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NextLevel
09-28-2016, 05:55 PM
While people want more and more spin on their serves, the truth is that when you have spin, there are advantages to making the serve have less spin than it does as people mostly want to borrow your spin when the spin is very heavy.

Here are some good videos that discuss in some detail what the technique for reducing spin on your serves is. This technique draws errors mostly on backspin and side backspin serves.

Do remember though that these variations are only effective if you already have heavy spin serves as light spin tends to be overpowered by fast racket head speed that generates spin with good margin. Therefore, it is the contrast between the heavy spin (which the opponent will have to adapt to) and the light spin (which ideally, the opponent would go through but will not because he expects more spin on the ball than there is) that makes the difference.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnwhP4hs6pY


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfmc9YjYfSY


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWpB0HlPXuA

OldschoolPenholder
09-28-2016, 06:09 PM
Thank you NL!

Der_Echte
09-28-2016, 06:10 PM
I like it that NL emphasizes having and showing heavy serves first to setup the contrast of spin when you pull out the carpet for a no spinner.

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Der_Echte
09-28-2016, 06:10 PM
Very few players point this out first.

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Archosaurus
09-28-2016, 06:27 PM
Now we wait for the beginner crowd to chime in and ask why the hell someone would want to serve light spin.

Wait a minute, I'm most likely to be in said beginner crowd. :rolleyes:

Suga D
09-28-2016, 07:08 PM
While people want more and more spin on their serves, the truth is that when you have spin, there are advantages to making the serve have less spin than it does as people mostly want to borrow your spin when the spin is very heavy.

Here are some good videos that discuss in some detail what the technique for reducing spin on your serves is. This technique draws errors mostly on backspin and side backspin serves.

Do remember though that these variations are only effective if you already have heavy spin serves as light spin tends to be overpowered by fast racket head speed that generates spin with good margin. Therefore, it is the contrast between the heavy spin (which the opponent will have to adapt to) and the light spin (which ideally, the opponent would go through but will not because he expects more spin on the ball than there is) that makes the difference.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnwhP4hs6pY


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfmc9YjYfSY


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWpB0HlPXuA

Good point, NL.

I would like to add, that it could be helpful if one can "disguise" the amount of imparted spin.

See, if one makes it too obvious, it's most likely that the serve will get slapped (depends on opponent's strength). So it can be quite helpful if the motions of heavy spin and light spin mostly look the same to cause an easy pop up and be able to kill that ball.

OldschoolPenholder
09-28-2016, 07:12 PM
LOL - maybe not you, but me definitely! I don't know how to serve no spin!


Now we wait for the beginner crowd to chime in and ask why the hell someone would want to serve light spin.

Wait a minute, I'm most likely to be in said beginner crowd. :rolleyes:

OldschoolPenholder
09-28-2016, 07:12 PM
So it can be quite helpful if the motions of heavy spin and light spin mostly look the same to cause an easy pop up and be able to kill that ball.

This is what i need to work on.

Archosaurus
09-28-2016, 07:18 PM
LOL - maybe not you, but me definitely! I don't know how to serve no spin!

It's actually quite hard to serve a good no-spin and make the motion look like it's not.


Anyone can serve no-spin, and it's the killer serve at below 1000 USATT level. They're DAMN good at serving no-spin down there. However I think you can see the issue.

Suga D
09-28-2016, 07:28 PM
It's actually quite hard to serve a good no-spin and make the motion look like it's not.



Well mostly it's a matter of practice and not so much of theory...
[Emoji12]

Thomas Keinath is really good at this (disguising the amount of imparted spin).

Last time he was coaching at our club, he even made guys miss whose ratings would be translated to around 2000 USATT.
One really needs a sharp eye and mind to be aware what's actually happening...

NextLevel
09-28-2016, 08:19 PM
LOL - maybe not you, but me definitely! I don't know how to serve no spin!

Yes, you do. Initially, when you want to fake, it takes some practice because people can't believe that they need to control the ball and hit it flat. I used to serve with much more backspin on my serve than necessary until I started hitting the ball softly with my whipping motion. When you serve long, unless your serves kick a lot, no spin is not going to be as effective against someone who loops long serves and reads the deceleration. But for people who block or people who loop with light spin like kids, it helps a lot.

