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    Default Is smashing the only way to win?

    I've been playing mixed doubles for a while and I'm the one usually at the net and my partner of course is the guy at the back.

    Now, we're only playing at rec. clubs/community centres and one thing that I noticed when we play is the amount of smashing my partner does. From what I gather from reading the forums, it's best to have the opponents lift the shot so that your partner can smash. After playing like this for a while, I noticed that...

    If the opponents are weak, it gets boring because they're not able to return the smashes. If the opponents are about the same level or are stronger, it still gets boring, because a lot of times they just clear the smash to the back allowing my partner to keep on smashing again...

    I personally think its a horrible strategy to do this point after point as it's tiring, and also its not the best, especially if opponents can easily tell what the strategy is...

    Any advice anybody? Thanks!

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    the key to a proper mixed doubles game is to minimize the amount of lift. if everyone just lift and give the guy opportunity to smash, then the game will be boring.

    given that, the proper way to play mixed doubles is actually a lot of mid court and side alley push and drive and net shot. a lot of times it boils down to a net battle between girls, a push drive battle between the girl/guy, or a drive battle between the guys.

    the battle is lost when one side is unable to maintain the pressure to push downwards and have to lift as a result and in many occasions, lose the rally.

    the strategy to gain an advantage in this delicate battle is to manipulate the opponent out of position. most the girl left and right and make her out of position so the guy have to cover the other net corner. or move the guy around to force him take underhand weak shot.

    alternatively, you can push the shuttle to the middle side court "dead spot", which is the position just behind the service line on the side alley. this position is too far back for the girl to get, and too far front/low for the guy to easily make a good return.

    it is a beautiful game of player positioning and shutle placement.

    just remember, if you lift, you lose.

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    Thanks for your response kwun.

    Hmm..how about this situation. If the opponents are strong enough to receive most smashes, even if they do lift a lot, would it be better to not even play the smash, even if you had the chance? I guess it's difficult to describe; depends on the situation...

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    I would still continue to smash to keep pressure on your opponents, but try to mix up the smashes and throw in some drops.

    Either aim at the weaker of the two, confuse them by smashing down the middle, smash along the lines, etc. You can also mix it up by smashing at different angles (steep vs. flat).

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    in nowadays rally point game, I think smashing is a very good way to win the game. We get a point if the opponent make a mistake. It is little bit different compare to the old 15 points game. nowadays game i think it is set for offensive play. look at Chinese players, all of them smash a lot and they are very good at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AAABeef View Post
    ...If the opponents are weak, it gets boring because they're not able to return the smashes. If the opponents are about the same level or are stronger, it still gets boring, because a lot of times they just clear the smash to the back allowing my partner to keep on smashing again...
    Two questions:

    1. Does your partner often smash down the middle, or mostly down the line or cross-court?

    2. Where exactly are you standing in relation to the net? Are you usually on the service line, or closer, or further away?

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    Try to force your opponents to stand further back by smashing them, then drop shot. If you keep smashing your opponents will start to believe your just going to keep smashing, so they will not expect the drop shot, and if they've moved their base position back (to help them receive a smash) they will be vulnerable.

    Something I once read said that you don't smash to win a smash point; you smash so that the opponents return is weak, so that then you can kill it and win.

    Your partner should remember to smash to their backhands, and at their body (primarily at their racket side hip). And don't forget to drop. And you should try and intercept as many shots as you can, a poor lift could be intercepted by the net player if the net player is ready (tense leg muscles slightly bent at knee, ready to jump) and with the racket held slightly up (so no time is wasted raising the racket).

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    Dear AAABeef,

    In answering your question, " is smashing is the only way to win" and if you are referring this to your mixed double game play, then the answer is NO. This is because, winning in doubles doesn't depends only by doing smash to win, but it also require a solid and good tactical combination of other strategy in both offensive (attacking) and defensive in producing a winning game play. However, smash is indeed one element in offensive that is very important as part of a strategy in winning doubles and if you want to produce a winning smash in doubles, then refer to my thread http://www.badmintoncentral.com/foru...56&postcount=1.

    In discussing the winning strategy in doubles, you can refer to my thread here http://www.badmintoncentral.com/foru...6&postcount=26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon5614 View Post
    Your partner should remember to smash to their backhands,
    Backhand is not necessarily weak. AFAIK, underarm backhand actually is supposed to be stronger than underarm forehand.

