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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb LOOK (observe) & THINK before HITTING the shuttle

    Hi All,

    To be honest, I believe many of badminton players DO NOT look or observe the position of the opponents and think before making their shots. This is indeed one of the most fundamental coordination that a badminton player must have in order to move to the next level or improves the competitiveness.

    A good friend of mine who used to be my mentor in badminton, has always reminded me:
    - to look/observe the position of the opponents (by peeking at your opponents)
    - think before making your shoot
    - make shoot as effectively and efficiently based on your opponents position

    It looks like a very difficult tasks before making your shots. In my practice, I have done it and it gives so much benefits. I can effectively & efficiently kill my opponents by either using all kind of shots including clear, drop, smash, drive or even a simple net shots based on their position on the court.

    But still often times, I am having difficulties to look at the opponents position and think before making the shots. The difficulties often times caused by lack of concentration, physical fatique or even psychological barriers.

    Is there any method out there to improve the coordination of your eyes, brain, and action? Some sort of special drill perhaps? Or else to improve LOOK (observer) & THINK & HIT the shuttle (LTH)?

    Thank you for all the suggestion and hope this will improve others badminton skill as well.

  2. #2
    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    kmusalim, welcome and excellent first post.

    yes. i think you are very correct. many badminton players don't think before they hit. i say these people don't use their brain when they play. and for those who actually use their brain, i call them smart players.

    however, we should also understand that it is actually much harder than it sounds. firstly, in order to do that, one much already master the stroke and be able to perform the stroke very comfortably. secondly, the player must have time, if he is playing against a very fast player, he may be so pressurized that he only have time to "pick up the birdie". on top of that, if one has been playing for a couple of hours, the more tired one's body is, the mind will just be as tired and oxygen deprived to do the appropriate thinking.

    but in general, yes, i myself try to think where and how i hit the birdie when i have the chance to.

    as for ways to improve, drills, not just the boring type but types that simulates real game situation. say, one person attack and two person defend/lift type of drill. the goal of the drill is mainly to get one to be very comfortable with the shot, eg. if you can continuously attack while your friends are lifting to you both sides, and you can do drops and smashes and drives back to them like your second nature, then you can have all the spare brain cells to think about where to hit and look at the gap in their defense.

    another type is drive return, when defending a lot of gap is found not from lifting, but instead driving, do you have the skills, accuracy and guts to drive back your opponent's smahes while one of them have his racket up and poised to kill it back?

    i guess i am focusing on the basics first....

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    Well, since you had a mentor tell you that you know that it's sort of like a mental thing. It's something that you yourself have to control. I only recently developed but now when I hit birds I sort of look over for a split second automatically. When I play net, you can see the motions move infront of you.

    Specifically are you talking about singles or doubles? I play doubles so this is hard!

    Edit: I've been playing badminton for a freaking long time and it was only recently that I started to get this. Man it is alot harder than you think since you have so many things to think about while you're playing.

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    Observing isn't hard... but making use of that information is.

    Ex: I see them on the far left, i say to myself "drop to far right", and i'll drop it to the middle. It's not that my aim is bad, it's just that the racquet wants to hit the bird where it wants, and my brain doesnt have enough time to "override" it.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bigredlemon
    Observing isn't hard... but making use of that information is.

    Ex: I see them on the far left, i say to myself "drop to far right", and i'll drop it to the middle. It's not that my aim is bad, it's just that the racquet wants to hit the bird where it wants, and my brain doesnt have enough time to "override" it.
    yeah, BRL, that's the execution i was talking about. one need to practice enough so that you can have the control to execute all flavors of shots without extra effort. then you can talk about deciding where to hit it.

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    Kwun was right, in order to do this LTH (Look, Think, Hit) things, one must have at least a good basic of badminton stroke (ie smash, drop, clear, drive, & net), not necessarily to be expert though.

    I also appreciate Kwun's idea of drilling in the form of one against two players to make the single player to use up the brain to think and make shots afterward. This definitely will be a very good exercise. Don't you guys know that most of international player, they play one against two in their practice?

    Bottom line, one must act calmly and confidently to execute LTH. Even though all only takes a matter of mili second (not even a few seconds). But believe this people, our brain and physical beings are capable of doing this. Just get used to it, peek at your opponent before hitting, and practice and practice more. It will definitely improve your game quality.

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    i totally agree with this. I have had an odd experience of this as well. I had played a tournament some time ago now where i was losing and getting angry with myself to the point where i thought

    "whats the point is trying so hard"

    i was clearly trying too hard. So i just slowed down, i calmed right down and started playing a totally differnet game. the weird thing was that my perception of the game slowed too - i appeared to have forever to get to the shuttle, take a look at where my opponent was, choose which shots i could play and then make the appropriate choice. needless to say i won the game, coming back from 13-2 down to win 15-13. when i came off my opponent was furious with himself but congratualted me all the same saying that he had lost the game and that i had showed tremendous mental strength to pull myself together.

    anybody else have a similar experience?

