View Full Version : Consistency with forehand drive/topspin when training with partner

04-23-2017, 01:06 PM
I recently joined my local TT club and every week, we begin with forehand to forehand exercises with a partner. My partner usually struggles to return my forehands and their returns sometimes go into the net, even though I play what I believe is a drive stroke. This would seem like my partner's error, but when they train with other members, they have really consistent and fast-paced drives which last for ages. Any thoughts on improvement?

Thanks ;)

04-23-2017, 02:56 PM
I guess I'll ask the usual:

What is your playing level? How long have you been playing? Do you have any video of yourself playing?

These are helpful for the members here to help you.

04-23-2017, 03:41 PM
Maybe you are smashing the ball instead?

04-23-2017, 04:23 PM
While it is true that we can't really tell what is going on without seeing footage I have a few ideas.

It is likely that your stroke varies and your shots are not super consistent. And it is likely that the balls that go into the net are balls you hit with less spin or almost dead. With this you often have the less consistent counter-hitter's ball placement less consistent.

I would not say this is anyone's fault though. If your training partner was 1-2 levels better they would adjust to the random element in your FH counterhit and the balls would keep coming back to the same place.

I have a training partner who is close to my level in match play, but who has a lot of trouble with consistency in these kinds drills that don't really have much to do with what would happen in a match.

From my perspective, I have benefited greatly from his inconsistency in the kinds of drills you are talking about. And the result has been that, when I am hitting with someone whose control is all over the place, as their spin, speed and placement keeps changing, I see it and adjust to it. And I can put the ball back to almost the same place with the same pace and spin over and over in spite of how I have to adjust to each ball. And I can also just place the ball somewhere where he can't get it if I want to. So if he goes a bit too wide, I will frequently practice going around the net and aiming for the white paint at the BH corner! [emoji2]

So, in a way, you may be doing these training partners a favor even if they don't quite realize it.

And in a match, you will never have a player trying to hit TO you and you won't be trying to hit the ball in a way to make your opponent have an easier shot.

So don't worry about this too much. As you get better, that control may come. But it also may not. I know guys who are decently high level who can't do that kind of drill at all and wouldn't do it even if they could.

I like doing them for two reasons:

1) They are meditative and relaxing. I have gone over 20 min on one ball with both BH and FH. But it really does not translate to game skills.

2) I like controlled placement. So for me it is also about being able to place the All exactly where I want while grooving the stroke.

But drills that have a random element in them are actually better for devolving skillz that translate into match play:

Watch this video. It is worth it:


Sent from The Subterranean Workshop by Telepathy

04-23-2017, 06:13 PM
Sounds to me like OP is just a little below the level of OP's training partners and thus isn't giving back a consistent ball.

Maybe ask your partner if you two can slow it right down until you can easily make twenty and then speed up again from there.

04-23-2017, 07:13 PM
OP, let me tell you from experience, but if you're not sure of what kind of ball you're producing, then you're probably not producing the kind of ball you think you are.
A few years ago, I was claiming to "loop" and my shots were as flat as a brick wall, so any kind of advice that has to do with more intermediate topspin play had nothing at all to do with me. This is one reason why it's common to ask for video footage before giving advice, because you could be dealing with anything.

You mentioned you joined a local club recently, so you could be in a similar situation. I am assuming you are a somewhat new player. My apologies if you're more seasoned than I think, but this is just my hunch being a rookie myself.

So my advice to you is to film video of yourself and review it later. Show it to us if you would and we can offer specific advice.