Video Footage Safe Thread

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Doesn't this kind of feel like TJing? I mean, you say it's difficult to change, is this the best use of your limited training time?

Other than looking beautiful in freeze-frames, how many more points will you win if you make this fh finish position lower?

For sure. I actually don't know what to focus on in my training anymore, or what drills to do. But since this may be affecting my FH-BH transition it does seem in my interest to change.

What do you guys think I should focus on?
Right now I mostly do the same stuff every training and don't think much about improving things. With the latest comments I have a few things I put at the back of my mind while training, like the free arm thing. And how to use my core/back better like NL said.. but a bit more unsure how to implement that.

 
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So basically if the upper arm gets pulled up passively by the weight of the forearm at the end of the stroke it is fine but if you rip the shoulder/upper arm up to try to generate spin it is bad?

Pretty much, the salute position is usually the result of the forearm snap, so you stop the upper arm and let the lower arm (or the "weight of the forearm") whip into the ball.

For an extreme exercise, trace your shoulder joint as it moves throughout your forehand topspin. If it is in the same spot for most of the stroke, your forehand topspin is compromised. If it is being carried sideways by twisting the core and pushing off the left foot as you face the sweet spot of your golden triangle to contact teh ball, and then pushed back on the forward swing as you contact the ball and return to ready position, then your forehand topspin is advanced. Not moving the shoulder joint with the core usually means the upper arm is working more.

This is so much easier to show in person so I hope it makes sense.

 
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For sure. I actually don't know what to focus on in my training anymore, or what drills to do. But since this may be affecting my FH-BH transition it does seem in my interest to change.

What do you guys think I should focus on?
Right now I mostly do the same stuff every training and don't think much about improving things. With the latest comments I have a few things I put at the back of my mind while training, like the free arm thing. And how to use my core/back better like NL said.. but a bit more unsure how to implement that.

How much lower body gym work do you do? In terms of physical exercise like squats, stretches etc.

 
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How much lower body gym work do you do? In terms of physical exercise like squats, stretches etc.

I'm still doing rehab for my right leg (seems to be a muscular issue with my hip flexor and knee) with now another physiotherapist. So I'm only doing the exercises he gives me. Some rubber band exercises focusing on the lower body. But I could probably do a little more. Some light running etc.

My teammate had made some nice progression at the gym, so it's been on my mind.

 
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Would it make sense to clamp a towel between the elbow and the side? So you only use the body turn and forearm and kinda bypass the shoulder? Like that:
https://youtu.be/0hk8KAsyJDg

Some players use contraptions called "forehand fixing machines". What you are doing was recommended in a recent video I was watching on the forehand topspin - maybe Seth Pech - feel as if you have no more than a ball so that your arm is not too close, but the towel might create other issues.

All things can work, but the biggest thing as Lula told you is always to start slow and be patient - hitting without the ball and doing what you are doing can work.. The main reasons adults develop bad technique tends to be impatience and understanding the difficulty of technical learning. There are no quick fixes to table tennis improvement if the ultimate goal is to become very good. But with patience and time and effort, everything can become a little better. Most people who get good start young, but adults can do well if they are patient and learn to be like children.

 
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I'm still doing rehab for my right leg (seems to be a muscular issue with my hip flexor and knee) with now another physiotherapist. So I'm only doing the exercises he gives me. Some rubber band exercises focusing on the lower body. But I could probably do a little more. Some light running etc.

My teammate had made some nice progression at the gym, so it's been on my mind.

Building stronger leg/core muscles will do a lot for your playing level. If you can out some time into the gym or even without the gym, do some squats working with your physio therapist, over time, your forehand loop strength will improve. Whether that improves your overall playing level obviously depends on a lot of things. The main thing is to always go slowly and never overdo it. Even if you start at zero and go to one out of 10, the body adapts and gets stronger, and you can move to two, then three. The mistake that gets people injured is wanting to get to ten overnight.

 
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There was a Kim Jung Hoon FH vid I linked and commented on 7-10 years ago (I think)> KJH was describing some basic biomechanics... he strongly advocated to turn the waist and ankles a little more on swing prep (to move your upper body rotated backwards some more) and use majority of uncoiling waist/upper body before impact... also use most of upper arm movement before impact... so that right after impact you are NOT trying to stop the forward force of the upper arm... so that basically the lower arm snap is moving the upper arm forward only a little after impact... so that you are only needing to move the arm back on recovery along with some coiling... so that makes great channeling and transfer of energy to ball and minimizes the forces needed to reset.

