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TaiHaoPingPong
08-27-2021, 06:32 PM
Hey,
Curious to hear what if anything goes through other people's heads as they return serves with sidespin on them (not so interested in top/no/underspin as it's more straightforward once you've read it, to me).
When first encountering very sidespinny serves , I would very consciously have to try process along the lines of (if the incoming serve is right hander pendulum) "ok if his racket is going to my right, the ball will want to go in that direction, so aim left".
Which is clearly not ideal as it's too much information to try process in such a short time. Since then I've gotten used to automatically adjusting the bat, but I do still struggle when I play people with funky looking serves that are hard to read in the windup. Wondering if anyone has any helpful mental notes or tricks, or if you just need to receive enough serves until it becomes fully unconscious

lodro
08-27-2021, 10:45 PM
The higher grade the opponents is, the more he/she will have to use what you describe as "funky looking serves".
These trick- serves pretend to be one thing but end up being the opposite.

While i am convinced that the trick how to cope with these serves is to learn them, analyze them and to a certain degree
get used to them, the absolute "must" here is to develop the skills of OBSERVATION and CONCENTRATION.

This probably quite useless message is brought to you by a player who suffers from """ Attention Deficit syndrome""" 😎

UpSideDownCarl
08-28-2021, 02:02 AM
TaiHao, your duplicate thread has been merged with this one.
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Serve, theory: for me, all I am trying to do with my serves is get my opponent to give me a slightly loose ball for me to attack, something where the ball is an inch or so higher than he thought it would be. I use the serve to set up my taking control of the rally.
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Sidespin, if the ball is curving towards your FH side then you have to make contact on the inside of the spin (BH side) which is where the spin will have the least effect on you. Then you can put the ball where you want. If the ball is curving towards your BH side, then you want to contact the inside of the spin (which would be the FH side of the ball).
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If you think about it this way, when someone loops heavy topspin, to control the topspin, you cover the top of the ball. Topspin curves down. You contact the side of the ball that the ball is curving away from.
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For backspin, you touch closer to the bottom of the ball. If there was no gravity, backspin would curve up. Because there is gravity backspin has a flat trajectory until it starts to drop from gravity as a result of the ball slowing down.
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With any regular sidespin, you would want to contact the side of the ball that the ball is curving away from. In other words, apply what you do to topspin or backspin to the side of the ball instead of the top or bottom.
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And the best way to see what sidespin is coming at you is the direction the ball is curving. No matter what fancy tricks an opponent does with his racket before or after contacting the ball, if the ball curves left, the ball has the kind of sidespin that would cause it to curve to the left. Repeat that sentence and just add right everywhere left was in it. The principle is the same.
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Corkscrew sidespin, you don't have to worry about how you contact corkscrew sidespin. You just have to get your racket on the ball because a corkscrew sidespin won't curve, it will fly straight, but it will kick sideways like Adam Bobrow's snake shots. You have to really mess up to contact a corkscrew in a spot where the spin will over power you. But if you misread the kick to the side off the bounce as curve while in flight, then you will be in trouble. Because if you do what you want to for a sidepsin that curves left, to a corkscrew that kicks left, the ball will react like you just did the wrong thing to heavy backspin. :)
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Also, look on TTEdge for the parts on practicing reading serves and look for Brett Clarke's TTEdge App where you can practice reading serves as a game on an App. It is interesting because it really helps.

UpSideDownCarl
08-28-2021, 02:22 AM
Practicing serving helps you improve your return of serve.

Reading the serve needs to include reading the arc and bounce of the ball.

Topspin kicks on the bounce and the bounce is rounded because the spin pulls it down (on the serve too).

Backspin slows down on the bounce and has a flatter trajectory.

Dead balls float.

Sidespin curves to one side or the other.

You need to watch the ball to read the serve. If you read the serve, you should be able to develop the skills to return it.

UpSideDownCarl
08-28-2021, 02:27 AM
In serving, a little variation in the amount of spin will give you easy balls to attack. If you are always trying to spin the same amount, your serves will be predictable and easy to return against a decent player; this is the case no matter how much spin you can put on your serves.

