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    Default Ways to Improve movement to Front Court

    Hi ,

    My son is a singles player(16 y/o) and i am seeing that one of his weakness is recovering slow drops. We are doing agility drills and ladder drills as part of the training, his footwork also has a split drop and his position from base is also square to where the shuttle is.

    I would like to get some advice what else could be done to improve his recovery to front court. Are they any special drill that needs to be done?

    Appreciate any help.

    Thanks,
    Nea

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    What do you mean by "His position from base is also square to where the shuttle is"? What shot is he making and where is he on the court before that shot?

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    when shuttle is high at the opponent court in baseline (in one corner), his position is at the center (base), position is biased towards to court where the shuttle is and his chest is square to the shuttle/opponent.

    Once the opponent tries to play a straight slow drop, my son will naturally lunge to that front court corner either do a net shot or lift but most of slow drops he either missed the shuttle or will have a weak return.

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    Am slightly confused by some of this post. Typically, one recovers from a shot to the base, not the other way round. Also, the base position changes depending upon what shot you've just played.

    Without a video, it's difficult to diagnose, but common faults can be:

    Base is too far back. Unlikely to be this, but how well does he cover clears relative to drops?
    Base is too central. How well does he cover cross-court relative to straight shots?
    Not taking enough steps. Is he lunging from too far away?

    Hope that helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neavalmi0421 View Post
    Hi ,

    My son is a singles player(16 y/o) and i am seeing that one of his weakness is recovering slow drops. We are doing agility drills and ladder drills as part of the training, his footwork also has a split drop and his position from base is also square to where the shuttle is.

    I would like to get some advice what else could be done to improve his recovery to front court. Are they any special drill that needs to be done?

    Appreciate any help.

    Thanks,
    Nea
    If he gets caught by his opponents cross court drop shot it's probably nothing to do with footwork it's more about anticipation. When the shuttle is deep in the opponents rearcourt corner I tell my players to say in their minds "please cross court drop". This keeps the danger shot in mind.
    They will have time to react to a clear to rearcourt, plus a straight drop they're biased to this side anyway.

    If your opponent cross court drops and you're ready for it, you'll gain the upper hand as they have a long diagonal to cover, you could net shot; hold the return slightly tempting him in then flick to rearcourt, plus if he has crossed from his forehand side it leaves a huge space in his backhand corners.

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    thanks to your responses. I seem to agree about the anticipation, i can also see that sometimes he is surprised by the drops. I remember that one commentator in the all england mentioned that singles is a game of "corner elimination". I will have him try this tactic when playing.

    Really appreciate everyones help.

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    sounds to me like a footwork problem.
    normal to fast drop shots land closer to you, slow shots land well before the service line and require an extra step to reach properly.
    Does his footwork drills include starting from centre, moving forward and using his racquet to touch the top of the net in each corner? You'll need that to cover tight slow drops.

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    I would add that one should never EVER be court out by a SLOW drop in singles. You have all the time in the world to stroll over to the shuttle and play a devilish net shot, so feel free to do so.

    Thus, the others have raised all the necessary points: it is a footwork problem. Slow drops MAY need THREE steps to reach the shuttle, where normally only 2 are needed in the front and midcourt.

    If three steps are needed and the player is RIGHT handed, the two typical footwork patterns associated with moving to either front corner is:

    SPLIT - RIGHT - LEFT - RIGHT LUNGE

    OR

    SPLIT - LEFT - LEFT- RIGHT LUNGE

    I personally favour the second of the two, where you start the movement as always, travelling towards the front corner, but before taking the final lunge, an additional step/hop is taken towards that corner on the left leg.

    Many coaches refer to this as a "hopscotch" movement, for its similarity to the movements used in that simple game. The idea is to slightly lengthen each step by making an additional small step with one of the feet. In particular, this type of movement is favoured in the coaching of a player called Peter Knowles, a former english commonwealth games mens singles gold medalist.

    I hope that has given you some ideas.

