Singles Player Strengths

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by dnewguy, Jan 31, 2024.

  1. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    Hello everyone,

    The Masters / Veteran State tournament is back again. With various age categories from 35+ to 75+ depending they get enough entries.

    Although they have Singles/doubles & mixed events but I have only participated once when it was held in my city and played singles with feather shuttles. (I play casual doubles with plastics.)

    I randomly play singles with plastics whenever I get a chance. But I have observed that playing singles needs a different approach.
    I can't guarantee an easy win over my opponent just because I'm a better doubles Player.

    I would like to know your views on what areas of the game should I as a doubles player needs to change or improve upon in order to tip the scales in my favour when it comes to playing Singles.

    I understand that endurance is one big thing and recently I have started trying to conserve energy and play more neutral shots with younger opponents and it has shown results which makes me wonder what else I can do.. may be I should work more on the quality of my defence(lifts, clears) etc.

    Thanks.
     
  2. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    Before I say anything else, I have to say that almost universally the best aspect to improve for singles is footwork. This is true at all levels of play. The player with the cleaner and faster footwork will have a huge advantage.


    In my experience, singles is far less forgiving of mistakes. In doubles you can take a lot of risk and push the pace with less concern of losing control. If you are ever off balance, you still have a partner to cover you. If you play a short lift under pressure, at least you're defending together. In singles, every time you are off balance, or every time you hit a sub-par shot, you're likely to immediate lose, if the opponent knows what they're doing.

    So, it is more important to stay on balance and reduce mistakes in singles than in doubles. That is not to say you shouldn't try to create problems for your opponent, just that it shouldn't be at the cost of your own composure.

    The length of your clears and lifts is definitely more important in singles compared to in doubles, but I wouldn't necessarily call it defense. In doubles, attacking lifts and clears are far less common, but in singles lifts and clears are definitely not defensive by default. I find in my own games, I prefer to play shots to the net when I'm in trouble, specifically because it feels safer. The purpose of those shots is defensive, to get me out of trouble. Similarly, nearly all smashes I will defend to the net. Conversely, many lifts and clears are attacking the deep corners, trying to make the opponent hit shots from behind them, especially on the backhand.

    Practicing the consistency of shots to the back lines will definitely improve your singles significantly, just because failure to hit quality shots is punished more harshly in singles. In a similar vein, accuracy of shots is more important. In doubles, hitting close to the sidelines is often not worth the risk, because 2 people are defending the court, so usually smashing directly at the players or especially in between is a better risk-reward option. But in singles, where the opponent needs to cover the entire court by themselves, hitting smashes and drops close to the sidelines can be very rewarding, so practicing your accuracy and consistency on those shots is a good idea if you're specifically training for singles.


    But again, improving footwork technique and speed will almost certainly be the most effective way to improve your singles game.
     
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  3. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    Before I say anything else, I have to say that almost universally the best aspect to improve for singles is footwork. This is true at all levels of play. The player with the cleaner and faster footwork will have a huge advantage.


    In my experience, singles is far less forgiving of mistakes. In doubles you can take a lot of risk and push the pace with less concern of losing control. If you are ever off balance, you still have a partner to cover you. If you play a short lift under pressure, at least you're defending together. In singles, every time you are off balance, or every time you hit a sub-par shot, you're likely to immediate lose, if the opponent knows what they're doing.

    So, it is more important to stay on balance and reduce mistakes in singles than in doubles. That is not to say you shouldn't try to create problems for your opponent, just that it shouldn't be at the cost of your own composure.

    The length of your clears and lifts is definitely more important in singles compared to in doubles, but I wouldn't necessarily call it defense. In doubles, attacking lifts and clears are far less common, but in singles lifts and clears are definitely not defensive by default. I find in my own games, I prefer to play shots to the net when I'm in trouble, specifically because it feels safer. The purpose of those shots is defensive, to get me out of trouble. Similarly, nearly all smashes I will defend to the net. Conversely, many lifts and clears are attacking the deep corners, trying to make the opponent hit shots from behind them, especially on the backhand.

