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  1. Michael Zhuang is online now
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    #1

    How do you learn the counter-punch stroke?



    I was watching the Ayalog youtube channel that was posted on TTD, and I noticed that Aya doesn't have the same power as many of her male opponents. But she is still beating most of the men. It's pretty obvious that she's winning because she stands closer to the table than they do, cuts off the angle, hits the ball early, and counter punches the mens' loops.

    I think this is the stroke that I need to be learning if I want to improve as a player. So what's the best way to learn this stroke? Is it basically just the same as a block, but with more forward movement?

    Why is she able to hit this shot so consistently? Usually when somebody is looping me with their full power, I do well just to block it back into play.

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  2. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #2
    She is not blocking. That is a close to table fast loop, still a topspin skill but more compact. You can start from normal FH/BH loop shadow practices, then cut of all the unnecessary big swing/backswing and big rotation as you do not need them when close to table.

    In my opinion, players should be able to loop/counter-loop consistently before they go to this stage.

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    #3
    She is cheating on her serve. It’s supposed to go straight up…😱

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

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    #4
    She stays close to the table, play very compact strokes (both fh and bh), take the ball very early most of the times (ball on the rise), focus on speed and placement rather than power, always ready for the next shot (thanks to compact strokes). When you take the ball early, your opponent have less time and likely play a weak shot, hence you will have more chance to punch it. If you take the ball later, you might get a powerful shot and it’s very hard to punch it no matter how good you are. As powerful as the loops that she punch back might seem, they are not the best quality loops her opponent can make, and they are not too hard to handle in her standard.

    I think that’s it. Her bh punch is good, but not any special technique, the secret is she developed a very technically sound game, this bh punch will not be as consistent if say you have a big Fh and like to overpower the opponent.

    To learn this stroke I think you just need to practice a lot of blocking, try to take the ball as early as possible. And when you are confident and consistent enough, add just a little power. Multiball random Fh bh block probably is the best drill.

  5. Gozo is offline
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by iammaru
    She stays close to the table, play very compact strokes (both fh and bh), take the ball very early most of the times (ball on the rise), focus on speed and placement rather than power, always ready for the next shot (thanks to compact strokes). When you take the ball early, your opponent have less time and likely play a weak shot, hence you will have more chance to punch it. If you take the ball later, you might get a powerful shot and it’s very hard to punch it no matter how good you are. As powerful as the loops that she punch back might seem, they are not the best quality loops her opponent can make, and they are not too hard to handle in her standard.

    I think that’s it. Her bh punch is good, but not any special technique, the secret is she developed a very technically sound game, this bh punch will not be as consistent if say you have a big Fh and like to overpower the opponent.

    To learn this stroke I think you just need to practice a lot of blocking, try to take the ball as early as possible. And when you are confident and consistent enough, add just a little power. Multiball random Fh bh block probably is the best drill.
    You are describing exactly what my coach wants me to do with my BH drive. He always keep asking me to come near to the table and tap on the ball immediately off the bounce. My hand is inside the table or at the white line of the table end. I purposely choose the term tap. It is a light touch. I believe this is due to the fact that the I am using the rebound energy coupled with the tensor rubber on my BH to effect these fast counter-drive technique. He also cautioned me not to add strength and just lightly tap on the ball instead.

    On a personal note I, have discovered that these quick off the bounce counter-drives are good control strokes on your opponent whilst setting up for my FH power-drive to get the winning points. I use the term "good control", i.e., it puts constant pressure on your opponent, keeping him busy and not letting him / her to start the offense. I suppose if the old out-dated way was to use underspin push / cut to control or prevent opponent attack, these days, in the modern TT tactics is to use these quick off the bounce quick-drive to control and set up for the FH hit.

    Dear coaches,

    Do you all concur with what I say above?

    To Michael,

    To answer your question earlier which is how do you learn this quick off the bounce counter-drive stroke.

    I will speak from my own experience. I had zero BH skill to begin with. I was hopeless with BH and it took me a long five months just to have an functional BH even with professional coaching. Prior to getting a professional coach, I was a basement / recreational player who only rely on Youtube as my primary coach and I learned nothing at all, so many years wasted.

    If you are serious, my advise is to get a proper coach and you'll thank yourself six months down the line. I promise.
    Last edited by Gozo; 07-13-2022 at 09:59 AM.

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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang


    I was watching the Ayalog youtube channel that was posted on TTD, and I noticed that Aya doesn't have the same power as many of her male opponents. But she is still beating most of the men. It's pretty obvious that she's winning because she stands closer to the table than they do, cuts off the angle, hits the ball early, and counter punches the mens' loops.

