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Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by DanNguyen, May 23, 2018.
Need to hold your racquet higher when coming into the net
Thank you. Here is another video taken today:
Let me know what you think
First time seeing this thread. Great to see you have improved so much! Good that you've found a coach, it really helped, how did you feel being coached and improving that way? What differences did you notice from self learning? (Ps: I am a coach for my club, I just want you to tell it for the others that read here that are doubting to get a coach or not)
There has already been some great advice here that seems to have helped, what a nice community we have! I would like to add some things for your further journey in this great fun sport.
I can see you've developed switching to the backhand grip and getting to shuttles higher. Also you've seen that when you're in front or middle and hit an attacking shot, you should move forward to keep the initiative and not backwards. Another big difference is that you have relaxed your body, can you tell the first video looked very stiff in the the whole chain from legs, torso to the arm? Great work, keep at it!
Here are some things I think you can work on next:
- at 3:50 in the second video you are standing really close to the net in a flat fast rally with your racket on the floor. This will not allow you to get involved in the rally (you can not intercept the shuttle because you are too close and racket is not ready so too slow). When you go to the net, always have your racket ready at net height to intercept. When the rally is flat and fast, move back a step, this gives you more time to intercept the shuttle. Doing these things will also make it more difficult for the opponent to play good shots, so you are also helping your partner out!
- in the second video, in between your shots your racket is on the floor, this means your racket had to move a long way to get to the shuttle. Try and have it ready at least around belly height. This is also why you are having trouble defending the smashes, here you should have a ready stance, knees slightly bent, bending body forward a bit, racket at hip height and a bit in front or you, neutral or backhand grip. It will help a lot!
- In the third video we can really see your footwork, you have improved a lot, the more relaxed body already helps with move fluid movement. This can be improved even more, keep going! When moving around the court you can see you are hopping a bit (losing contact with the ground when you are switching from one foot to the other) and this loses some speed. If you can bend your knees a little bit (sit low, low center of gravity) you can move your feet around without losing contact with the ground. This way you can move faster (especially moving backwards) and will help a lot when you need to adjust your movement (side or front/back) when your opponent hits the shuttle (especially big difference when moving to the front)
- relaxing even more will help you out in all these areas as well. A more relaxed state will also help you relax in the head and give you more thinking time in the rally (see where the opponent is and choose where to shoot to build the rally). For some people it helps to look at the pro's on bwf YouTube channel to see the fluid movement, for other it just makes them think they need to move faster and they get more stressed body. Maybe it helps you, but be careful.
Overall, great progress and I hope you will have as much fun growing forward as you have had so far. Cheers!
Thank you very much for your detailed points. I will definitely keep them in mind during practice.
My coach helps me a lot the past few months.
First of all, my coach gives me consistency. Changing a habit is not easy. I am used to hit the shuttle “not at the highest point” and comfortable with it so my coach feeds me slow and high shuttles constantly so I can focus solely on hitting everything from higher. His approach to this type of training is that I dont need to train at tired state, the practice needs to be slow and ‘easy’ so I can train longer and making my shots muscle-memory.
Secondly, there are things that he sees and tips he gives that I could never have figured out on my own. Much like you, he did say that I carry my racket too low (esp for someone my height) and there are subtle things such as I usually have a curve back lunging for net shots (unbalanced), or half a step missing from each rear corners. I learnt that having the correct footwork sometimes means moving more but at the same time more energy efficient and it does give me the space for better shot selection
And lastly, the mental support he gives me is tremendous. While I do love badminton to bits and sworn to live by it until my legs give out, there are times I am lost and in doubt whether I am practicing correctly. Not to mention the valley of despair when you first change something and everything went awry because you are not used to the new thing and the old thing is fading away. All in all, my coach told me everytime that badminton is very simple, just need to hit that shot 10000 times to make it good, then hit that shot 10000 times with running to make it good, then another 10000 times when running with speed/under pressure, etc. One small step at a time and not to rush into things. He did make it enjoyable for me to learn. So yeah, big appreciation and shoutout to all
the coaches out there
I think you worded it quite well there! I highlighted some parts I enjoyed in your comments. I hope you will continue getting coaching from such a coach that not only helps you get better, but understands the difficulty and frustrations of learning something new, helping you find the fun in the game!
