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  1. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #61
    Good on you. You have done something that many of us want to do but have never done.

  2. Gozo is offline
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    #62
    Good day to my TT community,

    I wish to pose a question here that is bugging me. It starts like this: My country has entered Covid endemic phase and is opening up. A lot of competitions are resuming and players are excited, including myself.

    A few days ago, a veteran player in my club said this, " Learning to read spin and skill at serve receive are very important, and you, Gozo is really poor in this ". Yes, I agree, I am poor in this department, guilty as charged! This veteran player further said, why don't you consult your coach and find out how he can assist you. Fair request so far, and I did so. Below is my coach's response:

    " These days with the 40mm++ balls, the spin has reduced by 30%. Spin is not that much of an issue these days. Furthermore, he said, you cannot obscure the ball when serving. You have to open and show everyone your contact during serve. As such, he says, attack / topspin every ball. " Spin is no longer much of a problem. If it comes to BH, then flick or do BH open up, whereas, if it comes to FH, then flick or loop back. Simple easy-peasy concept. " Oh I forget to say, my coach says there is only topspin and backspin. Treat sidespin as another topspin.

    I believe this concept is also advocated by some online coaches I follow in Youtube such as Tom Lodziack and Emrathich. NB: Just found this video of Tom's about returning spin and his concept is similar to my coach. I hope you can appreciate the allure of only using just one response to return all serves for noobs like me. Hence this video is very enticing to me, like bees to honey.

    However, this veteran player said they are talking rubbish and you need to know how to contact, adjust the angle of the bat, know how to place the bat etc to redirect the spin. To me this is too complicated. I can't do it.

    So what is the response here amongst our regular forumers? Is it attack attack attack all the way ignoring the spin as advocated by my coach and other TY online coaches or use the touch method as advocated by the veteran player of my club? What sayeth you all?



    Last edited by Gozo; 05-24-2022 at 06:51 AM.

  3. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #63
    Whoa, a very good question. I am not sure whether my words will help you or make you more confused. I will say: before you are able to get to the status of what your coach told you, you will have to experience what veteran player told you.

    I think you have to ask your coach teach you pushing the short balls. It is a safer way to return spin/no spin serve. Unless you are very confident to the spin of the serve, you are less likely to directly attack it.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PS: I think you may not have enough time to improve your receives before the competition, I will suggest you to find a single long push stroke that can push most backspin short serves and the placement should be close to the opponents' body. The stroke may push the less spiny or no spin serve too high, as long as it was long and with some backspin, your opponents may not be able to effectively attack it, then it is your chance to defeat them at topspin stage.

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    Last edited by Lycanthrope; 05-24-2022 at 02:44 AM.

  4. brokenball is offline
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    #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    Good day to my TT community,
    " These days with the 40mm++ balls, the spin has reduced by 30%, spin is not that much of an issue these days."
    Your coach is wrong. Where is his proof? Do you just repeat anything that someone says?
    Spin is only reduced a about 6% based on the ratio of plastic ball to celluloid ball inertia. By radius the percentage is lower.

    Oh I forget to say, my coach says there is only topspin and backspin. Treat sidespin as another topspin.
    Your coach is nuts.

    However, this veteran player said they are talking rubbish and you need to know how to contact, adjust the angle of the bat, know how to place the bat etc to redirect the spin. To me this is too complicated. I can't do it.
    Practice, practice practice. My first coach and I would simply concentrate on the first 4 balls. Obviously serve and serve return are most important.

    So what is the response here amongst our regular forumers? Is it attack attack attack all the way ignoring the spin as advocated by my coach and other TY online coaches or use the touch method as advocated by the veteran player of my club? What sayeth you all?
    I have practice partner that loves his 804-40 SP and he just blasts away. However, with inverted rubbers, the veteran player is right.

  5. Lazer is offline
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    #65
    Tom is correct, but it’s not that easy. I can’t do it but some of my opponents can. Side spin is easy to determine and most serves where the ball is thrown high are topspin. My problem is to topspin short serves and on long serves I’m often too close to the table. The short topspin serves I usually use a passive block and give the spin right back. Short topspin serves I push back. Long serves there is only one option for me, return with topspin.

