Doubles strategy

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by ilayna, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. ilayna

    ilayna New Member

    Apr 10, 2018
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    I've seen many doubles players who before serving, put their hand behind their back. I figured out a year ago that they do this to tell their partner what they're going to do or where theyre going to go.
    For example, the pointer can mean that I'm serving low, so stay front and back or two can mean I'm serving high so lets do sides.
    Does anyone have a certain strategy they use this for?
    It'll be nice to have a strategy with my partner.
    Thank you!
  2. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    By showing what serve you do, your partner can anticipate a little (not too much lest they give the serve away).
    But the main purpose is didactic: By forcing the server to think about where they're serving, you prevent them from just doing their default serve, and force them to think about the receiver's position and other considerations.
    Another reason is that it may foster a feeling of teamwork between the players; you notice when your partner is just serving there by accident.

    Therefore, I see these signals almost exclusively from junior players with professional coaches, usually state-level coaching or some very good clubs. Once they get older, they're used to analyzing the receiver every time, and don't need team rituals that much.

    In the German system, you show a number:
    1. Short to the middle of the court (fastest, signaled with index finger)
    2. Short to the receiver (may require grip change)
    3. Short slightly cross, to the other side of the receiver (may require grip change)
    4. Short cross to the side out of reach of the receiver (hopefully they react late and have to scratch it from the floor)
    5. Longline swip (surprising the receiver)
    6. Cross-court swip, usually shown with thumb, sometimes conflated with 5 (force the receiver to move backwards quite a long distance).
  3. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

    Mar 2, 2016
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    Xiamen, China
    I play with someone who only signals to his partner when he serves a high serve. I think he *thinks* he's being smart and preparing his partner. But really he's just announcing it to his opponent. :D
    dnewguy, phihag and Cheung like this.
  4. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    on court no. 1
    I also do this on 2 states. I signal my serve and if I can read the opponent good, I signal my partner the return which I guess and how we position. I have a good quote for that.

    I also do this in mixed when I serve and signal my parter with a clap rhythm my serve and what return I anticipate and how we position. She also signals me her serve and anticipation. E.g. doing swip and maintain front back, because just awaiting a dropshot or a clear instead of a smash or doing swip and move side by side, because of high chance of a smash and so on.

    At my level a lot people don't read much and don't play super tactical and superhuman clever, so I can gain advantages with this silly method and my readings
  5. mater

    mater Regular Member

    Sep 22, 2009
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    Postal Worker
    Badminton Central
    I think the signals are good in theory but not necessary, in fact like others posted, it can be a give away when the partner unconsiously shifts or moves. Curious, have anyone played without signals and then tried it and converted?
  6. asadafgs

    asadafgs Regular Member

    Jul 12, 2017
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    The signals work when you and your partner have already established where each person will cover. For example, if I'm serving odd, and I short serve in the middle(of the half that receiver is standing), I drastically decrease the chance that they will hit a cross court shot. So I signal to my partner, and he/she knows where I'm going, and covers the empty space, making the serve-receive much more advantageous and less awkward.
    ucantseeme likes this.
  7. Abdullah Ahmad AAK

    Abdullah Ahmad AAK Regular Member

    May 17, 2020
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    Lahore, Pakistan
    i do signals just to confuse the other team. and stop them from pouncing on my default low serve xD

    ^P.S. i also let my partner know my signals don't mean anything at all
  8. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Jul 5, 2016
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    I actually had a partner once that would signal very firmly with his shuttle, and i'd assume he was going to do what he signalled and he didn't. I asked him about it and he said the signals don't mean anything. One of the worst and most ridiculous "communicators" i've ever run into on court.

    Now that you mention that reason, I at least can see a possible reason why he did that. Though it's good you at least let your partner know the reason behind what you're doing!

    Besides trying to confuse your opponents, you could look to try to play better without cheap tricks! .. For example, if your low serve is good, it's hard for them to pounce on. And if your return of a returned low serve is good, then they'll be afraid to hit the serve back to you anyway!

    Also most clubs (apart from apparently the more high level ones), mix partners a lot.. and so wouldn't they all know your trick? I know of one club that doesn't mix partners but it's really tough to get into, with a big waiting list, and players there are maybe pretty much all county level.
    Abdullah Ahmad AAK likes this.

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