Dead ball serves are very effective, especially if you also have a heavy backspin serve to mix it with.

Tango K
08-28-2021, 01:38 PM
Sidespin, if the ball is curving towards your FH side then you have to make contact on the inside of the spin (BH side) which is where the spin will have the least effect on you. Then you can put the ball where you want. If the ball is curving towards your BH side, then you want to contact the inside of the spin (which would be the FH side of the ball).


Took me a lot of mind twist to understand this in the past. People tend to tell beginner to aim the ball to offset the spin. That’s not very wise to learn how to deal with side spin. Maybe it’s the starting point for beginner but it’ll make you very passive. (My stroke against back-side spin still has a legacy of this that’s so embedded that it’s painful to fix)

To add to what Carl says, you touch the ball on the side NOT because you want to aim the ball differently, but because it’s where you can work the spin. Not just it affects you less, it’ll also give you more friction to make your active shot. (This is why dead ball is harder to flick / spin attack. When the ball has spin and you contact it right, the incoming spin will dip the ball into your rubber more, giving you extra friction. Dead ball just slips.) The ball should go where you swing to.

But yes in the end of the day, practising touch related stuff helps. Theories are just that much I guess.

Brs
08-28-2021, 02:14 PM
If you are thinking anything during opponent's serve you're dead already. Like Pete Rose said, See the ball, hit the ball.

Attitude
08-28-2021, 02:50 PM
If you are thinking anything during opponent's serve you're dead already. Like Pete Rose said, See the ball, hit the ball.
Definitly true, but you still can think about it to be mentally prepared.

For example if i know my opponent is able to perform good, long serves, than you should always expect these serves for several reasons:
1. If are not ready for it, your either lose the point already at this point or at least give back a higher ball in which the outcome is the same.
2. A longer serve is always faster than a shorter one and you have less time to react. Thinking about these serves and expecting them reduces your time to react.
3. These serves are a strong possibility for yourselves too. If you can react fast enough, then there is no chance for a third ball attack, because you are the one giving the attack already and forcing your opponent at least into the defence.

IB66
08-28-2021, 03:01 PM
As the others have said, your contact point when on the same side of the ball that the server struck the ball will make the receive easier and can also return a lot of their own spin back to them, especially if your return is more on the passive side. You will also be able to have better control of your receive placement.

pingpongpaddy
08-28-2021, 09:16 PM
Hey,
Curious to hear what if anything goes through other people's heads as they return serves with sidespin on them (not so interested in top/no/underspin as it's more straightforward once you've read it, to me).
When first encountering very sidespinny serves , I would very consciously have to try process along the lines of (if the incoming serve is right hander pendulum) "ok if his racket is going to my right, the ball will want to go in that direction, so aim left".
Which is clearly not ideal as it's too much information to try process in such a short time. Since then I've gotten used to automatically adjusting the bat, but I do still struggle when I play people with funky looking serves that are hard to read in the windup. Wondering if anyone has any helpful mental notes or tricks, or if you just need to receive enough serves until it becomes fully unconscious
I believe most of the thinking is done during practice rather than in the match situation where you should be focussed on executing the (hopefully sound stroke ). that you have developed.
I think developing a smooth ‘on tramlines’ service return technique, that enables you to keep the ball low easily is the key. If you can move the bat horizontally through the contact point, while adjusting the racket angle to allow for chop or top on the serve without making errors you are good to go.
The main use of the side is that it can help the server to disguise the chop or top. The worst mistake by weakies is not making a sufficiently confident stroke
allowing the bat to be motionless is a sin that allows servers spin to bite to the max. So its worth thinking about using soft touch with positivity and yet be able to deploy speed and power when appropriate. Thus “moving the bat smoothly through the contact phase” is a skill that is acquired with hours of practice. You’ll need strong legs to be able to keep your balance on 2nd and 4th balls

good luck