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    1. Top | #1
      Andyzhao123 is offline
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      Finishing forehand loop/smash

      Hi everyone!

      I've noticed that top players extend their entire arm when attacking a slightly high ball close to the table, such as after a high serve receive. Some call it a "rocket forehand". I see them do the same when looping heavy backspin balls. So as a beginner, should I extend my arm more when going all-in when attacking, along with looping backspins, compared to counterlooping?

      Thank you in advance.

    2. Top | #2
      Lula is offline
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      I have never seen a player extend the arm more when attacking a higher ball. I want my players to extend their arm as much as possible. In tabletennis the power comes from the body, so by rotating the body the arm will move aswell. If you have the arm close to the body the arm will not move as much and you will not benefit from rotating the body as much and not get as much power. If you imagine a drive in golf i think it is almost the same principle. You want pendelum with the arm. Remember to also accelerate with the forearm to generate spin. If you want help from people here, i think it is easier to post a video of you playing. Good luck!

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      Andyzhao123 (11-12-2018),Boogar (11-13-2018),eduardo1995filipe (11-13-2018),UpSideDownCarl (11-13-2018)

    4. Top | #3
      mickd is offline
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      It would be nice to hear more opinions on this. I was always a believer in having your arm more extended to generate more power, but so many people where I live, including high level coaches, tell their students to keep their arm close to their body. I hear people say things like sandwiching a table tennis ball in your armpit without letting it fall out. To do that, you'll need your arms pretty close to your body.

      The only reason I can think of is to force them to learn to use their body instead of their arm. Maybe it's more consistent as well.

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    6. Top | #4
      Lightzy is offline
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      If you get a short-ish backspin ball (like from a serve return) you attack it (with your forehand) by extending your arm completely to hit an over-the-table topspin. You extend the arm because otherwise you can't reach it. That's all it is really.
      Also you do the same with short dead balls.

      It's a shot that I'm not surprised coaches aren't teaching as 'basics' to beginners because it's not a beginners shot. You could bang your hand/racket on the edge of the table if you don't know what you're doing, and you have to do it with full acceleration from the beginning of the motion or it's too slow to effectively topspin-smash the ball once your extended arm reaches it.

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      Andyzhao123 (11-16-2018),Der_Echte (11-13-2018)

    8. Top | #5
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lula View Post
      I have never seen a player extend the arm more when attacking a higher ball. I want my players to extend their arm as much as possible. In tabletennis the power comes from the body, so by rotating the body the arm will move aswell. If you have the arm close to the body the arm will not move as much and you will not benefit from rotating the body as much and not get as much power. If you imagine a drive in golf i think it is almost the same principle. You want pendelum with the arm. Remember to also accelerate with the forearm to generate spin. If you want help from people here, i think it is easier to post a video of you playing. Good luck!
      He has.. sort of, it was some low power FH loops hitting the ball against a return board, but no match footage. That would show more as you noted.
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    10. Top | #6
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by mickd View Post
      It would be nice to hear more opinions on this. I was always a believer in having your arm more extended to generate more power, but so many people where I live, including high level coaches, tell their students to keep their arm close to their body. I hear people say things like sandwiching a table tennis ball in your armpit without letting it fall out. To do that, you'll need your arms pretty close to your body.

      The only reason I can think of is to force them to learn to use their body instead of their arm. Maybe it's more consistent as well.
      Long extended arm FH loop ala Wang Liqin is not for everyone. On an incoming ball to deliver even more force, it is a way to go, easier to do with the right coordination of long hip. It really maximizes force delivered to the ball. Yet, I do not see that kind of loop being the loop an amateur player uses for connecting shots or openers.

      It is way easier to control impact and the ball with the arm bent, especially in lower power shots. How much everyone says this or that. It is difficult to feel and control with the long hip movement on a low power shot vs a high power shot. That is why I feel it is better to have a natural relaxed arm bend. One really shouldn't over-think it though.

