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    1. Top | #1
      iamsan is offline
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      Backhand topspin/loop uncomfortable (locked elbow)

      Hi guys.
      After I got the hang out of forehand attacking I work on my backhand since some time.
      First when I was try out things by myself I noticed my loop/topspin is consistent and powerful if I lock up my elbow fully. I feel with locking up I get a more flatter bat-angle thus more topspin. Because it doesn't feel natural the try and error was going on.
      Lately our best player and coach teached me the backhand stroke. It was similar to the one I found out as written below. The key point for me is to push the elbow as much forward as possible. Even without using the wrist the stroke is really good (consistent and powerful) but still very unnatural. Here again I think the flatter angle makes the deal work.
      Even more lately I am trying to play more relaxed with a loose grip. I think a lose grip will be a milestone in my progress. My forehand is improving alot lately esp. In consistency.
      Sadly for backhand if I play loosely and in a natural way this result in a more leanbacked elbow and not fully stretched like written before. With this stroke most balls go mostly over the table. I guess because again the angle is too steep.
      EQ wise it doesn't matter so I guess I have to fix my technique.

      I would like to hear your opinion about this. For me a natural and relaxed stroke execution should be the best in TT which kinda works for my FH but not for my current BH. Tell me please your key point u think mostly of by doing the BH topspin stroke.
      Last edited by iamsan; 12-14-2019 at 11:37 PM.

    2. Top | #2
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      the arm including the elbow should be relaxed at the beginning of the stroke. try taking the ball at a late contact point first for you to practice your stroke more.
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    3. Top | #3
      Der_Echte is offline
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      We would like to see a little video action of you doing Ur BH stroke in action. We would be able to see a few things and make more relevant comments to you.

      The BH shot depends on a lot of stuff - you have to have position and adapt to the ball as well as what you are trying to do to the ball. Everything is different for at the table and away from it. Going against underspin and topspin require different approaches. Making a slow spinny loop, or a fast loaded loop require different approaches and technique.

      This is why I say there is no single BH stroke action I can say is THE right answer for every BH shot. Korean pros and pro coaches there ALWAYS say there is no single correct answer in TT. This is especially true for BH shots.

      There are a few things that ought to be consistently done (or not done) to make your BH shots effective with good smooth power transfer.

      - Be in position ready to go. The effective strike zone is much smaller with the BH shot, so it is SO MUCH more important to be in position ready. The FH is much more dynamic, so much harder to hit hard BH shots on the run than with FH.

      - The center of the effective strike zone will depend on the arms/physique of the player, but will mostly be in 25-33 cm to the front of the inner (center of chest side) of the left pectoral muscle for a right handed player... and not be a large zone. Think of a GRAPEFRUIT in that center of zone and you get a decent visualization of the effective strike zone.

      - Move upper arm and elbow to the spot it needs to be - this is the position where it needs to be so that the upper arm will rotate circular like there is a huge rod driven through it stuck to the ground and Ur lower arm is moving like it is attacked like a swivel to that rod.

      - The strike zone can be extended forward by as much as a foot by getting the upper arm and lower arm more forward... but after so many inches, you lose possible angles to the left when hitting with any power.

      - It IS possible to move the entire upper arm to the left or right (recommend against it though) but you still need to get it set. Having the upper arm too far to the left or right of optimal position will reduce the power transfer and take away some of your possible angles.

      - Avoid moving your upper arm from left to right (if you are right handed) during the stroke. (In saying this, I mean after you got the upper arm/elbow anchored to the spot it needs to be) When you move the upper arm past where it needs to be, you are in effect, moving the center of the strike zone during the shot and reducing the effectiveness of your power transfer. Players make so many errors doing this while going for power. It may be possible to do this as a last moment adjustment if you set pour position wrong (too far to the left) and there is no other way remaining to you except to move that upper arm unit, reduce power and at least get the ball on the table without trying to overpower out of position and piss away the point. This sometimes happens - opponents are not out to announce where they are placing the ball to make it easy for us.

      - Get the arm in motion, continue to stay loose, set the upper arm/elbow when "there" to the spot, stay loose, allow lower arm to move forward, impulse triceps to rotate arm forward, impulse top of lower arm to get that tiny bit of wrist going, and firm up grip right at impact with the muscles below the lower arm - this firming right at impact will help deliver maximum power transfer.

      - Whip action comes from getting a mass into motion, then impulsing it. Much easier to move a mass that is in motion. Loose muscles accelerate, tight ones stop energy flow.

      - The four easiest ways to get the bat moving for a BH are to:
      1) Move upper and lower arm forward, then stop the upper arm... all while staying loose.
      2) Take a step forward, whether 2 inches or 12... stay loose and allow that kinetic energy to flow up and through body, shoulder and to upper arm (then stop upper arm to allow lower arm to go forward... then impulse arm) - this generates a huge amount of energy to be borrowed, channeled, amplified, and delivered to the ball
      3) Do a little squat and rise while staying loose, allow energy to flow through body to the arm and continue like in #2
      4) Do like in #3, but add a short hip to it. For a right hander, this is a continuation and amplification of #3. When the kinetic energy gets to the hips, you do a short impulse of hips (a short left to right swing) and continue on like in #3. This is an off the table technique.
      Last edited by Der_Echte; 12-15-2019 at 05:21 AM.
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    5. Top | #4
      Der_Echte is offline
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      What I wrote in my post above are specific and general things that contribute to the successful generation, channeling, amplification, and transfer of power to the ball for BH shots.