    Cheers
    L-zr
    Steal a little and they throw You in jail, Steal a lot and they make You King... (Dylan)

  6. NDH is offline
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    #66
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    So what is the response here amongst our regular forumers? Is it attack attack attack all the way ignoring the spin as advocated by my coach and other TY online coaches or use the touch method as advocated by the veteran player of my club? What sayeth you all?
    Your coach is absolutely right. But there are some things to consider here.

    Side spin can be easily countered by topspin. BUT, it needs to be a fast topspin stroke. If you try and play “safe” and do a slower controlled shot, the side spin will have an effect, and the ball won’t go exactly where you want it to.

    BUT…. It’s far easier to say this, than do this….. A lot of people will serve short, side spin to the backhand. The best response is a backhand flick. But even at the top of the amateur ranks, good backhand flicks aren’t that common.

    The same can be said about backspin serves.

    Very good juniors who have been practicing the backhand flick for years, will treat short backspin serves as if they are nothing.

    It’s also worth pointing out that people generally can’t get that much spin on their serves these days, so it’s much easier to attack them.

    All of that being said, are you ready right now to do these shots? Absolutely not. Most people aren’t good enough to do them consistently, and your coach is saying what you should be doing…. Not what your current level will allow.

    This isn’t unusual for good coaches though. Why bother teaching pushes and side spin receives, when you can just blast through it all eventually?

    The same happens in the UK. Kids will go from not being able to hit a single serve back, to being unplayable in a few short months.

    Kids don’t get taught pushing, or accommodating sidespin. They get taught to attack early and often.

    The downside for you right now is going to be how quickly you can learn these service receives. If it takes you a long time, are you prepared to struggle in competitions with other peoples serves?

    Simply having the experience will help, and you’ll naturally get better the more you play.

    The 2 options I see are:

    1. Ask your coach to humour you and teach you some basic service receive against all kids of spin. We are talking pushing and light open ups here.

    You’ll not progress as quickly, but you’ll be able to compete against others instantly.

    2. Ask your coach to teach you the flicks and loops against service.

    You’ll struggle for consistency in matches, but once it clicks, you’ll be very hard to play against vs other people at your level.

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  7. Gozo is offline
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    #67
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH
    Your coach is absolutely right. But there are some things to consider here.

    Side spin can be easily countered by topspin. BUT, it needs to be a fast topspin stroke. If you try and play “safe” and do a slower controlled shot, the side spin will have an effect, and the ball won’t go exactly where you want it to.

    BUT…. It’s far easier to say this, than do this….. A lot of people will serve short, side spin to the backhand. The best response is a backhand flick. But even at the top of the amateur ranks, good backhand flicks aren’t that common.

    The same can be said about backspin serves.

    Very good juniors who have been practicing the backhand flick for years, will treat short backspin serves as if they are nothing.

    It’s also worth pointing out that people generally can’t get that much spin on their serves these days, so it’s much easier to attack them.

    All of that being said, are you ready right now to do these shots? Absolutely not. Most people aren’t good enough to do them consistently, and your coach is saying what you should be doing…. Not what your current level will allow.

    This isn’t unusual for good coaches though. Why bother teaching pushes and side spin receives, when you can just blast through it all eventually?

    The same happens in the UK. Kids will go from not being able to hit a single serve back, to being unplayable in a few short months.

    Kids don’t get taught pushing, or accommodating sidespin. They get taught to attack early and often.

    The downside for you right now is going to be how quickly you can learn these service receives. If it takes you a long time, are you prepared to struggle in competitions with other peoples serves?

    Simply having the experience will help, and you’ll naturally get better the more you play.

    The 2 options I see are:

    1. Ask your coach to humour you and teach you some basic service receive against all kids of spin. We are talking pushing and light open ups here.

    You’ll not progress as quickly, but you’ll be able to compete against others instantly.

