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Personnal progression asking for advices

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by SimonCarter, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I am Simon playing from France and I am quite new here. I have been playing for two years competitively and five years casually. I want to improve further and I have recorded myself extensively for personnal analysis but I feel like I could get great advices from you guys if you have the time to watch some footage.

    Here are videos from this evening (I'm playing in black)







    If you want even more videos you can go to the playlist that I will try to keep updated here :
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw0AqrMIyUDtJE_jdvaI31Vdye2NMyFeZ

    Feel free to watch my play and tell me anything that I could work on (I'm sure there's a lot).

    What I have been trying to work on recently iare
    - my stance (racket higher up when waiting for the oponent to shoot)
    - my split step (I feel like i'm losing too much time jumping too high)

    Thanks for watching hope you enjoyed the ocasional nice points.
     
  2. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Opponents are too weak
     
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  3. Kento

    Kento Regular Member

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    I think you have good pronation and supination of your racquet arm which allows you to put plenty of 'whip' into your forehand and backhand strokes respectively.

    You have a strong, well-directed wrist smash.

    With this in your armoury, you do not really need to use many jump smashes against your partner and I would advise you to use these sparingly as you will be off-balance having playing such a smash and the loss in your momentum could be exploited should he be able to place it just over the net, leaving you struggling to reach it before the shuttlecock drops to the floor.

    Your racquet arm appears to be quite stiff as you go into your smashes.

    You need to relax this as you go into the stroke, tightening your grip and locking your wrist as your racquet head makes contact with the shuttlecock at its sweet point when your arm follows through after your rotating hips in the direction where you intend to direct your smash. In this way, you are going to put much less strain on your arm muscles and consequently your arm will feel much less tired by the end of the match.

    You might also consider combining smashes from the back of the court with disguised drop or cut shots so as to keep your opponent guessing as to what your next shot will be.

    You need to be more deft when playing net shots and use disguise when so doing, cutting the shuttlecock finely so that it just trickles over the net at acute angles, thereby making it exceedingly difficult for your opponent to both read and then get to these.

    However, you are not really going to be able to gauge your progress playing against what appears to be much weaker opponents. Maybe think about practicing against someone at your level or a bit higher in future training sessions.

    This is my honest assessment of your play from what I have seen in your videos so please take what I have written as positive criticism only and I hope it has been of some help to you.
     
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  4. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Second the others comments - your opponents are not pushing you hard enough to reveal any significant weakness. Based on your first video, I would expect a weakness if an opponent is able to play repeated attacking clears and crosscourt drops to you to make you run a diagonal, but none of your opponents were able to stay in a rally long enough to see this. I expect this based on your rearcourt footwork which appears to restrict your movement/choice of shot, but you might use a completely different movement if an accurate clear/lift to the back is played.

    First opponent is strongest, but doesn't appear to be able to lift/clear to the back accurately. Second opponent returns most of your drop/net shots with a mid court lift, and you have very little actual pressure/threat. Third opponent barely returns anything over, with zero pressure/threat from him.

    If your scores are anywhere near even, then that suggests you were toying with your opponents here.

    Do you have any recent videos where you were playing your hardest and lost?
     
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  5. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I am surprised about what you say about the level discrepancy because it never felt like that to me, I am still doing many unforced errors. Well, the first and second videos my opponent was not in its best form but usually matches are more even.

    I will play tomorow and try to find other partners but at the club there are not many players that are better than them.

    From what you told me I will try to keep my arm less stiff, less jump smash, more deceptions.
    Improving my net shots and my rear court footwork is gonna take some drills and time i guess.

    Thanks again for your time i will try to get better vidéo tomorrow.
     
  6. Kento

    Kento Regular Member

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    You are most welcome Simon.

    "I will play tomorrow and try to find other partners but at the club there are not many players that are better than them."

    I could not help but notice that the woman wearing black playing in the court next to the one you were playing on in the first and second video appeared to be a really good player and I believe it might be a good idea to ask her to knock up with you, if she is a player who frequents the club regularly and is available to play with you.
     
