Doubles - Attacking from the backline

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Evanplaysbadminton, Nov 4, 2021.

  1. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    Hello,

    In doubles and mixed doubles, I'd like to know how to be more efficient when the shuttles arrive between the two backlines from a very high lift or a very high clear. I do fine when it falls before the first backline as I try to smash powerfully but when it's on the very back lane, I struggle.

    I've been looking for many threads but I can't find a satisfying solution for myself.

    I have a weak smash (working on it regularly), but I understand it's not recommended to play a smash anyway from the backlines.
    I've read that half/stick smashes and fast drops are the best solutions.

    The problem with these shots is that the opponents just keep me moving from left to right in the deep rear corners.
    I try to aim my shots towards the side lines, the middle, the "middle of a half-court", rarely I even try slices and reverse slices but they just lift back to the opposite side corner and I get tired and feel powerless.

    After my shot, I always move towards the centre of the backlines with a side chasse to be in good position to cover both rear corners.

    I've tried punch clears but from the backlines, it doesn't seem very effective, the opponents have enough time to get the shuttle.
    I've tried very tight drop shots with deception. It works very well against beginners, not at all with intermediate players.

    Sometimes I've tried to play back with high clears, it's okay for beginners but with experienced players, I obviously just give the initiative back.

    So it's like I just keep doing fast drops and running from left to right till the opponent or I make a mistake…

    Maybe my technique is not good enough but I'm wondering if I do something wrong in my shot selection or where I aim for ?

    When I watch videos on YouTube, it's not helpful because it seems like all the pros smash hard even from the backlines and then surprise their opponents with a drop shot or they vary their smash (towards the opponent's backhand, then forehand, then body, etc...).

    But I can't smash hard from the very last backline at my level (It's my 3rd year of badminton), also I'm 1m65. Not sure it's relevant because some pros have the same height but again they are pros…

    Thanks
     
  2. Signature

    Signature Regular Member

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    I think the problem many intermediate players make is to put ever shot selection in a vacuum. No shot is "the best" there are just safer alternatives. The most safe alternative to keep the attack is something with a lot of angle, to make the opponents lift, however if you only to this shot selection the opponents will move forward trying to anticipate and reclaim the initiative. This opens up the possibility for a flatter smash or even a punch clear. Also where should you put the shuttle, by playing shots in the middle you might want to initiate a rotation with your partner etc. etc.

    Vague I know but hopefully somewhat useful.
     
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  3. khoai

    khoai Regular Member

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    You should learn from pro women's doubles strategy because male pro physical is just unreal for us mortal. You can see in WD, clears are used a lot and unlike men they are not too keen on attacking knowing their strength and limit. The key to back court is deception and variation that makes your opponents move out of position or be confused. One shot that is almost unique to pro WD is punch clear between the opponents but it has to be precise enough to make them think and be late to the shot. You also need to work your preparation for different shots so at least they are not too obvious. For example, if you usually do jump smashes, you need to jump for drops and clears as well. I find jumping for punch clears is really effective because people usually expect steep angle shots when you jump.
     
  4. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    If you are in the rear corners , it is a bad idea to play straight shots to the side tramlines , especially slow dropshots. These shots allow the opponent to angle their replies diagonally to pull you cross court and run a lot thereby affecting the quality of your next shot. The exception to this is if your opponents are in a front back formation.

    For downward shots from the rear court, think of directing the shots in a funnel towards the centre line . This narrows the angle of replies that the opponent can give you.

    You need to be prepared for a rally of multiple shots like this, playing neutral shots , half smashes, fast drops and being patient and consistent. The objective is to keep probing the opponents waiting for the opponents to make a mistake or a loose shot. Therefore, you need to be confident in your own consistency and quality to multiple neutral shots.

    The suggestion of watching women’s doubles for their choices in this situation is really good advice.

