Mixed Doubles Badminton- Some Tips And Techniques.

Badminton doubles is a game requiring synergy and active teamwork to persist and win. It's not about one's individual performance, insights, focus, and resilience. In mixed doubles- nay, in any doubles- you need to be 'hands in gloves' with your partner, even in terms of instincts. And this is a part that is somewhat difficult.. It does not just require shared practice, but also the same shared level of passion.

In fact, when there is a lack of practice or a gap in communication, it becomes tricky, where one or both partners may not enjoy the game at all. But unlike life, they can look for a more suitable partner and enjoy the thrills of the mixed doubles badminton. Even if you have a good partner, you might benefit from knowing some time tested mixed doubles techniques.

Of course, if one just wants some laughter and fun, they only need to know the basic rules. The rules of mixed doubles are the same as the rules for the level doubles- the Women’s and Men’s doubles. But if one wants to play it at a more competitive level, it is best that they understand the difference between the partners, and learn some of the strategies and techniques to exploit it.

In mixed doubles, the ladies, usually try and play within the front-court space. Her partner can then prowl the middle and back-court space. It is often presumed that the lady isn't as physically robust as the man. The individual muscle fiber being the same in terms of strength, men have a larger amount of them, which makes them a better candidate for playing the mid and the back-court area, from where the bird needs to be hit with more firepower. If the woman is as powerful or more powerful than the man in the back-court area, then a level doubles strategy can always be adopted. For further discussion purposes, we would assume that women are better players in the front-court area due to their light and supple muscle fibers which give them better reaction times. However, there are no hard and fast rules.

Known for her jump smashes, Arisa Higashino is a formidable player in XD.

As a beginner XD(Mixed Doubles) player, the woman should always be on their toes, (figuratively, not literally,) ready to intercept a weak return or jump to the net for a half-court push, or a net shot, and also be prepared to react promptly and swiftly at returning such shots from her opponents, maintaining the attack, or gaining it.

Now, let’s get this one straight- You are less likely to win a game of doubles when you’re in a defensive position all the time. This has been established by various studies. Sure, your opponents may make some mistakes when attacking, but as you get better at the game, you’ll find that the only way to do well in doubles is to have a liquidator's attack.

One cannot always be defensive and keep making lemonades while life throws lemons at them. Sometimes, to win, one needs to plan and take proactive and planned measures to seek sugar and water too, lest your lemonade should go sour.

Keep your attack persistent and do not give away opportunities to your opponents easily.

However, in the event of your team coming under the attack, shifting from attack to defense as quickly as possible ensures that both you and your partner are in the best position to block the incoming attack. Along with the mindset change, adopt a sideways configuration, and cover your ground.

Knowing these basic XD rules of lifting might help in times of distress.

  1. Lift high only if you must.

  2. If you must lift, lift it to the woman on the opposite side.

  3. If the man on the opposite side can intercept the lift, lift the shuttle on the same side as your man’s side.

Point 3 becomes particularly important, because it brings the man in your team under the rather lethal straight-smash, and the woman is restricted to the effects of a less dangerous cross-smash.

Now, coming back to playing from defense to offense - seize the initiative and get the attack at any cost. But not at the cost of unforced errors. It is a constant interplay between safety and adventure, which should be experienced.

Because of the statistical advantages of attacking play over defensive play, moving back into an attacking formation is of utmost importance. However, during a rally, you won’t always be in your most preferred position. This is where the shared practice and hand-in-glove instincts come in handy.

The game is at the end of the day, an exercise for you to play with all your heart, sync with your partner, understand and respect them and also to trust each other, leaving aside notions of equality and fairness. The beautiful game of mixed doubles gives both the genders a fair chance to play and enjoy the game. Everyone should play mixed doubles, especially the singles players. The woman player gets to improve her net game which might be very useful while playing stronger players. For the men, it’s a chance to learn some discipline. Finally, it is the equality and fairness of opportunity that makes the mixed doubles game so beautiful in my opinion. Because gender shouldn’t dictate your instincts.

Shreya Shikha is a student, pursuing her PGDM in Human Resource Management, from Xavier Institute of Social Service, Ranchi. She's currently in the first year of her course.In her free time, she loves to read fiction, write blogs and pursue sports - badminton and basketball - particularly.