Badminton coach Xiao Jie Badminton idol Zhao Jianhua Content: Basic Mixed-Doubles positioning Attacking at the net Hi, my name is Sun, 43. Hi, my name is Hua, 45 We play about 4 or 5 times a week approximately 2 hours each We came here today to receive some advice from coach Zhao so we can have more fun while playing Hi, Iím Sun. Hi, I hear youíve recently become a mother. Congratulations. Thank you. You are my badminton idol. Thank you very much. The Great Lefthander. Very good! No need to apologize. Ok. Letís stop for a moment. Iíll talk about some of the things that Iíve noticed First, you two are not working together very well. Second, there are some problems regarding your positioning. Lastly, your shuttle placement is not optimum. So I will start from these points. One problem is that you two always stand front-and-back, even after clearing the shuttle. While you not only like to stand front-and-back, but you also like to play lifts. Therefore, you are creating unnecessary difficulties for yourselves. However, if you do like playing in this formation, you should play more drop shots Otherwise, after clearing the shuttle, you cannot cover your court. After he clears the shuttle, where should I stand? Do I remain in the forecourt? After he clears, you should move back in the most convenient direction. For example, if he clears from this corner, you should retreat towards the opposite corner, so he doesnít have to run too far However, if he clears from the center, then itís easy. Once he clears it, you can move to either side. Donít worry about him So letís say youíre here and he clears it. You can back up either way, because he can see you. But you canít see him You should wait to see which way she moves, then shift the other way. After a clear, you main task is to cover this (the outer) side because he cannot help you in this area If they place the shuttle in the middle, he can help you. If you can, hit it. If you can’t, make sure to tell him that the middle area is his responsibility and you area is only to your right Now we can see his area is much smaller! Before, you had to cover the whole rear court. But now, your area is only this big. After being forced to clear, quickly enter the side-by-side formation. Regardless of which side the lady is on, she should only cover a third of the court on her outer side. Another problem is my grip Because I hold it like a fly-swap, I cannot hit backhand shots. Suppose someone hits it here, if itís high enough, I can hit it like his. However, I can’t hit anything lower than that actually, that doesnít look like a fly-swap grip. Looks pretty professional to me (laughs) Only when I show you, but when I play, my gripís not as proper There is validity to a lot of what you said. The fly-swap grip looks like this. Not only you, but also many professional players use this grip. Of course not exactly like this. The reason is this grip is very easy for blocking at the net. However, itís very hard to hit low, backhand shots with this grip Exactly, thatís my dilemma. So you must change. I must alter my grip? Right. You used to hold it like this; but what about like this? This is also like swapping a fly, isnít it. (laughs) How can I improve my shots without changing my grip? The only way to do that is to make your shots go down. If your shots go down, itíll force the opponentís shots to go up. This will be difficult. After playing a while and becoming familiar with my style, my opponents often take advantage of my weak spot. Thatís why I always say itís good to have a diverse repertoire. If you can do this, and this, then you have no worries. You are only concerned because you donít know this. Then lets learn it. The key at the net is speed. Power is secondary. Even a light snap at the net can be very threatening because the shot is quick if you draw back too far, the impact point will also recede, resulting in a slower shot. All you have to do is tap it. Similarly with the backhand, a light tap will be very advantageous for both you and your partner. Remember! Donít stare at your partner. You must cover the front. That one was mine. Right, that one was definitely yours. More forward a bit. You have to scare your opponent! More, thatís good. Now who was supposed to get that? He was Right. The problem now is your indecisiveness. After you hit the shuttle, you tend to watch the shuttle, then think about whoís going to get it Too much time has already been wasted After the man returns a serve, he usually moves towards the back. He needs to protect the rear court. Therefore the lady must advance towards the net. So the main principle is: man covers back, lady covers front. Donít stop in the back; you have to support her on both sides! So, those are the main points of the front-and-back formation. You must remember to return to the middle after hitting a shot. The same goes for you. I noticed you stayed stationary after a clear. What if someone returns it to the opposite corner? You can’t hope for your partner to get it. No matter the quality of your shot, you must be aware of where everything is on the court. Similarly, when she hits a net shot, she cannot stay put, because the she still has to cover the other side. Right, I must return to the middle. You donít have to return to that spot necessary. But, you should lean in that direction. the general idea is you must follow the shuttle. If itís on the left, you can stand slightly left etcÖ You MUST follow the shuttle. Right, very good! Careful! Try not to use backhand in the back. OK, thatís pretty much it for front-and-back formation. Remember some backhands are ok, but use around-the-head shots whenever possible. Also, try not to clear. I still have the problem with my backhand net shots I can help you with that individually Pretty good. Ok, with these shots, try not to ìsweepî it out. It won’t have any speed Very good! Who says you can’t? Very good, and very quick. Therefore, very threatening. Letís try another. Relax. Any questions? Wow, thatís a lot easier! No more questions. The only problem is the transition between grips. You will just have to practice this. No one can do it right off the bat. Thank you very much. I have another question: When sheís receiving a serve, the opponent serves long and forces her backÖ That is a matter of personal ability. Some professional players can push it down. However, some serves are just too good, and you will have to clear it. After you clear it, you must enter the side-by-side formation and remember what we just learnt. Make sure you clear deep and high. After she clears it, her area is now here. She should not trek all the way back to the front So after I clear, I move slightly forward Exactly. What if the opponent clears again to her, even deeper? Then that will be less awkward than before. Because she is already at mid court, her return can be an attack. In this situation, should I get it, or should he back up and get it? I believe if the clear is in the center, the man should get it. If it is obviously on her side, she should get it. You must trust her; otherwise, you will tire yourself out. Let her smash or drop the shuttle. Then she can return to the front. Meanwhile, you retreat toward the back and everyone is comfortable again. You can even do a point drop or point smash if a drop is too slow. When approaching the net, your message should be ìDonít drop it back, or Iím going to kill it!î Then they will lift it. Should I have come up then? Yes, thatís right. Thatís the theory, now you have to work on execution quality. Your drop is key; the higher the quality, the higher the opponent will lift the shuttle. Move forward more, youíre standing too far back. Closer. How else can I trick you then? Good. Move back to the front faster; that was a bit slow. Now Iím going to serve short instead of long. Ok. Letís start. Move back faster! Thatís right, very good! Another thing to remember is whenever Iím about to hit, never move. No matter where you are on the court, donít move. Use your intuition to return the next shot. (laughs) Iím starting to be afraid of standing so forward. Donít worry. Donít stand so far back. In that case, I wouldnít serve long, would I? Get ready! Thatís right. Very good! The key is to return to your original position quickly, or you two will be stuck together. If you still feel uncomfortable, clear it again. Clear it another time if need be. Ok Thereís nothing to be afraid of Alright. (laughs) Ok, those are the main points. However I must remind of you one thing: you must communicate with your partners CLEARLY. As soon as you move, he/she should know what you are going to do. You have to quick. You both must thoroughly understand the other. If he has a great smash, your job is equally as important. Once you create smash opportunities for him, he can unleash his skills. If you keep lifting it, whatís he going to smash? So this is an issue of complementing each other. You must work with and study one other. The key to a fun game is being able to exhibit your skills Even if you lose the game, if you are able to give it everything you have, you will still have fun, right? Thank you very much Youíre welcome. The pleasure was all mine.