[VIDEO] Singles Progression

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

  1. Poochy

    Poochy New Member

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    Once you start getting to a higher level, net exchanges become much harder to play even if you are confident because a bad net will just result in getting killed. Even professionals usually lift instead of reply with a net.

    Anyway, in general there are two situations where you can do a tight net/spin: on a neutral net shot and on an already spinning net shot. When I say neutral net shots, I mean nets that are not tight, usually flat and are closer to the service line than the net. Usually neutral net shots are played most of the time since you don't have to commit to the net and much safer to play. In the former situation, you start the net exchange and the latter situation has you replying in the exchange. Generally, it is much easier to hit a good net shot if you are replying because it's way easier to spin when you are close to the net, and if you are fast enough or the opponent hits loosely you can just push, lift or kill. Either way, your goal with a tight net is too have your opponent make a mistake outright or give yourself a great situation. It is basically like going for a >80% smash.

    I will apply this theory to your Gloucestershire second match. At 0:55, you start a net exchange when you net his serve. This net was a great play since it brought your opponent in and he played a loose net. The problem was that you moved too far back and wasn't able to punish. If you try to net tight and you succeed, your racket foot should be on the service line ready to pounce. At 1:15, the two rallies are of you replying in the net exchange. In both of them, you end up lifting and getting it smashed on you. Like I said before, generally it is easier to reply so you could've just netted back and made him lift.

    Basically, just net tight off a neutral net shot when you're early, your opponent is out of position, or you're confident you can hit a really tight net shot. Then reply with a net if you are early/anticipated their net, they moved too far back after they netted, or you are confident that you can spin it so tight they can only lift or 50/50.
     
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  2. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Two good matches to share: one being a QF (9-21, 13-21) showing far too much smashing by me (reined it back very slightly in game 2), and the second a close group stage match (21-15 18-21 23-21) showing inconsistency and inability to finish off a point.

    I am the Asian guy:





    Observations:
    • Footwork seems to have improved, still standing too upright at the start of matches
    • Stroke selection is poor, especially considering that my footwork is getting me into stronger positions yet I play predictable smashes
    • Stroke accuracy and consistency is poor, given my stronger position
    • Overhead technique looks better, but disappointed my elbow is still as low as it is on rearcourt movements - I have been really trying to get my elbow ready position around shoulder height
    • Finger power has improved very slightly, particularly after following up a smash
    • Drop shot retrieval has improved, but still needs work. QF opponent had very reliable and consistent fast drops landing on service line, but I believe the previous strokes are the main problem (smash and subsequent lift - short or not)
    • Forehand rearcourt needs a bit of work- my group stage opponent was pushing it deep and I appear often unprepared to move backwards after recovering from the rearcourt
    I believe the reversion to smashing too much is partly a result of the regular drills that my coach has been doing to develop finger power and anti-deception - under high pressure, you revert to the training and muscle memory most familiar to you after all. The drills roughly are: block to net, move back, point smash, chassé recover, then await a lift/net without moving too early. I may try to see if I can get these drills mixed up so that I play a drop/clear instead of a point smash so my muscle memory doesn’t just smash everything.

    Interestingly, in this group stage match and another group stage match with a opponent with strong defence, I was able to get the short lift (mid court to 2/3 court) by playing a tight net as @Poochy suggests, but I struggle to finish the point. Perhaps it is a mental block, as in my head I’m just thinking, “all the hard works done, just finish it now” - perhaps I should just think of continuing a rally i.e the “one more shot” idea? It seems like a wasted opportunity though...
     
    #682 DarkHiatus, Oct 21, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
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  3. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    I'm jealously of your split step ! I think that you have really fine footwork. Watching your games I think, that you have more tactical than technical issues.

    [regarding 1st video] Hmm... I think, that you play a fast game where you are unable to slow it down. This results in strokes coming faster and faster and often too flat with every shot you do and eventually ending in an error. The rallies where you played some clears to pin him to the backline works often in your favor. Shot choice should not come automatically, either you need better reaction speed (will come with time) or you should slow your pace down to consciously choose a shot.

    You play a lot of too short, too flat lifts/clears. The guy in the first video often reacted with a quick smash, the guy in the second video often has no issues to take it. Your high serve has the correct length, your clears/pushes/lifts are often intercepted at mid court.

