Why Is The Simple Stuff So Hard To Do?

Simple Stuff

Let me give you another example…

Let’s look at the forehand clear. It’s a relatively simple shot although over 80% of average club players cannot execute the shot correctly. They get the result through force rather than technique. Over time, this is wearing on joints and typically when I normally find players contacting me with tennis elbow or shoulder injuries.

If a player considers they can hit a clear fairly consistently, do they continue training this shot or look to train other elements of their game? You’ve probably already guessed the answer. When I am asked whether I can hit a forehand clear, my response is “what are the conditions.” If you’re wondering what this reply means, then I’m delighted.

I know I hit a pretty good clear without over-extending myself in respect of the amount of energy I put into the shot. HOWEVER, if I was asked to move from centre line to deep forehand or backhand corner and hit a straight clear into the opposing corner box, and had to score 90/100, then I would fail. At the highest level in badminton, this would be expected of a player. I coach, rarely play, and therefore will be lacking in fitness to carry out the task set for me. Despite having a good technique, it would most-likely break down under the strain of exercise as muscle fatigue sets in.

If you recall, my thinking on hitting the clear was NOT to automatically say I could hit the shot but to question the conditions of the test. I already knew a difficult test would result in a specific outcome, despite having good technique and I’m reasonably fit.

An average player considers they can hit a shot if they play it reasonably well and the outcome is the shuttle has the right shape and lands near the baseline. However, I wonder what would happen to their so-called technique if the conditions were made more difficult and a smaller target set? Would their technique falter?


I could extend this article considerably on mindset and its application in training. However, that’s for another time. The lesson here is that regardless of whether you are on court playing or you’re still in the unfortunate position of being unable to play, you CAN improve your game by focussing on basics.

And, don’t let the lack of facilities hold you back, instead, check out my ‘At Home’ training videos: