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  1. Der_Echte is offline
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    #1

    Hate it when you get JAMMED with a deep fast underspin to your BH ???

    HI All,

    Background and situation first, then a way to handle this ball next with a BH topspin response.

    I have a dude I am working with to improve his TT, especially learning how to spin after decades of flat hit going slap happy. He has a real difficult time with this ball... and I see so many club players struggle with this too... SO... I wuld think this would be a very valid and applicable topic to address.

    Like many players, when I give him a long underspin that lands middle depth on the table and would go a foot or so before dropping below table level, he has the easier time making an opening loop in terms of spin and quality. I believe this would be true for anyone. I frequently tell my doubles partners that a push landing middle depth on table is the EASIEST ball for any attacker to recognize, see, and have lots of time to prepare and successfully attack strongly.

    When I take the ball off the bounce and give him a fast, deep underspin to his BH... dude feels rushed... he leans back and as he tries to strike the ball, is falling back... ends up impacting the ball 4 ft off table and shot lands maybe 10 percent of the time.

    When I ask what happened, he says he needed more time and the ball already so quickly got all into his space faster than he was ready to finish his stroke.

    What Der_Echte says is happeneing here is not just one, but several things happening:

    - Player did NOT recognize a fast push is about to be made (Timing Perception Issue)
    - Player did NOT recognize ball is coming deep to BH corner (Depth Perception issue)
    - Player is trying to use the USUAL BH topspin vs underspin, which is a long stroke that takes time (Timing to Impact Issue)
    - Player MIGHT be crowding the table a bit (Potential Position Issue)
    - Player MIGHT be coming out of crouch early (Potential Balance/Stance Issue)

    Although the last 2 issues MIGHT also be happening, let us pretend the player was crouched ready and positioned a 30-40 cm off the table... and let's address how to deal with the first three issues, since the way to fix the last 2 is real simple.

    Issue #1 - Player simply does NOT see a fast ball coming (and is now rushed and in PANIC mode)

    Remendy #1 - Player should do a TINY quick knee bend right at MOMENT of impact... this will allow player to see the impact... and have a very quick responce to it intuitively. There is a huge advantage to your first step when you do this... it is almost like you are gaining a lot of time. Another aspect is recognition that player is impacting ball very early off the bounce with a stroke - this is soften a big clue you are gunna get a fast deep underspin ball. Player should be ready to see what speed of ball is about to come into his zone.

    Issue #2 - Player did NOT recognize ball is coming DEEP to the BH.

    Remedy #2 - Player should know how early and with what stroke is gunna produce which speed of ball... that will tell player the depth on table where ball will bounce. This is a skill acquired over time, but very important. If #1 and #2 are not helping the player out, then the player can adapt with remedy #3

    Issue #3 - Player is trying to use the regular BH topspsin vs underspin stroke that takes some time to do... and is LATE.

    Note on #3 - Player does not recognize the timing of ball arrival and has committed to the regular long swing that takes time. Normally, there is PLENTY of time for this swing, and it would be the right stroke choice for a slow incoming underspin. In this situation, player should do four key things.

    Remedy #3 - See the four things below and the expalainations: First the general then the specific.

    - DO NOT start stroke too early. (and do not select the long stroke - this is where everyone gets in truble) Real Important. You still have time. There is a certain dance cadence to use to handle such a ball... and it is TOTALLY OPPOSITE to the kind of timing and visualization used to handle a slower long underspin ball. This is why it is real difficult for amateurs to handle this shot.

    - DO a MODIFIED and SIMPLIFIED Timing of the ball. So an opponent does a real fast underspin right at your BH... don't panic, just use your space and time your quick crouch DOWN and UP (it should feel down and up, even if you are using some forward swing motion) (The down and up are your legs/knees/waist) (and it is not as much of a dip as you would think)

    - Use a SHORTER stroke leveraged with your legs and waist. This would be a "Short Hip" in Korean TT speak. You are making a quick and short impulse with a tiny explosion of the legs/hip using them to create energy, amplify it, leverage it, and use your lower arm/hand to further amplify and transfer that energy.

