Smashing in doubles

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Evanplaysbadminton, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    France
    Hey,

    While browsing the forum I've read a few post saying the front player dictates where to smash for the rear player but I haven't found the reasons why and how the backcourt player should play.

    From what I understand, the rear player should smash around the front player but I still don't get the bigger picture.

    So far, I've been smashing straight in doubles and crossed-court towards the woman in mixed doubles. I've never thought about the front player before but these posts on the forum made sense to me, "maybe if I smashed in a certain angle, my partner would have more chances to intercept".
    But I don't really know what to do... Let's say I'm in a rear corner or rear middle. Where should I smash ?

    Thanks.
     
    #1 Evanplaysbadminton, Oct 13, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
  2. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    668
    Location:
    Germany
    Let's assume you are in the right backcourt corner. Then your partner has three main options where to stand:

    Your partner can stand in on the right (your) side (also called channel or tunnel). The straight smash is far more dangerous than the cross (travels far shorter, less chance to go out), and with your partner standing in the channel you can apply maximum pressure to the player on your right side. Likely, the defender will defend straight back. If the defense lacks height, your partner can immediately kill the shuttle.
    In this situation, smashing cross will immediately lose you the rally: The opponents can reply short, long, or push to the middle, and all three shots are marvelous options.

    Your partner can stand in the middle of the court, maybe a bit towards the right side. This is also called the default or classic position. Here, if you smash straight down the line, the risk is that your opponents push the shuttle just behind your partner. This would lose you the attack.
    You should normally smash to the middle, because then again your partner is in the best position to intercept. Since the smash flies longer than the straight smash and the better defender can take the shuttle, this may be a bit weaker than a straight smash in a channel setup though.
    Smashing cross with a partner in the middle of the court is not optimal, but fine. Your partner can likely take short and flat defenses.

    Your partner can stand on the left (cross) side. A straight smash in this situation is dangerous, since the defenders can just block straight and you or your partner will scramble to retrieve the shuttle, losing the attack. A smash to the middle is ok, your partner will likely be able to intercept most shuttles and at worst you'll end up in a flat game. A cross smash is best here: with you moving forward, you can take all cross replies, and your partner will intercept anything short or flat on your left court side, and move back to continue attacking in case of a lift to your left side.

    Which option should your partner and you choose?
    The channel attack is best to apply pressure. If the weaker defender is on your right, that's a very good idea.
    The middle is a balanced option. You can cause misunderstandings between the defenders. You minimize your risk and will likely be able to maintain the attack.
    Cross is best if your partner is the better smasher or you are exhausted: Likely you will move to the front and your partner will continue attacking, initially from your left.

    Since the front player can't see you and shot selection is much faster than movement on court, the front player decides which of the options to take. You can of course smash somewhere else (e.g. front player is in the middle but you smash cross), but that's more of a surprise tactic: It can work out great or lose you the rally.

    An advanced and well-practiced doubles may even have the front player move after your smash, suddenly changing (e.g. you playing a straight smash and the front player going into the channel at the same time).
    Smashing around the front player is not really a problem: Since you take a smash high (often during a jump at higher levels) and the optimal badminton position for a front player is with a lower center of gravity, any smash hitting them would go into or below the net anyways. Even with a tall partner and low point of contact, there should be plenty of space to smash to just beside your partner's head.
     
    #2 phihag, Oct 13, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
    speCulatius, dnewguy, Simeon and 4 others like this.
  3. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    France
    Wow thanks a lot !!!
    But now I'm wondering. Does the front player decides if I should play a drop shot or a smash ? I'm thinking about this because when I take the net, I usually expect my partner to smash but he plays a drop shot and the opponent blocks and I'm a tad surprised and a bit late at the net. It might be my fault, lack of reativity but usually when the opponent lifts high I go behind the "T" because I expect a strong smash and I'm willing to intercept. In this case, my partner does a drop shot. If I had known I would have stayed on the "T" and not behind the "T". When I say behind it's like a racket length.
    Thanks.
     
    phihag likes this.
  4. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    668
    Location:
    Germany
    When the defender hits the shuttle, the front player should be closer to the net if a drop was played, because a short reply to a drop must be intercepted immediately. However, a good front player should always stand more in the middle (your position of a racket length behind the T is about it) of the court anticipating a fast smash. If they don't hear the sound of a smash, they have plenty of time to move to the front until the defender hits the shuttle.

    So usually it is the rearcourt player's decision whether to smash, drop short, drop fast, or clear. However, if the rearcourt player notes that their partner is already close to the net, they should prefer playing a drop, all things being equal.

    You should definitely prepare for both drop and smash – and even a clear, but there you have plenty of time. Otherwise, you rob your partner of options. Are you maybe not moving forwards when a drop is being played? That could explain your predicament.

    If you notice such a problem during the game and are unable to move quickly, that's also a good think to say to the partner, and suggest more smashes. But by default, it would not be unusual at all if 40%+ of the attacker shots are some form of drop.
     
    ralphz likes this.
  5. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    France
    It's true I don't move quickly to the net when my partner does a drop because I'm surprised.
    I will try to be more careful of the sound.
    But sometimes my partner smashes and I'm behind the T and the opponent blocks and I'm late at the net.

    Also, regarding your first post, my partners never move to the tunnel position. They usually stay at the middle or crosscourt. Maybe I should ask them to move to the tunnel so I can smash straight to the sidelines ? Because when I do so, as you said we're both in difficulty even when he's at the middle.
    Thanks.
     
  6. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2016
    Messages:
    759
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    london
    Classic is more well known and maybe easier than tunnel.

    So front guy stands on the side of the centre line that the shuttle was lifted to.

    No it's well known that isn't such a good idea, since it cuts the front guy out of the game. A block straight back would not be in their reach.

    Coaches can and do demonstrate this very well given two players one back one front.
     
    #6 ralphz, Oct 17, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  7. Evanplaysbadminton

    Evanplaysbadminton Regular Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2020
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    France
    Thanks.
    I suppose all these rules are the same for mixed doubles ?
     
  8. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Messages:
    976
    Likes Received:
    668
    Location:
    Germany
    Yes, this basic doubles setup is the same for level and mixed doubles.
     

Share This Page