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whocarez
10-26-2017, 12:35 AM
I got back into playing TT after several years away from the game.

Immediately I notice the same irritating issue I had several years ago, and this is too much sidespin hook when playing a forehand loop or topspin. It is very noticeable when receiving a longer serve on the forehand side with a cross court return. For example, if I receive a longish backspin serve (with or without sidespin), then I try to loop it back. The return often becomes slow and high, with more sidespin than topspin :( Just something a better opponent can easily kill :( A serve return down the line is usually quite lower with much less sidespin, but it is still there. The issue is even more exaggerated if the serve contains sidespin, but that might just be my fear of the return and not enough commitment. The serves are usually more half-long than very long, but still well within the range for a topspin return.

Not entirely sure what to concentrate on to resolve this matter. Maybe I am dropping my wrist on time of contact. This is probably part of the issue. Another one might be not being in right position when executing the return. Maybe standing too close and square to the table, or too little movement sideways? I also get the feeling of swinging more sideways around the ball than forward when executing the return.

What would you suggest to try?

Andy44
10-26-2017, 01:04 AM
Shakehands players with a backhand-oriented grip tend to hook their forehands. If that's the problem, you can solve it pretty easily by shifting to a more neutral grip.

UpSideDownCarl
10-26-2017, 02:53 AM
What I suggest is filming what you are talking about. Without that, it is kind of hard for anyone to know what you are actually doing.

yogi_bear
10-26-2017, 03:51 AM
either you are flexing your wrist too much or you tend to make the direction of your contact more towards the side than going on top.

langel
10-26-2017, 08:23 AM
If I correctly read your problem, may be you receive the serve too faced to the table with more folded elbow giving the ball more side spin to the vertical axes and the ball arcs high and rebounces high.
Try to recieve the serve with more extended arm, right foot step behind, hand mooving forward and up, not aside.
You may change the side spin more to the horizontal axes by adding more sharp knee and body swing /and wrist swing, if you can do it/ to the topspin technique. Thus the ball will arc as topspined and will rebounce low and angled.

UpSideDownCarl
10-26-2017, 12:29 PM
Trying to pretend we can imagine the actual issue from words is a bit misguided. Without seeing what whocarez is actually doing, we don't know which of the many versions of how one could hit a high, sidespin loop that whocarez has described.

And if it was a good sidespin loop, that would not be such an easy shot to return. If it was a high, slow, very spinny sidespin loop, that would also not be so easy to return.

And if it was one of those things, a player who did one of those things would probably also be able to figure out how to take the ball at the top of the bounce, loop forward instead of spinning up, and then make that a pretty nasty, fast sidespin loop that had a lot of forward momentum.

So, I think, to say anything that is actually useful, we would have to see what whocarez is actually doing. Because, sidespin....I highly doubt sidespin is the actual problem. If it is, all whocarez needs to do is practice contacting the inside of the ball on down the line shots to get a little fade spin. To do that, he would have to relax and open his grip. And getting good at that shot would allow him to choose whether he wanted to loop:

a) straight
b) with hook sidespin, or
c) with fade sidespin

But learning how to do that would not change opening shots that are slow, weak and easy to attack, into opening shots that are strong and fast. So, it is possible that there are two issues:

1) speed and spin on opening loops

2) learning how to relax the grip and adjust it so he can choose the sidespin he wants.

I have seen people who said they had a problem and when I saw the issue in real time play, I said: "man, that is not problem. That is a good shot!" And I have also seen players talk about their loop and how much spin and when I saw the actual thing I realized that the word "LOOP" was not the correct term, that the person didn't know how to loop, and was actually hitting flat instead. There are so many factors that could be in play here, like how OP is contacting the ball, the quality of the contact, the grip, the mechanics of the stroke, whether he is lifting instead of truly spinning......

So we really can't tell anything useful without seeing what he is actually doing.

suds79
10-26-2017, 12:41 PM
I probably can't help much but as a lefty penholder, I sidespin hook loop a lot with a lot of jump after the bounce. We all have strengths & weaknesses and that's just one of my things that comes easy to me.

Now do I do that every time? No. But for me it's as simple as paying attention to where i'm contacting the ball. Either contacting on the side of the ball (easier to do on low balls. Almost like bowling with a hook) or brushing on the back/top of the ball for more of a standard topspin.

If you are use to usually hooking the ball on your loops, for me because you're contacting the side of the ball, it typically doesn't not have as much forward momentum or speed. So when I brush the back of the ball for a normal topspin, a lot of times I try to spin the ball up even more so because I know if I don't, it's easy to kick the ball long as it'll have a lot more forward momentum.

I suggest you do what Carl said and video tape yourself and play it back here. Even if you don't want to post it back here, just seeing it yourself will probably help you out a lot in knowing why your loops keep doing that.

For the record, I think it's nice/important to have both type of loops so don't feel like you have to abandon your natural sidespin loop.

whocarez
10-26-2017, 01:24 PM
Shakehands players with a backhand-oriented grip tend to hook their forehands. If that's the problem, you can solve it pretty easily by shifting to a more neutral grip.
I never thought about this, got to check it out. I do change my grip a tiny bit by moving my thumb somewhat up on backhand shots.


If I correctly read your problem, may be you receive the serve too faced to the table with more folded elbow giving the ball more side spin to the vertical axes and the ball arcs high and rebounces high.
Try to recieve the serve with more extended arm, right foot step behind, hand mooving forward and up, not aside.
You may change the side spin more to the horizontal axes by adding more sharp knee and body swing /and wrist swing, if you can do it/ to the topspin technique. Thus the ball will arc as topspined and will rebounce low and angled.
Definitely something to try, it actually sounds very familiar!

whocarez
10-26-2017, 01:46 PM
So, I think, to say anything that is actually useful, we would have to see what whocarez is actually doing. Because, sidespin....I highly doubt sidespin is the actual problem. If it is, all whocarez needs to do is practice contacting the inside of the ball on down the line shots to get a little fade spin. To do that, he would have to relax and open his grip. And getting good at that shot would allow him to choose whether he wanted to loop a) straight, b) with hook sidespin, or c) with fade sidespin.

But learning how to do that would not change opening shots that are slow, weak and easy to blast into opening shots that are strong and fast. So, it is possible that there are two issues:

1) speed and spin on opening loops

2) learning how to relax the grip and adjust it so he can choose the sidespin he wants.

So we really can't tell anything useful without seeing what he is actually doing.
This is also quite interesting. The relaxation and opening of my grip and trying fades down the line is worth a try. I am able to perform a fade, not a decent or even a fast fade, but I am able to do it. The thing is that I also use my wrist when performing the shots. At least I think that I use it, there is a possibility that it stiffens on point of contact, or even gets too loose.

The sidespin "loop" is not very decent by all means. What matters even more, is that against certain players I have a tendency to return it to the same forehand cross over spot. Then the shot is easy to anticipate. Of course, as mentioned, it might be just that the shot has too little spin and forward momentum.

I can try to put up an embarrasing video of my crappy play, but not before next Wednesday. I suppose filming from the side, angled a bit forward should be good enough?

ttmonster
10-26-2017, 01:59 PM
Take the video from multiple spots , the spot you mentioned + diagonally oppossite corner .. .these two combined will give people a good idea of your footwork , timing and shot quality ...

This is also quite interesting. The relaxation and opening of my grip and trying fades down the line is worth a try. I am able to perform a fade, not a decent or even a fast fade, but I am able to do it. The thing is that I also use my wrist when performing the shots. At least I think that I use it, there is a possibility that it stiffens on point of contact, or even gets too loose.

The sidespin "loop" is not very decent by all means. What matters even more, is that against certain players I have a tendency to return it to the same forehand cross over spot. Then the shot is easy to anticipate. Of course, as mentioned, it might be just that the shot has too little spin and forward momentum.

I can try to put up an embarrasing video of my crappy play, but not before next Wednesday. I suppose filming from the side, angled a bit forward should be good enough?

Xylit
10-26-2017, 02:32 PM
I have also a good amount of sidespin in my fh "topspins" myself but I won't change that as this is one of my biggest weapons. The stroke is still flat over the net and as fast as it can be but with the extra amount of sidespin even deadlier in my opinion.

I can easily spot the "mistake" where I add the sidespin to the ball when I film myself. Wrong ball contact point. Maybe you should film yourself too.

TableTennisTom
10-26-2017, 02:42 PM
I completely agree with UpSideDownCarl. Without seeing any footage, we can only speculate at what the issue may be. When you post a video, we can then all give you some (hopefully) very useful advice.

