Thanks for visiting us!

Badminton Central is a free community for fans of badminton! If you find anything useful here please consider registering to see more content and get involved with our great community users, it takes less than 15 seconds! Everybody is welcome here.

Click here for a FREE account!

Can’t intercept shots at the sides of the mid-court as front court player

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Hammad80, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Hammad80

    Hammad80 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2019
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    Hi guys,
    I’m having some trouble in doubles.
    Background: I’m more dominant at front court and my partner is better at back court. So, usually I’m at the front (~70% of the time).

    I’m consistently having a lot of trouble with a drive or a fast drop to the sides of the mid court. When I try to intercept it, I can’t get to it on time (I try to side jump and drive/net drop it back, but mostly to no avail).

    My partner can’t get to it in time either, and either we both miss it, or he has to lift it (which usually results in a net kill or a mid-front court smash).

    Any advice on how to approach this?
    A diagram of the situation, with approximation of my partner and my positioning is uploaded.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Regular Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    71
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    France
    If the opponent is hitting the shuttle from the side of the court you should be moving one or two step to that same side to close the angle.
    By doing so you are a bit more vulnerable to cross court shot but since they are harder to execute and give you more time it is ok.
     
  3. Hammad80

    Hammad80 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2019
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    I see.
    I don’t pay attention to where the opponent is standing. I’ll make an effort to do so and adjust accordingly. What you’ve said makes sense.
     
  4. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    'round here....
    Just to clear things up...
    When your opponents can play a (overhead) drop shot, you must not stand in an offensive (front/back) position. You need to move to a defensive (side/side) position in a defensive situation.
    A drive would land far beyond the areas you marked in the picture.
    I think we're talking about a soft push if you marked the area where the shot lands and you're in a front/back position.
    As a front court player, you need to get those, I wouldn't even call it "intercept them". But there's more to it as the mistake was probably made before.

    It's not about where your opponent is standing, it's more about the placement of your (meaning yours or your partner's) shot before that. I fear it was a (maybe even too slow) drop shot from your partner to the sideline. With such a shot, he opens up the entire court, for the front player, that's the entire width of the net. Variation is important, but as general rules, you can keep in mind
    • no slow drop shots in doubles
    • the front player shows where the shot is supposed to go by his movement (this will change the better you know your partner
    Anyway, looking at your picture also let's me think that the gap between you and your partner is too big. Partly because you're sightly too much in front (keep the shuttle/game in front of you, you need to have enough room to step into the shot and take the shuttle in front of your body), but certainly because you're partner is too far to the back. He is covering high shots pretty well, but he has enough time to cover those anyway, so why is he standing almost at the doubles service line? The areas you marked pretty much show the gap between the two of you.

    Still, I think that your shot choice really opened that gap in the first place, because your opponents can only effectively aim for it when your shot was going for the sideline.

    I tried to keep it simple. I hope it helps anyway. More details on the situation and not only the shot played would be very helpful though.
     
  5. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1,013
    Likes Received:
    532
    Location:
    Manchester
    The positioning is 100% dependent on the shot played before (from your or your partner). Was it a:
    • Serve to middle/side?
    • Smash to middle/side?
    • Clear/lift to middle/side?
    • Drop to middle/side?
    Your own positioning (not just front back, but gap between you) will be different in each of those 4 cases, and some differ depending on if you hit middle or side!

    And as @speCulatius said, if you get your positioning wrong, then neither of you will get to the shuttle in good time.

    One of those worst culprits in lower level play is for a rear player to play a overhead action crosscourt drop to the tramline. The reason is the defender in a sides position moves less distance than the front player, the shuttle moves slower than just hitting it to the middle (or to the straight side), and the angles of attack given are huge. This often leads to the situation you describe, because the front player now has to gamble whether the opponent will hit a straight or crosscourt push, as he cannot cover both, and the rear player is out of position.

