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    1. Top | #1
      Andyzhao123 is offline
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      Advice for Improving Serve

      So I've taken a few videos of some of my decent serves a day ago, and I've sent them to the Table Tennis Subreddit, along with the Table Tennis Discord Server.


      Different angle of view at 1:20
      Slo-mo at 2:09

      Any advice on how I can improve my serve farther is greatly appreciated.
      So far, I have:
      -toss the ball higher, not letting the arm go too high with the ball
      -make more of a whipping motion with the forearm and wrist to generate more spin
      -contact the ball slightly lower so that it doesn't bounce too high
      -try to aim for the center of my side of the table to keep the ball short
      -apply pressure on the index finger, and keep the thumb loose (I disagree with this point since I've seen Xu Xin do the opposite)
      -simulate a match situation (wait a few seconds before the toss and bounce back after the serve to get used to the "three-step pattern")
      -flat hand
      -stop playing penhold and switch to shakehand (that I likely will not do)
      So if anyone has any comments, questions, or suggestions, I'd be more than happy to take them. It means a lot to me.
      Thanks to everyone in advance.
      Last edited by Andyzhao123; 01-29-2019 at 01:22 AM.

    2. Top | #2
      Lightzy is offline
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      Your serves are illegal, you're lifting the ball and then letting it drop, not really throwing it up enough. So that's one thing to fix. It's like what Ma Long was called for in Bulgaria.

      My suggestion if you want to experiment until you find the best way to serve is to try holding the racket many different ways.
      I don't mean holding shakehand. I mean try holding a little more up, a little more down. Try putting more pressure with the thumb, more pressure with the finger, try holding loose and try holding more firm etc. Try supporting the blade with three fingers at the bottom, putting a lot of stabilizing pressure on it (like xu xin does), try your serves with every grip change.
      You see lots of people giving the regular sensible advice but the grip, I think, is the most important part of serving. Mostly where and how you put pressure on the blade.

      Of course hitting the ball at net height is best, and also your motion is, I think, a bit too fluid. I mean, there is no acceleration for brushing the ball, it's just one long arcing motion all at the same speed. That wristy PANG at the end of the motion makes a lot of spin. You could probably get more spin on the serve just with the wristy pang than you can get with a whole fluid motion.
      Last edited by Lightzy; 01-30-2019 at 09:04 PM.

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    4. Top | #3
      Hamasaki_Fanz is offline
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      I see no brushing on the ball to generate spin..
      You should learn how to apply spin to the ball first before u start serve practice.

    5. Top | #4
      Lula is offline
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      I agree with others that you need to try to brush te ball to get more spin. It looks like you want some backspin But you so not get much since your motion is so slow. Then i think you should hit the ball lower so the ball Will not be so high. You could also try some variation, that you try to Do Nospin and backspin with almost the same motion. I feel like you already know the Nospin, you just need to brush the ball more to get backspin. You could also try some movements afterwards that is opposite of the spin you are making to confuse the opponent. Maybe you also could practice to go into starting position after the serve. I also think it is important you Do a serve with a purpose, Do you know where you want you want ro get the return and with What kind of spin?

      You seem to have alot of suggestions on your own. Maybe you can believe in yourself and try them. You Do not need us to tell you if you already know it. Try and see What works best! But then it also could be good to post a video to get more help.

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    7. Top | #5
      Andyzhao123 is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Lula View Post
      I agree with others that you need to try to brush te ball to get more spin. It looks like you want some backspin But you so not get much since your motion is so slow. Then i think you should hit the ball lower so the ball Will not be so high. You could also try some variation, that you try to Do Nospin and backspin with almost the same motion. I feel like you already know the Nospin, you just need to brush the ball more to get backspin. You could also try some movements afterwards that is opposite of the spin you are making to confuse the opponent. Maybe you also could practice to go into starting position after the serve. I also think it is important you Do a serve with a purpose, Do you know where you want you want ro get the return and with What kind of spin?

      You seem to have alot of suggestions on your own. Maybe you can believe in yourself and try them. You Do not need us to tell you if you already know it. Try and see What works best! But then it also could be good to post a video to get more help.
      I feel like I'm generating a good amount of spin on my serves, though I would definitely like having more spin. So should I accelerate quickly right around the moment of contact?

