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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2014, 11:34 
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iskandar taib wrote:
carbonman wrote:
You really don't know when you are rigid and when you are loose? Do you have to be over a certain rating to know , for example, when your shoulder is stiff and your arm is rigid and locked?


If it were that simple then no one would have this problem, and telling people how to overcome it would be unnecessary. The thing I'm trying to get at is, what can one do (as a coach, or as a forum poster) to help someone through this problem? Apparently existing videos and books aren't going to work, based on previous comments. If not, then what?

I'll have to admit - Brett's latest video is a good step:

Now it's a matter of putting that into action. I don't think it's as simple a swinging the body around and allowing ones' arm to flop around in a circle, though... :lol:

Iskandar


I know this is going to sound silly to you, but that video was made for very advanced players.

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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2014, 16:19 
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iskandar taib wrote:
carbonman wrote:
You really don't know when you are rigid and when you are loose? Do you have to be over a certain rating to know , for example, when your shoulder is stiff and your arm is rigid and locked?


If it were that simple then no one would have this problem, and telling people how to overcome it would be unnecessary. The thing I'm trying to get at is, what can one do (as a coach, or as a forum poster) to help someone through this problem? Apparently existing videos and books aren't going to work, based on previous comments. If not, then what?
Iskandar

Two things to try:

1 - Get someone to serve or feed multi-ball to you. Only hit one ball at a time and have a generous period between each ball. Focus solely on being relaxed, especially your shoulder and arm (don't lock your arm). Aim to 'caress' the ball, hitting it slowly and softly but still playing a full and technically correct stroke. Dont worry at all if you dont get the ball on the table.

2 - Make a 'net' (out of wood or cardboard or whatever) around 25-30 inches high. Just rally with a partner and dont try to do anything fancy. Your main aim is to have long slow rallies with good ball control and an emphasis on 'softness'. If you are stiff with the high net the ball will frequently go off the end of the table. I have had a good deal of success with this idea.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2014, 17:17 
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Hmmm.. OK, good, the second one especially would be something I can try in practice. Now, to convince one of the other guys to actually do some practice instead of playing games!

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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2014, 18:04 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
iskandar taib wrote:
carbonman wrote:
You really don't know when you are rigid and when you are loose? Do you have to be over a certain rating to know , for example, when your shoulder is stiff and your arm is rigid and locked?


If it were that simple then no one would have this problem, and telling people how to overcome it would be unnecessary. The thing I'm trying to get at is, what can one do (as a coach, or as a forum poster) to help someone through this problem? Apparently existing videos and books aren't going to work, based on previous comments. If not, then what?

I'll have to admit - Brett's latest video is a good step:

Now it's a matter of putting that into action. I don't think it's as simple a swinging the body around and allowing ones' arm to flop around in a circle, though... :lol:

Iskandar


I know this is going to sound silly to you, but that video was made for very advanced players.


Yeah, I know. Advanced players already know the stroke, they just need to loosen up. Beginners would need prior instruction on how to do the loop.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2014, 18:20 
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iskandar taib wrote:

Yeah, I know. Advanced players already know the stroke, they just need to loosen up. Beginners would need prior instruction on how to do the loop.

Iskandar


Perfect

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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2014, 03:36 
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Here is part 2 of the reverse pendulum serve series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBlZzeSRabY



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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2014, 07:07 
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Thanks for posting nextlevel, beat me to it! :up: :lol:

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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2014, 07:31 
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iskandar taib wrote:
The problem with all this stuff about being "loose" is - how do you teach this to someone?? Sure, it may all be true, but other than saying "loosen up" over and over again, how would you teach it? Doing yoga, maybe? Take up interpretive dance? Listen to certain sorts of music while drilling?

Imagine you're talking to some U-1400 player here (you are). I mean, OK, so learning forms by watching videos "isn't optimal", reading books "isn't that helpful", what sort of practical thing would you suggest in its place?

Iskandar


Maybe if I shared some of the reasoning behind the max-efficiency (as opposed to minimum-effort) development approach it would make more sense. Very early on came the basic intuition that form followed function quite literally, or IOW if some goal like max speed of contact were accomplished with min effort it would by definition be proper technique/form. So from the start it was a genesis for good stroke mechanics and not really an effort to increase efficiency of existing ones. How "looseness" fits in is that it just so happens this high efficiency swing is quite loose and it'll be used as one of the metrics to feel for. In sum this approach offers a 3 for 1 deal which means the learning process is itself very efficient.

