Hitting smashes at a front court opponent

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by DarkHiatus, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    I've been playing a lot more mixed doubles against many pairs who favour front-back formation so much that they never actually play side by side outside of the serve phase.

    For some reason, such a formation confuses me more when I receive a bad lift, ready for me to smash, than smashing against a sides formation.

    Take the scenario of a bad lift to my forehand rearcourt. I can get behind it, jump up and ready myself to play a full smash. My opponents are both near the centreline (though completely in my side of court), perhaps 0.5-1m towards my side of the court.

    On first impression, given the narrow coverage and the wide court, I feel that my strongest option is down the tramlines. However, it seems that hitting it directly at the front player is more effective - the front player can't realistically get out of the way, and the rear player can't see the shuttle.

    Note that although tramline smashes aren't as effective, they are still effective - they certainly don't lose me points on the next stroke, but they are more often returned.

    So my questions are:
    - why is are the tramline smashes less effective? Is this because of my power/accuracy, or is it simply because the straight attack is stronger?
    - should I feel bad for intentionally aiming it at the front player? If I do such a smash, I really have to aim it at their shoulder or head - if it's slightly wider within their reach, it is more likely to come back.

    Any other ideas in attacking a pair who defend front/back?
     
  2. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    I feel sorry, but I don't understand you right? So you receive a lift in your forehand side. Now you ask:

    "why is are the tramline smashes less effective? Is this because of my power/accuracy, or is it simply because the straight attack is stronger?"

    Now, I'm out. Isn't tramline smash and straight smash the same? Where is the difference? Sorry for beeing so silly, but I don't understand this clearly. :) Would you mind to explain it to me what you exactly mean? ;)
     
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  3. dave010

    dave010 Regular Member

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    He's referring to the down the line smash vs down the middle smash.

    In the case that your opponents are not wise enough to get side to side, attacking either the middle or the lines will work. Every pair is going to react differently, but putting the shuttle down the lines is going to require a little more power and angle so the shuttle reaches the floor quickly. Down the middle, it matters less because you have the element of confusion.
     
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  4. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Tramline - can be straight or crosscourt, point is I'm aiming at the SIDE of the court.

    Straight - smashing directly in front of me, in this scenario, my opponents are directly in front of me. This is normally the shortest route from racquet to ground because a tramline smash still requires a slight deviation further to the forehand side.

    I deliberately did not use the word middle or smash to centre, because it is NOT aimed at the centreline, it is aimed straight in front of me.

    If they lifted into my forehand tramline, then they are the same. Normally I am not quite that far over!
     
  5. dave010

    dave010 Regular Member

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    It's better to use the phrase down the middle, down the lines because we don't exactly know where you are on court :D
     
  6. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Against this opponent, my options for attack would be:
    1. Smash at the chest of the front court player
    2. Smash cross court anywhere (could be a sharp angled slice smash, or a full smash)
    3. Punch clear to either corner (cross court will do most damage - you can even aim this as a high smash/drive; there will be nobody there to defend it)
    4. Smash straight down the tramlines (probably favouring a stick smash that is very steep rather than a power smash)
    5. Body smash at straight (rear) defender

    Your opponents are sacrificing the ability to cover both sides of the court using this formation. This means that any kind of wide attack should put them under sever pressure, and hence punch clears will probably work a treat too. But first priority is hit the front court player.

    Now, what are the issues here?
    1. Front court player will be expecting it at them. They will be ready, and they are probably pretty good at it. If they keep winning the point, vary your tactics.
    2. The back court player probably has really good sideways coverage because EVERYONE will try to hit wide of them for a winner. Thus, you will have to be really accurate to win the point with that. (but nobody can cover both tramlines properly - so just exploit one of them, probably the cross court)

    My preference would be to mix up powerful cross court shots with steep angled straight smashes and aiming at the net player.

    Hope that helps - no problems aiming at the net player. They are in the wrong place and will get whats coming.
     
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  7. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    I sometimes face this type of opponents, too. @MSeeley said nearly all.

    I want to add, that there is no recipe for all opponents that play this way. I came across slow ladies and fast ladies. Also came across brave ladies, which go a step back from the T and use the energy of your smash just by holding the racket to let come back fast as a push. Some luck is needed, but some ladies I know have a lucky shot premium account. ;) I also faced ladies which fear and duck down and let the male player defend everything.

    I agree with Matt all these things are good options to play them. FME mixed is more a placement and keeping it flat game than a pure power player. IMO it hurts them the most when you can make both move and create your chance. Both don't move always to the same side and you can create a space and the gap in the middle. I would say that playing against such a pair requires really good accuracy. Not only just close the side, also in the depth of the court to create confusing.
     
  8. Caffrey

    Caffrey Regular Member

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    It depends on the pair you're facing to be honest. Mixed is my best event, and through my junior year I got by via whipping it through the girl. But as I moved up in skills the girls that I began to face were literally walls; impossible to smash through.
     
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  9. dave010

    dave010 Regular Member

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    Depends on your smash really. Guys like Hong Wei smash through any pair like nothing.
     