    #6 Kento, Jan 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  7. Borkya

    Borkya Regular Member

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    I'm no expert on men's singles but I watched the video with my boyfriend (and he is more of an expert than me) and the first thing he said was your abs are too weak. You aren't getting down enough in prep for reacting to the next shot. (Kind of what you know about your split step needing improvement but I mean in the "ready" position when you are waiting for your opponent to receive your shot, before the split step.) So your momentum with moving isn't as quick as it could be. He says that if you worked on your core a bit, that would improve itself and you could react quicker, especially when the shots are at the front of the net which you seem to scramble for in these videos.

    And I agree with everyone, play with higher level partners that really push you. If you are already one of the top players maybe it's time to find a new club to play with sometimes. Keep it up!
     
  8. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Member

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    Hello guys,

    I got some new video when I played today. I played with another guy who is a league above me so I hope it will be more interesting for you. At least it was for me! Sadly he usually does not play in my club but is coming from time to time.

    @Borkya Thanks for the advice on the core working I agree that it is a weakness of mine.

    @Kento when you said to be more deft at the net and cut the shuttle did you mean to kind of slice the shuttle like I tried to do so at some points because it feels like slicing at the net makes me lose a lot of precision (is it only because I am not used to it?). Also the woman playing in black is studying in Canada whe ws just there for the hollidays sadly, I agree that she is very good (but she always lose to he man I played in the two first videos...) I played with her last week and it was a good match sadly I have no record of it.
    About my arm being too stiff you are also talking about my grip right? I tried losening up my grip going into the strokes and it felt weirdly better, I was very worried about losing some precision but it turned out okay, deceptions felt a lot better tho, also I feel like tightening my grip at the last time gives me more power. Don't know if that's just me getting some ideas but I'll keep working on that.

    @DarkHiatus When you say that ma rear footwork is not too good is it related with my stance not being low enough and me getting out of balance too easily?

    I couldn't focus on the preceding advices you gave me because I was running all over the court in this match but I tried to do so in subsequent matches and drills.
    Thanks again for the advices and here goes the video :



    Sorry for the bad angle on this one...


     
    #8 SimonCarter, Jan 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  9. Kento

    Kento Regular Member

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    @Kento when you said to be more deft at the net and cut the shuttle did you mean to kind of slice the shuttle like I tried to do so at some points because it feels like slicing at the net makes me lose a lot of precision (is it only because I am not used to it?).

    Simon, before I answer this point, may I just ask you what racquet, string and tension you are using in match?

    By deft I meant more nimble by using better footwork and by being more aware of what your opponent is likely to do with his return, preempting this by correctly positioning yourself in readiness for the shot you will then play next. He caught you out a few times with his own disguised cut shots after a series of drives from both of you and you were mainly unable to return these adequately.

    I am going to say that from watching the video, it is true that you did slice at the net but I believe the fact that you are not used to it is only part of the issue here, though of course, you will need to keep on practicing this by boldly incorporating this into your matches until it starts to feel 'right' and 'clicks' into your game plan..

    More importantly, from the video evidence, I do not believe you are using the correct string (at the correct tension) that allows you to do this with the best precision.

    I always use Yonex Aerobite which is a hybrid consisting of 67mm main and 61mm cross(Aerosonic) strings that comes in green-and-white, blue-and-white and red-and-white. The rough feel on the main string allows it to grip the shuttle very finely so that you actually 'feel' it when you cut or spin the shuttlecock and the very narrow diameter of the Aerosonic cross string allows great rebound from it. This combination allows a player who is aspiring towards technical mastery over each and every shot s/he plays to go ahead and play with confidence that this will happen and it will happen, trust me. You just have to have faith in the Aerobite.

    The tension that you use is crucial to your success in doing all the above-mentioned.

    Obviously, the maximum tension limit depends on the specifications of your racquet.

    I deliberately use the Yonex Voltric DG range of racquets because each one is designed as a high-strength centre frame with an appropriate tension range of up to 35 lbs. Through the reorientation of carbon material, the frame is strengthen to increase durability withstand high tension stringing because its shaft is constructed from high modulus graphite whilst the head is constructed from a mesh of this together with ultra-high modulus graphite and tungsten in the T-joint.

    I would recommend that you buy the 3UG4 Yonex Voltric 0.7 DG (Durable Grade) racquet which achieves the combination of heavy smashes and speedy racquet handling and have it strung to 30lbs tension by a reputable stringer, preferably viewing the machine that h/she will be using (if at all possible) for your own satisfaction.


    About my arm being too stiff you are also talking about my grip right?

