How to win doubles when our partner can't play correctly?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Obito, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. Obito

    Obito Regular Member

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    First of, I have to say I'm not a gifted player. I start playing badminton since last year ( I started playing as a front court player so I know what a better player expect from their partner when playing doubles). People at my clubs say the same that "I'm a lot better" even my coach say the same to me. I always have sessions with my coach when I found my weakness, but still I'm not an intermediate player yet IMO.
    Now, I'm in the situation that frustrating me a lot. At one of my club, I always play against one team. Their team has one person that a lot better than me and been playing badminton for over 10 years, and the other guy been playing for at least 5 years (but he is not a serious player, so he didnt train properly. IMO I can beat this guy easily I even have my play card to beat him), but the thing is the better guy is pretty good at covering. he covers at least 3/4 of the court and they have been playing together since last year.
    Whenever I pair up with a partner at the same level as mine or better than mine, we most of the time win the match, but when I pair up with someone that below my level I can't find a way to beat them. When I say someone below my level I mean, someone who can't run, hit, unable to play front court properly, or someone who can't hit clear deep enough. some of them even get on my way when it is my play shot which make me hot headed sometime. I understand clearly that not everyone at the club as serious as me in badminton, but I wanna be able to carry them to beat that team.
    When I play with someone below my level I do not know which play I should use, I can't attack at all because I overthink for them . I know that If I try to drive or smash and moving to the front court my partner will be in trouble especially when they lift to our backhand side in the rear. As a consequence, It turns out that I keep defending until we lose the match. Some people even blame me that I do not attack enough that why I make they lose ( they never think about their shot). Sometime it is even worst when they make a weak return shot and the opponent smash and blame me that it was my fault when I can't defend the killing shot.

    I can't talk or teach them because I'm the youngest at the club ( but I always work and train to improve my skill in the shadow without telling anyone) , so I think the best way is to find a way to carry them which will also make me a better player at the same time. So you guys please delight me how to carry these guy to the victory.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Regular Member

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    There's nothing you can do except playing to your best ability.

    I've been in a similar position a lot of times and let's not beat around the bush, if your partner is (a lot) weaker than you and you play opponents that are your level of play, you're very likely gonna lose, regardless how well you play.

    When I play with a weaker player it actually puts a lot of pressure on me, because I know that most mistakes will come from him which means that I must avoid making mistakes or wrong tactical choices by all means if we want to stand any chance at all. People will tell you to integrate your partners strong parts more into the game and to avoid playing a style that he's not comfortable with, but in my opinion the truth is that a chain is only as strong as its weakest parts.

    While this is already frustrating during club nights, it's probably the most annoying thing besides injury in badminton ever when it happens during serious competition. Once I played a match with a weaker partner and after the first set our opponents noticed the glaring difference in our level of play and guess what, the only time I got a chance to play a shot was on the return of serve. Nothing you can do there.
     
  3. Abu Tanki

    Abu Tanki Regular Member

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    I agree. It's one of the most frustrating and high pressure things you meet in badminton but you've just got to try and give it your all and help your partner mentally as they'll be targeted by your opponents.

    Sent from my SM-J500FN using Tapatalk
     
  4. Obito

    Obito Regular Member

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    I feel that too. I strongly agree. I heard a lot of people telling me to integrate my partners strong parts, but IMO I think they are not strong enough yet. One person I play with, he is good at defending shot, but he is bad in term of footwork and front court plays. Another one is good at smashing, but he has no footwork, and unable to play rear court properly except keep smashing from the rear which getting weaker and weaker during the game. IMO I think If you wanna keep smashing from the rear court you at least need to know how to slice the shot to create an opportunity to perform powerful smashes by himself (When I'm in front, I'm always create a shot opening for my partner to smash because that was the first thing I was told when I first started playing as a front court player) or at least be able to cover the whole rear court effectively.

