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  1. Michael Zhuang is online now
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    #21
    Just curious, how close would Aya be to the top US female player? I think Lily Zhang is considered the best.

    Where would Aya fall in the US? Top 50, Top 100? Top 20?

    She said that throughout high school, she basically did no studying at all and was just playing TT all the time. She said in high school her goal was to be the #1 player in Japan.
    Last edited by Michael Zhuang; 07-30-2022 at 06:23 AM.

  2. UpSideDownCarl is offline
    says I like to hit Heavy Topspin
     
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    #22
    There are several things you have to consider:

    1) You are watching a player who has a lot of training and her skills and technique are excellent. Trying to compare your play to hers is a bit silly when she has thousands of hours of professional training with coaches over you and you are trying to learn without the help of coaching.
    2) She is young and has the coaching behind her already. You are definitely an adult learning who is trying to learn on your own rather than getting coaching. I think that is fine. But it is worth understanding the handicap you are giving yourself.
    3) Even when she punches, she is making spin contact and spinning the ball while punching. When you punch, you contact the ball pretty dead on. Your punch and her punch are not the same animal.
    4) Because she spins the ball on return of serve, she handles serves much differently than you do. So, not only is she better at readying serves. She also knows what to do with the serves that are coming at her. Practice with a coach giving you information on how to return serves while practicing return of serves could help you. But what you do in matches to return serves, probably that won't help you improve on that skill because you approach returning serves tentatively, defensively, without knowing how to return the serves and without the idea of experimenting with different approaches to returning serves.

    Also, if she is between 2100-2300 and Lily Zhang's current rating is 2613 and highest rating is 2641 then Lily is about as much better than this woman as this woman would be better than you:

    300 points from 2300-2600 is worth at least 600 points for a player below 1700 to a player higher. Said differently: at 2300 trying to go up 300 points is actually harder to gain than 600 points at 1700.

    Said differently again: Adam Bobrow is about the same level as this woman. When he played Lily Zhang he asked for a floating 7 point spot. The floating part means that, if Lily wins a game to point spot goes up 1. If Adam wins a game, the point spot goes down 1. With that floating spot, Lily and Adam were dead even. Which basically means, without a spot Lily would have won with Adam getting approximately 2, 3 or 4 points per game. That is a big spread.
    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
    Spin is Everything

  3. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #23
    Also, frequently women, or smaller people play close to the table and take the ball off the bounce. Smaller people respond more quickly because their limbs are smaller and easier to move. A large man trying to play the style that is played by a small, thin, athletically fit woman, I am not so sure that would actually work.
    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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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Lycanthrope
    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.
    ^ I fully agree with this

    My coach gave me a very good insight: the closer to the table, the more compact the stroke is. Striking the ball with a backhand topspin right off the bounce means that you'd need to use your wrist more and elbow/hip less. In our language, we have a specific name for this stroke: a "demi" (aka half) backhand topspin.

    Keeping that in mind, because of my physical features and lack of techniques, I cannot play such a fierce backhand with speed like Aya so it's not realistic to emulate exactly what she does in my opinion. What to do instead is to stay as close to the table as possible and use a few compact fast backhands with good placement upon a third ball attack to try and find an opportunity to end the point as the opponent is put on his/her back foot

    In order to develop this kind of stroke, I'd recommend:
    - Fully develop a decent regular backhand with good control
    - You must also have decent footwork to support your close-to-the-table movements
    - Lots and lots of multiball training
    - Focus on speed and placement

    We've been using this drill lately, which I think is very beneficial for my competition play:
    - I'd serve with backspin and attack the third ball with a forehand shot
    - After that, he wanted me to play as many demi backhands to his backhand as I could, but try to make micro placement adjustments and score with surprise balls to his elbow (making the kill with forehand is also acceptable)
    - Latest video is here


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  5. Lycanthrope is offline
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    #25
    Aya can do those beautiful and effective strokes because she is capable to deal with those opponents.
    If she is playing a player better than her, you will see her hitting the ball to everywhere and all things won't be as wonderful as shown in video.

    There is always another side behind what you can see from video.

    In terms of new techniques, we always see various beautiful techniques from videos. They seems to be more effective, more powerful and can be easily done. They leave you an impression that once you understand how it works you will be able to do the same. But the truth is cruel. They are usually very difficult to be learned and very risky to be applied in actual games.

    Learning new techniques to improve the level of playing is so ineffective. If fundamental techniques can't help you to go to a good level, various new techniques can't help you as well.
    Last edited by Lycanthrope; 08-01-2022 at 02:43 AM.

  6. Gozo is offline
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    #26
    Quote Originally Posted by famanson
    ^ I fully agree with this

    My coach gave me a very good insight: the closer to the table, the more compact the stroke is. Striking the ball with a backhand topspin right off the bounce means that you'd need to use your wrist more and elbow/hip less. In our language, we have a specific name for this stroke: a "demi" (aka half) backhand topspin.