    It seems, that you like to play to the mid court (smash, push, drops). Once your opponent get used to it, your smash will lose some of its danger potential, resulting in a bad risk(going either out or into the net)/reward(easier to block) situation. You can gain a point with a smash in two ways, either by forcing a weak reply/error or by hitting the gap fast enough, so that the opponent is unable to reach it. You seems to try to force a weak reply very often, whenever you see a smash situation, you try to smash it, often with your opponent being in a good position to take it. I know, it is luring to smash a short serve, but your opponent is basically in the best defense position after a serve and a good block can put you under seriously pressure. I would consider to return the serve of your opponent with either a clear or drop to pull your opponent out of position first, before you try to smash.

    If I should only give one advice, I would try to master the clear (and re-evaluate your string tension). The right length will have many benefits which would help you in your game:
    1. The right length to avoid quick interception.
    2. More time to slow down your game.
    3. Move your opponent out of position to setup for a smash.
    4. Master the height of a clear, flat enough to reach the end fast, height enough to avoid interception.
     
    #683 Ballschubser, Oct 22, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
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  4. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Some main points:

    A) your all court movement has improved. It's good. Be careful of the forehand forecourt and lunging - the right foot is starting to turn inwards again.

    B) watch that China jump to the forehand rear court. In the middle of the jump, sometimes your legs cross and you don't extend the right leg out enough to land well.

    C) fewer foul serves with that right foot moving on high serves but they do happen. Getting better.

    D) you very, very rarely play straight drop shots, the opponent doesn't need to cover as big an area. Makes you predictable. I think you only played it once in the QF video

    E) finger agility and flexibility - this is going to become a bigger factor restricting you as you are starting to cover your other movement weaknesses which I would say is starting to match the better opponents. And in fact that's a good sign that you are moving forwards. I think you can't do this movement very well with the wrist and fingers on forehand shots (see pics) - or rather, it doesn't seem very obvious in your games. Note how the arm is way in front of them and the wrist bends backwards. The 4 and 5th fingers also open up. I don't see you do this when you do forehand shots approaching the net and if you do, you are late with it on the shuttle. It's very important to open up that 4th and 5th fingers for netshots otherwise you tend to use the whole arm more and become unsteady.

    You definitely need to develop this technique as it will help with disguise and flickshots, holding the shuttle and deception. Things that you need against the QF and beyond players to wear them down and force errors from them.

    . Hand_1.jpg
    hand-2.jpg
     
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  5. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Another example sequence.

    With Tai's approach shot (1st pic), she already has the wrist extended. This is what the Chinese coaches call having a 'relaxed grip' - you have the wrist slightly flexed. A typical example would be 0.29-30 of your quarter final match approaching the forehand forecourt.

    Hand-3.jpg Untitled-4.jpg

    This screenshot came from 47.00 of

     
  6. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Here's another one for the overhead.

    In the pictures, look at the wrists. In each player, they are slightly extended. i.e turned slightly outwards (The article is talking about the smash but for the players, I want to draw you to the hand-wrist-forearm angle)

    Yours is slightly flexed i.e. turned slightly inwards - this will create a slightly slower racquet swing and maybe one reason why you are a bit late when hitting the overhead.

    Starting off with a flexed wrist also doesn't allow easy use of the subtle movements of control so I think that's also a reason why you probably don't have confidence in hitting good dropshots.

    http://badmintonandy.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-smash/

    hand-6.jpg
     
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  7. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Only been 2 weeks, but I feel I've made enough of an improvement in a tournament last weekend to share - I am playing in red. The biggest working points have been the comments from @Ballschubser and @Cheung regarding stroke selection and finger power.

    I have done a huge number of exercises on finger/wrist technique over the last month, and I believe the video will show this improvement in the forecourt which gives me confidence to play drops shots (which is certainly the biggest change in this match compared to before).

    Less good is my overhead technique is really struggling to improve. This game shows how inconsistent my clears and smashes are, and even my drops are probably looping over too much. I am attributing this partly to my poor preparation, and actually some of this is because my wrist/finger power has improved. The improvement in finger power appears to mean i am delaying my overhead action far too long, and on some clears/smashes, I am barely pronating. Note that most of the clears that are out are landing 0.5-1.0m right of the side boundary, not out the back - I am having a lot of trouble controlling my racquet face angle.

    Finally, I need to understand how to construct an attack without full smashing - there were times in the second game where I was just clear battling, because I wasn't sure what to do other than drop (gladly, I understood a full smash would be the worst choice, so it's an alternative to a drop i was looking for). Perhaps a half smash or a punch clear to mix things up would work, but it took too long to think about without training, and i ended up standard clearing them back until my opponent played a drop/smash. Too often it seems like I am reacting passively, instead of constructing a rally to expect a response, then pounce on the expected return.