    It is also hard to find a front court player at club level. I wish I was born later and started playing badminton since I was a kid. People at club level they love to smash, smash, and smash. It is even harder to find someone who understand the concept of playing in the front.
     
  5. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    Yeah, I think everyone can relate to this problem.

    For me, as a woman player, it is more frustrating because the lower level guys just want you to stay at the front of the court as they flail all around the back, and if your opponents are also lower level guys, the birdie never comes to the front because all they know how to do is hit is hard and hit smashes, like you said. In those cases I just play mens doubles and try to carry my partner as best I can, but you can only do so much.

    Just remember that with some pairings YOU are the weak one that is pissing off your partner and that will give you some patience with them I think. ;) Also, when you get to an obviously higher level the lower level people get more embarrassed to ask you to play, so keep working on your own game. Don't worry about wins and losses, just worry about improving yourself.
     
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  6. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    What's wrong with you taking up that role?

    Guys who can control front court get better partnerships!
     
  7. Obito

    Obito Regular Member

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    Like I said, I can't take the front court because most of my partner they can't take care the back court. Anytime when I try to duck into the front then boom the next shot go straight to my partner backhand side and without proper footwork boom the bird hit right in the net.
     
  8. Obito

    Obito Regular Member

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    Yeap I always say sorry to my partner when I know that I'm the weakest one on the court. After the certain match, I always bring the problem and shot that I'm struggling with to discuss with my coach, but that's just me because I wanna be better and better. Not everyone at club level wanna play like a pro.
     
  9. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    I used to do this but I stopped. There is no reason to apologize because you are a lower level and learning. Teachers don't make students start class by apologizing for their lack of knowledge, and neither should you. It sounds like it is a club you play with regularly so obviously everyone knows your level, your skill, your weaknesses and they know that you are diligently playing and working to improve yourself. All serious badminton players have made that journey themselves, and they recognize it in other people. So maybe playing with you isn't super challenging, but you shouldn't apologize for it.

    Also, I think we underestimate our skill a lot, and walking around to the top players apologizing is going to point out your flaws a lot more than people may have noticed and give everyone a lower estimation of you in their mind.

    I actually don't like when people apologize to me because I feel like they have already given up. I feel like they expect to lose, so why should I waste my time playing a meaningless game? Instead I like when lower players are eager and psych themselves, and me, up with encouragement (even if they really suck and everyone knows it).
     
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  10. yippo888

    yippo888 Regular Member

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    I think as has been said before you should just play to the best of our ability and don't worry about the partner making the mistakes. Making mistakes is part of them learning to play and unless you absolutely HAVE to win, by you playing and moving correctly it will teach them correct court positioning and shot selection too.

    In club nights i quite often partner players that are weaker then me, and as a men's doubles player who like to control the net, my natural game is to get on the attack quickly and come into the net to try and dominate the rally which can sometimes expose my weaker partner. But as it is still the right thing to do i don't mind them missing the odd opportunity as that's all you can do in a doubles partnership just keep giving each other opportunities to get into the right position to make the next shot easier.
    What you don't want to do is to get into the situation where you feel like you have to win every point when that you hit, as that only puts more pressure on yourself and will start drawing you into the wrong positions and further isolates your partner.
     
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  11. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Indeed - trust is such a big factor, especially when learning.

    Let's take that example of "having to cover the front because your partner can't" - if you take the stroke, then your partner needs to learn to move back from an unnatural position. S/he was in the front, ready to take a forecourt stroke that should have been his/hers, and now they can't, because you've made an unnatural movement!

    Better would be to allow them to take the forecourt stroke, even if they play a weak stroke, because in the long term, they will play stronger strokes.

    By even moving forward towards the forecourt stroke, you will add doubt into their mind on who should take the stroke, and pull both of you out of position. Ouch.

    Let's flip the situation around - let's say you are in the forecourt and your partner is behind you. What's different now? Absolutely nothing is the answer. You should protect the forecourt as they should have earlier, and your weaker partner shall take the rearcourt strokes natural to his/her doubles positioning. They may be weak to begin with but they will get stronger.