    The other big culprit is the front player not having a good enough serve. Not many players practise their serve enough to be confident in where to expect their opponents replies, but that's exactly what the pros are able to do. E.g. if I serve from the left towards a right hander, tight to the net, exactly to the T, then the reply will generally go straight or to my right, and if it goes left, it's normally a much deeper/faster push/drive that my rear partner can more easily drive back. If I serve in the same scenario towards the middle of the box, it is more likely to go middle or my left, as they will struggle to play to my right with a backhand grip. In all cases, if the serve is not tight enough, I will have no idea where the opponent can play it. If my serve is too high, then I know exactly that m opponent can put it into the mid-court sidelines as you describe, but I also know there's not a damn thing I can do about it, and I have to hope my rear partner can scrape it off the floor :p
     
    #5 DarkHiatus, Apr 21, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2019
  6. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    378
    Occupation:
    teacher
    Location:
    Xiamen, China
    Not that this exactly answers your questions, but I'm a front court player too and I just watched this video and I liked it a lot. It shows the different strategies of "famous" front court players in men's doubles.

     
    phihag likes this.
  7. Hammad80

    Hammad80 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2019
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    @speCulatius So we need to do side-side whenever the opponents get the chance to attack? We only do it when the shuttle is especially high.
    Also, I do slow drops 95% of the time, and my partner does them about just as much. I have decent fast drops but I don’t use them outside of warmups.
    Yes, a push would be more accurate.
    Basically what happens is that when my partner smashes in the back, he winds up too much and can’t recover fast enough. So when they return it high again, he ends up dropping. He [slow] drops like 4-5 times in a row, each drop being worse than before (usually). (Btw, I tell him to clear but he doesn’t.) So then, eventually on a mediocre drop, they drive it back.
    Both me and my partner are very weak in drives (by far the worst shot we do).
    So they start exchanging drives with my partner. They’re usually too far back for me to intercept (we’re still in a front-back at this point- maybe that’s the problem?). Eventually comes a push to the mid-sides that none of us can get.

    So what would be the ideal standing position. We don’t like standing too close because it interferes with smashes. When I’m in the back and my partner stands not far apart from me, he ends up getting in the way a lot.


    @DarkHiatus Usually it’s a drop to the side or a drive (anywhere).

    @Borkya Thanks. I’ll see the video in the morning for sure.
     
  8. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1,013
    Likes Received:
    532
    Location:
    Manchester
    If a drop was played from your side, one of you MUST cover the net. If the quality of the drop is bad or is too slow that the opponent can drive it past the front player rather than having to lift it, then it is 100% a rear player fault. By playing a weak drop shot (either too slow, or not tight enough), the rear player effectively removes the front player from the game, because the front player must cover the potential net reply.

    Either the rear player need to play better drops (better technique or better recovery), or if you play with him often, you can learn to 'rotate'. This means you learn to swap with him when you or him feel there is difficulty at the back. You can come up with a signal for this (a verbal shout by either of you e.g. SWITCH), or as the front player, you simply move out diagonally backwards, and your rearcourt partner sees that he has to fill in the space in the front. It's good to talk on court, and communication is one of the hardest things to learn in doubles - some pairs never get good at it. If you do rotate in this method, the drop shot is almost always down the middle, as this gives the rotating front player the easiest time to adjust to his new position at the back.

    On a side note...if you're not confident driving, you need to practise it more. It's quite a fundamental part of the game in doubles. Feel free to drop a video of you practicing drives whilst warming up half court and we can always gives some tips on how to improve!
     
    phihag and speCulatius like this.
  9. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    4,099
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    Indeed. That's the 101 in positioning. If opponents can attack -> side to side. Your front-back formation give you too less time to react and your partner must cover alone the whole width of the court.