      This applies to whatever racket covering used, whether it is inverted, anti, pips or anti-gravity neon pink.

      Of course, there are different bat angles, impact dynamics and strike points on the ball for the different coverings and what you are trying to do to the ball.

      I am only discussing how to make power and transfer it efficiently. That is common across every BH shot of every bat surface where the player is trying to make a medium or high degree of power.

      It is important to be efficient and highly consistent. These principles apply and assist that.

      If I were to discuss what to do for every type of BH against every possible incoming ball spin, every possible incoming ball speed, from every possible position from table and ball, on every possible height of the flight arc of every incoming ball, for every possible thing you want to do to the ball... you get the idea, I would have to make many dozens if not hundreds of descriptions of what/how to do it.

      If we were to even half-azz attempt to describe how to go about it in a post or even one thread, we would not even get 20% there.

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    7. Top | #5
      iamsan is offline
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      Hi Der Echte.
      I really appreciate your post, it is great! I read it three times now and still couldn't repeat it full because there are so many great information.
      To transfer your writing to my problem. First my biggest problem is to loop topspin balls. Mostly my shots go over the table. Opening up underspin balls isn't an issue.
      I want to discuss your following point and link it to my problem:
      "1) Move upper and lower arm forward, then stop the upper arm... all while staying loose."
      This is exactly the problem. For me this is an uncomfortable position. At this position the shoulder as well as upper arm are in one line while the upper and lower arm are also close in a virtual line. It is kinda the position u do the BH flick thus pushing elbow as forward as possible. I get good quality shots but it feel awkward as well as it does need preparation getting from neutral position (where all parts of the arm are kinda dropped down) to the executing position (u have to push up and forward the whole arm). The neutral position is great for more underspin balls as well as further away balls.
      I just wanted to know if doing the BH topspin maybe i need to do this like you described even if it doesn't feel natural and comfortable for me.

    8. Top | #6
      Lula is offline
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      Hard to understand What you mean. Can not be relaxed all the time. Can get power this way. Only relaxed in the beginning then you need to tense the body and arm so they can stop.

    9. Top | #7
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      Iamsan, not to be rude but it is pretty much a non-starter to ask serious questions about technique without posting video. If the best player in your club who I assume is at a decent level (2100+ or has coached at that level) is teaching you something then listen to him. Nothing in TT is natural and good without practice. Strokes are not natural motions. Or TT would not be a sport.
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    10. Top | #8
      Der_Echte is offline
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      What I described was the basics of how to create a whip to maximize power and efficiency. It is entirely possible to land shots with less than optimal efficient whip. There are adjustments for every possible condition, I named only the common things.

      The BH loop vs topspin also has many different possible conditions and factors. Let's take your stated situation about an incoming topspin. Vs the faster incoming power loops, I also struggle to get as consistent as I want. The only match consistent shot I have is the counter drive vs that ball. I simply do not have enough reps vs that ball to get my mind accustomed to the judging of when the ball will arrive at impact zone and the timing to start my stroke. I do not have anyone here who will give me this ball I need to practice for more than a few minutes. Sometimes it is me not forcing the issue as I want to work on other stuff too.

      That situation is assuming I got into enough position or the ball is coming to my impact zone.

      Like Yogi suggests, and like Lula has suggested in the past, SLOW DOWN your power to improve upon all the factors to lessen your errors and improve consistency, even if the power is so bad it will get you murdered in a match. Another thing to do is loosen up a little more and use a shorter stroke early on. The BH counter topspin does not require a long stroke anyway.

      There are so many things a player must do correctly or at least effective enough... so much that trying to practice them all at the same time at combat speed is only going to get you in trouble.

      This goes along the lines that there is no single correct answer in Table Tennis. Many coaches disagree upon some things and two coaches who disagree could individually both be right.

      The conventional approach used by many coaches is to use progression, isolate factors, get them right, train the entire stroke situation at very low speed, then progressively as skill improves, increase the power incrementally.

      It is also possible to just start doing it best you can given the circumstances, and eventually you learn how to deal with it. I would agree this approach takes a lot of time and it is easy to become discouraged as you see little results early and have no real vision how to "get there" as opposed to the guided reps incremental kind of ways.

      Coaches like Yogi, Next Level, and Lula say certain things, and they merit attention, because they have enough years of doing it, coaching it, and watching players develop. Their ways are not the only ways, but are proven.

      Next Level noted, and so did I, a short vid of OP doing the shot would help us a lot to provide specific advice.
      Last edited by Der_Echte; 12-15-2019 at 05:13 PM.

    11. Top | #9
      Lula is offline
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      I think it is correct that there are several ways you can play backhand. How ”well” your backhand is also depends on your playing style. Not everyone need to have a Kreanga backhand. If you are forehandoritented a fast shorter stroke Maybe is suited better and the same for other ways of playing.

    12. Top | #10
      iamsan is offline
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      Thank you for all of your reply.
      I know without video my chances are low to get solved. I just wanted an opinion and I got some that's why I'm happy with it.
      For me this threat may be closed. Thanks again to all contributors especially Der Echte for his great posts.
      Iamsam

    13. Top | #11
      Der_Echte is offline
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      Haha I get credit for writing moar words and three other coaches were correct and concise haha.

    14. Top | #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by Der_Echte View Post
      Haha I get credit for writing moar words and three other coaches were correct and concise haha.
      Always a quality read. Does Baal have a rule for maximum number of words in a TTD post?

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