Whocarez - don't feel anxious about posting a video of yourself. It's the best thing you can do. Most people on this forum are very supportive and will try to give helpful advice. I look forward to seeing some footage!

NextLevel
10-26-2017, 03:36 PM
The basic forehand loop has some sidespin, usually a hook for most players. What people call straight topspin is usually just less sidespin. Some people go out of their way to play fades as these look straighter unless you blade your body orientation more.

In any case this is a problem that you can fix with a video observation and commitment to changing the stroke if you really want to do that. I suspect given subtle things you have written and said that it is unlikely much will change as the work required to change is not trivial and requires you to hit lots of fades and make lots of errors.

Astorix
10-26-2017, 03:56 PM
I do it with the wrist if i want to do it on purpose but mostly its unconsciously done because trained for certain situations, e.g. Insight-out or insight-in fh or changing direction when opponent is out of position and leaves one side of the table open. It depends on muscle memory how fluid it comes and goes but i would say, it is definitely usefull in certain situations, thats why we train it as well.
we do it with some sheets of papers or anything similar positioned anywhere on the table, helping you to "Focus" your area of target and then doing multiball, over and over and over (for the muscles Memory) and over and over again... You get it

whocarez
10-26-2017, 11:52 PM
I suspect given subtle things you have written and said that it is unlikely much will change as the work required to change is not trivial and requires you to hit lots of fades and make lots of errors.
Maybe you are right, but I am just curious, where does this interpretation come from? :( I do not mind to spend a decent amount of time to work on different issues since technique matters quite a lot to me.

However, I recently also noticed that I have a tendency to tip to the side when performing a topspin, instead of a more horizontal movement with my waist. I am still working hard on correcting this issue though and involving my waist more into the stroke.

UpSideDownCarl
10-27-2017, 01:21 AM
Sidespin a natural part of the stroke:

The stroke is a circular movement. This makes it much more natural to create side spin than “pure” topspin.

When you contact a little on the outside of the call, you have more power against everything except a sidespin that curves away from your body. For the BH, that would be the sidespin that curves towards the receiving player’s BH side. For the FH it would be the sidespin that curves towards the FH side.

Contacting the outside of the ball on that sidespin will make you need to work harder because you are going against the spin where it is strongest.

On any other spin, contacting the outside of the ball gives you more power and some spin avoidance.

And contacting the outside of the ball gives you a natural amount of sidespin.

For the sidespin that is harder to contact the ball, contacting the inside of the ball allows you to gain spin avoidance. But a fade loop is hard to make as powerful as a hook loop. Unless of course you are Wang Liqin who was a master at that.

But watch most pros looping crosscourt in loop to loop rallies in match play, they will be hooking more than 70% of those shots.

It is natural to the circular nature of the stroke.


Sent from The Subterranean Workshop by Telepathy

UpSideDownCarl
10-27-2017, 01:37 AM
Leaning to the side:


https://youtu.be/IiARkUO6aEE


https://youtu.be/VWo0r0Cz9DQ

In these two videos, can you find me 1 FH loop where Ma Long does not drop his right shoulder and lean his whole body to the side at least to some extent?

In the second video, it seems to me fairly easy to see that Ma Long is also contacting the outside of the ball and creating some sidespin on his loops.


Sent from The Subterranean Workshop by Telepathy

UpSideDownCarl
10-27-2017, 02:21 AM
One last post about what NextLevel said: 200,000 FH fade shots may be a low estimate on the approximate time it could take to really cement the new pattern into muscle memory for your grip and FH stroke.

That is approximately 60 shots a minute (not too fast a rate), for 30 2 hour sessions working on the FH fade.

When I rebuilt my FH and undid all the old bad habits and created an acceptable FH stroke, it probably took close to 1,000,000 FH strokes.

When I worked on fades to undo my hooked wrist and free my grip up, I did not work on it anywhere close to enough but I probably did 20,000-40,000 and I partway undid the old pattern. However, when I lay off playing and come back after a few weeks, my wrist goes right back to the old habit. Whereas, if I lay off from playing, the old FH never comes back because I really got the better mechanics for the rest of the stroke into muscle memory; just not the wrist. :)

NextLevel
10-27-2017, 02:50 AM
Maybe you are right, but I am just curious, where does this interpretation come from? :( I do not mind to spend a decent amount of time to work on different issues since technique matters quite a lot to me.

However, I recently also noticed that I have a tendency to tip to the side when performing a topspin, instead of a more horizontal movement with my waist. I am still working hard on correcting this issue though and involving my waist more into the stroke.

It's just a combination of things based on years of observing internet personalities. Just ignore me and continue with all the things you have noticed.

whocarez
10-27-2017, 10:29 AM
But watch most pros looping crosscourt in loop to loop rallies in match play, they will be hooking more than 70% of those shots.

It is natural to the circular nature of the stroke.

Thanks, this was quite informative. I will keep this in mind. Many good replies in this thread :) Keeping a more relaxed and open grip is certainly not easy, but I noticed the few times that I am able to do it, then it helps with the whole stroke overall.

Der_Echte
10-27-2017, 10:43 AM
Carl is EPIC funny, award Please.

ade14212
10-27-2017, 05:16 PM
honestly, I think adding sidespin is a better choice when it comes to lifting a backspin; making it much easier.

if I were you, I'd suggest you don't think much about it and keep doing sidespin with your loop. the lack of power can be compensated by doing forward motion and a bit more snap. One last thing is it's placement.

If anything, taking the ball from the side is a good idea to counter slow spinny loop. it works like charm for me.

Andy44
10-27-2017, 07:20 PM
honestly, I think adding sidespin is a better choice when it comes to lifting a backspin; making it much easier.

if I were you, I'd suggest you don't think much about it and keep doing sidespin with your loop. the lack of power can be compensated by doing forward motion and a bit more snap. One last thing is it's placement.

If anything, taking the ball from the side is a good idea to counter slow spinny loop. it works like charm for me.

Adding sidespin subtracts power from velocity and topspin, and the sidespin component of a shot doesn't help at all to lift a heavy push; wrong axis of force for lifting. You make it harder for yourself when you add sidespin. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes not. If the only forehand you can hit is a hook, I think it's a good investment of practice time to figure out how to unhook it.

whocarez
10-27-2017, 07:49 PM
A couple of videos where I practice alone, which is quite often my only option. One is from my forehand corner, and the second one is from the backhand corner. I find it easier to perform the strokes from the backhand corner. I noticed that I also keep my wrist bent to the side (back?) during the stroke. Not entirely sure if this is because I wanted to focus on less hook, and more fade, but I think I do it all the time.

I will of course try to follow up with a video recorded during a match later on. Probably from a somewhat different angle, so hopefully it will still be possible to see what is going on.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTX78lqa8SQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4wsJKg5COU

NextLevel
10-27-2017, 07:54 PM
Adding sidespin subtracts power from velocity and topspin, and the sidespin component of a shot doesn't help at all to lift a heavy push; wrong axis of force for lifting. You make it harder for yourself when you add sidespin. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes not. If the only forehand you can hit is a hook, I think it's a good investment of practice time to figure out how to unhook it.

I agree with the last sentence. The rest that i disagree with I am sure comes down to language. I think looping with topspin when you don't contact the back of the ball but rather the side creates some sidespin and is the dominant stroke in table tennis. I think this is where the discussion gets confusing and why video is important.

NextLevel
10-27-2017, 08:00 PM
Whocarez, many good players would call your stroke a topspin stroke without losing sleep over it. You could learn to come over the top of the ball more and that just means making your paddle more parallel to the ground at the end of the backswing. Facing downwards is hook, facing upwards is fade topspin. Your contact is largely the modern approach and even if you make some modifications to make the topspin more direct, don't waste too much time. I think my stroke is essentially similar to yours and I have not had any major complaints about it from coaches that I have worked with.

Baal
10-27-2017, 08:25 PM
Does your loop have power and is it consistent?

whocarez
10-27-2017, 08:48 PM
Does your loop have power and is it consistent?
I can sometimes apply power, but I would not say that it is consistent. Especially in match play when trying to do a series of loops. But opening against underspin is usually consistent enough for me to get the point going.

UpSideDownCarl
10-27-2017, 08:59 PM
A couple of videos where I practice alone, which is quite often my only option. One is from my forehand corner, and the second one is from the backhand corner. I find it easier to perform the strokes from the backhand corner. I noticed that I also keep my wrist bent to the side (back?) during the stroke. Not entirely sure if this is because I wanted to focus on less hook, and more fade, but I think I do it all the time.