OldschoolPenholder
09-28-2016, 09:11 PM
NL,

I can serve what i think is a fast no spin serve from a FH pendulum motion but i don't think it's deceptive enough. But thinking about it, as the ball goes forward, is that technically topspin? Anyway, against lower-level partners, the speed and placement surprises them, against higher-level partners, i may get them 1x with it.

My guess is it will take a while to disguise it and integrate into my fh pendulum motion. Will need to experiment and report back.

Thank you!

NextLevel
09-28-2016, 09:20 PM
NL,

I can serve what i think is a fast no spin serve from a FH pendulum motion but i don't think it's deceptive enough. But thinking about it, as the ball goes forward, is that technically topspin? Anyway, against lower-level partners, the speed and placement surprises them, against higher-level partners, i may get them 1x with it.

My guess is it will take a while to disguise it and integrate into my fh pendulum motion. Will need to experiment and report back.

Thank you!

IT sometimes becomes light topspin, but the problem is that long serves are long and loopable. You need to serve that into the elbow or somewhere the person will just block - if the person gets a looping stroke on that ball, your counterloop or block had better be set.

On the other hand, people used to returning spin serves are sometimes lost when it comes to no spin serves. I remember one girl who just couldn't serve with spin and around that time (I am thinking late 2013), I started to serve with spin so I began to appreciated no spin. Initially, I was sending her serves into the sky for easy attacks but I later adjusted and started touching her balls flat and she didn't know what to do with them either!

Baal
09-28-2016, 10:38 PM
Let me add a closely related trick. On very low and short serves make sure the ball moves very slowly through the air. Low and slow. I have noticed that this reduces the margin of error the returner has to judge spin correctly. So relatively small spin variations have larger effects on the opponent. And for example, opponent will frequently put a return into the net that is not in any way loaded, or will pop the return. I am sure there is some physics behind this. Not sure I care what it is, only it works well, especially if you also have some fast deep serves to mix in.

Make sure when you do this that the balls stays low. If it isn't and it gets too long, you are toast.

Archosaurus
09-28-2016, 10:43 PM
Let me add a closely related trick. On very low and short serves make sure the ball moves very slowly through the air. Low and slow. I have noticed that this reduces the margin of error the returner has to judge spin correctly. So relatively small spin variations have larger effects on the opponent. And for example, opponent will frequently put a return into the net that is not in any way loaded, or will pop the return. I am sure there is some physics behind this. Not sure I care what it is, only it works well, especially if you also have some fast deep serves to mix in.

Make sure when you do this that the balls stays low. If it isn't and it gets too long, you are toast.

Wow. I do this against much lower players, just to give them something that looks easy because it's slow, and most of the time they're kinda high too, but they always get netted. Even if they're very light. I honestly always expect a pretty strong return.

I thought it was just low skill players not knowing how to return backspin at all. You've really seen this work at a decent level?

songdavid98
09-28-2016, 11:32 PM
Now we wait for the beginner crowd to chime in and ask why the hell someone would want to serve light spin.

Wait a minute, I'm most likely to be in said beginner crowd. :rolleyes:


I use to think no spin was useless. Now, I get why it has a little use, but I still think it's not that useful. It's only okay for variation purposes.
You're basically taking advantage of a weakness that lower level players have, and it's that they
1) can't read spin
2) can't deal with short no spin

******************
For lower level play: sure, go for it, and have a field day.
For medium level play: sure, go for it, and have a field day. Just be a little careful.



For higher level play:
My reasoning is that serving short no spin gives your opponent many different options to deal with the ball.

A lot of serve and attack gameplay relies on patterns and predictions. Against a good player who can deal with no spin in multiple different ways, serving no spin pretty much gives your opponent an option to do whatever they want to the ball, whether it is drop it short, push long, flip it, or do crazy sidespin stuff to the ball. And not only that, since the serve doesn't have much spin, it is easier for the opponent to control the ball and hit wider angles.

In general, giving your opponent options is a very bad idea. When we serve and attack, we try to force the opponent into making shots that we expect and are familiar with.