    The problem with slow drops is, if they are not well played (middle of the court and very sharp and close to the net) opponents have plenty of time to take them above the net. Best way is always to mix. Play fast drops and slow one, play a steep slow smash, a flat and fast smash, but never 100% if you can't have any chance of a winner, if you know it will come back. Play mostly through the middle for confusion of the opponents and minimize dangerous angles. Your problem won't occur during the attack if you place much shots in the middle. Makes it even for slow net players more comfortable and easier. Attacking especially slow drops to the sides bring you and your partner into trouble. Especially if your opponents don't have any fear of a smash.

    Depending from where you partner smashs, he can't take everything. If you partner is send to a corner and plays a smash, you should stand far enough from the net to cut out a flat thing to the other corner. Especially he got nailed in the forehand corner and plays a full smash, he can't take a flat and fast shuttle in the backhand corner. Most problem of frontcourt players is that they wait and don't move much complementary for the attack.

    I suggest to do drives and pushes always in your warm up routine. Very elementary shots for doubles and very important to turn situations. But even in a drive battle you should stand side by side.

    Talk. Slightly changes will help. If need to take a shot deeper in the court, he should stay a bit further from the net. Also keeping racket high helps to intercept. Really depends on your partner. If you play with a tall one, it could be different. IMO there is not ideal position to get fixed. Depends on the shuttle, abilities and where. Needs to discussed based on situation, often a rotation is needed during the attack, when both get to close each other. If the rear court player can nearly jump in the midcourt to hit down a potential winner, the frontcourt player needs to open the place as a signal and rotate.
     
  10. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    'round here....
    I had written most of this before I saw that I was too late to the party, so you already got your answer. I hope this is still helpful...
    You just described how that situation is built up. If that happens often, you should rethink the strategy of a slow drop. Why give your opponents these chances?
    You're 18? Your partner is roughly the same age? It sounds like there are some basics missing, leading to situations that neither of you can get out of. You're still young, so do the basics properly and go from there, you'll reach a much higher level compared to just trying to cover the weaknesses. The basics I'm taking about can be related to technique (overhead technique, racketspeed, drives footwork,....) as well as tactics (positioning, shot choice, rotating, ...).

    A little late now, I think @DarkHiatus and @ucantseeme covered everything I said about this situation in more detail, but maybe this still helps.
     
  11. Hammad80

    Hammad80 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2019
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks for everything guys. I play on the school’s varsity team, so I don’t have i choice for who I get to pick as a partner. But the partner I have is really the best doubles rear court player on the team. I’m 5’9.5”, and he’s 5’10.5”.

    @DarkHiatus My slow drops don’t have much problem, because they’re usually tight and straight across. Every once in a while when I’m forced to drop with the backhand, the drop either doesn’t make it over or is a bit too high and slow.
    But my partner does not drop well from rear court. Often times, he’s forced into a rear court corner, and chooses to play a cross-court drop. 40% of the times it doesn’t go over and the other times, it’s usually not very good.
    What’s funny is, that we already talked about that we will say “switch” (exact words, haha) if we need to switch back-front, but in non-casual/non-practice game, for some reason it doesn’t happen.
    We only do drives for 1-2 minutes, but I’ll definitely talk about doing them more.

    @ucantseeme That makes a lot of sense. Whenever we’re front-back and have to defend, I feel like the front player is mostly useless for defense.
    I’ll add in fast drops to the game as well. Should the fast ones also be straight mostly or cross-court?

    That sounds 100% my situation. My partner plays an offensive shot too deep from a corner (usually cross court), and I still stand near the service T, fully knowing he won’t be able to get the shots into the other rear corner or the middle. I just end up watching the shuttle land in the empty spots.