I will of course try to follow up with a video recorded during a match later on. Probably from a somewhat different angle, so hopefully it will still be possible to see what is going on.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTX78lqa8SQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4wsJKg5COU

Info:

1) These videos do show that you need a more effective way to do the drill you are trying to do.

2) They also show that you are getting decent spin when you self hit. Which means you probably are getting decent spin when you face a ball that actually has spin on it.

3) You also should know, the drill you are trying to do is not worth doing from the FH side. The table is in the way. This is just something to do on the BH side of the table.

4) With the drill you are trying to perform, don’t worry about making the ball bounce towards you. I will post a video that shows a more efficient way to do basically the same thing. But you won’t be running to pick up the ball and running back to where you want to hit from. And you won’t need to pick up a ball after every shot. [emoji2]

5) In these videos, it does not look like you are using your hips enough. But I think this is more because of how you are trying to perform the drill than how you may actually do it in real play.

6) I agree with NextLevel that your stroke looks fine. Perhaps practicing the specific things you have trouble with so you have the option to vary placement. Like backspin balls or back/sidespin balls that go wide to the FH and you practice looping them down the line or around the net.

All this said, I look forward to seeing the FH in the real scenario you are talking about. Thank you for this video. I have a feeling your play level is better than you were presenting.

Here is a video of me doing self hit balls from the BH side:


https://youtu.be/ezBW4kePyrc

Details to note:

* I have the balls in a bucket, on a chair, next to me as if I am going to feed multiball.

** I pick up a handful at a time. I have little hands. I am small. I can pick up 5 by reaching into the bucket without it changing the rhythm too much.

*** I am not thinking about getting the ball to bounce towards the edge. I am just dropping it. But because of the momentum of the reset of the stroke and the rhythm, the ball is naturally bouncing a little towards the edge.

**** Because I am on the BH corner, and my hips are to the side of the table—not behind the table—the table is not in the way of my stroke even though I am taking all of these shots over the table.

But I think your video shows you are a decent level player. And I am looking forward to seeing the real thing that is happening during matches when you open with the FH.


Sent from The Subterranean Workshop by Telepathy

whocarez
10-27-2017, 11:34 PM
3) You also should know, the drill you are trying to do is not worth doing from the FH side. The table is in the way. This is just something to do on the BH side of the table.

Haha, thanks :) Now that explains a lot. I actually watched a drill like yours, adapted it a bit for my own purpose, and failed.



5) In these videos, it does not look like you are using your hips enough. But I think this is more because of how you are trying to perform the drill than how you may actually do it in real play.
Yes, that is true for sure. This is something I have been working on lately since it is quite important for the stroke, but it will take time to fix. On the rare occasion when I get it right, it feels like you I "hit through" backspin with more power. I also think that I should be dropping my shoulder a bit more during the recovery, but then again, it probably matters more against backspin.



6) I agree with NextLevel that your stroke looks fine. Perhaps practicing the specific things you have trouble with so you have the option to vary placement. Like backspin balls or back/sidespin balls that go wide to the FH and you practice looping them down the line or around the net.
Thanks. This is a good suggestion.



**** Because I am on the BH corner, and my hips are to the side of the table—not behind the table—the table is not in the way of my stroke even though I am taking all of these shots over the table.
Yeah, I was trying to adapt this drill by standing more square to the table. But I guess this drill is more like a forehand pivot and standing sideways in the BH corner is the only way to do it right. I actually do the same drill in the BH corner when practising a small backhand topspin, alternating between down the line and crossover. Then of course I stand behind the table. Got a video of that and some serving too, but I will save it for later occasions in different threads.

langel
10-28-2017, 06:24 AM
In the videos of Whocarez I see that many of the shots are made with different blade and wrist angle, elbow move and wrist swing. In some shots there are two wrist swings. I think you should try to be more persistant, sticking to the last shot in the first video. When you get a persistant techniques like Carl in his video, then you may try to colour your shots with desired wrist angle and swing.

whocarez
10-28-2017, 03:27 PM
In the videos of Whocarez I see that many of the shots are made with different blade and wrist angle, elbow move and wrist swing. In some shots there are two wrist swings. I think you should try to be more persistant, sticking to the last shot in the first video. When you get a persistant techniques like Carl in his video, then you may try to colour your shots with desired wrist angle and swing.Yes, I am pretty sure that you are onto something here. I wonder if I should rather try to keep the wrist more fixed until getting a better swing.

I noticed that I have problems with coming over the ball, and unfortunately not getting the contact point as required (both the feeling and sound tells me that). I think my elbow is not always at the right height, and maybe I should keep it more parallel to ground and end up more forward. I think a shorter swing would help with this matter, but to achieve this, better acceleration is required. If I look at Carl's swing, it is quite small, ends up forward with good acceleration and contact point.

I tried to shorten the swing a bit, but still a long way to go. Sorry Carl, it is still a bit awkward to keep several balls in my hand and no chair is available ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-wmeztTFRA

UpSideDownCarl
10-28-2017, 04:19 PM
Yes, I am pretty sure that you are onto something here. I wonder if I should rather try to keep the wrist more fixed until getting a better swing.

I noticed that I have problems with coming over the ball, and unfortunately not getting the contact point as required (both the feeling and sound tells me that). I think my elbow is not always at the right height, and maybe I should keep it more parallel to ground and end up more forward. I think a shorter swing would help with this matter, but to achieve this, better acceleration is required. If I look at Carl's swing, it is quite small, ends up forward with good acceleration and contact point.

I tried to shorten the swing a bit, but still a long way to go. Sorry Carl, it is still a bit awkward to keep several balls in my hand and no chair is available ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-wmeztTFRA

One step at a time. In this one, with you are not running around as much and this is a big improvement. And now it is a little easier to see some of the technical details that are holding you back.

When you do the practice swings, it is clear that, in your head, what you are rehearsing as a good stroke will get in the way of your spin, acceleration and power. If you look, just at the practice swings, your elbow starts bent, and ends bent at the same angle. This means that all arm movement in the stroke HAS TO COME from your shoulder. You are also adding the body. But you don't want the whole arm movement coming from the shoulder joint. ESPECIALLY if your wanted a more compact stroke.

In your strokes in this video, you are doing a certain amount of that. But, interestingly, your stroke with the ball is MUCH better than your shadow stroke. So part of what this means is that, in your head, in your thinking about the stroke, in your internal imaging of the stroke, you are imagining the stroke in a way that is not going to be so effective.

Regardless of whether you want a big stroke or a compact stroke, on the backswing you want your arm to open till it is almost straight, close to no bend in the elbow joint; maybe a 3-7 degree bend in the elbow joint would be ideal if you want me to get technical. And during contact, you want your elbow to bend from that angle. That is where all that effortless acceleration comes from. When the followthrough is complete, the elbow should be bent past 90 degrees to about 110 degrees (or, if you were measuring the short angle, 70 degrees. [if straight = 0, then 110 degrees, if straight = 180, then 70 degrees, and straight could be seen as either 0 or 180. :)]).

In your stoke with the ball, you are moving and using your forearm. But not nearly enough.

==

Next issue, if you watch your body's followthrough movement, the rotation is bringing you off to the BH side and towards the camera and a little off balance. What is missing is the forward movement of the weight transfer and so you are overemphasizing the hip rotation and rotating too much.

If you watch when I am doing the stroke, the rotation turns me a little but I am still facing where the ball is going and the weight transfer moves my hips almost a foot forward. This translates into the racket arm's shoulder moving more than two feet in the direction of the stroke. That means I need to work much less to get power behind the ball because my whole body is moving in the direction the ball will go. And even though there is rotation, it does not pull me off to the side. It also brings me into the direction of the ball.

Now, when a top pro puts everything into a fade loop from that position on the table, I have seen them fall off to the side many times. So, if you were going for everything, knowing that the ball is not going to come back, that would be okay. But that is not the standard technique you want to train into your body.

All that being said, this version of the drill, despite not having a chair available, or a plastic crate, and not using a small bucket, but using your bag instead, you did the drill way better. So, good work.

==

I have just reminded myself of a woman I used to hit with a long time ago at a club that used to be in NYC's Chinatown. Everyone called this woman the chicken lady. The reason: she always had a bucket of balls and the bucket she used was a cardboard Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket. And it was full of balls; maybe a gross (144 balls). Anything would work: a $2.00 bucket for mopping floors. A big bowl from the kitchen. It just makes it easier to shove your hand in without thinking the bag will get disrupted and the balls will go all over.

So:

14510

plus:

14511

And you would be ready to do battle with the chicken lady. :)

whocarez
10-28-2017, 08:03 PM
In your stoke with the ball, you are moving and using your forearm. But not nearly enough.

