How to play better as the “stronger” player in MD

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Hbmao, Nov 8, 2020.

  1. Hbmao

    Hbmao Regular Member

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    I play a lot of MD and sometimes you are the strongest among the four, sometimes you are the worst, and other times you are in the middle. My game somehow is “friendly” when I don’t have to “lead” as I can play both front and back, don’t make many errors, and defend well (obviously all in relative as a recreational player). My main strength is shuttle placement, which I use to make the opponents run and hit poor shots that I can exploit. However, when the situation requires me to “do more”, my weakness is exposed:

    1. my smash is weak so often I need my partner to be the “finisher”.
    2. when “in doubt” I clear to opponent’s rear as I can rely on my defense and don’t mind them smashing. However my partner may not be as good in defense and they may smash to his side.

    This basically is my challenge right now. In these types of situations, I tend to “overdo” myself by smashing with full strength which doesn’t add much power due to my technique but in reverse make it hard for me to recover in time for the next shot, or by going a little faster or a little more to the boundary lines during fast exchange for more advantage but also more risky. It typically doesn’t end very well : )

    So my question is, how can I be more effective as a “leader” without sheer power to back me up?
     
  2. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    Hello,

    If placement is your strong point and smash is weak then I believe you are more suited for front.
    Usually in MD the team which attacks wins the point.

    I'm sorry but I didn't understand the question. If you are the strongest among the four then there is no question of losing. You play with least pressure and are free to setup a rally however you want and play a winner.... rite o_O ?

    * If you are worried about opponents smashing towards your partner then lift more towards the same side where you are standing, so that opponent will have to smash cross court to target your partner. (Shuttle will have to travel longer and your partner will have more time to prepare)

    * Power is nothing without control.
    I know many players with a thunderous smash but with very little control over the trajectory/angle/body. They hit the net, 1 foot above my head, 1foot away from side lines or straight to my racquet which simply bounces back and I see them still recovering from the awkward jump.
    You can try aiming the smash/drive more towards the opponents body.

    Cheers.
     
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  3. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Watch some more WD to see it is ALL about setting up your partner for the kill. Even in MD it's not down to the smasher to win outright points. It's to probe your opponents and set up your front player for a combination attack.

    So number 1 is be patient. Don't try and force a point when you are in a deep corner and the opponent played a good lift.

    Number 2 is let your partner help you. Play shots over your partner's head, especially down the middle. A centreline fast dropshot is especially a good choice because it keeps your opponents guessing. It's neutral - they're unlikely to miss it, but they can't play the net (your partner is standing there if you hit it over him), and they can't attack you, so they can only lift it again. Which isn't so hard because there's little angle from the middle.

    Alternate centreline drop shots with half smashes and full smashes aimed at your opponents elbow, hips, centreline, straight sideline and maybe the occasional flat clear (attacking) and you won't need a hard smash against 90% of opponents. Save your full smashes for short lifts that land midcourt because they are a waste from the rear tramlines - harder to control, harder to recover from.

    Avoid crosscourt strokes like the plague. They will make you have to run further for any straight returns, and they travel you your opponents slower than a straight. They also confuse the hell out of your partner, making you play a 1vs2 game on doubles lines.
     
  4. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    Depending on how huge are the gaps, there will be some point that you can't win when you pair a much weaker player than you. If the partner miss basics, there is nothing to do because your opponent will try to keep you out which will result in shitty games.

    Hmmm, you said your main strength is shuttle placement, while saying your smash is weak. IMO a not very powerful smash can be combined with placement to a very effective smash by targeting blind spots or variation. You also said that you are able to force your opponents to poor shots which will make even a mediocre smash deadly if you hammer it down. Could it be that you are not able yet to use both to get best of both worlds?