Will need to try to search that thread down... KJH articulated what would be something somewhat revolutionary to many amateur players, but many advanced and elite players already did. maybe it was just his demonstration and articulation that made it seem that way.

I think this was the thread, but maybe the one I think of is earlier... in this vid he touches on a lot of stuff Next Level is advocating.

Kim Jung Hoon FH Loop Pointers (tabletennisdaily.com)

THIS was a decent thread... You be using TOO MUCH SHOUDLER You !!! (tabletennisdaily.com)

Maybe this was the vid I was referencing... Kim Jung Hoon covers basic FH stroke fundamentals - Intro (tabletennisdaily.com)
 
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Dima definitely finishes low with the elbow and is very compact but doesn't ma long lift the elbow a bit? Not like I did of course but it seems like his upper arm often ends up like shoulder high. Or do I see that wrong?
I'm not trying to be argumentative,I just want to understand what I see.

https://youtube.com/shorts/QkWTcbE8_i0?feature=share

I am just picking two followthroughs from the video NextLevel posted with the link that brought us to the exact time he wanted us to look at:

Screen%20Shot%202022%2011%2029%20at%209%2022%2025%20PM%20png.png


Screen%20Shot%202022%2011%2029%20at%209%2022%2048%20PM%20png.png


On the two I took those from, ML is definitely looping and his elbow is definitely quite low. So, I was talking about the spot NL chose in that video specifically. And, again, those from from when ML steps back from the table and starts to loop. That is his followthrough on two consecutive shots.

 
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Dima definitely finishes low with the elbow and is very compact but doesn't ma long lift the elbow a bit? Not like I did of course but it seems like his upper arm often ends up like shoulder high. Or do I see that wrong?
I'm not trying to be argumentative,I just want to understand what I see.

https://youtube.com/shorts/QkWTcbE8_i0?feature=share

Screenshot%2020221129%20073743%20com%20google%20android%20youtube%20jpg.jpeg

Also, in the photo you chose, please notice that ML's elbow is actually lower than his shoulder.

 
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Would it make sense to clamp a towel between the elbow and the side? So you only use the body turn and forearm and kinda bypass the shoulder? Like that:
https://youtu.be/0hk8KAsyJDg
It is interesting. This is a detail that I said in the robot videos. It is even here in your shadow stroke. If this is a shadow stroke that is trying to create the idea of looping heavy backspin, your backswing is a starting place. But if this is for a loop vs topspin, or a flat counterhit, your definitely dropping your hand (racket) WAYYYY toooooo low.

Screen%20Shot%202022%2011%2029%20at%209%2043%2037%20PM%20png.png



Screen%20Shot%202022%2011%2029%20at%209%2044%2032%20PM%20png.png


BTW: in the second photo it can be seen that you are replacing some of the knee bend with LATERAL FLEXION of your torso to try and get your racket low.

But the big question is, if you are modeling topspin vs topspin, why is your backswing so far below your waist when it should be almost the height of the top of the bounce of the ball so you can swing forward and spin over the top of the ball while spinning forward?

 
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That finishing position from Ma Long and Rich is a salute position. If you finish with a salute position, with the upper arm largely on the same side of your body, that is fine. Your practice video did not reflect a salute position.

The main issue isn't so much where the arm finishes but how the body was used to move the shoulder joint through the stroke. Using the upper arm a bit is inevitable, but the temptation if you are learning is to *use it more*, when the way to get power is to use the core/whole body to move the shoulder joint so that the upper arm works less (it still works, but it shouldn't be where you are getting most of power). A Salute position usually is a good sign that you are not overusing the upper arm. Not a perfect sign, but usually a good sign.

First of all, Ma Long is playing further back from the table than you are. If you focus not on just the still shot of the finishing position and you look at the whole Ma Long stroke, he rotates his torso over his right knee to power the backswing stroke. *Not his upper arm*. So he is hitting the ball with his whole body. Dima who is taller, is doing the same, he just isn't getting as much leverage because he doesn't use the arm the same way.

