How to politely tell people to shut the f*ck up?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by cuius, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. cuius

    cuius New Member

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    Sorry for the title :D

    Maybe you can help me with my problem:

    I'm an intermediate player and play mostly doubles. I am ambitious, I had training lessons with a coach and I think it shows when I'm playing. I don't have a fixed partner, but I team up with whoever is around. I try to avoid people I don't like playing with but sometimes, I don't really have a choice and I don't want to be rude. So I also play with people I don't like (as a team mate, not generally).

    What is interesting is that people often feel inclined to teach me during a match. I don't really know why -- well, I do know why, it's because they often play better than me and can give me good advice, and that's fine. BUT, and here it comes: Often, people feel inclined to advise me even though they are clearly not better than me. They might have a harder smash than me (it seems like this is the measurement of skill to them...) but they don't have a good technique, no footwork and/or play a weird strategy. I simply have zero trust in their superiority in any way. Sometimes, they want to force me to play only in the front (either by advising me to stay in the front or they are forcing me with their "footwork", and I'm not even that bad in the rear court). Sometimes, they give me weird technical advice on how I should hold my racket or bend my wrist. Sometimes, they give me advice which I already know because it is basic but although you know it, you can't always deliver (yeah, I know that it's not good to play a high shot to the middle court...:rolleyes: ).

    Usually, I don't say anything when this happens, or I say "yes, ok/thanks, I'll try to avoid it/I already know this/etc.", and I try to be cool and play my game. But it always bothers me. This week, I started to turn it around and do the same thing to them. I was curious how they would react if I advised them. The end of the story: They stopped advising me but they were also really seriously pissed at me and the game was a desaster. Well, at least, now they maybe don't want to play with me anymore :D

    To avoid this unpleasantness in the future: Any ideas on how to handle such a situation in a smarter way?

    N.B.: I'm a girl. (I don't think that this should make a difference but it might make one). And these people are usually guys.
     
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  2. Fidget

    Fidget Regular Member

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    It probably does matter that you're "a girl". :(

    Guys love feeling superior. And we have a natural "save the damsel" attitude that leads us to believe that every woman needs -- and wants-- our help.

    There are three strategies you have open to you:
    1) Be polite and "take it" until you are good enough to shut them up with skill. This is the least confrontational, but this is the tactic that is currently driving you bananas.

    2) Aggressively tell them off , or sarcastically give advice back. Sounds like that hasn't made life any easier for you, either.

    3) Redirect (aka politely tell them off). eg. "I appreciate your intentions but giving me advice is messing with my game". Or, "I play better without all the corrections. Let's just play and work through it." Or simply, "That doesn't work for me."

    I highly recommend the third strategy. Sure, there will be know-it-alls who won't stop. But on average most players will respect that you told them that their advice (right or wrong) was interfering with your game.


    Best of luck! :)
     
    #2 Fidget, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  3. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    If you're playing to win, technical advice should not be given during a match, but after (or before); there's simply no way to improve technique in a short time. Tell that to the player, or better, find an experienced coach or respected player and ask them to tell that. I'm already working on that with my coach can also be said to show that you don't need the feedback.

    I always like discussing badminton technique in between matches. In order to avoid "I said - you said", you can use the gold standard of looking at high-level videos, or asking a very good player or coach. Then, you have someone else on your side (or whichever side is technically correct).

    Tactics can be discussed in-game. But it seems your - I hesitate to call them that - "partners" are missing basics of how to play level and mixed doubles. Again, I think the best option is to ask a great coach to give an introduction to basic doubles strategy, and explicitly include mixed. If that's not possible, point out that not a single high-level mixed pairing plays a static lady in front, man in back system.

    These players sound really toxic if they are always giving advice, but have a problem receiving it. I don't think I ever have experienced that, but then again, I'm not a girl. This sucks, but maybe there is one hope:

    As you are progressing in your skill level, two things will happen: First, your former partners should see that you're now the strongest player on court and respect you more. Second, you will play with better players who have a better understanding of the game - these idiots will simply be too far below your level to join your group.

    So hold on, talk to a good player or coach, and continue giving advice to your partners when it's sensible. But don't forget to have an open ear yourself, especially when your partner is good - they may just expand your knowledge. Best of luck!
     
    #3 phihag, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  4. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    You can say, 'you should talk to my coach.'

