I feel I have a lot to work on, but where should I start first?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by precrime3, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    any videos of the exercises that you feel are helping with this problem?
     
  2. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    Watching the bottom video. Try to change your mindset (if you didn't do it already). Play like where you want to be, not where you are now. That is playing shots which works vs your current opponents but not vs better one, will not improve your gameplay. But don't try to take this concept to far and target a gamestyle of international standards yet.

    I will try to comment on your tactics because your footwork and shots are already in a good state and need some more practise and time to improve further.

    At 1:16 you do a fast drop/half smash with follow up and got punished immediatly by a drive cross court defense. This is exactly the same thing I started with and with exactly the same punishment, almost always. The best case would be a lift high back to your position, but this would be a reset, the same situation like he would serve again. So basically you invest energy for nothing.

    Basically it is about moving your opponent first before trying to attack. The worst enemy in such a scenario is lacking variety, if he knows, that you like to smash his serve, then he will anticipate a smash along the long line. You should counter this by using either an attack clear to the deep forhand (like 12:01), a deep cross clear or a fast dropshot to his backhand or a hard smash to the body. Once he is no longer able to predict your shot, a smash long will start to work again.

    E.g. take a look at 2:32 , you hit a hard smash with success, but you opponent stand there and just didn't hit it right. This is a high risk shot which works now, but you were really out of position (out of single court) and a simple cross block or cross drive would have costed you this point immediatly. Or at 10:26 , he didn't move much, just too easy to counter your smash.

    Receiving the serve of your opponent is THE building block of your whole game. In 80% of all serves it should be clear how he will serve and you should rethink twice if you want to play high risk shots to gain an immediatly point or to play a shot which gain you an advantage while keeping the risk low.

    A nice example is 2:42, you serve and play a neutral game until he do the misstake (playing too short) letting you finish with a smash. There is a study about tennis players which takes a look, how tennisplayers win a match. Amateur tennis player win by faults of their opponents, while pro tennis players need to force their opponent in a bad positioning before they can play a winning shot. I think that this will work in badminton in a similar way. So, basically you will win matches by not making (unforced) errors. Just take a look at the average number of shots per rally, it is quite low (~4 shots). This is an indication that you are both at an early stage of your potential badminton career, because you both make too many errors and the one with less errors will win. If you want to improve faster, you need to make less errors, that is , playing a lot safer.

    Next the netshot downward spiral. Take a look at 4:17 (or 17:48). You smash, he blocked long, you return a netshot, he (could) do a tighter netshot, you are under pressure. This is something you need to keep in mind. The one who starts a netshot from a drop or block will have the disadvantage. The reason is quite simple. You can't really play a good netshot from too far away from the net, you can't really tumble it, nor can you play it tight to the net while keeping it low over the net. But your opponent will be able to receive this netshot with a tumbling, tight netshot. Next you could do only one of the following:
    - hit it back with an even tighter netshot (risk you hit the net, too high over net)
    - lift it (risk to hit net or lift too short)
    - kill it (high risk, because you need to anticipate this one and a flick will get you out of balance immediatly)
    - play a cross court netshot if too close to net
    All options are relative high risks shots, so you should avoid to put youself in such a situation. This doesn't mean, that you shouldn't play a netshot in such a situation, but you should try to reduce the risk. So, when late to the shot, don't play a net shot, or play a netshot if your opponent is out of position.

    A nice example at 6:04. After he blocked your attack clear/drive you play a netshot. He is out of position and try to play a counter netshot (bad idea), you can easily finish this with an even tighter netshot. Take a look at your foot position. When you play the first netshot, you stand right at the service line, the second netshot you stand almost at the net with your foot. This way you are able to play a nice tight spinning shot. But this only worked so well, because your opponent was under pressure/in a bad position while you play your first netshot.

    Netshots and smashes are like finishing moves, sure a very hard smash to the line or a very tight tumbling netshot will win you a point regardless of your opponent positioning most of the time, but in general it is better to play both only if your opponent is out of position first.

    Next the short serve in singles. It is a double-edged sword. It can put your opponent under pressure or it can put you under pressure (e.g. 14:581458). Here are some tips.
    1. You need to get ready after your serve immediatly and concentrate on receiving the return.
    2. You need to learn to intercept a flick to your deep forhand. China jump and take it immediatly. Don't run to the deep backhand and try to retrieve it from there.
    3. You need to prioritise in which order you anticipate the return. E.g. anticipate a shot to your forhand, so that you can quickly intercept a shot to the deep forhand or can react to a netshot to your forhand front corner.
    4. Your opponent will have issues with a short serve to the T, so he will try to find a pattern of what works. You need to anticipate this pattern. Check if your opponent moves his receiving position forward, counter this by a flick serve. If you do serve to the side lines, anticipate a long push to the corner, intercept it immediatly. If your opponent has some success with a net return or push to a deep corner, he will most likely try to followup in his next 2 serves.