    @speCulatius Yea my partner is also 18. I first started playing badminton (competitively at school- before I used to hit it back and forth with my friend/mom) since I was 15. I didn’t take improving seriously till I was 17. The other 2 years I wasn’t on varsity and I played for fun. This is my last year and I’m trying to get 1st place as doubles in the NorCal high school league tournament. The season has already started and the league is on 05/03/2019, so I don’t know if there’s much time left to improve.
    I have Monday to Friday as practice time in school (1 hr conditioning and 1.5 hr practice), w/ 2 hr optional practice time on Saturday (sometimes open).
    There’s also a local college which has a badminton club open on Tuesday and Thursday for 3 hrs, but the problem is that they set up their nets a good couple inches lower than standard, and I’m afraid it’s going to mess up my game if I play there.
     
  12. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2017
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    358
    Location:
    'round here....
    That doesn't quite add up, but...
    Until then, you need to find quick solutions.

    Rotating is essential when the back court player gets pushed far into a corner or has to come forward to smash a short lift.
    In doubles, the middle is the standard option, assuming that the opponents are in a defensive (side-side) position.

    1 1/2 hours five times a week is a lot. Work with what you have and communicate with your partner, learn to play together instead of playing suicide shots. In that time, that will get you further than anything else, I think.

    But afterwards, work on the other basics and badminton will become a lot more fun and less frustrating.

    Good luck for May 3rd!
     
    phihag and Hammad80 like this.
  13. Hammad80

    Hammad80 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2019
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    @speCulatius Thanks!
    I know it’s kind of hard to believe, but he’s the one on the team who has the strongest smashes and can smash well from the back. We have a total of 4 players for varsity doubles, 2 total doubles teams. The other 2 players on the other doubles team aren’t as good.
    I will work on rotation then. I know it’s a lot of time but there are many players on the team, so I only get to play 2-3 games per day (sufficient time for warm ups however).
    Thanks a lot for your encouragement. I’ll let you guys know how the tourney went.
     
    speCulatius likes this.
  14. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    4,099
    Likes Received:
    1,213
    Location:
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    The fast ones should played through the middle if the opponents are in defence and you play a front-back both in the center. Drops only work efficient when you can keep your opponents also fearing a smash or punch clear. you need to even out and make your opponents stand away from the net, otherwise any drops become useless and ineffective. If my partner stands in the T area, the middle is best choice to bring him in play of his reach and make crosscourt net shots impossible. Normally you should attack into the area and reach of your front court player.

    Longline and crosscourt are bad choices. They may work for some scenarios (there are different strategy to attack which involves a biased positioning of the front court player), but if the frontcourt player stands around the T a playing and pushing past the frontcourt player makes it easy for your opponents to turn the attack. Always have in your mind, that your front courtplayer must win the rally with a kill or need to keep the attack going, while the rear court player must deliver the quality and types of shots to make an attack controlling and painful for the opponents. The front court player needs to score instead of standing around fully lost and wait for a shuttle he can get late without any clue what the partner did before.

    Sorry to say but deep in a corner playing an offensive cross court shot without any penetration and giving my opponents much time to react, while soften the shot due the longer distance in terms of power and angle if it's a smash, while my front court player is not set off for such a strategy is really bad.

    If he isn't capable to play an quality offensive shot, he must clear (long line, cross court brings you in trouble) and you go side by side or you need to stand around 1.5 racket length behind the T and he needs to play a hard and flat shot (similar to a drive), while you also rotate side to side and the next shot of the opponents determines if you maintain attack or you when into neutral play. The knowing of the front court player, what's coming because of the abilities of my partner is important.



    Here a great video about rotations and positioning which may help you. Enjoy. :)
     
    DarkHiatus likes this.
  15. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Messages:
    1,013
    Likes Received:
    532
    Location:
    Manchester
    Just in case it hasn't occureed to @Hammad80 or his partner before - if your opponents lift it to the middle of the rearcourt, and you are back/front with your partner, the stroke should 99% of the time go down the middle. If you or your partner play smashes/drops anywhere else other than the middle when you get a lift down the middle, then you really need to think more about strategy.

    If you need to ask "why is it best down the middle?", then think on it for 5-10 minutes first and let us know why you think it shouldn't go down the middle :)
     

Share This Page