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PostPosted: 09 Dec 2008, 18:39 
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Thank you for sharing this information, amateur101.

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Yuzuki wrote:
Thank you for sharing this information, amateur101.


You are welcome Yuzuki.

By the way, here are my personal observations on Stellan Bengtsson's forehand technique.

Stellan stays close to the table and uses short compact strokes. Contact point is at the peak. His balls come in very low and fast. He tries not to stay away from the table because he is short (maybe 5'5" or 5'6") and has shorter reach. He said that because of his height, he had to work extra hard on his footwork.

He constantly reminded me to keep my racket in front (and not to the side). One never drops the racket below table level because then you will be inclined to hit upwards and wastes precious seconds to react to shots. The space in front (and just slightly to the side) is where one contacts the ball using the compact strokes. This point is very important and is always stressed. That is why we need to move our body and ensure that we hit the ball at this position.

He is amazingly rarely out of position in his strokes. His moves are smooth and economical. Still excellent form at 56.

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2008, 06:43 
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amateur101 wrote:
Yuzuki wrote:
Thank you for sharing this information, amateur101.


You are welcome Yuzuki.

By the way, here are my personal observations on Stellan Bengtsson's forehand technique.

Stellan stays close to the table and uses short compact strokes. Contact point is at the peak. His balls come in very low and fast. He tries not to stay away from the table because he is short (maybe 5'5" or 5'6") and has shorter reach. He said that because of his height, he had to work extra hard on his footwork.

He constantly reminded me to keep my racket in front (and not to the side). One never drops the racket below table level because then you will be inclined to hit upwards and wastes precious seconds to react to shots. The space in front (and just slightly to the side) is where one contacts the ball using the compact strokes. This point is very important and is always stressed. That is why we need to move our body and ensure that we hit the ball at this position.

He is amazingly rarely out of position in his strokes. His moves are smooth and economical. Still excellent form at 56.


Great advice, what my coach told me as well, but to be able to see it in action is truly exceptional. You're very lucky.

No wonder he was a World Champion and coach of multiple world champions.

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2008, 08:03 
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amateur101 wrote:
By the way, here are my personal observations on Stellan Bengtsson's forehand technique.


Hmm, I've just recently thought about this, but he has a compact loop, not a power-spin loop like some Chinese professionals, am I correct?

Just recently I've been wondering about this, as slower-recovering power-spin loops has been my forte, which seems to actually match mid-distance play more than close-to-table play.

Then I also met someone who played SP on the backhand, and he had a less spinny forehand -- more of a faster recovering topspin drive than a power loop, which seems to work better.

I just thought about this as topspin drives and flat drives work better on the backhand, so I might have to readjust the forehand to avoid having to 'spin' the ball back on the backhand, so to speak.

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Yuzuki wrote:
amateur101 wrote:
By the way, here are my personal observations on Stellan Bengtsson's forehand technique.


Hmm, I've just recently thought about this, but he has a compact loop, not a power-spin loop like some Chinese professionals, am I correct?

Just recently I've been wondering about this, as slower-recovering power-spin loops has been my forte, which seems to actually match mid-distance play more than close-to-table play.

Then I also met someone who played SP on the backhand, and he had a less spinny forehand -- more of a faster recovering topspin drive than a power loop, which seems to work better.

I just thought about this as topspin drives and flat drives work better on the backhand, so I might have to readjust the forehand to avoid having to 'spin' the ball back on the backhand, so to speak.


So far, I have not seen him execute those full swing power loops (probably because he is just coaching and demonstrating proper form most of the time). His stroke is short, compact and close to the table. This is the same technique he used when he won the World Championship. He probably could perform those power loops if needed.

What really impressed me was the simplicity of his strokes and economy of movement. They are compact and look similar but the spins are varied and placement of the ball is excellent (fast paced to extreme corners and very low).

I would think his style is probably the essence of the "quick or fast attack" that the Chinese players later refined and utilized well.

