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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2018, 06:48 
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Hi all,

I used the search function but couldn't come across a topic were this question was already asked, so I'm not sure if it's already been asked or not.
Anyway, the question. Does anyone have any tips for someone like myself who is at the beginning stages of table tennis and wants to turn an underspin/backspin ball into a topspin ball?
My question is basically, how do you pull that trick? Do you angle your racket/bat so that it is more open before you make the topspin stroke? Or how do you actually do this?
Thanks in advance for the reply,

Yvo


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2018, 08:54 
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It is not a trick. It is physics.

The backspin will try to make your return go low. Open the bat more and come up on the stroke. :)


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2018, 09:16 
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Look for tips, videos, and advice on 'looping/attacking/opening against underspin/backspin/chops'. Should be plenty of material on this and other forums, and of course YouTube.

Also - coaching and practice. Experimenting on your own is fine too.

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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2018, 09:49 
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Hi Yvo. Firstly its great that you asked this question. About 4 years ago I was in the mid levels at our club,albeit a smallish club. I worked hard on this exact point and instantly it improved my game by adding another dimension and with practice I'm now well towards the top. If you also develop this you will have similar results. Its not that easy though, it will take some practice.

The most common thing is to loop the ball. A slow spinny loop can often win the point outright or at least put you in control of the point.
The main thing that you need to do here is have an upward stroke with the bat finishing at head level. The bat should start below the table. The bat needs to be open and you need a fast arm movement. You should be hitting with more friction than force and you should be trying to just hear the rubber, not the blade. More of a 'doof' than a 'crack'. It takes some practice and if you are missing the ball completely or hitting it on the top edge then you are on the right track. Its a smaller margin for error than a drive type stroke with a more forward movement. Timing is really important. There are plenty of videos, watch them all but notice most of all the finish position.

The most common mistake I see from beginner players or those that are stuck in the push game are that they don't start the bat low enough and they don't finish at head level. They often think they are but are actually not. For this reason I suggest that you video yourself very early in your development to get an idea of how you look and watch plenty of videos.

There is another way to return shot backspin by doing a flick. I find this tricky so will leave it to Jim Clegg to explain.


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2018, 16:41 
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Also if you look for Defense player versus attack player you can start to understand and analyze the physics of spin reversal and how to decide whether to loop-back the LP-chop ball or how to push back the ball.

As a beginner I still struggle to read a chop-block with very little under-spin and a full-on chop full spin-reversal. Either I loop it too long, or it hits the net, or it comes at me too fast and I fumble the return, or I end up dumping the ball in the net.

LP and SP players are very unique and tend to use a mix of flat-hitting and spin reversal with the Pips-out rubbers. Judging the amount of spin on the ball is an intermediate and advanced skill that a beginner like me totally understand and dream daily of mastering :-D

Maybe some robot drills against either short- or long- heavy underspin balls might help improve overcoming underspin ? I know I tried for 5 mins and got floored by the robot. After like 3 attempts and 20 mins later ... my arms are like lead blocks and legs feel like concrete pillars :lol:

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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2018, 16:52 
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Yup, lower level players are taught (by their peers and through bitter experience :lol: ) that topspin is always countered with topspin and backspin with backspin, which is why games devolve into pushing matches. As has been mentioned - there are two fundamental strokes used to attack backspin pushes with topspin, and they are actually quite difficult to do, which means you will have to practice them. The first is the loop, the second the flip/flick/roll/half-volley (different people call it different things, and they're not all exactly the same either - it's complicated). The loop is used against long pushes that go beyond the end of the table, while the second deals with short pushes. The loop against backspin is a very fast vertical stroke with a closed bat, as Cobalt says it starts low and ends high, and the idea is to contact the ball very lightly. Lots and lots of videos of high level players doing it on YouTube - find any video where, say, Ma Long is playing against a chopper and you'll see it over and over. The flick/flip/roll is different, it's done over the table with a slightly open - or sometimes slightly closed racket - here you can't generate the same sort of racket speed you can with the loop, so you lift the ball slightly with the racket face. It generates a lot less topspin than does the loop.

Both shots are difficult and take precise timing. Lots of tutorials.

There's someone on this forum, I think, who will chip in an suggest using long pips (to cover weaknesses in serve return, etc.). Indeed, you can turn backspin into topspin and attack with it as a result using long pips, but it's got it's own disadvantages. It's something that might be explored but perhaps after you've gotten some more experience with the above.

Here is Yangyang demonstrating the loop against backspin:



And the flick:





Iskandar


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2018, 23:34 
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I have always thought the name "flick" was a horrible name. It makes you think of flipping the wrist to accomplish the shot and you really don't. The term half volley is so much more illustrative (especially since I played a lot of tennis in my youth). The key is to think of the spin from chop as the same ball rotation as topspin when it comes off the bat as long as you open the face the appropriate amount.

Then the shot involves pretty much a flat stroke with an open bat, the "flick" part comes in from it being a very short stroke, not because of the wrist flipping in anyway. The key is to hit it at its highest point and let the direct flat motion of the forearm and wrist closure (for forehand) or wrist opening (for backhand) send it straight over the net. The ball flight curves downward due to the spin already on the ball from the chop which now behaves as if you did flick your wrist to impart topspin - you just never had to actually do it. The closing the bat slightly to a more vertical posture adds a touch more spin but it is not absolutely necessary and as he showed in the video the more you do that closure the more advanced the shot is. But for beginners they should not be tempted to do that until they have mastered the flat half volley.


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PostPosted: 23 Jul 2018, 13:54 
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If you read books from the hardbat era, flicking the wrist is exactly what they tell you to do. Start with an open bat face, end up with a closed one. But what works for hardbat doesn't necessarily work with inverted sandwich.

I suppose a more modern development (one that isn't a basic low-level stroke!) is the banana flick. That one does involve a lot of elbow and wrist movement, and a closed racket face. You do need to generate a lot of racket head speed for it to work.

Iskandar


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