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One of the things Dominikk is also doing really well is that he is posting video and asking questions based on what he is actually doing. So, pointing other people to the way people answered questions for Dominikk, that were in response to specific questions Dominikk asked within the context of specifically what Dominikk showed in his videos of himself.....well it may not always apply to other people. I work with people on body mechanics in a field not at all related to table tennis and if 10 people asked me the same question about the same movement, I would likely answer all 10 of them differently based on observing what they were actually doing and what information they needed to answer the issue they were faced with.

Part of why the question of how far the elbow should be away from the body is not an easy question to anser is that it has to do with how far away from you, you take the ball. Within the restraint of (almost) the length of your arm, the farther away from your body you take the ball the more torque you racket will get from the stroke. And when you misplace your feet so you are a little further away than usual, or a little closer than usual, the distance of the elbow to the body will adjust. So, theoretically, if the ball is way closer than normal, you could have the upper arm jammed up against your body (elbow as well) and still take a good stroke with only your forearm. And if the ball is a little further away from you than normal, the elbow will adjust and be a little further away and it won't really change the basic mechanics of the stroke. Said differently there are A LOT of variables that would determine the distance of the elbow to the body from shot to shot. And then there are also variables that would cause the base distance of elbow to body to be different from person to person.

An example, Ma Long takes the ball a little further away from his body, as the base technique of his stroke than Dima does (and further than most Pro TT players) and that is at least part of why, in that photo above, ML's elbow is a little less bent than Dima's is in the photos of Dima. But neither is right or wrong.

But, I will say, if Dominikk is doing shadow strokes, and his elbow is rolling on a towel or on his hand and the towel or his hand is flat against his side, the elbow is probably at least 6-8 inches (15-20cm) too close to his body for developing the base technique he would like to develop. :)

If he was using his hand, it would be good if he was spreading the thumb and index finger away from each other and resting the thumb against his side and the index finger on the upper arm just above the elbow. But it would also be good if he could go back and forth from having the left hand there on his side and not having it there without the basic movement changing.

 
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One of the things Dominikk is also doing really well is that he is posting video and asking questions based on what he is actually doing. So, pointing other people to the way people answered questions for Dominikk, that were in response to specific questions Dominikk asked within the context of specifically what Dominikk showed in his videos of himself.....well it may not always apply to other people. I work with people on body mechanics in a field not at all related to table tennis and if 10 people asked me the same question about the same movement, I would likely answer all 10 of them differently based on observing what they were actually doing and what information they needed to answer the issue they were faced with.

Part of why the question of how far the elbow should be away from the body is not an easy question to anser is that it has to do with how far away from you, you take the ball. Within the restraint of (almost) the length of your arm, the farther away from your body you take the ball the more torque you racket will get from the stroke. And when you misplace your feet so you are a little further away than usual, or a little closer than usual, the distance of the elbow to the body will adjust. So, theoretically, if the ball is way closer than normal, you could have the upper arm jammed up against your body (elbow as well) and still take a good stroke with only your forearm. And if the ball is a little further away from you than normal, the elbow will adjust and be a little further away and it won't really change the basic mechanics of the stroke. Said differently there are A LOT of variables that would determine the distance of the elbow to the body from shot to shot. And then there are also variables that would cause the base distance of elbow to body to be different from person to person.

An example, Ma Long takes the ball a little further away from his body, as the base technique of his stroke than Dima does (and further than most Pro TT players) and that is at least part of why, in that photo above, ML's elbow is a little less bent than Dima's is in the photos of Dima. But neither is right or wrong.

But, I will say, if Dominikk is doing shadow strokes, and his elbow is rolling on a towel or on his hand and the towel or his hand is flat against his side, the elbow is probably at least 6-8 inches (15-20cm) too close to his body for developing the base technique he would like to develop. :)

If he was using his hand, it would be good if he was spreading the thumb and index finger away from each other and resting the thumb against his side and the index finger on the upper arm just above the elbow. But it would also be good if he could go back and forth from having the left hand there on his side and not having it there without the basic movement changing.