    Next you should only stand still if you are ready to receive a shot. So, basically you should move to find a better position up to the time where you ready up to actually receive the shot all the time. E.g. at 20:10 (there are more examples), you play a netshot and just stand still afterwards. Either you need to ready up (rise racket, get in lower position, get proper stance) or use the time to move your position before he hit the shuttle. In this case he was out of position and your shot was not tight, so he was not in the position to play a tight netshot. So just take a step back and ready up (racket up). As example your opponent does this at 21:13, just moving slowly backward while waiting for what you do.

    Next where to hit a clear , more to the corners or more to the center ? Naturally you should tend to play more to the corners, but there are some cases where the additional risk is not worth the reward. When your opponent is already well back in his court and ready to receive a clear, it does not really matter if it is 10 cm from the side line or 50cm. The depth of the clear is a lot more important than this. BUT playing 10 cm to the corner will risk to play it wide a lot more than playing 50cm from the side line (e.g. 22.36)

    Some random notes:
    - Sometimes, like at 3:47, it seems, that you serve while your foot stands on the line, this is a fault.
    - You guard your backhand deep corner very well, taking it with your forhand most of the time.
     
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  3. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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  4. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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  5. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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    haha yeah I always try to first "win" against someone and then am comfortable losing but playing at a level I strive to be.

    Yeah I always forget to notice where they are and where they bias. He tends to overcommit to straight drops so that's on me.

    Haha here I was using a deception I learned from Badminton Family. Basically show a drop, but at the very last second tense to make it into an attack clear. I think I should do it more often.

    So if it lands in deadzone but it's fast, it's okay? But yeah the variety between fast short shots, body shots, and attack clears deep - yeah I def get it. I def need more variety in my serve receive situations as I think it makes every shot more powerful - which I think is your point, no?

    Yeah gotta watch some more videos about tactical ways to receive a high serve. All my friends use it when they "play seriously". I think my footwork getting there is fine, even with my ankles not 100%. Gotta work more on practicing the serve situation with my gf or something.

    Yeah I definitely should've played a more "boring" game just because I know his footwork to back is bad.

    I'm going to try and play with this mindset of playing a "safe" style. Will see how it feels next time I do play.

    Yeah I have been reading some tactics about what to do in the deadzone. I believe the best options are usually just to either deadzone it back or lift it.

    I understand - basically only play nets when they're under pressure but if they played a long net that usually means they're in a good position. So try to make them move again first before doing another net.

    Okay I see! Yeah I knew smashes were finishers but didn't know nets could be as well. Interesting~

    I think these two show to my experience and also anxiety about my ankles. Your first point I think is me losing my edge a little bit and not mentally in the zone, and the second one is me wanting to not jump as much to lessen the strain on the ankles, particularly my right one.

    Yeah I typically try to serve to the middle as I know it is most common as it make them choose between forehand or backhand. At 14:58 I purposely served long and a little too high which is why he was able to get me. He typically either lifts or cross lifts anyway, but I don't think I was able to understand if he preferred straight lifting on forehand/backhand or vice versa.

    Okay I see. I def should've experimented with some short serves to the T as well. Next time I spar I will.

    Yeah know I def understand what you mean when you explain! I should've gotten into a more offensive/sideways footwork here instead of being more neutral. That would've let me cover both the short and the long! I know that already - why am I not doing it lol

    Yeah for some reason when reviewing my footage.. .my clears looked a bit off? My defensive clears didn't look as high or as deep as they were in thailand and my attack clears didn't really have any speed. Gotta practice my clears

    Haha thanks! I only recently learned how to backhand drive, clear, and drop so I'm used to trying to take it on my forehand if at possible. I may experiment with using more backhand so I can apply more pressure at the net as I think I have a decent spinning net which would help neutralize their offensive and boost mine. IDK though.

    Some other notes for me is I think I need to work on my lifts - particularly my flat ones. And my high ones should be intentionally high just so I make him/them take an extra step.

    Thank you so much for your analysis though - i Will reread it over and over and combine with my notes so I know what to focus on playing against him in the future and other people in general.
     