    What does "in doubt" mean? If you opponent can reach it and also have time to target your partner your clears are not effective. Hit them more flat (punchclear), punchclear between both opponents to generate confusion and misunderstandings, clear straight to the corners so you will defend straight. This will give you partner more time to defend the cross courts, which take more time to travel, smashs will be flatter and less powerful, for clears and dropshots your partner also have more time to react and you can also help in the rear, if your partner struggle in this area. on the contrary your partner should try to lift cross court and clear cross court (if able to do) to make you as the stronger defender to cover the steeper and harder smashs. If not, your partner will be more likely and easier to get targeted on his straight lifts and clears.

    Ask yourself following questions before you start the match:

    1) What are the strenghts of your opponents? -> built the game to let them use them less
    2) What are the weaknesses of your opponents? -> built the game to let them face them more often
    3) What are the strenghts of your partner? -> built the game to let your partner use them more often
    4) What are the weaknesses of your partner? -> built the game to let him/her face them less
    5) What are your strengths and weakness of yourself? -> built the game to use your strengths

    After answering these questions (do this at home for common partners and opponents) and think about it properly and wisely you will discover overlaps which make your game more effective. The intersection should be your game which you should create to get the best out of any game. Try to imagine and visulize situations of this game in your head. Try to break down it to 2-3 things which might have the highest impact and communicate/advice it to your partner.
     
  5. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    Consider its recreational games, i would guest that the gap wont be to big as you would balance the team.

    Being you as the best & carry the weakest, i would say observe both your partner & opponent. Its recreational, so you would play with them often.
    Know your partner weakness & play less shot that will be exploited by your opponent.
    Know your opponent strength & weakness, then exploit their wealness while avoiding their strength.
    Its easier to look for the pattern on recreational club. They rarely had to much skill set to change his games nor they would realize that their movement had been read by their opponent.

    Last thing to say, play for your partner. Your trait are placement, so use those to setup good shot that makes his life easier.
     
  6. Hbmao

    Hbmao Regular Member

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    Thanks much for the replies. Those are very helpful pointers. I hope to follow up with one specific scenario:

    I’m at the rear and I know if I smash the chance won’t be very good to gain advantage (the lift/clear from opponent was high quality, opponents have good defense, etc). What should I do? I typically either force a smash (obviously not a smart choice) or I clear back. The problem with clearing back is I can’t control that the opponent hit back at to my partner, which I do want avoid (as it would be a 50-50 shot at best and as the stronger player I hope to get more of those shots). So what are my choices here? I saw mentioning of drop to middle, controlled smash (more angle than power), or clear to my side of the court. Those are good options?

    Basically I think in the way for maintaining/building advantage. I feel that I am good at that but lack the decisive punch. So some one can smash a winner out of a 70-30 shot, but I may need 2 tries to get the point (one shot to expand the advantage to 80/90% and the next shot by me or my partner to finish). This usually works out ok, but in some scenarios when my partner is “weak”, a longer rally initially at advantage may turn into disadvantages or immediate failures. Just look for ways to better “control” the game.
     
  7. ucantseeme

    ucantseeme Regular Member

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    Controlled smash to the middle to be more specific, because as you are in the rear, your partner covers the front and this will help him/her to not cover the whole entire net. just the middle plus 1.5m to each side. same for the drop shot.

    Clearing only straight will result into cross clears (if they want to aim your partner) of your opponent which you can cover for your partner to support him/her. Also try to punchclear between both. A lot people will think that this is a stupid idea, but as long as your opponents are not very familiar you will create confusion and there will be a weak reply like no one hit, both hit an clash, one takes it very late and more sideways.

    I suggest to maintain attack, not to get into defense to much even if you feel comfortable to defend, try to built the game to get into the rear. If your partner can't hit anything with quality from the back, try to flick more, return more as pushs to the rear to rotate and get into the rear. I think if you take the net the chance are close to none that you score a point right? Because your opponent just lift, lift and lift and your partner can't put pressure on them?

    Trust me in doubles you wont't score with the first smash, sometimes you need a 2nd, 3rd or 4th and also use variation and mixing with drop shots and also give away the attack in a controlled way to start from zero.

    I made the experience it's more advantageous to smash slower and be patient and balanced and increase the tempo than hit the first smash hard and anything else is slower, lack angle and your smash turns on no. 2nd or 3rd weaker and get counter attacked.

