Different parts of my game improve/worsen as tension loosens - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Badminton String' started by precrime3, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    120
    Occupation:
    N/A
    Location:
    Birmingham, Alabama
    So the dilemma:
    Using BG80@26 with the Astrox 88s.

    I've noticed that my low serves and nets are better when freshly strung, but my smashes, drivers, me hitting the sweet spot is much better/higher percentage when it's loosened up after 20 hours or so. But I noticeably mess up more nets and low serves.


    What's a way to compromise? Just train and get better? Stick to 26? Go to 25?
     
  2. yenyesoh

    yenyesoh New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2017
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    GB
    When low serving, make the contact point between the shuttle and racket face as close to the frame of the racket as possible. Don't serve by hitting the shuttle at the normal sweet spot of the racket, purposely aim off centre where the string-bed is far more firm. Thereby allowing you to go for the lower tension that allows for better overhead performance/feel that still has an area of the racket that provides high enough tension for your low serves.
    Obviously this won't help with your netplay issue but 2 out of 3 isn't too bad haha

    (You may be doing this already, at which point just make a decision between the two tensions.)

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
     
  3. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    london
    Consider this food for thought, this might not all be correct but anybody is welcome to point out any errors.

    Well, machine strung can be / may be tighter than the more manual method.. So, don't quote me on it but maybe a 25 on a machine might be like a 26 manual. .

    Also, I have had times when i've had a racket restrung and I don't hit it as well, so then a coaching session can help to get the timing. I'd suggest that.. Maybe sometimes what happens is as the strings loosen then the sweet spot gets bigger and that lets us get away with not hitting it exactly where we should on the racket face. Some people in clubs they just go for looser strings cos they can't ever time it to hit it in the right place and they don't even try, and when at the net they just hoof it into the air, (so if their net shots were to be impaired then it wouldn't matter to them 'cos they can't do a net shot anyway! some players are so bad at the front that when there, all they know how to do is run back and get in the way of the guy at the back.. ).

    I remember one time I had a racket restrung and shots weren't working so well.. but when I re-thought my timing and consciously look at the shuttle making sure I was hitting it in the right place on the racket. Then it was fine..

    Some years back when I got a racket restrung, the restringing guy ran a social badminton club.. that i'd go to sometimes. The guy remarked on how accurately I am hitting it on the racket, because the racket strings wore out in exactly the right spot.. So i'm not too bad at hitting it in the right place.. But still i've had situations where I've had a racket restrung and i'm not hitting it properly.. And I can wonder why.. is it that the lighting in the hall is not good and i'm not always seeing the shuttle for the whole flight duration, and i'm predicting where it is rather than actually seeing it, like my mind is maybe filling in the blanks.. Am I not looking at it on contact, has my technique dropped a bit(relative to where it was).. What is happening is that lingering question. And I don't always know exactly why, if it's a combination of factors. But a single coaching session on that has always fixed it!

    It can be potentially demoralising going a whole evening not hitting it properly, people wondering what has happened because they know normally you're pretty good.. But it's like a piano that needs tuning. One coaching session on it and next time I play there i'm back, hitting it as I was

    Maybe something I might try in future is getting a spare racket strung and doing some shots with it from time to time..at least every week, rather than just playing with one racket until the strings break then seeing a huge difference when switching to a freshly strung one...

    It's an interesting problem.. I would suggest a coaching session to tune you up for that tension!

    When it comes to drives, definitely make sure you are looking at the shuttle when you hit it, and seeing the shuttle on the strings. And making a short swing. I think that may make a big difference. I remember at one point I developed my return of low serves really well.. and opponents were scared to low serve me and were flicking it quite a bit... Then there was the lockdown... my technique went a bit.. and my return of low serves went.. Part of the problem was the lighting in the hall, but besides that, seeing the shuttle making contact with the racket face made so much of a positive difference to the shot. And when you get good at it then even seeing/confirming you are hitting it in the right spot, it makes it so deliberate and sharp. I haven't thought about it as much with overheads(and really sometimes the lights in halls are so bright it's disorienting I can't really see as well as i'd like to), but drives are similar to some types of return serve. .and I think maybe the same would apply to drives, in terms of seeing the shuttle hit the strings, seeing where it is hitting and aiming to hit it there. I remember asking two different coaches, do I look at the shuttle or at the opponents, and they both thought at the shuttle. . I think once suggested that the primary focus would be on the shuttle and everything else is peripheral.

    An interesting one is the singles serve.. somebody I spoke to that is a very good singles player, said, you know where it's going to go, so you don't look there and don't need to look there, you look at the shuttle. So, it may be a universal.
     
    #3 ralphz, Jan 27, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  4. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    London
    I would say go to 25.

    A tighter tension means the sweetspot on the strings is smaller, but also the sweetspot when it comes to timing is smaller i.e. there is a shorter range in your swing that produces the desired shot. So to get used to a higher tension, your timing needs to be perfect on your shots, even when you're under pressure. It's like the higher the tension, the more the shots are all or nothing. A lower tension is more forgiving on shots that are not perfect. The slightly sharper feel and control are not worth it in my opinion.