I was using that elbow on other hand method to fixate the elbow like 3 inches away from the side and I could hit quite well with that method and hit some decent loops but I felt I always had to take an extra step and move closer to the ball than I would think without the elbow support.Maybe I can post another video this afternoon

 
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I was using that elbow on other hand method to fixate the elbow like 3 inches away from the side and I could hit quite well with that method and hit some decent loops but I felt I always had to take an extra step and move closer to the ball than I would think without the elbow support.Maybe I can post another video this afternoon
I looked at one of your videos while you are using the robot and estimated. Try 6 or 7 inches away from you. Again, Thumb and fingers extended away from each other with the thumb on your side and the fingers in the upper arm just above the elbow. See how that works.
IMG%201413%20jpg.jpeg


IMG%201416%20PNG.png

BTW: since you tried with the elbow really close and felt how you had to get closer to the ball, if you think about it, that likely also forced you to have more of a 90-degree bend in the elbow to start when your upper arm was so close to your body.

 
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I got in a round today before work.

Slid the hand up a little higher on the triceps instead of the elbow to have the elbow a bit more away from the body.

Again did first some flat hit and second some loops.
Not sure if technique is better but I landed almost all loops on the table with good arc except for a 2 or so that landed wide but still with good length. I noticed elbow is still moving away from the other hand before contact though, so I haven't been able to keep it really still all the way to contact.
https://youtu.be/TN0Y0WwUC6s
 
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i think it is not very good to talk about how many inches your arm has to be away from your torso. You should try to specify the angle that your upper arm is spread from your chest. I have a practicing cast for table tennis and if equipped it fixates the upper arm at around 35-40°.

It might sound logical to have it aroud 45° because that would allow enough adjustment to balls that are closer to your body than expect (which you would adjust for by decreasing the angle) or farer away (which you would adjust for by increasing the angle). 0° being your arm straight at your body and 90° being the arm spread perpendicular to your side.
 

NDH

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Can I just say, I love your commitment to getting better.

Sure, I don’t think anything can replace practice with real people and pure experience, but you clearly have desire to do everything to improve.

As you’ve taken the time to video everything, I’ve given you a video response!

This is purely focussing on the initial “flat” forehand to forehand, that I don’t necessarily think is that easy to replicate with your robot (as the balls are slow and you’ve got to add all the spin and speed).

But hopefully this helps a little for when you play another human.

You are definitely improving! It’s great to see!

 
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Thanks that's a great video. I think I'm still lifting the ball a little on the flat hits, maybe it is because of the robot. In matches I'm quite good at flat hitting/smashing when the ball is like double net high or higher.
 
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Thanks that's a great video. I think I'm still lifting the ball a little on the flat hits, maybe it is because of the robot. In matches I'm quite good at flat hitting/smashing when the ball is like double net high or higher.

It's quite funny that all of this talk of "flat hitting" and "knocking up" isn't really used in matches!

But it does base the foundation of the forehand stroke. From that one very small forehand to forehand stroke, you can then easily transition into a topspin shot, a loop, or a counter.

I think a lot of people make the mistake that they need to change their stroke when playing those different forehand shots, but they are really very similar.

Most of the changes will come from bat angle, body movement (legs especially), and whether you go "through/forward" through the ball, or lift it slightly (against backspin).

Your topspin shots look nice! Get a little lower and you'll be even better.

Does your robot shoot the ball any faster?

 
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The machine Doesn't shoot faster or at higher cadence but I can make the ball come in flatter and more direct and thus quicker by putting a wedge under the rear side of the robot.

However I got suggested that at this point that would rush me and thus I'm better off getting those high arc balls and have more time.

I agree I should get lower most pros seem to have their belt buckle at table height or lower.
 
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I think it would rush you with certain things, but possibly closer to a traditional forehand to forehand knock up.

It will be really good to see some video from the next time you play another person - If you could record the knock up and some points, it would be super useful!

 
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I got in a round today before work.

Slid the hand up a little higher on the triceps instead of the elbow to have the elbow a bit more away from the body.

Again did first some flat hit and second some loops.
Not sure if technique is better but I landed almost all loops on the table with good arc except for a 2 or so that landed wide but still with good length. I noticed elbow is still moving away from the other hand before contact though, so I haven't been able to keep it really still all the way to contact.
https://youtu.be/TN0Y0WwUC6s
Dominikk, this is way better and perhaps the best you are going to get with that robot. The fact that your elbow moves some is not an issue. The thing you are trying to do is get it so it did not move as much and you have done that.

