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  1. #1
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    Default Playing with older partner

    I'm planning to play mens doubles with an older friend in an upcoming tournament. He's about 65, I'm 37. I'm looking for advice on tactics that will minimize his slower mobility and reaction time, but still allow him to use his great touch and shot placement.

    A bit about us:

    Me: Totally unexceptional player. Decent all-around. Probably play well at C level in a larger open tournament. Good mobility.

    Him: Lifelong player. Great sense of strategy and a good coach. Can't move around very well and seems weak when pressed to react fast (smash defense, net play, etc.) Can easily clear full court forehand or backhand, but smash is weak.

    I think a "slower" game would suit us better, but I'm not sure how to make this happen. Any other insights would be great.

  2. #2
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    I play regularly in a similar situation. Sometimes it's frustrating to watch him clear when most people would have attacked, but other times it's beautiful to see how he "psychs out" certain opponents.

    Short answer: you should ask him about tactics! You'll be more flexible than him when it comes to accomodating a different style of play.

    A few hints:

    You'll need to get used to playing a more defensive style (something that's not ideal, but you can get away with it in C grade). You'll have to be careful about playing drop shots from the back of the court, since he might not cover the net so well. That means you should either smash (meaning that the return won't land as close to the net, so he doesn't have to move as far) or clear.

    When you do smash, prefer to send things down the middle rather than down the line, so the opponents don't have so many angles to reply twith.

    When he's at the back, don't stay too close to the net yourself, but be prepared to move back and help out, especially if he's being forced to run side to side. (There's a good video on YouTube about this: search for badminton videos by Lee Jae Bok.)

    Be careful about using flick serves. If you think the opponent is likely to play a drop shot, then stay at the front when you flick serve (don't expect your partner to move forward and cover the drop down the line).

    If you notice that he's directing all his shots to a particular opponent or a particular part of the court, then follow his lead and do the same! He's probably noticed something that you haven't...

    I hope you enjoy playing with this guy and manage to learn something from him!
    Last edited by alexh; 03-25-2010 at 05:44 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the tips. All very clear and easy to implement.

    I'm sure there will be a lot of on-court strategizing - offered by him and readily absorbed by me.

    Gonna' be fun!

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