll be able to move into position once you can anticipate well enough. Just keep moving your feet.

    Bear in mind to be aggressive in your stance and movement (eg. pre-loading hop before going for any shot)but strategically in your mind (eg. think about shot placement in certain game situations).

    Some 'empty space' can be deceptively huge, assess your opponents before you start doing crazy sh*t like punch clearing to their backcourts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Misbehavin
    Pressurise by looking for weakness in strokes, positioning, footwork etc rahter than what I was doing in looking primarily at "empty space".
    Last edited by cappy75; 04-20-2007 at 01:41 AM.

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    For pro levels of play, any doubles player is usually fast enough to jump backwards and do a jumpsmash in a short time. But for lower levels of play, attacking clears are not necessarily a bad choice in doubles i think...simply because it is least anticipated...(no one would waste an opportunity to smash/setup and choose to clear.) But it might prove useful when used with an element of surprise.
    it is ok for your partner to suggest that you don't clear while in attack formation, but if you should hit a clear, your partner should be quick enough to react and decide to split or stay where he is, depending on circumstances

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    lol if my partner cleared on me when he had a perfect smash i would kick his ass when i recovered from my heart attack

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    If you are in a desperate situation, sometimes playing a half smash to an empty spot or a flat push to the net where it is empty is better. But generally, when you are out of position, you should think about what shots your opponent is waiting for and what will surprise them. Shouldn't be fixated on a particular shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Misbehavin
    During the course of a close game, my partner who has a lot more playing experience than me said that I should not clear the shuttle when he is at the front of the court (about 2 feet from service line).

    I prefer smashing any clears/lifts but switch to clears (to the back line) when I notice that the defenders are side to side but moving forward or when I am out of position.

    I thought that the person hitting the shuttle should dictate how/ where the shuttle should be hit. In other threads that I have read they suggest that you should play for your partner. Most of these threads are in relation to smash/drop placement during an attack.

    Does the position of your partner dictate whether you force an attacking play?

    My shot selection process is generally whether we are on the attack or defense, am I out of position and the position of the opponents.

    But now I think my shot selection needs to be much more sophisticated but then I may be heading towards thinking too much and miss the shuttle .

    I would be grateful for your opinions/ pointers.
    I would ask why you would clear since you indicated that you prefer smashing and the fact that your partner has taken up an agressive front position would indicate that your opponents had lifted the shuttle so the natural thing to do is to smash and pick your spots (depending on how your opponents are defending and their skills/abilities at returning smashes).

    You got to remember that it's not your partner dictating the play but rather the both of you. If you are out of position and forced to clear, your partner should know that. The fact that your opponents know that you are out of position and moves forward to pressure your smash, should tell your partner that he shouldn't have moved forward expecting you to smash. The idea of a clear (defensive) is to allow you and your partner to get out of trouble and into position to defend and turn it around.

    Generally the strategy is to attack and force your opponents to lift or provide a weak reply allowing you and your partner to put away the rally but if your opponents have stronger defence, it is possible that they could turn it around so depending on your and partner's skills/abilities and your opponents, you will have to judge how you should play to win the rallies.

    A good book is "Excelling at Badminton" by Jake Downey (http://www.badders.com/news/item/896...badminton.html) for going through your shot selections and "Winning Badminton Doubles" (http://www.badders.com/news/item/900...n-doubles.html) for strategies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drowsysmurf
    contrary to misconception. they basic concept is to keep the bird down, low as possible while it can be fast or slow to set you up for ur consecutive smashes making urself on the offense. people however sometimes forget that smashing can get extremely tiring and when you play against people with better defense than ur offense, itz good to know how to outwit them before you completely lose ur energy. if you want to smash, smash at their shoulders or in between both of them. if it seems like ur smashing is useless, mix it with drops. if both are useless...mix it up with clears. generally i think that doubles play is about 70-80% smashing and dropping while the other 20% is having good clears. clears can put people in defense too, especially those that are extremely keen in getting to the net to cut off ur possible drop or bad smash. it is all in relation to your game. work the strategy with your partner. observe their weakness. let your partner know how you want to attack them. your partner probably has some ideas of his too. work it out. there's no one strategy.
    if your opponent's are good enough to return all your smashes and drops with ease, they're probably good enough to hammer any clear given to them. at the most, they'll clear back and you'll be stuck with smashing and dropping again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winex West Can
    I would ask why you would clear since you indicated that you prefer smashing and the fact that your partner has taken up an agressive front position would indicate that your opponents had lifted the shuttle so the natural thing to do is to smash and pick your spots (depending on how your opponents are defending and their skills/abilities at returning smashes).
    My normal response is a straight smash either to the fore or backhand and it could be steep or towards the inner base line (well thats where I am aiming). I have tended to clear back when I have to move for a deep clear and I am slightly off balance. This could be because the opponent cleared to my partner's side and he did not go back. Or when I have to do the round the head shot. Previously, if I was off balance I could never get to my opponent's return if he blocked my straight smash or flick it cross court. My smash movement is more economical now and I find that I can cover a block or flick 95% of the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winex West Can
    You got to remember that it's not your partner dictating the play but rather the both of you. If you are out of position and forced to clear, your partner should know that. The fact that your opponents know that you are out of position and moves forward to pressure your smash, should tell your partner that he shouldn't have moved forward expecting you to smash. The idea of a clear (defensive) is to allow you and your partner to get out of trouble and into position to defend and turn it around.
    Yes, I agree and that is why I raised the question on whether the front player should dictate the play. I am still in 2 minds if my partner just doesn't like going back but he is much more experienced. After thinking about it, I should have considered attacking shots in such situations as well rather than just mechanically clear. I will see how I do in my games this week.

    Thanks for the tips on the books I will have a look at them soon.

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