    If you sow doubt in their mind by retreating from the net after returning a forecourt shot (i.e. opening up the net just as you would open up the back in the previous example), then you are eroding the trust and your partner does not know if he should be playing the rearcourt stroke that is natural to him, or running forward for the forecourt stroke that is unnatural for him.

    TL;DR play as you would play with partner your level, and eventually your partner will improve!
     
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  12. MSeeley

    MSeeley Regular Member

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    Well said. There is a lot to be said for simply playing a good game of badminton. This will include covering your partner in some situations where possible - this is the act of being a good player able to help them out, but you shouldn't deviate from good badminton. Because who benefits? You won't win any more points. Your partner will hate you. You will hate your partner. YOU are the problem though. If you let them do their best, then you allow them to grow. You could also ask, afterwards, if they want you to help cover that corner next time etc etc.
     
  13. Obito

    Obito Regular Member

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    Thanks for all the answer!!! Today I went out for clubs night. I stopped overthinking for them, and played as it should be. I feel a lot better now since I just focus on my own game. When I played with a pair that I need to win. I chose someone at my level or above my level and played it as it should be done. When I played with someone below my level, I just cheered them up and played my game.
     
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  14. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    Amen to this! As a woman this drove me NUTS when I was learning badminton. Because I wasn't sure if I should have gotten it, or if I was mistaken in my ideas and my partner should have gotten it. I finally got to the point where I was yelling at my coach and others to stop covering my shots for me. "But you're too slow" they said.
    "But let me try, let me fail, and then I'll learn to be quicker!" I would retort back. Finally they stopped and finally I learned. Lost a lot of games and looked a fool trying, and missing, shots, but now I'm a hungry shark at the net. If my partner kept covering me I wouldn't have learned and I wouldn't be a strong partner now.
     
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  15. SSSSNT

    SSSSNT Regular Member

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    The simple answer is unless you are better than both your opponents, there's just no way to beat them consistently while carrying a very weak player.

    The best thing to do in this situation is realize that this is not a real match and you're going to lose. So use this opportunity to train whatever it is you wanted to train in a live game. i.e I used to train my deception in matches like these and it would cost us many points and we lost badly but at least I improved that part of my game.
     
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  16. Babar

    Babar Regular Member

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    If your partner's level is way below the level of your opponents, that is a loss for sure.
    On the other hand, if you know he's less good than your opponents but has some skills in some area (strong smash, quick at the net...), you could try to be the playmaker, and create opportunities for him to shine.
     
  17. Rob3rt

    Rob3rt Regular Member

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    Sorry to hijack this thread, but a similar problem is keeping me thinking and leaving frustrated for a very long time now. So I wanted to hear the opinion or attitude of players like @s_mair @visor @Charlie-SWUK @ucantseeme and everybody else willing to share his thoughts about this issue.

    So, let's imagine you're the best player of your group in a doubles match; not necessarily by much but enough to notice that your partner does the majority of mistakes, unforced errors, bad tactical choices etc. How do you enjoy the match? I'm not even talking about winning, but enjoying the game and keeping yourself motivated.

    This may sound like a stupid or even arrogant question but a situation like this is completely destroying my motivation and fun whilst playing. I feel like I can't improve (sure, there are ways to improve even if you are better than your opponents, but let's be honest, it's just not the same) and I know that sometimes, even if I'm gonna play my best, I'm gonna lose and it's freaking frustrating. I'm not kidding. There's been a match where I probably played the best badminton of my life and we barely won in the third set which left me so frustrated. I know, I know, I should focus on myself and how I played, but somehow I can't. I should be happy about my performance, but the score completely took away the sweetness of the victory. That's why I enjoy singles more, even though I'm better at doubles. During competition it's a whole other but I can't really deal with this during training (anymore...).

