Chasses are another option for moving to the net. They only work in certain circumstances, but sometimes they are the best option.
Let’s say you just played a net shot in singles. You should recover a short distance from the net, so that you are ready to reach both net shots and lifts.
When your opponent plays a net shot back at you, this is an ideal time to use a chasse. A chasse works well because the distance is short and you must cover it quickly and on balance.
Throughout the whole chasse, you can maintain good posture and balance. This is an advantage of the chasse movement.
The chasse should end on a lunge, with the foot pointing in the direction of travel. This helps your stop effectively, and protects you from injury.
Why not use running steps instead?
Using running steps here would be very awkward, as you’re already too close to the shuttle. Running steps can cause several problems here:
- Being unbalanced when you are hitting
- Taking the shuttle late
- Hitting from a cramped position
- Being unable to recover for the next shot
Foot positions before the chasse
Before making the chasse, your feet must be lined up in roughly the same direction as you want to travel. If your feet are lined up in completely the wrong way, it will not be possible to chasse.
However, the feet should not be lined up exactly in the direction of the net corner. That would be too committing: you will have trouble covering the rearcourt. Instead, the feet can be lined up a bit less diagonally, so that you are more ready to move backwards (especially to the straight lift).
This is most obvious on the backhand side, where lining up your feet diagonally will leave you feeling very exposed, with your body turned away from the net.
Using a turning chasse
So now we come to a subtlety of the movement. It is possible to chasse when your feet are not lined up perfectly. This movement is a turning chasse. You start moving in the direction your feet are lined up, and then adjust the direction as you lunge with the racket foot.
Even this small change in direction makes the chasse more difficult to learn; so at first, you may be better of practising with your feet lined up exactly in the direction of travel. And you’ll probably find the forehand side easier than the backhand, so start there.
Once you can do that okay, try the turning chasse. Again, it’s probably a bit easier on the forehand. If you can develop this skill, it will help you use chasses more often.