When we serve short underspin, we generally see one of two things occurring
1) Drop shot
2) Long push

A third one would be flipping, but that isn't exactly a great idea unless you are godly because
1) It will either miss, or it won't be that aggressive. Against a good short underspin serve, it is hard to get a powerful, good quality flip. Also, it generally goes in the more dominant direction, so you can usually predict where it goes. If it goes in an awkward direction, the flip won't be as powerful anyways.
2) Someone who is prepared for a long push would also be prepared to counter the flip. I've done this consistently before, against someone with a strong flip (it was easier than trying to block it). Xu Xin is a good example of this.

When we serve short topspin/sidespin, we generally expect a flip.
When we serve long, we generally expect a loop.
Nothing very interesting in this area, except for counterattacking, which is very attention-grabbing.

However, when you serve short no spin:

1) It's easier to get a good quality flip in any direction you choose. That's my biggest reason.
2) The opponent can short push it (if they're good at it), and it won't have much spin. Very annoying. Not only that, it's easy to get wide angles.
3) It's is extremely easy to do a very fast long push, in whatever direction.

**The opponent can do all of this without worrying too much, since it is easier to control a no spin ball.


The whole point is that a no spin serve gives the opponent to do something unexpected, that would screw up your third ball attack.
I say this as someone who likes their third ball attack.

I do see that serving with less spin than usual can give you the chance to destroy your opponent and win the point, but it is a risk and really depends on how good the opponent is.

NextLevel
09-28-2016, 11:37 PM
I use to think no spin was useless. Now, I get why it has a little use, but I still think it's not that useful. It's only okay for variation purposes.
You're basically taking advantage of a weakness that lower level players have, and it's that they
1) can't read spin
2) can't deal with short no spin

******************
For lower level play: sure, go for it, and have a field day.
For medium level play: sure, go for it, and have a field day. Just be a little careful.



For higher level play:
My reasoning is that serving short no spin gives your opponent many different options to deal with the ball.

A lot of serve and attack gameplay relies on patterns and predictions. Against a good player who can deal with no spin in multiple different ways, serving no spin pretty much gives your opponent an option to do whatever they want to the ball, whether it is drop it short, push long, flip it, or do crazy sidespin stuff to the ball. And not only that, since the serve doesn't have much spin, it is easier for the opponent to control the ball and hit wider angles.

In general, giving your opponent options is a very bad idea. When we serve and attack, we try to force the opponent into making shots that we expect and are familiar with.

When we serve short underspin, we generally see one of two things occurring
1) Drop shot
2) Long push

A third one would be flipping, but that isn't exactly a great idea unless you are godly because
1) It will either miss, or it won't be that aggressive. Against a good short underspin serve, it is hard to get a powerful, good quality flip. Also, it generally goes in the more dominant direction, so you can usually predict where it goes. If it goes in an awkward direction, the flip won't be as powerful anyways.
2) Someone who is prepared for a long push would also be prepared to counter the flip. I've done this consistently before, against someone with a strong flip (it was easier than trying to block it). Xu Xin is a good example of this.

When we serve short topspin/sidespin, we generally expect a flip.
When we serve long, we generally expect a loop.
Nothing very interesting in this area, except for counterattacking, which is very attention-grabbing.

However, when you serve short no spin:

1) It's easier to get a good quality flip in any direction you choose. That's my biggest reason.
2) The opponent can short push it (if they're good at it), and it won't have much spin. Very annoying. Not only that, it's easy to get wide angles.
3) It's is extremely easy to do a very fast long push, in whatever direction.

**The opponent can do all of this without worrying too much, since it is easier to control a no spin ball.


The whole point is that a no spin serve gives the opponent to do something unexpected, that would screw up your third ball attack.
I say this as someone who likes their third ball attack.

I do see that serving with less spin than usual can give you the chance to destroy your opponent and win the point, but it is a risk and really depends on how good the opponent is.


Given that the most common serve at the highest levels is the no-spin serve, don't you think this sounds pretty uninformed? The key thing about no-spin is the height. If it is low, then it is hard for the opponent to be aggressive.

Archosaurus
09-28-2016, 11:38 PM
David, you see, the point is that you can disguise your serve well enough that they won't go "Aha, a no-spin serve, what a dummy!". It'll miss the point entirely if you tell them that you're serving an easy ball.

