[VIDEO] Singles Progression

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

  1. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Yes. A consistent theme of your previous play was smashing at a time that would make yourself disadvantaged more often. Although you did start to temper the tendencies, it was still tough.

    Modern singles is more patient play than before. When we changed from the old scoring system to this present one, the thinking was it would favour attacking players more. Initially it did. But now we see defence has improved with faster paced and much longer rallies. Physiologically, I think that means players are close to their anaerobic capacity and sustained smashing as part of continually attempting to force a mistake from the opponent is more prone to yourself making errors.

    I remember watching Chen Long against Son wan Ho in HK. The China coach kept saying ‘patience patience’ and Chen Long is one of the most boring singles players on the planet. Another Singaporean coach kept saying to her player ‘no problem no problem ‘ in order to get her player to focus on the next point.

    But going back to your situation, being confident in playing out rallies will do wonders for your game. Having the ability to play 30minutes of continuous neutral clears in one rally as well as being able to chase the shuttle makes a player an extremely tough cookie to beat.
     
    #641 Cheung, Aug 4, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
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  2. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    The season begins once again and I think I played better than before, though the first game of the day (MS1) I really struggled to get my eye on the shuttle. Result was a win and a loss, but the rallies were overall better constructed I feel.

    Highlight - playing some decent rallies (including opening rallies that didn't include a RTH crosscourt smash for once!). Lowlight - I feel I am pointlessly jumping/hopping around a lot in the rearcourt, or generally unbalanced.

    I feel whilst reviewing my opponents, that my rearcourt position is not particularly threatening during a 'neutral' rally, and neither are my strokes (beyond maintaining a rally). I only seem to be able to be threatening on overheads when my opponent lifts short.

    I am playing in charcoal grey in both videos.

    Second match was better overall, though a loss - 14-21 13-21


    First match shows how slow I was warming up to the conditions, marked improvement across the games, 14-21 21-6 21-16

     
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  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I looked at the first video. I think these games are much better than the past. You construct the rallies better by moving the opponent around the court, making the opponent twist and turn. Sometimes the lifts from the net area are not quite high enough over the opponent.

    Your body looks more relaxed , you are definitely more balanced than before. All good things. You still have inconsistencies but don’t we all.

    Whatever you have done in training, keep doing it.

    Another step up to your gameplay would be to recognise when to change speed and quicken your footwork, especially in the forecourt area where the opponent might have relaxed or switched off a bit when playing a netshot. You couldn’t do it before because of being rather unbalanced and unable to have a good feel of the shuttle at the net. Maybe it’s because you tended to have a power game in the past which restricted your ability to have a good ‘feel’ for the shuttle in more delicate shots. Sometimes you can try a quick opportunistic stick smash in the middle of a longish rally to test the opponent if he is alert to a quick change of pace. Remember it’s not a winner but just to test the opponent’s alertness.

    I think your use of finger technique seems to have improved from previously. I am only watching on a smartphone but your forecourt shots definitely look better.
     
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  4. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    I think part of it last month is having the opponent suit a rally style more - there seemed to be a lot more time to think about strokes, rather than constantly feeling like I'm about to be smashed at.

    I've played another tournament against a much stronger opponent (9-21 9-21), but I think I performed alright. Against this opponent, I really felt like I was having time robbed from me, and always felt on the back foot - it was his early taking the shuttle, variety of strokes, and quite effective smashes. Backwards movement seemed so awkward and getting a good position to contact the shuttle well was really difficult.



    I need to learn to take the shuttle earlier like him and work on my posture/racquet carriage so that I can play strokes with good contact when I'm under pressure (being attacked with flat lifts/clears). Now I really see where low racquet carriage hurts in the rearcourt.

    The second match was more even (17-21 17-21). I could have won this one, but I strategized poorly and wasn't able to figure out how to take advantage of my opponents FH rearcourt weakness - there were a good 3-4 points I played the push into FH RC out for example. He had a strong RTH straight smash and I really played far too many flat lifts into his favourite stroke.



    I am playing in dark green/grey.

    I feel like I struggle against players who enjoy smashing. Although my retrieval is ok, my defence isn't as good as being able to choose straight/crosscourt/flicked lifts. The other weakness I am seeing is my forecourt retrieval of drops - especially in the second match.