  10. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    I really doubt that any at BC who ask here has a smash like Hong Wei. If you ever met a decent mixed doubles female, because some people have the illusion that just beginner girls stand at the front and play mixed and overestimate their own smashs...you will face a really fast hand lady with good defence. A decent mixed will don't give you the option to smash under best conditions. They will make it hard for you and will keep it flat.
     
  11. Caffrey

    Caffrey Regular Member

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    This. Also top mixed girls are used to having smashes shot at them. Many national pairs I’ve played against had a girl with better defence than the guy
     
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  12. dave010

    dave010 Regular Member

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    Honestly, I aim most of my smashes to the middle and occasionally to the sidelines. I don't think this tactic of hitting to the girl even works past a certain level. That being said I'm very much a level doubles players so take that one with a grain of salt.

    Regarding the flat game, there are definitely ways to counter that style of play. Both players need to be quite good at the net, so more defensive drives and blocks can be played. Once your side is able to control the net, the opponent will be forced to play to the rear. This tactic works, just ask Fu Haifeng. :D Also, players that prefer the flat game (ala Sukamuljo/Gideon) tend to lack power in the rear court so you can often let them smash away without much risk. This tactic was used quite effectively by Chai/Hong in the Worlds.
     
  13. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    To clarify, the original question was where to smash when the receiving mixed pair are in the back/front arrangement (girl in front), NOT the typical doubles side to side defence.

    The top pairs do not regularly defend in a front/back arrangement.
     
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  14. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    But, even if the female stands at the front, she can also have quick hand skills to take a bunch of smashs and stand "right" to get it, even if they are in the wrong positioning for defence and run a IMO "wrong" and basic mixed. Some will say this is impossible, but I experienced this several times that the female had a good push defence. IMO the most important thing is to see the situation as a whole thing. If both players are balanced and relaxed a smash don't harm much, if they are a good team, which can play this formation. If you have the abilities to make a front to back formation to move and this is the important key, your smash will have better chances to be lethal. Use the shadowing of the frontcourt player to make the rear court male struggeling. IMO just the lift to the forehand don't play a role also the whole circumstance of your opponents which played the lift.

    When I started playing serious mixed I thought that the smash is the key for everything, but FME it's the previous set up and also you need to bring you own female into the game for the block or drive to catch and kill. At some levels just one smash don't score and you have more rallies which will bring you from attack to defence and back. Without knowing your opponents this can have various answers. I would tend to smash to the forehand side, instead of the backhand side, because I experienced, that the other way brings me into more trouble if it comes back. I also can play with my backhand in defence more options than with my forehand and alot players are so committed to the backhand side that they don't have an eye on their forehand in some situations. All in all it is often absolute necessary and vital to play some check patterns to discover what return routines your opponent has and what weakness.
     
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  15. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    We are not talking about doubles and professional badminton. I think this will offend some here, but we are all far away from this level and don't face opponents at this level. I know some exceptions here, but even this exceptions don't will win vs. your mentioned players. And sometimes playing like the pros will break our neck, because we are not like the pros and lack in many departments where they don't lack. I think that watching professional badminton can be helpful, an inspiration and make you think, but it can also do more harm than good, if you want to play like a pro, but you own abilities don't fit to play like that. I play my own games and use my experience what works in my level there to win, instead of copycat any pro and fail, because I can't use all their shots and tactics with my circumstance. Just my 2 cents
     
  16. dave010

    dave010 Regular Member

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    Are you saying that defensive drives, blocks and lifting smashes are going to break my neck? :D. I've played sports where I could've broken my neck but badminton isn't one of them.
     
  17. Matt

    Matt Regular Member

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    ^
    He's saying that as a figure of speech, but there is a point. One thing is that the pros have about twice the wrist power, so it makes a difference on how they do their shots compared to how we will play.
     
  18. dave010

    dave010 Regular Member

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    Badminton players seldom excel at anything that has to do with physical power. It's all about technique, strategy and consistency. How else are all the smaller and overweight players even winning medals?
     
  19. Matt

    Matt Regular Member

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    Well I am saying that in the context of comparing to an armature vs pro if one is simply trying to copy what they are doing as an example. Yes, all the other things which you mention matter too which will help win matches. When you compare Pros, it is completely different as they are doing it for a living vs someone who is not.
     
    #19 Matt, Oct 26, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2017
  20. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    IMO the physical condition and looking like Mark Wahlberg are different things. Regardless if Markis Kido at his peak or Li Junhei, they all have a better stamina and physical strength than all of us. I wouldn't discredit their physical strength even if they don't look like Hulk. IMO there are alot of things which come together, but if you train serious for badminton, weight exercises, agility training, good stamina are a must. That's the nature why some players fade out. They played long enough to have good strategy, consistency and technique, but it's also just a part of it.

    Never the less, I just wanted to point out that some things in our badminton games work, which will don't work on pro level and vice versa jsut based on our abilities. If you are Hong Wei and Kevin Sanjaya in one person, I think you should quit your job and move from Canada to Asia. If not, you will understand what I wanted to figure out. The average BC member, even if he thinks, isn't fast aus Kevin, can't hammer it down like Mads-pieler and so on and anticipate like Hendra. So we shouldn't mixed up our game level with pro level. The gaps of weakness at our level and the pro level are too different.
     

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