I'm not doubting your level of play at all, but if you can't really disguise serves, then I can see why you wouldn't find much value in having no-spin be one of your standard serve variations. I think it also has to do with the average and maximum amount of spin on your serves, as well.

songdavid98
09-28-2016, 11:39 PM
Given that the most common serve at the highest levels is the no-spin serve, don't you think this sounds pretty uninformed?

Can you give me sources?

NextLevel
09-28-2016, 11:39 PM
Can you give me sources?

http://butterflyonline.com/the-power-of-a-low-short-no-spin-serve/

songdavid98
09-28-2016, 11:40 PM
David, you see, the point is that you can disguise your serve well enough that they won't go "Aha, a no-spin serve, what a dummy!". It'll miss the point entirely if you tell them that you're serving an easy ball.

I'm not doubting your level of play at all, but if you can't really disguise serves, then I can see why you wouldn't find much value in having no-spin be one of your standard serve variations. I think it also has to do with the average and maximum amount of spin on your serves, as well.

I disguise my serves well enough. Many people can't read them

songdavid98
09-28-2016, 11:49 PM
http://butterflyonline.com/the-power-of-a-low-short-no-spin-serve/

Larry Hodges reasoning is that it is difficult to return. My reasoning is that it gives the opponent options

NextLevel
09-28-2016, 11:51 PM
Larry Hodges reasoning is that it is difficult to return. My reasoning is that it gives the opponent options

But none of the options are as strong as they would be vs the spin serves they are designed for. In any case, you have given your opinion and I respect it. Zhang Jike almost never serves corkscrew serves and Ma Long almost never serves reverse pendulum. People are successful with different approaches to serves in this game.

Archosaurus
09-29-2016, 12:07 AM
Well, perhaps the reason no-spin is so popular on the very high levels is because there isn't even a question of "less options" there: everyone can do whatever the hell they want with the ball for the most part.

For amateur level players, maybe our views are coming from a fundamentally different world, and we would rather limit people's options because they can be limited to a great degree.

songdavid98
09-29-2016, 12:20 AM
Well, perhaps the reason no-spin is so popular on the very high levels is because there isn't even a question of "less options" there: everyone can do whatever the hell they want with the ball for the most part.

For amateur level players, maybe our views are coming from a fundamentally different world, and we would rather limit people's options because they can be limited to a great degree.

I thought about that a little. But difficulty can be overcome with practice. Players can just train against it.

I think it just comes down to the weakness and strengths of different types of serves and whichever serves fit you better.
There's reason why players use different kinds of serves, and not just one serve: everything has strengths and weaknesses

Archosaurus
09-29-2016, 12:30 AM
I thought about that a little. But difficulty can be overcome with practice. Players can just train against it.

I think it just comes down to the weakness and strengths of different types of serves and whichever serves fit you better.
I don't understand how your first statement relates to mine. Surely it's a given that people can get better at reading and receiving well hidden no-spin, but what's your point?

songdavid98
09-29-2016, 12:34 AM
I don't understand how your first statement relates to mine. Surely it's a given that people can get better at reading and receiving well hidden no-spin, but what's your point?

Ah, then let me clarify.

Larry Hodges's reasoning was that it is difficult to make a good quality return.

And then you stated that professionals players probably are good enough to handle the many possible options and can do whatever they want anyways. That implies that professionals players would rather simply give a difficult ball to the opponent rather than try limiting their options.

And then I said that, players can just train to learn to deal with the difficult ball.

Archosaurus
09-29-2016, 12:44 AM
Ah, then let me clarify.

Larry Hodges's reasoning was that it is difficult to make a good quality return.

And then you stated that professionals players probably are good enough to handle the many possible options and can do whatever they want anyways. That implies that professionals players would rather simply give a difficult ball to the opponent rather than try limiting their options.

And then I said that, players can just train to learn to deal with the difficult ball.
Yes.

Players at a very high level are well accustomed to dealing with all kinds of spin. However no-spin is a very strong tactical tool because it can help you gain your own initiative, or hit a winner directly if you play enough mind games.

If you serve heavy backspin, very high level players have very good answers to it. If you serve heavy topspin, very high level players have very good answers to it.

However, no-spin can't really get any more "no-spinnier" and it has a set of clear restrictions placed on the receiver. If I've understood correctly, you cannot "borrow" power and spin from a no-spin ball.


