Daily Table Tennis Chit Chat

This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Oct 2014
9,526
13,992
33,817
Read 16 reviews
Yes, the bend is ideal but not required, just something that shows that you are trying to put something from the legs/core into the ball, even a circular rotation of the hips. You could even rotate the upper body a little to play the shot, but your arm won't get it done by itself. I was looking for an ancient video with cross backhand footwork but I couldn't find it. But there are many ways to do this, just about anything that feels as if weight is flowing through the hips in some form works, even the ones you think are incorrect. I have played backhands with my weight going in exactly the opposite direction from what I think is right, and I am at a point where on the backhand I have no clue what is right anymore from a quality standpoint.

In terms of quality, I find that sometimes, you need to find your swing and figure out what point on the ball works for your stroke. Keep testing different contact points until you find one that feels reliable and good to you to get the ball to do what you want it to do. And then just continue using it as long as it gives you the quality you are looking for. when I go down the line as a right hander, I always feel as if with my basic stroke I am hitting the left side of the ball. When I go cross court, I always feel like I am hitting the right side. It probably isn't that way in reality, but it gives me something to consistently repeat. and something I can use to calibrate my swing in practice.

Takkyu's comments about being too far away for the ball/not in the right position are spot on, though I differ a bit on solution. I would say that ultimately, it is a good thing to learn to spin the ball where it shows up when you have misread it, usually by contacting the ball on the side, rather than waiting for the ball with a technique that requires it to be at specific point, and then reaching forward. You have the backhand technique to spin it where it shows up, you just have to accept that it isn't going to be as direct as you might like, but put some more spin into the ball.

So I manage to watch the Liam Pitchford backhand masterclass and wow, I find out that like crappy old NextLevel, Liam Pitchford opens his racket, hits the left side of the ball and turns his wrist over the ball so that he has more contact area for a safe shot. I used to wonder whether I was doing something wrong by doing this and just like when I saw Gionis hooking forehands in his base warm up, I see Pitchford getting power and consistency using an idea I used to push but never really had the confidence to teach as a base technique when I coached. Well, those days are over now lol.

In the end, you have to balance what you know works for you with whatever you have been coached into.

 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Mar 2021
982
617
1,824
I want to ask some more experienced players / long-time players or coaches this question, kindly assist:

1. Suppose you are good in topspin to topspin rally and you meet someone who is even better than you at your own game. Do you change your tactic to incorporate more short pushing game or do you say, " Oh Great! This is a golden opportunity for me to practice even more of my skill and be better at my own game? "

2. Conversely if one is good with push-blocking and meet some who is better than one at his own game, should one change tactic to say a topspin to topspin rally or remain the same and try to practice more of your own tactic?

3. The above two hypothetical scenarios is based on regular practice session and not during tourney.
 
says Grand Consultant to the Office of Goon Squad
says Grand Consultant to the Office of Goon Squad
Well-Known Member
Sep 2011
11,817
11,923
27,695
Read 27 reviews
I want to ask some more experienced players / long-time players or coaches this question, kindly assist:

1. Suppose you are good in topspin to topspin rally and you meet someone who is even better than you at your own game. Do you change your tactic to incorporate more short pushing game or do you say, " Oh Great! This is a golden opportunity for me to practice even more of my skill and be better at my own game? "

2. Conversely if one is good with push-blocking and meet some who is better than one at his own game, should one change tactic to say a topspin to topspin rally or remain the same and try to practice more of your own tactic?

3. The above two hypothetical scenarios is based on regular practice session and not during tourney.

My answer to situation number one is to find a way to give variation.

