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  1. #1
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    Default Retraining from Right to Left

    Greetings,

    So a while back I made this thread: http://www.badmintoncentral.com/foru...s-or-advantage

    Update on that thread:
    So, for a couple of months I said: let's experiment. If I can make this work, I have a reach that surpasses my height considerably. Here's what I've learned.
    • My shoulder being in a more forward position causes pronation problems
    • Trying to extend my arm to its full reach has resulted in some injury around the elbow
    • My shoulder's position difference makes it difficult to execute a backhand overhead clear without the racket pointing too far upwards
    • My reach is uneven. When I extend both arms straight out to the sides, they're the same length. In front, or up, the right is longer than the left. This makes it very hard to judge some shots.

    If this /is/ workable, I don't think I'm good enough to work it. I'm very worried about nerve damage from the pain in my elbow. It's very difficult to gauge, and as my arm becomes fatigued, it can slack slightly. Or the muscles can pull too hard and I'll frame the shot. This is not something I'm capable of taking up a level.

    So, where do I go from here? I can either scale back and only play casually, quit the game, or I can retrain myself.

    I'm currently playing 15-20 hours a week. I'm not about to quit. I'm not about to hurt myself either. So I need to retrain to use my left hand, where my shoulder doesn't have these complications.

    Retraining with the left hand:

    I'm looking for any advice on any of the following points:

    1. Footwork footwork footwork. I'm gonna need to redo all of my footwork. Luckily for me, my footwork sucked before. So this can only be an improvement.
    2. Hand eye coordination. At the moment, my coordination with my left hand is good to the front of me and on the left-handed backhand. My coordination is most lacking in the forehand.
    3. Grips and grip switching. This isn't going too badly either. I mirrored my right handed grip.
    4. Accuracy. Is it worth hitting shuttles at targets off a court? I mean practising a serve into a basket at home sort of thing. If for nothing else, to develop a feel for how much power I'd need for shots.
    5. Musculature. Oh boy. My left arm is tiny compared to my right. Where do I even begin here? Basic core exercises like press ups?
    6. Absolutely any other tips for transitioning to playing left handed from right handed.


    I understand this is going to be difficult. I have a coach lined ready and starting this weekend. Now as a coach myself, I'm hoping I can use some of the skills learned to accelerate this process.

    I would also like the input and advice of any BCers and the sage words they might offer, so please, any feedback would be immensely appreciated.

    Kind regards,
    Charlie

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    My friend did this from left to right & she's an amazing player now despite having to change arms. Best of luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exert View Post
    My friend did this from left to right & she's an amazing player now despite having to change arms. Best of luck!
    Thanks. I'm gonna need it. Been doing service practise into a basket across the room; I can hit around 4 out 10 into the basket at the moment. Lots of work to be done.

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    I have seen some people change because of injury but they went back to the dominant arm after the injury got better.

    I think it can be done. You can play football with the left foot, martial arts can be left side dominant so why not racquet sports? It's just the hours of training the leftside and unlearning the habits of the right side.

    One area where I think a potential issue is using the fingers. If you are using the non-dominant hand, fine manipulation using the fingers will be slower to learn. i.e. possibly spinning netshots, cross court netshots. You will just have to see.

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    May I suggest you start shadowing perfect technique?

    I seriously recommend that you buy the Badmintonlife "Essentials of Technique" DVD. However, their website doesn't seem to be active any more They really had the best technique videos of any I have ever seen. Unfortunately, piracy exists.

    Here is one of the videos:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3fLdSZ2JzI

    The original would have helped you as it was left handed, but you should be able to use these flipped right handed ones as well.

    Good luck

    p.s. I am curious as to why you couldn't perform a backhand overhead. You can't hold your arm straight out to the side of your body at shoulder height?

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    @Cheung
    We'll have to wait and see. I might be ok with it because I'm so used to typing on a computer and therefore have reasonable finger control on my left.
    @MSeeley
    Yeah, right from the get-go I'm going to be shadowing perfect technique, and avoid bad habits. Having my level 1 and all of the information that goes with it should help. This should let me build a stronger foundation than if I were just starting.

