What is a compact stroke?

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It happens when I play against someone better than me at the club but not when I play against the kids who train there and those of similar level.

My goal is to stay relaxed and avoid rushing even when playing against stronger opponents, even if I lose.
You want to stay relaxed and avoid rushing against opponents who play faster than you (usually, the main advantage of better players is not just their quality but their ability to read the game much faster on serve and return and rally)- in other words, you want to remain unstressed by stressful effort in a stressful situation. I get the sentiment, but it is unrealistic without fundamental improvement. At best, you might be able to play better if you can take a half step back and still maintain the same quality as it will give you more time. But if the opponent is truly better, more time will not affect the result, it will just prolong some rallies and make them win the point in other ways or use wider angles.

If you can read the game faster and evolve into a better player, sure but that just means the other guy is no longer better than you. But in life it is natural to experience stress when facing situations that challenge you to grow. It is keeping the stress manageable and using it to condition growth that is important but I am not sure the path to that starts by denying the stress is reasonable to experience or that the body's desire to work harder in response to it is not rational. At best, you might have more time than you think you do, but again realizing and adjusting to that would just make you a better player.
 
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
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At best, you might be able to play better if you can take a half step back and still maintain the same quality as it will give you more time.
This might work. Normally, I'm able to topspin (both topspin and backspin) if I let the ball drop slightly first instead of hitting it earlier. Unfortunately, my muscles don't seem to reflect this knowledge against stronger players, as there's a strong tendency in my brain to hit the ball as soon as possible. In contrast, I can hit short balls at any timing without problems; my brain works well with them. LOL
 
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says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
Member
Nov 2022
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.. At best, you might be able to play better if you can take a half step back and still maintain the same quality as it will give you more time. ..
Yesterday, I tried playing about half a foot further back than usual giving myself more time before hitting the ball. It worked like a charm! The extra milliseconds forced me to delay my shot slightly, and this has improved my game. My drives and topspins landed on the other side of the table much more frequently, 60-70% increase compared to before. My movement also improved. I'm so happy! It's boosted my confidence. Now I can focus on working on the next, like improving my strokes and footwork.
.. Of you don't realistically see that playing at 60% of your normal level is easily possible in match pressure situations, you are setting yourself up for unreasonable expectations and repeated disappointment. ..
Yes. I tried reducing to 60-80% power, it's given me more control and time thinking. More importantly, lesser missed shots. Previously, hitting 90-100% often resulted in missed shots or points lost.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to give me such detailed advice. I know I sound like a beginner, but I am :)

TYVM!
 
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Yesterday, I tried playing about half a foot further back than usual giving myself more time before hitting the ball. It worked like a charm! The extra milliseconds forced me to delay my shot slightly, and this has improved my game. My drives and topspins landed on the other side of the table much more frequently, 60-70% increase compared to before. My movement also improved. I'm so happy! It's boosted my confidence. Now I can focus on working on the next, like improving my strokes and footwork.

Yes. I tried reducing to 60-80% power, it's given me more control and time thinking. More importantly, lesser missed shots. Previously, hitting 90-100% often resulted in missed shots or points lost.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to give me such detailed advice. I know I sound like a beginner, but I am :)

TYVM!
Not at all, happy something helped, internet advice can be a crapshoot when it comes to improving someone's actual play, moreso in the absence of visual feedback. Good luck with your playing, the sport can be really hard!
 
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says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
says I'm still learning Table Tennis.
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Try to take the ball a little on the side of your body. It will give you more time to act. Try to loop when the ball drops more. Practice to hit/loop only by backswinging with your body and with right foot gripping the floor. Try to expect where the ball will land and where you are going to contact it and move first without stretching your hand/arm out.
If I understand you correctly, when I'm hitting the ball from my side, it travels parallel along the table instead of crossing over.

I prefer to hit the ball in front to my body. However, this might be causing me to hit the ball too early. That's why I've moved half a foot back to give myself more time to react and wait for the ball to drop slightly or at highest point before hitting.

As I get older (50s), I notice that my torso rotation isn't as quick, especially after my backswing. This leads to missed shots if I have a large backswing. To compensate, I'm focusing on hitting the ball in front to my body, minimizing the backswing and requiring less rotation.
 
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If I understand you correctly, when I'm hitting the ball from my side, it travels parallel along the table instead of crossing over.

I prefer to hit the ball in front to my body, timing it similar to my backhand. However, this might be causing me to hit the ball too early. That's why I've moved half a foot back to give myself more time to react and wait for the ball to drop slightly or at highest point before hitting.

As I get older (50s), I notice that my torso rotation isn't as quick, especially after my backswing. This leads to missed shots if I have a large backswing. To compensate, I'm focusing on hitting the ball in front to my body, minimizing the backswing and requiring less rotation.
It depends on the style you want to play. To be a two wing looper, you definitely need to wait a little longer and loop the ball a little on the side, maybe at 3 or 4 clock. If you try to loop at 1 or 2 clock, it become hitting. Just experience more and find the style that fits you. And as your game gets better, you can always adjust your playing style.
 
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If I understand you correctly, when I'm hitting the ball from my side, it travels parallel along the table instead of crossing over.

I prefer to hit the ball in front to my body. However, this might be causing me to hit the ball too early. That's why I've moved half a foot back to give myself more time to react and wait for the ball to drop slightly or at highest point before hitting.

As I get older (50s), I notice that my torso rotation isn't as quick, especially after my backswing. This leads to missed shots if I have a large backswing. To compensate, I'm focusing on hitting the ball in front to my body, minimizing the backswing and requiring less rotation.
In order to loop the ball a little on the side, you will need to turn your body (palve) and the ball will actually be in front of you when you loop it. All CNT players loop like this. Shorter stroke is usually for hitting or for defense/control plays.
 
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I do feel that you can play a compact stroke/looping if you can loose your body/wrist, and apply a wrist whip at the end while gripping the paddle very tightly with a little more power from the index finger. But this is only good for very close table/on table plays.
 
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