Spin Variation
Pace Variation
Arc Variation
Depth Variation
Angle Variation
Time and point of impact Variation

A second suggestion is in those topspin to topspin exchanges where you are not sure of incoming ball timing, loosen the hand and use a shorter, more direct path to impact. You will get the ball on table, will not be a devastating ball, but there will be different spin (less) and pace (less) and the ball will not go as far, so if he is positioned mid or far and does not see ball coming out to short to medium then he might be using a strong attack when ball is out of strike zone and he not in a good leveraged position. That can win the point of give you a grand opportunity.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Oct 2014
9,526
13,992
33,817
Read 16 reviews
I want to ask some more experienced players / long-time players or coaches this question, kindly assist:

1. Suppose you are good in topspin to topspin rally and you meet someone who is even better than you at your own game. Do you change your tactic to incorporate more short pushing game or do you say, " Oh Great! This is a golden opportunity for me to practice even more of my skill and be better at my own game? "

2. Conversely if one is good with push-blocking and meet some who is better than one at his own game, should one change tactic to say a topspin to topspin rally or remain the same and try to practice more of your own tactic?

3. The above two hypothetical scenarios is based on regular practice session and not during tourney.
If playing matches to improve, work on expanding your game.
If playing matches to win, do what it takes to win. If you need to push, push.

There is a time for long term development. When you play to win, if you feel that your best chance of winning involves using strokes you have practiced, those strokes, if they truly are your best option, will show up in matches when you are ready to use them. But if you are practicing, play whatever helps your game. But if you need to win, play to win. Pushing against an opponent who can't loop your push is how you should beat him if you need to win. If you want to practice, rally and practice with him. But note the difference - I might not serve my best serves in a practice match to get practice, but if I need to win, I will use them to get easy points with no shame.

 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Jan 2015
663
864
2,706
Read 6 reviews
I've played more times in the past month than I have for a year. Probably more than 10 times.I have played with quite alot of different players, and last week also joined one of the non-ranking competition where it was round robin.I lost to 2 players who had long pips, and beat 3 other players who play normal inverted.One of the long pips was a penholder who has long pips as forehand rubber, and he can attack with the pips. He also twiddles. He serves with his pips to my backhand, and I often do a weak attack. I think I should have try to do a stronger attack next time but taking my time and letting the ball drop a bit more. Sometimes the ball feels like it is half long but I should still do a stronger attack, otherwise I become too passive. I also need to adjust my angle of the bat better, I have a basic understanding of how the pips work, so I know to do a return against back or top spin, but I think it is the pushes that I am bad at, since I am often over-estimating the amount of spin on his return, which result in my return being high and he attacks with his long pips on those balls.The other player is a shakehander who uses long pips on backhand, and attacks aggressive with fh, mostly smashes more than loops. I lost 2-3. I think serving long to his bh or to his mid point will be good, or if I loop, I should aim mid since it is hard for him to block with his fh at the elbow.I am planning to play in the weekend, and to perhaps record a clip of me looping. Then I will post onto the safe thread for some feedback. Looking forward to playing.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Mar 2021
982
617
1,824
I want to ask fellow TT lover this question, assist if you can. TQ.

A while ago I was playing a FH dominant style, looping here and there but unfortunately I had a very weak BH. This Achilles heel syndrome cost me many points. Hence I work a hell lot on my BH and my BH problem is fixed. I should be happy right? Yay! Joy & Happiness right? NO! Wrong....

Now my FH has become weak and for no logical reason, it suxs. I can't seem to have the same loop quality as before and my opponents are targeting my FH instead of my BH. Either it shoots off the table of it dives right into the net very frequently until it is no longer a reliable weapon in my arsenal.

Is this a peculiar problem or is it a common problem. It is as though my brain can only function one hemisphere at any one time and my switching or transition is very poor. Help.... what can I do? Also during stroking FH to FH or BH to BH, I have no issue.

p/s: I really need to upload a video for analysis here but my video tripod is spoilt and I don't have a video holder. I to get a replacement tripod.
 
Last edited:
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Oct 2014
9,526
13,992
33,817
Read 16 reviews
I want to ask fellow TT lover this question, assist if you can. TQ.

A while ago I was playing a FH dominant style, looping here and there but unfortunately I had a very weak BH. This Achilles heel syndrome cost me many points. Hence I work a hell lot on my BH and my BH problem is fixed. I should be happy right? Yay! Joy & Happiness right? NO! Wrong....

Now my FH has become weak and for no logical reason, it suxs. I can't seem to have the same loop quality as before and my opponents are targeting my FH instead of my BH. Either it shoots off the table of it dives right into the net very frequently until it is no longer a reliable weapon in my arsenal.