    Keeping that in mind, because of my physical features and lack of techniques, I cannot play such a fierce backhand with speed like Aya so it's not realistic to emulate exactly what she does in my opinion. What to do instead is to stay as close to the table as possible and use a few compact fast backhands with good placement upon a third ball attack to try and find an opportunity to end the point as the opponent is put on his/her back foot

    In order to develop this kind of stroke, I'd recommend:
    - Fully develop a decent regular backhand with good control
    - You must also have decent footwork to support your close-to-the-table movements
    - Lots and lots of multiball training
    - Focus on speed and placement

    We've been using this drill lately, which I think is very beneficial for my competition play:
    - I'd serve with backspin and attack the third ball with a forehand shot
    - After that, he wanted me to play as many demi backhands to his backhand as I could, but try to make micro placement adjustments and score with surprise balls to his elbow (making the kill with forehand is also acceptable)
    - Latest video is here
    First off, love your video. Your stroke is clean and unhurried. You seem like a player who choose to master the technical skill first rather than over-power it with overkill shots to gain points unlike me, I am so ashamed. Kudos on that!

    Those statement I highlighted is also what my coach advocate, i.e, BH must be stable. If not able to gain point is ok, just make sure your BH can return the ball so that your FH has the opportunity to wrest the point. My coach knows I have an over-kill FH so that is why he is making a tactic that works for me. BH to support my FH.

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    #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Gozo
    First off, love your video. Your stroke is clean and unhurried. You seem like a player who choose to master the technical skill first rather than over-power it with overkill shots to gain points unlike me, I am so ashamed. Kudos on that!

    Those statement I highlighted is also what my coach advocate, i.e, BH must be stable. If not able to gain point is ok, just make sure your BH can return the ball so that your FH has the opportunity to wrest the point. My coach knows I have an over-kill FH so that is why he is making a tactic that works for me. BH to support my FH.
    Haha thanks, this is just a practice session though match play is way more unpredictable so if I see a chance to end a point with my forehand then I almost always do - sometimes it ends up overkill but that's acceptable as long as the placement is good. I can pivot well but have stopped doing that so often after my recent knee ACL reconstruction. That's why I've been training up my backhand blocks & topspin strokes a bit more to put myself in more advantageous positions during match play.

    However, I do already have a pretty stable regular backhand to start with and can do consistent full backhand loop swings before getting to this point, hence my recommendations to the OP. My coach didn't teach me this stroke until he was satisfied with my basic backhand and footwork
    Last edited by famanson; 08-04-2022 at 10:21 AM.

  8. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #28
    Quote Originally Posted by famanson
    We've been using this drill lately, which I think is very beneficial for my competition play:
    - I'd serve with backspin and attack the third ball with a forehand shot
    - After that, he wanted me to play as many demi backhands to his backhand as I could, but try to make micro placement adjustments and score with surprise balls to his elbow (making the kill with forehand is also acceptable)
    - Latest video is here
    very good drill.
    This is a popular match drill, as underspin serve is commonly used in match play.

    There is a saying, if you can secure your bh side, then you won't give points away easily.
    And that is why (for womens TT more) that BH training is heavily focused on.

    For your BH, I would suggest more brush.
    You can see when you practice your own bh action (without the ball, you brushing into the air) - there is a good brushing angle. However with actual ball contact, you can see that you are actually pushing the ball down after your brushing.
    So that is more pushing the ball out, than opposed to brushing the ball more.

    If you can get more contact with the gripping of the ball and relying on the forward impact more on a your wrist and less on your arm, then you will have a lot more control and can add more speed/power by accelerating your arm even more.

    Kind of think that your wrist is the grip while arm is the speed.

    However, as is, your gripping of the ball is not enough. So try and get more on.
    hope the above makes sense, and you can re-watch your video and see if you can spot what I'm pointing out. (look for

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    #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    very good drill.
    This is a popular match drill, as underspin serve is commonly used in match play.

    There is a saying, if you can secure your bh side, then you won't give points away easily.
    And that is why (for womens TT more) that BH training is heavily focused on.

    For your BH, I would suggest more brush.
    You can see when you practice your own bh action (without the ball, you brushing into the air) - there is a good brushing angle. However with actual ball contact, you can see that you are actually pushing the ball down after your brushing.
    So that is more pushing the ball out, than opposed to brushing the ball more.

    If you can get more contact with the gripping of the ball and relying on the forward impact more on a your wrist and less on your arm, then you will have a lot more control and can add more speed/power by accelerating your arm even more.

    Kind of think that your wrist is the grip while arm is the speed.

    However, as is, your gripping of the ball is not enough. So try and get more on.
    hope the above makes sense, and you can re-watch your video and see if you can spot what I'm pointing out. (look for
    Excellent spot. You are right, my coach also keeps telling me to use less elbow for this stroke close to the table

    I can brush more during multiball (as you correctly pointed out, the brushing angle when I waved my blade in the air is what I was aiming for), but in single ball drills, I intuitively add some elbow and push the ball down. My coach keeps telling me to trust my wrist more, maybe eventually I’ll get it one of these days 😄

    Last edited by famanson; 08-01-2022 at 08:36 PM.