If you look hard enough, you will find shots with Quadri Aruna and a few other players finishing with their upper arm wrapped over their heads on some shots during rallies. This is not *Base* technique for most of these players. Everyone makes compromises or slight changes to base technique to adapt to certain balls. But the base is usually a standard stroke vs block, powered mostly by using the torso/core/legs with a good finishing position for recovery.

BTW, there is nothing wrong with arguing, in fact, I sometimes hesitate to bring in video of good players hitting the ball because it can give very wrong impression and there are some very good player who hit the ball their own way, mimicking them with their fitness level and technique is often asking for trouble. As long as your technique is not causing injury and is using a kind of helicopter motion, there are many options. But what isn't correct is using the upper arm in isolation from the body and swinging upwards with the upper arm is usually a sign that something has gone very wrong in figuring


Pretty much, the salute position is usually the result of the forearm snap, so you stop the upper arm and let the lower arm (or the "weight of the forearm") whip into the ball.

For an extreme exercise, trace your shoulder joint as it moves throughout your forehand topspin. If it is in the same spot for most of the stroke, your forehand topspin is compromised. If it is being carried sideways by twisting the core and pushing off the left foot as you face the sweet spot of your golden triangle to contact teh ball, and then pushed back on the forward swing as you contact the ball and return to ready position, then your forehand topspin is advanced. Not moving the shoulder joint with the core usually means the upper arm is working more.

This is so much easier to show in person so I hope it makes sense.


Some players use contraptions called "forehand fixing machines". What you are doing was recommended in a recent video I was watching on the forehand topspin - maybe Seth Pech - feel as if you have no more than a ball so that your arm is not too close, but the towel might create other issues.

All things can work, but the biggest thing as Lula told you is always to start slow and be patient - hitting without the ball and doing what you are doing can work.. The main reasons adults develop bad technique tends to be impatience and understanding the difficulty of technical learning. There are no quick fixes to table tennis improvement if the ultimate goal is to become very good. But with patience and time and effort, everything can become a little better. Most people who get good start young, but adults can do well if they are patient and learn to be like children.

These posts are really top quality and the way NextLevel is putting the information into context is really Next Level. More people should be pounding the like buttons on these posts.

 
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My opinion is that when you starting out as a player or coach you think there are one way to play tabletennis. Then when you have been at it a somewhat long time you notice that good players do not have so similar techniques. Of course there are some basic things like move the feet, hit in front of you, spin from forearm and power from the body but i do not think it is good to have too much focus on the technique. More important that you develop a playing idea and that the strokes works for that, works together and is functional. No need to have great bh and fh in the warm up if you can not connect them and not move your feet well enough to use them. Also players that have ma long forehand in warm up but have no why to get to forehand from serve and return so they can never use it.

Of ocurse good technique is important but hard to determine what is good, very subjective to your style of play. Think it is more important that the technique is functional for your match play. I understand it can be fun to try to develop the technique but "perfect" technique can be a bit misleading and not help you so much in match play.

Do you do any serve practice Richie? Probably easiest way to win more matches in my opinion.
 
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My opinion is that when you starting out as a player or coach you think there are one way to play tabletennis. Then when you have been at it a somewhat long time you notice that good players do not have so similar techniques. Of course there are some basic things like move the feet, hit in front of you, spin from forearm and power from the body but i do not think it is good to have too much focus on the technique. More important that you develop a playing idea and that the strokes works for that, works together and is functional. No need to have great bh and fh in the warm up if you can not connect them and not move your feet well enough to use them. Also players that have ma long forehand in warm up but have no why to get to forehand from serve and return so they can never use it.

Of ocurse good technique is important but hard to determine what is good, very subjective to your style of play. Think it is more important that the technique is functional for your match play. I understand it can be fun to try to develop the technique but "perfect" technique can be a bit misleading and not help you so much in match play.

Do you do any serve practice Richie? Probably easiest way to win more matches in my opinion.

I get what you're saying. But in my opinion, if someone only has a great BH or FH in warm up, then they don't have a great BH or FH at all. But if they do have that situation, that's better than having no BH or FH but having good feet. Because even if they manage to move perfectly to the ball they can't execute. But it's usually not this black and white. NL makes a good point at taking the ball where it shows up, because in my case "setting up" all the time like I try to do is a bit unrealistic.

