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    Default playing a backhand clear under pressure

    I have recently been playing a lot more singles (i play doubles mainly) and my backhand clear is ok. under normal circumstances, i.e. not much pressure, i can clear back to back comfortably.

    where i find myself heavily under pressure on my backhand and i cannot switch to a round-the-head forehand, is when the net exchange has been made, and my opponent has pushed from the front and yet im still in at the front of the court. im forced to rush back but only to play a backhand shot, and if i play a clear it often falls short and is an easy killable shot.

    my question is, how to calm my nerves when i play the shot, because at the moment, once i'm pushed to my backhand, i just think oh crap and i tense up. is there any way to relax a bit?

    also is a crosscourt drop from my backhand a wise shot to play, ive never really attempted it, and i normally stick to a straight backhand drop.

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    Smile The solution is...

    Practise the shot more in training!
    It's as simple as that, really..

    By quality practising the shot often in your training, in that type of pressured situation (rushing backwards in the court), you will gradually adjust and gain confidence in playing that shot, with more and more practise. (Especially because you've said you are a doubles player - then of course more practise is needed for a characteristic singles shot..)

    All the best and good luck in your training.

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    The good thing is that you're recognising the reason why your backhand may be going wrong.

    One of the mistakes players make is lack of breathing when moving for the backhand. This, in itself creates tension.

    There are many ways to work on this. What I'd suggest you begin with is to overload your practice and focus on breathing as you move. You need to be breathing out as you hit the shuttle as this helps to release tension.

    The more you overload your training so you're struggling to get to the shuttle in time, the more likely it is you will play the shot better in a game. After all, this is how we all learn to improve.

    To your success

    Paul
    www.badminton-coach.co.uk

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    It sounds like your backhand may not be the problem - it seems more likely that the problem is with your speed/footwork, and possibly with whatever shot you just played before (eg. If you just played a drop, then it probably wasn't tight enough if your opponent is still able to play a flat, attacking shot off it.
    The most important thing, is to make sure you get behind (or at least level with) the shuttle before you hit it. As soon as you allow the shuttle to drop low and behind you, you're always going to be in serious trouble - that's true even of very good players.

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    I cant remember the last time I played a back hand clear , it is just too risky especially in singles. If you have to play a backhand I think the backhand drive or drop would be a safer option (in doubles), you should not hit a backhand unless you are being pushed into it.
    to get more power , you have to relax , breath , then snap/tighten the grip on moment of impact , and you should cotact the shuttle on level par with the shoulder and not when the shuttle is behind you , also no follow through !

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    As Sketchy mentioned, it sounds like a footwork problem where you're not getting behind the bird fast enough. To hit backhand clear, drive, or drop, the bird has to be just slightly in front of you (ie. just behind your racket shoulder between you and the net).

    You just have to practice getting there fast enough under pressure. And also avoid in the future hitting the shot the led up to your opponent being able to pressure your backhand like that!

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by paulstewart64 View Post
    The good thing is that you're recognising the reason why your backhand may be going wrong.

    One of the mistakes players make is lack of breathing when moving for the backhand. This, in itself creates tension.

    There are many ways to work on this. What I'd suggest you begin with is to overload your practice and focus on breathing as you move. You need to be breathing out as you hit the shuttle as this helps to release tension.

    The more you overload your training so you're struggling to get to the shuttle in time, the more likely it is you will play the shot better in a game. After all, this is how we all learn to improve.

    To your success

    Paul
    www.badminton-coach.co.uk
    Thanks also for this, Coach Paul.
    I enjoy reading the articles on your website.. very intuitive

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulstewart64 View Post
    The good thing is that you're recognising the reason why your backhand may be going wrong.

    One of the mistakes players make is lack of breathing when moving for the backhand. This, in itself creates tension.

    There are many ways to work on this. What I'd suggest you begin with is to overload your practice and focus on breathing as you move. You need to be breathing out as you hit the shuttle as this helps to release tension.

    The more you overload your training so you're struggling to get to the shuttle in time, the more likely it is you will play the shot better in a game. After all, this is how we all learn to improve.

    To your success

    Paul
    www.badminton-coach.co.uk
    wow i didn't see this one coming! surprising advice..