    2. Ask your coach to teach you the flicks and loops against service.

    You’ll struggle for consistency in matches, but once it clicks, you’ll be very hard to play against vs other people at your level.
    NDH,

    He is already doing point Nos. 2 with me a lot, unfortunately I am a slow learner in this aspect. I can't seem to be able to do it consistently in match-play which brings me to a dilemma, While waiting for my skill level to mature, and god knows when, I will lose a lot in tourneys. Losing is not an issue per se for me but I will risk not being picked to represent the club in future outings which means less opportunity for me to gain exposure and learn. This is such a dilemma and negative feedback cycle.

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    Last edited by Gozo; 05-24-2022 at 06:46 AM.

  8. NDH is offline
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    #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    NDH,

    He is already doing point Nos. 2 with me a lot, unfortunately I am a slow learner in this aspect. I can't seem to be able to do it consistently in match-play which brings me to a dilemma, While waiting for my skill level to mature, and god knows when, I will lose a lot in tourneys. Losing is not an issue per se for me but I will risk not being picked to represent the club in future outings which means less opportunity for me to gain exposure and learn. This is such a dilemma and negative feedback cycle.

    I think in this respect, you need to explain to him that you'd like to have some more "safe" options when it comes to service return - Just whilst you are learning the more aggressive options that you can learn when you are good enough.


    Adults do learn much slower than kids (generally), and it could be a year or more before you are comfortable with a flick return and being very aggressive.

    As a coach, it might feel a little defeatist - Having to teach someone something you don't actually want them using in a match....

    But in your situation, it sounds like it would be the better option.

    I don't actually think you'll need to spend long on it - A session or two at most, and then you just need lots of game time against people where you'll get the exposure to lots of different serves etc.

    You need both the experience and the coaching - I see people with a lot of coaching who are terrible in matches because they aren't used to different spins (a LOT of kids who might look very good in a top spin knock up, but fall apart in a match).

    Likewise, people with lots of experience and no coaching usually have a lower ceiling that they can reach.

    Maybe see what your coach says about all of this. If he feels you can achieve the playing style he wants from you in a quick enough timeframe, it might be worth sticking it out.

    But if you explain the dilemma below, he will probably show you some quick wins with spin and serve receive.


  9. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #69
    First time reading your story Gozo and well done on your progress!
    I think your coach knows a lot more than many forum members, so stick with that and if you have doubts, ask the coach.

    I can understand where he is saying 30% less spin, don't worry about it etc. Obviously some people will just focus on the words as is and argue the yay and nay of it.

    What I read is, your coach wants you to learn more of the fundamentals and through that you can learn to spin more, focus more on the basic of spin - which is under and top spin. When you are able to generate more spin you can also know how to receive more spin and read it better.

    Reading the spin is important, but if a Pro comes and says, I will only serve underspin to you, so that removes the reading part out. You will still net the ball every time.

    Why? because his spin is superior than yours. But to your own level against yours club mates, I doubt spin is that much of a greater concern to your coach, or at least it is a small concern compared to other parts of the fundamentals that your coach wants to work on first.

    I for example, won't treat spin as important up front. Moving / body motion / recover is very important. Its pointless you can have the worlds spiniest serves or top spin, but you can only do 1 or 2 and then you throw away the point. So get the basics right and then start learning about power and adding more spin.

    Glad you have a coach that uses mutliball for drills. It is something that the Chinese taught the west, and even today, many people are not using it enough, or not using it correctly. A good feeder/coach, can alter any feed based on any specific purpose, so I hope more people can have the chance to train like the way a world champion does.

    Ultimately, I'm sure you know by now, table tennis is an art. Like any art, you need time to master it.
    Unlearning, relearning is also another factor.

    Learning to win points is one thing, learning all the skills of this art is another. Your coach might not be the one that is there to just teach you tricks to win points easily (i've seen a lot that get Grade 5 girls long pips to achieve that), but to focus on the fundamentals.