    It sometimes happens to me. But I like to be open minded and filter the information. If one person tells me one thing about my game, I do actually think about and ask other people their opinion to confirm validity of advice.

    I agree during a game is not the time to comment on the finer points of technique. Noticing patterns of play by opponents to take advantage of is OK. Technique issues where a player might have unconciously reverted back to their old technique might just need a reminder. It does take a certain amount of trust. I can tell my friend he stands too close to the net or has his racquet down at the net and he can take it without a problem. Just really simple things are OK.

    The other thing you can do is to pinpoint the root cause. So, if you play a shot like up the middle, try to identify the root cause. Many times, it can be traced back to the previous shot your side played. If your partner played that shot, you can say to the partner not to play a certain shot because it subsequently puts yourself in a difficult position.
     
    #4 Cheung, Jul 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
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  5. swunk

    swunk Regular Member

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    just say "please concentrate on your own game"

    and you should relax a bit. i've been where you are when i started playing and taking lessons from coaches, putting a lot of effort into training and developing. and being too serious about the game when playing with different people - it definitely didn't help and it hurt some relationships. And now when i've gotten to a good solid level i can see the game and all this stuff from a different perspective. and i definitely wish i hadn't been so serious and tense in the past.
    You should learn 2 things:
    1) when you come to a game session to play with other amateurs, not everyone (far from actually) shares your ambitions. most people just like to come and play, and it's ok
    2) you will never get as good as the kids that start young, no matter how much effort you put in.
    seeing things this way helps to relax, it doesn't mean you should drop your hands and stop trying to get better, but it helps to learn badminton for what it is - a game.
     
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  6. BadBadmintonPlayer

    BadBadmintonPlayer Regular Member

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    If you see something at the partner, which you can fix quickly, then you can say this in one or two words. Longer discussion should take place after the match and then in both directions. I have a lot of better experiences with encouraging words after a bad/wrong hit.

    I would not say "please concentrate on your own game". Its an attack on your teammate!
    Better is: "I need to concentrate and let's talk about mistakes after the game, ok?"
     
  7. cuius

    cuius New Member

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    Thanks for your replies.

    I think what bothers me the most is that these guys act like it was my fault when we lose a point or a match when I don't feel like that has been the case. Usually, I play for fun and I have absolutely no problem with losing (@swunk ) but I think it is disrespectful to me if my teammate, who makes a lot of mistakes himself, behaves as if it was all my fault that we suck and that he has to tell me how to play so that we can win the next time. Even if he's doing it in a nice way like "You did not play badly, next time focus on XY, then it will be better!" and try to "cheer" me up when I'm not even down... I don't know... from a coach or someone who plays better than me, this is totally fine but from a random player who makes mistakes himself all the time, this feels... somehow... patronizing? I would really like to show/tell them that they are wrong or that they are behaving disrespectful without appearing like a bitch. Or do you think I am too sensitive in this matter?

    I don't think that they see that. I've actually noticed that one guy was doing the same thing to a woman who plays much better than him. It was really cringy to me.

    Maybe the most polite and smart way would really be to react like this:

    I will definitely try this next time!
     
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  8. skeksis

    skeksis Regular Member

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    Oh yes, I DO believe that the fact you are a girl is the key to this behavior. I can see the same behavior in the club where I play with my girlfriend. (This is not the club where I play league games & undergo training myself.)

    My girlfriend is gaining single Lessons from me (as a certified coach & a relatively good doubles & mixed tactician who plays doubles & mixed at least 2 leagues above the rest of this particular club) 2 to 6 hours a week since 3 years. And she is CLEARLY better than the guys with who she is playing when we two don’t team up. In around every 2nd or 3rd game the guy will take the control of the game and will start to tell her it’s her fault when they are losing a point. This is simple masculine alpha male bull***t. There is nothing more to say.

    For example: Her Netplay is twice as deadly as every male player’s one she is playing in that club and her defense is better than nearly any in the club. But she is not as fast as some of the male players. Which is simply a case of better male physic. But the guys keep playing shots which she can’t kill or block. They simply don’t get their tactics going and don’t get the fact that a doubles tactic (if there is any, most of them seemingly play Doubles as a 4-player version of singles – whith really f****s me off.) And NONE of them is seeking themselves as the keyfactor.

    They want to keep the “girl” in the front and do nothing while they are jumping around the court and playing stupid clears and so on.