I hope others who would like to work on their game and do not have a coach will read your post. I personally think good training will also avoid bad techniques that can result in injury.
The 3 part thing is something we do, too (and I expect most coaching):
- isolation: learn to do the new thing with no pressure and minimum movement
- sparring: have more movement and a little bit of pressure sometimes
- match type pressue: lots of movement and pressure, often with multiple feeders to get good feeding
Great feeding is essential for good training, in fact, sometimes my first exercise of the group training is in proper and good feeding, this needs to be repeated a lot, in my experience
And remember, keep your head up, we all mess up learning new stuff all the time, at all levels. Just keep at it!
so it has been one year since the last update. My life has some major turned, namely I move back to Vietnam, got a job, get a coach, training, playing more, etc. I have been inactive because I have been getting much of the pointers from my coach. But then today's game hit me hard. Please bear with the poor quality because the person who took the video decided to do a facebook livestream instead and internet signal is so poor...
Game start at 0.56: I was playing with an ex-national player, the opponents were club-level players; just to give you a background information. Because I thought i have been dedicated, that I have made very good progression and so on and so forth, but playing today i felt like proper burden again. Look how effortless my teammate's footwork is, while i was just hopping around. Her shot selections, the variability, her game sense, jesus ****ing christ. After the game I had the audacity to ask her what can I improve on and she said "well, there is a lot of things..." and trailed off. I wasn't surprised but to see the reality, the gap between us is like being elbowed in the gut.
So it is just my rants and thoughts after one year of training and playing in Vietnam (also managed to got a De Quervain's Tesynovitis while trying to strength my rotator cuffs/wrist). Please let me know what I can improve on?
P.S: She, the ex-national player, did tell me though that amateur-ish player tend not to change their shots. Like, if they have one shots that they are really good at then they will keep using it then it makes the shots useless (even with variability of that shot). So she said practice more variable shots, and dare to use them because even thought they might not be as good as your best shots, it will be a shot that takes the opponent by surprise and give them a challenge. Don't just go for the best "natural" shot every time. So i will do that, even if its probably terrible
Hey, great to see another video. So proud, you've made a ton of progress!
I wish more of my students learned as much and worked as hard as you did.
Look back at the previous videos, can you see the difference in your torso and especially your racket arm? Movement is so much more relaxed, more confident and with purpose. As a result, so are your shots.
Don't let seeing great players it get you down, there's always a bigger fish. Instead, be inspired to learn what they are doing and why.
You said you'd like some more pointers to keep you busy this year? You've got a coach now, but maybe you can think of some of these items during your practices.
- can you see that you're using more of your body rotation to hit an overhead shot than last year? We need even more of that! (you did it a little more at 5:42)
- you're hopping less and walking/running lower with bent knees, do that even more, relax! Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. Putting energy into moving up and down is not effective for horizontal movement
- when you are receiving a flick, your left foot goes forward before you jump/run backwards. It's hard but you can try placing your right foot far enough forward that you can move back with just the power from that foot
- your drops and blocks in the video are pretty 'slow', as in they fly with a high, slow arc, (2:24) instead of going down towards the net cord immediately. look at the opponents drop at 3:47, or teammates drop at 3:53, it's much flatter. It also happens when you block the shot at the front of the court (3:50), the shuttle takes a high arc. You can play that softly but going a bit flatter to take a little more advantage of the situation. (like i think at 4:30 but the video just dropped out there)
- from the back court you are in position, the opponent is out of position, and you have an opportunity to take more initiative, but you choose to play a lot of flat clears that are then intercepted. Perhaps you can try to play a faster shot downwards (faster drop or (half) smash) to help build that advantage.
