Video Footage Safe Thread

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Hi @Fnub ,

Here are some things I see with you FH...

Take a look on game two... when you serve, you are big time in the FH side of table already... and when ball comes back, there is not much table left for opponent to land it for your FH... when you serve closer to BH corner, you tend to step towards middle of table with an extra wide leg space... and also with right foot in front. This makes it very difficult to play a FH.

If you want to play more FH on your 3rd ball, you have to serve and move feet and body to an open stance closer to your BH corner.

Another thing you do inefficient is your ready position after serve. You can see this well in game 1 and 3 in your vid.

You serve from BH corner and act like you want to FH topspin the next ball, but after serve, it is like you did not recover... bat is way out in front and to right of body... so when you see the ball come back that you can attack, you now must spend time getting bat back for backswing... you now rush it too much and have too long a backswing to control...

the fix is to figure out how to bounce after serve and get arm to right side of belly and bat a little in front of you. This will make it easier to use a better length of backswing and will greatly help your consistency and quality... and later your confidence.
 
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Hi @Fnub ,

For your BH...

You always seem to be trying to use your entire arm locked up and pivot it all with your shoulder joint.

This is making it 10,000% more difficult to hit a quality BH.

You should get elbow in front, stabilize your elbow and upper arm, then use the lower arm to make the shot. This gives you the best leverage and control for what you are trying to do.

When you lock the entire arm and swing on the shoulder joint, you cannot make a fast bat and the shoulder muscles have to move that entire heavy arm... this kind of biomechanics is very inefficient and near impossible to control... the strike zone is moving as the arm is moving and it complicates things.
 
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Hello! Recently I came to my relatives to Russia and took part in a local tournament. And I got filmed on camera and decided to use the chance.


Here is the video of myself playing against a higher ranked player. I'm in a black t-shirt. I won but I'm curious to know about my mistakes. Personally I think that my game looks awkward. I have a decent FH loop but I lack the confidence to use it consistently. That's why I mostly use BH drives close to the table. I'd like to get some advice on BH loop and footwork mainly. From what I see that on BH my elbow is too low. And because of the lack of confidence I don't move my legs correctly. I do too many useless small steps. How to fix it? will be grateful for advice
Watched two sets. I think you rushed it to much in the second set, need to try to take time to serve and think what you are going to do. I think you can try to work on this:
- if you feel good with the backhand, why do you need to play more forehand? play backhand-backhand, if you win there you are better at them at backhand-backhand, so just keep them there.
- footwork and forehand is connected: to upright and to much on heels, need to bend more with the legs and get on the toes. Will be easier to come correct to the ball so will get more confidence in forehand. Coming down and push a bit up with the legs against backspin will make opening loop easier.
- close the racket angle and brush more with the forehand by snapping the forearm will also give you more confidence. Looks like you are holding a bit of forehand grip so get more open racket angle, you kan try more backhand grip by moving the edge of your racket to the right then you will get more closed angle naturally. If you have to open angle now and brush well the ball will go out so need to close the angle a bit. Good luck.
 
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Thank you for your kind replies! @Der_Echte , the after-serve position is really important. I would never notice a mistake by myself.
Didn't get the point about bat position when I want to play FH. Should I get the bat a bit closer to the body and not way too forward? I don't recover well so that sounds important.
About BH. I know that I should stabilize the upper arm and the elbow and move my lower arm around the elbow like throwing a frisbee. But I find it hard to get into the right timing. But yes, when I do it right I feel that it becomes much easier to land the ball on the table.

@Lula , You're absolutely right. If I win with BH I shouldn't obsess over FH. But I'm young and want to learn a good technique while having good health and strength. And so, yes, there’s no need to rush, it’s better to take a short pause and analyze the game.
Interesting to hear about the racket angle. The next time I'll play I'll try to close it more and brush properly.
 