    I think this is the stroke that I need to be learning if I want to improve as a player. So what's the best way to learn this stroke? Is it basically just the same as a block, but with more forward movement?

    Why is she able to hit this shot so consistently? Usually when somebody is looping me with their full power, I do well just to block it back into play.

    What a lovely player to watch - thanks for sharing this :-)


  7. jammmail is offline
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    #7
    She stays close to the table consistently which helps her dominate the rally. Something my coach was saying last night - need to stay forward and play into the ball not playing as I'm falling away.

  8. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang

    Why is she able to hit this shot so consistently? Usually when somebody is looping me with their full power, I do well just to block it back into play.

    I don't know her, but looking at her fundamentals, it is clear that she went through some formal training when younger.

    so, why is she able to hit this shot so consistently?
    - she has likely done this during her training, which is 4 to 6 hours a day, 5 days a week for quite a few years.

    I suggest if you want to be like her, is to get a coach that can work on your BH technique.
    It requires a lot more than hand/arm action/angle.
    Your feet, weight need to be in position and behind the ball.
    If you can't do a regular backhand, you would also struggle to do this "punch".

    I like to do it with my RPB and if done correctly and you have a high quality opponent, the ball will come back even way faster.
    So it isn't for the faint heart. It isn't a win shot, but a shot that could open up an opportunity to outplace your opponent and win points, or you would struggle for the much faster return.

    But give it 1000 hours, and you should be a bit more consistent.

    TTT

  9. Michael Zhuang is online now
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    #9
    I believe she said she uses SWAT blade with G1 on both sides.

    To hit this shot, is it better to have a faster more direct blade? Or a flexier blade with more dwell time?


  10. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    I believe she said she uses SWAT blade with G1 on both sides.

    To hit this shot, is it better to have a faster more direct blade? Or a flexier blade with more dwell time?

    It doesn't matter
    I can do with both.
    I teach students with both

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  11. Jim is offline
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    I believe she said she uses SWAT blade with G1 on both sides.

    To hit this shot, is it better to have a faster more direct blade? Or a flexier blade with more dwell time?

    There are no shortcuts in table tennis, you need to put in the work to make progress. And material used is secondary. Start with regular block and then add more power as you go.


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    #12
    Ayano is currently rated 2142 after 4 tournaments and will easily move beyond 2200. This is her (brief) tournament history in the US: https://usatt.simplycompete.com/userAccount/up/175117

    She's clearly received good coaching and has also put in a ton of hours into the craft. I personally would find it hard to have any comparison with someone like her who is 20 levels above me and you. Her setup is irrelevant. She could beat us easily with 20 year old rubber on any blade. To get to anywhere near her level of technique on the BH punch or any other stroke, we need to put in thousands of hours and get proper coaching.


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    #13

    Nice YouTuber. Thank you very much.


  14. Michael Zhuang is online now
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    #14
    I practiced my counter punch today. I had fairly strong looper just loop to my backhand. I would try to block 2 loops, then counter punch third by punching through the ball. I did this on both backhand and forehand. I was able to hit some good counter punches, but it also feels like a quite risky shots. I had a fair bit of misses as well.

    I'm not sure I would ever have the confidence to hit this shot in a game.

  15. Gozo is offline
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    I practiced my counter punch today. I had fairly strong looper just loop to my backhand. I would try to block 2 loops, then counter punch third by punching through the ball. I did this on both backhand and forehand. I was able to hit some good counter punches, but it also feels like a quite risky shots. I had a fair bit of misses as well.

    I'm not sure I would ever have the confidence to hit this shot in a game.
    Video or it didn't happen. Nuff'said. ​​​😁

  16. Michael Zhuang is online now
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    #16
    Ok. You are free to assume that it didnt happen. Don't see why that would benefit you.


  17. Gozo is offline
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    Ok. You are free to assume that it didnt happen. Don't see why that would benefit you.

    It benefits a lot of people actually. Not just you and me.

    A video provide a lot of context and non-verbal communication. It benefits you if a forum member who is also coach decide to give you pointers / correction. It benefits other who in future may see your video and learn from it what to do and what not to do.


  18. Michael Zhuang is online now
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    #18
    Well I was just practicing the counter punch for the first time, so I didn't take a video. But next time maybe I will.

    I mean, I don't know why you assuming that my practice today didn't happen would be of any benefit to you.

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    #19
    No doubt, an amazing player with great skills.

  20. Michael Zhuang is online now
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    #20
    Also I notice that her service-return is very good. She reads the serve well, and she knows when to push and when to drive. It seems to come really naturally to her.

    For me, it's always a struggle about how to return serve.

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