- in the front court you are fast and reach the shuttle early, but sometimes play a lift cross to the back, which is then intercepted. Perhaps you can find some space in the opponents court that they can not reach so easily. You play some great net drops and blocks already, but you could add half-court-pushes or cross angles to an empty space in order to avoid playing lifts too often.
- choices summary: Look at where the space is! This will slow you down at first, but you will catch up, no doubt!
Hope you remember to have some more fun! Learning badminton is an adventure, and everyone has fun at whatever level they have at the moment. Improving and learning is great and fun, but don't remember to also live in the moment a bit. Cheers!
Are you mainly playing doubles?
Good active movements of the body. This is a big strength of yours.
Some areas where you can think about doing better:
When you prepare for an overhead clear, the racquet shaft and head don't point up to the ceiling nor positioned quite behind your head 5.21. If you can make it point up to the ceiling more directly on preparation, you will find the stroke can be made with a shorter action and therefore faster.
Defense - your stroke is quite big. Try to shorten the action to tapping the shuttle. The short action will have a few advantages. For example, your returns will be harder to read, a short action let's you prepare for the next shot quicker (compared to a long follow through), redirection and using the pace of the smash for redirecting the shuttle is easier.
Pay close attention to your third shot e.g. 8.10. Very frequently, after your serve, your racquet is held at hip height. Your game mind is not really concentrating on how to predict the next shot if it's a flat return (for interception) or a netshot. After serving , try to hold the racquet so that the head is at least as high as the net. That way, you will get faster reactions for interceptions or when reaching forward for the shuttle at netplay.
In fact, this is a fairly common on your netplay when you come to the net from a mid court position. I feel your racquet is a bit low so you naturally have to hit upwards. When coming to the net, if you can prepare the racquet higher, you will get more chances to do downward pushes and blocks to the net, thereby putting more pressure on the opponents
Stay off the wrist strengthening exercises. A lot of people get problems overdoing them and causing long term injury. Finger technique and fine touch is the most important and therefore concentrate on this.
Rotator cuff exercises are good but how are you doing them? I use resistance bands and lock the wrists.
I definitely agree. I have noticed that early and correct preparation goes a long way. I used to have my racket at my feet and as such my overhead shot is terrible. I think it stems from me watching singles player like Lin Dan and LCW and pick up the wrong thing (esp Lin Dan who is notorious for holding his racket quite low but taking shots early/high. He is my hero but curse him for that).
For rotator cutf i do facepull, rotator cuffs strengthening using dumbbell. My earlier mistake wad that i use a dumbbell and bend my wrist upwards. One rep and it did me for good because the moment is so awkward
Thank you for pointing out the areas i need to improve upon. Just an inquiry about the drop shot (and it has always been my weakest shot), my coach told me to do the ‘coconut drop’ variable of the drop shot since i was too slow so the coconut drop travel slower but drop much closer to the net, so with shoulder rotation and good technique (so that the shuttle, even slow, travels tip down just over the white tape so opponent have to move very very fast if want to attack that shot). My execution is not quite there but what do you think? I have a try at the standard drop before. I am confused about which drop shot to use. Maybe i will take a video of how my coach use it and video of me trying both drops. Then discuss about it?
The guys are generally lazier but probably compensate with stronger musculature. The women's singles are much better role models to copy.
Noting your difficulty with the drop shot, try to correct the preparation even more. After a while, I think you will find the dropshot getting easier.
Tactically in a doubles game , we don't play dropshots so close to the net so often. We play it slightly faster to land past the service line. This will make it harder for opponents to play accurate netshots off your dropshots.