    In terms of training, is it better to prioritise 1) playing a block defence straight/xcourt and then focus on rearcourt movement and taking the shuttle early, 2) going all in on defence and having my coach/training partner smash me silly until I get more confident/control in my defence (which may then allow me to be more relaxed on other movements), 3) improving my forecourt footwork, rhythm, and technique to take shuttles earlier and be stronger at the net, or 4) some combination of the above or something entirely?

    Is there something about my defence footwork/racquet work that is obviously hampering my ability to return smashes and drops effectively?
     
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  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Only watched the first match so far. You are not up to his level ..... yet. You have only just changed over to some new patterns and it takes time to absorb the patterns first and then later speed up. I am guessing you haven’t done too many speed drills just yet whilst changing over to new patterns, new techniques and trying to develop rhythm, consistency and quality in the meantime. Things like one corner drills, two corner, three corner, feeder then adds in variety, different speeds , deception etc. It’s a lot of time and then you need experience.

    Things you can work on:
    1) When you high serve from left court to his left court, you seem to position yourself astride the centreline instead of slightly closer to rightside. You have left a gap there on the rightside.
    2) quality of shot - it breaks down a bit early in the rally putting you under pressure.
    3) the odd deception shot (see 4.50)
    4) changing the pace (not just a smash!) and experimenting if the opponent can cope with it
    5) defensive practice - you can block straight, block to the centre, block so that the shuttle goes past the service line. Yes, it’s always good to practice.

    Every player has some areas where they are a bit stronger and weaker. Talk to your coach about that forehand forecourt area.

    BTW, you edited it but on some points, it seems you only just got set in your receiving serve position and he immediately served. This is a deliberate tactic to unsettle your natural rhythm and rush you (and make you feel uncomfortable from the outset). You need to recognise that some players do this and put your left arm up indicating you are not ready and then to stop him serving so quickly. Only put your left arm down when you are ready and focused to receive. This is part of being experienced.
     
    #645 Cheung, Sep 7, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
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  6. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Scarily good guess.

    Currently, sessions generally include:
    • 2 corner consistency - 15 in a row without mistakes
    • 2 corner combo - focus on posture/position over speed/result
    • 3 corner combo - focus on rhythm
    • 1 corner defence - focus on feel
    • 2/4 corner defence - focus on racquet position and minimise movement
    Haven't got to anywhere near variety/speeds of feed/deception yet for the main drills - I tried a random overhead racquet feed retrieval drill where a lot of my response times were doubled at least. For me, there is a big difference in a random underhand feed and a random overhead feed, even if the speed of shuttle is the same (e.g. underhand feed midcourt is equal to overhead feed rearcourt). Would it make sense to push for a 5-10 min section where I receive more overhead feeds to get me more used to positions where an opponent can smash (more like a drive from the back really)?

    On the points to work on, they make sense:
    1) I need to put more emphasis on straight smash retrieval, I push too much on the cross smash when the straight causes more problems.
    2) I was so focused on simply retrieving that my shot quality went out the window. I really felt my positioning/posture was 'awkward' in this match!
    3) I need stronger forecourt positions for this - not sure why I am so inconsistent moving forwards, particularly to drop shots. My coach thinks I need to push my base forward.
    4) Similar to 2) I felt not just accuracy was robbed, but I didn't feel like I could tap on power when needed e.g. I didn't feel I could play cross clears to his lifts/clears.
    5) Ok, I'll push to have defence section regularly.
     
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  7. llrr

    llrr Regular Member

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    Just curious are you using DZS?
     
  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Had a look at the second match.

    You have to be very careful on your high serve. You lift your right leg as you hit the shuttle. A service judge will call a fault. I still feel your feet positioning on the high serve is suboptimal - Compare yours to the first game opponent feet position when he serves.

    Regarding the forecourt, you can actually position your base back a little more when the opponent receives a high serve. This will make it less likely the opponent to play clears and you can focus on running forward. Experiment with either moving backwards or forward with your base and see what you are more comfortable with.