    Practice more, understand the game more physically than theoretically, and you will be improving even faster!
    Other than encouragements, I do advise to focus less on matches, and only do that when you are really ready, or maybe have some extra match drill training and when confidents on your quality improves, your results will come.l

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    Last edited by Tony's Table Tennis; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:26 AM.
    TTT

  10. TableTennisTom is offline
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    #70
    NB: Just found this video of Tom's about returning spin and his concept is similar to my coach. I hope you can appreciate the allure of only using just one response to return all serves for noobs like me. Hence this video is very enticing to me, like bees to honey.

    However, this veteran player said they are talking rubbish and you need to know how to contact, adjust the angle of the bat, know how to place the bat etc to redirect the spin. To me this is too complicated. I can't do it.

    So what is the response here amongst our regular forumers? Is it attack attack attack all the way ignoring the spin as advocated by my coach and other TY online coaches or use the touch method as advocated by the veteran player of my club? What sayeth you all?

    It all depends what level you are. So the video I posted is probably aimed at more advanced players who are comfortable reading spin and are also confident using flicks and topspin against backspin. For these players it is possible to take a very simplified approach to returning serves and attack as many balls as possible. They have the skills and confidence to do so. And if you ever face one of these players, it's a bit of a nightmare. You always feel you are on the backfoot. So it can be a very effective way of returning serves.

    However, for players at a lower level, this approach is very hard to do, because they have low confidence and consistency in their flicks and topspins. So they end up making lots of unforced errors, which can be very demotivating. Is there anything else you can do instead? Well yes, you could take a more controlled approach, using pushes, blocks and drives, as I describe in this video... https://www.tabletenniscoach.me.uk/v...mediate-level/ and also in this video... https://www.tabletenniscoach.me.uk/v...idespin-serve/

    Moving away from videos and into my real life coaching sessions, I will always teach players to return serves with pushes, blocks and drives to begin with. Why? Because for almost all players it is easier to do. I have taught them a simple method of getting the ball back on the table. They will always have this option available. But as a player improves, we will then work on flicks and topspins to return serves. This can take some time depending on the learning capacity of the player, and how much he/she is able to practice. Then it's up to the player to decide what is the best options for them. Do they want to be aggressive when returning serves? Does this suit their playing style? Or do they prefer a more controlled approach, mixing in some pushes, blocks and the occasional flick and topspin?

    There is no right or wrong here. It's up to you to try out different approaches and see what works for you. How can you return most serves and put your opponent under pressure? Also what sort of rally do you want to set up? Do you like playing fast topspin rallies? If you use flicks and topspins to return serves, this will set up this kind of rally. Or do you like the rally to start slower and then open up an attack against backspin? In this case, returning serves with touches and pushes may be a better option.

    And remember, no single player or coach has a monopoly on table tennis wisdom. There are multiple ways of succeeding at table tennis. Listen to your coach. Listen to more advanced players. Try out what they say. Keep the good bits of advice. Discard the advice which doesn't work for you. Ultimately you have to decide what is best for you.

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  11. Gozo is offline
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    #71
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    First time reading your story Gozo and well done on your progress!
    I think your coach knows a lot more than many forum members, so stick with that and if you have doubts, ask the coach.

    I can understand where he is saying 30% less spin, don't worry about it etc. Obviously some people will just focus on the words as is and argue the yay and nay of it.

    What I read is, your coach wants you to learn more of the fundamentals and through that you can learn to spin more, focus more on the basic of spin - which is under and top spin. When you are able to generate more spin you can also know how to receive more spin and read it better.

    Reading the spin is important, but if a Pro comes and says, I will only serve underspin to you, so that removes the reading part out. You will still net the ball every time.

    Why? because his spin is superior than yours. But to your own level against yours club mates, I doubt spin is that much of a greater concern to your coach, or at least it is a small concern compared to other parts of the fundamentals that your coach wants to work on first.

    I for example, won't treat spin as important up front. Moving / body motion / recover is very important. Its pointless you can have the worlds spiniest serves or top spin, but you can only do 1 or 2 and then you throw away the point. So get the basics right and then start learning about power and adding more spin.