    I know a few people that regularly play with much (!) weaker players and still seem to enjoy it. Either these people are not keen on improving anymore or they are not noticing that they aren't getting better, in fact they are getting worse, slowly, but surely. :D

    I'm tired of constantly having to change clubs or groups for this reason so I'm looking for a way to make these kind of matches more enjoyable for me and my partner. So, anyone got an idea? Life experience? Right mental attitude? Way to motivate yourself?
     
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  18. shreyas666

    shreyas666 Regular Member

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    well, i do encounter weaker players when we visit our social clubs for recreational play and we play well enough and our game is serious. we usually balance out our teams by assigning a weaker player with a stronger one(its a poor strategy as you dont really have a common team member) and we keep on rotating partners. Our onus is first on creating an effective communication method between the team mates so as to build somekind of a game trust. When we have done that, it takes about 3-4 points and we start gelling and understading our play.
    what we actually build on is spatial awareness about our new partner, as to where the person is receiving and hitting shuttle and then acting intuitively for the next shot.
    this allows us to first guage the skills of the player and his high points so he will be limited to that areas and is expected to convert all the said opportunities and secondly, this system will allow all gaping spaces left uncovered on court as player will naturally move towards empty spaces. when that is done, some kind of competence is achieved and weak player isnt that weak anymore. On the shot making quality, that is usually the only con encountered. strong player must be then more than motile to meet the challenge!
     
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  19. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    If you're stuck with a very weak partner relative to your opponents, and if your opponents play tactically solid doubles badminton by isolating him, then there's really no way for you to win the game.

    So you have to start off with the right mindset that you're *not* there to win, but there to have fun. Some games will be like that. Your partner will make simple mistakes that will have you scratch your head and potentially boil your blood. Don't let it. You can't change him. You can only change yourself.

    Which brings me to you. If you feel bored and want some challenge, try using and polishing your deceptive strokes. Like sway one way and hit another, or double action shots, or hold and final split second lift or change the direction of your racket face. Be like Tai TzuYing! Fun stuff!
     
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  20. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    I think the crux of your problem is right here. You won and you STILL weren't happy because you wanted to win by a lot. You somehow only equate fun with winning by a big margin and that's not the right attitude for a player and can only lead to frustration (which is what you are dealing with).

    You don't have to love playing with a weaker partner, but you need to love playing for playing sake. Personally I feel the most electrified and satisfied when I have a very challenging game (regardless of outcome). If I have an easy game where me and my partner win quickly and decidedly, it's not fun for me. I'm wasting my time.

    You say you can't improve when playing with a weaker partner, but the opposite is actually true. If your partner is equally strong, or stronger, you end up doing a lot less work. You don't push yourself and don't strive like you should if you win by a lot or win because your partner is stronger and you rely on them. You played the best game of you life and instead of seeing that as a major success, instead of seeing how having a weak partner actually FORCED you to improve and step up your technique all you can see is the anger that you didn't win by more. Like somehow you trying hard means you deserve to win more than anyone else. That's not how sports works.

    I'm going to guess you are not pleasant to play with either. That you make your partners feel very bad about themselves because you focus only on their flaws, while focusing on how good you are and how few mistakes you make. I play with a guy like this who makes big sighs and huge exaggerated "noooo" when his partner serves into the net or missed a shuttle. Meanwhile, when he does the same thing he keeps a straight face and doesn't look at all disturbed by it. When his partner makes a mistake it's "their failure" and when he does, "it's all part of the game."

    That kind of attitude is pretty obvious to see on players and I'm going to guess the high level players that you really want to play with, also can see it in your game play and recognize it and don't want to invite that attitude into their clubs.

    Basically you need to stop focusing on the other person. You can't control them and feeling angry towards them doesn't help anything. You need to control your reaction, your anger, and figure out a way for you to get out of your own ego so you can enjoy badminton again. The better you are the more games you have to play with weaker partners so this isn't a temporary thing you can transcend if you improve a lot. You need a shift in mindset...it has nothing to do with skill levels of your partners.
     
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