    - MANAGE the space in front of you - you can handle that fast ball if you are a manager of close space

    How to NOT swing too early under time pressure? Recognition, then lots of PRACTICE. Doing that tiny knee bend will give you the best chance to see a fast ball incoming. Getting someone to feed you the fast under spin multiball fashion is good start, then later single ball random slow and fast mixed up.

    What is this timing? Think and act real simple. as ball is coming down before bounce, you crouch down. DO NOT try to crouch down as far as you normally do for a slower long underspin. The crouch could be 5 cm... believe it or not, you can still make a lot of energy with that crouch and the right timing. When ball is now hit your end of table, explode up and unleash that shorter compact stroke with a feeling of down and up leveraged with the hip. You can eiher go real soft on grip at impact to bring back a slower, safer ball, or go full firm at impact to make a powerful return, which can also be very high landing percentage. So, simply stated, go down a little as ball is coming at you (only a little, there is little time here) and go up (and do your compact stroke) once ball lands.

    - Note on stroke... you are NOT dipping the bat way down, like you would to make a slow heavy underspin, you are keeping it by your side and dipping the bat only as much as you are dipping waist, which isn't much. You need to be able to bring that bat into play in a short time frame... bat positioned slightly to the side and a tiny down allows you to get it into action quickly.

    How to manage space? Visualize your BH stroke as a rolling drum kind of thing in front of you. For this, you require 30 cm or so of space in front. So, if a ball comes at you, as long as you have that 30 cm of space behind the table and you do not rush, but instead, use a more compact quick stroke, you have enough room to make the stroke WITHOUT feeling like you are being pushed backwards to make a play. This visualiztion is BIG TIME. If you are still crouched, see a fast ball incoming, and do not panic, you can instantly adapt by using the compact stroke with the down and up timing watching hte ball fall and impact as your timing cues.

    I would post a vid demonstrating this, but the players around me are TERRIBLE at pushing underspin with precision of spin and placement... and the dude I help out has never really pushed much in his life, or done it well. That will come with time. He has decided to learn topspin first... and I cannot argue against that. For strategic growth, this thing will be trained, not only for tactical advantages of effective pushes, but also to get timing for short pushes.

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    #2
    Improving your pushing is a sure way for adult improvers to make themselves competitive. At the beginning of my tt life back in 1969-ish I had a coach who recommended my partner and I to have 1 pushing game every time we came to practice. This means 21 up using every part of the table, trying to be safe but aggressive. but only using chop serve. we paid attention to footwork especially because we were placing the ball everywhere. At the beginning of the summer one game lasted 5 minutes because we constantly made mistakes on the aggressive shots both in footwork and accuracy.
    By the end of the summer 1 game lasted 53 minutes and it was all quality pushing :dropshots angles, fast balls spin variation etc. Our footwork had improved by a huge amount
    After each game we then practiced opening with loops, killng weak pushes, and reacting to surprise deep pushes so that when we thought of pushing practice for the future it was always in combination with developing attacking shots. At the beginning of that summer we were 2 unranked players. 3 months later we had regional rankings and 2 years later my partner was national junior number 1
    and table tennis had taken off in our town.
    I credit the success to our coach who taught us "subtle touch, movement," and explained good and bad length and the basics of winning table tennis "control the ball in order to control your opponent" "20 pushes in practice to make 1 killer deep push in a big match"
    My partner was fifteen at the time and I was 21 both ages a bit late to aim at the top, but the pushing cram course was a good compensation for not having gone through the normal junior development from the age of 8 or 9

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    Last edited by pingpongpaddy; 03-19-2021 at 09:22 PM.
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    #3
    Both of you guys are very helpful. Both posts were easy to understand and conceptualize. Especially Der Echte instructions to visualize, and identify opponents stroke as early as possible. Thanks!

    Sent from my BBB100-1 using Tapatalk

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    Last edited by wheelbuilder; 03-20-2021 at 03:18 AM.

