Multi shuttles supply , buy your own

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Cheung, Nov 21, 2023.

  1. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I don’t think this has been mentioned before.

    About three years ago, my kid was in an important tournament. She did all the normal training, follow a private coach. On the day, she was a bit nervous and kept hitting the shuttle out. It’s was difficult for her to control the shuttle and suffered a close loss to someone who odds on would not beat her. There was also a significant draught in the hall and this affects faster shuttles more than slower shuttles.

    As it was an important tournament in the junior calendar, we were both disappointed. However, the result doesn’t change and really, because I manage the training arrangements, I need to take some responsibility.

    Every player suffers nerves at some point or another. I can’t change that easily. But I did go back to thinking about the shuttles and difficulties controlling the shuttle.

    You see we normally use old shuttles which can be quite slow due the feathers getting ruffled or a bit beat up. So although we used the same speed shuttles in practice, because they were old, they were much slower than the tournament ones.

    I figured this was something that I could do something about. I went and bought 25 tubes and then a box of fifty tubes of shuttles at a fast speed just for training. Victor Master made of duck feather. I got a good price at the time coming to about 105hkd or just over ten pounds sterling for a tube of 12 shuttles. It just so happened to be one of our covid lockdowns so there was plenty of stock. Never mind. At least I had my supply sorted out for when the courts would reopen.

    It sounds really expensive and overkill to buy new shuttles for training but I am your hard core badminton addict. I also persuaded to myself that I didn’t have much time to decide as there were crucial assessments coming up in her training pathway. If I didn’t try to use faster shuttles in training, and a similar loss happened again in an important match, I would bitterly regret not buying faster shuttles for training. I would take these shuttles to the private training session, the coaches first went “wow” for using new shuttles. For group training, she would use the shuttles that the group normally used.

    Honestly, it went really really well. One of the best decisions I’ve made for training. Badminton is a game where you need to keep the shuttle in and she got used to trying to control her strength better. When kids transition upwards and get stronger, they have to learn to use smaller strokes compared to those big swings at 7 or 8 years old in order to control the shuttle. It’s not easy.

    When it came to matches, yes, the shuttle might still go out but she had far less propensity to get anxious about that and know what she needed to do. That let her stay a bit calmer.

    How about the costs? I bought a total of seventy five tubes and still using some of them now.
    Expensive? Yes about the same as buying 6 new high end racquets. Worth it? Totally. An even more satisfying outcome than buying and using a new racquet.

    If it was me training, I would be happy with old club shuttles but then again, I am not as competitive as before so it’s unnecessary to go to that expense. Secondly, I have played a lot before and my experience helps adjust to different speeds. It’s harder for young players to adjust to faster speeds. Adjusting to a slightly lower speed is much easier.
     
    #1 Cheung, Nov 21, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2023
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  2. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    I know some players that prefer to play with a shuttle that is too slow when tested. I know no one that prefers to play with a shuttle that is too fast when tested. I think there is a significant group of players that considers the correct speed (when tested), to be too fast.

    I think this preference of speed might be due to players being slow to change shuttles during games. They spend more time playing with shuttles that are "broken in", than with new ones. I can imagine the same will happen if you train with older shuttles. I don't regularly train anymore, but in my youth, usually when my training involved rally play with a single shuttle, we would use a new one and changed if it got too bad, similar to in a match. But when feeding multiple shuttles it is hard to justify the cost, especially at our level where the differences in level were substantial enough that it was unlikely to be affected by difference in shuttles.

    If the focus of training is on footwork, especially at high intensity pace, I wouldn't really care about the shuttles, but if I am working on shots, and consistency I probably wouldn't want to hit a different shuttle every time, at least if they aren't new. Before a good consistent shot is in your muscles and brain, you need the feedback of seeing where it lands to know how good the shot was. After a while and plenty of visual feedback, a player starts to feel whether their shot was good or not, based on how it felt coming off the racket. And even then, over time that feeling needs to be continuously refined because a player develops their technique, grows longer arms, grows taller, and grows more strength. Badminton is different when you're still learning a lot, when it is not yet fully in your system. Now, if I am not under pressure, I can play consistent badminton in my sleep. But that was not the case when I was a developing youth player. Match play (with a good shuttle) might be somewhat of a substitute that provides some feedback, but for younger players they would likely benefit much from training with newer shuttles. Moreso than someone who has played for decades.

    I also think it is more important to be able to adjust to faster speeds than it is to be able to adjust to slower speeds. Of course it is important to be able to adjust both ways, but shots that are hit out the back are instant points to the opponent, whereas short lifts still need to be scored by the opponent. Especially at lower levels where mistakes are more of a difference maker, reducing free points is the best way to improve results. Unfortunately in my experience it is harder to reduce power, than it is to give some more, which is likely why it is easier to adapt to slow shuttles than it is to adapt to faster shuttles.

    I prefer playing with new shuttles. It feels better. It feels cleaner. I feel like play in general is of higher quality when playing with a new shuttle. If anything is slighly off, whether it is too slow, or if there is the slightest wobble in a shuttle's flight, my play can devolve a bit. Hitting lower quality shots.

    I've had some friendly arguments with other players when all the feathers still look good, but the shuttle doesn't fly clean. Sometimes it is no longer round, sometimes there is a slight kink in one of the feathers, but it is not broken off. Sometimes it looks completely fine, and it should fly straight, but it just doesn't. I want to change it, they don't.

    In doubles, with the added pace in play, there will be more mishits and the shuttle will degrade to an unacceptable level sooner. But in singles you can play far longer with a shuttle that is just slightly off, but not broken enough to justify a change.

    If I could I would change it far more often than the organiser (and many players) would like. But then I'm not the one directly paying for the shuttles.
     
    #2 SnowWhite, Nov 22, 2023
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2023
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  3. s_mair

    s_mair Regular Member

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    Actually, I am really surprised that this topic doesn't come up more regularly. I've always hated having to use these wrecked shuttles from "the box" for any kind of drills and exercises. It's a total lottery when it comes to flight and speed and 99% of the time, the shuttles are a lot slower than what you'd play in an actual match.

    I'm 100% with you that if anyone takes the game seriously and wants to get the most out of their practise sessions, it will be clearly worth buying and maintaining your own set of consistent practise shuttles.
     
  4. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    I should also add that a great improvement can be made when using shuttles "from the box", by simply filtering the box to a higher standard, or just more frequently. Rarely would you need all the shuttles in the box, so just taking all the bad ones out can make a great difference. It doesn't matter what the average quality of the shuttles is if every fifth, or eighth shuttle is complete rubbish.

    Of course sorting the shuttles is a thankless job where no one notices if you do a good job, but everyone complains if you don't.
     
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  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    We don’t have this luxury in HK. Shuttles get thrown away or old ones kept by the organiser of the session. Those ones kept are stored and resold to coaches for their training albeit quite cheaply.
     
  6. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    It's upto whoever owns the shuttles to sort them if they wish. If they are not themselves using the shuttles, they probably won't bother. For most coaches I know, they would gladly accept someone's offer to sort them. They like to have a "good" batch of used shuttles. It's the inconvenience that is usually the barrier. Who wants to sort a big box of shuttles?

    Some have their players do it. Sometimes if they have an unlucky number of players, the player that rotates out gets to sort them for a bit. Or otherwise as a "punishment" for the player who performed worst in training by some metric. It can be fun and good teambuilding, because it encourages competition, and the players will appreciate the better overal quality of the shuttles in the next sessions.

    But those decision can only be made by whoever owns the shuttles or runs the sessions.
     

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