    So, I can assure you, it’s a male players problem. The chance you are doing fine and them are playing just poor tactics is incredibly high. In my honest opinion the guy in a mixed game has to realize that the front player is the “captain of the team”. The males position in Mixed is not to score stupid smash winners from the backcourt. It’s all about to let your partner shine!

    When she started 3 Years ago she was very intimated and shy. But now she just let them talk horsesh**t. If it gets too worse they get a simple “no, that’s not correct.” Or a “if you can’t play shot A, B or C to let me do what I can do best, it’s your fault, not mine.” Or “no, I will NOT stay in the front in a defensive situation. You need help in such situations and I am here to help.”

    Aaaaaand: The day will come where they realize that they are talking rubbish. And then there will happen: Nothing. They will combine their league team without you because the mixed player is not able to partner up with you. And this will be the day when you will realize that some male players are really, really dumb but confessed by themselves.

    But as long as it's a simple tactics discussion a simple "ok, I will try." or a "sorry, but I cannot play this shot." must be enough.

    Tl;dr: Yes, the fact that you are a girl is as important as the fact that many male players are pseudo alpha males which is really boring.
     
    #8 skeksis, Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
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  9. cuius

    cuius New Member

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    Thanks @skeksis for your input. Your girlfriend seems to be a good role model for me :) Sometimes I'm just not quick enough for a good reply.

    Btw, yesterday one of these guys really wanted to play with me (because... uh... I think he likes me? don't know. But we get along well off court, so this is a different story with him than with the other guys) and I told him that I don't think that we play well together and he was really surprised and wanted to know why. So I told him what bothers me in our game, not what I mentioned here but that we have different aims in the game: I want to play a beautiful and good game, I want to try some things I learned from my coaching lessons (my weaknesses or new strategy, no technique), he wants to win at any cost, and in the most fabulous way. Then we played together and he really tried to change his attitude during the game but I'm not sure if he understood my view. But he tried, so at least he was open for a different opinion. Maybe, I'm really someone who is not so much interested in winning when I'm just playing for fun. Don't get me wrong, of course I want to win, especially when playing against an opponent who has a similar level, but I also want to play a good game. This counts more to me than winning. So, I'm not frustrated when we lose a point.
     
    #9 cuius, Jul 26, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
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  10. opikbidin

    opikbidin Regular Member

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    If you are a girl partnering with that kind of partner, you just can't help it until you are better than the male player at everything.
     
  11. raymond

    raymond Regular Member

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    What are the differences in your case, in some concrete sense, between winning and playing a good game? And what do you mean when you say someone "winning at all costs"?
     
  12. cuius

    cuius New Member

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    Winning and playing a good game are different things. Maybe this is because I mostly play for fun and not in tournaments, but winning is only the bonus of a good game, it is not the main objective for me. I mean for example that I don't want to be trapped to play only at the net because my teammate believes that we have a better shot at winning. It also means that if we are playing against two players where one of them has a serious weakness, we don't just exploit this one weakness if there is another way of winning the game. Playing a good game is a game where both teams are satisfied with the way they played, independently from the outcome of the game. What makes a good game (in doubles)? For me it is a game that showed a variety of technical/strategic skill, speed, good interaction with your team mate, suspense, challenges that you were able to master, etc. It does not mean: I stay at the net regardless of what is happening in the game. I also want to be able to take some risks. Sometimes that leads to us losing a point but so what! It's not as if my teammate was playing the perfect game himself. For instance if the opponents "force" me to be back, I want to attack. I don't want to play a clear or a slow drop where I have the chance to go to the net again. Yes, my smashes might not be that hard, yes, it happens that they sometimes go in the net, but I really like smashing and I don't want to be deprived of it.

    And, people who want to win at all costs: If they are losing, they might say that shuttles are in if they are out (or vice versa, depending on who would get the point, I've had arguments on that WITH MY OWN TEAMMATE! where he was just wrong), they have no trust in me and take shots which should be mine just because they think that they can deliver a better shot than me (and then rackets clash or people crash...), they make aggressive/impolite comments about a mistake of an opponent... All in all, they just turn into very uncomfortable people you don't really want to have in your team (I rather have such a person in the opponent team than as a teammate).
     
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  13. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    Note that there is also a place in between the two extremes you describe; consisting of players who are absolutely fair and good sportsmen all around, but still want to play tactically optimal, because they (rightfully) regard badminton not only as a game of athletics and technical skill, but also tactics, especially in doubles. This usually does not mean that one player stays at the net unless the skill difference is truly enormous.
     