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Just getting to this now, so thank you @Der_Echte for the pointers. A few questions:
1. What would be the optimal starting position for where my arm would be? Just closer to my abdomen like you had mentioned in the last tip (and NL as well)?
2. I definitely struggle against a slower playstyle and coming in and out of the table is something that my coach is starting to focus on this month. Is there any sort of mental note to track of how I need to position relative to how fast/slow the ball is + where the ball is on the table?
3. On the positioning of my long FH pendulum serve, is there a trick to get more success or an advantage out of it? For example, I like to use a lot of short serves, and then set up the long serve to mix it up, but should I be focusing on doing the long serve more?
4. I'll also work on by BH serve and slowly build up the reverse pendulum, thank you for the suggestion. I might need to see a few videos on it, but I think I'm visualizing the concept. For the reverse pendulum serve, it's just something that I've found that helps me a lot against the left-handed players I go against, and they just seemingly return a lot of serves if I give them a pendulum serve to their forehand.

=====================================================

@NextLevel thank you for the advice and the encouragement too. A few questions for you as well:
1. On point 3, how should I focus on loading up on easy shots? Is it more of a positional issue for me or am I just not putting the right contact/power in the ball? Do you also have a video on positioning shots in table tennis? I'd like to do some work into setting up my serves and placements to where I can maximize my chances of getting the point.
2. On points 2 and 4, I need to look over the videos you've sent again. I get on a one track mind where I'm focusing a lot on just making contact behind the ball. This is where I struggle more mentally in the game, and it's hard to break out of. I'll keep grinding on those mechanics and make sure that's a big focus going for me forward. The rallies are a bit taxing physically on me after a while, so I'll focus a lot on that.
3. Mechanically, for my BH backswing, how should it look? Same question for the wrist flexion on a push.
1. Turn the shoulders and likely put some more spring in the legs. Imagine you had to throw a hammer really far or hit a punch really hard. How would you prepare to do it? Not saying one should jump in the air like someone throwing a discuss really far, but that you need to think about what it means to hit a ball really hard when you have time, whether with a loop or with a smash. You don't need to use all the energy of a max swing (usually a bad idea and can hurt consistency), but you need to line up your stroke in a way that shows you are taking advantage of the extra time to bring something extra to the ball. Being able to put away easy balls consistently strikes fear into the heart of all opponents. If not put them away, at least do something that puts the opponent under pressure including (at our level) hitting the ball to wide locations or just raw speed/spin/power.

The video on positioning for shots is behind two paywalls, but I think what you have with the Seth Pech video is pretty sufficient. They key is to know how to use your legs, core and shoulders to line up your swing energy towards where you intend to hit the ball. Then execute. In rare cases, shoulders can misdirect/deceive but it is usually not worth it.

2. Work on adding spin to the ball in your self multi-ball. In your serves and strokes. Post video of your backspin serve practice on the floor or at the table. You aren't sufficiently focused on making the ball spin, the ball is leaving your racket too fast, so to speak. Follow the shape of the ball a bit more and try to spin the ball short on the table, not drive it past your opponent.

3. The video here at 1:12 to 3:30 discusses the topic. It is worth watching all his backhand videos, watch the topspin one after watching this one. If you hold the racket properly, the key is to be able to switch with a backhand racket angle with wrist flexion. It is best to just default to playing all backhand strokes with it so that you save time when the ball comes to you backhand. Note the space he keeps to support the stroke. The next step will be to maintain that elbow position for both forehand and backhand so that transition is faster and your strokes have a similar feeling without your upper arm moving all over the place. Keeping your upper arm stable is one of the things you currently do well, but you need to optimize that stability with good elbow position and wrist flexion changes.

 
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1. Turn the shoulders and likely put some more spring in the legs. Imagine you had to throw a hammer really far or hit a punch really hard. How would you prepare to do it? Not saying one should jump in the air like someone throwing a discuss really far, but that you need to think about what it means to hit a ball really hard when you have time, whether with a loop or with a smash. You don't need to use all the energy of a max swing (usually a bad idea and can hurt consistency), but you need to line up your stroke in a way that shows you are taking advantage of the extra time to bring something extra to the ball. Being able to put away easy balls consistently strikes fear into the heart of all opponents. If not put them away, at least do something that puts the opponent under pressure including (at our level) hitting the ball to wide locations or just raw speed/spin/power.

The video on positioning for shots is behind two paywalls, but I think what you have with the Seth Pech video is pretty sufficient. They key is to know how to use your legs, core and shoulders to line up your swing energy towards where you intend to hit the ball. Then execute. In rare cases, shoulders can misdirect/deceive but it is usually not worth it.