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    #4
    Also:
    - not enough planning and preparation. This is not rocket science haha. If we push short many times we could expect a long push or at least have an attacking mindset

    - move to slow. After playing a short push he needs to get out. Here he also need to try to lean over the table otherwise he needs to move in very far and will have a hard time coming out.

    - natural stance is to close to the table. Much harder to move backward fast than moving forward fast.


    edit: it is nice to hear that you try to help other players. Also good to ask open reflective questions than telling him what to do.

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    Last edited by Lula; 03-20-2021 at 05:36 AM.

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    #5
    Thanks Der_Echte .. I've been having issues with deep, fast serves to the BH with under-spin and/or side-spin ... I play with Long-pips.. Players who are not used to playing against me, will do a no-spin or low-spins serve to my BH, in which case, I will twiddle and hit an out-right winner, or counter it hard/fast.. However, I struggle against returning fast, deep, under-spin/side-spin serves to my BH, with inverted as well as long-pip side.. Actually, let me re-phrase - It's not simply returning the serve that I struggle with .. I mean, I will return it, most of the time. But, it's the quality of the return, which is the issue .. If I return this type of serve with LP, then the next ball is typically a power top-spin / winner to my FH .. Even if I return with the inverted side, my returns lack spin or speed.

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    #6
    FFMa,

    I hear you. If one is dead-set on using the normal timng (longer stroke - different timing) vs those faster balls that come to the BH corner deep jamming you, it is simply a matter of slowing down, using less stroke, and going down and up with the ball. Once you learn that short hip leverage, you will never need to flail or use a long stroke vs that kind of ball ever again.

    Tonite, since I spent a whole 1/2 hour emphasizing this very thing with teh guy I am working with on various things, I was myself better able to deal with those balls when I got them, mainly a sudden fast push vs my serve and right at me. I simply got down a little, and came up with the ball and I had quality.

    Since this kind of timing is "wierd" for people, it is not natural... but once you do this timing and see the ball go in a few times, it becomes MUCH more natural and intuitive. Once you get that going, your quality goes up, and hopefully, you stay in more points and win them.
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    #7

    Quote by GOAT PPP... Improving your pushing is a sure way for adult improvers to make themselves competitive.

    Damn it Paddy, I could sign a sworn affidavit that on the way home from 5 hrs of TT today, I promised I was gunna initiate a thread on the importance of PUSHING IN DOUBLES. And here you are before I can even act and you got it SO RIGHT.

    So often, even advanced players of the 2000 USATT level are HORRIBLE pushers in doubles. Quality comes from knowing what you want to do right away and stepping to the ball and taking it early off the bounce, where there is more control and angles and possibilities available... but NO.... many doules players let the ball continue another 30-100 cm and then touch it... often landing a weak spin push middle depth bouncing up high enough for a beginner to whack into the next universe. That is so frustrating when a player with good attacking skills and level does that.

    You are bottom line up front on this one PPP.

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    #8
    Usually in doubles, if I can read the serve and decline a flip attack in favor of a quick push landing near enough the endline, whether to wide FH or jam that BH... my opponents loop that ball into the net the first 2-3 times and give up ideas of attacking afterwards... so then my doubles partner gets happy as he or she now has OUTSTANDING opportunities to attack what should be one of the EASIEST balls in the sport to attack - a long underspin ball.

    THEN... opponents REALLY start worrying as they know they lose the point attacking, or they get the ball slapped right by them if they push... then they try to get "too cute" (USA expression for trying to be too precise) and make more errors doing that. Psychological warfare in effect here.

    Against attackers of same level as me, if I push (if I can read serve right) 10 times, they atack maybe 3 times and might land one and will NOT attack 7 of them.

    Equal level players (When they are my doubles partner) with a terrible quality push can push 10 times and that ball is smoking by me 9 of those 10. Those are BAD percentages - unacceptable by any metric. If I give my partner the stinky look when they do that, it is received like I am pure evil. I do not like fostering irresponsibility or weakness. If someone makes the right shot decision and doesn't execute it perfect, I can live with it. Being afraid to make a good push, when otherwise the player can make a good push if they are decisive, that is unacceptable to me. Call me evil, that is my attitude on that subject.

