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09-12-2007, 03:45 PM #1
Very technical footwork question: recoil
We all know footwork is very important. There is a technical aspect of it I'd like to discuss, and that is how to get back to central position.
Imagine this: you're right handed, stepping forward to the net. Your last step is with your right foot. In doing so, the right leg flexes.
Now, to get back into position, do you use that flexed leg to spring back? It would make sense since you'd be using the landing energy to spring backward, just like a recoil, and hence using less energy to get back into central position.
09-12-2007, 03:50 PM #2
thats the general idea yes
09-12-2007, 05:07 PM #3
The "spring-effect" greatly diminishes as the time taken to reverse directions increases.
In a more general sense, you can consider three domains of spring-effect:
1. spring dominant movement - the movement occurs so quickly that the muscles don't have enough time to contribute significantly to power
2. muscle dominant movement - the movement occurs slowly enough that the spring effect dissipates
3. optimized spring and muscle - the place in between where muscular contribution is significant but without too much loss in spring effect
I talk about this in the Inno-Sport thread as being Rate, Dur and Mag.
Now, the question to ask is how you are executing the lunge. Here's a simple test. Lunge and stop instantly when you land. You'll find that at your bodyweight, there is a certain speed up to which you can do this, then above that speed, you need to resort to another method to stop. These other methods could be: bending your leg deeper, sliding your foot for friction, stepping over with your other leg, etc.
The speed at which you can perform that instant stop depends strongly on your leg strength as well as your strength-speed. If you use one of the other techniques to stop, it means that you've reached the maximum amount of power you can absorb into your spring, with any excess power being used up via negative work. However, does this all matter?
When going to the net, probably not. If you play net, you don't want to move back too quickly anyways, and if you lift, you're not under much pressure to move back.
When moving side to side (e.g. smash return) this is really important. Often, people will have weak legs and be unable to recover quickly from the smash return. The result is that they're "glued" to the ground when they ought to be moving for the next shot.
09-12-2007, 06:18 PM #4
Thanks Stumblingfeet! Excellent detailed post.
That Inno system is also worth a try.
I do find that the more weight transfer you put on that right leg, the harder it is to spring back. As you say, it depends a lot on the leg strength.
I'm bringing this, because now I understand why teachers advocate hitting the shuttle when the foot lands. My guess is that the springing effect comes into action so you get more quickly back to center after hitting the shuttle.
09-12-2007, 06:49 PM #5
09-12-2007, 08:48 PM #6
im just gona add my 2 cents again, once you have contacted the shuttle it is not as important to return to the center position as fast. i usually return at a more fast walking pace to return to center so here is a example, i am A and u are B:
A is in Center position and B hits a drop in the left hand corner(forehand for me)
player A lunges towards the shuttle as fast as he can to contact it as soon as possible and his a drop shot, same corner.
player B now lunges to hit a ....and here is were player A has time to maybe make one slow step back towards center and split step, and player B his a drop shot, same corner again, so now player A has one hold step advantage from center and therefore can hit the shuttle earlier.
now example 2
same thing drop shot into the corner and player A hits a drop back now this time B lifts the shuttle cross court, now A has already taken his return step(what i call the slow big step towards center) and B has already or A has anticipated the lift so then A makes fast footwork towards the cross court corner.
now here is a example of what not to do
same situation player A returns the drop with another drop and returns to fast to the center and uses a lot of energy to get back their again, B hits another drop shot and A has to double back about 3 steps instead of about 1 and a lunge. see the difference? you can try it out and see.
anyways the point of the post is get to the shuttle fast and return slowly, also depending on the situation you may want to return faster or slower sometimes. hope this helps
09-13-2007, 12:21 PM #7
martin is absolutely right about the fast away from centre, slower towards centre. I remember a footwork vid mentioning it....for footwork drills
Last edited by DivingBirdie; 09-13-2007 at 12:29 PM.
09-13-2007, 05:51 PM #8
It doesn't deter from the objective that you still need to get back into that central position. Too often, because of bad footwork, you get stuck on the net or on a sideline, and can't get back into a position where you can fairly cover the whole court, whichever shot you just did.
For example, when reaching for a shuttle at the net, if your upperbody lunges forward, but your feet don't follow, you will be out of balance, have a hard time recovering your footing, and just get stuck at the net. This is where you need to do that high clear to cover for your bad footwork.
Another example is when you run for a shuttle, but can't reverse direction because of the momentum. That reversal could be easier if you used a springing lunge effect.
I found that it is easier to spring back when I don't put too much weight on the front foot, or when my weight is equally distributed.
Actually, in a general sense, the more balance I am, the better the footwork.
09-14-2007, 04:34 AM #9
Maybe the confusion caused is what you called 'central' - it gives the idea that is the center of the court.
[For example, when reaching for a shuttle at the net, if your upperbody lunges forward, but your feet don't follow, you will be out of balance, have a hard time recovering your footing, and just get stuck at the net. This is where you need to do that high clear to cover for your bad footwork.]
I think Han Jian in his book about footwork mentions something about un-balancing/balancing/un-balancing. Any ideas/comments from what you described?
09-14-2007, 01:58 PM #10
Han Jian's un-balancing principle is also the first thing I thought when reading Loopy's post. I think this is a very advance footwork, however it may not have much usability as it does in tennis (where you have to cover a much larger area). One only situation in which I think the unbalancing step is suitable is the recovery from a shot at deep forehand/backhand corner. After your shot (usually a fast drop), it is better to do split step with body lean forward and feet slightly behind, since it helps to accelerate and cover the tight net shot from your opponent (the most likely shot to anticipate in this situation).
My 0.02$. There is infact quite little talk about this unbalancing technique so I would also like to know other's comments.
09-14-2007, 09:39 PM #11
09-14-2007, 09:55 PM #12
I find that many players out there could move faster if they're less balanced most of the time. Most people I observed stand almost upright to wait for / receive any shot. The balanced part should only be momentarily and only when executing a shot during rally. Note that one has to destroy balance and resist inertia to accelerate optimally to the desired spot on the court. I think that's what Han Jian meant.
09-15-2007, 05:32 AM #13
but you do need balance when "playing" the shot. if you're out of balance, it's hard to hit a good shot.
09-15-2007, 05:47 AM #14
09-15-2007, 03:28 PM #15
remember guys its important to keep the back leg bent when lunging not straight. so for right handers lunging on there right leg the left leg must also be bent not straight which is a common error. this will help your recovery, balance and posture. watch the top players closesly especially gade as he has great lunging technique! also the top players lunge with there dominant leg (the right leg for a right hander) straight as it travels through the air and bends as it makes impact with the floor. the leg should not be fully locked but just reasonably straight to prevent injury and also plant your foot heel first and then toe, which acts as a braking mechanism. any questions just ask
09-16-2007, 02:24 PM #16
09-16-2007, 05:43 PM #17
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