As the name max-efficiency implies, you're aiming for the easiest way to produce a certain effect. Conceptually this is an optimization problem where the swing mechanism is tweaked & iterated until either the least effort is used for a given output quality or the speed/arc is maximized for a given exertion (whichever way to conceive of the same objective is personal pref). In order for those tweaks in each iteration to be meaningful, some observational feedback from both the swing and the ball contact is necessary. For example try relaxing or exerting various muscle areas to see what has positive effect on the contact feel or resulting shot, and cut out anything which doesn't contribute (that list will be very small at the end). Through this process you'll hopefully also capture other ideas such as keeping the blade open as possible yet angle of attack fwd for max efficacy. Then try to commit to memory the relevant details of what you'll try to subsequently replicate.

If you have some insight into basic swing physics, there are also some clues how to best apply energy (continuous acceleration to contact) which will shortcut the process. What I also found helpful is using other mechanically precise and efficient swings like skipping rocks where the release point correlates to our contact as a first-order approximation for what to do, and using very slow equipment so poor results become more apparent & generally increased feedback.

Before embarking on this quest for swing mechanics, you'll want to add some stroke production strategy to the party like the basic one previously linked viewtopic.php?p=284347#p284347 . This will provide a reliable framework to experiment in addition to a good practice itself. Note that reading the incoming spin is key to certain steps within so consider it a prereq unless you're only planning to return one very specific shot.

Now that we've covered in brief the motivational & methodological aspects, it's worth stepping back to ponder the broader goals. The greater benefit here isn't really in the mechanically perfect stroke, but the intuition of what good play feels like. By taking this journey you can hopefully develop an intuitive sense of the direction where higher level play lies, and good instincts for what to do both in the moment and for the game in general. Those intuitions & instincts are what the apparently talented possess and what those born without hope to capture. The "memorize & recite" many of us are accustomed and resort to forgets that learning is fundamentally a process of discovery.

For results, I went from pretty poor attacks to bit under 2k output quality in maybe 10hr of open practice on FH. Consistency will be mediocre at best at that point, but that's a problem which'll fix itself with more play. Also this is a shot with fairly small sweet spot so until your footwork gets there try to use a reliable feeder or even robot. As an aside the biggest problem I had in a brief trial of something like "minimum-effort" (carbonman path #1) was maintaining it while playing TT at the same time. Maybe I'm not enough of an athlete to pull it off, but regardless it IMO lacks the tight pedagogical integration of the max efficiency route.


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2015, 02:31 
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This video could help you to get a variation to support your reverse backspin serve.

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PostPosted: 28 Jul 2016, 13:50 
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agenthex wrote:
For instance what really matters is the loose arm esp elbow & wrist sensation before any motion, the increasing pressure of racket against the finger through to the contact, and most importantly the subtle bite of the ball on the rubber.




Late to this party, but had a question.

Is it advantageous to maintain that loose/free arm/elbow/wrist sensation through out the entire swing? Also, is everything relaxed in the hand except right before or during contact where index pinch pressure increases? Or do we loosely hold the bat throughout the entire stroke?

That last question is something I can't find an answer for. I vary it depending on what I'm trying to do, but for generating heavy spin it seems like a tighter grip just spins more. Similar to a loosely held block goes shorter than a death gripped one.


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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2017, 20:33 
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carbonman wrote:
iskandar taib wrote:
carbonman wrote:
You really don't know when you are rigid and when you are loose? Do you have to be over a certain rating to know , for example, when your shoulder is stiff and your arm is rigid and locked?


If it were that simple then no one would have this problem, and telling people how to overcome it would be unnecessary. The thing I'm trying to get at is, what can one do (as a coach, or as a forum poster) to help someone through this problem? Apparently existing videos and books aren't going to work, based on previous comments. If not, then what?
Iskandar

Two things to try:

1 - Get someone to serve or feed multi-ball to you. Only hit one ball at a time and have a generous period between each ball. Focus solely on being relaxed, especially your shoulder and arm (don't lock your arm). Aim to 'caress' the ball, hitting it slowly and softly but still playing a full and technically correct stroke. Dont worry at all if you dont get the ball on the table.

2 - Make a 'net' (out of wood or cardboard or whatever) around 25-30 inches high. Just rally with a partner and dont try to do anything fancy. Your main aim is to have long slow rallies with good ball control and an emphasis on 'softness'. If you are stiff with the high net the ball will frequently go off the end of the table. I have had a good deal of success with this idea.


Just idly browsing the forums, and came across this piece of gold from Carbonman.

One of the areas I'm trying to work on is exactly what Carbonman told me to work on a good few years ago, when I was a rank beginner - having relaxed limbs, and not playing like a stiff, wooden puppet. I've actually done the exercises above fairly recently - sometimes using a barrier in place of a net. It makes a very big difference, and is great for developing feeling and softness.

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