    Also watch Chris Adcock and Tang Chun Man play mixed doubles - they are really good at neutral shots
     
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  5. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    Thanks Cheung. But what if I try something like a couple of half smashes/fast drops to the middle and then one on the sidelines to try to "surprise" the opponent ? Is it a bad idea ?

    And is it okay to aim for the sidelines first with a fast drop/half smash if I'm positionned in the deep rear court but at the center ? Though I guess it will open the angles ?

    I'm also asking this because I've read one of Jake Downey's book and for mixed doubles there was a picture like this :

    Red zone : general area of play down the side of the court
    Yellow zone : specific area of play to manœuvre opponents out of position

    But I suppose it's more when the shuttles are not in the very deep back court and especially in the corners ?
     

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  6. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    yes. You can try it. Try it out. Then try to calculate the percentage of shots that give you an advantage to disadvantage. You probably want to also calculate the number of sideline shots that go out. May I add, that in doubles, you also have a partner so do check that when you play a sideline shot from the back of court, can your partner help you.

    Presumably you and your partner are in front back position. The most likely return will be straight into tramlines. Would it be easy for your partner to hit the shuttle? If not, then it’s your responsibility and then you have to go to the tramline opening up a big empty area.

    This is Figure 133 in the book if I am not mistaken. You are correct, it won’t be applicable when you are far back in court.
     
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  7. nprince

    nprince Regular Member

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    It is a tough spot you are in. Good to have a good smash-then that opens many other options & your drop becomes deadly. But if you do not have a good smash, opponent has one less shot to worry about and one of them will stay closer to net to kill your drops and other little back to kill your clears. And they are not afraid to lift till they get what they want.

    The next best option is variation and deception. learn deceptive punch clear, double action clear, check smash & sliced drop and mix it up. None of them will be outright winners-but will produce a weak lift/clear from opponent which you can attack.
     
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  8. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    Hey thanks. What did you mean by "double action clear" ?
     
  9. xzavire

    xzavire Regular Member

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    I have had similar issue over the years. As I've gotten older my backline attack has lost some of it's bite. I primarily play mixed and level doubles; primarily as the backcourt in mixed and even/front in level doubles. Over the last decade my ability to finish a rally (either in the 1-2 punch in mixed or deceptive drop after a few good smashes) have decayed. So the opponents will cheat and move forward.

    I would say you're doing all the right things. Trying to vary the location of the smash and angle would be a great start. Ultimately your goal should be to get out of being put in the back consistently and try to end the backcourt attack as soon as you can. Two of the common tactics I use recreationally are

    1. When in my backhand rear corner, place a fast drop across into the forehand front court. The opponent will lift 90% of the time straight into my forehand rear court. In anticipation of this I preemptively get into position earlier and power a heavy smash down the sidelines or in between the 2 opponents. More often than not, this creates a mid-court lift or something that is interceptable. My partner would be able to finish it relatively easily. As well, if it goes past him/her and being short, I have the option of midcourt kill or drop. I also have the option of using this opportunity to rotate with my partner to the front court when I'm getting tired.

    2. I would purposely place the shuttle between the opponents in vary degrees of locations, changing up the pace and position. After a few shots I would purposely put a shuttle relatively flat but with good pace. At the point both opponents would know that I would attack the middle; the would sometimes try to both go in for an attacking push or block. Even the most seasoned paired opponents will clash rackets or snatch at the shuttle. I've discussed with my partner that he/she would try to intercept these to move the opponents around. In most cases continuing to attack the middle allows for better opportunity for my partner and I to dictate pace and stay on the attack. Even if the opponent manage to drive the shuttle back we would be playing a flat exchange game where arguably I have less of a disadvantage; getting out of being pinned at the back.

    Both of these are not sure-fire by any means but tactically would help get a few points if you mix up their use, pace, position. You will need a decent amount of trust with your partner as these can potentially be turned against you.
     
