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[VIDEO] Singles Progression

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by DarkHiatus, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    I first sought advice from BadmintonCentral in June 2016 for my singles game with a video included as linked below. That thread and this one shows my mostly monthly progress through tournament videos since June 2016.

    I'm committed to constant improvement, and hope that this thread inspires and demonstrates what can be achieved with dedicated practice with the guidance from the best of BadmintonCentral, having started from what I think as a low-intermediate club player.

    INDEX
    For convenience, here are the dated videos with linked posts, and general themes of the comments to help guide anyone interested in learning more:

    Jun 2016
    - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/index.php?threads/video-singles-critique.164759/
    Contact point, Stance/posture, Use of non-racquet arm, Racquet twirling, Psychology/Mentality

    Feb 2017 - see below
    Serving, Split step positioning, Singles Tactics, Late rear forehand, Lunge technique, Racquet carriage, Overhead technique

    May 2017 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ingles-progression.169770/page-5#post-2551987
    Drop shots, Recovery footwork, Singles Tactics, Rhythm

    Oct 2017 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ingles-progression.169770/page-6#post-2593812

    Nov 2017 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ingles-progression.169770/page-7#post-2596259

    Dec 2017 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ingles-progression.169770/page-8#post-2606550

    Jan 2018 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ngles-progression.169770/page-10#post-2614105

    Feb 2018 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ngles-progression.169770/page-12#post-2618773

    Mar 2018 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ngles-progression.169770/page-14#post-2625172

    Apr 2018 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ngles-progression.169770/page-16#post-2634900

    Jul 2018 - http://www.badmintoncentral.com/for...ngles-progression.169770/page-20#post-2657061

    This thread starts with a video taken in Feb 2017, 6months after I first started taking above from BadmintonCentral:

     
    #1 DarkHiatus, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  2. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Overall impression. It is a better camera angle with the height and you have improved.

    Your serve is weak and is without clarity. This sets you up for a difficult time. In fact, you have a technical weakness on your high serve as well. You don't turn your body on the serve, you don't turn your shoulders, and when your racquet follows through, the right arm comes across above the left arm and you cramp your body. The whole body tenses up with this action.

    After serving, you are not yet clear on which part of the court the opponent is most likely to play to. So, you feel rushed. Not every shot has to be an aggressive shot.

    The quality of the high serve is inconsistent.

    Some obvious technical points:

    You use the crossover step going backwards to the rear forehand corner and try and play a fast shot. This puts you into trouble.

    Backhand grip for forecourt netshots is suboptimal and also held too tight.

    You lack confidence at netshots because of lack of practice and lack of technique. You also haven't learnt how to do the inside out spin to control it better.

    Your feet, hips and shoulder positions are not clear enough when waiting for the opponent to hit the shot. Sometimes you are face on to the net when you should have right shoulder turned towards the net.
    As a result, your movement pattern to get to the shuttle becomes confused.
     
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  3. swunk

    swunk Regular Member

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    Do you have a coach?
    Well not everything is super wrong, but you definitely need a lot of coaching and as soon as possible.
    some key points:
    - you're almost always too close to the net
    - your technique on overhead shots is all wrong, you must have a followthrough motion with your racket (stick smash is the only exception), You basically don't have any overhead shots at all - clears are not deep, no slices with that technique, smash cant be called a smash
    - footwork is not totally wrong but you are in trouble most of the time and in deep rear corners it's wrong
     
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  4. RC47

    RC47 Regular Member

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    If you're going to tell someone that something is wrong, at least give him some suggestions on how to correct it for future improvement. What you're saying right now isn't really constructive criticism, it doesn't help anyone, and it's just overall negative.
     
    #4 RC47, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
  5. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    As per RC47s response, I'd like to ask for clarification of your points:

    - almost always too close to net
    Could you give examples of when I'm too close, and when I'm not in the video? What's the reason that I struggle to move forward to reach a tight drop? If you're saying I need to stand further, that implies I'm doing something grossly wrong to fail to reach the net.