    Matt

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    sometimes i have seen people with this problem. and sometimes this analysis is accurate. see if it applies.

    hypothetical situations to illustrate/identify the problem:

    if your son is doing a drill, or even a game, but he was told that his opponent is only going to do slow drops, is he able to retrieve it with a quality return? my assumption would be yes. otherwise, there are other issues to work on, that's either footwork, speed of footwork, or quality of drop returns.

    if he is able to retrieve it, then what is the problem? the problem is that his mind, in a game situation, not only needs to worry about the front court, but he also need to worry about the rear court. that's the problem with his reaction speed and hesitation that stops him from going forward.

    how is his movement to the rear court?

    if movement to the rear court is not an issue, then is it possible to eliminate the rear court from his mind? ie. to make the rear court coverage less of a worry for him, and have him only worry about the front court? (ie. back to the drill situation i mentioned above)

    if all conditions i mentioned above matches, then i suggest him trying a counter-intuitive solution: move his base position a foot or two backwards (towards the rear court).

    given that his footwork is ok, going back 1-2 feet will eliminate the rear court from his list of places to cover, now he only need to worry about going to the front.

    counter-intuitive a bit, but i have seen this work for some people, including myself. try it and let us know if it works.

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    wow..this is the first time that i hve received so many responses for my thread and i am very happy and thank you all very much for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

    Please allow me to give more details on the situation.

    The slow drops i am saying are the ones landing just maybe around 2 to 3 inches above the short service line (i say above basing from the court of the player, i.e. landing 6' 3" to 6' 4" from net). These are not the ones that are like flying high and landing near the net. The flight are semi-flat from the pt of contact when opponent hit the shuttle without jumping.

    Hi Kwun ,
    from your first scenario, if my son knows that opponent will play only slow drop, yes, he will be able to get this with no problem, he may even catch the shuttle near the net if that's onlythe scenario.

    In a real game, moving to the back is not an issue. He can get the shuttle to do the china jump on the FH side or the round the head shot from the BH side.

    you have suggested to move a foot or two backwards. Can you pls explain more? If he has no problem moving backwards why he needs to move backwards instead of moving forwards?

    Again appreciate everyone help. Thank you very much.

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    After reading your post again, i think i am getting the idea here Kwun but it would be much clearer once i hear more.
    Again thanks for the help.

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    I would recommend practising the "4 corners" footwork drill. You can practise it either with shuttles (if your son has someone feeding it to him) or without shuttles (if your son is practising on his own). I'd actually recommend practising without shuttles at first to get the hang of it.

    The idea is the feeder plays a shot to the front court which the player retrieves (and plays a hopefully decent shot).

    The feeder should then hit to the back on the same side as the net shot was played. Again the player hits it back.

    The feeder then feeds close to the net on the cross court side which the player then retrieves.

    Then the feeder feeds to the back on the same side as the net shot.

    And finally the feeder feeds back to the starting point (cross court, close to the net). Then repeat this a set number of repetitions. Rest for say 30 seconds and repeat, making the feeds tighter to the net and further back in the court as the player gets used to it. If you don't have a lot of shuttles then get the player to hit the shuttle back to the feeder who can then hit the shots easily to where they are meant to be on court.


    Important points to note: If the player doesn't move forward after playing the rear court shots then the net shots are almost impossible to retrieve. Similarly if the player gets too close to the net after playing a net shot then rear court shots are impossible to retrieve. The player must lunge to the net and not run to it. Also remember to keep knees bent and a "low" position on court with your body bent slightly forward from the hips. Also make sure your sons racket is always up.

    I am slightly confused by Kwun's suggestion of moving the base further back... I think your sons problem is the same as mine, playing a rear court shot and then not moving forwards.

    P.S. These coaching ideas aren't mine and were borrowed from a friend who is coached by a variety of people, so I don't know who the drill belongs to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neavalmi0421 View Post
    After reading your post again, i think i am getting the idea here Kwun but it would be much clearer once i hear more.
    Again thanks for the help.
    i mean move the base position back a foot or two, the base is where he stands when he is defending. the idea is to have him not have to worry about covering the rear court. so his mind will solely be worrying about the front court, just like in the drills situation.

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    I have discussed this tactic with my son and he understood the logic and we will try this in his games. Thanks you.

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