|When 1 + 1 is bigger than 2|
I recently saw two unbelievable doubles games with my own eyes, and after these matches, I thought of a connection between these matches and the age old mathematical question: 1 + 1 =?
Okay, these matches happened between two pairs of players. Mr. A and Mr. B are on one side, while Mr. C and Mr. D are on the other. Mr. A and Mr. B have never paired with each other and they play only with their individual skills in a side by side formation. At the first part of the game, the AB pair was successful and built up a 13 to 5 lead, but suddenly, Mr. C and Mr. D noticed that Mr. B is significantly weaker than Mr. A, so they changed their strategy to attack only Mr. B. This strategy worked out very well. The CD pair was about to force a 20-20 tie and at the end won the game 22-20. This game demonstrated the offensive prowess of the CD pair.
At the beginning of the second game, Mr. A and Mr. B still retained their side by side formation while Mr. C and Mr. D stuck to their strategy of attacking Mr. B. The CD pair quickly jumped out to a 9 to 1 lead. Realizing that they were in trouble, the AB pair boldly changed to an offensive formation, with Mr. B in the front handling the net, and Mr. A handling everything else. Now the CD pair can only attack the much stronger Mr. A. The result: the AB pair held their opponents to only one point while they scored 20 to win the game 21-10, completing an amazing comeback victory.
In a badminton doubles game, two individual players have to work together as a team, so you can represent them as the mathematical addition of 1 + 1. After watching many professional and amateur competitions, I found there are five answers to this 1 + 1 question. (1) 1 + 1 < 1; (2) 1 +1 =1; (3) 1 < 1 + 1 < 2; (4) 1 + 1 = 2; (5) 1 + 1 > 2. For those who didn't understand, I'll explain in words. In the first case, the two players added together are actually less effective than the skills of one individual of the pair. In the second case, the two players are about as effective as the skills of one player. In the third case, the two players combined are more effective than one player, but not as effective as the combined skills of both players. In the fourth case the two players are about as effective as the sum of the skills of two players. In the final case, the pair has a level of effectiveness that surpasses both of their skills combined.
Obviously, the last case is the best case scenario for a doubles match. Most people would want to avoid the first three cases and at least be at the fourth case, and people have different opinions in how to achieve those levels of effectiveness. In my opinion, the most important thing in a doubles pairing is using the correct strategy that will allow both members of the team to use their skills to the fullest extent possible to give the team maximum power.
If a team consists of two players of very different skill levels, then this team should play like a mixed doubles pair and use the front and back formation. If the two teammates are of a similar skill level, then it's best for them to stand side by side.
In terms of shot selection in a doubles game, avoid hitting high shots (especially against opponents with good offensive capabilities) and use drops and drives to create opportunities. Try to intercept returning shot near the net and smash towards the middle of the sidelines for maximum effect.
There are a lot of factors that can determine the results of a doubles game. Of course, the individual skills of players who make up the team is important, but even more importantly is using the correct strategy, which will enable the team to play to at its very best and increase the chances of victory. If both members of the team can unleash their potential, then the case of 1 + 1 > 2 can come true.
Here are two last pieces of advice. Firstly try to nourish your doubles mentality, like covering for your partner etc. Secondly, you need to be enthusiastic and excited when playing which means that you'll have more fun and a mental advantage over your opponents.
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