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03-05-2014, 11:51 AM #1
Why do pros sometime hit in the middle of the court in single game?
In single, the 2 players are in the middle most of the time, what is the point of hit/drop the birdie in the middle?
When I play single, I only try to hit the birdie to the 6 corners, let me know what you think?
03-05-2014, 02:29 PM #2
Because it cuts down the angles of potential replies.
Man, I'm starting to sound like Gill Clark.
03-05-2014, 02:40 PM #3
03-05-2014, 05:47 PM #4
1. Where are the six corners?? I'm sure Gill only ever talks about "all four corners of the court".
2. He didn't say it makes the opponent move, he said it cuts down the angles of potential replies.
03-05-2014, 08:08 PM #5
You can try yourself in singles. Hit to the corners, then in the rally, hit a drop to the middle.
What percentage of points do you win? Not winners, but points won or advantage gained.
03-05-2014, 08:26 PM #6
It seems contradictory to hit to the middle, but it does work at times. Especially one that flies fast towards your face.
03-05-2014, 08:53 PM #7
03-05-2014, 10:00 PM #8
I understand the value of middle better in Doubles than in Singles. So I'd like to hear other experienced Singles players' insights. Here's my attempt (i.e. guess):
1. Defense - high clear/lift from anywhere to reset the rally, to gain time for oneself to recover. It can also be a drop/net, if your're not in a good position to play even a high clear/lift, or you think your opponent's overhead shots are too strong to give them high defense. Playing to the middle reduces the angles your opponents can use to attack you. And all you need to do is to centralize your base (vs. biased basing if you hit to the corners).
2. Offense - jamming shots, as in body smashes, when opponent is already in centralized base ready to defense. Occasional body shots (smash, drive) could produce surprisingly good results.
3. Offense - this idea is coming from the article "Causing Damages" post here in B.C. many years ago. It has to do with change in narrow- to wide- angle shots. So playing to the middle is a combo with the next shot wide to the side, to create more difficulties for opponent to deal with the next shot, due to after-image in his brain (if I recall correctly). Note that this is just my interpretation of what it says. I don't have any personal experience to back it up.
4. Remove unforced errors - e.g. you're sitting at game/match point, trying to close it out. Or if you're just starting your game (and you want the first few rallies as warm-up). This could work well if you think you're fitter than your opponent. By playing to the middle, it'd be much less likely you'd make any unforced errors, but you also are not running your opponent as much. On the other hand, you opponent could potentially make you run more. At lower levels, this may also work well, if your opponents don't spend enough time practice creating "angles" from the middle; he may make more errors in the process of playing to your corners.
5. Remove options from your opponent - If you're given a shot that you can't create winning chance from, instead of forcing an attack, or play a defense (i.e. high lift), you may return back a shot to middle to opponent from which he also can't get any upper hand.
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03-05-2014, 10:23 PM #9
An excerpt from the article "Causing Damages" I cited earlier:
"DAMAGE 4 – FROM A NARROW COURSE TO A WIDE COURSE – AIM TO THE BODY AND THEN TO THE CORNER.
Even when you have the opponent under pressure and right into the corner it`s not automatic that you`ll score an “ace”. Most players hate being pushed right into the corner, but during
training you practice this situation so the return becomes easier to make. Due to the improvements in racquets and other equipment, and with the general level of defensive skills having
improved, you can no longer expect to score from a single shot. Even making use of great control to place the shuttle right into the corner you need to be prepared for the shuttle to come
back. Even with the exactly the same shot, the process up to the shot and it`s effectiveness can change a lot. For example as in diagram 5, the back forehand area, the varying degrees of
difficulty of the course of the shuttle are numbered. Let`s work our way through them. From no.1 as we go further out the degree of difficulty increases. Another way of thinking of this
is the degree of your body to the shuttle as it crosses the net increasing. A shuttle that comes straight is 0 degrees and as the proportionate difficulty increases so does the angle.
