Singles: Controlling the net?

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by om patel, Aug 27, 2022.

  1. om patel

    om patel Regular Member

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    Hearing Controlling the net is very important in singles , anyone have any youtube videos explaining how to do so , what to do … tactics and technics ?? All i see is Net play and stuff.
     
  2. BadmintonDave

    BadmintonDave Regular Member

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    Tobias Wadenka is your man.

    His recent videos about singles tactics are what you want (youtube)
     
  3. om patel

    om patel Regular Member

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    Seen them ( i actually religiously watch all the badminton youtube channels none of them are untouched as well as watch LIVE badminton streams of local tournaments around the world ). But im talking more of controlling the net all i see on YT is “net shots” not what controlling the net means and how to do so and strategies and tactics on how to control the net
     
  4. ralphz

    ralphz Regular Member

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    I have heard the term "control the net" in doubles. But I have not heard the term in singles , I'm not sure if anybody here has?

    I have played more doubles to than singles so I may be wrong..

    When I have heard the term used it has been in doubles and there you sometimes have the two partners in what is called an attacking position. The front one often only has to concern themselves with the net. And then they can really "control" it, or try to. 'cos they don't have to cover the rear court. (Sometimes the front player might take care of some area of the rear court so I'm not sure to what extent the term "controlling the net" applies there). But often the front player is just taking care of the front. And then they are certainly said to be controlling the net. Or at least that's what they should be doing or trying to do, if that's the only area they have to cover!

    In singles you certainly can't really dominate just half or eg just the front half of the badminton court.

    Who have you heard using the term and what was the context in which they used the term... Did they use the term outside of the context of doubles?
     
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  5. akatsuki2104

    akatsuki2104 Regular Member

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    I have heard Steen and Gill talking about it a couple of time. They refer to the fact that the player have the upper hand when playing at the net, meaning that the opposite side have to either lift (so giving the attack) or losing the point (getting killed).

    Players like Kento Momota who has (had) nice touch will seldom lose the advantage when approaching the net
     
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  6. om patel

    om patel Regular Member

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    I also heard both of them say it multiple times during singles matches the last few tournaments butnnever doubles . And who ever can “control the net” is always in the advantage. Youtube the word found nothing.
     
  7. SnowWhite

    SnowWhite Regular Member

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    Controlling the net simply means the player plays the net deliberately to their advantage and their opponents disadvantage.

    People can play clears forever, but extended net exchanges are much harder, because with every next shot, the players can play tighter and tighter netshots. After a few shots, you get very tight tumbling netshots, which are very difficult for the receiver to control. The receiver can take it high, while it is still tumbling (which makes it impossible to control the shot), and hope for the best. Or they can let it drop until it stops tumbling and hit a super risky has-to-be-perfect-hairpin-netshot, or hit a likely short lift.

    Playing those tumbling shots are therefore very rewarding for the singles players to play, and very punishing for the players to receive.

    This is why singles players often play drops, and "netshots" a little further into the court, just so the opponent can't play a return that's too tight.

    It also means that the player that has more touch, and is able to play a tight shot from further away, or from under more pressure, has a significant advantage over the game. Because not only is their opponent, when in a net exchange, forced to lift first (to avoid the situation described before) which gives the player the opportunity to attack. But also, because the opponent doesn't want to give the player the opportunity to play tight netshots, they will have to play their netshots and drops further into court, which effectively means the player has less court to cover.

    So the player that controls the net has more opportunities to score points, and he also has less court to defend. This effect can be very influential in the game and at the top level it is often the deciding factor.

    Besides these advantages of controlling the net, the opponent now suffers a dilemma, because if he cannot win points at the net, and he cannot force his opponent to play short lifts (with tight netshots), then how is he going to score points? There are other ways of course, but to play with this disadvantage is very limiting and oppressing. If the opponent can't win control of the net, and can't score points otherwise, he has lost control over the match. It is now the other player's match to lose.

    This is why Gill often comments that the netshot is the most important shot in men's singles, because it is the foundation of this dynamic. A good netshot can force a short lift, which leads to scoring points.

    Beginners and intermediates first learn to try and play shots that don't let the opponent smash, especially if the opponent has a strong smash. At a certain level, playing a shot that allows the opponent to play a tight netshot is as bad as playing into the opponents strong smash. This is why there are almost no slow drops at the highest level of men's singles, because that's just asking for it.

    Note that this isn't the whole story of men's singles. There are situations where dominance over the net doesn't affect the outcome of a match at all. For example, if the player that controls the net doesn't have the ability to score points from the backcourt, and his opponent can outlast him in rallies, his opponent can simply keep play away from the net with lifts and clears, and only play drops himself when the player is far enough away that he doesn't pose an immediate threat at the net.

    Often there isn't one player who controls the net, but rather, both try and 'fight' for control of the net. And control of the net in this context is not an objective ability. You can ask a player, "can you play a backhand reverse slice dropshot?" and the answer will either be yes, or no. But if you ask them, "can you control the net", they can't say yes or no, because it depends on their opponent as well. Controlling the net is not a technique, it is a dynamic, and it depends on which player in any given match has the better ability.
     
  8. om patel

    om patel Regular Member

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    Thank you!
     
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  9. BadmintonDave

    BadmintonDave Regular Member

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    Post #7 has it spot on.

    It means one player (or team) are more likely to score a point if the shuttle goes in that area of the court. Or one side plays weaker shots when put into that situation. So the side producing weaker shots know not to put the shuttle there.
     
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