    - overhead technique
    I'd ask you to link a clear example of where I SHOULD have an overhead action (e.g. clear) but you feel I am doing it incorrectly. I generally feel like I have a follow through, just not all the way to the bottom left if I'm not playing a full power smash. Incidentally, I don't think I play many full power smashes in this game (or in singles in general). I acknowledge I don't slice my shots either - I need the basic technique down first.

    -Footwork being 'not totally wrong':
    Comment is useless if I don't know exactly what is wrong and what is right. Could you give a specific example of a footwork you think is hindering me more than the rest, that I could improve?

    Thanks for taking the time to critique. It's just the extra detail I need to be able to actually make a plan to improve on! Oh, and I do have a coach, but only as of maybe ~3 months go, so the improvements from 6 months ago will largely be from my own work. Moving forward the coaching will hopefully start to be seen.
     
  6. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    A mixed review, and always something new with you, Cheung! :)

    Serve: agree that it's a weakness. I used to have a much better (consistent/accurate) high serve, but I transitioned to the short serve and lost my skill in the high serve. However, I've found that the high serve still gets me better results (even though it's worse), and so I'm moving back to it. I used to be able to consistently (7/10) hit a 30x30cm box at the back T of the singles serve area, so I'm going to move back to that. I suppose I can pick up the short serve properly once (if ever) I find the high serve limits my game.

    After serve: correct that I always feel rushed because I don't know where to go. It's one where if I know my opponent can play well placed shots, I doubt my movement and rush. Is it the mental side, or my footwork that lets me down? I seem to struggle to even play a non-aggressive lift on many drops, so I'm not sure what to do.

    Net shots: ive been relearning a lot of net shot technique due to my old habits requiring me to be too close to the net to play the tumbling/tight net shots. At the range I was previously, a leap-kill was more appropriate so I was essentially taking points from my tumbling nets simply because they were easy shots (and I was taking the hard route to gain the point). Taking net shots from further away is definitely uncomfortable, especially when played at waist height which seems to be typical in singles. Fair enough about grip - my old technique also used too much forearm and no wrist, so I'm relearning how to grip my racquet too - plenty of posts about tight grips recently!

    Forehnd footwork:
    Is the crossover step from the left backhand net or from centre? A time would be useful. I would assume a chasse+jump would be the preferred option? I'm finding that my intention much of the time is to crossover then jump, but I run out of time for a jump and end up doing a step-out. Is this related?

    Feet/hip/shoulder positions:
    I'm getting the gist, but struggling to actually figure out what to do with your advice. Could you link an example and a possible correction? I'm not sure if this is my general ready stance being wrong, or my ready stance being wrong in certain situations e.g. wide split when the opponent is at the net.

    Thanks for the comments.
     
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  7. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Let's go through some points. I am on my computer so can use the slow motion feature on youtube and some screenshots.

    0.00-00.1 receiving serve - receiving position is fine. If anything, probably a bit close too the centre line of the court. Footwork ok. Contact point with the shuttle a bit low and looks like a bit far to the right laterally. Stroke looks a bit off but not a clear picture here to explain well. Crucially, the follow through with the shoulders is too limited - you don't turn your shoulders enough.
    BC---2.jpg

    Can you see how your shoulders are facing the net and the feet are pointing forward?
    After hitting the shuttle for this shot, you need to recover balance and take one larger sidestep skip forward to prepare for the next movement.


    00.05
    BC---3.jpg

    tut tut - crossed the left leg behind the right leg. Racquet head is to the right of the head (top players are allowed to do this). At your stage, you must make every effort to position that racquet head behind and higher than the head at the first step backwards.

    Follow the sequence on to 0.06 and you play a downward shot and still travelling backwards out the back of the court! You are lucky the opponent's own movement is not too hot.

    0.07 Same as in 0.01 - shoulders square on, toes pointing to the net. You need to be looking forward but body turned to the left.

    BC---4.jpg

    0.16 Still addicted to cross step backwards and trying to leap out the back of the court. Now, this time you have played a clear so the shoulders square on to the net when returning to base is correct.

    0.20 Interesting sequence here.

    BC---5.jpg BC---6.jpg

    Initially the bounce looks OK but actually, your feet land on the ground at slightly differently times. Try to keep them the same.

    But look at the next step you make. You actually switched your left foot on the same spot on court (i.e. no flying step). And you walked backwards instead of side stepping (your feet are pointing towards the net).