    Absolutely.

    I tried losening up my grip going into the strokes and it felt weirdly better, I was very worried about losing some precision but it turned out okay, deceptions felt a lot better tho, also I feel like tightening my grip at the last time gives me more power.

    It does give you more focused power and so strengthens the shot that you will play.

    An additional advantage which you could try using is that by holding the grip in a more relaxed manner, leaving space between the fingers and the handle as you hold it also allows you to place the shuttlecock in the opposite direction by just swivelling the racquet with your fingers and thumbs and employing your wrist.

    This is an important disguise asset because to all intent and purpose, from viewing your stance as you are about to hit the shuttlecock, your opponent will believe you are about to hit it in one direction and will be caught off-guard when you 'switch' the direction instantaneously in this way.

    Don't know if that's just me getting some ideas but I'll keep working on that.


    It is good to have a flow of ideas and I look forward to seeing videos of you working on these.
     
  10. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Member

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    Hello,
    Thanks for the fast and complete response.

    The racquet I am using is a Yonex Voltric Zforce 2 4UGU strung at around 24.5 lbs (11kg) with bg 65. Very stiff but not that heavily strung. It is a love-hate relationship with the racquet as it is very unforgiving (and so it forces me to pley efficiently). Would you rather have me play with a more flexible racquet but with a higher tension? Your racquet suggestion is not expensive so I might give it a try.
    I might consider changing the racquet and try higher tension but I don't know about changing the string for the moment (I got a full coil of bg 65). Knowing my gear do you still recommand to switch for that 0.7 DG one? It should give me more power (since its medium stiff and heavier) while giving me more control at the net with the higher tension. But I should lose some precision because of the flexibility right? This is all theory of course I may not feel the lost in control.

    I will definitively keep working on my net game and my grip before the stroke (not sure how to relax my whole arm before the stroke however). I will also work on my core (I have a slight leg pain at the moment so I will focus on my core for a week or two I think, if I manage to restrain me from playing).
     
  11. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    It’s fine for the moment. If you feel comfortable with it, don’t change.

    Your priority is to find opponents who are more consistent and can hit to all four corners of the court.
     
    #11 Cheung, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  12. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    These are great videos - you are now getting some decent rallies compared to the videos before! You should play with this opponent more often if you can.

    1) PRACTISE YOUR SERVE.
    My coach always tells me a failed singles short serve is unacceptable and unforgivable. I'm not saying I do not do them either, but it is particularly bad in singles because your opponent shouldn't be able to punish a half reasonable singles short serve bad enough to create an advantage for him, and the gains of having a line tight serve is negligible - they will just lift it and start a rally neutrally.

    2) Speed of drop shots
    Be wary of playing slow drops, particularly when you use a backhand motion. Your crosscourt backhand drops are particularly risky because your opponent is able to play a straight tumbling net off many of your slow drops (and if you commit to the net, they can play a straight drive/push). You're fortunate that most of the time he elected to play a standard lift instead, but other opponents may not.

    3) Net shots
    Contrary to @Kento , I don't think you need an equipment change for better net feel. What you do need is more practice on net shots. You should be able to play an in-to-out movement tumbling net as well as out-to-in, on both forehand and backhand. It appears that you only play an in-to-out backhand tumble, of which you missed 2 in the first set with excessive slice action e.g. 6:43. The slice should come from your wrist/fingers, not your full arm/forearm. The only way is practice on this one. Note that a tumbling net shot isn't the only type of net shot you can play - most times you want a flatter net shot played at a slight angle or crosscourt (flatter straight nets don't work too well because they hang in the air too long). For these flatter nets, only a squeeze of the racquet head is needed, to minimise movement, which makes you more deceptive and is less error prone.

    4) Rearcourt play
    Your rearcourt movement is actually quite good, which is helped by your good timing/racquet technique. You do take too many backhand strokes which you could take round the head - against better players you'll feel like you're constantly reacting rather than dictating rallies. I feel like your footwork assumes the worst - by that, I mean that you take conservative footwork (forehand step out or backhand) even if your opponent plays a higher lift. You could dare to be a little more aggressive which means you'll be able to play some full smashes instead of stick smashes most of the time. 6:52 is a prime example of (4) - you had trouble with a bad anticipation at the start and neutralised the rally perfectly, then you lost 5-6 opportunities to really get behind the shuttle and threaten your opponent, and instead used stepouts and backhands playing drop shots, until you manage to get into a position to play a clear. In none of those 5-6 shots would I have expected a full smash as your opponent, because you weren't in good positions, even though you had plenty time. The rally also highlights your upright posture - even though you are split stepping front/back (which is correct after playing drop shots), you can see you aren't ready to push off powerfully with evidence in your racquet leg - it is almost straight even with your toes barely touching the floor on a couple of split steps.

