Advice against annoying style

says ESN 42 hardness is my magic number
says ESN 42 hardness is my magic number
Well-Known Member
Mar 2021
My coach told me that Flextra goes pretty well with this nice one ply cutting board. Maybe I will change my mind and will try it.
View attachment 29589
my blade aka Gozo Avenger Mark I is a miniature cutting board with 10.5mm thickness. Tell your coach it works in real life. It has been proven.
says Pimples Schmimples
says Pimples Schmimples
Sep 2022
Last night I played a really annoying style and totally screwed it up. The guy wasn't a high level player, maybe 1700 and I've seen him lose commonly to lower level players. But I have a problem of freezing up and becoming super hesitant when I'm uncomfortable.

First, the thing that troubles me the most is that he has a really unorthodox FH loop. It's not a loop that you think of normally, but he brushes under and side of the ball, and no exaggeration every FH loop of his is basically a snake shot like Adam Bobrow. To make it even worse, he is left-handed, so his loop goes into my BH. I would estimate his fh loop ball jumps about 30cm to my left after it bounces on the table. So I really feel stuck here. I can't really attack the ball because I don't know where the ball is going to be, and its hard because its on my bh side. What I usually do is wait to see where the ball goes before I block it back. But even then, I still missed a lot of these blocks, and it also just gave him an easy ball to smash. How can I deal with this snake shot into my bh?

The other big issue I had was with his serve. From his bh position, he just swipes at the ball and it has heavy sidespin. I didn't know how to receive this, so I kinda defaulted to a push shot. But then my push just goes crazy, sometimes into the net, sometimes pops up high. I think the ball sometimes has slight under or slight topspin, and so my push ends up getting killed to both balls.
For the serve, take it early by 'smothering' it on the side he is spinning. Example, if he is swiping right as you look at him then get over the right side of the ball and 'off the bounce' dig quick and short at the ball, you will neutralise the spin. You have to change bat angle depending on whether the service has top or backspin (I wish I had a vid for you as explaining in writing is difficult...) but practice this and soon you will control the length of return and then also the direction. Get training partners to serve you this. It doesn't take too long before sidespin serves will no longer be an issue for you. Also check out some vids on sidespin serves return basics to get the mechanics etc dead clear in your head. Make this a part of ALL your training sessions and I reckon you got it in a month! Done.
Or just loop it when it comes long? There's always a flick option too.

As for that funky loop to your BH, I suspect it's your footwork that's letting you down first. You should be like a crab and scuttled over to that BH corner very quickly - you know what's coming and you know you need your body behind the ball to hit a proper quality BH return.
Once you're in position then
(1) block down the line (as already suggested) to his BH (as he's a leftie) or
(2) When your footwork gets you in position then aim your BH topspin return to his BH side, straight down the line. He has sidespin on it so maybe aim just wide if the table to allow for that sidespin. Put 100% concentration into your stroke, slow spinny quality contact is all you need, don't try to hit a winner but just get it on the table! That's it, that's your starting point. Get back into position cos the rally is on!
Once footwork and shot choice are clear in your mind the rest is just your training coming into play so gom for it!
Also, in match situations, stop giving him balls that allow him to play that shot, especially on your serve.
BTW, was it a tournament you played him or just a training night? When will you play him again?