    BC---7.jpg

    Also poor choice of shot when you are flying backwards so much. He's really close to the net and a good clear would have been far better.
     
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  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    0.26-0.27 Good serve and netshot but what about after the netshot?

    BC---8.jpg

    From the picture, you can see your feet are totally unprepared for the next shot. When he hits the shot, your feet should be landing in a split step to bounce to the next movement. You stand too upright. The feet are not in the correct position anyway (should be right foot forward and left foot back - some players will reverse this). As a result, you killed your own balance. The result was scrambling/running to the next shot of balance and rushed (so you cannot relax the upper body). Therefore, weak clear by you. As an opponent, I would target you on this movement.
     
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  9. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Thanks for the detailed breakdown.

    I completely missed the following through, but I do wonder why I always feel very square. Now the feet/hips/shoulder alignment comment makes a lot more sense. I feel this is probably the same comment that @swunk was getting at. To clarify, you mentioned that square shoulders are correct after a clear - why should this be the case, as my feet/hips/shoulder would also be aligned inconsistently if my right foot is stepping forward?

    Forehand racquet carriage i'm very unsure how to correct. My coach teaches to have the racquet in front of me and to stop being lazy and move my whole body back properly (instead of diagonal movement, to move directly backwards, then move round in an L shape). He believes the racquet is 'pulling' me out of a strong position, and that my footwork should lead my racquet, not the other way around. Putting the racquet behind me, higher than head height, seems contrary to his advice, though I can see that both methods are better than what i'm currently doing.

    I wondered why my backwards scissor into the round-the-head position was so weak (the falling backwards feeling i mentioned). Not only is the first step (left foot) useless, but it's also counter-productive as i'm moving away from the shuttle on the first step. I've also frequently noticed my flying step tends to land left of my split, rather than behind it. I'm not sure why this happens, other than rushing - my footwork drills certainly don't incorporate it. Do you have any ideas on how I can stop doing it?

    Ergh, this is the forehand rearcourt weakness I'm always feeling. The shot I dread after I play a net shot on the backhand front net is a return to my forehand rearcourt - doubly so if my net shot was poor. In this case my opponent didn't get a flat lift in, but any shot to that corner I dread. I therefore have a left foot forward position on receipt of the net shot, as I hardly ever expect a net shot back, and if I do, I forego the opportunity to attack it (requires my right foot forward), and instead would play a lift in response to their net. I can't really see myself doing it any different until I get confident in moving into my forehand rearcourt...it's still difficult to do it when i have a left foot forward position which should make my movement easier though?
     
    #9 DarkHiatus, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  10. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Figure out how to play the forehand high serve technique properly and the consistency will come naturally.

    0.33 See what happens with a short length high serve. This guy is 90% certain to play a smash or a downward shot so focus on those areas of the court. Now from that position with the shuttle coming towards him at that direction, did he ever play a straight drop? I predict this cross court drop is one of his favourite shots.

    Now, I want you to look really carefully at your left foot when you go for the drop shot. You might have to repeat it a few times in slow motion to notice. Did you left foot stay in the same spot or did it move backwards? If it did move backwards, what is the result on yuor body movement? Is your body able to move towards the shuttle or are you literally almost staying in the same place?

    Now look at your right foot after hitting the shuttle..what does it do? What should it do?
     
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  11. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Square on after a clear to be ready to receive a opponent's dropshot or smash. Square on enables equal lateral movement. Side on gives you better front back movement...afterall the opponent is not gong to smash off your drop shot!
     
  12. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Agree if you were talking about feet positioning - i would have thought if I were square on e.g. after a clear, that my feet should also be square on though? Continuing on from your point, why does it not make sense to play a clear, step forward with shoulders facing left, then continue to split step square, and turn my shoulders square?
     
  13. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    So according to your coach, you are doing exactly what he said w.r.t. to racquet position? OK. Here we would have to differ in styles. I teach (and practice myself) the racquet to go behind the body and head with the first step backwards, with the shaft of the racquet pointing upwards to the ceiling. Now, this is a training issue to develop good habits rather than being the best position. You don't want to step backwards not not raise the racquet because you will end up late to strike the shuttle.
     