  6. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    It depends, when returning a high serve as fast drop to the forhand, he just need to take a step forward and take it, too easy. If you hit a fast drop to the back hand and need to twist and take a step forward, which is harder. Always try to twist your opponent ;)

    This is the start to get you into more advanced levels. But you need to perfect this first. Momota is an expert, he can play such a good neutral game before speeding up and winning, Chen Long too. Being able to play a boring game is the foundation to play at higher level. Every single hi-level player will win vs us by just playing a neutral game, no fancy trickshots or ultra hard smashes needed.

    Netshots and smashes are really similar. First off all they are there to provoke a weak return, second option is to finish once the opponent is out of position. I win a lot of points with net shots, because my opponent is not able to reach it in time, the shuttle is too low to get it over the net. Don't take international players as reference. Momota can cross block monster smashes and take net shots just 1cm from the ground.

    This is a neutral game, you are not attacking but play a shot which is hard to be attacked by your opponent. You only try to do this, if you are not in a good position, that is you are pressured to the back, you take a late netshot or you take a deep forhand shot. When you are in a good position, you should always try to pressure on. The only reason to play an ongoing neutral game is to exhaust your opponent. This works very well vs low level players, as I started 2-3 years before, a club friend just let me run around the court for the first 5 points, not attacking at all. Afterwards I was so exhausted, that I lost the next 10 points with ease. But to be honest, you should try to play like you would play vs really fit player, don't take the easy wins if you want to improve.

    It is most likely the shuttle speed which changed (other brand, humidity, temperature).

    It is less about the shot, you can play a long net because you are under pressure and it is a lot easier to play long. No, it is more about the body movement. When a player gets under pressure, he needs a lot more time to recover from a shot. This time delta is what you can try to increase from shot to shot until it is so great, that you can finish it with a fast played shot. Visual indications are , that the player moves really fast before hitting the shuttle and that he needs to either bend (backcourt) or do a really deep lunge.

    To play a precise clear is hard. A clear has the longest trajectory of all shots and a small change in the angle while hitting it, will have a great difference where it hit the ground. A good high,deep clear is not really attackable at our level, so you really dont need to play it precisly to the side lines. Start to play a safe clear and move it more to the sidelines over the next years while you improve.

    A high lift is a defensive shot, the extra high will only give him extra time, but will not put him under pressure. So, getting it 1-2m higher just don't matter as long as you are able to use this extra time to get yourself in a good position. When you are talking about a flat lift, you mean a flick ? A flick is similar to the lift, but a lot faster and flatter, but the real difference is, that your stroke is more deceived . Contrary to a lift, which will be clearly visible from the motion sequence, most player will already start to get back when they see that you play a lift, but this is okay, because you need to get out of trouble. A flick has a much shorter stroke and if you are good with it, you will hold the racket a long time before hitting the flick (hold-and-flick), this way the opponent dont know if you want to flick or to play it short. But this is something you should practise a lot before applying it to a match.

    It is more about giving hints where you could look at yourself. Last saturday I had my first league match and were able to barely win my single. But I made so many misstakes, 80% of my lifts and clears went long. I blame myself why I hit them so hard and why I am so stupid to hit them out all the time. After the match I talked with the club boss about it and he casually told me, that we play with other shuttles at league matches which are faster in general. This view from an other person helped me more than what I tried to analyse myself. It never comes to mind, that the shuttle is just faster this time. Next time I need to test the shuttle speed, play more careful and/or try to change the racket (stiffer).
     
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  7. Signature

    Signature Regular Member

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    Adding some thoughts, I agree with all Ballschubsers comments except doing the short serve. The short serve is the best neutralizing opener in Elite mens singles but requires a lot from the server to keep it neutralized, your footwork and anticipation needs to be better to fully utilize the serve and as of now I think it puts you under more pressure than just a standard high forehand serve. To know when you are ready for the short serve you can think if every 3rd shot from me, regardless of service return, will be better than an optimal high lift then you go for the short serve.

    I think your net footwork could need some more practice, it seems like your center of mass is too far forward causing your recovery to be slow. This can be corrected with some shadow work!

    Next I also have some tactical advice. You play a very flat singles game, which requires a lot of tempo in your footwork. It's a high risk high reward strategy, but if playing against an opponent who can keep that tempo you will face trouble. I would say only play flatter type shots (attack clear, stick smash) if you are behind the shuttle and moving forwards, meaning you have proper time to retrieve the return. Otherwise you need to play a neutralizing stroke. If you choose to stick to your flatter game, you can move your center of play (?! idk the translation), aka where your footwork starts from, a bit back into the court. The biggest threats in a flatter game should be the smash or attack clear and by moving your center of play a bit back you have more time to retrieve.
     