An interesting observation, indeed. I do not know why I imagine a stroke with less arm movement. It could originally have been because I wanted to avoid tipping over to the side, but still keep the rotation. Or something like that... Anyway, what you are telling me is quite spot on. A more advanced player I had a chance to play with a couple of times, told me more or less the same. He mentioned that I should get more snap when using my arm and bend it more. Unfortunately, he was not able to show me this before leaving.

==


Next issue, if you watch your body's followthrough movement, the rotation is bringing you off to the BH side and towards the camera and a little off balance. What is missing is the forward movement of the weight transfer and so you are overemphasizing the hip rotation and rotating too much.

This is probably what feels like I am tipping sideways when performing the stroke. Not entirely sure how to think to start correcting this. Maybe just keeping in mind to move my body in the same direction as the ball? Some coaching is probably needed.

Thanks for the good input :)

UpSideDownCarl
10-29-2017, 12:08 AM
It is important to know that what happens in a self hit drill like this does not necessarily reflect what you are doing in real time. And the main thing this indicates is that grooving your loop strokes for a few thousand reps a few days a week would help correct what is going on without it having to be too cerebral. A lot of the time when the head is trying to tell the body what it should be doing, more things go wrong than right. Whereas, if you grove the stroke enough the body starts feeling what is more efficient and the technique improves though good training habits.


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UpSideDownCarl
10-29-2017, 12:21 AM
I do not know why I imagine a stroke with less arm movement.

Sorry if this is parsing words.

When you are shadow stroking, you are using to much upper arm and not enough forearm: too much movement from the shoulder joint, the glenohumeral joint, to be even more specific, and not enough movement from the elbow joint.

The way you are shadow stroking shows that in your head your image of the stroke has the arm moving in a way that is less efficient.


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NextLevel
10-29-2017, 05:04 AM
Here is my stroke self hitting. I think I used to use and probably still use too much arm and forearm and not enough bod on the forehand topspin. But I post it mostly to give whocares an idea of my sidespin and my contact point.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4aPh10ClZfU&feature=youtu.be&t=274

PS: the stroke should really begin in the ready position and end there. And you don't need to hit the ball hard. Just get the form right. Your drills hit the ball way too hard, whocarez.

whocarez
10-29-2017, 12:26 PM
Regardless of whether you want a big stroke or a compact stroke, on the backswing you want your arm to open till it is almost straight, close to no bend in the elbow joint; maybe a 3-7 degree bend in the elbow joint would be ideal if you want me to get technical. And during contact, you want your elbow to bend from that angle. That is where all that effortless acceleration comes from. When the followthrough is complete, the elbow should be bent past 90 degrees to about 110 degrees (or, if you were measuring the short angle, 70 degrees. [if straight = 0, then 110 degrees, if straight = 180, then 70 degrees, and straight could be seen as either 0 or 180. :)]).

In your stoke with the ball, you are moving and using your forearm. But not nearly enough.

I have given this more thinking and reading. I believe there are two schools about this, either start with the arm quite bent and not moving much through the stroke, or starting with the arm quite straight. From what I am reading both ways can be right. The finish position should of course be around 90 degrees or a little more. However, I do not think that the arm itself contributes too much to the acceleration. Should I rather concentrate on getting more power from the legs and turning of the waist, where I believe most of the power comes from? And of course, keeping it forward, as mentioned earlier (which I have little idea about how to do correctly).

Thanks for the video NextLevel, you are right about hitting the ball too hard. I think the sidespin I sometimes get too much of, is because of bending my wrist either too much back or foreward. At least this is what I noticed in some of my videos.

I totally agree that a drill like this is quite different from what I am doing when playing and running around and doing all kinds of strange things ;) I guess as the thread has developed, it is not so much about sidespin anymore, but more about the general improvement of the topspin stroke. This is nice :)

NextLevel
10-29-2017, 02:51 PM
I have given this more thinking and reading. I believe there are two schools about this, either start with the arm quite bent and not moving much through the stroke, or starting with the arm quite straight. From what I am reading both ways can be right. The finish position should of course be around 90 degrees or a little more. However, I do not think that the arm itself contributes too much to the acceleration. Should I rather concentrate on getting more power from the legs and turning of the waist, where I believe most of the power comes from? And of course, keeping it forward, as mentioned earlier (which I have little idea about how to do correctly).

Thanks for the video NextLevel, you are right about hitting the ball too hard. I think the sidespin I sometimes get too much of, is because of bending my wrist either too much back or foreward. At least this is what I noticed in some of my videos.

I totally agree that a drill like this is quite different from what I am doing when playing and running around and doing all kinds of strange things ;) I guess as the thread has developed, it is not so much about sidespin anymore, but more about the general improvement of the topspin stroke. This is nice :)


You should get power from your core. What is not obvious in that video is that I have bad knees so I do not get as much from legs as I would like but I get enough from my core/hips to do my own stroke. That video is also 2 and a half years old.

The arm should be relaxed but the people who want you to keep it bent throughout the stroke and almost all the time are limiting your ability to hit and adjust to certain kinds of shots. Power matters and while most of it should come from the hips, some of it should come from the length of the arm to generate torque and when you also allow the elbow to add something, it increases racket head speed. I can hit both a bent arm and a straight arm forehand - my bent arm is more for countering and my straight arm is more for killing easy balls. Even Timo straightens his arms a little vs some balls.

But in the end, the most important thing is to answer the questions that Baal raised - is the stroke powerful and consistent? And power and consistency are not always about optimal technique. Of course some aspects of good technique or just brute strength from the core must be present, but some of it is just knowing where and how to contact the incoming ball with a swing trajectory and depth so that enough power goes into spin and enough into speed.

That said, if you can hit the ball the way I am doing it in that video, that is enough to see your technique. No need to dance around etc. Either hit the ball out of your hand (which I didn't do in that video but I can demonstrate if you want to see - some people feed the ball like multiball) or act like a base ball hitter, get into the right stance and just bounce the ball and hit it like you are feeding a multiball topspin loop like a CNT coach. This is enough to build your swing. The rest is moving into position and adapting the swing plane and contact point.

TableTennisTom
10-29-2017, 03:33 PM
A lot of good advice here already. As UpSideDownCarl has mentioned your shadow stroke looks good, but then you change your stroke when actually contacting the ball.

The biggest thing for me is your bat angle.

In your shadow play, your bat angle is more horizontal. When you start doing the stroke with balls, your bat angle goes more vertical. This makes it hard for you to get a good topspin contact.

So I would focus on keeping the bat angle more horizontal throughout the stroke.

Also, when making changes to my technique, I always find it easier to slow the action down to begin with. Play a safer and slower topspin and when you have reached high consistency with this, then start adding more speed.

UpSideDownCarl
10-29-2017, 03:59 PM
You have this wrong. Your conception of this is flawed enough that I can use the term “incorrect.” I will see if I can make a video of what it is that you are conceiving of incorrectly.

The degree of straightening does not have to be what I said. But it helps. Timo Boll’s arm angle goes from bent to more bent. But he gets a ton of speed from the whip action of his forearm. Not sure most people could generate that racket speed using his technique. But he is still primarily using his forearm and wrist.

And if you start with the arm very bent and end with the arm bent at the same angle, you can get a few things happening:

1) Way less racket speed.
2) Way more tension in your stroke: you cannot keep the elbow joint stable (bent and maintaining the same angle) without A LOT of unwanted tension. That tension also slows you down.
2) A much higher risk of a shoulder injury. [emoji2]

This is just biomechanics. And it has everything to do with why, on skateboards and rollerblades, big wheels top out at a higher end speed but little wheels accelerate faster. Which is also why, for someone who skates on ramps, and all your speed comes from a very short period of time where you are accelerating on the transitions of the ramp (the curved part) you want little wheels and will get more acceleration, speed and height with those little wheels. Whereas, in speed skating you would want bigger wheels because momentary acceleration is not as important as overall top range speed over a much longer duration of time.

It is also why racing cyclists use large wheels and the guys who ride bmx bikes, whether on ramps or on dirt terrain, use much smaller wheels.

Also, in figure skating, when you see a skater spin, when the arms are reaching out there torso will spin slower. As they pull their arms in, the speed of their torso spinning, will increase dramatically.

Shorter levers accelerate faster. Larger levers top out at a higher top end speed but it takes longer to get to that top speed. From a mechanical standpoint you want to utilize all three levers to maximize racket speed:

1) shoulder,
2) elbow and
3) wrist.

