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  1. whocarez is offline
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    #1

    Too much sidespin on forehand topspins

    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?

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    #2
    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.

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  3. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #3
    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.

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    #4
    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.
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    #5
    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.

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  6. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #6

    Too much sidespin on forehand topspins

    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.

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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 10-26-2017 at 03:38 PM.
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    #7
    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.

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    Last edited by suds79; 10-26-2017 at 01:42 PM.

  8. whocarez is offline
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy44
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by langel
    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!

  9. whocarez is offline
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl

    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?

  10. ttmonster is offline
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    #10
    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 ...
    Quote Originally Posted by whocarez
    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?

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  11. Xylit is offline
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    #11
    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.

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    #12
    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!

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    Last edited by TableTennisTom; 10-26-2017 at 04:54 PM.

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    #13
    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.

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    #14
    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

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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    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.

  16. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #16
    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.


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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 10-27-2017 at 07:31 AM.
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  17. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #17

    Too much sidespin on forehand topspins

    Leaning to the side:





    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.


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    Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 10-27-2017 at 02:38 AM.
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  18. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #18
    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.

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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by whocarez
    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.

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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    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.

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