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    1. Top | #41
      NextLevel is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by Archosaurus View Post
      Wow. I guess if you can go and make that kind of serve real low it's a big problem.

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

      @Baal

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

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

      IF people are popping up your light backspin serves, that is fine. But I have had stronger opponents push my light backspin serves low and heavy and that was why I switched to serving real no-spin.
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    3. Top | #42
      Archosaurus is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel View Post
      If you have been reading what I wrote elsewhere, the light spin on the ball can still be used by good players to good effect. Brett actually got me to confirm that his no-spin serve was extremely light topspin by the time it got to me(as in the ball was rolling forward). This was his way of getting me to realize that I was supposed to hit the ball when serving no-spin, not spin it. Light backspin is something else and it can be effective, as I used to serve light backspin as my no-spin for a long time. The thing is that better players can push and flick that ball more easily because they can use that spin for friction. That's the point of no-spin - the lack of friction means you can do less with the ball unless you generate your own friction and the low short ball over the table reduces options for generating friction.

      IF people are popping up your light backspin serves, that is fine. But I have had stronger opponents push my light backspin serves low and heavy and that was why I switched to serving real no-spin.
      That makes sense. Sometimes I get a really mean long inverted chop back my way when I serve light spin and I've done it myself after I learned that you can dig into light spin by chopping/pushing down with a more vertical bat.

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

    4. Top | #43
      Baal is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Archosaurus View Post

      Isn't that a little bit like NL's method of light spin? His heavy serve is damn heavy, so his light spin can actually be respectably heavy too. So people will adapt to the heavy spin, and then you just need a lot less spin: it doesn't matter if it's still heavy or not. I imagine it's better if you go from "damn heavy" to "still kinda heavy" and achieve the same effect. You can't just stare at the ball, then.
      I thought it was NL was saying. It's just that some people call the light serve "no-spin" and but it can't really be no-spin, just more spin and less spin (or as bobpuls said more accurately, side-under or side). But the serves need to look as much possible identical to each other. Ma Lin did it better than anyone.

      But NL is actually saying something else.

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

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

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

      I have gotten that theory from the times a coach tells me just one little thing, but fundamentally important, and now everything clicks on a particular shot.
      Last edited by Baal; 09-29-2016 at 02:43 PM.

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    6. Top | #44
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Ilia, there are a few ways to get a dead serve. You mentioned slowing down the bat. That is possible, but that is very easy for an opponent to see what the server is doing.

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

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

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    8. Top | #45
      NextLevel is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by Baal View Post
      I thought it was NL was saying. It's just that some people call the light serve "no-spin" and but it can't really be no-spin, just more spin and less spin (or as bobpuls said more accurately, side-under or side). But the serves need to look as much possible identical to each other. Ma Lin did it better than anyone.

      But NL is actually saying something else.

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

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

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

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

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

      But I am going to experiment with the slower no-spin serve and see what it does.
      Last edited by NextLevel; 09-29-2016 at 08:39 PM.

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    10. Top | #46
      gmiller2233 is offline
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      Reducing Spin on Your Serves

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

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


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      Last edited by gmiller2233; 01-18-2017 at 08:42 PM.

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    12. Top | #47
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      I've just got a tip from our coach for serving low a couple of days ago.
      She said that to keep a serve low and hard attackable i should make sure the ball isn't on the rise anymore when it passes the net. This has very much to do with the placement of the first bounce.

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

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    14. Top | #48
      timgapinski1 is offline
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      Interesting points. Thanks


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    15. Top | #49
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      Quote Originally Posted by songdavid98 View Post
      I use to think no spin was useless. Now, I get why it has a little use, but I still think it's not that useful. It's only okay for variation purposes.
      You're basically taking advantage of a weakness that lower level players have, and it's that they
      1) can't read spin
      2) can't deal with short no spin

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




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

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

      In general, giving your opponent options is a very bad idea. When we serve and attack, we try to force the opponent into making shots that we expect and are familiar with.
      I dont quite agree with the above. I think that all levels of players misread serves, to varying degrees. That is strong players may often know what the spin is, but they misjudge the amount. So imho the nospin serve is a valid serve at all levels. To expand a little, deceptive serving is an exercise in con man ship. To make no spin variations useful you probably need to acquire good strong chop serve. Once you get opponent to put a couple in the net, the mind games can begin.

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