I remember back when I played in England and had zero footwork and mostly poked at the ball and blocked, I just stood up straight at the table and still beat some looping juniors because I had decent touch. It wasn't fun to play like that even if I won. Mostly because at least then, I knew I was quick on my feet, I just didn't know how to move them in table tennis.

Sure, it's fun to beat better players, but I don't want to micromanage every aspect of my game to get better results.. even though it might seem that way. I want to become as efficient, consistent and as "smooth" as possible, because that makes TT more fun for me. If some of these things happen to bring results, great. If there are some easy things to keep in mind that'll help that process, great. If I did want to focus only on results then probably lots of serve practice as you say would help and maybe just focusing on my strengths and maximizing them. But then all the fun would go away and I'd no longer enjoy the sport.

I do some serve practice if we are uneven but otherwise I don't have the time, but I try to "serve practice" as a part of normal practice as well, usually do some serve and receive exercise.

 

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By the way, whatever one may think of different looping styles, note how low Dima's elbow is throughout his forehand topspin. There is room for different techniques depending on the player, but no one is going to recover quickly close to the table if your arm is above your head on the finishing position on the basic stroke.

This is a point that I don't think is emphasised enough.

It's very understandable why Ma Long is used as an example when showing technique, but unless you've been coached to a high CHINESE standard from a young age, his technique is not going to be the one that improves your game.

It's too reliant on a very strong lower body, excellent footwork and general all around speed.

It might sound defeatist to admit that you can't even try and emulate him, but for *most* people, it just wouldn't be appropriate.

Look at the Dima and Timo video NL linked to - They have a semi typical Euro style, and their use of the wrist to generate spin and speed is a much better thing to copy in my opinion.

I guess the other thing to consider for people, is why do you want to improve?

@Dominikk, do you want to improve so you can look good in videos, or so you win more competitive matches?

@Richie, you could instantly improve if you switched to your right hand, it's much easier...... (a bad joke for anyone who doesn't get the humour! 😂)

In seriousness, you know I love your style - There is something about left handed players who just look very good when attacking.

One very small tweak to get out of the habit of finishing too high is to have your arm going a little more forward, rather than up.

That's the only thing I noticed from your video (you'll get more speed as well).

 
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This is a point that I don't think is emphasised enough.

It's very understandable why Ma Long is used as an example when showing technique, but unless you've been coached to a high CHINESE standard from a young age, his technique is not going to be the one that improves your game.

It's too reliant on a very strong lower body, excellent footwork and general all around speed.

It might sound defeatist to admit that you can't even try and emulate him, but for *most* people, it just wouldn't be appropriate.

Look at the Dima and Timo video NL linked to - They have a semi typical Euro style, and their use of the wrist to generate spin and speed is a much better thing to copy in my opinion.

I guess the other thing to consider for people, is why do you want to improve?

@Dominikk, do you want to improve so you can look good in videos, or so you win more competitive matches?

@Richie, you could instantly improve if you switched to your right hand, it's much easier...... (a bad joke for anyone who doesn't get the humour! 😂)

In seriousness, you know I love your style - There is something about left handed players who just look very good when attacking.

One very small tweak to get out of the habit of finishing too high is to have your arm going a little more forward, rather than up.

That's the only thing I noticed from your video (you'll get more speed as well).

Thanks NDH 😄
I think it was the TTnuri channel that said, that the order of how things are done are very important.
This is the takeaway from pro players imo. Every single pro executes technique in a certain order which proves the point above.

Their exact backswing, stroke structure etc varies and that has to be adapted to the individual, that's why they look different. So if there is variation here among pro players, that should suggest that it isn't the most important thing to copy. But the base is the same.
There are exceptions of course, like injuries, age etc which might make it too difficult to execute in that order. But assuming one is fit and healthy then there is no reason to not at least strive towards that execution. So when I were a bit younger, quick on my feet but I played as if I were 60, something wasn't adding up.

This is a small part of the big picture. It's just that if anything, this is something we have somewhat control over. It's something that is possible to clearly focus on and do something about right now. Other things include pure practice, messing around with the ball and exposure to every different kind of ball so that with time, our feeling gets better. But not much can be done about that other than going through the process, frankly it's a lot of luck as well. If I swap to my right hand I'm suddenly a beginner and not even thousands of hours of practice can give me the feeling of my left hand.