See if you can do it with the hand there and then taking the hand away and put the hand back any time you think the elbow is starting to move to far, and go back and forth to get used to the feeling of that.

And then, show us video of you playing a real human and maybe a match. Because, I really do think some of the things that come up when you are hitting with that robot have to do with the flaws in the robot. And you are probably much better vs a human.

 
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Part of why the question of how far the elbow should be away from the body is not an easy question to anser is that it has to do with how far away from you, you take the ball. Within the restraint of (almost) the length of your arm, the farther away from your body you take the ball the more torque you racket will get from the stroke. And when you misplace your feet so you are a little further away than usual, or a little closer than usual, the distance of the elbow to the body will adjust. So, theoretically, if the ball is way closer than normal, you could have the upper arm jammed up against your body (elbow as well) and still take a good stroke with only your forearm. And if the ball is a little further away from you than normal, the elbow will adjust and be a little further away and it won't really change the basic mechanics of the stroke. Said differently there are A LOT of variables that would determine the distance of the elbow to the body from shot to shot.

As someone who trained thousands of hours with high-end robots and then became like the chief Robot-Hater on TT forums, I was really happy to see you emphasize this constraint Carl. Technique is important, and Dominikk's video-assessment-correction-video process is super sound. But there is something we should always remember about technique.

When your mind tells your body to touch the ball with the rubber your body does it. By any means necessary. If the ball and your body are not aligned to use pretty technique your body will use wonky af technique. Because you told it to put the rubber on the ball. If your mind tells your body to touch the ball only using beautiful technique and you are in the wrong place you will get an airball whiff. I've only met a few people who actually do that, but it is the other option.

The point is you can't fix technique unless your body is in a small range of positions relative to the ball. With robots this is pretty easy. With humans in training it's a lot harder but they are usually trying to help. In competition it is nearly impossible a lot of the time.

I wish I could provide my own video but one move I do a lot is have the ball come at my right nipple and I have to windshield wiper my bat up with my arm tucked in. Horrible, ugly, useless technique. Also unfixable with my arm. I can either learn to put some kind of shot on the table using what is basically the punch of a five-year-old girl, or improve my perception so I can move a foot or two to my left before the ball hits me. Nothing I do with my forehand technique will get me out of that situation.

So once the OP is happy with his technique against robot, training perception is what will make the technique actually work in matches.

 
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The machine Doesn't shoot faster or at higher cadence but I can make the ball come in flatter and more direct and thus quicker by putting a wedge under the rear side of the robot.

However I got suggested that at this point that would rush me and thus I'm better off getting those high arc balls and have more time.

I agree I should get lower most pros seem to have their belt buckle at table height or lower.

I think it would rush you with certain things, but possibly closer to a traditional forehand to forehand knock up.

It will be really good to see some video from the next time you play another person - If you could record the knock up and some points, it would be super useful!

I have a feeling you misunderstood NextLevel's suggestion that you did not want a lower trajectory. It was not exactly that it would rush you.

The problem you were having in that video where I took the screen grab with the elbow over your head and the racket behind your head was the unpredictability of the bounce: some were high. Some did not bounce at all. Better to have some bounce than none. So, I read what he suggested as, you wanted to be relaxed and a lower trajectory, creating more balls with NO BOUNCE, would stress you. There is no way that robot could rush you when you are waiting so long for the next ball that you lose your rhythm.

And the more I see footage of you working with that robot, the more I think you may be better off practicing by self hitting because, I have a feeling, a lot of what we are seeing when you use that robot is stuff from the robot causing you to adjust to it and do things you probably would not with a better quality ball coming at you.

It would be worth your while to try self hitting. Several have suggested the version of bouncing the ball on the floor from behind the table. I showed footage of bouncing the ball on the table. Choose. See how it goes. I know I like the version I showed and I used that to correct a lot of stuff from my FH years ago. I have done thousands of balls with self hit, maybe hundreds of thousands, bucket after bucket. :)

 
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Thanks that's a great video. I think I'm still lifting the ball a little on the flat hits, maybe it is because of the robot. In matches I'm quite good at flat hitting/smashing when the ball is like double net high or higher.