Is this a peculiar problem or is it a common problem. It is as though my brain can only function one hemisphere at any one time and my switching or transition is very poor. Help.... what can I do? Also during stroking FH to FH or BH to BH, I have no issue.

p/s: I really need to upload a video for analysis here but my video tripod is spoilt and I don't have a video holder. I to get a replacement tripod.

It's a common problem. Even Harimoto had/has it, to give you perspective of how deep the problem can be, and there are articles on how hard he has worked with a Chinese coach to bring balance and flexibility to his forehand while maintaining a backhand dominant game.. You can't improve a certain part of your game in isolation if you want to improve your whole game, there have to be drills to integrate it into your whole game based especially on the scenarios that you face in matches. The body tries to follow the path of least resistance so unless you give it resistance that shows that both parts of your game are important, it will take one part and drop the other part.

I went from being a backhand dominant player rally player to being a forehand dominant serve and attack player (some would say balanced, but I definitely lost a lot of my backhand special quality in looking for balance), but ultimately, no one will give you your best shot. You just need to decide how you want to play and then build things to make sure that people cannot avoid your strengths with impunity. IF you aren't training everyday or don't have a lot of hours, the key is to do a lot of points that begin with serve and return and going into the rally. Because no one improves spending a lot of time playing rally shots if their serve and return don't get them there. Well, you may improve your ball control and touch somewhat, but your reaction time will be slower as the anticipation and the stroke qualities of serve and return are different.

 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Oct 2014
9,526
13,992
33,817
Read 16 reviews
In terms of solutions, the high level and correct solution is to play both forehand and backhand with the help of the lower body and to train the lower body to quickly prepare both shots. It still requires training to do this anyways. A lot of well studied and though out footwork and stroke and recovery drills.

The lower level solution is to just build your game in a way that tries to hide these issues with serve and serve return planning that makes it harder for the opponent to avoid what you bring. This requires training but there is more room for a variety of possibilities, including fairly tiny changes to your game that may just feel more natural. the right use of sidespin serves with depth control for thirdball practice for example and to make it harder for players to put certain spins to your forehand or backhand.

Obviously, combinations of both solutions are possible.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Mar 2021
982
617
1,824
In terms of solutions, the high level and correct solution is to play both forehand and backhand with the help of the lower body and to train the lower body to quickly prepare both shots. It still requires training to do this anyways. A lot of well studied and though out footwork and stroke and recovery drills.

The lower level solution is to just build your game in a way that tries to hide these issues with serve and serve return planning that makes it harder for the opponent to avoid what you bring. This requires training but there is more room for a variety of possibilities, including fairly tiny changes to your game that may just feel more natural. the right use of sidespin serves with depth control for thirdball practice for example and to make it harder for players to put certain spins to your forehand or backhand.

Obviously, combinations of both solutions are possible.
In my coaching session, my coach tends to emphasize the first approach, he always wants me to be able to attack from both wings, How does he do that, we do a lot of random mutil-ball training. For some reason, he does not tend to favour me relying on the serve and attack game plan. Maybe he wants me to have a stronger foundation first and not rely on a crutch i.e., serve and return tactics,

 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Jul 2020
1,357
770
3,098
Read 8 reviews
Hi Gozo,

Dips and Peaks, it's always gonna be there, 1 thing improves and another "seems" to get worse. This is part and parcel of being coached and learning.
If you are doing a lot of random training then it's the hardest type of training, anything with disruption or decision making involved makes it harder. Your transition from BH to FH and vice versa will only get better, it just a matter of time, so stick with it.
 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Jan 2016
3,535
3,821
16,174
Today my coach (GC) invited me to try the yet unreleased racket of Kenta Matsudaira from TIBHAR. Its an outer carbon - slow version - with Hybrid MK rubbers (max) with are similar to Tenergy05 according to him.