      I'll get another video out as soon as I can. Thanks for the response!

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    9. Top | #6
      Lula is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Andyzhao123 View Post
      I feel like I'm generating a good amount of spin on my serves, though I would definitely like having more spin. So should I accelerate quickly right around the moment of contact?

      I'll get another video out as soon as I can. Thanks for the response!
      As long as you have a thin contact with the ball, then faster brush will give more spin. So you are correct and you should try to accelerate fast with mostly the wrist in my opinion at the moment at contact. You can try this yourself. If you do the motion slower, the ball will spin less and if you try to do the motion faster the ball will spin. Good servers have tried tried and tried again to see what works the best. Use your imagination. Try to copy other good players serves.

      For more spin you could also try to contact the ball at the bottom of the racket, so the ball have more rubber to travel one. You can also try to have a higher throw so the ball will have more speed, this way you can generate more spin. But maybe you can try this much later.

      I also think that maybe you do not need crazy much spin. You could try to be deceptive and do unnecessary motions after you have hit the ball. try to do the opposite motions of the spin you try to get.

      With the new ball it is also much more difficult to fool the opponent with the spin. I think it is almost more important that you do serves with a purpose. You know when you do that kind of serve you will get that kind of return. A return that is good for you, were you can play one of your strongest shots. Placement of the serve is also very important. I think Samsonov do not seem to have crazy much spin but he can place the serve almost everywhere. That the serve is low is also almost more important than crazy much spin. I also find it important that you can do almost all kind of serves with all kind of placement. Some tactics relies on that you can do one kind of serve.

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    11. Top | #7
      yogi_bear is offline
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      It is important to develop the feel for the ball, brushing and contact plus snapping of the wrist.

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    13. Top | #8
      Andyzhao123 is offline
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      So I've gotten slightly better at serving, especially when it comes to deception and feeling of spinning the ball. However, I'm still having a lot of trouble keeping the ball low. Any help?
      First few are side-under, next are sidespin, next are side-top.

    14. Top | #9
      Archyan is offline
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      One vital point is that you're right foot is in front of your left foot, it should be the other way around.

      Also, for a starter, you should try to use as much wrist as possible and as little arm as possible. The spin mostly comes from your wrist, and the placement of the ball is mostly from your arm.

      Start with trying to generate as much spin as possible, that means using a lot of wrist, and when you achieve good spin you should try to get better placement of the ball.

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    16. Top | #10
      Archyan is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Andyzhao123 View Post
      [...] , I'm still having a lot of trouble keeping the ball low... [...]
      If you feel like the ball is too high, try hitting the first bounce closer to the table

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    18. Top | #11
      Lula is offline
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      Like the guy above is saying you need to hit the ball lower down to keep the ball low. So need to lower your centre of mass, by bending your legs and maybe lowering your arm. I think it is best to bend the legs. So you are much lower when you hit the ball, then it will be low. Now you hit it to high up so the ball is high.

      I also think you can try to brush the ball more when you hit it. So try to hit it even faster. Then you will get more spin. You can also try to have a higher throw, but then you really need to be good to hit the ball fast.

      You could also get better deception if you try to do the opposite motion after. So if you do sidebackspin you want to go up after you have hit the ball so it looks like you have done sidetopspin. And the oppsite for sidetopspin.

      I think maybe you can try to get the serves a bit longer. This will be harder for the opponent. And also try to place the serve at different places at the table.

      Maybe you will also benefit from serve and then go to ready stance.

      If you can work on the things above i think you will get a better serve. But also remember that the serve need to suit your playing style, you need to get a return you want.

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    20. Top | #12
      langel is offline
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      My advice /just a hint out of lot/:
      - Try to bend your knees rather than your back.
      When you bend your back the hit is out of control and you lose confidence /its obvious that you get disapointed/
      When you bend the knees you add power to the hit without losing the control vector of the movement.
      Arm mechanics is the next step.