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  14. cuius

    cuius New Member

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    Of course. But I do find it boring if this happens in a game where the skill level between the two teams is different. "Optimal" would be to exploit the weaknesses of the opponent all the time. If the weakness is that one player can't defend in a good way, then you can easily win by just smashing at them because this is the most safe way for you to win the point. This of course leads the teammate of the poor defender to say "Maybe you should stay in the front, then I can defend and you don't have to take all the shots." And then this turns into a game that I don't like. So, yes, these tactics are totally okay of course, and in THIS situation, I find it reasonable of the teammate to suggest that the poor defender only does the netplay because then this nr.1 weakness is not there anymore but I still just don't like such games. I rather stay away from them because I don't think that they are fun for me.

    I don't know what you mean by a "truly enormous" skill difference because I think I play alright, just my defense is actually quite poor because I can't do a good underarm clear. I can only do a short defense and this is quite risky in doubles. So, of course, it would be tactically optimal for my opponents to smash only at me every time they have the chance. If my partner is a better defender, it might be tactically optimal to ask me to only play in the front. But yeah, such optimal tactics lead to a scenario in which I cannot play in the back court, which I enjoy a lot. It just turns into a comparatively "static" game, footwork-wise.

    So, if I play for fun, I don't like to play like this although of course this is totally fine. I don't want to criticize anyone who wants to play tactically optimal. It's just a different attitude.
     
  15. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    Then why don't you switch partners? Maybe it's just a local custom here, but in match play, the strongest player is always grouped with the weakest player.

    Surely your defense is not that bad. In the front, you'll just get shot at. Plus, it will be very hard to transition to a proper doubles defense. Why don't you cover the cross court? Even international-level pairs sometimes have a preferred defense player. So they lift primarily cross to the other side (or even swap positions). Depending on the defense ability the weaker player covers less space.

    Especially if your goal is to participate, I'd stay side-by-side in defense. If you only cover everything around your body cross-court, you're making it easier for your partner to defend. With your current strategy, your partner will be unable to get properly placed smashes/drops to the sides. Even if your defense is not that good, you'll have more time and the smasher's partner will have to move more. With decently placed fast shots longline and cross you'll also be dangerous even if you can't lift to the very back.

    If your team has a problem defending, tactics could also work around that. Why are you lifting in the first place in doubles? Maybe aim for to play flat or attack yourself!
     
  16. cuius

    cuius New Member

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    I don't play in a fixed team. We are just a bunch of people playing together. So, there are always combinations that work out better and combinations that don't work out so much. We try to match people together in a way that we can play the most evenly leveled game possible. The situation I described above (players playing with optimal tactics when they are also clearly better than their opponents) does not appear too often. So it is not really an issue for me.

    Thanks, I will think about this next time I'm in this situation. Unfortunately, I currently don't have a partner with whom I can do exercises regarding my defense.

    My words exactly! But my teammates sometimes don't share this opinion...
     
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  17. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    That sucks! Have you considered looking for training opportunities? In your profile you don't say where you are based, but surely there are training opportunities basically everywhere on earth.

    Personally, I love training, especially technical. A big reason why I play badminton is the moments when a previously impossible shot or movement technique finally works after hours of training it over multiple weeks :).
     
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  18. cuius

    cuius New Member

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    I had a good training partner but she left and now my new partner is not a good smasher (does not like to smash and can't do it properly) so the smashes and "smashes" are going everywhere except where I need them to go to work on my defense. So... it's work in progress, I guess :D
     
  19. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    You can train defense in this situation, too: Your partner stands / sits behind the net and throws the shuttles at you. Alternatively, they can stand with safety glasses a little bit to the side in front of you (about 2-3m) and throw them. As a plus, throwing is (somewhat) similar to smashing, so this will improve their smashing abilities.

    Another exercise is them standing at the net and pushing shuttles down to you, and you defending flat. Start attacking and defending slowly and increase pace as you get better. This exercise improves your defense in general. With a better partner, you can also play very fast flat defenses. It's not suitable for high defenses though, but since defense is not your strong suit the flat sharp ones will be better anyways.
     
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  20. cuius

    cuius New Member

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    This is actually my favorite defense exercise :D

    But this also does not work yet. We will keep trying. I don't want my partner to train something that she does not like. Maybe I need to be more egoistic about that.
     
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