Based on biomechanics:

1) The wrist can accelerate your racket fastest. But the top speed is lowest.
2) The forearm snap from the elbow joint accelerates your racket faster than your shoulder and slower than your wrist. The top speed from the elbow/forearm is faster than the wrist and slower than the shoulder.
3) The shoulder has the slowest acceleration of the three joints and the fastest top speed.

Remember, a TT ball is very light. The overall force behind the ball is not as important as with a tennis ball or a baseball. However, the general mechanics will be the same.l

In tennis you have a much longer time between shots for recovery. And in baseball you don’t need to worry about resetting at all. So, in TT, with the light ball and the need for a fast reset speed, the most important issue is getting the racket to move as fast as possible as in as short a period of time as possible.

Some things that will will produce a fast, spinny, powerful shot in TT would need a bigger movement from the body, hips, core, legs. In TT the body movement: the weight transfer and core rotation are much smaller but they are timed more precisely to pop into the ball on contact. A larger, less precise body movement like how much a baseball player uses his hips and weight transfer would throw a TT player totally off balance.

You want to use the hips and core. But the timing for them to pop into the ball is the more important part since the ball is so light. So, the body is important. But your image for that is also a little inefficient because you are thinking it should be larger than it should.


If you keep your arm all the way straight through the whole stroke, the racket will move a little faster than if you keep your elbow bent at the same angle for the whole stroke.

If you keep your upper arm from moving at all and just bend and straighten your elbow, your hand and racket will be moving faster in the time for the stroke, than with either of the previous two.

If the shoulder moves the upper arm, so the elbow moves forward and up about 1 foot, and the elbow joint goes from almost straight to that 70° angle I talked about, you will get the racket to move exponentially faster in the same amount of time. In fact, in less time.

[BTW: if you watch NextLevel’s stroke frame by frame, he is doing what I described in this last stroke description. Despite having a joint disease that prevents him using his hips and core as much as many of us, his arm mechanics are very high level.]

The general details are that, when you are closer to the table you use a more compact stroke with less upper arm because you need to reset faster. When you are a little father back, you can use more upper arm. But you would still want to use your forearm.

What often gets called a European loop is a loop that uses mostly forearm. Very good examples of this are Timo Boll and Michael Maze. If you watch in slow motion and go frame by frame, you can see how much they use the movement of the forearm from the elbow joint to get such good racket acceleration.

Anyway, I will try and make a video that breaks this stuff down in visual form.

For now, notice how NextLevel’s racket moves much faster than yours even though he is trying half as hard. Then look at the angle at his elbow on the backswing, the angle on contact and the angle at the end of the stroke.

Check what my arm does. Look for all those same details including racket speed.

Choose any pro with a decent FH and see, frame by frame, what they do.

Wang Hao is an example of a pro who often used a FH where his arm was straight and the elbow angle didn’t change so much. But it still changed some and his FH was nowhere near as good as so many other penholders. However, his BH was one of the best BHs of any kind ever and unquestionably the best RPB.



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UpSideDownCarl
10-29-2017, 06:45 PM
More details.

In general, when you are closer to the table and need to reset faster, you would use less upper arm and more forearm. You would also make the hips and weight transfer pop into the ball with a more compact movement.

When you are further from the table and have more time to reset, you can use more shoulder and upper arm. And the hips and weight transfer can be a little bigger.

The top CNT players have such good training that they can use the larger arm swing and bigger body action and still reset fast enough most of the time.

However, over a lifetime this is harder on the hips, the knees, the waist and the back.

This larger technique is often called a Chinese loop. But it is just a loop with a bigger swing. If you watch the top CNT players, they adjust their stroke to the ball they are playing and how much time they will have to reset. FZD sometimes a stroke with the forearm snap and no upper arm when close to the table. And usually when he does, it is still a monster shot in spite of 95% of the arm movement coming from the elbow/forearm.

In any case, the words may be confusing. But seeing what I am talking about may be more helpful. So I will try and make a video to break down what moves and how in the mechanics of a stroke.


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UpSideDownCarl
10-29-2017, 06:48 PM
Excellent mechanics, easy to see upper arm and forearm movement.


https://youtu.be/suGD4AgIYpk

Also watch his hips, his legs, his feet.

Note, when he uses his body, his feet turn to accommodate the hip rotation. You actually need this to keep your knees safe.


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ade14212
10-30-2017, 03:49 AM
Adding sidespin subtracts power from velocity and topspin, and the sidespin component of a shot doesn't help at all to lift a heavy push; wrong axis of force for lifting. You make it harder for yourself when you add sidespin. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes not. If the only forehand you can hit is a hook, I think it's a good investment of practice time to figure out how to unhook it.

I suppose ZJK, XX and LGY and other players have to learn how to hit pure topspin then. These three, based on my observation, put sidespin on their topspin and look at their forehand topspin. It's basically how modern players hit the ball nowadays.


Here is my stroke self hitting. I think I used to use and probably still use too much arm and forearm and not enough bod on the forehand topspin. But I post it mostly to give whocares an idea of my sidespin and my contact point.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4aPh10ClZfU&feature=youtu.be&t=274

PS: the stroke should really begin in the ready position and end there. And you don't need to hit the ball hard. Just get the form right. Your drills hit the ball way too hard, whocarez.

Yup. This is how I do it. There is topspin and by hitting the side of the ball, you put sidespin to it. Pretty uch all modern players do this.

Andy44
10-30-2017, 05:32 AM
I suppose ZJK, XX and LGY and other players have to learn how to hit pure topspin then. These three, based on my observation, put sidespin on their topspin and look at their forehand topspin. It's basically how modern players hit the ball nowadays.

Pros don't hit with a permanent hook. Good ones like ZJK vary the amount and direction of sidespin as needed. Maybe some more observation would be helpful.

NextLevel
10-30-2017, 05:42 AM
Pros don't hit with a permanent hook. Good ones like ZJK vary the amount and direction of sidespin as needed. Maybe some more observation would be helpful.


So how many loops in this video are not "hooks" of the type that ade14212 is describing?


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

It's language but the point again is that many "topspin loops" begin with contact on the side and are hooks with minimized sidespin. You see it most clearly in the loops that ZJK is hitting towards the camera.

ttmonster
10-30-2017, 05:44 AM
in my limited understanding , what Zhang Jike hits is more corkscrew ... where as a hook is where the sidespin actually around the equator the ball ...

NextLevel
10-30-2017, 05:52 AM
in my limited understanding , what Zhang Jike hits is more corkscrew ... where as a hook is where the sidespin actually around the equator the ball ...


Yes, but corkscrew is a kind of sidespin - not lateral like hook, but more deviation - but the key is terminology. That's why it is important to look at video and stop speaking past each other.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=O2vrVwjqktg&feature=youtu.be&t=35

Some people still call hitting the ball on the side no matter cork or lateral "hook" and part of the reason why ZJK still gets that cork effect is that he begins with his paddle pointing a bit more downwards (the hook pattern) and wraps it around the side of the ball before finishing over and forward.

UpSideDownCarl
10-30-2017, 05:58 AM
Oh no, the corkscrew loop stuff again. Run away......

Andy44
10-30-2017, 06:38 AM
So how many loops in this video are not "hooks" of the type that ade14212 is describing?


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

It's language but the point again is that many "topspin loops" begin with contact on the side and are hooks with minimized sidespin. You see it most clearly in the loops that ZJK is hitting towards the camera.

Good video. You're right, probably just language. I wouldn't call most of ZJK's forehand to backhand corner shots hooks, because I don't see them curving significantly in the horizontal plane. A few may even be fades, but it's hard to tell on video. Some of the forehand to forehand shots are clearly hooks, but some don't seem that way to me. One point for clarity: Contact on the side doesn't necessarily produce significant sidespin. Only brushing (tangential) contact does that. So I think the distinction I'd make between a forehand to forehand loop (that does usually have a little sidespin) and a hook is similar to the one I'd make between a loop drive and a brush loop. It's a matter of degree rather than type, but I think a useful distinction. Clearly not ideal if your sidespin dial is stuck all the way in one direction, which is the problem described by the OP.

Andy44
10-30-2017, 07:06 AM
in my limited understanding , what Zhang Jike hits is more corkscrew ... where as a hook is where the sidespin actually around the equator the ball ...

Axis of rotation for corkscrew is in the direction of motion, so he'd have to be brushing over the top with most of his blade motion from right to left (perpendicular to ball motion) to impart significant corkscrew spin. I guess it's possible to do, but predominant sidespin (with axis of rotation up and down and so blade motion mostly in the direction of ball motion) seems more plausible.

whocarez
10-30-2017, 09:44 AM
2) Way more tension in your stroke: you cannot keep the elbow joint stable (bent and maintaining the same angle) without A LOT of unwanted tension. That tension also slows you down.