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    22. Top | #13
      langel is offline
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      Next step:
      - Lose your wrist passive and let it make a whiplash, following the work of your lower arm.
      Make two general approaches:
      - smooth lower arm swing, accelerating the wrist swing After you meet the ball
      - sharp swing with thinner contact and precise vector

      When you start to feel the ball and its reaction, start to control your wrist swing with variations, making it active in all directions you can execute.
      Last edited by langel; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:51 PM.

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    24. Top | #14
      Dr Evil is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Andyzhao123 View Post
      I'm still having a lot of trouble keeping the ball low. Any help?
      (1) Contact the ball around net height. It's probably lower than you think. Much easier if you adjust your stance to get your shoulders and eyes close to this level. (2) Concentrate on making the trajectory of the ball off your racket forward (or even slightly up) rather than down. When you hit the ball down at the table it will tend to bounce higher. (3) Try to control the location of the first bounce on your side of the table. For a short tight serve it's easiest if the first bounce is close to the net on your side.

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    26. Top | #15
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    27. Top | #16
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Look where you start serve and what your swing plane is... it is nearly 30 degrees downward to impact the ball. You should be having swing going forward at impact... not downward. This cause you to open the blade to get the ball short... which in turn will give you a better chance to catch and throw the ball.

      This will also help you with your height problem... which I think is caused by too much downward swing at impact.

      Personally, I impact the ball at a ridiculously high height... like almost a foot higher than my belly button... and I can still make a consistent short and low undersipn short serve. Once you get the habit and feel of swinging forward, you can experiment with the impact height and lift at impact. I lot of players can do a short serve that impacts net height or lower where they are scooping up... possible and doable, but not really needed to get it short and tight... but it is a good variation to have in your bag.

      Nearly every player trying to learn to serve short does what you do (swing down), but with much more severe issues (like trying to stop swing to keep ball on table)

      Lowering the tip of blade to get sidespin adds consistency of impact and a greater chance to land it short. I see you do that - good. Just get the swing forward and open blade angle. Believe that you can do it.

      Once you get that down, you will be able to mess around with other stuff and open some more doors of discovery.
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    29. Top | #17
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      Quite often when learning many players hit the ball too much downard, as mentioned here. It is very easy to tilt the tip of the blade too much down at moment of impact, and be unaware of this unless you see it on video. One solution may be to exaggerate the movement upwards, and rather think about hitting the front bottom half of the ball "upwards". Even if the feeling is "upwards", you actually end up with a mostly horizontal blade and get a better brushing contact.

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    31. Top | #18
      yogi_bear is offline
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      You still have too much upward movement for the toss but toss is only 6 inches which is good enough.
      Last edited by yogi_bear; 4 Weeks Ago at 08:25 AM.

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    33. Top | #19
      JohnKish is offline
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      Sorry for the off top. I see some advanced technique discussion here. Could you maybe share some beginner tutorials? Like really basic things, as I'm just starting playing table tennis.
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    34. Top | #20
      Lula is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by JohnKish View Post
      Sorry for the off top. I see some advanced technique discussion here. Could you maybe share some beginner tutorials? Like really basic things, as I'm just starting playing table tennis.
      like what?

      You can basically get 4 kind of spins: backspin, topspin, and two kind of sidespins. You hit under the ball for backspin. Over the ball for topspin. On the side of the ball for sidspin. So you need to angle you bat to hit on difference places on the ball to get these kind of spin.

      You get more spin the more you brush the ball. This you mostly do with the wrist and try to accelerate fast. Many only hold the racket with mostly the index finger and thumb to be able to swing the racket more freely.

      For long serves you want the first bounce on your side to be close to the white line. For short serves you want your first bounce close to the net. A short serve is short if it bounce two times if no one touches it.

      try to hit the ball when you serve when the ball is low so the serve becomes low.

      If you forehand is your strongest shot you want to serve with fh in the bh corner to be able to play more forehand. If backhand is your strongest shot i think you should serve with the forehand more from the middle or with the backhand.

      You need to throw the ball straight up with an open palm, atleast as high as the net and behind the white line.

      maybe that is a good start. Was hard to know what you was asking for.

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