Thursday, 5 June 2014

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Mixed doubles. Part 1.

The first thing that we have to agree on in mixed doubles is that the male partner will normally be physically stronger and physically faster than his female partner. This results usually in the male having a harder and more penetrable smash and is able to cover the rear court easier than his partner.

If the female in a same level partnership can defend as well as her male partner and cover the rear court without being a weak link, then this pairing can play more like today’s top level players. Which means that a lot of the time they can play as a level pair, but still preferring the man smashing from the rear court while the lady covers the net area.

If we can agree that at this moment in time that 2 of the best female mixed players in the world are Gail Emms and Gao Ling, then ask yourself this question; are they famous for playing point winning smashes from the rear court or are they renowned for their net skills. There can only be 1 answer to that.

So I think it would be safe to say that generally whilst attacking most points are won with the lady at the net and the man covering the rear court . Allowing the man to play his bigger smash and the lady to use her skills to kill at the net.


Each member of the pair will be a hit player and a set up player at different points in rallies.
During attacks the man will normally be smashing and playing drop shots to either win the point outright or to at least get a weak reply to the net for his lady to kill.
The lady, either killing anything in her area or at least playing shots that will result in lifts for her partner to smash and the circle goes on.


As I mentioned previously if the lady’s defence is as good as her male partners then they can defend as a level pair, although this exposes the lady to punch clears which could put the pair in a weak position.

If we agree that the strongest formation in mixed doubles is the lady/front, man/back, then we should try to maintain this position as much as possible. Obviously it then follows that we should do our best to disrupt our opponents formation by pushing the female to the rear court where she should be less dangerous with her smash.

So at lower levels of play whilst defending we should adopt the formation of the lady covering the x court smash while the male covers the straight smash and any clears to the rear court, this will make it difficult for your opponent to push your lady back into the weaker formation. Obviously if you have to lift then it’s better if the man lifts straight and the lady lifts x court as this will maintain your formation.

Serving and receiving

There are so many variables in this area, far too many to mention here.

Basically 95% of serves should be a low service to the T, why do so many lower level players serve wide to the tramlines ?? Have you ever seen a pro player do that…. I haven’t.
The other service should be the occasional flick or drive to catch the receiver out, hoping for a weak reply.

When receiving your objective should always be to get the shuttle down below net height, whether that is with a fast tap down, a push into space or a flat hit to the rear court. But we must remember that we are trying to keep our formation, so when the man is receiving should he go all out to attack the shuttle, again this depends on the partnership. If the man attacks the service but his shot is retuned over his head is he able to get back in time to play an attacking shot ? If he can’t consistently do that then he should consider more shot placement which will allow him time to step back to cover the rear court and also allow his partner to cover any net returns and at the same time they keep their formation.

If the male feels that he can win a lot of points when receiving ( maybe because of a weak or nervous server) then he should tell his partner to stand behind him when he is receiving, so that if his shot is returned over his head she then can cover him, hopefully then she will play a shot that allows them to revert back to their formation. I.e. a straight smash or preferably a straight fast/slow drop, she should then rush straight forward to cover any net replies whilst her man can then go behind for any lifts. This keeps their formation allowing the man to be in position to smash therefore keeping the attack going.

This is enough for this part or it will be like reading a book. Sorry for the lack of images/diagrams as they would help.

I will do part 2 another day.

I would really appreciate any comments. I welcome any points agreeing or disagreeing with my thoughts so please don’t hesitate to comment.

Any questions are also welcome here or if you know me personally just call me or talk with me the next time we meet.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Philippines badminton

This blog is not meant to be a blog of my personal life but about badminton coaching and strategies, the next post is a bit of both.

I was invited to visit a badminton Academy south of Manila, Rey and his wife, friends that I met kindly drove me there from my condo in Makati. I met up with William & William Gabuelo, a father and son combination, along with Coach PJ they look after and coach many players in 2 different halls on Saturdays.

The first hall was Winners badminton, this is a 14 court hall with cafe, conference rooms, gym,studio and a hairdressers.... you can even have your car washed at the same time !!!
The facilities here was better than anywhere else in the UK even Badminton Englands HQ only has 8 courts. To say the least I was very impressed, the 2nd hall in Las Pinas was also large with I think 8 courts.
The Gabuelo Academy is obviously well organised and run, the junior players that I saw there any coach would be extremely pleased to have them in their squads. There was 2/3 under 11 players that if were in England would I'm sure be selected for the WCS program,they certainly would have had my recommendation, there was also other excellent players at 11 years old. I was allowed to work with some very good teenagers and if they continue to train under the Gabuelo Academy I'm sure will go on to bigger and better things.

There is also a high level of parental support which is essential for any serious badminton training program.

There is a badminton tournament in October which a lot of players will play in, I am looking forward to going there and watching, I want to see anyone that beats some of these players because if they do they will have to be very good.
Philippines badminton, in this area anyway is looking very healthy and good for the future.

Thanks to all for a most enjoyable day.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

first 3 shots

I played with a player tonight that when he received service he simply always lifted the shuttle high to the rearcourt for our opponant to smash it..... he did this every time and mostly we lost the point due to this, even when I respectfully mentioned this he still did the same thing.... whatever happened to learning from your mistakes !!!!