You want to use the hips and core. But the timing for them to pop into the ball is the more important part since the ball is so light. So, the body is important. But your image for that is also a little inefficient because you are thinking it should be larger than it should.

If the shoulder moves the upper arm, so the elbow moves forward and up about 1 foot, and the elbow joint goes from almost straight to that 70° angle I talked about, you will get the racket to move exponentially faster in the same amount of time. In fact, in less time.

For now, notice how NextLevel’s racket moves much faster than yours even though he is trying half as hard. Then look at the angle at his elbow on the backswing, the angle on contact and the angle at the end of the stroke.

Check what my arm does. Look for all those same details including racket speed.
Alright Carl, I might have been wrong. I will watch the posted videos more carefully, and try to keep what you said in mind. Maybe just relaxing a bit more will let me keep a straighter starting position, got to give this a try. Of course, if you make a video that breaks this down in a visual form, it would be nice to see :)

Thanks for the excellent observations, TableTennisTom. Definitely a big part of the issue.

ajtatosmano2
10-30-2017, 10:34 AM
I suppose ZJK, XX and LGY and other players have to learn how to hit pure topspin then. These three, based on my observation, put sidespin on their topspin and look at their forehand topspin. It's basically how modern players hit the ball nowadays.



Yup. This is how I do it. There is topspin and by hitting the side of the ball, you put sidespin to it. Pretty uch all modern players do this.

Trust me, they practice with pure topspin. Just in matchplay, it's a good idea to put some sidespin, as the ball will kick off the bounce sideways and increases the chances of an error. But you're right that some players like to use sidespin than other. There is a chinese player in french league who nearly always loops with sidespin.

ajtatosmano2
10-30-2017, 10:42 AM
Trust me, they practice with pure topspin. Just in matchplay, it's a good idea to put some sidespin, as the ball will kick off the bounce sideways and increases the chances of an error. But you're right that some players like to use sidespin than other. There is a chinese player in french league who nearly always loops with sidespin.

The french league player is Wei Shihao, notorious sidespinner.

UpSideDownCarl
10-30-2017, 04:11 PM
Alright Carl....

Okay. I will do my best to post a video on the subject of the mechanics of the stroke.

I am not a high level player. I play for fun. But I am a movement analyst so there are some things that are hard for most people my level to see that I can see because of the fact that day in and day out I am analyzing functional and dysfunctional movement patterns and helping people learn to use their bodies in a more sound, mechanically efficient way.

Sorry if I went over-the-top with the response though. I can get a bit OCD on certain things. [OCDCarl in effect hahaha].

The video will be easier to understand.

And I guess, rather than saying “right” or “wrong” hopefully we will get you a better understanding of the mechanics at play in a stroke.

The interesting thing is, if your internal image of the range of things you would want in your FH stroke was more in line with what would mechanically be best for you, your technique will improve just by having the internal image becoming more accurate.

All that being said, without any of that, your form is good enough that just the reps you need would correct most of what is going on anyway.

Your actual stroke is, in fact, mechanically more sound, than your internal image of what you think the stroke should be. And that is actually rare. It is usually the other way around.

So if your understanding of the stroke clicks into place, the other stuff may actually just fall into place.


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UpSideDownCarl
10-30-2017, 05:59 PM
Okay: Video:

There are a few details, in talking off the cuff, that I would correct. Most of them get corrected within the context of the video. But still. Below the video, I can post a few that I can remember. [emoji2]


https://youtu.be/wc0ImOA4-WI

1) For you to use the forearm, the arm does not have to start straight and end bent at the elbow. As long as the arm is more bent at the end than it was at the beginning, you used your forearm.

2) I do cover this, but it is worth staying anyway: although there is a context in which any of the less efficient examples could be used, like elbow stable through the whole stroke whether bent or straighter, when you are trying to groove technique to develop a good stroke, ideally there is: a) weight transfer, b) core rotation, c) some use of the shoulder but not too much, d) some use of the elbow joint, this one is safe to have as much as you want. But as long as the movement of the elbow/forearm gets the racket speed faster, it does not matter how big the range of movement in that joint is; it just should be timed well to make the racket faster during be millisecond where the ball is in contact with the rubber, e) the information I purposely left out is the use of the wrist because I feel that would complicate things unnecessarily for whocarez.

In the end, Brett Clarke does a flawless job of helping people to understand how to get the whip of the wrist into your strokes. But now may not be the time for that. [emoji2]

3) When I am talking about the joints of the shoulder and OldSchoolPenhold’s shoulder injury I mention: a) the Acromioclavicular joint, and b) the sternoclavicular joint. And then I say the movement should come from the shoulder joint. Well....the acromioclavicular joint and the sternoclavicular joint ARE BOTH joints in the shoulder girdle. But the main joint in shoulder girdle that I was referring to, where most of the upper arm movement should come from is the GLENOHUMERAL joint. Lol on me. Hahaha.

Anyway, in watching, one thing I can see is, my shoulder injury from when I was in the circus. I know, many people won’t be able to see it. But my right shoulder was dislocated several times. And I can see that it does not like to move my arm forward and up that much. [emoji2]

I guess that is okay though for a guy who is in his fifties. [emoji2]

whocarez: I hope the video helps you understand more what you want in the fundamentals of a FH stroke.

If you do shadow strokes, if you are ever able to do them while looking in a mirror, it will make seeing and auto-correcting your strokes much easier. It will happen without you even realize it. You will see what is more relaxed, effortless and efficient. And, for any good movement pattern, you want as much of those qualities as possible.


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OldschoolPenholder
10-30-2017, 08:41 PM
So cool to see a new video of you Carl! Thank you. This may help me in my game LOL


Okay: Video:

There are a few details, in talking off the cuff, that I would correct. Most of them get corrected within the context of the video. But still. Below the video, I can post a few that I can remember. [emoji2]


https://youtu.be/wc0ImOA4-WI

1) For you to use the forearm, the arm does not have to start straight and end bent at the elbow. As long as the arm is more bent at the end than it was at the beginning, you used your forearm.

2) I do cover this, but it is worth staying anyway: although there is a context in which any of the less efficient examples could be used, like elbow stable through the whole stroke whether bent or straighter, when you are trying to groove technique to develop a good stroke, ideally there is: a) weight transfer, b) core rotation, c) some use of the shoulder but not too much, d) some use of the elbow joint, this one is safe to have as much as you want. But as long as the movement of the elbow/forearm gets the racket speed faster, it does not matter how big the range of movement in that joint is; it just should be timed well to make the racket faster during be millisecond where the ball is in contact with the rubber, e) the information I purposely left out is the use of the wrist because I feel that would complicate things unnecessarily for whocarez.

In the end, Brett Clarke does a flawless job of helping people to understand how to get the whip of the wrist into your strokes. But now may not be the time for that. [emoji2]

3) When I am talking about the joints of the shoulder and OldSchoolPenhold’s shoulder injury I mention: a) the Acromioclavicular joint, and b) the sternoclavicular joint. And then I say the movement should come from the shoulder joint. Well....the acromioclavicular joint and the sternoclavicular joint ARE BOTH joints in the shoulder girdle. But the main joint in shoulder girdle that I was referring to, where most of the upper arm movement should come from is the GLENOHUMERAL joint. Lol on me. Hahaha.

Anyway, in watching, one thing I can see is, my shoulder injury from when I was in the circus. I know, many people won’t be able to see it. But my right shoulder was dislocated several times. And I can see that it does not like to move my arm forward and up that much. [emoji2]

I guess that is okay though for a guy who is in his fifties. [emoji2]

whocarez: I hope the video helps you understand more what you want in the fundamentals of a FH stroke.

If you do shadow strokes, if you are ever able to do them while looking in a mirror, it will make seeing and auto-correcting your strokes much easier. It will happen without you even realize it. You will see what is more relaxed, effortless and efficient. And, for any good movement pattern, you want as much of those qualities as possible.


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OldschoolPenholder
10-30-2017, 08:45 PM
whocarez,

I'm late to the thread, Carl mentioned it briefly. Don't think anyone followed up on it...

Take it from a player who loves to flat hit/smash, it is NOT easy to hit slow spinny loops. If i hit the ball early enough, I smash, but if i pick it up too late, the kick/bounce will take off away from me be it top or side or side top. I rush myself to pick up the ball earlier and sometimes due to rushing i don't smash successfully. Although, know that i'm but a low level to intermediate player.