Btw I think it's amazing that it's possible to get these insights from everyone on the forum. It would all be much easier to have everyone show what they mean, it's easy to interpret things in different ways.. but maybe if it were shown we'd see that the same thing was said. But despite that gap, these discussions are helpful and motivating.

 
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It is interesting. This is a detail that I said in the robot videos. It is even here in your shadow stroke. If this is a shadow stroke that is trying to create the idea of looping heavy backspin, your backswing is a starting place. But if this is for a loop vs topspin, or a flat counterhit, your definitely dropping your hand (racket) WAYYYY toooooo low.

Screen%20Shot%202022%2011%2029%20at%209%2043%2037%20PM%20png.png



Screen%20Shot%202022%2011%2029%20at%209%2044%2032%20PM%20png.png


BTW: in the second photo it can be seen that you are replacing some of the knee bend with LATERAL FLEXION of your qtorso to try and get your racket low.

But the big question is, if you are modeling topspin vs topspin, why is your backswing so far below your waist when it should be almost the height of the top of the bounce of the ball so you can swing forward and spin over the top of the ball while spinning forward?

Do you think that machine shoots topspin? I think it is more like no spin, it's just a lever throwing it out, there are no wheels to spin the ball.

 
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Do you think that machine shoots topspin? I think it is more like no spin, it's just a lever throwing it out, there are no wheels to spin the ball.

Thus is a mixed bag and yes I suspect the balls you are playing against are no spin balls. Not sure what your situation is that prevents you from finding a club or real players. But you should still learn to hit that ball standardly rather than try to topspin it. Because the ability to adjust racket angle in response to spin rather than compensating with stroke plane is important for an advanced player. That said, we are all having fun, do what you enjoy, most people get serious about TT in response to something, and without that, most people just have to do what they enjoy to stay happy. The main issue is that the more you do something wrong you enjoy, the harder to untrain it but life is hard anyways lol.

 
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Do you think that machine shoots topspin? I think it is more like no spin, it's just a lever throwing it out, there are no wheels to spin the ball.

Agree with what NextLevel said and will add that, if the ball has no spin, you should still not have to lift it but would want to come from behind it as almost the height of the top of the bounce and go forward through the ball. A stroke from down so low to up so high would be good for heavy backspin. The racket higher on the backswing and forward through the ball (or forward over the top of the ball, depending on how you are adjusting to certain variables) would even be good for light backspin.

I am not saying there is one way to hit the ball. I am just saying that, if your default backswing is to drop the racket so low that it looks like you are setting up to loop Heavy, HEAVY backspin, then your racket and your elbow will end up over your head a lot of the time.

Here is a video of ZJK looping vs Heavy backspin:


And here are screen grabs of backswing and followthrough from one of these strokes:

Screen%20Shot%202022%2011%2030%20at%209%2048%2012%20AM%20png.png


Screen%20Shot%202022%2011%2030%20at%209%2049%2021%20AM%20png.png


So, in the context of how much backspin his opponent has put on the ball, that stroke makes sense. Notice how, in the video, some of ZJK's strokes are much more forward and a few are even more vertical than this one. ZJK is reading the spin and adjusting the stroke in CONTEXT. Heavier spin, more up, not quite as much a little more forward. How NextLevel is describing different contexts for adjusting the stroke and racket angle.

Now, it is hard for me to imagine me being able to use my legs to get soooooooo low the way ZJK does. So, that technique, it would really not be realistic for me or most people on the forum. The point here is, the context for a stroke that starts so low and ends so high, and when would it be useful. And when should the backswing be more back instead of down.

So, the only thing I am showing is that, if you want your stroke to not end so high, you would also need your backswing to adjust to not start so low. Clearly you are able to make shots and land them on the table with your backswing and followthrough. But that is not exactly the issue. And sometimes, the ball landing on the table as a goal can get in the way of improving certain aspects of shot production.

The points about specific mechanics that have been made above are excellent. But if you would like to retool your basic drive (counterHIT), to then retool your loop so it is more functional for you, and you want to not end so high on a basic drive, you would also need to not have your backswing so low.

 
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