    Glad you have a coach that uses mutliball for drills. It is something that the Chinese taught the west, and even today, many people are not using it enough, or not using it correctly. A good feeder/coach, can alter any feed based on any specific purpose, so I hope more people can have the chance to train like the way a world champion does.

    Ultimately, I'm sure you know by now, table tennis is an art. Like any art, you need time to master it.
    Unlearning, relearning is also another factor.

    Learning to win points is one thing, learning all the skills of this art is another. Your coach might not be the one that is there to just teach you tricks to win points easily (i've seen a lot that get Grade 5 girls long pips to achieve that), but to focus on the fundamentals.

    Practice more, understand the game more physically than theoretically, and you will be improving even faster!
    Other than encouragements, I do advise to focus less on matches, and only do that when you are really ready, or maybe have some extra match drill training and when confidents on your quality improves, your results will come.l

    Some people are born with literal superpower.

    But, nice of you to drop in Tom and add your two cents. Love it.


  12. Brs is offline
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    #72
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    NDH,

    He is already doing point Nos. 2 with me a lot, unfortunately I am a slow learner in this aspect. I can't seem to be able to do it consistently in match-play which brings me to a dilemma, While waiting for my skill level to mature, and god knows when, I will lose a lot in tourneys. Losing is not an issue per se for me but I will risk not being picked to represent the club in future outings which means less opportunity for me to gain exposure and learn. This is such a dilemma and negative feedback cycle.

    Gozo, do not feel bad. Everyone is slow at learning to receive. It is the hardest skill to learn and hardest to practice.

    I get what your coach is saying about sidespin. You can't return it with a push. In that respect it is exactly like topspin.

    For the long-run it will be best to follow your coach's plan. But your worry about losing opportunities to compete is also real. Here is an idea that might solve it.

    Is there anyone else that you can train with? Do you have time and access to a club? Or could you simply pay a small amount to a slightly better player, maybe a kid (credit to NL for the kid idea)? The only reason receive is so hard to learn is that repetitions are hard to come by. Solve this by doing serve multiball. If you work with an equal partner (or a small group would be even better) then take turns serving a lot of times to each other, maybe 50 balls in a row then switch. Only serve and receive do not play out the point. That is what makes it multiball, and you get 5-10x more receive practice in the time. Let the partner serve randomly until you run into a problem. Maybe you don't have an effective receive, or you missed, or you misread between two serves. Ask him to repeat that serve (or combination of serves) enough times until you handle it better, and then go back to random. This is obviously also a good way to practice serves. Especially when you know what your partner will serve and he still has to try to make it challenging for you.

    If you pay a kid (or again, a set of kids who have different service strengths) then they work for you. You get to do only receiving, and tell them whatever serves you want to work on. When they serve random it may help to keep their interest if you count points to eleven like a game. If your receive is good a point to you, if you miss or make a weak, killable receive a point to them.

    Experiment with different receives when you do the serve multiball. Don't always follow your coach's attacking philosophy. Pretend you are in a match and the goal is only to make a receive that cannot be attacked. Try some side-swipes, dead pushes, half-long receives, keep the ball away from your partner's power either wide or at the elbow. Great variety can be as effective as quality in receiving. If you have an amazing chiquita and you use it every time, your opponent may adjust and step over and counterloop it strongly. If he has not the slightest idea what kind of weird ball he will get or where, he has to wait and see.

    Many people don't want to do this serve multiball form of practice. Either it's boring because points aren't played out, or they are selfish and don't want to give away their secret serves, or whatever. But if you can find one or two people around your level who will it could really help your game. Improvement is all about quality repetitions. If you have a problem just get more reps.

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    #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Brs
    Gozo, do not feel bad. Everyone is slow at learning to receive. It is the hardest skill to learn and hardest to practice.
    Yes. And worse, it never stops. You learn to receive serves at some level, in next level you look like an idiot again. You master/handle those, play with guys on next level, same story... Just like me today :-) So, 100% to don't worry.

    You've made good progress, you need to take the FH a little earlier/in front now... Good job, keep fighting...

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