    Overall, you play well in the style you have e.g. passive, neutralising play. If you want to improve significantly, you'll need to change styles/ step up a gear into more attacking/counterattacking styles which requires more powerful movements, and require movements/techniques you won't be comfortable with. However, you've got a strong foundation to work from!

    His new videos with opponent in white are actually quite a good matchup!
     
    #12 DarkHiatus, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  13. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    You stand too straight up as others have pointed out. This means your centre of gravity is high and it’s harder to accelerate to the shuttle.

    After you do a low serve and split step, your feet positioning is wrong. You do a side split which makes it hard to go forwards and backwards. After the serve, you have to think of the opponent is likely to play a forecourt or rear court shot. For this the feet are positioned front-back. Do a side split step if you have played a poor low serve (the opponent more likely to attack you) or high serve where you might receive a smash or drop shot.

    Must do more round the head shots to avoid playing so many backhands.
     
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  14. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Yeah. Much better. I agree about the equipment thing. I would only change equipment if you are convinced there are minimal technique deficiencies. Why waste money?
     
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  15. Kento

    Kento Regular Member

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    I echo all the above.

    BG65 has a 70mm soft-feeling string and does not have the 'grip' that the rough-feeling Aerobite string has on the shuttlecock
    As your racquet is very stiff, it belongs to the class of head-heavy racquets and allows for a powerful smash as you have strong wrists. It is very well built using nanometric technology so stick with it. However, Yonex BG65 is a soft-feeling 70mm string and does not produce the same feel or grip of the shuttlecock head as the rough-feeling Yonex Aerobite so I would still recommend that you restring your racquet at its maximum tension of 27lbs. The frame construction is exactly the same as the Yonex Voltric 0.7Dg with the additional benefit of having nanometric technology thus making it very durable.

    When you are forced to use your backhand because your feet positioning has not allowed you to be able to play a round the head shot, if you think your deep backhand return will be to his forehand side then consider dropping it short as much as possible, at an angle between the area bounded by the serve line and the net on your opponent's side. This will neutralise your opponent's attempt to initiate an attack of his own.

    However, if you are able to return it long on his backhand side then that is a relatively safer shot to play as it is very rare for a player to attempt to do a reverse backhand smash from deep in his court.
     
    #15 Kento, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  16. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Member

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    Thanks again for your times,

    I dully noted that my posture is bad and that I need to get a lower stand while improving my split step. I feel like overall that should be my next focus as it would allow me to play less backhand and to be more agressive by being faster. Do you have any drills or anything to help me on that. Right now I am thinking shadows and core training. I will also try to correct that foot positioning during shadow sessions.

    Since it is better (at least for me) to focus on one thing at a time I think I will work on that first. (maybe experimenting on the losened grip and net shot drills along that).

    If you have any exercises that can be done off court to improve my stance I would be glad to hear about them.

    Thanks again guys I will certainly keep you updated!
     
  17. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    I absolutely agree.
    How much do you get for this? Seriously, equipment doesn't make a huge difference and you can slice with every string! But you don't even want to slice every shot and for a better feeling, there are so many better choices than the (in my opinion) mushy feeling Aerobite. On top of that, Aerobite is not even a rough string like you describe it, both parts have smooth surfaces, but the mains have a kind of sticky (I think PU) coating.
    Just recommending one string and one racket when nobody asked for it is absolutely nonsense anyway. If @SimonCarter feels uncomfortable with his equipment, he should try out different strings, different tensions and maybe different rackets and then decide. This is highly subjective.
    That's one of the worst pieces of advice I've read in this forum so far. What you describe is a slow drop and this is not a neutral shot at all, because it opens up the entire length of the court for your opponent. He can play a tumbling net shot or just push it back if you rush to the front (and you already do this even after better shots). When being out of position, a slow drop is a very bad choice. If you want to completely neutralize the rally, play a very high clear to the center of the court, but normally neutral shots will go flat over the net and land behind the front service line and allways away from the side lines. They don't put pressure on your opponent, but they don't give him many choices either. He cannot attack. The angles he can play are very limited (away from the lines). He cannot play a tumling net shot, because the shuttle would have to travel too far, thus it wouldn't be tumbling anymore. He cannot even play a real short net shot without giving you a lot of time. That's why they're called neutral.