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TSP Spectol Soft - 2.1 mm - FH
TSP Spectol 21 - 2.1 mm - BH
Stiga Clipper CR WRB
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BBC 9-10-9


Last edited by amateur101 on 10 Dec 2008, 09:08, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 10 Dec 2008, 09:07 
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Exactly -- I was thinking that I should use full-swings as openers to slow balls.

Also, I was supposed to say the compact loop I saw was more of a flatter, spinny drive than a arcing, fast loop.

I should try not to use them for rallying, as I tend to recover slower than a simpler compact swing, which usually leads to having to spin on the backhand, easy pickings for an expert looper.

I'd really have to reformulate some of the forehand to match my SP better...

---

I thank you once again. :oops:

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 04:36 
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Amateur 101 wrote:
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In counter hitting drills, he advised that that I hit the first 2 balls at medium power and the 3rd ball at high power, or alternate them. This makes ones balls varied and so your opponent will not get the rhythm of your hitting. In the game, it will be instinctive for you to vary the pace.

That is great advice. The reason given for it applies to all table tennis practice, I'd think. Never practice anything you won't do in the real game. When under pressure, you will react instinctively, so you'll have to train your instinct to choose the right reflexes. Practice sessions in which you are repeating the same stroke or pattern over and over again are said to make you very consistant - and they do; but this very consistency will get you killed in a real game.

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Exactly -- I was thinking that I should use full-swings as openers to slow balls.

Not with pips, Y. Any stroke with pips should be short, even opening against backspin (which is the longest stroke with pips, but still less than half as long as you would perform it with backside rubber). If you want to add pace, use your body more and maybe follow through more. Do not use a longer up-swing, or you'll copy backside hitting/looping and lose the full contact and, consequently, full speed you'll need with pips.

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 14:31 
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Kees wrote:
Yuzuki wrote:
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Exactly -- I was thinking that I should use full-swings as openers to slow balls.

Not with pips, Y. Any stroke with pips should be short, even opening against backspin (which is the longest stroke with pips, but still less than half as long as you would perform it with backside rubber). If you want to add pace, use your body more and maybe follow through more. Do not use a longer up-swing, or you'll copy backside hitting/looping and lose the full contact and, consequently, full speed you'll need with pips.


Hi Kees, I was referring to looping with inverted rubbers; just recently I've met someone who plays a better fast attack game than I do, in terms of placement quality and rally pace -- I think because of better balance in using just enough spin (not power-spin) to bring the ball down (drives vs. power loops)

I do agree with you on the same for the pips sides (short pips in this case) -- playing with 802 does not really promote thin contact as the pips are not meant to perform that kind of work; also, it tends to result in poor speed and consistency as there is neither full contact for speed, and enough grip for safer, spinny returns.

--

Here's a thought, sir -- what do you think of (learning to play) two-sided short pimples out style of play in order to 'remaster' playing forehand with with a combination inverted forehand/short pips backhand bat?

As I see it for now, using spinny short pips on the forehand might force me to learn who to play quick attack (on both sides) better by forcing my forehand to be efficient in the use of hit and drive, rather than looping?

In using short pips, learning to spin (hit) with them will help in making my forehand more efficient, I think.

Your thoughts?

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2008, 17:06 
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Yuzuki, I think it can work, but it may not be the fastest or most efficient way to achieve your goal. Learning to play with SP in the right way will help to make your stroke more compact, also to make contact with the ball early (on the rise/top) and in front of you. If you'll focus on relaxing your shoulder/neck and activating your underarm (for the short swing), this will help too. It will help to watch the ball well and get a good sense of timing. It will also help in developing fast and precise footwork. On the other hand, driving/looping with inverted you have to make contact with the ball more towards its topside, and you do have to use your upper body more when producing topspin; also, the angle of the bat is a bit different, the stroke is generally more upward and you have to use your wrist more. Footwork is different since with inverted you have to "make room" for the loop, so your right foot (for a right-hander) is a bit further back for instance. Timing is different, too. So is handling incoming spin. These differences are small but very significant. In learning to play well with SP you will get reflexes that are just a bit off for playing well with inverted. If you are accutely aware of this all the time, learning SP-play will be valuable, because it'll give you an extra angle to look on how to play with inverted; by learning the differences, the styles themselves may as such become more clear to you and you may come to understand them better. But if you intend to play with inverted only anyway, it would be more efficient to start with that rubber on your forehand directly, and study good examples of the type of forehand-play you want to learn (I guess you want to play close to the table attack, so Kong and Waldner would be good examples; they both have very compact forehand strokes with very good accelaration towards the ball, and excellent footwork; you might also take a good look at Samsonov and Oh Sang Eun for intelligent and efficient blocking).