2. Work on adding spin to the ball in your self multi-ball. In your serves and strokes. Post video of your backspin serve practice on the floor or at the table. You aren't sufficiently focused on making the ball spin, the ball is leaving your racket too fast, so to speak. Follow the shape of the ball a bit more and try to spin the ball short on the table, not drive it past your opponent.

3. The video here at 1:12 to 3:30 discusses the topic. It is worth watching all his backhand videos, watch the topspin one after watching this one. If you hold the racket properly, the key is to be able to switch with a backhand racket angle with wrist flexion. It is best to just default to playing all backhand strokes with it so that you save time when the ball comes to you backhand. Note the space he keeps to support the stroke. The next step will be to maintain that elbow position for both forehand and backhand so that transition is faster and your strokes have a similar feeling without your upper arm moving all over the place. Keeping your upper arm stable is one of the things you currently do well, but you need to optimize that stability with good elbow position and wrist flexion changes.

A bit late, but here's the video of my practicing some serves. Tried to do mostly backspin, but I always manage to put some sidespin on it:
 
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Thank you for your kind replies! @Der_Echte , the after-serve position is really important. I would never notice a mistake by myself.
Didn't get the point about bat position when I want to play FH. Should I get the bat a bit closer to the body and not way too forward? I don't recover well so that sounds important.
About BH. I know that I should stabilize the upper arm and the elbow and move my lower arm around the elbow like throwing a frisbee. But I find it hard to get into the right timing. But yes, when I do it right I feel that it becomes much easier to land the ball on the table.

@Lula , You're absolutely right. If I win with BH I shouldn't obsess over FH. But I'm young and want to learn a good technique while having good health and strength. And so, yes, there’s no need to rush, it’s better to take a short pause and analyze the game.
Interesting to hear about the racket angle. The next time I'll play I'll try to close it more and brush properly.
Forehand is a lot about the legs, you have a good swing, but your foot usage is more backhand oriented as you don't move to set up your forehand and the way you stand at the table supports your backhand. Absolutely nothing wrong with this if this is how you want to play but since it isnt, you need to engage the legs to set up your forehand a little better and get better at picking up half long and long serves with the forehand.

Your touch is good bu your strokes are not standard as Lula pointed out. Good luck, you are a good player.
 
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A bit late, but here's the video of my practicing some serves. Tried to do mostly backspin, but I always manage to put some sidespin on it:
Your elbow is not properly positioned if you want sidespin. Google Brett Clarke pendulum serve.

For backspin, you are twisting the racket too much, you can go straight underneath the ball with less curve to get good backspin.
 
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A bit late, but here's the video of my practicing some serves. Tried to do mostly backspin, but I always manage to put some sidespin on it:
So now I am at a computer, I can be a bit detailed. Take this in good faith, as I will point out one big thing, might be a bit curmudgeonly about it.

The biggest mistake you make is that you engage the upper arm in your serve. So what you do well in some other contexts, you do a bad job of here. Remember that in general, the upper arm driven by the shoulder joint is the slowest moving part of the kinetic chain and if you engage it as the primary source of speed, your swing will be much slower than it should be and your recovery not so good. Faster parts of the kinetic chain are the lower arm and wrist and a lot of table tennis spin generation is about making those body parts whip into the ball using your other body parts which move faster like legs, core and upper body. If you straigthen your arms outwoards and rotate your body like a top, you see what the core can add to your linear racket velocity just by turning it over short radial distances. The reason the lower arm and the wrist can also help is that the elbow joint is very stable and easy to control once the upper arm is stable. However, recovery from large motions with the upper arm take a lot of time. The upper arm should only move a large distance if the core is moving a large distance or if you are sure the ball is not coming back.