    Overall, I agree with Cheung, your stance is too high, but even worse, you overall have a lot of vertical movement. This makes you lose energy and time. You want a low stance and to stay low while moving. Of course, you want to move up to the shuttle, but in between not that much.
    I also agree with @DarkHiatus's advice mostly. Just that especially in singles a serve to the front service (T-) line is not always the best choice. Often, it's better to push the shuttle further towards the opponent. The shuttle will travel faster, so its not much negative compared to a real short service, but it limits his options even more (see above).
    Also, I disagree about having to change your playstyle to step up a level. You need to learn to make the right choices. I have to admit that I just watched a little of your videos, but I've seen situations when you played a slow drop shot forcing you to rush to the net, you were just lucky that your opoonent played a rather high lift everytime giving you more than enough time to reach it again. Then, there were Situations when you were in position, your oponnent was out of balance and you didn't take advantage of that, but you played a neutral shot giving him the chance to restart the rally. In my opinion, you should develop your neutral game while learning to take advantage of bad decisions or poor quality shots of your opponent. Singles is a game of patience. Most singles are lost rather than won. Think about this.

    I also noticed that your netplay needs lot of work, this is likely to be related to your grip since you tried to play a tumbling net shot using your entire arm (of course you need your arm, but I just hope you get my point). Practicing a more relaxed grip is a start to address that problem though.

    When going to your backhand (way too often), you raise the head of the racket very high forcing you to actively pull it back before hitting. This is also related to being rather stiff in your arm, I think, because you also freeze the racket after your shot. To improve your overall backhand, I'd suggest to practice supination with a rebound, first without a shuttle, to get the feeling (you can even do this at home), the with a shuttle, going to a backhand drive and advancing to the backhand clear by raising the elbow. I hope this makes sense. And next time, do 5 Burpees for every backhand shot you played instead of taking the shuttle 'round the head. ;)

    One last thingy... You do have the tendency to rush to the net, especialy when you don't feel confident with the shot you made. Try not to do this.

    Like I said, I just watched tiny bits of your videos, so if you want more, please just ask for it. Also ask if anything is not clear.

    Cheers.
     
  18. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    True. I wanted to mention that as well. You never want to get a hunchback, especially not on court. It forces you to lift yourself up only using your back muscles. Try to keep your upper body upright at all times. Especially when you serve! You have to work on your service anyway, so keep that in mind. I think I remember that I have written down my way to teach a backhand serve somewhere around here. I hope I remember to dig it up.

    edit:
    Squads can be done everywhere where you can stand, just take care of good technique. You could set up a workout to work on your core muscles, too. Also, you can do a lot of footwork drills and even practice footwork pattern when you have a little bit of space (really doesn't have to be too much, depending on what you want to do. An area of 2m * 3m already allows you to practice pattern to reach one corner of the court at a time.
     
    #18 speCulatius, Jan 7, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  19. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Member

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    Thanks
    Workout plan is already started i will add squads. You are right i forgot the serve I really need to work on that. If you Can find that way to teach it i will gladly do it.

    Plus I Can set up a 2*3 Space at home i think.
     
  20. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Member

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    About neutral shots, on the backhand you are saying that a kind of Drive to the centre of the court is better than a slow drop? I need to get used to that. I am able to do straight backhand clear but my cross court backhand clear are not very accurate. Usually is a flat Drive to the middle of the court better than a Clear to the forehand of my opponent ? I think that a drive would give me less Time to recover but also give less options back.

    I note the vertical useless movement. This should stop itself when my stance get better i Guess.

    About the serve are you telling me that a drive serve to the face of my opponent is a good option?

    My net play has never been very strong and used to be worst. I see what you mean about using m' arm too much. I will work on relaxing my grip overall.

    I am not sure What you mean by practicing my backhand with a rebound.

    Thanks for the very extensive reply !
     

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