    There WAS a Div 4 level player in Korea (The English Teacher that I have a lot of stories about) who often played doubles with me. At first, he really hated on me for getting on his case when he pushed (instead of tospin attacking) a long underspin ball. After a year or two, he was attacking these mostly, and after another year, his attack was better quality and won a lot of points.

    By the time I left Korea, he was telling the rest of the club members that he was grateful I got on his case so much about attacking long underspin balls, since it FORCED him to attack when it is right choice to attack. ... but that should be a no-brainer, a long underspin ball is about the EASIEST ball in TT to attack.

    Players should ABSOLUTELY CRAVE that kind of ball and be ready to strongly attack with spin or power.
    Last edited by Der_Echte; 03-20-2021 at 07:50 PM.
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    #9
    The player I am working with, I also train him on SHORT PUSH RETURN on serves... WHY?

    I think he would benefit at this stage from recognizing the ball and developing a habit of stepping to the ball... he will need to do that anyway to make a quality fast deep push... this would give him a good foundation to make it easier to train the fast push... even if at this moment the fast push would more usable in match play... I value developing his ability to step to the ball over results right now. I believe results can wait for a time, but will be there after the next step.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by wheelbuilder
    Both of you guys are very helpful. Both posts were easy to understand and conceptualize. Especially Der Echte instructions to visualize, and identify opponents stroke as early as possible. Thanks!

    Sent from my BBB100-1 using Tapatalk

    hi wheelbuilder
    thanks for the kind words.
    As usual Der Echte is doing the heavy lifting in this thread. Those detailed practice advice posts are incredibly hard work to craft. I just hope my story helped to show what benefits follow from heeding advice from a good coach.

    keep practicing!

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    #11
    Der_Echte on the forum and in real life get a lot of negative feedback about telling stories... but I gotta say, a story is a POWERFUL expression and how Paddy told that story was concise and fact-filled useful to a lot of people.
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    #12

    (Der_Echte) Tonite, since I spent a whole 1/2 hour emphasizing this very thing with teh guy I am working with on various things, I was myself better able to deal with those balls when I got them, mainly a sudden fast push vs my serve and right at me. I simply got down a little, and came up with the ball and I had quality.

    (lula) After playing a short push he needs to get out.

    Ironically, where I got practice on this tonite was mostly in Singles vs Sergey "Tsos" He would serve short, I would push short, Sergey would step in and push deep/fast to my BH... I would BH Loop those.

    Since I spent a lot of time harping on that very ball, I was better at it tonite. Sergey push has a lot of quality, he is 1.5 levels better player, his pushing is quality with a lot of underspin and it gets on you in a hurry. I am usually only 65-70 landing percentage vs his push when he jams me on my BH corner and I try a BH loop. (I am way higher percentage with my FH vs his heavy push, so he doesn't give me but a few to keep me honest) I should expect it more, but I also respect the short drop. Tonite, I was more like 80-90 percent landing percentage and my ball quality was a LOT better than normal.

    That simple timing of down and up to match the ball works if you try not to go too apeshyt on the ball.

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    Last edited by Der_Echte; 03-20-2021 at 07:41 PM.
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    #13
    Think in general always better to think the serve or push will be long since it is harder and takes more time to work out than into the table.

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    #14
    Even at world class level, it’s tricky. Either semi-long on the forehand or deep on the backhand. Semi-long is easier to deal with on the backhand (which is how modern 21st century backhand has evolved, stepping to the far right to execute backhand against semi-long). The world pros do a lot of forehand short push to pull the opponent in then deep backhand.

    From my not so perfect understanding, The pros tend to deal with it by generating A LOT OF SPIN. (1) when the ball is long, it always already has lots of forward power so you don’t have to generate it. It took me quite a while to fully absorb this point. (2) it’s difficult to power, so lots of spin to force the opponent being passive is better.

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    #15
    What' so difficult? Just push it back, take a step back and ready for a rally....

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