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  1. Gozo is offline
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    #1

    Help needed: How to deal with soft / no spin / minimal spin short ball

    I am looper, FH dominant. I use European set up and love playing mid to far table loop a loop. My winning condition is powerful forehand loop while defending with BH ( but I am working on a more aggressive BH counter - work in progress )

    I am having trouble with my club mates who all now know my weakness to the max and is exploiting it to my detriment. They serve short, return short. They drop shot with little spin to no spin near the net. Also for ease of definition, a short ball means the ball bounces twice on the table.

    I prefer to loop winners from away the table. My problem is slow in getting in and out. Also, if I push, the ball tend to pop up high and my opponent will punch ( BH ) or smash ( FH ) and get a point from me. Or another problem is when I push and the ball, due to low spin, it is floaty and goes out of the table.

    To summerize: How to deal with:

    Short low to no spin ball that is floaty? Definition of short ball means the ball bounces twice on the table.

    Thanks a lot my dear Komrad in TT.

    NB: An oft repeated mantra in my club is, " When playing with Gozo, ball should not leave the table "
    Last edited by Gozo; 05-13-2022 at 02:37 AM.

  2. PingBirdPong is offline
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    #2

    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    I am looper, FH dominant. I use European set up and love playing mid to far table loop a loop. My winning condition is powerful forehand loop while defending with BH ( but I am working on a more aggressive BH counter - work in progress )I am having trouble with my club mates who all now know my weakness to the max and is exploiting it to my detriment. They serve short, return short. They drop shot with little spin to no spin near the net. Also for ease of definition, a short ball means the ball bounces twice on the table.I prefer to loop winners from away the table. My problem is slow in getting in and out. Also, if I push, the ball tend to pop up high and my opponent will punch ( BH ) or smash ( FH ) and get a point from me. Or another problem is when I push and the ball, due to low spin, it is floaty and goes out of the table.To summerize: How to deal with:Short low to no spin ball that is floaty? Definition of short ball means the ball bounces twice on the table.Thanks a lot my dear Komrad in TT.NB: An oft repeated mantra in my club is, " When playing with Gozo, ball should not leave the table "

    No spin or light spin: FH flickModerate spin to heavy: BH banana flickeverything: pushRemember to put your right(dominant side) foot in front when you push or flick, it’s like taking a step forward. Maybe if there is no spin, you can finesse the shot and improvise. The true pain is when they play short and spinny.

    Last edited by PingBirdPong; 05-13-2022 at 03:35 AM.
    Modestly, Leo

  3. lodro is online now
    says TT-CLOWN, old git
     
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    #3
    maybe your problem comes from the "european set-up"
    Just for a laugh, stick a DHS H3 on the BH. These rubbers are exactly made to reply to short nasty game.

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  4. Gozo is offline
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by lodro
    maybe your problem comes from the "european set-up"
    Just for a laugh, stick a DHS H3 on the BH. These rubbers are exactly made to reply to short nasty game.
    I would really like to hear how you Europeans deal with these issues?

    I like to play with Euro rubber these days.



  5. cytivrat is offline
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    #5
    1. Flick to some not very expected place, so you don't get powerful attack back, but something you can deal with
    2. Push short until you or your opponents get long ball and initiate attack
    3. Push not very short, so it won't be easy for your opponents to return short
    4. Push short with some underspin, then push with sidespin, people might return higher ball and let you attack

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    Last edited by cytivrat; 05-13-2022 at 05:32 AM.

  6. Dr Evil is offline
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    #6
    If you're slow getting in and out, flipping probably shouldn't be your first option. Same for playing short short. I'd work on long and half long pushes, looking to get a slow loop coming back. Focus on placement and variation.

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  7. Lula is offline
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    #7
    Alternatives:
    - No spin short ball you need to slice on the side with the right side of the racket ponting upward to play short
    - flip
    - If the ball is longer in game play you can do a step in
    Serves:
    - get more underspin in the serve, very difficult for the opponent to push short
    - Serves without underspin, also difficult for the opponent to push short, so will probably flip
    --> do not know the english translation, we call it "hackserve", a serve where you try to disguise nospin and underspin could work well
    - The serves are too short. Very easy to play short then. Try half long

    Good luck

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  8. Gozo is offline
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    #8
    Cyvirat said:
    1. Flick to some not very expected place, so you don't get powerful attack back, but something you can deal with
    2. Push short until you or your opponents get long ball and initiate attack
    3. Push not very short, so it won't be easy for your opponents to return short
    4. Push short with some underspin, then push with sidespin, people might return higher ball and let you attack
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dr Evil said:
    If you're slow getting in and out, flipping probably shouldn't be your first option. Same for playing short short. I'd work on long and half long pushes, looking to get a slow loop coming back. Focus on placement and variation.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thanks to the both of you. Nice points. Will try to incorporate them into my gameplay. Now, why didn't I think of pushing long. My opponent push short and I also push back to him short; which I am suckered into playing into his strength.

    I am a looper and hence I tend to stand a little further from the table to give me the space to loop. I need a big swing to make my shot count, very tennisish type of player.