     
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  8. Poochy

    Poochy New Member

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    Your footwork and technique overall have definitely improved. You should definitely work on attacking clears and lifts. It'd be nice if you could get a higher camera angle to see the height of your clears. In general, your clears should always be flat and fast. The only time you play a high clear is when you're really in trouble. You can see how you always end up in a defensive(feet side by side) stance because you give your opponent too much time to hit it.
    Drills. If you aren't confident with your attacking clears just get someone to high serve and do straight attacking clears. Then get them to do faster clears and have you hit them while moving backwards. Remember to focus on a fast recovery once you get the hang of those clears.
     
  9. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    The height is difficult to judge by video, but the clears are what I'd class as a standard clear - neither attacking nor defensive. My opponent can play a jump out or standing smash without stepping forwards, but won't be able to play a jump smash for example. If they choose to jump out smash, they will struggle to retrieve my block (assuming my block goes over)...I'm intimately familiar with this since I previously smashed too much, with backwards momentum.

    A previous comment by @Ballschubser mentioned playing too flat/fast which speeds up the game too much perhaps (including interceptions), so this is a clear effort to bring the clears higher to allow me more time to respond. Any lower than this and the clears will definitely be attacking clears - useful in some situations, and I did do a couple during the game.

    Attacking lifts is something I'm moving away from as I do it too much - this is a key problem in some of my previous matches. I'm not so worried about my forecourt play actually, it's my rearcourt overhead tactics and technique that need a lot more work in my opinion!
     
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  10. SimonCarter

    SimonCarter Regular Member

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    The thing is every time your game become too one dimensional this is bad.
    Attacking clears are good you just need to be able to vary your play. High clear are good but you need to do something else once in a while.
    While moving away from playing full attacking clear is indeed the right call you still need to do some of them from time to time. After all you said yourself that you need to find way to 'attack' that are not full smash. Well attacking clears are a good way to do just that.

    Drive the exchange and be in the offense can be as simple as playing into the 4 corners alternatively. Not much speed just accuracy.
     
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  11. Poochy

    Poochy New Member

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    It makes sense that you moving away from trying to play too aggressive and leaving yourself defenseless. I do believe though that you have definitely improved enough to play more aggressive when time calls for it. Addressing the point where you feel like you are playing too passive, it's because you aren't playing more aggressive when you are early to the bird. Whether that is through an attack clear, fast drop or half smash is up to you.

    Obviously you know yourself best so it's fine to hit more neutral if you feel like you can't recover. But aggressive play isn't just binary on/off. You can play a lower clear than you usually do, or play a very fast/almost drive clear. Its up to you to figure out how well you can perform these during the game and what your opponent is capable of.
     
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  12. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Maybe you don't see it but I see a huge improvement in you being relaxed and moving around the court. Definitely much more efficient with your energy and not getting rushed into mistakes. Nor, rushing yourself into mistakes.

    There are two receiving smashes at around 1.10 in two different rallies. You made excellent blocks to the net. Perhaps others will disagree with me but your opponent couldn't force a weak shot from you through his smash and this led to you gaining a psychological advantage. In the first game, I felt your defence was much better than all of your matches previously. Much more controlled but it~~~ deteriorated in the second game because you looked for variation on the defence. Be wary of flicking the shuttle back off a defence of smash. It can affect subsequent blocks in that your arm gets too tense for nice controlled blocks.

    I do agree that the forecourt area is much improved both with footwork, pace, controlling balance and finger technique so congratulations on that and keep working on it. Once you control this area ie netshots, flicking off the net, cross courts, lifting and knowing when to do these in a rally better, I am sure you will find your confidence shoot up.

    I agree about your overheads deteriorating because of using the fingers. Would I care about it? No. You are going for longer term improvement so it's short term pain for long term gain. With that finger manipulation, later you will learn how to better disguise not only overheads, but all areas of your game.

    For the clears issue, although attack clears are important, I feel both neutral clears and attack clears are important qualities. You need both to change the rhythm of the game. At this level, you might meet some players who are very comfortable in taking attack clears because it is their natural pace and they train for it all the time.. Slipping in high clears disturbs their rhythm. Other players you find you need to go faster. Some others cope with both and you need to change pace within the rally.

    What is lacking is experience in using this new game style. So although others have given good advice about when to use certain tactics, you have only had a couple of weeks of the change of style and new techniques need a bit of time to settle in your muscle memory and gain accuracy plus consistency. Play more practice singles matches around your group for experience.

    If I were you, I would be very pleased indeed. I think your recent months have been much much better than the nearly two years from when you first started posting your competitions. That time, you only improved gradually.
     