    As for the backhand overhead clear...
    The actual shoulder joint is about an inch, maybe two inches forward. By the time my arm is directly out to the side, my wrist has already gone further than it should have, making it more smash-like. If I tried to compensate, then when my wrist was in the right position, my arm wasn't. If I tried to perform the action too high, the collar bone would sublux and dislocate. While it wasn't painful, it's kind of like the sharp action that comes with clicking your fingers. It'd either slow the shot down, or simply throw off my racket positioning.

    It made the shot really difficult to produce. This is just one of those things I couldn't learn to do.

    It's disappointing because with my left hand, I have pretty good coordination on the backhand (from being used to the forehand on that side) and can produce an ok backhand clear. Nothing amazing, but the angle the shuttle comes back is actually a bit better than my dominant hand.

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    Not sure I understand, but I will have to trust you on it! Good luck to you. Feel free to post videos and I will gladly offer technical suggestions.

    You can also PM me if you want an idea for an easy way of learning how to hit the shuttle cleanly overhead (its very effective for turning panhandlers into the correct technique - takes around 20 mins - it may also hep you develop your coordination).

    Cheers

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    Charlie, practice chopsticks with your left hand

    Good luck to you! Good point about the footwork you made. Easy to start that again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    Charlie, practice chopsticks with your left hand

    Good luck to you! Good point about the footwork you made. Easy to start that again.
    I hope so haha, and now I have all of the model/perfect footworks in my mind and available to me, I should be able to form a really good movement set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSeeley View Post
    You can also PM me if you want an idea for an easy way of learning how to hit the shuttle cleanly overhead (its very effective for turning panhandlers into the correct technique - takes around 20 mins - it may also hep you develop your coordination).
    You have me hooked, at least! What's the secret sauce?

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    Ok, so something I forgot to ask.

    Playing with my right, I had fairly tight string beds. My two main rackets were strung at 24 and 26, but I feel like they're probably more like 21-22 and 23 respectively now.

    While I know, in theory, the correct technique for performing shots, would I be at a significant problem with those rackets? I'm worried the string bed will be too tight for low technique/low power. Especially my VTZF2 I expect it'll be too stiff and too hard to play good quality shots.

    What would BCers recommend I do with regards to rackets?

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    I wouldn't worry about it. Just go ahead and use them.

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    21 -- 23 lbs should be all right. Try it and see. If you feel it's too stiff, you can always get it restrung.

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    As I thought, the VT ZF2 was way too hard for me to use. I need the slightly bigger string bed, and I don't like head heavy when I'm re-learning the overheads. It's difficult to time as a beginner again.

    My Arc 9 will do nicely though.

    Out of curiosity, I haven't seen anything in the rules, but there might be an umpire precedent I'm unaware of; is there anything to say you can't change handedness mid rally? It'd be a pretty useful tool if I could smash and clear on both hands.

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    Pretty sure you can change hands but just not have two racquets LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exert View Post
    Pretty sure you can change hands but just not have two racquets LOL
    I couldn't find anything outright banning this either, but I imagine serves would be very difficult with two rackets. Surely the only serve someone could perform would be an underarm serve.

    Either way, it's shown I can't sustain many games on my right arm without weakness setting in - but if it means I never have to be on the backhand rear court, it could make an interesting dynamic of play. After all, a regular forehand clear is much easier to do than a backhand clear.

    Don't think it'd make an enormity of difference at the net, unless you were going for a leaping shot, but then you probably wouldn't have the time to switch anyway. Same thing for mid court, it's too fast to justify switching. Maybe it'd be useful for emergency lifts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie-SWUK View Post
    I couldn't find anything outright banning this either
    I believe you would fall afoul of the rules to do with the maximum strung area of the racket you use - so unless you used two rackets with a smaller strung area on each, you would be against the rules.

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