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    You can use some of the Doubles strategies, but this is Mixed we talk about here. The key difference between the two is the skill levels differences between the two players. In traditional XD, the lady is usually (much) weaker.

    If you watch the top level XDs, there're not a whole lot of smashes. Both sides try to play flat drives, pushes, net shots, blocks. The exchanges are fast. It also seems to me the modern Doubles (esp. MDs) might be modeling after XD.

    When your opponents choose to lift, smashes would be the main weapon. One variation not mentioned so far is this - if you're also playing a XD pair (vs. MD pair), and they use a more traditional defense (i.e. the man covers the entire back), you or your partner can occasionally throw a cross-court attacking/fast/flat clear to the lady's back, esp. if this is the backhand side of the man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by raymond View Post
    Backhand is not necessarily weak. AFAIK, underarm backhand actually is supposed to be stronger than underarm forehand.
    100% agreed. Sometimes I need to argue with my partner who should return the smash when it goes between us. When I'm in the right hand side, I think he should return the high clear, and I should return the smash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qidong View Post
    100% agreed. Sometimes I need to argue with my partner who should return the smash when it goes between us. When I'm in the right hand side, I think he should return the high clear, and I should return the smash.
    I learned about which side (forehand/backhand) is stronger from Andy Chong when he was visiting B.A. years ago.

    W.r.t. who should defend the middle (and I know the typical arguments there, that the person taking it with forehand should take it), actually there's another theory.

    In defensive position, the two players actually don't exactly split the court to 1/2. There's a heavy bias towards the area directly in front of the smasher (assuming he's closer to one side than to the center line). The cross-court player should shift closer to the center, thus narrowing the gap between the two. The player directly in front of the "smasher" would move closer to the side line and defend only straight shots. All the shots the the middle and to cross court are defended by his partner. Essentially, you dare your opponent to hit to the space in the cross-court position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qidong View Post
    100% agreed. Sometimes I need to argue with my partner who should return the smash when it goes between us. When I'm in the right hand side, I think he should return the high clear, and I should return the smash.
    Generally, the cross court defender should return the middle.

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    To the OP, I recognize my previous suggestion probably won't take you out of boredom. But maybe the following could:

    1. Change your club - so you can change your opponents (that know better than keep lifting).
    2. Change to play level-doubles with your partner, if you're currently not doing so (e.g. if you're playing XD formation).
    3. Change to playing reverse-XD, with you staying more at the back, and hopefully you side still can enjoy some smashing. Now your partner is the one that is bored.
    4. Change your partner - this could mean:
    a. Reshape the way your partner plays, with your charm, perhaps.
    b. Change to a different partner altogether.

    But I think your partner seems to be doing the right thing at the moment.

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    Smashing can be "boring" for the net player for sure, but remember, you want to do the shot that maximizes your ability to win the point. In that case, it will be the smash (especially due to your opponents inability to retrieve it).

    Therefore, although it may sound like a very basic strategy, your job as the net player is to continually force lifts from your opponents. You do this by playing well in the front (watch top level mix doubles games, for example


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwS16...aynext_from=SL

    This is game 1, game 2 and game 3 should be easily found on the side.

    Notice the continual attack by both males and the constant smashing. But look closer and see how the female sets up the midcourt and net shots required for the male. Forcing the short lift is absolutely crucial as most smashes can be 'easily' retrieved if the lift solidly reaches the back court.

    Anyway, bottom line is, sounds like your partner is doing the right thing, but as the net playing female, you will need to definitely have more finesse and creativity in your game plan (hint: look for games with Gao Ling, basically the best XD female of all time).

    And if your opponents can't retrieve smashes, its obviously not a problem with the strategy - just look to play stronger people.

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    also, i really appreciate the clarification on "who should take the smash?"

    really enlightening to me since i don't play much doubles

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    Im not sure if its the correct thing to do, but if I get bored at the front because they are avoiding me and lifting all the time, I take advantage of it! I slowly shift my base position backwards (one step per hit?) until Im are standing near the back of the court . Eventually they try to hit one short then you kill them . If not this makes them have to lift higher, and sometimes even lift it out (cos its kinda deceptive how big the court is when the front person sneaks backwards). The back partner gets more setup time too, and less area to cover.

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