    Don't put yourself under pressure that the smash must be the winner. Just smash and be prepared for the next lift. If you force yourself to make the winner that way you will be too tense and also waste it all at once. You said you make less errors, so be confident, stay in the rally and attack patiently and you will hit the winner on the forth smash or your partner is able to kill it.

    I need to say that 20% of my smashs are a winner, 80% are just to prepare and setup my partner to kill or provoke a weaker reply.
     
  8. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    Just sharing 1 of my experience. Idk about your situation but i hope it can help you getting some idea.

    Im partnered with a panda (fatty friend:p). Forget a correct footwork, if he can move from left to right side, its a miracle that only happen once every 10 years. So most of the time he will enjoy his seat at the mid front area. Like it or not i had to cover U shaped area, back court & both front corner.
    The opponent, are barbaric type that love to abuse his power (really glad they are not placement type). Both like to stand at the back as there where they can abuse their power effectively & they tend to move backward soon as they return a drop or net. Ofcourse they had bad court awareness.

    Tho im a back court player & i had thunderous smash:p, but i rarely smash agains lower level unless i just want to end it fast.

    So, what i do?
    1. I play slow/weak drop. This would prevent both to sadisticly smashing my partner. As they like to stand at the back, it will makes both run back & forth alot. Also any bad return are easier to cut by my partner.
    2. Play drive but play the pace. Slow & fast, sudden change will surprise them. Afterall they are barbaric type so, its easy to light their fuse to do drive battle & then sudden drop will end the games.
    3. Do clear hit only when my opponent start to stand closer to the front thinking i play alot of drop.
    4. Like ucantseeme say, play the middle area to create a confusion between the opponent. Drop at the middle, if both opponent unsure & do late return, my fat partner at the front would be able to intercept easily. Fast flat drive to the middle can work to.

    For me carrying the weakest player, being a back player is better than the front coz you see all & being a control type player also the best thing as you can makes a strategic move to control the games. Brute force power games wont work especially at higher level no matter what coz we hit feather not a solid ball. No matter how strong our smash, after certain distance, shuttle will slowing down & any player with good reflex & response will be able to see & take it. Train your power if you want but right now you had good combination already. Stand at the back & your style are placement oriented games.
     
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  9. wannaplay

    wannaplay New Member

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    if smash fails because of technique, how about just improving on overhead technique to make more reliable and versatile smashes, which would also help improve clears and drops and posture and balance after the shots .... dont understand how someone can say their strength is good placement if they dont have the overhead technique to execute the shots unless they are referring to good placement from purely defensive positions.
     
  10. akatsuki2104

    akatsuki2104 Regular Member

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    You can manage to place the shuttle wherever you want even without proper technique. Placement will obviously be better with good techniques though.

    I would say he needs to be patient and be creative. A smash is not a finisher but another tool to setup the game.
    I have the same game where my smash is my weak point. I try to use many variations (fast drop, slow drop, attacking clear, smash) to setup a weak return.
    In case where I am the stronger player, I try to cover my partner as much as possible, be prepare to run and cover empty spaces. I sometimes play like it was a 1 vs 2 in my mind.

    " How to play better as the "stronger" player in MD ? " As wannaplay said, by improving techniques, become even stronger to carry better :p
     
  11. wannaplay

    wannaplay New Member

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    in theory perhaps, even then it gets harder as the game level advances.
     
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  12. akatsuki2104

    akatsuki2104 Regular Member

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    I've encountered some guys with weird techniques that "worked" but I agree that you will be limited at some point as the level advances
     
  13. Hbmao

    Hbmao Regular Member

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    This is a good point. Indeed my overhead shots is not as good as during flat exchanges or front play. Not be able to achieve both placement and depth/speed at the same time. Probably “attacking” clears that don’t give away advantage is something I can focus on improving.
     
  14. Budi

    Budi Regular Member

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    many thing about Kevin are wierd & unusual but thats work really well at 1st coz no one anticipate it & no one think its possible.
    Being different is a strong weapon i guest.
     
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