So lets imagine a situation where the first shot is on course 4, and the next shot is even more severe on course 5. Over and above the numbers it is a good attack, but there is a better
option. The first shot is placed on course 1, close to the body so without moving the opponent can handle the shot, then from there to attack on course 5 is far and away a more effective
play. If we look at these two rallies and add up their degrees of difficulty we see that the former is 9, the latter is 6. Over and above the numbers however, the latter is a tougher
attack to deal with. So in a real game situation the easier rally in terms of numbers, is actually worse for the opponent. Why is this? For the first shot on course 1, a light step and
a small adjustment of the body`s position has to happen or else you can`t swing the racquet. Then if the next shot is on course 5, you need a big footwork movement to be able to reach
the shuttle. A very small movement and then a very large movement. The nature of movement in 1 and 5 is different.
If we look at playing on course 4 and then 5, with very similar movement you can return the shuttle. The degree of each course is different, but the basic nature of the movements on the
two, look the same. The human body remembers the previous movement the easiest and so moving from 4 to 5 is actually an easier sequence of returns. Moving from 1 to 5 there is a sudden
big difference, from a small to a large movement, and this is quite difficult to do, much more so than attacking on similar courses. From a small angle to a wide angle, there is a delicate
change in the nature of the movement, and this causes the kind of damage that you can`t see. Rather like with cooking, changes during the preparation affect the final taste."
03-05-2014, 10:47 PM #10
You are too clever.
If you have played a long rally, and a lot of shots are in the corners, a sudden change in the rally to hitting down the middle can often produce an error from the opponent.
Let's say the drop shot to the middle. If the opponent has been playing cross court netshots before from the corner, chances he will hit the shuttle out of the court.
A similar thing will happen with lifts to the middle.
03-06-2014, 06:53 AM #11
Hitting shots at the body, if the shuttle is SHORT, makes it very difficult for an opponent to get the shuttle AWAY from you. Thus, if you hit hard to the middle, you can usually follow forwards to the net in a straight line - you do not have to worry about cross court blocks.
Secondly, hitting shots at the body will normally make a player stand up i.e. raise their centre of gravity. If someone is defending the sides very well, then hitting at them will make them stand up, and should thus make them less able to defend the sides. In this way, hitting AT your opponent makes them less able to cover the court.
This is the thing that the original poster has missed. Winning badminton is about creating pressure. Creating pressure CAN be done by moving your opponents lots (movement pressure), however, it can be done by challenging your opponent to DO something.
If you play a net shot to the middle, you put your opponent in a difficult position - what shots can they do? They have no angles to get it past you, they can't attack it easily, if they drive it they will just hit it to you... so what you have created is shot making pressure. This means they will find it difficult to choose a good shot (and may get frustrated) AND they may find it difficult to execute the shot, given the added stress that they are not sure what to do! This is a great thing to bear in mind.
For anyone who is interested, Taufik Hidayat used these tactics brilliantly in the 2010 world championships. He beat Lee Chong Wei using these tactics, and also Park Sung Hwan
You have done very well with your list!
03-06-2014, 06:59 AM #12
Another side note: against very tall opponents, hitting fast punch clears down the middle can make it very difficult for your opponent to return the shuttle, because their hitting action becomes very cramped and uncomfortable - don't forget to use this tactic against tall players!
03-06-2014, 12:12 PM #13
Here's the translated article "Causing Damage" I referred to. In addition to point #4, there are other goodies. It was written by Gu Xiamin, 1988 All England Champion and Bronze medalist at the 1987 World Championships. Printed in Badminton Magazine, Japan, and translated to English by a player/coach in Japan.
Last edited by raymond; 03-06-2014 at 12:14 PM.
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03-07-2014, 03:41 AM #14
"For anyone who is interested, Taufik Hidayat used these tactics brilliantly in the 2010 world championships. He beat Lee Chong Wei using these tactics, and also Park Sung Hwan."
I tried but failed to find a decent video recording of this, does anyone know where to find it, preferably with English commentary?
03-07-2014, 04:35 AM #15
03-07-2014, 08:40 PM #16
Yeah... I gotta say, I fully recognise everyone says it "cuts off angles" but .... does it really? Lol. If you hit to the middle, you allow for deceptive angles to come left or right. Top (top of the top ) players, do not hit to the middle of the court on the clears... very rarely, because I personally believe the sharp angles created, from clearing to sides Is not really as much of a problem as the freedom you give an opponent to hit virtually anywhere with 0 difficulty, that is ofcourse off your return to the centre of the court. That is my subjective take on it, however im sure ill be met with many opposing views :P - thanks