Because you cannot limit very good players' options just by serving a heavy spin to them, you limit what they can do with what they're given. If there's not much to grab on, there's not much they can grab hold of.


Now, of course, it's not so simple as "Serve no-spin and win!" because as you said, while there's heavy restrictions on how much spin you can apply or how you can redirect the ball's energy, you can do a lot of things with no-spin because there is no spin to counter. If you just serve predictable no-spin, it will get attacked pretty hard, won't it?

And that's where all the mind games and whatnot comes in.


Now, of course, what the hell do I know about high level play? So understand where I'm coming from. This is just the theory I know: maybe you have different experiences.

suds79
09-29-2016, 01:01 AM
Brett Clarke is the best. I love his videos and his view points on service.

I have for a while now had pretty spiny serves but as I have been video taping my service from a receiver's prospective, I have noticed that my serves are far too visible. The ball is clearly away from my body.

Thus I have been really trying to focus on Brett's elbow trick and during the toss I think, Keep that head of the blade almost touching my ribs throughout the entire process. If my toss is perfect and the ball comes right to that spot? Great. If it's a little far out, I move to the ball. Either way, I'm almost for sure contacting the ball right next to my body. My goal is that borderline illegal serve as far as visible. Key word being borderline.

I think it is helping but I need more footage to confirm.

On a side note, I have recently adopted the no-spin variation motion that looks a lot like my backspin variation. As Brett suggest, I try to contact the ball essentially next to my hand where the blade isn't rotating nearly as fast. I've found it to be pretty useful.

Der_Echte
09-29-2016, 01:25 AM
I disguise my serves well enough. Many people can't read them
David, I plan on meeting the Goon Squad at Korean Flushing club this Sat 7 pm. Let's practice serves!

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Der_Echte
09-29-2016, 01:26 AM
My under spin serve is real heavy with a short motion. My no spin variation is really my best serve.

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Baal
09-29-2016, 02:24 AM
To Archo re slow serves, Last Sunday a US team member netted two of these when I served them to him.

Baal
09-29-2016, 02:31 AM
One guy who had the most ridiulously well-disguised "no spin" seve was Ma Lin. Somewhere there is a video of him playing Adrian Crissan who was around 30 in the world at the time. Crissan popped up almost every one of them. Something Eric Owens always reminded me though is its not supposed to be no spin. He said to think of it as heavy spin and lighter spin from the same motion. The light spin has to have enough spin that it kind of flies through the air like the heavy one (and the label is hard to see). That is where the deception comes from. If its too dead it is easy for opponent.

NextLevel
09-29-2016, 06:03 AM
One guy who had the most ridiulously well-disguised "no spin" seve was Ma Lin. Somewhere there is a video of him playing Adrian Crissan who was around 30 in the world at the time. Crissan popped up almost every one of them. Something Eric Owens always reminded me though is its not supposed to be no spin. He said to think of it as heavy spin and lighter spin from the same motion. The light spin has to have enough spin that it kind of flies through the air like the heavy one (and the label is hard to see). That is where the deception comes from. If its too dead it is easy for opponent.

The instruction I got from Brett was different, but there are always different approaches to serving.

songdavid98
09-29-2016, 06:51 AM
David, I plan on meeting the Goon Squad at Korean Flushing club this Sat 7 pm. Let's practice serves!

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

I have to go to a wedding this Saturday. So I can't.

Archosaurus
09-29-2016, 09:03 AM
To Archo re slow serves, Last Sunday a US team member netted two of these when I served them to him.
Wow. I guess if you can go and make that kind of serve real low it's a big problem.

At my level, people net those even if they're a cm or two too high, it's pretty comical.

@Baal

Isn't that a little bit like NL's method of light spin? His heavy serve is damn heavy, so his light spin can actually be respectably heavy too. So people will adapt to the heavy spin, and then you just need a lot less spin: it doesn't matter if it's still heavy or not. I imagine it's better if you go from "damn heavy" to "still kinda heavy" and achieve the same effect. You can't just stare at the ball, then.

strangeloop
09-29-2016, 09:52 AM
Do remember though that these variations are only effective if you already have heavy spin serves ...

I got disqualified right there! :)

Ilia Minkin
09-29-2016, 12:32 PM
I always wondered why so many people like no-spin serve. If it is a truely no-spin, the opponent can literally see the ball "sitting" in the air, with the label barely revolving in the air. If an amateur can do this, a pro can for sure.

I personally like sidespin and sidespin-backspin variation:

1) In both cases one can serve heavy spin with very similar swing, no need to reduce racket speed
2) In both cases the ball revolves in the air, it is impossible to see the label

Ilia Minkin
09-29-2016, 12:48 PM
I have a friend who serves nospin a lot. I do make mistakes against it, sometimes I think during the recieve like:

- The serve looks like backspin, let's see
- Hey, I can see the label it should be a nospin one
- Indeed, change your racket angle, change it!
- Oh shi....

bobpuls
09-29-2016, 02:12 PM
I love no spin serves a lot...... The bigest achievement here is good reading of spin. And most players have realy simple serves (but still with lot of rotation), but there are some players where decception in serves is brutal and you can only throw dice or try to overpower it. We have one of this guys in our club and this is crazy his movement and false movement are so fast......

NextLevel
09-29-2016, 02:22 PM
Wow. I guess if you can go and make that kind of serve real low it's a big problem.

At my level, people net those even if they're a cm or two too high, it's pretty comical.

@Baal

Isn't that a little bit like NL's method of light spin? His heavy serve is damn heavy, so his light spin can actually be respectably heavy too. So people will adapt to the heavy spin, and then you just need a lot less spin: it doesn't matter if it's still heavy or not. I imagine it's better if you go from "damn heavy" to "still kinda heavy" and achieve the same effect. You can't just stare at the ball, then.


If you have been reading what I wrote elsewhere, the light spin on the ball can still be used by good players to good effect. Brett actually got me to confirm that his no-spin serve was extremely light topspin by the time it got to me(as in the ball was rolling forward). This was his way of getting me to realize that I was supposed to hit the ball when serving no-spin, not spin it. Light backspin is something else and it can be effective, as I used to serve light backspin as my no-spin for a long time. The thing is that better players can push and flick that ball more easily because they can use that spin for friction. That's the point of no-spin - the lack of friction means you can do less with the ball unless you generate your own friction and the low short ball over the table reduces options for generating friction.

IF people are popping up your light backspin serves, that is fine. But I have had stronger opponents push my light backspin serves low and heavy and that was why I switched to serving real no-spin.

Archosaurus
09-29-2016, 02:29 PM
If you have been reading what I wrote elsewhere, the light spin on the ball can still be used by good players to good effect. Brett actually got me to confirm that his no-spin serve was extremely light topspin by the time it got to me(as in the ball was rolling forward). This was his way of getting me to realize that I was supposed to hit the ball when serving no-spin, not spin it. Light backspin is something else and it can be effective, as I used to serve light backspin as my no-spin for a long time. The thing is that better players can push and flick that ball more easily because they can use that spin for friction. That's the point of no-spin - the lack of friction means you can do less with the ball unless you generate your own friction and the low short ball over the table reduces options for generating friction.

IF people are popping up your light backspin serves, that is fine. But I have had stronger opponents push my light backspin serves low and heavy and that was why I switched to serving real no-spin.

That makes sense. Sometimes I get a really mean long inverted chop back my way when I serve light spin and I've done it myself after I learned that you can dig into light spin by chopping/pushing down with a more vertical bat.

Would they be less spinny if I serve no-spin, or would they just go off?

Baal
09-29-2016, 03:19 PM
Isn't that a little bit like NL's method of light spin? His heavy serve is damn heavy, so his light spin can actually be respectably heavy too. So people will adapt to the heavy spin, and then you just need a lot less spin: it doesn't matter if it's still heavy or not. I imagine it's better if you go from "damn heavy" to "still kinda heavy" and achieve the same effect. You can't just stare at the ball, then.

I thought it was NL was saying. It's just that some people call the light serve "no-spin" and but it can't really be no-spin, just more spin and less spin (or as bobpuls said more accurately, side-under or side). But the serves need to look as much possible identical to each other. Ma Lin did it better than anyone.

But NL is actually saying something else.