    I think the main reason you have trouble with soft shots when the tension is lower is because you are coming from a higher tension, so you're not used to the slightly more bouncy feel of the slightly lower tension.

    So play with the tension where you can hit all your overhead shots effortless and over time you will get used to the tension and your soft shots should improve.
     
  5. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    Indonesia
    just want to add, the same stringer & the same brand/type/model machine but if one are never maintained/calibrated then the result would be different on the same tension request. Thats why every time i switch stringer, i would do it few times & adjust my tension up or down.
     
  6. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    london
    I haven't tested bounciness of low tension vs high tension on net shots. But i'm pretty sure higher tension does offer more control when doing net shots..

    Do you think the reason why top players use very high tension, is because of the control it offers them on net shots? Or do you think it is another reason? or other reasons?
     
  7. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    London
    Higher tensions offer more control on all shots.

    If you or I play with crazy high tensions we won't be able to bend the strings much on power shots, because the strings are just too tight, and we will lose power. But the pros have the perfect technique and timing, and they can bend the strings, even at high tensions. This means they can generate more power on power shots at higher tensions.

    The loss of power that @precrime3 is experiencing is that he is less able to bend the strings at 26 and as the tension gets less tight, the strings are just a little easier to bend back and generate power, which seems to be making the difference for him. This is why I suggest he strings at 25 because it seems like that is his optimal tension.

    Because the strings are looser, they need less impact from a shuttle to move. The more strings move back, the more they can push into the shuttle. If you hold a racket horizontal and drop a shuttle straight onto the strings, the shuttle will bounce back up. But it will bounce less if the tension is higher and it will bounce more if the tension is lower. When soft shots are more bouncy, they tend to be harder to control, but with proper technique, it's negligible (unless you're a pro player that gets punished for playing anything less than perfect).
     
    Budi likes this.
  8. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    Indonesia
    very true:D
     
  9. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    london
    And would that hold true regardless of how loose or tight the racket is held in the hand?

    (I know with the correct tension if you hold the racket very loose when taking it very close to the net, you can get a beautiful net shot that just tumbles over). And that's definitely going to be possible with a 26 tension racket - I have tested it with that. I do wonder though if a racket keeps losing tension, how long that will work for.

    By the way, if you imagine a trampoline, if the tension is way too low and you drop something on it, you will hardly get a bounce. The object will feel like it slumps into it. I wonder if that ever happens with a racket that needs a restring (considering the kind of rackets some people might have in their bag)? Maybe it still wouldn't be that low.

    At the back of the court, would you say that a racket that needs a restring would be less powerful. Less bounce. So you do get the effect like with the trampoline example I gave, where less tension means less bounce?
     
  10. Mark A

    Mark A Regular Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    7,109
    Likes Received:
    635
    Location:
    St Helens, UK
    Ask your stringer about prestretching.
    If their machine can't do it, they can do what I used to do and pull it by hand around a vertical pole.

    Prestretching makes the tension loss more gradual.
     
  11. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    London
    The bouncing part was a hypothetical, not in-game situation, with the racket not moving at all, to illustrate the effect of the tension on the shuttle.

    For strings to be so loose to not get a bounce at all, the tension would have to be unbelievably low and that doesn't really happen. If you string a racket at 20 lbs and leave it for 10 years, it will still have a bounce.

    To control the bounciness when hitting soft shots, players can 'cut' the shuttle, like giving spin in tennis. Instead of having the racket face move straight into the shuttle, it moves into the shuttle, but at the hitting point there is also perpendicular movement of the racket face relative to the shuttle.

    As for tension, I'm sure it has been covered in other threads, but let's do it again anyway:D.

    A trampoline that has a low tension (but isn't slack) is much easier to force down. It takes less force to force the trampoline surface down. When the trampoline springs back to flat, it gives the same force back. A trampoline with a higher tension needs a greater force to force it all the way down and when it springs back to flat, it give that same greater force back. Therefore, the tighter trampoline can launch an object higher than a looser trampoline.

    But here is where a lot of people go wrong. They understand this analogy and conclude that a higher tension will give them more power. Which is true, but only if you can force the tight trampoline down to begin with. And that takes a force they might not be able to generate. To play with a higher tension, you need the technique, timing, acceleration, and power to be able to dent the tight strings upon impact with the shuttle. If you fail to dent the strings enough, you won't impart much force into the shuttle.

    All of this means that while a higher tension gives you the potential for a higher maximum power (if you have the ability to use it), a lower tension makes it easier to generate power (because the trampoline is easier to force down) up to a certain point.

    The higher the tension, the higher the greatest possible power, but the harder it is to access it. The lower the tension, the lower the greatest possible power, but the easier it is to access the power within the limited range. (this is also why on soft shots, shuttles bounce more on lower tensions, because it takes less to force the strings down).

    So to answer your question, a lower tension can limit power, but not because the there is slack in the strings. Instead it limits power for players who can use a higher tension to generate more power.

    For the player's experience, this means that over the course of a stringjob's life, as it loses a little tension, it will gradually become easier to play with, but you will also lose that extra 'oomph' in full power smashes.
     
    ralphz likes this.
  12. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    london
    Thanks, that's a great explanation..

    Well, you can get that in a game too, if you do a net shot taking the shuttle early, and you don't make a cutting motion with the racket. The shot I mean would be done by holding the racket out with arm outstretched and a panhandle grip. letting the shuttle bounce off the racket strings and tumble over. A beautiful net shot that will tend to be a winner.

    How would you explain what happens when holding the racket more "tightly" or more "loosely" on net shots.. Assuming you don't cut..
    For example, if you take the shuttle early on a net shot, then you might hold the racket more "loosely" which reduces the bounce of the shuttle. But how would you explain what is actually happening there?

    Presumably if the tension is lower then for that net shot you'd have to hold the racket even more "loosely".
     
  13. asadafgs

    asadafgs Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2017
    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    US
    I think what you said: just ignore it and focus on improving. One time I accidentally strung at 24 lbs instead of my usual of 30 and I couldn’t even tell which racket was the 24lb one. I’d reckon the effect you described is variation in your gameplay that you associated with tension loss and there is also a placebo effect. If you were blinded while playing, you probably couldn’t tell the difference. Besides, even if there was a real effect, that’d still be fine. Part of badminton is learning how to adjust to playing conditions like draft, shuttle speed, lighting, size of the gym, ceiling height.
     
  14. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2018
    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    179
    Location:
    London
    If I go any higher than 28 I get timing issues and mishits, my power shots are terrible and my shoulder starts hurting from trying to overcompensate. If I go any lower than 25, all my soft shots feel too loose, and there is less feedback, like hitting the shuttle with a pillow.

    It's definitely a good attribute to learn to adjust to different playing conditions, but why learn to adapt to wildly different tensions when that is one of the things you have complete control over, especially if you string it yourself. Best to finetune it to the tension you enjoy most. Rather than compare it to factors like ceiling height that cannot be changed I would say it's like choosing to play with shoes that are a size too big. There is no need, just get shoes that fit. And similarly, find the tension that suits you best and stick with it. A good measure I feel is finding the highest tension where you can still hit full length clears effortlessly.
     
    Masa likes this.
  15. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    london
    I think you are an anomaly! Or that experience is an anomaly.

    yeah differences can be that big..

    I think I might even try putting a racket with 30 tension in my bag just to test timing and power generation from time to time.

    The other possibility is that it is a timing issue and he is missing the "sweet spot". A coaching session could help with the timing.
     
  16. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    Indonesia
    little tips if you want to test your timing & hitting consistency, you can do this method.
    Get 3 or 4 different color of whiteboard marker. Starting with 1st color, draw small circle in the mid of stringbed. Then with 2nd color draw bigger color around the 1st circle & so on until the string are fully painted. Afterthat play your games as normal. After the end of games, check on the shuttle ball, how many color you had there especially the color on the outter area.

    Got the idea when i see my friend racket had bunny on his string. His little daughter draw little cute bunny with whiteboard marker.
     
  17. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    london
    Well, I know if I time it right from the sound. And also from where the strings get worn down, I get that really good sign that confirms I am getting it in the right spot. There are times when I lose it, lose my timing, but those times are short lived. So I am a big believer in timing being very trainable.
     
  18. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2019
    Messages:
    1,222
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    Indonesia
    totally agree, time will makes your hitting better.
    But with my method above you dont need to waste racket with your unusual string tension. Even if its a dust collector racket that you never use, testing with different racket would mean another adaptation & adjustment which cant be used for good measurement if your hitting are good or not.
     
  19. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    133
    Location:
    london
    You snipped the sentence I wrote before.
    What I wrote was

    "well, I know if I time it right from the sound. And also from where the strings get worn down, I get that really good sign that confirms I am getting it in the right spot. There are times when I lose it, lose my timing, but those times are short lived. So I am a big believer in timing being very trainable"

    Nothing there about another racket or an unusual string tension.

    I did write earlier, that I had a thought to sometimes test out hitting with a high tension racket, though I didn't expand much on why, maybe a few reasons, though it's not so relevant..

    My main point is I think the OP shouldn't just give up on hitting it with a 26 tension racket. . e.g. some have suggested he go with the lower tension 'cos it fits him better. . I think he could try a session with a coach using the 26 tension racket, looking at his timing, and see if he can hit well with it, and if he can then he can use that rather than a lower tension. He says he is struggling e.g. on timing with drives.. Well, with a session looking at that and timing with that, I think he may find he can do it. Doable and easily trainable. If he were to just drop to a lower tension racket to make up for his timing issues then he isn't addressing that timing issue, that may not be that hard to address.
     
    #19 ralphz, Jan 30, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2021
  20. michael5098

    michael5098 Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    australia
    I think Budi was trying to say that having a marker can be a good tool to access timing. Feel and sound are not quantifiable and often subjective so having that extra data from the marker can be useful.
     
    Woesi likes this.

Share This Page