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  1. #1
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    Default Spotting Opponents Weakness

    Spotting Opponents Weakness. What are your techniques spotting intermediate/advanced players?
    From experience? I do not really know how to spot their weakness, since they are skilled in every shot. Usually I hit backhand(I myself can only hit backhand clear to the middle >.>, but I try to cover this up by only hitting forehand and if not, backhand drops). : )

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    Are we speaking of players you play against in high school? I wouldn't say they're exactly skilled in every shot. You're just not used to playing people at a certain skill level. In high school or pretty much C or D, most people will aim for the backhand at opportune times because that's where their weakness lies most of the time. Since you can't exactly hit a backhand clear, try as you will, if you must use your backhand then switch up the speed and placement of your drops.

    Anyways, back to your question about spotting weaknesses. It's difficult to spot a weakness with just one shot. You need to play common patterns to expose common weaknesses. A person may have a weakness with their backhand, but if you hit it to the backhand side with them capable of hitting it with their forehand, of course you will never spot that weakness.

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    Thanks, but nope not players in high school.
    Like tourney entries and clubs when you play against players who are able to play every shot.

    I think most high school players suck at backhand is because we never practice it. I never gotten a chance to practice backhand properly and no one teaches how to hit backhand unless you get proper training or look it up on Youtube(me). No one also would be nice enough to hit birdies to my backhand for a long time.

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    So I'm guessing you'll be playing a tournament soon and you want some tips. Like I said, depends on the skill level, that's why I also mentioned C and D. I really have no idea what flight you play but I just assumed you were around that level. If you're playing A or B, then that's a whole different story since you'll be playing more experienced players who know how to make up for their weakness. You should probably mention whether you're playing singles, doubles, or mixed since exposing weaknesses for those are different.

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    Singles and Doubles. I assume I'm a C lol.

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    Let's assume that you've won your first match and are waiting for your second. Try to see who you will be facing in the next bracket and go watch them play. Look for both their strengths and weaknesses. For example, see if they have rotational problems, see if they what kind of backhand they hit, meaning, do they have a good backhand clear or are they prone to hitting a cross court drop from the backhand.

    If you don't get an opportunity to watch them play, watch them, sort of, during their warmups when you share the court. How's their footwork? How fast are their smashes?

    Also, look around the gym you're playing for landmarks on the ceiling. Meaning, go stand near the single's service line in the backcourt and look right above you. Find out if you can see something above you (maybe on the ceiling) that will help you determine if the shuttle is out. I do that when I play at venues I'm not familiar with. Hope that helps What tournament is this? Davis?

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    I think the tournament would be the Racket Supply tournament at SJSU.

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    Simply play your own game at first and wait to see if you find a shot they struggle with. At lower level tournaments, this is likely to be the backhand or lifting drop/net shots too much. If you discover something, play on it. For example, I played a doubles match a couple of weeks ago and one of my opponents was having an absolutely torrid time with his smash. For this reason, when we were being pushed, we would just lift to him and watch as he smashed in to the net or gave us an easy return.

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    yup agreed.
    just make a mental note of how they lose (or you win) each point.
    see if you're winning a disproportionate number of points using a certain tactic - fast clears, half smashes, deceptive drops, fast drives etc.
    then concentrate more on playing those shots, if possible.

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    If you know you're playing with someone who is not properly trained, who lacks experience, or who does not do research in badmintoncentral.com , then their weakness could be easily spotted. First, do every single shots you know. Place the shuttle in every corner. Test how strong his defense is. Check his back hand, his lob, his speed, reception of drop shots, etc. Your opponent's return that you can easily get points from is his weakness.

    However, if you're playing against a skilled person, there's a big probability that he could have already discovered your weakness before you could even discover his. If this is the case, try to read where he usually place the shuttle. I notice that each and every player has their favorite spots, favorite positions, and favorite shots. Disorient him. Break his pattern. Show him that you're also capable of reading the game.

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    Firstly test how strong they, if they can clear it from back to back then try the drop-lift technique, bring them in and push them back. Look at his movements - if he plays a net shot, high school players usually fall back ready for the clear so look to see if they move back - then you can tilt your racket and play a cheeky net shot winner. As my Ex-England International coach said - you can't learn it straight away, it comes with practice and time. Observe the opposition all the time, watch them like a hawk, watch their footwork, their shots and where they put their shots. If they put their clear straight then you know. Watch how fast they can get into the net and how fast the can go out again. Push them around the court and see how far they can go. Play a slow game, play a fast game. Try everything until you find a weakness. And when you find that weakness play nowhere else but that spot.

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    You've already received so much great advice already.

    The key here is to watch first. Where does your opponent make mistakes? How are their opponents winning points? Are they hitting winners who getting weak replies from certain situations that allow them to finish the rally?

    If you don't get the opportunity to watch, why not ask their previous opponents what happened. There may be clues here. Ask them if they could have a re-match, what would they do differently to try and change the result. They may have the answers you need.

    If you have to go on court to find out for yourself, then it's important to play your normal game first and see how your opponent responds. After that, try different tactics, change the pace of the game faster, slower to see if there are more errors at a certain pace.

    I don't wish to repeat the good advice given above. Keep it simple. Sometimes the difference between a good result and a poor one is concentration. If you spend too much time worrying about your opponent, then your mind is not in the right place to play your game well, and consistently hit good shots.

    You don't have the time on court to analyse technique, but you can judge whether your opponent is taking shuttles late, is loose around the net, weaker on forehand defence etc.

    Hope this helps.

    Good luck in your tournament.

    Paul
    www.badminton-coach.co.uk

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    Top tips here, people, gotta thank everyone who has posted in this thread.

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    On the rare occasions I meet a new opponent (haven't actually met one for over two years - our club is pretty much locked in now) I try to have a knock with them, ostensibly to "warm up", but really to gauge them. If possible I'll also watch them play both a stronger and a weaker player than myself.

    I look first at footwork, which is easy to tease out by playing to the various corners, then I try the most obvious areas of weakness - backhand clear, round the head crosscourts, how they defend out wide and close to the body, how easy they are to deceive with false actions etc etc.

    The best advice I've seen here so far, though, is to play your own game - the very best players are the very best because, IMO, they make their opponent play their game. Lin Dan is probably the purest exponent of this: he often forces people to go for winners way too early because they are frustrated by his constant retrieval and patience.

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    Mark, you're going to the AE, right? I wonder if there are any spare backcourts there ...

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    Last AE I went to was 05 - I would pick the year where Lin Dan lost, wouldn't I...

    My club kids normally get taken down for it, so I'll see if I can worm my way in this year.

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    Now I just have to convince Dink to use my design for the Revelation *mwahahaha*

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