Know the Court

I know I gave one player above a thousand career points or more. It had a strange origin. I taught badminton in PE classes. Soon, thinking myself a pretty good player, I encountered one Anand Jaggi, Professor of Economics. Anand was ranked 13th in the world of badminton. And was his “State Champion” in his native India.

Rarely did I get a point. He won the singles, doubles and mixed doubles state badminton championships, held annually at Duke University. And I soon noticed an “uncanny” ability he had. He never played the shuttle-cock when it would land out of bounds. It was “dropped” or let alone.

While my badminton ego suffered, I took this logic to my tennis team. We need to “learn the court”, or like Dr. Jaggi, not hit out of bounds points. We adopted this policy:

      1) In practice, if you have any doubt let it go and lets see if you are right


    2) In a match, with any doubt, go ahead and play it

Soon I could see our players use better and better judgement. We would occasionally let one drop in, but our percentage grew drastically.

The player that benefited most from this was Chai Navawongse, a Thai left-hander who came in on “everything”. Chai had played doubles with Pandorn Schriciphan, so he came in “with game”. Soon, however, I noticed he was playing anything close. There may be 10-20 points a match he played that would have been out. Some, way out.

I explained the “Jaggi” or “learn the court” theory. A bright youngster, and fine player, you could see the light click in his head. Before long he was close to Jaggi in judgement, rarely playing an out ball, simply pointing “out” with the left hand.

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