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  10. Zalmon

    Zalmon Regular Member

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    First option, jump smash if you have enough power. Second, use clear but dont try to use punch clear especially from rear court because it will be easy for opponents to intercept. Punch clear works really well as deceptive shot to surprise opponents if you could make them think that you were going to smash which mean it works well only before backline and your motion need to look exactly the same as smash or any other attacking shot.
     
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  11. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    Hey, I had another question, a bit off topic... is there a fundamental difference between doubles and mixed doubles when attacking ?

    I mean, once the lady and the guy are in front / back offensive formation, is there a substantial difference between shots selection or areas to aim ? Be it on the deep rear court or not.

    When I was a beginner, a lot of people told me to smash at the lady even cross court, but I've found this is not effective to smash cross court against experienced players or maybe once or twice per set to "surprise".

    Also a lot of players told me I should smash more in level doubles and smash less in mixed and play more drops but I don't get the logic. I've been playing like this for a year now and I'm starting to think I'm less efficient in mixed than when I was a beginner and used to smash everything be it level or mixed doubles.

    Thanks.
     
  12. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    Well you aren't alone in this as most intermediate club players can't pull off a rear court smash. 1.65m will not stop you from smashing. Work on your smash.

    As well as the recommended punch clears a good half smash down the middle is always good to try and get the opening, and work on your movement. Cannot state this enough. You are going to have to be able to move very quickly after a smash. Here's where it helps to be a singles player :)

    Furthermore if your partner isn't that great at the net be prepared to get more coming back at you. Smash hard from rearcourt more if you have a good partner at the net as they can often pick up a whippy crosscourt return rather than having to move like a demon every time :) I will sometimes purposely shift my base back to cover the whipped return when partner is smashing from rearcourt.
     
    #12 UkPlayer, Nov 17, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2021
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  13. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    In pro its very obvious the lady lack on strength so its logic to aim for the lady.
    But in mortal world its not surprising when you see a lady could hit harder than men. Beginner men vs advance lady...

    The rule are simple in double for where to shot at.
    1. Attack the mid between both opponent to make confusion on whom to take the shot, resulting bad return.
    2. Aim for the weakest one & exploit its weakness.

    i would say use your brain more than your brute. Ofcourse double will had more smash than single but not smashing all the time for sure.
    Im hard hitter, back player. Used to smash all the time before. Its works well on lower ground, smash are a killer shot. But as i play at higher level, the higher it is the harder & like impossible for me to finish it with 1 hard smash. At higher ground smash never be a killer but a shot to put opponent under preasure forcing bad return & the front player become an assassin to end it. So if you had weak smash or your opponent lv can easily return your smash, or your partner not ready then going on smash are a bad option. Better yet play variation of shot & become unpredictable. Smash, drop shot, attacking clear or play the angle of your smash. Step smash or aimed smash at opponent body. Ruin their rythm & momentum.
     
  14. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    The basic principles are the same for Mixed and Even Doubles. However, in Mixed Doubles it is more likely to have a player you want to get to the front while the other one prefers to be in the backcourt. That preference does influence the shot choice, because the responsibilities are (can be) different for different shots.
    A few months ago, I did a #TacticTuesday on Instagram for a few weeks, maybe have a look there..... here's a selection for attacking in doubles.





    There's some more, including some answered questions, but these are the basics.
    Note that especially when the pair doesn't know each other very well, it is (should be) the front court player who decides where to attack by where s*he is standing/what s*he is covering, more than the back court player.
     
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  15. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    Trust your own judgement. If something doesn't work for you it doesn't matter what is in the textbook. At lower levels, there is much more variation in people's abilities. Some people can't cover the court to save their life while being able to counterattack anything within their immediate reach. Some people can get everything back, but have no weapons to score points.

    If I'm playing mixed and get a lift, my mouth waters at the prospect of thundering a smash at the lady, even if it's cross. But, if over the course of a few rallies I find that her defense is too good and it gets me in trouble, then I will have to reconsider my shot selection. Maybe an attacking clear at the lady, maybe a straight smash at the guy, maybe a smash through the middle, maybe a straight dropshot to pull the guy forward.