    Yeah, I have no issue moving left to right and vice-versa, but when coming to forward and reverse tend to be slow. I will push long and wait for their long return which is my favourite condition.

    Darn it! Why I did not just think of these tactics. I feel so silly right now...

    Last edited by Gozo; 05-13-2022 at 07:11 AM.

  9. vvk1 is offline
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lula
    Alternatives:
    - No spin short ball you need to slice on the side with the right side of the racket ponting upward to play short
    - flip
    - If the ball is longer in game play you can do a step in
    Serves:
    - get more underspin in the serve, very difficult for the opponent to push short
    - Serves without underspin, also difficult for the opponent to push short, so will probably flip
    --> do not know the english translation, we call it "hackserve", a serve where you try to disguise nospin and underspin could work well
    - The serves are too short. Very easy to play short then. Try half long

    Good luck

    This, especially the tips in bold.

    The reason your (OP's) pushes of nospin/"floaty" balls pop up is that you're late to get to them - the ball is past the highest bounce point and you're getting under it, probably with too big a motion. Try to get as close as possible to the ball, lean forward, and make the motion mentioned by Lula as small as possible, just using your wrist.

    The tip about serves being too short is also very good for your style as you describe it. You want to play big FH winners, so even doing long serves (but with enough speed and placement variation) can make it easier for you to get in with that forehand of yours. Depends on the opponents of course.

    Good luck!


  10. NDH is offline
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    #10

    I'm a big advocate of playing deep returns and long pushes to open the game up.

    I'm a big guy, and I'll never win the nimble/quick over the table attacking game.

    I also find players are so used to receiving short balls, they actually aren't as good at dealing with the longer ones (or certainly not as used to it).

    From experience, it's much easier to say "flip it", than it is to actually do the shot consistently.

    Obviously if you have a good "banana flick" or "flip", then you'll be fine, but if you don't, I would go down the route of long pushes to different parts of the table.

    You can long push, and immediately take a step back to make sure you are in a good position for the returning shot which will very likely come off the end of the table, and allow you to get in.

    If they attack the long push, you can either block or counter, but still.... The ball will be more to your style than the tippy tappy over the table stuff!

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  11. Kuba Hajto is offline
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    I am looper, FH dominant. I use European set up and love playing mid to far table loop a loop. My winning condition is powerful forehand loop while defending with BH ( but I am working on a more aggressive BH counter - work in progress )

    I am having trouble with my club mates who all now know my weakness to the max and is exploiting it to my detriment. They serve short, return short. They drop shot with little spin to no spin near the net. Also for ease of definition, a short ball means the ball bounces twice on the table.

    I prefer to loop winners from away the table. My problem is slow in getting in and out. Also, if I push, the ball tend to pop up high and my opponent will punch ( BH ) or smash ( FH ) and get a point from me. Or another problem is when I push and the ball, due to low spin, it is floaty and goes out of the table.

    To summerize: How to deal with:

    Short low to no spin ball that is floaty? Definition of short ball means the ball bounces twice on the table.

    Thanks a lot my dear Komrad in TT.

    NB: An oft repeated mantra in my club is, " When playing with Gozo, ball should not leave the table "

    Open racket, smack the ball top of the bounce.

    If you can reliably get over the table flick the ball. I would start with smacking cause it is easier on the feet.

    /devnull

  12. songdavid98 is offline
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by vvk1

    The reason your (OP's) pushes of nospin/"floaty" balls pop up is that you're late to get to them

    As a looper waiting for a looping opportunity, it is very typical to be late on short pushes against other short pushes. If they are popping up, it's because of other factors, like the vertical direction of his push and racket angles, etc.

    Here is Ma Long and FZD taking turns short pushing late. https://youtu.be/aNafrfuqZJ4?t=125
    Always go forward

  13. Gozo is offline
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by NDH

    I'm a big advocate of playing deep returns and long pushes to open the game up.

    I'm a big guy, and I'll never win the nimble/quick over the table attacking game.

    I also find players are so used to receiving short balls, they actually aren't as good at dealing with the longer ones (or certainly not as used to it).

    From experience, it's much easier to say "flip it", than it is to actually do the shot consistently.

    Obviously if you have a good "banana flick" or "flip", then you'll be fine, but if you don't, I would go down the route of long pushes to different parts of the table.

    You can long push, and immediately take a step back to make sure you are in a good position for the returning shot which will very likely come off the end of the table, and allow you to get in.

    If they attack the long push, you can either block or counter, but still.... The ball will be more to your style than the tippy tappy over the table stuff!

    I am a big guy too. I am not as nimble as my lighter and lithe compatriot.

    I am not that consistent with flicks, they are doable but not my go to stroke.

    Banana flick is a no-no for me as my percentage is too low for it to be usable in match play.

    Looks like long push is a good option for me and wait for the open up opportunity.

    I too hate tippy-tappy play. It is very frustrating style of play for me.