  8. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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    Hey guys! On mobile but basically have taken the feedback of basiclaly playing more neutralizing shots and building into a rally in my sparring session today. Will respond to your comments signature when at desk

    In meantime would love to see what you guys think:
     
  9. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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    But wouldn't the best way to practice it... is to keep using the low serve and gaining experience?

    Yeah I think it's me not being light on feet and trying to be sure my ankles are really okay. If you watch some older footage of me in Thailand I think I'm a lot quicker at the net/recovery.

    This is a good observation - I will keep this mind. I def have tried to change this, because I think I seem to have this playstyle because I don't mentally like to lift high or clear far because I feel like I'm giving the attack away. But the more I use it the more I realize that's not always the case so I actually think my playstyle may become more nuanced the more I experiment.

    That's so cool your language has a word for that! I think we would just say "center" and with context we would understand that you don't mean like the absolute center, but more like the situational center.

    And okay interesting. That makes sense. I always did get caught out if I drove and came forward and they lifted over my head. Interesting.
     
  10. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    A very controversial topic in clubs. Even at my age I'm a beginner (3 years now), and I started with a high serve for singles and low serves for doubles. The issues was, that I wasn't able to get good at both in time, so after 1 year or so I switched to low serve in singles too. For me it was a practical decision, practising only low serves helped me a lot to get both serves in singles and doubles right and a lot better.
    Most club members tried to persuade me to take a high serve, but I kept on (nothing to lose as beginner). Nowadays I have less trouble with my serve, thought they always try to put me under pressure (therefor try to intercept the deep forhand), I get even an advantage vs mainly double players who are just bad with their high serves (always too short).
    On the other hand all young guys (~20) in my club serve low.

    In my opinion a bad high serve is as bad as a bad low serve, both put you under pressure and a good high server is harder to pull off than a good low serve. But in singles it is extremly important to be able to play a good flick servem but you don't seem to have issues for now (better players will smash your flick and you need to readjust it later on).

    When I play vs mid-league players, the remarkable change compared to low league players is, that the game get a lot flatter and faster, this way I'm no longer able to control it and they can up and down the pace like they want. I think , that a fast pace is a requirement to climb up the ladder. You should be able to play flat and fast over a longer duration, the one who is able to do this will most likely be able to control the match.

    You start with a more neutral game, often with a clear. That is good, he made a lot of misshits,because he didnt get behind the shuttle. In the first few rallies you move him around and tried to finish with a netshot. Thought both went into the net, the idea was right, your previous shots were right and you were there in time to take it, everything perfect. With more practise you will hit them,best to push them a little bit over the net.

    At 4:15 is an interesting situation. You play a defensive lift (taken late) to his deep forhand and try to recover to your mid-front backhand corner. It looked a little bit too offensive for me (anticipating a short/weak return ?). In short, if you play a defensive shot, you are still in trouble, so don't try to anticipate an offensive shot. Pushing a player to the backline is really tricky, for one, they can attack clear (which he has done in your case), but often they can play a very short emergency drop too (like 4:55 or 5:50), later they will straight jump smash them. When your lift is not too short, get into a more neutral, center position and anticipate a short drop. If he plays a clear, get quickly behind it.

    During a match you are in three states. Offensive state (you are able to attack, hitting the shuttle down), neutral state (not under pressure, but unable to attack), defensive state (you need to defend by hitting the shuttle up). When in an offensive state, always attack. In a neutral state try to keep either this state or get your opponent in a defensive state so that you can attack. In an defensive state, never try to attack. First try to get yourself in a neutral state first.

    Watch your rally at 6:02. You start with an attack (good), a good defense of your opponent and you are little bit too slow to follow up left you with a push to the deep forhand which got intercepted (rally got neutralised, okay), but you keep in a very offensive position (front of court) trying to attack the next shot (bad), he flicked you and you barely take it with a short defensive shot (bad). At this point a better opponent would have finished the rally because of your weak return. Afterwards you know that you are under pressure and play a defensive shot (good), a weak return of your opponent put you in an offensive position and you were able to finish it (great). The real art of badminton is to know when not to attack ;-)

    Watch this video for detailed information:


    An other rally , 7:15 (8:10 too). After your serve you get pushed into the deep forhand (try to intercept it :D). You play a neutral shot (okay), but you kept moving (bad). When you play a neutral short shot with some speed, you need to ready up soon afterwards (stop moving) and await the return. When it is a good neutral shot, he will not be able to attack (no smash, no tight net shot), so stop moving and prepare for every corner. In this case you would turn to the net, a single step to the center, split into ready position, racket up. Yes, you will end up quite far into the court and more to your forhand side, but your chances are much higher to get the next shot. A neutral shot can't be attacked, BUT a neutral shot can be pushed into all 4 corners and a still moving player will get trapped easily in his motion. A neutral 'short' shot should roughly target the T at the service line. When playing closer to the side lines, you opponent get more angle and is able to play a flatter cross netshot (dangerous).