    By the way, I notice when you hit an underarm on the forecourt forehand side there are two points to consider - a) you seem to land the foot first then hit. This makes timing the shuttle a bit difficult for yourself. Try time hitting shuttle when you land the foot. This was an important basic point emphasized by HK team’s then head coach to our coaches group. b) your racquet position relative to your forearm is quite flexed at the wrist as you approach the shuttle and stick your arm forward. And then you don’t look like you use your fingers. Instead, you use an arm movement. That makes your shot difficult to control and time. As for the correct preparation technique, I have seen two techniques used by internationals - I feel it’s better for you learn whichever one your coach recommends.

    Quite a few of the rallies you look inexperienced. Actually, that’s due to you improving and being able to play more rallies. Your racquet and body motion is moving earlier to some shots so you hit differently to before. As a result the replies you receive to these shots are also changing compared to what your games like 6-9months ago. Keep having practice games against other singles players of similar and slightly above your level to learn the most likely replies in different situations.

    I would say speak to your coach about the technical aspects. You can’t correct everything at one time. You need to fit things in a time framework and your coach may feel it’s better to concentrate on other things first.
     
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  9. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Yup, 3UG5 DZS. Proving hard to find a spare at the moment...
     
  10. llrr

    llrr Regular Member

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    I'm not saying it will change or improve your game drastically, but I don't think your swing speed is able to flex the racquet and it's actually detrimental to your game. Something a bit more flexible and easier to use would help you with the under pressure shots. One example that comes to mind is ax77. The other thing I've noted is that you hold the racquet quite high up. Try to hold it closer to the handle and you will have more reach as well as generate more power. I think it would also help your finger power generation because currently all of your actions are very "arm-y" and it is a big reason why you feel that you are not reaching the shuttles as early as other players (for example the first opponent). You feel the need to have bigger swings to hit your spots. You should practise more finger and wrist/forearm shots where a flick of the wrist without any arm movement can lift shuttles to the backline or hit a reasonably fast clear.
     
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  11. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    This racquet is terrible. Apart from the racquet recommendation, I very much agree with your other points.

    One thing about changing the racquet is that you base it on his present play. However, if he refines his technique as suggested, that recommendation of changing racquet becomes redundant.
     
  12. llrr

    llrr Regular Member

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    Not sure why AX77 is a terrible racquet? The medium flex and head heaviness helps with power generation quite nicely. It's true that if he changes his technique, then it won't really matter, but in the meantime he's still playing and trying to win games, and in that sense it would be beneficial to use an easier racquet. An unforgiving racquet like DZS is not a good option when one is still working on the fundamentals.
     
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  13. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    Pls remember, I'm not as good as you, but I hope that I'm still able to spot some points you can try to improve. So, take it with a grain of salt, you are improving and you are on the right track, so keep up the good work.

    Regarding the last video:
    1. I think, you should try to get more length/height in your high serve. Your opponent was able to smash a lot of your serves without even touching the backline.
    2. When you turn up the pace (most often initialized by a drive or interception), you lost control of the game. If you gain a point in this situation, then it seems more like a random chance than a controlled setup. Learn from your opponent how he reduce the pace at 7:07 or how he try to keep the pace low at the rally of 8:06 with just blocking lot of shots.
    3. Seldom net shots beyond return of service. You play lot of clears and drives, but relative seldomly a drop/net shot.
    4. Don't try to force shots, your opponent made a lot of misstakes himself, so there seems to be no real need of forcing a winning shot. Eg at 0:59, you play a high lift to the middle backline, your opponent returns a high clear to the middle backline, you try to smash. I think, that even when the smash would has come over the net, you would have put yourself under much more pressure than the opponent.

    From my amateurish view I think, that you need to calm down a little bit. Thought you should take the shuttle early, you seem to sacrify a lot of control to take it. For one you put a lot of power in it, resulting in lot of lifts and drives, on the other hand you often end in an unstable position to reach a shot, leaving you vulnerable for some additional time.
    The start from your base position and the return to your base position should be quick, but arriving at the position to take the shot should be a little bit more careful. It seems like you arrive with a lot of energy which channels into additional momentum (hard to stabilize) and power in your shots (hard to control).

    So easy to say, so hard to realize :p
     
  14. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    The other racquet I was trialling was actually the Duora 8XP, touch less head weight and a bit more flex. But I decided that it really doesn't make that much of a difference.