    This to me is the clearest example of Look, Think, Hit

    Neil

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    To practice the necessary "quick reaction" for LTH, I recently trying to do drills on a "1 vs 2" basis.

    If possible, I have 2 ppl playing against me, and I will try to cover the entire court. The drills including smash receiving, drive return, and net shots. Obvious, most of the time, I was forced to defend instead of attacking. However, once it's mine turn, I will using various attacks to let them get a chance to play defense in double.

    So far, this way works well on 3 of us, which improved my reacting time, consistency in defence, as well as double strategy, partnership and trust between the other 2, since they play MD sometimes.

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    "Look and Hit" is easy enough to do when the shuttle has dropped to the point where the opponent(s), net, and shuttle are all in the same field of view. I can see the shuttle and, at the same time, look beyond it to the other side of the court. But on overheads, I don't like to take my eye off the shuttle. Noting where my opponent hit from, how well he got to that point, and how much difficulty he had hitting the shot, I rely on a mental picture of where he is and what the best shot to make is, and revise that accordingly through the game. That works out OK, but there have been occasions where my opponent has fallen down after hitting, and I didn't know that and hit it right to him thinking he had left that spot.

    Seems to me that a real sharp player, knowing the opponent is taking a peek at him, can try to fool him.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Californian, totally agree with you. there are times when it is not possible to "Look". when hitting a overhead backhand, and when pressured.

    one thing i find about really good players is that they are always early. if they are early enough to move behind the shuttle, they not only have ample time to hit the shuttle, they also have tons of time to peek at what their opponents are and act accordingly.

    as for taking eye off shuttle. there was a thread a while ago, someone posted their comments on Ra playing in the US Open a few years ago, the comment was that Ra didnt' have to watch the birdie, she is so experienced she can predict where the birdie goes, so she runs there while she watches her opponent, then she look at the birdie and hit it.

    i have also played against players who can run, stop, take the eye off, watch, and then hit.

    for the mortals like me, i only use peripheral vision to get an idea where my oppoenents are, and then hit.

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    Default A very good thread for intermediate doubles players!

    I hope that everyone will excuse this Johnny Come-Lately for adding to this wonderful thread... and for going off on a slight tangent

    I read a description of meditation whereby one becomes more self-aware and more alert to the surroundings. The experience of meditating is akin to waiting for someone in two separate arrival entrances in an airport. Not knowing which one that person is going to come in, you watch out for both gates. Your perception and senses stretch to encompass the two arrival gates while you wait. We could approach a shot in this manner... training the mind to observe and track as much as we can on the court. Not just stare at the birdie.

    I think this is applicable to badminton because there's three things one could track for effective shot placement-- the birdie and positions of your partner and your opponent(s)-- at the time of the shot. And there's only so many configurations a doubles team will be in most of the time-- offensive (front-and-back) and defensive (side-by-side) formation. So, we would know where to find gaps and hit to them with minimal glances as we gain more game experience. Learning how to take in everything at one look would definitely improve the level of one's game.
    Last edited by cappy75; 08-02-2003 at 05:29 AM.

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    Did you know that women have a wider vision than men, that's why men more easily reveal them selves staring at women.

    Lets just stick to singles to make is easy, the dilemma is that you can stare at:

    A) the shuttle
    B) the opponent
    C) where you intend to place the shuttle
    D) "nowhere"/neutral
    ( E) the girl on the court next to you)

    The question is in which order and where to stare at contact point. Do good players really need to look at the shuttle at contact point - Why???

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    In doubles, based on my experience, it is very improtant to keep a look out at opponent's position before executing a shot. But I do not agree to thinking. Most of the time, thinking will make you slow or prone to errors. In a fast paced doubles game, one should train such that you react automatically to a particular situation. This needs a lot of practice to "react" automatically to a particular situation. You need to think in between the points or during high lob when you have plenty of time to react.

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    Smile Look, think and hit

    Hi guys,
    Interesting thread. smart players look,think and instantly know where to hit or place the shuttle. Ordinary player just look and whack the shuttle back to his/her opponent. When playing a drive or net shot, it is easy to spot where yr opponent is. But when it comes to overhead or high shot, then the execution of LTH will be slightly difficult. Either u take a glance at yr opponent or u may need to use yr eyeball to peek while tilting yr head upward. some players are so smart that they know where their opponents are going to hit their shots by just looking at their opponents' arms movement and swing. Some players are capable of identifying the sound of shuttle impact n realise the probable distance this shuttle is going to land. The only fear that these players may encounter is deception.
    Lee

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    I've always understood about "look and then hit" basic. I've always tried to look at my opponent or peek at him before hitting the shuttle but most of the time. Either I can't really see much cuz I dont have enough time to or that I can't hit the bird properly becuz I was looking at him...I'm confused much...therefore, now I try to compensate by remembering where the opponent hit the bird at about what kind position and then hit at the place they'll likely not prepared for it...is it like this? or am I suppsoed to look at the opponent right before I hit the bird or...?

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