  13. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Oh another thing is on your defence you have definitely improved with your positioning on court! That was a really noticeable difference. If you lift to your right, you now position yourself to the right side a bit more and do it very consistently through the first game.
     
  14. Ballschubser

    Ballschubser Regular Member

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    This. Your game looks a lot more calmer and controlled.

    Overall a solid performance. Some lifts went out, some blocks get into the net, but this is okay, it will get better with more experience, but you were there to take it, which is the harder part. At times you had the right idea, eg playing a push to a corner which went out, but this shots will get you more points in the future when you get more confidence in your shot execution.

    Here are some points you could look at.

    1. Smash
    Not a technically but a time/decision related issues. E.g. in the first set at 0:06,0:29,3:03,5:10 you smash the service of your opponent either resulting in loosing it quickly or not giving you any advantage.

    A smash is fast and a smash return is fast too, resulting in a very short reaction time for both of you. If a smash works, then it is not so much a question of how powerful you are able to hit it, but what your and your opponents position is. Sure you can take the risk to smash into a spot out of reach of your opponent (e.g. hitting the side lines), but even elites players are not consistenly able to play such shots or are willing to take the risk all the time.

    Therefore smashing a service return is most of the time not the best idea, because your opponent is in such a good position, whereas you need to recover quickly to your base position. My rule of thumb is, that when you move into the shuttle (e.g. scissor, jump smash) you will end in a much better position, other than smashing while moving away from the center (e.g. china jump or just jumping high to smash). Eg the rally at 10:15. You controlled it , but at 10:32, thought your opponent wasn't in a good position, you smash with a china jump leaving you almost out of court, giving the point away by a simple block to the open court.

    The standard smash situation in sinlges should be to secure a point, where you are in a good position, your opponent in a bad position.

    2. Recovery
    Your footwork is really solid. If you like to improve there, I would look into faster recovery. E.g. at 7:48, you receive a shot to your forhand backcourt corner, you play a neutral shot, but you got stuck to the corner afterwards.

    3. Tactics
    Take a look at 5:46, your opponent played a push to your forhand/backcourt, putting you under pressure and you play a short, cc return. This situation remindes me of the tactical presentation of Lars Uhre, maybe worth a watch. In this situation you should try to survive, either playing a short neutral shot to his backhand or a more powerful drive along the line. A short,cc shot looks a lot like you try to make a point from a weak position, I would leave this to TTY for now.
     
    #694 Ballschubser, Nov 5, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
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  15. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    DH, will you be playing at the Suffolk tier 4 in Feb?
     
    #695 Ouchie, Nov 6, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  16. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    Probably not - I'm aiming for the Essex Senior Bronze for Feb instead as it's much closer to me.
     
  17. Ouchie

    Ouchie Regular Member

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    1 week apart - do both ;)
    I was thinking that you would have a solid chance at the Suffolk. Plus I might well be there so could offer some supportive comments from the side.
     
  18. speCulatius

    speCulatius Regular Member

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    My first thought was that this might be a good chance to revisit your overhead technique. Timing is slightly off anyway, and while it might be difficult to change several things at once, it would also give the chance to get many repetitions and maybe introduce some more deception (delayed attacking clears using mostly pronation and finger power would be a great addition, but maybe just work on fast drops first to have a slower, but complete movement).
    You probably already know many details that can be improved, if not, your coach knows or you can ask here.

    On the other hand, I do agree with this, do I'm really not sure if my first idea is that great. There's many options in the forecourt (and front part of the midcourt) that might be worth working on first.

    Anyway, great progress overall! That's really impressive.
     
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  19. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    I notice that the camera is a bit low so the overhead shots get cut off a lot.. maybe if you put the camera on a tripod and get a view of the whole of all your overhead shots, then the people here that can give you feedback might be able to see more and then give even better feedback?
     
  20. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    it’s always easy to suggest improvements. By nature we are all rushing to improve yet our bodies don’t respond so quickly to change. But yeah, lots of good things to progress on from and the change over one month is quite impressive.

    @DarkHiatus I saw during the second game some loss in the technique. Some of the forecourt forehands looked like your old technique and you forgot to stand slightly to the right of the centre of the court when hitting upwards to the opponent’s left side of the court (a consistent feature of previous videos). Be aware of things happenings like that in second and third games when your concentration drops off and you have got into a bit of rut and losing points. It happens when you are a bit tired or distracted. Concentrating over three games also needs training and is not the same as playing many one game matches during practice sessions.
     
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