  14. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    You can do. Not a problem.
     
  15. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Haha, absolutely not. Unfortunately, I'm doing neither what you nor my coach describe. He advocates having it forward at all times e.g. serve receipt position (but slightly higher), and only moving it backwards when you need to actually play the shot. This is supposed to encourage me to move my whole body backwards to get behind the shuttle, rather than playing a shot behind my body because my racquet preparation is behind me (which allows you to move backwards less, but restricts your shot choice and quality because you didn't really move far back enough).

    I'll start incorporating this into my footwork drills. Right now I have the first step of recovery to reach a square split position which may be why i'm not fully rotating shoulders on drops/smashes.
     
  16. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    OK. I disagree here. Having the racquet pulled back first forces a good habit of turning the shoulders backwards and develops a more efficient swing. Important for you because you are developing technique but not for a higher level player such as a borderline first team county player who has already played a lot of badminton and got good feel for the game.

    You try swinging a squash racquet with your coach's technique and then mine (not super fast swings) - which technique is easier to swing and hit the shuttle?
     
    #16 Cheung, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  17. swunk

    swunk Regular Member

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    whoa, you guys use a lot of words here)
    i'm not trying to criticize anyone, you can play at your level and be happy, i know a lot of people who just do that and a lot of them are probably happier than i am when playin ))

    Ok so i see you have a coach but from what you tell - he's no good. If a coach tells you
    that's just crap. Every one of my coaches (and i had several, in different countries even) told me that the racket goes first ALWAYS. when you move towards the net, for instance, you should imagine a rope tied to your racket head that's pulling your racket towards the shuttle

    I see that you have a great desire to play, and that's the most important thing.
    It's tough to start playing late, you'll never get this fluidity of movement, the touch on the shuttle that kids in the academies have, been there, seen it all in diffferent countries. You can get close, but you can't do it without the help of a professional.)
    I can assure you, a year from now you will laugh at your video and on using miles of words to try to understand what you're doing wrong. U should find urself a good coach, i recommend a younger player, maybe who's on the national team or close. And who has some vision for coaching )
    Cheers)
     
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  18. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    On court, in your own time, put some markers on the courts, practice split step, flying step (just one step) check you went backwards and check your right foot points to the right side of the court.

    Later, get your coach to feed high clears to rear court alternate corners. You play clears, move back to base, split step, flying step backwards for rear left court. Sidestep for the rear forehand side (this is actually quite hard). Alway think about having a good split step and low centre of gravity with split step.

    Later, get the coach to feed four corners in a routine.

    Later, coach feeds randomly to the four corners (do not do this one at your present stage as you definitely risk injuring yourself with poor technique).
     
  19. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    First off - I appreciate your intention is not to criticise; however, that is what you are doing. By offering more feedback on what I can do to improve (not just saying what is wrong), then you change from criticism to constructive criticism. I'm not offended, because i appreciate many people don't understand the difference, but others may be offended.

    I acknowledge I'm not playing at a high level, so the coach in some ways suits my level of ability. He's the head coach of the local performance centre, and he has ranked quite highly in England previously for MS/XD so although he may have questionable coaching advice, if I could play like him, I'd be satisfied. I'm not expecting to be the next LCW, or even the next Rajiv Ouseph.

    The problem he believes about the racquet pulling you is that you have to control it. For me, it pulls me into awkward shapes, and also telegraphs my next shot. His belief is that by naturally moving your feet, the racquet will be pointing in the right direction you want to take the shuttle.
     
    #19 DarkHiatus, Feb 15, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  20. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Haha, this was exactly what I said to my coach - that it feels very weird to have my racquet in a 'serve ready' stance whilst my shoulder wants to be moving even further back than a serve receipt position. I'll bring it up with him again as it seems that his approach isn't helping me get rid of my ridiculous outstretched forehand position.

    His argument for the efficient swing was that you only need your elbow and wrist to move for a full court clear (and demonstrated it). i.e. a minimal backswing is needed. I told him I don't have that touch yet, so it's futile to expect a crosscourt clear from such a position - even though I can see exactly how he does it, I cannot replicate it.
     

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