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      Dominikk85 is offline
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      Why are pros still warming up with flat drive rallies?

      If you watch pros they will always start with diagonal flat drive rallies. Isn't a flat drive basically extinct at the pro level and more like a beginner level stroke? Pros never hit a flat drive/counter hit and usually hit a loop or loop-drive, right?

      Couldn't they just start with loop rallies? Is that just a tradition from a time when pros would still hit flat drives in matches? Or is there a benefit of starting with flat hits?

    2. Top | #2
      mart1nandersson is offline
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      I guess that one of the reasons is to verify that the ball is ok. In a single ball match they usually do some additional diagonal counters if the ball is replaced for some reason.

      The actual warmup happens on another table with their coach or team mate.

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      mart1nandersson is offline
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      There’s also a psychological aspect. Why show your fantastic loop during the warm up if you’re playing someone you’ve never met? That loops is better spent at winning points. But on the other side is good to check how good the opponent is at blocking your loops. This maybe more applies to the amateur scene though.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dominikk85 View Post
      If you watch pros they will always start with diagonal flat drive rallies. Isn't a flat drive basically extinct at the pro level and more like a beginner level stroke? Pros never hit a flat drive/counter hit and usually hit a loop or loop-drive, right?

      Couldn't they just start with loop rallies? Is that just a tradition from a time when pros would still hit flat drives in matches? Or is there a benefit of starting with flat hits?
      If you loop and your opponent blocks, you do not want your opponent to adjust to your spins, do you? Also, there are dozens of practice table in an ITTF event that before they go to their matches, they have already warmed up.
      Last edited by yogi_bear; 05-17-2020 at 08:31 AM.

    5. Top | #5
      Airoc is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dominikk85 View Post
      If you watch pros they will always start with diagonal flat drive rallies.
      4, 5 strokes - then straight into topspin vs block, of course not full throttle.

      And as has been said, the actual warmup happens elsewhere before the 2 minutes prior to the match.

      But even that does not include many flat drives.

    6. Top | #6
      lasta is online now
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      What makes you think the "drive" is extinct? there's plenty of it even at the highest levels. Are you mistaking everything with a modicum of upwards motion for a loop?

      Also, for the same amount of energy, a flat stroke is always faster than a brushing stroke.

      Mix it up.

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      Sedis (05-16-2020)

    8. Top | #7
      SofaChamp is offline
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      Also, the function of the warm up is not so much to practice your strokes but more to get used to the bounce, lighting and everything else that makes up the playing conditions.

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      Idk why pros do it but I like to do it before match to get a bit of a feel and it is easier for me to loop after doing a couple of drives.

    11. Top | #9
      Baal is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by SofaChamp View Post
      Also, the function of the warm up is not so much to practice your strokes but more to get used to the bounce, lighting and everything else that makes up the playing conditions.
      This! They really dont need to practice a stroke. Also just to move a little, get blood flowing.

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    13. Top | #10
      ajtatosmano2 is offline
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      yeah. and also to warm up your brain.

    14. Top | #11
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Quote Originally Posted by SofaChamp View Post
      Also, the function of the warm up is not so much to practice your strokes but more to get used to the bounce, lighting and everything else that makes up the playing conditions.
      Yeah, as Baal said, it is basically this. But they do also do a few loops and if you watch the guy blocking is doing almost the same as the counter-hit when he blocks, it is just a slightly smaller stroke. And the loop is sort of just a larger of the same stroke as the counterhit when they warm up.

      So, it is sort of like you are asking why they would go over the fundamentals. If you watch the counterhit, compare it to the block, you can see how much they are the same. And if you make a little more brush and a stroke about the same size as the counterhit you start having the makings of a little counter-loop. So, they are just warming up the fundamentals.

      But still, the reason they are doing it is to get timing on the table, in the venue, with the lights, the flooring, the air. If you ever play at a location with a different altitude, you will know more why you would want to start the warm up that way. Ball trajectory at lower altitudes compared to higher altitudes is totally different. Much easier to notice if you go from Mile High to Sea Level or vice versa, but smaller altitude changes still effect things.
      Spin Everything.