If I understand him correctly, NL says that the serve should be actually no-spin and that that utter lack of spin makes it hard for the opponent to do anything with it because there is no spin on the ball work with, even if opponent sees what it is. That seems like a good case for the very low and slow serve I mentioned earlier. If it's that dead, it has to be really low. I'm not sure I would personally ever have success intentionally serving actual no spin (then again, I haven't tried to do it intentionally to see if it works, I have actually consciously avoided doing it). But lots of people have serving tricks that work that I can't emulate or that I have never actually tried. One can always try something new to see if it works.

NL notes that from some motions you can get topspin also, depending on where you hit the ball on the blade. That would still be harder for opponent to read than complete no spin, but still not too hard to see because the ball moves through the air somewhat differently.

Edit added. There is a kind of zen-ish idea that I have been developing that by thinking just one thing you can actually make your body do complex things even though your mind if focusing on jsut one thing. It's as if by doing one thing more or less at the start you constrain your body's options and so you end up with a particular pattern. So I wonder now if NL's mental conception of a "no-spin" serve and my conception of a "very slow serve" are actually accomplishing the same serve? I actually make a conscious effort on the very slow ones to get some small spin variation in them, but the main thing is low and slow.

I have gotten that theory from the times a coach tells me just one little thing, but fundamentally important, and now everything clicks on a particular shot.

Der_Echte
09-29-2016, 09:15 PM
Ilia, there are a few ways to get a dead serve. You mentioned slowing down the bat. That is possible, but that is very easy for an opponent to see what the server is doing.

I advocate using the same serve motion, but open blade 30 to 45 degrees, start serve as normal, have loose grip on impact, and fully open / accelerate bat smoothly quickly immediately after impact. Also possible for secondary after motions.

I believe that way has a very good potential to sell the serve.

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NextLevel
09-29-2016, 09:37 PM
I thought it was NL was saying. It's just that some people call the light serve "no-spin" and but it can't really be no-spin, just more spin and less spin (or as bobpuls said more accurately, side-under or side). But the serves need to look as much possible identical to each other. Ma Lin did it better than anyone.

But NL is actually saying something else.

If I understand him correctly, NL says that the serve should be actually no-spin and that that utter lack of spin makes it hard for the opponent to do anything with it because there is no spin on the ball work with, even if opponent sees what it is. That seems like a good case for the very low and slow serve I mentioned earlier. If it's that dead, it has to be really low. I'm not sure I would personally ever have success intentionally serving actual no spin (then again, I haven't tried to do it intentionally to see if it works, I have actually consciously avoided doing it). But lots of people have serving tricks that work that I can't emulate or that I have never actually tried. One can always try something new to see if it works.

NL notes that from some motions you can get topspin also, depending on where you hit the ball on the blade. That would still be harder for opponent to read than complete no spin, but still not too hard to see because the ball moves through the air somewhat differently.

Edit added. There is a kind of zen-ish idea that I have been developing that by thinking just one thing you can actually make your body do complex things even though your mind if focusing on jsut one thing. It's as if by doing one thing more or less at the start you constrain your body's options and so you end up with a particular pattern. So I wonder now if NL's mental conception of a "no-spin" serve and my conception of a "very slow serve" are actually accomplishing the same serve? I actually make a conscious effort on the very slow ones to get some small spin variation in them, but the main thing is low and slow.

I have gotten that theory from the times a coach tells me just one little thing, but fundamentally important, and now everything clicks on a particular shot.

I am still working through my serving issues but in any case, part of what makes backspin and no spin effective on short fast serves (the double bounce short but almost half-long variety) is that most decisions to push short are made before the serve is done. So having a heavy backspin serve means that most opponents will come in to push the no-spin serve and if they see it at the last second, they still have an intention to fix and a shot to use to adjust. Even high level players don't always do this well. By the way, I am not saying that the ball is a topspin ball per se but that the ball does not even have to have a trace of backspin at any point when you hit it. I may be able to do some practice tonight. Of course, you can see it, but again, the sales job is the key and whether the person realizes it at contact or when they get to the ball.