To limit the use of the upper arm when serving, aim to contact the ball over the right (Racket arm) hip or at some point in front of you close to it and snap into it sharply there. It might feel like you are hiding the serve if the ball is too close to your body but you don't have to, that is about body orientation. When you look at where Brett's arm is in his serving videos, it is because he is following this principle. When you contact the ball too far from that location, your arm would have slowed down and you will be engaging mostly the upper arm to push the ball with weak effect. This is why he talks about the backspin serving assistant - it is just a joke to show how important it is to locate and swing at the right point with the racket and to enforce whip mechanics


If you master the importance of using the body to whip the lower arm sharply into the ball when serving and apply it to your loops and other strokes, your spin and speed will go up significantly. When you understand the principle, you might be able to generate effective serves outside that zone, but you need to get the right feeling first.
 
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So now I am at a computer, I can be a bit detailed. Take this in good faith, as I will point out one big thing, might be a bit curmudgeonly about it.

The biggest mistake you make is that you engage the upper arm in your serve. So what you do well in some other contexts, you do a bad job of here. Remember that in general, the upper arm driven by the shoulder joint is the slowest moving part of the kinetic chain and if you engage it as the primary source of speed, your swing will be much slower than it should be and your recovery not so good. Faster parts of the kinetic chain are the lower arm and wrist and a lot of table tennis spin generation is about making those body parts whip into the ball using your other body parts which move faster like legs, core and upper body. If you straigthen your arms outwoards and rotate your body like a top, you see what the core can add to your linear racket velocity just by turning it over short radial distances. The reason the lower arm and the wrist can also help is that the elbow joint is very stable and easy to control once the upper arm is stable. However, recovery from large motions with the upper arm take a lot of time. The upper arm should only move a large distance if the core is moving a large distance or if you are sure the ball is not coming back.

To limit the use of the upper arm when serving, aim to contact the ball over the right (Racket arm) hip or at some point in front of you close to it and snap into it sharply there. It might feel like you are hiding the serve if the ball is too close to your body but you don't have to, that is about body orientation. When you look at where Brett's arm is in his serving videos, it is because he is following this principle. When you contact the ball too far from that location, your arm would have slowed down and you will be engaging mostly the upper arm to push the ball with weak effect. This is why he talks about the backspin serving assistant - it is just a joke to show how important it is to locate and swing at the right point with the racket and to enforce whip mechanics


If you master the importance of using the body to whip the lower arm sharply into the ball when serving and apply it to your loops and other strokes, your spin and speed will go up significantly. When you understand the principle, you might be able to generate effective serves outside that zone, but you need to get the right feeling first.
What a great video - Brett is hilarious, but the point he makes in that video is a game changer.
 
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So now I am at a computer, I can be a bit detailed. Take this in good faith, as I will point out one big thing, might be a bit curmudgeonly about it.

The biggest mistake you make is that you engage the upper arm in your serve. So what you do well in some other contexts, you do a bad job of here. Remember that in general, the upper arm driven by the shoulder joint is the slowest moving part of the kinetic chain and if you engage it as the primary source of speed, your swing will be much slower than it should be and your recovery not so good. Faster parts of the kinetic chain are the lower arm and wrist and a lot of table tennis spin generation is about making those body parts whip into the ball using your other body parts which move faster like legs, core and upper body. If you straigthen your arms outwoards and rotate your body like a top, you see what the core can add to your linear racket velocity just by turning it over short radial distances. The reason the lower arm and the wrist can also help is that the elbow joint is very stable and easy to control once the upper arm is stable. However, recovery from large motions with the upper arm take a lot of time. The upper arm should only move a large distance if the core is moving a large distance or if you are sure the ball is not coming back.

To limit the use of the upper arm when serving, aim to contact the ball over the right (Racket arm) hip or at some point in front of you close to it and snap into it sharply there. It might feel like you are hiding the serve if the ball is too close to your body but you don't have to, that is about body orientation. When you look at where Brett's arm is in his serving videos, it is because he is following this principle. When you contact the ball too far from that location, your arm would have slowed down and you will be engaging mostly the upper arm to push the ball with weak effect. This is why he talks about the backspin serving assistant - it is just a joke to show how important it is to locate and swing at the right point with the racket and to enforce whip mechanics


If you master the importance of using the body to whip the lower arm sharply into the ball when serving and apply it to your loops and other strokes, your spin and speed will go up significantly. When you understand the principle, you might be able to generate effective serves outside that zone, but you need to get the right feeling first.
I was actually doing the towel whips for the pendulum last night when you posted to get some understanding on how to position my elbow and it makes more sense to me physically now doing some bed serves. I'll keep practicing with that video you posted for backspin.
 