Anyway to get back to the subject, in around 1992 a survey was done in the UK with national players, I think it was also done worldwide, The survey showed that the average rally was............. 3 shots only !!!! Hard to believe as you have so many rallies that last 10 or 20 shots but then we also have serves into the net (1 shot) serves that fall short of the service line or go out past the rearcourt service line (1 shot) or sometimes you serve and your opponant kills it (2 shots) these tend to bring down the average amount of shots in a rally.

This is why the first 3 shots are so important.
1, The service
2, The service return
3. The reply to the service return.

These 3 shots should be when you look to get the advantage, i.e to get your opponant to lift so you can attack.
The service should be tight to the net and start to fall as it passes the net to minimise your opponants attack.
When receiving you should be looking to attack the shuttle as early as possible to hit down or at least avoid the lift by hitting flat or a tight net reply.
The 3rd shot should be the same, look to attack the service return as early as possible to avoid any sort of lift.
This cat and mouse situation is the basis of most services, vying for the advantage and never give it away as easily as the partner that I mentioned at the begining.

Master the first 3 shots in a rally and you will be on your way to becoming a better player.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

I played badminton !!!!

Well as everyone knows I don't play as much these days...mostly just coach. I wanted to hit some shuttles as I was getting restless but don't know anyone so I visited a club called Ultimate Impact for queueing, I didn't really want to play games, I just wanted to hit some shuttles but had no choice. The heat and humidity is so baaaad !! I was perspiring before I went on court !! Anyway after the first game I am graded as level "B"...... hey I'm 53,overweight and don't play much these days..... give me a break !! :-)

The organization was excellent, Michelle, Sheila and Leo were the 3 that I met, very friendly and helpful organizers, they make sure that you get a level match, your name is called out over the loudspeakers when it's your turn to play, much more professional than in the UK.

The courts are fine and they have an equipment kiosk where you can buy rackets, shuttles clothing etc, it's run by a friendly and helpful guy, I've had my rackets strung by him and he done a good job and he done it there and then !!

Anyway it was ok as all the people there were very friendly and nice. Over here when it's your turn to play you play 2 games back to back, after the first game I was breathing soooooo hard and perspiring so much you would have thought that I had just been swimming. I played 8 games and only lost 2 so not too bad for a fat old guy !! :-)

I played with some other A/B players, surprisingly most of then did some unusual things when serving.... they would serve a semi high serve and allow their opponent to smash !!!!! I couldn't believe it ... can anyone imagine what I would say if any of you did that..... there's 3 main serves in doubles, low serve (90% of the time) the flick serve (10% of the time) and the occasional drive serve..... but a serve that is aimed for you to smash !!!!....... NO WAY !!
Though in saying that the shuttles were so slow that it was hard to smash through anyone's defence from anywhere near the rearcourt which made for longer rallies.

As the shuttles were very slow this made the games into 3/4 court play which helped me as I am old and slow. It was difficult to play a normal clear from baseline to baseline as the shuttle's were so slow, when I did manage to clear well, it usually went out. At home we can hit a clear that falls vertically very steep on the baseline, that is difficult here probably because of the heat and shuttles they use. Because of that they are not used to hitting a vertically falling shuttle, I tested and proved this as I played a high singles type serve to a few good players and mostly they found it difficult to hit the shuttle well.

I found it difficult to watch the games there as I am usually coaching at home when watching players play, I would see players doing this and that wrong and wanted to say something but couldn't, so for once I had to keep my mouth shut..... I can hear some of you saying.... yippee !

It's a shame as there were some good players there but they were doing some simple things badly. They could all do with some footwork training and positional play, also how and when to rotate to keep the attack. Maybe if I get to know some of them I could help them.

All in all it was a nice friendly place to be and I will go back again, I will have to put my old body through it all again.... wish I was 23 again !!!!!

Monday, 13 August 2007

My visit to the Philippines

I am preparing for my visit to the Phils this September; I am staying there for over 7 months. I am looking to base myself in Manila but I also want to travel around to other places too.

I am hoping to find 4/6/8 badminton players that I can coach regularly. I hope to find some youngish B,C or maybe even D level players that want to become "A" level standard. Of course they must be prepared to work very hard to achieve their goal.
I am looking for a place that has at least 4 courts and no resident coach as I don't want to step on anyone’s toes.
I am a bit worried about "Filipino" time, I must have players that will be punctual as you can't have players wandering in to join training whenever they like. I am unsure how to deal with this, I will give the players my respect by always being there on time and helping them as much as I possibly can, by the same token I expect them to reciprocate.

We shall see.................

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Quiet time for badminton

The playing season is over, even the training sessions finished last week. My first Saturday... free from badminton......... really looked forward to it.......... ended up doing a private one to one 2 hour session !!!!!
I enjoyed it but am still looking forward to this Saturday so that I can have a badminton free day.

What shall I do ?? I will probably end up watching some badminton videos to analyse. Or maybe even pop into town to buy some more badminton shirts. But at least I will be on my own without a stopwatch/racket/20 shuttles in my hands.

So yes I am looking forward to my badminton free weekend !!!!!