When a ball has less topspin than desired, there are two possible changes -

1. Change the stroke plane (which is what you are largely doing).
2. Chance the contact point while going to the same finishing position ( which is what I force you to do were I coaching you in person but at that ship has sailed at this point in the conversation). I would force you to pick a contact point on the side of the ball and hit the ball through that point while trying to minimize the sidespin.

To improve and learn table tennis technique as an adult, one has to radically force oneself to adapt, which usually only makes sense in response some challenge. That said, you most recent video looks more reasonable. But the verticality is not forced upon you. It is still a sign that you have a way of thinking about the ball and your stroke that you haven't challenged or tested.

 
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i think it is not very good to talk about how many inches your arm has to be away from your torso. You should try to specify the angle that your upper arm is spread from your chest. I have a practicing cast for table tennis and if equipped it fixates the upper arm at around 35-40°.

It might sound logical to have it aroud 45° because that would allow enough adjustment to balls that are closer to your body than expect (which you would adjust for by decreasing the angle) or farer away (which you would adjust for by increasing the angle). 0° being your arm straight at your body and 90° being the arm spread perpendicular to your side.

Yeah it would make sense around 45 degrees would give you more adjustability in either direction.

 
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Hi everyone, first time posting in this thread. I have always meant to but haven't had the opportunity.
I am posting a video of myself (facing the camera) looping fh. What I am trying to do is consistent loops, so these are not my most spinny nor fastest nor most powerful ones.
I have been practicing faster / stronger loops but I didn't do it in this video. Hopefully I will do it in my next video.

Look forward to hearing your feedback.

Cheerse
 
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As someone who trained thousands of hours with high-end robots and then became like the chief Robot-Hater on TT forums, I was really happy to see you emphasize this constraint Carl. Technique is important, and Dominikk's video-assessment-correction-video process is super sound. But there is something we should always remember about technique.

When your mind tells your body to touch the ball with the rubber your body does it. By any means necessary. If the ball and your body are not aligned to use pretty technique your body will use wonky af technique. Because you told it to put the rubber on the ball. If your mind tells your body to touch the ball only using beautiful technique and you are in the wrong place you will get an airball whiff. I've only met a few people who actually do that, but it is the other option.

The point is you can't fix technique unless your body is in a small range of positions relative to the ball. With robots this is pretty easy. With humans in training it's a lot harder but they are usually trying to help. In competition it is nearly impossible a lot of the time.

I wish I could provide my own video but one move I do a lot is have the ball come at my right nipple and I have to windshield wiper my bat up with my arm tucked in. Horrible, ugly, useless technique. Also unfixable with my arm. I can either learn to put some kind of shot on the table using what is basically the punch of a five-year-old girl, or improve my perception so I can move a foot or two to my left before the ball hits me. Nothing I do with my forehand technique will get me out of that situation.

So once the OP is happy with his technique against robot, training perception is what will make the technique actually work in matches.

I think this is a great post.

One of the things you are working on with things like a robot, or shadow training, or self-hitting is the coordination of upper body and lower body and getting legs, weight transfer, hips, core-rotation, torso, upper arm, lower arm and wrist, to all work in synergy as a circuit so that there is the coordination and the timing of the coordination for them to do that.

From the standpoint of movement mechanics, that in itself is hard enough for most people figure out from the intellectual side and/or from trying to observe from watching. But this is really not an actual stroke yet.

As Brs is pointing out, the next part is, adjusting to the ball....and what you are really trying to do is make it so the first part is wired into muscle memory well enough so that, as you are adjusting to ball after ball, with random placement, your body mechanics, your timing of kinetic chains, is good enough that, even though you are windsheildwipering at a ball that was aimed at your torso with your elbow jammed up into the side of your body, enough of the body actions happen with a decent enough timing that your contact is still effective enough to transfer power into the ball to create a functional shot.

Now, I don't hate all robots, but they are very limited in function. However, I do think the robot Dominikk is using is causing more harm than good at this point. And, perhaps he should not be using it to try and improve his technique because of how bad that particular robot is. And he would be much better served if he got to see video footage of himself vs another human being.

And, for sure, robots, if they have a use, it is a very limited use, and any time you could do multi-ball, or hit with a human instead, it would be preferable. But, at least for Dominikk, that particular robot may be worse than not practicing at all.:)

 
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