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The biggest mistake you make is that you engage the upper arm in your serve.

For the FH pendulum serve, absolutely upper arm moves, but must stop at a certain point and lower arm goes through... I advocate for a bent arm starting to side/little behind ribs, a small backswing, elbow/upper arm hits ribs and stops, then lower arm goes through.

Visualizing and executing it this way will make you a good habit of using that lower arm whip and wrist/fingers at end.

For the Shovel serve, the swing has the arm is pivoting on the shoulder joint... so this is a situation where the upper arm moves and keeps moving.

I personally use FH pendulum and do my best to have a consistent whippy motion with a short to medium swing (and a high toss) (Next Level calls me High Toss Servy Bastard). When you get a good toss and consistent smooth swing and can control where on the pendulum you impact the ball... and control you bat speed and grip and angle... you can then make that ball do any damn thing you want and it is damned difficult for opponent to discern what happened.
 
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For the FH pendulum serve, absolutely upper arm moves, but must stop at a certain point and lower arm goes through... I advocate for a bent arm starting to side/little behind ribs, a small backswing, elbow/upper arm hits ribs and stops, then lower arm goes through.

Visualizing and executing it this way will make you a good habit of using that lower arm whip and wrist/fingers at end.

For the Shovel serve, the swing has the arm is pivoting on the shoulder joint... so this is a situation where the upper arm moves and keeps moving.

I personally use FH pendulum and do my best to have a consistent whippy motion with a short to medium swing (and a high toss) (Next Level calls me High Toss Servy Bastard). When you get a good toss and consistent smooth swing and can control where on the pendulum you impact the ball... and control you bat speed and grip and angle... you can then make that ball do any damn thing you want and it is damned difficult for opponent to discern what happened.
Yes, this is what I mean when I say "engaging the upper arm" - upper arm should hardly move relarive to the core and most of what is happening should be in the lower arm and elbow.. Or engage the upper arm but stop sharply and let the lower arm whip into the ball,not lose the whip mechanics by following through with the shoulder (not that you have to lose them but that is a separate story if tou don't have the feel for whip mechanics). I think the videos make this clear. There is a Triangle shape which some people call the salute that occurs when you do this classically both on pendulum serves and on forehand topspin. Again, there are other important things, there are other high level ways of doing these things, I am just showing the one that resonated with me. Brett would probably teach this very differently today so these videos are now holdovers from another guy's channel unfortunately.

 
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Yes, this is what I mean when I say "engaging the upper arm" - upper arm should hardly move relarive to the core and most of what is happening should be in the lower arm and elbow.. Or engage the upper arm but stop sharply and let the lower arm whip into the ball,not lose the whip mechanics by following through with the shoulder (not that you have to lose them but that is a separate story if tou don't have the feel for whip mechanics). I think the videos make this clear. There is a Triangle shape which some people call the salute that occurs when you do this classically both on pendulum serves and on forehand topspin. Again, there are other important things, there are other high level ways of doing these things, I am just showing the one that resonated with me. Brett would probably teach this very differently today so these videos are now holdovers from another guy's channel unfortunately.

Another great video - so much of this stuff doesn't make it into many serve videos.
 
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Hi Der,

taking your advise into account; I spent the equivalent price of a piece of cheap chinese rubber to get myself a proper tripod to hold my camera. Below is my latest inter-club friendly match:

MD where my partner is a old uncle using pips on the BH.

P/s: I am the dude who wore a blue headgear.

@der
after the game ended, there were mutton curry, chicken thai green curry, rice, pilsner and ale.
 
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Sometime back, I posted a video of me doing serves and USDC told me in order to make the exercise more effective / realistic, I have to complete the exercise by moving into the next ready position, which in my case, to be ready to top-spin / attack the returning ball ( I am an attacking style player ). He said in my previous video, I was too robotic and served mindlessly.

Therefore, in this short video is me trying to do just that. What do you guys think? Am I moving into the right ready position post serving? Any thing I missed out or need to pay attention to?
 
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