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    Quote Originally Posted by staiger View Post
    I cant remember the last time I played a back hand clear , it is just too risky especially in singles. If you have to play a backhand I think the backhand drive or drop would be a safer option (in doubles)
    I disagree. If you play a drop every time, then the opponent will quickly notice the pattern, and they'll be waiting at the net to kill your reply. And you probably won't get enough power on your drive for it to be effective. If you can hit a good backhand drive, then you can also hit a good clear: it's an easier shot.

    It's worth trying to improve your footwork so that you can hit a reasonable clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by staiger View Post
    you should not hit a backhand unless you are being pushed into it.
    Yes, I agree with this part :-)

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    Straight drops help buy time I find. If your footwork is good, you will get to the next shot and perhaps gain the attack. Just don't play one too slow, and get ready to block a smash when you inevitably lift if your shot was taken high at the net.

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    i agree with not playing a backhand clear everytime, but i think being able to hit a strong backhand is definately useful in singles. i was coached by an england player at uni, and he was able to hit a backhand crosscourt clear, with quite a high level of deception aswell!! its really good for helping to not allow your opponent to encroach upon the net everytime u turn for a backhand, that way you also get more space on the front of the court if you do want to play a drop shot. and also it keeps your opponent guessing as they will realise even when it is on your backhand u can hit it to all 4 corners of the court.

    obviously with a cross court backhand clear u have to make sure u make a good distance on it as otherwise you will leave a straight smash very open!.....but its a very difficult shot, but useful if u find the opponent is blocking up the net everytime u go to play a backhand drop shot!

    ...practice makes perfect! i always find doing drills that force you to play a front court net shot and then pushed back to play a back hand clear can help with this....?

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    Just have to beef up your wrist agility to place the shots random be it flicking to the base, straight to the net or cross court. Just take it as a challenge, saying 'here we go again' and try your luck.

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    May be easier to just snap a backhand flat drive just across the top of the net, depending on where your opponent is, and it being faster than a drop will limit his prep time, as well as too low for a smash return. Easier said than done...but possible.

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    A backhand clear can only be played if you can reach the shuttle fast enough to hit it over your shoulder or slightly in front. If you are really under pressure to the extent that it is impossible for you to hit the shuttle within this range, then it cannot be done. You will then have to use a backhand drop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    A backhand clear can only be played if you can reach the shuttle fast enough to hit it over your shoulder or slightly in front. If you are really under pressure to the extent that it is impossible for you to hit the shuttle within this range, then it cannot be done. You will then have to use a backhand drop.
    No, that's not true.

    Backhand clears, even cross-court, can still be played when the shuttle is somewhat behind you. Granted, these are difficult shots; but they're not impossible.

    You also should not be contacting the shuttle when it is "over your shoulder". You should contact the shuttle out to the side, not directly over your shoulder. If the shuttle is directly over your shoulder, then your backhand swing will be constricted -- and you should have played a forehand instead!
    Last edited by Gollum; 06-11-2010 at 03:48 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    No, that's not true.

    Backhand clears, even cross-court, can still be played when the shuttle is somewhat behind you. Granted, these are difficult shots; but they're not impossible.

    You also should not be contacting the shuttle when it is "over your shoulder". You should contact the shuttle out to the side, not directly over your shoulder. If the shuttle is directly over your shoulder, then your backhand swing will be constricted -- and you should have played a forehand instead!
    What I meant was at height above your shoulderand over your head, a point that will have your racquet vertically in a straight line, or slightly in front. When under pressure to the extent that you cannot reach the shuttle to hit it at height, but only at say close to shoulder height or slightly below, a backhand clear cannot be done. There isn't enough room to straighten your arm or to use any leverage. Only a drop or a drive will help.
    When the shuttle is high enough and you can still reach it at a good height then there is no pressure and a backhand clear can be executed quite easily. But if the shuttle had dropped below your shoulder then there is no way a backhand clear can be executed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by taneepak View Post
    When under pressure to the extent that you cannot reach the shuttle to hit it at height, but only at say close to shoulder height or slightly below, a backhand clear cannot be done. There isn't enough room to straighten your arm or to use any leverage. Only a drop or a drive will help.
    Okay, I see what you mean.

    You do still sometimes see top players "clearing" the shuttle from this position -- but it's really a lift! They can get a pretty good result sometimes, although I've never seen a perfect result.

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