    Practicing the consistency of shots to the back lines will definitely improve your singles significantly, just because failure to hit quality shots is punished more harshly in singles. In a similar vein, accuracy of shots is more important. In doubles, hitting close to the sidelines is often not worth the risk, because 2 people are defending the court, so usually smashing directly at the players or especially in between is a better risk-reward option. But in singles, where the opponent needs to cover the entire court by themselves, hitting smashes and drops close to the sidelines can be very rewarding, so practicing your accuracy and consistency on those shots is a good idea if you're specifically training for singles.


    But again, improving footwork technique and speed will almost certainly be the most effective way to improve your singles game.
     
  4. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    1. Improve footwork. Objective is to run and stay on balance to hit your shot and recover balance quickly. Recovering balance quickly means you can get to next shot quicker.

    2. play good clears over the opponents racquet. Objective is to move the opponent away from the centre.

    3. doubles players who occasionally play singles like to smash at the first chance. Smash less and play drops and clears to make the opponent guess more.

    4. Work out whether the tournament plays with plastics or feathers. If feathers , then practice games using feather shuttles.
     
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  5. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    FOOTWORK :-

    1.) Last time a much younger and technically stronger player said that I should do more footwork drills because I get stuck (deception).
    My badminton footwork isn't learned but instinctive. So whenever an opponent successfully breaks my flow I'm more than likely won't be able to retrieve that shuttle.


    2.) Sometimes I'm just stuck in the ready position at the centre when the opponent from his rear backhand corner plays a round the head cross drop (slow) to my backhand net area.
    I don't know why it happens.. I'm fast enough to catch it & ready to move at the centre but all I manage is a neutral split step. Is it lack of focus or mistiming the split step or something else ?
    Some doubles players don't stay still(while waiting for the opponent shot) & keep pulsating at their spot.. would it help my case ?


    CLEARS :-

    I have observed that attacking clears mostly backfires against good tall players.
    So I'm trying to avoid them even in doubles especially cross clears. They catch it early and the point ends instantly.
    High and deep clears even twice to the same spot seems more fruitful so far.

    I do try to move them as much as I can while trying to be at my centre mostly.



    SMASH/DROPS :-

    I hardly smash while playing singles. I'm more afraid of it getting returned to the net and me being late (which happens oftentimes).
    I'm so used to playing jump smashes that it feels awkward & difficult to smash with both feet on the ground. I'm trying to be more at ease with playing power shots while being planted to reduce my energy expenditure & aid recovery.

    I'm also thinking that cross smashes & drops are indispensable for a Singles player. Been playing doubles for so long that I have neglected these shots. I will have to make good efforts to add them to my repertoire.

    The tournament would be played with feather shuttles although not Yonex.

    Thanks.
     
  6. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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  7. Suilven

    Suilven Regular Member

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    Agreed about first and foremost the impotence of footwork,
    case in point I would point to watching how Loh Kean Yew moves,
    I’ve been a big fan of his movement since he burst onto the scene. :cool:
     
  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Something you have to accept as an occasional singles player. Your footwork rhythm is going to be doubles orientated unless you specifically practice singles regularly.

    Rhythm, clarity of footwork and centre of balance. If this shot is a strong point of the opponent, avoid giving them an easy shuttle that gives them the opportunity to play this shot.


    Which is why your clear must go over the opponent’s racquet.


    Doubles players who play singles tend to have flat smashes. In singles smash, you will need to smash with less power and steeper. A steeper smash will give you more time to get to the net because the opponent has to hit the shuttle upwards more.
     
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  9. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    Yea.. I can agree.
    Sometimes when trying to smash extra hard the timing suffers & it goes flat.
    But for steeper smashes I will have to jump higher, wouldn't that further delay my recovery?
     

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