I'm not an EJ and don't test often, but usually i don't like Outer Carbon nor 2.1mm/max rubbers because of lack of control. But there was little of that during the session while ball quality went up a lot, and it was much easier to play when i was even only half step behind my usual line. I felt i was always dangerous because i didn't need to make big swings to hit the ball it was much easier to do topspin/counter-topspin or more passive play too. I didn't feel it was losing anything in the short play as well.

Maybe my overall technique has improved and it is the right time for me to change. Actually it felt like I suddenly realize that i was all the time at a disadvantage of not using such setups, and that my opponents doing so were "cheating" all the time.

Said racket will be on sale only from end of January. It could be a decisive change for my game.

I am very enthusiastic. I feel I've never ever played that well. I very seldom change my setup, but I'm confident its the right move.
 

Brs

This user has no status.

Brs

This user has no status.
Active Member
Oct 2015
979
1,130
2,189

So I manage to watch the Liam Pitchford backhand masterclass and wow, I find out that like crappy old NextLevel, Liam Pitchford opens his racket, hits the left side of the ball and turns his wrist over the ball so that he has more contact area for a safe shot. I used to wonder whether I was doing something wrong by doing this and just like when I saw Gionis hooking forehands in his base warm up, I see Pitchford getting power and consistency using an idea I used to push but never really had the confidence to teach as a base technique when I coached. Well, those days are over now lol.

In the end, you have to balance what you know works for you with whatever you have been coached into.

So you're saying your backhand concept only works in practice and not in theory? Not much use then, is it? LOL

 

Brs

This user has no status.

Brs

This user has no status.
Active Member
Oct 2015
979
1,130
2,189
Today my coach (GC) invited me to try the yet unreleased racket of Kenta Matsudaira from TIBHAR. Its an outer carbon - slow version - with Hybrid MK rubbers (max) with are similar to Tenergy05 according to him.

I'm not an EJ and don't test often, but usually i don't like Outer Carbon nor 2.1mm/max rubbers because of lack of control. But there was little of that during the session while ball quality went up a lot, and it was much easier to play when i was even only half step behind my usual line. I felt i was always dangerous because i didn't need to make big swings to hit the ball it was much easier to do topspin/counter-topspin or more passive play too. I didn't feel it was losing anything in the short play as well.

Maybe my overall technique has improved and it is the right time for me to change. Actually it felt like I suddenly realize that i was all the time at a disadvantage of not using such setups, and that my opponents doing so were "cheating" all the time.

Said racket will be on sale only from end of January. It could be a decisive change for my game.

I am very enthusiastic. I feel I've never ever played that well. I very seldom change my setup, but I'm confident its the right move.

If your coach thinks the change will be good for you, and you feel confident also, it would be crazy not to change.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Takkyu_wa_inochi

NDH

says Hi Dean, It was really to gauge your playing standard -...

NDH

says Hi Dean, It was really to gauge your playing standard -...
Well-Known Member
Feb 2016
1,122
1,334
2,648
Read 3 reviews
In terms of solutions, the high level and correct solution is to play both forehand and backhand with the help of the lower body and to train the lower body to quickly prepare both shots. It still requires training to do this anyways. A lot of well studied and though out footwork and stroke and recovery drills.

The lower level solution is to just build your game in a way that tries to hide these issues with serve and serve return planning that makes it harder for the opponent to avoid what you bring. This requires training but there is more room for a variety of possibilities, including fairly tiny changes to your game that may just feel more natural. the right use of sidespin serves with depth control for thirdball practice for example and to make it harder for players to put certain spins to your forehand or backhand.

Obviously, combinations of both solutions are possible.

I think this is a really good post for anyone reading, although I'd like to add something to it.

Point one (the high level solution), is the better option on paper, but it may not be realistic for a large number of players on this forum (due to age, size etc).

Point two shouldn't be overlooked because it's not the "best" solution you can do, as it might be the "best" solution for you (depending on your circumstance).

Brief history of the last 7 years for me.......

2015/16 - Came back to the sport having been away for the best part of 10 years. FH = Pretty good. BH = Average at best (certainly not confident attacking).
2016/17 - Fed up of getting pinned on my BH, I worked and worked and worked at it to get it up to scratch.
2017 onwards - Whilst my FH hasn't suffered, I'm generally set up to attack on my backhand, and occasionally I'm not in position to attack a FH when I should.