    Shot selection depends on many factors; your own skills, your partner's skills, the opponents' skills, your positioning, the opponents' positioning. If your own smash isn't threatening, you will have to be more careful with it, because it is easier to get counter attacked, so it might not be the best choice for you, while it would be for someone else. Unless one of the opponents has a very weak defense, then it might make more sense to smash to them, even if it is cross, or even if you are out of position. If your partner has a very weak defense, then it makes less sense to play a clear, since the opponent can potentially attack your partner. Unless the opponent isn't threatening from the back, or is slow to move backwards, then maybe it makes sense to pressure them in the backcourt. I can go on and on.

    At the highest level, everyone can do everything, so there are specific optimal shots in certain situations. But at lower levels, what people can do differs wildly, and the entire game changes. The optimal way to play is to play into your opponents weaknesses and avoid your own. So in any given game, the optimal shots can be completely different. The only measure of whether something is tactically sound is whether it works or not.

    Does it score more points or does it lose more points? Does it more often give you an advantage in the rally or a disadvantage? If your cross smash keeps getting countered and it loses you points, then don't play it. If it scores you points, keep playing it. If it works, keep doing it. If it doesn't work, try something else.
     
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  16. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    Reading further replies, I suppose it depends on whether you want to win more games against similar opposition or level up to stronger opposition.

    Since you have no penetrating rearcourt smash, the opponents are under no obligation to take a defensive position and have less than 1/4 of the court each to think about as a punch clear isn't going to work if you can't smash. Within such a small space with no power there is no pressure for decent opponents to make errors, or room to create opportunities. Tactics aren't going to make much difference in that scenario and there is no element of surprise.

    Usually you'd mix up half smashes and fast drops when you have a strong smash against opposition who have a strong return to throw them off their rhythm.

    No penetrating smash from rearcourt suggests no hard drives, clears, or ability to get out of trouble at the back. I'd suggest focusing on hitting hard (this means properly) if you want to really improve. Play about with tactics if you want to win more games but don't rely on them.
     
    #16 UkPlayer, Nov 17, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2021
  17. Zalmon

    Zalmon Regular Member

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    Totally agree. If you wanna get better , keep working on “all aspect” even though that mean keep losing over and over (or you could get a coach but otherwise some of us doest have that privilege) but eventually you will smash harder. However, if you just wanna win a certain pair , tactic would help out a lot. Me myself love to lose because it means I always play with someone better and its not a tournament where there re a prize. Now, looking back I have gone too far than any other and I can beat most of them easily. Still my goal is to have fun and enjoy the game with advance and elite players, but some just want to win the night. It depends on your preferences.
     
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  18. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    the important thing is how to keep & maintain good mentality. Losing is no fun & many times it resulting frustation.

    Me to like to play with literally anyone.
    Long ago me & my friend play agains a bit old advance player, 2 vs 1 & beaten 30 vs 0. No point for me even when im double vs single & we are still young vs oldie. But every time this man teach us & tell us what we do wrong. Games by games i can gain more & more point until we are good enough that he wont dare to solo us anymore.
    But i had seen my friend that are stop growing. He lose & hate it so he just limit his play with beginner to bully them. Or some few of them even stop playing coz they got bullied many times & dont even want to try improving themself.

    Keeping good mental is another challange for self improving i guest. Never giveup & keep standing back every time life takes you down.
     
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  19. Zalmon

    Zalmon Regular Member

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    Its what sport suppose to be and teach us. It requires a good mentality to be able to withstand this and a lot of time and dedication to improve your game as an adult. If one wanna play for fun, I wouldnt recommend this route. Knowing why you lose is really important especially in double.
     
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  20. UkPlayer

    UkPlayer Regular Member

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    Tactics to win if you are his opponent is to keep lifting to him and take a non-defensive stance. Best tactic for him to improve is to take the opportunity to practice smash during these games.
     
    #20 UkPlayer, Nov 18, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2021

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