There's something else that comes to mind. If your "problem" is that your forehand stroke is rather longish, which means you have less time to recover, but it is working well anyway in terms of speed and spin, you could adjust your tactics instead of trying to adjust your technique. Aim for the middle (change-over point) and backhand (cut the side-line if you can) of your opponent with your forehand attack; the return - if there is one - will most likely be to your backhand, where you can block or punch effectively. If the ball comes immediately back to your forehand, block it; so practice alternating looping/hitting and blocking in series, but maintain variety by changing angles and speed. After all, there is no reason why you should want to be as complete a player as pro's have to be; and even they have "weaknesses" or idiosyncrasies they have incorporated in a personal style that works well for them. I think that in general players shouldn't be too quick to decide that a personal trait is a weakness, simply because it deviates from what is thought to be right. A lot of "weaknesses" can be turned into basic elements of a personal style. You have to this sensibly, of course, and there are limits, but nobody should be afraid of being different!

I hope this helps!

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2009, 23:16 
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OK, here's the thing I've encountered recently:

Spin driving with short pips involves a slightly more closed bat with a slightly longer stroke, right?

I have no clue why some people insist that I lengthen the stroke further, more like an inverted -- is this wrong advice? (I presume so)

Should I get a more recent video of how I'm doing for my SP backhand so there will be a point of reference?

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Yuzuki wrote:
OK, here's the thing I've encountered recently:

Spin driving with short pips involves a slightly more closed bat with a slightly longer stroke, right?

I have no clue why some people insist that I lengthen the stroke further, more like an inverted -- is this wrong advice? (I presume so)

Should I get a more recent video of how I'm doing for my SP backhand so there will be a point of reference?


I don't think you should be trying to "spin drive" the ball with short pips like you would with inverted. You might impart some topspin, but it's a much more open blade face than with inverted.

Better to think about using more or less force and different blade angles for different height or spin balls than be thinking about "spin driving" the ball. It should always be a shorter stroke than with inverted.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2009, 11:22 
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agooding2 wrote:
I don't think you should be trying to "spin drive" the ball with short pips like you would with inverted. You might impart some topspin, but it's a much more open blade face than with inverted.

Better to think about using more or less force and different blade angles for different height or spin balls than be thinking about "spin driving" the ball. It should always be a shorter stroke than with inverted.


Ah, I was using a bit of topspin to impart both speed and some spin on low balls to pick them up during the drill.

Once I have a bit of more net clearance on the return, I usually go back to flat hitting, unless the incoming ball doesn't have much spin, if that's the case, I use one or two topspin drives first before going back to the routine hitting.

I'm just getting weird advices on this stroke at the local center, so that's why I'm asking -- so far, my abbreviated topspin stroke works well, so I have no clue why they want me to lengthen it.

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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2009, 00:30 
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Sure, I put some topspin on my strokes, especially with low balls, but no I don't know why someone would encourage you to lengthen your stroke.

Since switching from inverted three years ago I've been working on shortening my stroke.

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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2009, 05:18 
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I agree with Andrew, playing with short pips your stroke should be as short as possible, even if you are imparting (some) topspin (or backspin). If you make your stroke longer upwards (to produce spin), you'll lose both speed and control because you will be grazing the ball with the tips of your pips and have very little contact with it. If you make your stroke longer forewards you'll drive the ball over the table, dead certain. If you want more topspin, you should use more wrist, never more arm.

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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2009, 08:39 
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I guess I should stick to my stroke.

Thanks guys! I'm sure to let you know about my progress. :)

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