    15. Top | #12
      UpSideDownCarl is online now
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      Watch these guys when one starts looping. Watch the guy whose blocking's stroke when he is blocking. Compare it to when they were counterhitting.



      Whoever is holding the camera might suck as a cameraman, but you can see if you watch, exactly why they use a shorter version of this as a brief warmup before a match.
      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 05-17-2020 at 01:29 AM.

    16. Top | #13
      Archyan is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dominikk85 View Post
      [...]
      Couldn't they just start with loop rallies? Is that just a tradition from a time when pros would still hit flat drives in matches? Or is there a benefit of starting with flat hits?
      They flat hit at first couple of minutes to get warm, you just can't immediately start looping. Also, if you start looping immediately you are proned to get injured.

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      quanghuysk is offline
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      I've been in couple of ITTF stops in Europe. I can tell you they warm up in the training hall/practice table before the match 30-60 mins.
      The loop-drive you saw is not actual warm up.

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      Baal (05-18-2020)

    20. Top | #15
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      Because it’s a warm up


      Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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      the basic counterhit is a very fundamental technique. pros learned to do it as juniors.
      amateurs learning tt as late teens or adults would do well to acquire the skill including the necessary footwork
      if you dont you are missing a vital weapon- the ability to play early and off the bounce at need.

      Also the block and the blockhit or counterhit are the simplest shots in the game requiring mainly touch and timing. So it makes sense at a tournament
      to start preparing for a match by establishing good touch and therefore confidence and then going on to the larger strokes.
      When my pupils enter the tournament hall i ensure they spend 10 minutes going from block to counter to big drive to kill

      i dont think of the block and counter as different strokes from the big drives. Rather, having a good fh or bh means that you can execute all of these techniques such that they flow into each other as necessary.
      Last edited by pingpongpaddy; 05-19-2020 at 08:02 AM.
      ppp

      bh
      spinpips chop2
      yinhe ayous wood 1 ply
      fh
      max moristo sp

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    24. Top | #17
      zeio is offline
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      AFAIK, players are most concerned with roundness of the ball. Starting with flat hits is the most effective way to see if the ball has cracks, soft spots, wobbles and/or makes weird bounces etc.

      In the video below, you can see ML checks for cracks and/or soft spots within the first several hits.

      Race for Tokyo 2020 - China, Japan
      Time capsules - 2020, 2024, 2028

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      Simas is offline
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      the best answer imho is because it's a warm-up (and a habit too I guess)

      Roundness is checked before the matches by spinning a bunch of balls and looking which wobble least. There are somewhere videos in the internet of players doing so, but can't find at the moment...

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      SkySowers is offline
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      It's still one of the basic fundamentals in table tennis. It's hard to ignore. I'm sure, some players might find it boring but I consider it as warming up the engine before it goes full throttle. But then again, the pros always have a practice hall during tournament week. If you notice on team competitions, usually, there would be a few people sitting on the side besides the coach, but after a game or so, 2 of them would disappear to go warm-up until it's one of the player's turn to compete.

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      pingpongpaddy is offline
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      Dont train like this - tom lodziak
      https://youtu.be/o7jq0NiLDAQ


      the video shows 2 players swapping forehands non stop for hours to the exciusion of developing the rest of their games.
      now looking back on 50+ years in the game i realise that perhaps as many as 30% of the players fall into the forehand topspin happy category. Of course some of them are happy enough with their lot trying to imitate ma long in the fh department. But there are a few who are dissatisfied they feel their results dont match what the consider is their ability.
      i try to explain to them that every shot is an important tool; even a push can be vital because that push or block bh or fh is the shot which may set up your winning move
      in an interview world champion stellan bengtssen was asked what was his weak shot. He replied that world champions dont have weaknesses.
      he meant that to play at the top level you need to be at least competent with all the skills otherwise yr opponent will take advantage
      Last edited by pingpongpaddy; 05-20-2020 at 01:27 PM.

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