  10. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #30
    Quote Originally Posted by famanson
    Excellent spot. You are right, my coach also keeps telling me to use less elbow for this stroke close to the table

    I can brush more during multiball (as you correctly pointed out, the brushing angle when I waved my blade in the air is what I was aiming for), but in single ball drills, I intuitively adds some elbow and push the ball down. My coach keeps telling me to trust my wrist more, maybe eventually I’ll get it one of these days 😄
    I find this mistake quite often.
    I think it is a mental block you need to overcome.

    You either don't trust your brush, or you worry you will brush too much and get the ball too high or long.

    I suggest you to try something different - breath in when you doing the backswing, hold in when waiting for the ball and when going forward with your wrist, breath out powerfully.
    When that breadth sound stops, so must your wrist/arm. In the same time, aim for it to stop where it should stop.
    the breath out is wrist only and use the wrist to guide out your arm (not the other way around)

    This way breathing method is to also help you add more power to the shot, but on the other side, let you be in control of that millisecond of the brushing action and I'm hoping will take away what ever thought you have in your mind.

    This is the first time I'm trying to explain this in text form, so not sure if it will make sense or work.

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    #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis
    I find this mistake quite often.
    I think it is a mental block you need to overcome.

    You either don't trust your brush, or you worry you will brush too much and get the ball too high or long.

    I suggest you to try something different - breath in when you doing the backswing, hold in when waiting for the ball and when going forward with your wrist, breath out powerfully.
    When that breadth sound stops, so must your wrist/arm. In the same time, aim for it to stop where it should stop.
    the breath out is wrist only and use the wrist to guide out your arm (not the other way around)

    This way breathing method is to also help you add more power to the shot, but on the other side, let you be in control of that millisecond of the brushing action and I'm hoping will take away what ever thought you have in your mind.

    This is the first time I'm trying to explain this in text form, so not sure if it will make sense or work.

    Hi Tony,

    So for this drill, I was not trying to win the point, just focused on landing as many backhands on to the table as possible: https://youtu.be/AJnVdTwlWPo

    The timing on the first one after the opening backhand was off, so there was that elbow extension pushing the ball down again. I realised that and attempted to correct by adjusting my feet a little then my wrist just guided the arm with each crisp stroke - my coach said that sensation of wrist acceleration taking the ball early on bounce is what I should burn into my muscle memory. Is that something close to what you were trying to describe?

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  12. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #32
    Quote Originally Posted by famanson

    Hi Tony,

    So for this drill, I was not trying to win the point, just focused on landing as many backhands on to the table as possible: https://youtu.be/AJnVdTwlWPo

    The timing on the first one after the opening backhand was off, so there was that elbow extension pushing the ball down again. I realised that and attempted to correct by adjusting my feet a little then my wrist just guided the arm with each crisp stroke - my coach said that sensation of wrist acceleration taking the ball early on bounce is what I should burn into my muscle memory. Is that something close to what you were trying to describe?

    This is so much better.

    I think some forumers or western world calls this the snap of the wrist. meaning you can see where your wrist stops.
    and when it stops, so must your arm.

    Now the trick is, how long do you need for it to be built into muscle memory, and then when you start mixing the drills with more movement and fh/bh drills, on how much the new habits stays put.
    of course, when comes match time, the challenge is even higher.

    Table tennis is not easy, the first tasks is to acknowledge areas that need improvement and to actually (practically) improve.
    So well done!!

    On your first shot, since it is an incoming underspin ball. You can bring your right foot a little bit forward (half a step should fine, if the ball is shorter, then 1 step). This forward movement by your feet, will provide more angle for your hip/waist and allow your stroke to be smoother. This angle will also give you more confident and should be able to override the worry of why you had to push down.

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    #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony's Table Tennis

    This is so much better.

    I think some forumers or western world calls this the snap of the wrist. meaning you can see where your wrist stops.
    and when it stops, so must your arm.

    Now the trick is, how long do you need for it to be built into muscle memory, and then when you start mixing the drills with more movement and fh/bh drills, on how much the new habits stays put.
    of course, when comes match time, the challenge is even higher.

    Table tennis is not easy, the first tasks is to acknowledge areas that need improvement and to actually (practically) improve.
    So well done!!

    On your first shot, since it is an incoming underspin ball. You can bring your right foot a little bit forward (half a step should fine, if the ball is shorter, then 1 step). This forward movement by your feet, will provide more angle for your hip/waist and allow your stroke to be smoother. This angle will also give you more confident and should be able to override the worry of why you had to push down.

    Re: the underspin shot, I know exactly what you mean since my coach mentioned this to me several times. I am still very forehand oriented so I automatically prepares my right foot a bit deeper for a forehand shot all the time even though I know the drill is 100% backhand 😂

    I’ll try to make a more conscious effort next session and see how that goes

    Last edited by famanson; 08-02-2022 at 09:27 PM.

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