      A danger of bent arm is when players get TOO BENT and are using only the back of the shoulder to power the ball. Way to under-power and inconsistent - no base of leverage. Better to use the right, but less power sequence of legs/hip... easier to transfer power that way and control it if the arm/wrist is loose. Adjust grip at impact.

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    12. Top | #7
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Andy, I think the reason why you see an extended arm over the table to attack this kind of ball is the table is in the way of getting into the position and stance you normally use for other loops. It is difficult to get to this ball with a bent arm, so you have to modify your basic swing for this situation. It is similar to a flip (or also flick) on a short ball.

      This extended arm is a modified shot form. You step in leg under the table, extend arm to get to the impact zone, then either whip it with long arm (leveraged by hip and shoulder) or some arm snap (also leveraged by hip and shoulder, but shoulder only moves to the zone of impact and stops).

      When you step in, you are creating kinetic energy that could be used to transfer power to the ball. If you are loose and time the sequence right, you can continue this kinetic energy and even amplify it on each sequence. You can vary you grip for how little or lot you want the ball to rebound.

      The key is to be loose, step in, maintain leg spread and lower hip for stability and efficiency of power transfer. When you step in and have this kind of position and stance, you have a real good base to exert leverage. If you sequence it right, you will multiply your power. You can make a real mean power swat with a stroke that doesn't look anywhere near 100 percent for this kind of ball.

      Timing and balance are crucial, it requires practice, lots, but some are naturals at this sequence.

      Koreans call this a matter of "Bak-Ja" right (Means Tempo, but also deeper meaning involving rhythm) Germans have a term for it "Tanz zum Ball" (Dance to the ball)

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    14. Top | #8
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lightzy View Post
      If you get a short-ish backspin ball (like from a serve return) you attack it (with your forehand) by extending your arm completely to hit an over-the-table topspin. You extend the arm because otherwise you can't reach it. That's all it is really.
      Also you do the same with short dead balls.

      It's a shot that I'm not surprised coaches aren't teaching as 'basics' to beginners because it's not a beginners shot. You could bang your hand/racket on the edge of the table if you don't know what you're doing, and you have to do it with full acceleration from the beginning of the motion or it's too slow to effectively topspin-smash the ball once your extended arm reaches it.
      I like your more concise description, I gave a lot of details of how and why, but you correctly filtered it all down to one important reason.

      As for this being taught, many coaches have their own development milestones where they introduce more new concepts.

      The Koreans will start teaching the over the table shots relatively early after the basic FH and the BH rally shots are in good order. You see 1500 USATT level players (Div 4 city in Korea) getting a few minutes of multiball on this by the time they have had lessons for 6 or 12 months and they progressed enough.

      I agree it isn't a real natural easy shot, one has to see the ball early and do a lot of stuff right. This isn't something a beginner would do high percentage.

      You have to first recognize you are getting a short ball. That is a tough one for most... even players near 2000 do not see the action well sometimes.

      Then you have to get into action with a lot more precision of position and balance. Position must be with inches of optimal impact zone. On a normal FH you can get away with an error in position as the FH is way more dynamic.

      You also have a more difficult to execute sequence to transfer power.

      The step in timing must be right or it is a total train wreck of a shot gifting points to opponent. Donation by paypal accepted is what I say when I get points from easy errors by opponent.

      Those are the reasons why I agree it is not a real beginners shot, but at some point, a player has to start practicing this kind of sequence for strategic development.
      Last edited by Der_Echte; 11-13-2018 at 03:43 AM.

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    16. Top | #9
      FruitLoop is offline
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      The more time you have the more your arm can be extended. A lot depends on this. A quick counter loop you won't be able to have full extension. But for maximum power generally the arm will be fully extended, like when looping a push or looping back from the table. Watch Xu Xin!

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    18. Top | #10
      Andyzhao123 is offline
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      Hi again!

      I've read everyone's response already. To narrow things down a bit further, I'm talking more about the scenario where I serve a no-spin ball, my opponent reads it as an underspin ball and pushes high, and I attack. I've seen Ryu Seung Min extend his entire arm when attacking this shot, and I'm wondering if I should do the same, being a beginner.

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