Why?

Because I'm not quick enough (poor footwork), and I don't practice!

BUT..... At my stage of my career, playing to my (new) backhand strength is a successful game plan for winning matches - I also think if you have a great backhand, you are more deadly than if you just have a good forehand.

BH attacking players can often "get in" earlier, and as long as your FH isn't rubbish, you can apply a lot of pressure.

For pure context to this post - The video below was from a couple of nights ago (not my video).

Back to back points (one on his serve, one on mine).

2 point winning backhands that are hard to stop.

@Gozo, your FH will come back to you as you keep playing - Don't forget, you've not been playing for very long!

Don't worry that it's the weaker shot for now, and don't be afraid to play to your strengths (just don't completely ignore your weaknesses in training!)

 
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Member
Feb 2011
63
21
87
Interesting and great info 100%. Nice one. It's true if not training a lot .....and only playing matches which a lot of local league players do in the UK to be honest.(Work and if you have young ones ....it can take a hard toll on the TT!. ) I do think players end up doing what works for them in matches to win as well. You get almost match/battle sharp and play your way into the season. Sometimes doing what works is better than doing what looks pretty to win. Trying to get power and stability from the lower body can only be a good thing I think. Like the gents have said mind there's a lot of factors which can hinder this. Nice video btw
 
Last edited:
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Active Member
Mar 2021
982
617
1,824

I think this is a really good post for anyone reading, although I'd like to add something to it.

Point one (the high level solution), is the better option on paper, but it may not be realistic for a large number of players on this forum (due to age, size etc).

Point two shouldn't be overlooked because it's not the "best" solution you can do, as it might be the "best" solution for you (depending on your circumstance).

Brief history of the last 7 years for me.......

2015/16 - Came back to the sport having been away for the best part of 10 years. FH = Pretty good. BH = Average at best (certainly not confident attacking).
2016/17 - Fed up of getting pinned on my BH, I worked and worked and worked at it to get it up to scratch.
2017 onwards - Whilst my FH hasn't suffered, I'm generally set up to attack on my backhand, and occasionally I'm not in position to attack a FH when I should.

Why?

Because I'm not quick enough (poor footwork), and I don't practice!

BUT..... At my stage of my career, playing to my (new) backhand strength is a successful game plan for winning matches - I also think if you have a great backhand, you are more deadly than if you just have a good forehand.

BH attacking players can often "get in" earlier, and as long as your FH isn't rubbish, you can apply a lot of pressure.

For pure context to this post - The video below was from a couple of nights ago (not my video).

Back to back points (one on his serve, one on mine).

2 point winning backhands that are hard to stop.

@Gozo, your FH will come back to you as you keep playing - Don't forget, you've not been playing for very long!

Don't worry that it's the weaker shot for now, and don't be afraid to play to your strengths (just don't completely ignore your weaknesses in training!)

Hey! my BH is also roughly the same type as yours, Nick.

 
  • Haha
Reactions: NextLevel
This user has no status.
This user has no status.
Well-Known Member
Oct 2014
9,526
13,992
33,817
Read 16 reviews
Guys who are as big and tall as Nick, in my playing experience, when they play their backhand, it is abusive (they can get away with upper body strength). And the fact that Nick squats to play that backhand with his height is impressive and makes the backhand even more abusive (they are adding the legs too, really???)
 

NDH

says Hi Dean, It was really to gauge your playing standard -...

NDH

says Hi Dean, It was really to gauge your playing standard -...
Well-Known Member
Feb 2016
1,122
1,334
2,648
Read 3 reviews
Guys who are as big and tall as Nick, in my playing experience, when they play their backhand, it is abusive (they can get away with upper body strength). And the fact that Nick squats to play that backhand with his height is impressive and makes the backhand even more abusive (they are adding the legs too, really???)
😂 Love that description.

Shame it wasn’t abusive when I played last night.

Wouldn’t have scared a baby!

 
  • Haha
Reactions: UpSideDownCarl
Top