This point by Cheung is why I mentioned the dropshot. Most of the time, we use a faster drop in the doubles, because it allows less time for the opponents to react and gives us a slight time advantage. You can use the coconut drop as a surprise sometimes, but even then I would like to see it a bit faster than now. Remember, the goal is to give them less time and less options, so you will control the rally. If you work on your preparation, you will become better at it. I'm sure your coach means that, when you're pressed to the back and can't recover quickly, a slower shot will give you more time to recover. But when you are ready, play a faster drop. (and the front court blocks!)
In a singles, the slower shorter drop is used a lot more. This is because in a single the court is bigger (only one person to cover the whole court) and making the court as big as possible for your opponent (thus playing deep in the back and really short to the net) makes them cover extra meters and that takes more time.
Good luck, have fun, and see you next year!
so I come back and make a new post before next year. I have the opportunity to invest more time in practice considering I just fell out of my (long-term) relationship. Below is a video of me practice rear court smash: the exercise is to smash to the middle. I am pretty happy with the power generated and how relax my upper body is, but i notice that I only manage to do half rotation. How do I improve my rotational force ? (including post-smash, i noticed that I dont return to “ready” stance fast enough)
You probably find it’s easier to rotate on the round the head shots than when moving out to the forehand side.
It’s a matter of practice but also, you can think of a general rule of thumb. If you have to make two steps out to the forehand side, it’s probably too difficult to rotate your hips and body into the shot due to time constraints (unless the shuttle is lifted very high).
if you think you want to rotate more like a singles player, then do a routine where you smash, and follow up to the net for a net kill. You will need to swing the right leg backwards more in mid air after hitting the shot and that right foot land first and then the left foot.
As it stands, for a doubles player at the rear court, the recovery into a ready stance looks ok to me.
Do you find yourself a little slow on court? There are some technical details that can help you. More finger dexterity, placing the racquet earlier in an optimal position, playing short swing strokes using fingers more. Short strokes mean quicker recovery of the racquet head to the next position giving the impression that you move faster.
Practice anticipation by watching the face of the opponents racquet. That will give you a micro second earlier chance of getting the shuttle slightly earlier.
Also it’s part of tactics that the shot you play has a high percentage of likely returns. That enable you to anticipate better which areas to cover and you ‘move faster’.
I do find myself a little slow on court. I agree wholeheartedly that i dont anticipate very well. Most of the time i “chase” the shuttle in doubles instead of controlling. Would you please elaborate on prepare my racket earlier for optimal
There are a number of training techniques.
One very good exercise is Danish singles. You play half court singles in a small box on court against the opponent. The area is the centre line, the service line, the doubles outside tramline and the service line at the back. To play this well, you have to play flat, get the shuttle going downwards and anticipate the shuttle coming flat or upwards at you. Thus you will need to prepare the racquet early e.g. raise the racquet in anticipation and you can’t do it if you have big strokes.
another simple one is when you hear your partner smash at the back, you immediately split step and raise your racquet head simultaneously in anticipation of a netshot.
practicing set plays is another.
Also remember to practice footwork rhythm. Probably when you find you play higher level players, your footwork timing seems to be a bit off. You feel a bit slow. I personally work a lot on this with a one shuttle routine. The exercise is I hit to a specific front corner and the trainer hits drives, pushes, lifts to me of varying speeds and heights in the rear and mid court areas. This forces me to move my feet and body and arms into a ready position very quickly for the next shot. Try to aim for a continuous rally of twenty shots.
Your smash routine is a contributing factor to you not rotating because it is just lift after lift after lift. You can slow down the feeds and your movement to focus on quality then introduce a follow up shot that is random so you would play your smash with no knowledge of what to expect next.
By slowing down your movement you get to focus on the quality of every small detail. You can also do more repetitions without getting tired.
By introducing a random element it will force you to find an effective way to smash and rotate to put yourself into an optimal position.
It takes time to drill all the movements into your memory. A smash is not over until you control your movement and are ready for the return. Essentially, a shot starts and ends with a split step.