As DerEchte said, and I fully agree as it is my philosophy, errors on serve is mostly for the lower players. For people at your level or higher, you just want to slow down their reactions to your serves so that they don't play too quickly for you to catch up and once you do that, any errors are icing on the cake. If you don't have any deceptive spins or placements, then your opponent is always playing fast on the return and you are always behind. Just making the opponent hesitate so they don't attack too fast is enough for me. In fact, there is a junior in my club against whom I would have no chance if not that he doesn't feel confident flipping my short backspin serve. That fact by itself opens up a lot of other things for me, but without that, I would probably consistently score less than 5 points in every game.

But I am going to experiment with the slower no-spin serve and see what it does.

gmiller2233
01-18-2017, 09:37 PM
I like this post. NL has mention this in different posts before I'm glad it's got its own dedicated post. After NL posted these sentiments some time ago I starting think about it more, since I was having a hard time attacking behind my own spin from time to time. and after I was worked over by veteran player that Placed surgical, short side back top and no spin serves followed up with third and 5 ball attacks all day on me i realized how effective this could be and I started focusing more on placement, deception, and spinning the ball much less on my primary serve. this has really helped my game in several ways. I found for me anyway Focusing less spin and a drastic arm snap meant I could place a more repeatable, predictable, consistent and well-placed serve, and because I limited some movement I feel like I can also focus on where I'm contacting ball and increasing deception (Underspin right to left, straight back, and back left to right, on the same repeatable swing), but most important thing is it's has helped quite a lot on 3 and 5 ball attacking, strategy, game play, I still need to improve, but i've become much more consistent and it is the place where my game has improved the most. my primary serve is still a underspin it's just not as spiny as I can make it. And when I do a spinner serve it's often good for a few easy points, at my level of competition anyway. Allso when playing someone that understands spin I just like having your opponent become comfortable with a certain expectation for spin and then changing that. My personal experience (both in having it done to me, and when I've been able to do it) Having to make Service return adjustments or even having to think about something new later in the match can be a benefit in providing options when you need them most.

regarding true no spin. Larry Hodges talked about using a no spin short serve(I think in his expert table tennis podcast) to the very center of the table as being a good under used strategy. This has been pretty effective strategy to work in as well. I see several of those balls get flipped long or come back week and Attackable.


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Suga D
01-18-2017, 11:56 PM
I've just got a tip from our coach for serving low a couple of days ago.
She said that to keep a serve low and hard attackable i should make sure the ball isn't on the rise anymore when it passes the net. This has very much to do with the placement of the first bounce.

For spin disguise changing the placement of the contact point on the bat is more deceiptive than changing serve motion or bat angle.
Her point is that I can create massive spin by contacting the ball on the center or actually a bit towards the edge and on the other hand can create very little spin by contacting the ball closer to the handle without having to change swing speed or racket angle, which makes it much harder to read than the other two options which are way more obvious.
Hope this was understandable and makes sense.

timgapinski1
02-23-2018, 12:09 PM
Interesting points. Thanks


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pingpongpaddy
07-07-2019, 11:27 PM
I use to think no spin was useless. Now, I get why it has a little use, but I still think it's not that useful. It's only okay for variation purposes.
You're basically taking advantage of a weakness that lower level players have, and it's that they
1) can't read spin
2) can't deal with short no spin

******************
For lower level play: sure, go for it, and have a field day.
For medium level play: sure, go for it, and have a field day. Just be a little careful.




For higher level play:
My reasoning is that serving short no spin gives your opponent many different options to deal with the ball.

A lot of serve and attack gameplay relies on patterns and predictions. Against a good player who can deal with no spin in multiple different ways, serving no spin pretty much gives your opponent an option to do whatever they want to the ball, whether it is drop it short, push long, flip it, or do crazy sidespin stuff to the ball. And not only that, since the serve doesn't have much spin, it is easier for the opponent to control the ball and hit wider angles.

In general, giving your opponent options is a very bad idea. When we serve and attack, we try to force the opponent into making shots that we expect and are familiar with.


I dont quite agree with the above. I think that all levels of players misread serves, to varying degrees. That is strong players may often know what the spin is, but they misjudge the amount. So imho the nospin serve is a valid serve at all levels. To expand a little, deceptive serving is an exercise in con man ship. To make no spin variations useful you probably need to acquire good strong chop serve. Once you get opponent to put a couple in the net, the mind games can begin.