Good luck in your TT!

~osph

p.s. thank you for sharing vids of your hitting with the forum. Not many have the courage to do that!

whocarez
10-30-2017, 09:40 PM
whocarez: I hope the video helps you understand more what you want in the fundamentals of a FH stroke.

If you do shadow strokes, if you are ever able to do them while looking in a mirror, it will make seeing and auto-correcting your strokes much easier. It will happen without you even realize it. You will see what is more relaxed, effortless and efficient. And, for any good movement pattern, you want as much of those qualities as possible.



This helps. Thank you for the video :) Yes, I think doing in the front of the mirror is worthwhile.


A lot of good advice here already. As UpSideDownCarl has mentioned your shadow stroke looks good, but then you change your stroke when actually contacting the ball.

The biggest thing for me is your bat angle.

In your shadow play, your bat angle is more horizontal. When you start doing the stroke with balls, your bat angle goes more vertical. This makes it hard for you to get a good topspin contact.

So I would focus on keeping the bat angle more horizontal throughout the stroke.

Also, when making changes to my technique, I always find it easier to slow the action down to begin with. Play a safer and slower topspin and when you have reached high consistency with this, then start adding more speed.

I did the Carl drill from the BH corner many times today, and my primary focus was like this:

- slowing down as much as possible
- making sure there is some change in arm bend on contact
- keeping my bat angle more horizontal. Already from the recovery have it more parallel to the ground and finish more forward.
- ending the stroke with hips and shoulders square to the direction of the stroke

Of course, not getting the right acceleration when making a slower stroke more forward makes it hard to land the ball on the table. It easily ends up in the net :P But I will just have to keep working on this for a long time period. I have no problems with both seeing/feeling when more spin is applied and how it should sound. However, I have always been scared of ending too low in a forward position to not mess up my stroke, but quite often when I *think* it is in a forward position, it is actually quite high and horizontal (maybe because many of the players I play against are defensive).

NOTE: I do not stand completely sideways on the BH side when playing a FH topspin almost to the middle. I need some angle, but I think this is fine as long as my hips and shoulders do not overrotate, and stop square in the direction of the stroke

I also noticed that:
- watching the ball carefully and hitting it on top of the bounce helps (I do it mostly already, but it still helps)
- a more relaxed wrist, but still keeping it more horizontal from the recovery really helps with both the contact and the finish position
- when the timing of the hip rotation is right with the contact, it feels very good. Currently this happens rarely, but eventually I will get there.

Of all of this, probably slowing down matters most. I always had the same tendency when playing matches. When applying power, I often exaggerate with the technique going down the drain and mixed results. This is hard to control in a match situation, but after some time it might change.

UpSideDownCarl
10-30-2017, 09:59 PM
This all sounds really good.

I just want to emphasize one simple detail:

Although NextLevel is very relaxed and probably looping at less then 60% effort, his racket is still moving fast because all the mechanics I mentioned are actually happening and they are well timed to the contact of the ball. His ball has decent pace and spin even though he is not trying hard.

So trying hard and racket moving fast are not entirely connected if the technique has all the joints working for you efficiently.


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whocarez
10-30-2017, 10:25 PM
Of course, I am aware of that. It is the same in most technical sports, getting the body to work together as a unit and correct timing is usually the hard part.

UpSideDownCarl
10-31-2017, 03:42 AM
Adding sidespin subtracts power from velocity and topspin, and the sidespin component of a shot doesn't help at all to lift a heavy push; wrong axis of force for lifting. You make it harder for yourself when you add sidespin. Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes not. If the only forehand you can hit is a hook, I think it's a good investment of practice time to figure out how to unhook it.

I wanted to pick this back up.

I know I actually covered this when I was talking about spin avoidance before this post was made. But I want to revisit the subject.

If there is heavy backspin on the ball, and you tried to hit straight topspin with no sidespin, you would be going against the spin directly and it would make looping that backspin much harder.

If you contact the outside of the ball you would be contacting closer to the axis of rotation and the spin would have much less of an effect on you so you could actually loop forward much more easily and get much more power on the ball.

The exception to this would be if there was the kind of side-backspin that would be heaviest when you contact the outside of the ball. [Reverse pendulum side/backspin from a righty to a righty.]

And, if you received this sidespin and wanted to utilize spin avoidance, you would want to contact the inside of the ball for a fade loop.

So, from that standpoint, I think the statement quoted may be a little off.

Mechanics also determine that, if you contact the ball a little in front of you, a little before the ball comes in line with your body, you can apply more force into the ball and you can utilize the force of your moving forward more effectively.

If you waited till the ball was in line with (as far back as) your body, you would have much less leverage to power into the ball. You can do it. But you won’t be able to apply as much force into your stroke.

When you swing with a FH and your racket is about 8-12 inches closer to the table (or net) than your body, your arm will be at approximately a 35-45° angle to the table which will mean you HAVE TO contact the outside of the ball to use that leverage.

So contacting the outside of the ball, a little bit on the outside of the ball, is where you can apply the most force into the ball from your stroke.

And that technically means that where you will get the most power behind your stroke is where you would contact the ball for some natural sidespin on your loop.

The same actually applies in baseball even though, in baseball, you would not be compensating for incoming spin or trying to spin the ball yourself. In baseball, if you hit the ball a little out in front of you and contact the outside of the ball, you will “pull” the ball (for a righty, pulling the ball would mean hitting towards left field. That would be equivalent to a crosscourt shot in TT or tennis.) Pulling the ball gives you much more power than hitting straight away or to the “opposite field” (an equivalent angle to hitting from the BH corner with the FH to the opponent’s BH corner).

So, the same physics apply to baseball even though they are not spinning the ball or avoiding spin. Contacting a little to the outside of the ball gives the swing the most power into the ball.

The reason has to do with the circular nature of the stroke which has to do with human anatomy and the fact that the major joints at play are circular too. The curved ball and socket joints of the shoulder, elbow and wrist, combined with the circular motion of core rotation (the much less curved facet joints of spine rotating) combine to make a very efficient circular, swinging motion that allows you to apply maximum force into the ball when the ball is a little in front of you.

However, if what you are talking about is when someone makes a slow, spinny sidespin loop that has more sidespin than forward momentum, that has to do with more of the energy of the stroke going into spin than speed. And that wouldn’t be that different than a slow spinny loop that has a high arc.

So it isn’t something that only has to do with sidespin.

But either a slow spinning, sidespin loop or a slow spinning, high arcing topspin loop can be pretty useful vs backspin, and, on certain occaissions either might be a good tactic. But I would usually prefer the slow, spinny, high arcing topspin better for that scenario because you can use the backspin to add to your topspin since you are going against the spin where it is heaviest.


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Andy44
10-31-2017, 07:26 AM
I wanted to pick this back up.

I know I actually covered this when I was talking about spin avoidance before this post was made. But I want to revisit the subject.

If there is heavy backspin on the ball, and you tried to hit straight topspin with no sidespin, you would be going against the spin directly and it would make looping that backspin much harder.

If you contact the outside of the ball you would be contacting closer to the axis of rotation and the spin would have much less of an effect on you so you could actually loop forward much more easily and get much more power on the ball.

The exception to this would be if there was the kind of side-backspin that would be heaviest when you contact the outside of the ball. [Reverse pendulum side/backspin from a righty to a righty.]

And, if you received this sidespin and wanted to utilize spin avoidance, you would want to contact the inside of the ball for a fade loop.

So, from that standpoint, I think the statement quoted may be a little off.

Mechanics also determine that, if you contact the ball a little in front of you, a little before the ball comes in line with your body, you can apply more force into the ball and you can utilize the force of your moving forward more effectively.

If you waited till the ball was in line with (as far back as) your body, you would have much less leverage to power into the ball. You can do it. But you won’t be able to apply as much force into your stroke.

When you swing with a FH and your racket is about 8-12 inches closer to the table (or net) than your body, your arm will be at approximately a 35-45° angle to the table which will mean you HAVE TO contact the outside of the ball to use that leverage.

So contacting the outside of the ball, a little bit on the outside of the ball, is where you can apply the most force into the ball from your stroke.

And that technically means that where you will get the most power behind your stroke is where you would contact the ball for some natural sidespin on your loop.

The same actually applies in baseball even though, in baseball, you would not be spinning the ball. In baseball, if you hit the ball a little out in front of you and contact the outside of the ball, you will “pull” the ball (for a righty, pulling the ball would mean hitting towards left field. That would be equivalent to a crosscourt shot in TT or tennis.) Pulling the ball gives you much more power than hitting straight away or to the “opposite field” (an equivalent angle to hitting from the BH corner with the FH to the opponent’s BH corner).

