Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Defensive Badminton Strategies: Punch Clear

Welcome to another lesson in badminton strategies. I've read some of the stuff on the internet, tried them out and added my little touch to it for your perusal. I've even added in names to make them easier to remember!

This is part three of the Badminton Strategies segment. It'll be 6 parts in all, sans the overview.

If you read the overview you'll understand that I term Defensive Strategies as a way to really drag the game on and make the opponent give you the points through unforced errors or sheer impatience.

Not to say that this mode of playing isn't fun! When you've got control of both your opponent's mind and physique, it gets really interesting.

Today we'll touch on one of those brainless, but strangely wise, strategies - the Punch Clear.

Taking into account the triangle principle that I've covered briefly in the previous strategies articles, the Punch Clear employs the almost exclusive use of back-court clears to move your opponent.

For this to happen, you'll firstly need to be able to send the shuttle accurately to the left or right of the court without giving the point away either with a short clear or by rocketing the shuttle out of the court.

There are two kinds of clears that we'll touch on for the Punch Clear - the Flat Clear and the High Clear.

High Clear - use this to buy you some time to recover to the middle when you've been caught in a fix by a good back-court smash. Once you've got the hang of the game, however, the high clear is used to deceive the opponent in thinking that the shuttle's outward-bound. It sounds risky, but trust me it'll come easy once you've got the right feel.

Flat Clear - this higher-risk move takes your shot into the offensive, used to force faster movement from the opponent in order to reach the shuttle in time. This kind of clear is just out of reach of check smash interception and travels at a considerably faster speed than the lather.

Take note however, that because of the straighter trajectory, the shuttle tends to lose control and sail out more often.

Now that you've got a little knowledge of the two kinds of clears that we'll use in the Punch Clear, how do you use them?

Easy! Use High Clears to tempt the smash or establish a rhythm, use Flat Clears to move the opponent and create a little pressure. Left, right, left, right, right, right, left, left, right, left... you get the drift. Oh, and clear centre when in trouble.

Once your opponent gets bored of your ineffective offensive he'll start raining them smashes or playing the drop shots. Block with Defensive Roulette or punch more clears to the back court after the drop.

Trust me, he'll get bored and end up handing you the game. This strategy takes patience and very good judgement to keep the shuttle in play. Two things should go through the opponent's mind when they're at the mercy of the Punch Clear:

1. How come his shots are always inside the backlines?
2. Maybe I can smash this one down to win the point.

I'd recommend this strategy at the beginning the game to set a slower pace and to test the accuracy of your opponent. It'll be a nice way to hide your smashes and net shots too, what with you going in with nothing but clears.

Coming up next, Defensive Strategies - The Chisel.


Anonymous said...

Great article. Clear can be very offensive if one learn how to use it correctly. Drive it deep and fast into the far corner, if the opponent is slow (over-stretching), then one can position nearer to the net. Because the opponent is off position, there are only 2 possible hit: drop/cross-drop (for weak player) or high clear (to recover). By position nearer, one can tap if it is slow, or return it early to further pressure the opponent (cause him to rush back to lift for you to attack/smash). Strong player will try to neutralize the shot by hitting high, usually straight to baseline.

On the contrary, if one encounter opponent who use such offensive technique, it is best to position ourselves slight further from the center (you need to have good front-court movement), or anticipate and return the low clear early, or train your wrist and improve technique for rear court return.

Arthur said...

That's a great follow-up to article! One should adapt their stances and next move based on the tactics employed.

What's more important to know is how to break your opponent's tactic, as clearly demonstrated by the second part of your post :)