Front player position and shot after a dropshot

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Evanplaysbadminton, Dec 3, 2021.

  1. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    Hey,

    So far I was more a backcourt player even if my smash is not powerful :D
    I've found out I have more fun at the net and I wanted to know if I was correct about a few things.

    When my Partner does a dropshot and the opponent replies with a net shot, I usually move forward (between the net and the service line) and I usually go for a tight net shot (kinda like a tumbling net shot but with no tumbling lol). But I realize this is not a good option and I almost never see this on international games.
    Mainly because my opponent is already in front of me and has enough time to do another net shot too instead of lifting. But most of the time, the opponent does a crosscourt net shot which leads me to running and being a bit late and doing another net shot. Even if I get it I feel like we lost the advantage…

    So I think I'm doing this all wrong. Maybe I shouldn't go that far across the service line. Maybe I should stay exactly at the service line when my Partner does a dropshot or maybe just one of my foot just past the service line but no further.
    And I should aim for a jump forward with a net kill instead of trying a tumbling net shot if the opponent replies with a tight net shot. So racket head facing the net and not the ceiling.
    I mean, a good tumbling net shot can be great but it's not that easy to execute during doubles or it's just my technique but I've realized I Always put myself in difficulty if I try a tumbling net shot or net shot when the opponent is right in front of me. Also I can't do a net kill if I'm too close from the net.

    Is it correct ? This might sound obvious but I'm in a small club and we Don't have a coach.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Woesi

    Woesi Regular Member

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    When you are standing at the front, I would recommend you to stand about a meter behind the service line. This way you will be able to intercept fast smash returns from your opponents after your partner's smash.

    When playing at the front, generally try to hear what shot your partner is making:
    If he plays a loud smash, you want to keep a bit of distance to the net so that you can cover fast returns.
    If he plays a clear (should be not as loud as a smash) move back into defense positions and if he plays a rather quiet drop, immediately move forward and cover the net.

    So, when your partner plays a drop, you will want to close down on the net and stand on the service line or slightly infront of it (depending on your agility/reach).
    As soon as you hear your partner play a drop from the rear court, move forward. If the drop has good quality, the opponents should not be able to play it from above the net tape.
    See where your partners drop is going and follow the shuttle slightly in that direction. Keep your racket up at net height (generally keep your racket high when playing at the front) and wait for the opponents reaction.

    Unless your partner plays a high (/bad) or easily readable drop, you should be in a better position than your opponent. This means that the opponent will have to play a shot that goes upwards which gives you time to take it as early as possible when you are prepared.

    If your opponents net shot it is high enough, just kill it. If you can't kill it, play a push or cut away from the other player at the net (and ideally infront of or to the sides of the second player). If it is a really good net shot there is no shame in lifting the shuttle.

    Another option would be to play a cross court net shot (away from your opponent at the net).
     
    #2 Woesi, Dec 3, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
  3. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    I have another question. I've learned that the back player should play for the front player and vice versa.
    I position myself like you told : about a meter behind the service line to intercept after my Partner smashes.
    I'm Always on the same side of my Partner but near the center line.

    So in theory my Partner should avoid smashes and drops on the sidelines, right ? But maybe this limit our game ?
    Should I take the initiative to move more to the center of a half court to tell my Partner he can attack the sideline or is it a bad idea ? because at the same time maybe I restrict options toward the middle for my partner ?
     
  4. khoai

    khoai Regular Member

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    Yes, playing in front is a lot more fun and challenging than in the back because you are somewhat a playmaker, set it up for you partner and needs to react much faster than in the back.

    The normal way to play in front is not to follow your partner but follow your opponents like a cat and mouse game. Focus on their footwork and body movement. If someone moves close to the net, you need to be too. If you have good reaction time, you should be able to react to your partner's cross court smash or drop too. Make sure you are close enough for to response but still able to take other options depending on the opponent's skills and position. Your shot then should go past the front guy, into a gap between them or at least put him into a disadvantage position.

    That's why a tight net shot is not a good choice if he's already there. There are several reasons why tumbling net shot does not work here. First, to tumble, it needs to be fairly close to the net, you can't spin/tumble a far a way birdie. Second, even tumbling shot can be killed if the opponent is right there using a brush net kill.

    For net shots in doubles, you want to play as low as possible (practically aim at the net tape), not as close as possible to the net. For this to work, you need to approach with your racket face aiming around the net tape, not at the ceiling as in singles. While approaching, you should be able to see where your opponents are standing to make your decision. Usually, one guy at the net, the other guy needs to be around midcourt to close the gap between them. If the back guy stays to far back, best options are push to the either midcourt sidelines. If he's too biased to one side, drive or even lift to the other side.

    See below for various skills for mid/front court in doubles (turn on subtitles for English):

     
    #4 khoai, Dec 3, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2021
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  5. Woesi

    Woesi Regular Member

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    Your first statement is absolutely correct. In doubles the rear court Player wants to set up his partner at the front and vice versa.

    Standing slightly towards the side your partner smashes from is usually the best way to cover the front court most effectively. If you have opponents who tend to often do a smash return as a drive (straight or cross) you may want to move slightly towards the middle or the sideline (depending on what shot your partner has more trouble covering himself and which shot the opponent executes better).

    Regarding smash placement of your partner: This depends greatly on the level you are playing at.
    At lower levels it is generally a good idea to attack through the middle (not the middle of the court, but inbetween your opponents).
    This often enough leads to racket clashes and easy points and applies to smashes, drops and also attacking clears.
    And if the opponents get it back they will have to play it over you (your partner should be able to keep attacking), they would have to play to the net (where you should be in a comfortable position to take it on) or play around you (your partner should be able to cover these and then you could keep the attack or start to rotate).

    Another option would be to go for the straight attack down the line. It does open up your court for fast cross counter attacks, but you rarely see these at the lower levels of play.

    For variation he could choose to go for a cross smash. But this is dangerous since half of your rear court will be exposed to a fast counter attack.

    Playing inbetween your opponents is generally a good choice, but variation is the key. Varying speed, height and placement of the smash is often more effective than brute force.

    Indicating to your partner where he should smash by adjusting your position could be a good idea. But this only works if your partner has good peripheral vision and it may put him under more stress having to look for another aspect except the path of the shuttle and positions of your opponents.

    If you move too far towards one side you will make yourself more succepteble to blocks or counter attacks directed to the other side which your partner will have a hard time to cover as well. But this also depends on the level of your opponents (and yourself of cause).
     
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  6. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    What if I stand on the middle line, at the center ? I usually stand slightly towards the side of my Partner but some guy looked at my game last Week and told me I should put myself at the center when I'm at the front to cover the crosscourts counter from the opponents. In my case, he was right, I could intercept easily the crosscourt shots from my opponents. When I stand on my partner's side, I'm too late to intercept crosscourt counters.
     
  7. Woesi

    Woesi Regular Member

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    In that situation, covering the cross shots by standing on the middle line is the best option.
    You will always have to adjust your positions depending on the opponents' choice of shots and also your partner's smash placement.

    But if you decide to always stand in the middle and focus on covering the cross drives, you will leave a gap for the opponents which they can exploit by using straight counter drives, which will put pressure on your partner depending on his skills, and blocks, which you won't be able to reach as early as the opponents who blocked (if he follows up properly).

    In the end, you will have to decide every time which option is the better one depending mostly on your opponents defensive skills.
     
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  8. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

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    Thanks. Sounds like a bet ahah. I've faced both situation and it's frustrating. If I'm at the middle, the opponents play a straight block and I struggle to get it. If I'm on my partner's side and his smash is not steep we get a crosscourt counter.
     

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