So, the same physics apply to baseball even though they are not spinning the ball or avoiding spin.

The reason has to do with the circular nature of the stroke which has to do with human anatomy and the fact that the major joints at play are circular too.

However, if what you are talking about is when someone makes a slow, spinny sidespin loop that has more sidespin than forward momentum, that has to do with more of the energy of the stroke going into spin than speed. And that wouldn’t be that different than a slow spinny loop that has a high arc.

So it isn’t something that only has to do with sidespin.


Sent from The Subterranean Workshop by Telepathy

Interesting points about spin avoidance. My statement was wrong or at least incomplete. While the force component that imparts sidespin does nothing to lift the ball, hitting the ball on the side closer to the axis of rotation should make it easier to impart topspin and so to lift and land the return. Not sure I agree that you end up with more momentum on the ball this way but I’ll have to think about that one.


Worth noting that hitting the ball on the side is not quite the same as hitting sidespin. It’s true that hitting the ball on the side tends to create some sidespin. Even a baseball bat does this, as when a fly ball starts out looking like a home run but curves foul. A cross court loop will tend to have a certain amount of sidespin from the ordinary mechanics of the shot that you discuss. But hitting sidespin, especially hitting “too much” sidespin, which the OP was asking about, I understood to mean exaggerated sidespin from more lateral brushing contact as with a hook. This will subtract something from speed and topspin, and might have accounted for the problems he described.


One other thing. Not sure exactly what you mean by contacting the ball before it comes in line with your body. That’s something I try to avoid. As a former tennis player, I have a hard time not taking the ball early, and one of the most frequent things my coach says to me is, “Wait for it.” With typical footwork my forehand power zone is a few inches in front of my back shoulder, and I’d guess that for most people that’s where maximum bat acceleration takes place. ... Just looked at your self-hitting video again and I think that’s roughly what you mean.

UpSideDownCarl
10-31-2017, 07:40 AM
Thanks for clarifying. That makes sense. The slow, spinny sidespin that imparts exaggerated sidespin on the ball as opposed to contacting the outside of the ball without trying to hook and generating some natural sidespin.

The hook with exaggerated sidespin would be something you could do as a tactic occasionally. But you don't really want to be stuck with only that shot.

And, yes, contacting the ball a little in front of you; a little before the ball would be in line with your body. So, if you were a foot behind the table, a little before the ball was a foot behind the table. Not too much in front of you. Not too early. But when your racket has gone a little forward of your shoulder. Not too late, not too early.

But, of course, it would also depend on the shot. If you were going from BH corner to BH corner with FH and hitting a slight fade, I think you might contact a little later. To go cross court you might contact a hair earlier. But, thinking about it, I have to be honest, I don't even really know what I do if I alternate from one to the other. I just adjust to the ball a little differently and set my stance a little differently.

NextLevel
10-31-2017, 11:35 AM
Of course, I am aware of that. It is the same in most technical sports, getting the body to work together as a unit and correct timing is usually the hard part.




So trying hard and racket moving fast are not entirely connected if the technique has all the joints working for you efficiently.


Would like to add one comment to this: it is a common mistake amongst adults working on their technique to believe that you develop powerful technique by swinging at the ball hard all the time. You don't learn to swing at the ball hard or to time the ball better by swinging at it hard, especially when learning technique. Swinging at the ball hard early in your learning process will ensure that you use plenty of the wrong muscles and develop lots of muscular tension.

You always start slowly, sometimes isolating body parts to ensure that they are doing the right movement, then trying to figure out what the correct activation sequence is. It may takes hundreds of thousands of strokes to get something similar to what you are trying to do out on the table. But going for power is always a guarantee that your technique will break down because you haven't developed the neural pathways to do the stroke with the proper muscle sets, yet you want to do this before you have developed them.

IT's why people learn to walk before they run. Adult learners like to refuse to believe they need to walk. But they need to.

The other thing is that in table tennis, at the amateur level, you need to play at multiple timings. IT is common to see someone have fun when they get certain spins, but when they play someone who is using slow equipment or changing spins, they are so tense and start missing the ball because they cannot adapt their timing to the ball. Lots of time spent swinging at different speeds in addition to practicing against such players will make your life much easier.

NextLevel
10-31-2017, 12:11 PM
Also watch his hips, his legs, his feet.

Note, when he uses his body, his feet turn to accommodate the hip rotation. You actually need this to keep your knees safe.



This part should be be highlighted to more and more people.

UpSideDownCarl
10-31-2017, 01:44 PM
Would like to add one comment to this:


This part should be be highlighted to more and more people.

Suga D, Where is that darn SUPER LIKE button you've been talking about!

These are two great posts.

Just a note about the second post. The reason I actually put that in, whocarez, is that, in all the videos, that is one thing that needs to be addressed. Even in the ones where you are running side to side to pick up the next ball, when you stroke, you plant your feet and it is like you are trying not to move them. The get pulled into moving when your hips have turned too far to stay where they started. But they are trying to stay in the position they started. And then they get dragged on that semi-slippery floor when your hips have turned too far for them to stay planted.

When they show the isolations of Korbel's feet in the Korbel video, see if you can see what he is doing and how the ball of the foot stays grounded but the feet turn with the rotation of the hips because his heels are not grounded.

NextLevel, can you find that video of Korbel where they show him doing shadow strokes and completely isolate his feet. It would actually be helpful to whocarez to see that.

In a sense, this foot movement and freedom should just happen if your weight is forward enough to pull your heels a tiny bit off the floor.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=569&v=suGD4AgIYpk

NextLevel
10-31-2017, 02:58 PM
I think they took that video off YouTube, Carl. I looked In my email history but that link no longer works.

UpSideDownCarl
10-31-2017, 03:29 PM
I think they took that video off YouTube, Carl. I looked In my email history but that link no longer works.

Frick. It gave the best view of the feet I have ever seen. Oh well, you can see it the view where they show the feet in this Korbel video.

His form is just so good. Touching every base of what would make complete FH technique in such a balanced way. Not too much or too little elbow, shoulder, rotation, weight transfer....flawless feet, wrist.

He is really like the textbook for what a FH should be.

But you can see the feet well enough in this ML video I posted. It is just more complicated because the drill is showing something more than basic. But it is there:


https://youtu.be/IiARkUO6aEE

And then there is Primorac. This video gives a lot of good looks at the feet. And he is one of the best to look at for how the relaxed whip of the wrist would fit in with all the other details.


https://youtu.be/nD04UQiZsyw

Still, in that Korbel video, he is simply doing the stroke and resetting without moving. So you don’t need to try and isolate the feet during the stroke from what the feet are doing in moving from spot to spot.

Embarrassed as I am, perhaps I will make a video of me doing shadow strokes where the camera angle only shows the feet.

Wish I could have had the feet in the video I made yesterday. But when you are setting up a phone camera in a place where you would not normally, you have to use the props available to you.

Maybe I will make the video in a suit and tie. [emoji2]


Sent from The Subterranean Workshop by Telepathy

whocarez
10-31-2017, 08:13 PM
You may be right about the feet. One possibility is to stay more on the balls of my feet when performing the strokes and keeping the weight more forward. I sometimes focus on this when practicing the shuffle step, but there are many things to focus on ;)

UpSideDownCarl
10-31-2017, 08:53 PM
You may be right about the feet. One possibility is to stay more on the balls of my feet when performing the strokes and keeping the weight more forward. I sometimes focus on this when practicing the shuffle step, but there are many things to focus on ;)

That is part of why I hinted but did not focus on it at first.

A lot of times the information about the feet is that you want to lift your heels. I think that can be confusing. But if you shift your weight forward the enough, your heels will be lifted a little from the weight being shifted forward.

The hard part of this, especially for someone like me, who is over 50 years old, is that, my body has an instinctual reaction to protect me from shifting my weight so far forward. The muscle memory that keeps my weight more centered front to back is hard to change. It would take a lot of training while focusing on that and nothing else.

And there are other things that are holding your stroke back.

But, ultimately, your knees staying safe may be more important than the quality of your stroke.

In the end, there is just so much you can work on.


Sent from The Subterranean Workshop by Telepathy

NextLevel
10-31-2017, 08:55 PM
Exactly. Focus on rocking on the balls of your feet to protect your knees. Knee pain and damage amongst untrained amateurs hitting the ball hard is an undisclosed epidemic.

Der_Echte
11-01-2017, 05:48 AM
I used to say the more skilled you are, the luckier you get, but lately, I have been saying the more you are in position, the better your skill and luck.