  14. mocker88 is offline
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    #14
    When they serve/return short, be sure to return the ball really quickly and keep it short a couple of returns, until you get them unbalanced, and out of pace, then push a little longer into the body, or towards a corner if it works better with certain players. Then you'll certainly get some looping opportunities when they return the ball in an unbalanced state. If you work harder with this than your opponent, you'll get rewarded.

    All this is easier done with a more linear setup of course, and a bit harder with bouncy rubbers like yours.

  15. Zwill is offline
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    #15
    Just use the skin on the back of your hand. That will surely trip up the others.

  16. vvk1 is offline
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by songdavid98
    As a looper waiting for a looping opportunity, it is very typical to be late on short pushes against other short pushes. If they are popping up, it's because of other factors, like the vertical direction of his push and racket angles, etc.

    Here is Ma Long and FZD taking turns short pushing late. https://youtu.be/aNafrfuqZJ4?t=125

    I'm pretty sure all of us here would kill for being able to consistently short push like ML and FZD in that video :-) (who, btw, are practicing normal short pushing in that clip).

    You should have copied the rest of that sentence from my post " .. - the ball is past the highest bounce point and you're getting under it, probably with too big a motion" - which mentions some of the other factors. Getting too late to a short ball after it started to descend from the highest bounce point is the root cause of why it becomes so difficult to keep the pushed ball low.


  17. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #17
    Some basic fundamentals, so if you not doing it well, then practice more of them:
    - push the ball long, or medium long (second bounce on the edge of the table)
    - flick the ball long
    - drop the ball short towards the 2 sides - to start a top spin game.

    If your strengths is top spin, then your service return needs to guide you to a top spin rally and that is all based on your service return placement - so train more of that.
    If you can't do that, your love of playing loop only applies for training and not for matches
    TTT

  18. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #18
    Yeah. This just sounds like something you need to work on and practice. You can work on it with your coach. But these are basics. It is fun to talk about being a looper. But if you have trouble handling the short game, and people can keep you from getting to where you loop, then you should think about what you mean by that statement. What you are describing is simple game skills and the stage you are at is just a part of starting to develop the basic skills of the game. But, it is good that you are solid at looping when the opportunity presents itself.

    Now you have to work on your short game. From the standpoint of getting to your looping skills, the short game is more important because if you can't get past it, then you won't get to loop. Once someone reaches a certain level, you get to different problems with short game. To be able to be a looper, you kind of have to have a good short game so you can get to your looping skills.

    The more you work on developing these skills, the sooner you will be able to better handle the stuff you are talking about and get to your offensive shots. So, short game is always a skill you have to develop and keep working on in TT.

    To be a higher level player you have to be able to read spin on the ball, you have to be able to handle incoming spin, you have to be able to adapt to short game, close to the table game, mid-distance game and long game. If you do one thing very well in training that is all fine and good, but you can't get to the flashier skills without the fundamentals: the first thing that should be worked on is the short game, (the serve, the receive, the third ball...anything over the table).
    Setup 1: Blade by Nate: Vortex Spin Machine, FH Evolution MX-K, BH Evolution FX-P
    Setup 2: OSP Virtuoso Plus, FH Rasanter R 48, BH Rasanter R 48
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  19. UpSideDownCarl is offline
    says I like to hit Heavy Topspin
     
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    #19
    BTW: I know people who will say something like: "I am better than _______ (put any name you want in), but when we play matches, I lose and it is very frustrating." And I have heard things like this many times. But, the truth of the matter is, if the person saying that is losing matches to someone they think they are better than, there is something fundamental to the skills of the game that they person who is winning those matches is better at. If that were not the case, that person would not be winning the matches.

    So, the good thing is, you know the skills you are good at. You don't need to work on them as much even though it is fun to practice looping with your better side. You know the skills you need to work on. They are harder and more frustrating to work on. But they are more fundamental to the actual skills need to win matches.

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  20. IB66 is offline
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    #20
    As the other posters have said, your game needs to be balanced, there’s always aspects that we are better at or maybe enjoy more, strokes we see as our favourites!! We then like to concentrate on the ‘good’ things!!

    Pushing can or is seen by a lot of players, especially youngsters and developing players, as sort of boring, everyone ( well almost everyone !! ) just loves top spin play, it’s sort of more satisfying!!
    If you were to walk into a TT club, and watch the players practicing ( without a coach ) I bet that most of them would be practicing their FH / BH topspin and loops!!!

    Try a change your perception of short game and pushing and understand that it will lead to the opportunity to bring in your looping skills.

    There are different types of pushes, no spin, low spin, medium spin, high spin, then add some side/back spin pushes, fast / slow pace, long, 1/2 long and short length!! There’s a lot to learn and master with pushing!!

    imagine you are playing against yourself!! Evenly matched!! What tactics could you employ to win or frustrate your doppelgänger?? Tippy tippy??
    Learn to love it!! ( or try to!! ) focus on the type(s) of push that will help you get into your preferred type of rally to start with, long and 1/2 long, then refine fast long, slow long, high / medium low/no spin long etc
    As with a lot of TT tactics, variation is key, this extends from serve variation, to serve receive etc if you have one standard long push, it’s easier for opponents to deal with.


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