    Overall, I felt that the adjustment isn't worth just getting on with it and learning to hit properly. Okay, it might not be helping me to win, but my racquet choice is not stopping me - it's less than 5% of the reason I lose, if that.

    I mean, look at my rearcourt/forecourt positions when I struggle...they are not conductive to good contact regardless of the racquet I use. My forehand retrieved lunge timing as @Cheung noted for example.

    Fair point about racquet hold - I've actually just re-adjusted my FH grip which is much easier to play further down the handle. It seems my thumb was getting in the way previously and as Lee Jae Bok put it, you get a 'wobbly' grip if the thumb doesn't wrap around the grip, below the index finger for a FH stroke.
     
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  15. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    How long before his technique suits such a racket? Few years? (No offense to @DarkHiatus here as I'm not sure much players on here can exploit this kind of racket at 100%) May be for now, changing racket would still help. Just in terms of play and in order to build confidence.

    Besides, a Duora 8XP isn't tolerant either. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  16. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    I certainly agree a racquet can make a difference and we have our individual preferences.

    It depends where your philosophy lies. Do you change a racquet to play imperfect techniques better (short term feel good) or, do you use a good racquet and change your techniques to better techniques?

    I think most people change their racquet to suit an imperfect technique (or at least a technique that can be improved significantly) which is what manufacturers like to us to do. However, most of these people are not training with a coach trying to improve techniques.

    From my perspective, I'd rather work on small things that make a big difference long term. Things like, grip, finger technique, arm positioning, racquet carriage, footwork, body positioning, foot placement and better prediction of most likely returns. These I feel are long term things that will help me play better irrespective of what racquet I use. There are some racquets I don't like and it's the medium flex head light type. I found the feel and weight behind the shot doesn't suit me. I have to stress that I can still use these racquets satisfactorily against social players or non-competitive situations. It's when I go high level, I prefer stiffer and and slightly head heavier racquets.

    Going back to @DarkHiatus , I do think he's improving a lot now in the past four months compared to when he first started this thread. I just think changing the racquet forces yet another variable to complicate the situation. You could even argue that it might slow down rate of improvement of technique change.

    But again no problem to change racquet for non competitive players. It's the easiest thing to change.
     
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  17. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    Just out of pure interest (no critic incoming, I can share your thoughts):
    If I use a racket in training which do not suit my play style, even a racket I dont get used to, would it not help to broaden my skills ? It is like pushing yourself out of the comfort zone and suddenly you need to come up with broader skills to play a smash, drop, netshot or clear. Or would it just confuse you ?
     
  18. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    What’s your objective? More skills but lower shot quality or fewer skills but more refined and better shot quality?
     
  19. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    The latter, but I thought, that using an other racket for training purpose might have a similar effects like using a squash racket in badminton to improve your strength.
    Just as an example: I've trouble to return a drop shot close to the net, it get caught at the top of the net 50% of the time. If I would use a racket or at least a tension, where every simple block of a drop shot would go into the net, I would be forced to use some push/stroke to get it over. This on the other hand might help me when I go back to my normal racket (?).

    An other example, I have two main rackets (ax88d & s). I started to play with the 88s, then changed to the 88d with an higher tension than the 88s. After using the 88d for some time, I went back to the 88s (broken string on 88d) and suddenly the clears felt easier and more comfortable then before.
     
    #659 Ballschubser, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  20. LenaicM

    LenaicM Regular Member

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    I totally agree with you on 99% of your points actually. I currently use a 10-year-old racket my club originally threw in the trash bin. I like it better than the rackets I bought (4U ones) mainly because it's a 3U. So I'm not big on brands marketing either. But in this case isn't the Duora Z Strike very stiff? I just find it a bit extreme knowing it's a very demanding racket not just on a technical point of view but also physically. Yet I agree again it's better focusing on long terms results that matters (technique) than using a racket to compensate a lack of technique.

    Yet using a medium flex racket doesn't mean not working on technique and just using it to palliate this lack of abilities. For instance it could help reach the distance when hitting a late stroke for example which always happens no matter the technique level. To improve properly should we only use extra stiff, non tolerant rackets ("good" ones like you said) otherwise we don't work on our technique efficiently?
     
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