    At ~4:40 you play two netshots, at the last one (with success), your body stay too close to the net. If your opponent would be able to lift it then , you would be in real trouble. Play netshots more with a slightly outstretched position and recover a step back asap. A rule of thumb, your racket foot should be close to the service line after recovery (like your first netshot).

    Nevertheless, you played a good match, more structured (not smashing every single shuttle). But you need better opponents challenging you, school/hobby level opponents are not good (sry opponent), you need trained opponents. You need to test yourself vs higher level opponents to understand what you really need to unlock. Try to get into some kind of club and into league matches if possible. A league or trournament match is important, because these guys will not be nice to you and try to win. Much better club players often tone down their game to keep you in the match giving you the illusion, that you are almost close to their level (but believe me, you are not...yet :D ).
     
  11. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    This. A lot of experience goes into knowing when you can take that chance to attack (and what sort of attack) without putting yourself at a big disadvantage.
     
  12. akatsuki2104

    akatsuki2104 Regular Member

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    I kind of agree with you but from my point of view, I would say it's better to master a more controlled play first and then being able to keep that control with a faster play.
    I consider myself as an intermediate player and mostly play a control game. I often win and outplay players with accurate shots.
    A faster game will cause more unforced error and be more tiring.
    Consistency first then accuracy and then speed.
    Everyone has different style, so that's just my pov. :D
     
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  13. Signature

    Signature Regular Member

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    My point too, you cant play fast if you cant play slow! Everyone should strive to have a higher tempo, but my tactical advice is for today, long term strategy would of course be to do low serve and higher tempo.
     
  14. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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    Yeah, I agree. I have a decent low serve because I practiced it a lot for doubles so the service itself isn't the problem. I guess it's where I'm serving to because in doubles it'basically always serves to the T and serve to the body or wide for some variety. In singles, I'm still experimenting but I believe serving to the middle is the best... not sure. And also retrieval of their next shot is the biggest issue. So more of an anticipation/footwork issue than the actual serve imo.

    Flick should be readjusted but I think is now inadequate. High enough, and goes to back line. I vary my timing on it and also sometimes show my body tensing to throw off.

    Yeah I figured. The higher the skill level, I assumed badminton in general gets faster. But for singles the court gets wider basically as shot quality improves and anticipation increase for both parties. Movement pressure turns up.

    Yeah I need more running net and drop drills. Technically I have a decent drop and net. But when it comes to under pressure not consistent :/ it's just more practice so I'm not worried ;)

    I understand what you mean. Basically if put under pressure, and I play a shot don't immediately think I turned the tables and now they are under pressure?

    Like under pressure > neutral > defense
    NOT pressure > defense ... to me it makes sense idk if that makes sense to others haha .
    Yeah I think that fell under lack of game sense. I def should've backed given that my attack failed but I think I wanted to "salvage" it haha.

    I think tactically I struggle with transition to and from offense/defense/neutral. I think I feel that at my level I'm okay going from defense, neutral to offensive or neutral to offensive but I'm not good at going backwards from offense to neutral or even defensive

    Yeah I think I knew this intuitively but it helped a lot for you to say it out loud for me. Thanks :)
     
  15. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Use the low serve to control the opponent’s return of serve replies.

    A slightly longer flatter and faster low serve will encourage faster and flatter shots on return of serve

    A short serve would encourage more netshots or higher lifts on return of serve.

    Serving low serve to the forehand or backhand will also elicit patterns of replies - let you work it out for your particular opponents.
     
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  16. precrime3

    precrime3 Regular Member

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    Just brief update guys -

    Been training along side the guy you guys saw me play again (his name is Xiao for future ref.)

    Been practicing primarily my reverse slice and backhand cross drop - both shots I would say I can do like 20% of the time in a game setting.

    Also been spending a lot of time in the gym, just trying to build a general foundation of strength which I felt I lost or deteriorated when I was not able to group train in Thailand.

    Overall the theme is taking things slow, and backing off immediately if I feel pain or instability
     

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