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PostPosted: 08 Jan 2018, 10:13 
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Nice to be on the penhold forum. :D I'm an intermediate player with a style similar to Ma Lin.

One problem I noticed in my game: sometimes when there's a low ball (flat hit) to my FH that's neither short nor long, I push it...and it usually pops up and I get killed.

These half-long balls don't really happen in professional games.

I don't know why I push in this scenario. Maybe I should use my robot to simulate these balls. (It's usually in a rally where I TPB and am not really prepared for that FH ball. If it goes long I loop.) I suspect it also has to do with my more uptight posture during TPB.

Has this happened to anyone?

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2018, 03:52 
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If I were you, I would move back from the table and either lob the ball or counter loop/drive it.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2018, 04:52 
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Danthespearton HQ wrote:
If I were you, I would move back from the table and either lob the ball or counter loop/drive it.

I sense confusion. These are half-long balls meaning the second bounce will either hit the very back edge of the table, or just beyond. So stepping back won't work.

Ma_Xin wrote:
One problem I noticed in my game: sometimes when there's a low ball (flat hit) to my FH that's neither short nor long, I push it...and it usually pops up and I get killed.

These half-long balls don't really happen in professional games.

I don't know why I push in this scenario. Maybe I should use my robot to simulate these balls. (It's usually in a rally where I TPB and am not really prepared for that FH ball. If it goes long I loop.) I suspect it also has to do with my more uptight posture during TPB.

Has this happened to anyone?

I have had the same issue. It's difficult to hit because it's not long enough to loop and not short enough to flick comfortably. My coach says "learn to flick or chop them well"

If you are pushing them high then it's a matter of changing the bat angle. If you are missing the flick, then bat position, angle, contact point are the reason you're missing these (I suck at this FWIW).

For me, it's easier to push them, but I'm trying to learn to flick on the FH better. To push these make contact at the back of the ball, and finish under the ball.

Either method, push or flick, requires multi-ball and lots of practice.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2018, 10:15 
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Japsican wrote:
Danthespearton HQ wrote:
If I were you, I would move back from the table and either lob the ball or counter loop/drive it.

I sense confusion. These are half-long balls meaning the second bounce will either hit the very back edge of the table, or just beyond. So stepping back won't work.

Ma_Xin wrote:
One problem I noticed in my game: sometimes when there's a low ball (flat hit) to my FH that's neither short nor long, I push it...and it usually pops up and I get killed.

These half-long balls don't really happen in professional games.

I don't know why I push in this scenario. Maybe I should use my robot to simulate these balls. (It's usually in a rally where I TPB and am not really prepared for that FH ball. If it goes long I loop.) I suspect it also has to do with my more uptight posture during TPB.

Has this happened to anyone?

I have had the same issue. It's difficult to hit because it's not long enough to loop and not short enough to flick comfortably. My coach says "learn to flick or chop them well"

If you are pushing them high then it's a matter of changing the bat angle. If you are missing the flick, then bat position, angle, contact point are the reason you're missing these (I suck at this FWIW).

For me, it's easier to push them, but I'm trying to learn to flick on the FH better. To push these make contact at the back of the ball, and finish under the ball.

Either method, push or flick, requires multi-ball and lots of practice.

Oh, I didn't see the "half long" part. Even so, how is it possible for a flat hit to bounce like that? Wouldn't it bounce pretty high? I eagerly await the reply of the Holy Chtet.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2018, 12:44 
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Interesting. Does the coach teach an all-around style of play? I never thought of chops as a proper penhold move (except for emergencies). :) And I noticed you play Jpen. Must take insane touch? (I like very hard Chinese rubbers. I got a G-max/05 but it was uncontrollable, story for another thread.)

That said, it's not bad for these half long balls. I agree it's a matter of placing the right bat angle. I don't do it well sometimes against weak backspins either and the ball pops up.

These half-long balls probably land around the edge on second bounce. I'm decent at over-the-table loops actually...I don't flip a lot like they do on TV. For me I tend to have only one reaction, to loop, keeping the decision simple. The issue of popping up the ball probably comes down to mentality...if I'm in a more passive mode trying to block etc. it will happen, but not when I'm prepared to FH anything. (Granted, I may loop kill it into the net. :) )

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2018, 21:02 
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Half-long balls can always be looped, and should be looped, if your game style is to attack first.

Set up a robot to deliver a half-long ball, and practice looping close to the table, watching the ball. It's nerve-wracking because you are very close to the table, and fear you might damage your equipment or your hand.

Better still, find someone skilled at multiball, and get them to feed you short, half-long and long balls, randomly. I've done this drill a number of times - it starts out very very hard, but after a few hours (not straight, obviously!) you will start learning to spot half-long balls and attack them. This is particularly valuable for service return, as most people's short serves really aren't very short and often stray to half-long, and can be attacked.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2018, 01:05 
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LordCope wrote:
Half-long balls can always be looped, and should be looped, if your game style is to attack first.

Set up a robot to deliver a half-long ball, and practice looping close to the table, watching the ball. It's nerve-wracking because you are very close to the table, and fear you might damage your equipment or your hand.

Better still, find someone skilled at multiball, and get them to feed you short, half-long and long balls, randomly. I've done this drill a number of times - it starts out very very hard, but after a few hours (not straight, obviously!) you will start learning to spot half-long balls and attack them. This is particularly valuable for service return, as most people's short serves really aren't very short and often stray to half-long, and can be attacked.

I agree that they should be attacked if you are comfortable, but because they are at their highest point 3/4 on your side of the table, and he described these as "Low" and "No spin." To me it is probably better to flick them shortly after the bounce...but we could be splitting hairs here. If it's going to bounce just after the edge, I tend to loop those because your bat trajectory usually starts below the table. Just short, I tend to flick those because you bat trajectory starts above the height of the table (or else you'll hit the edge). Deciding which one they are is difficult because you have to act before it gets to the edge. And we've all done it, we decide we're going to loop a half-long ball thinking it's going to just go past the edge, only to find out that it bounces twice on the edge...and we either wiff or stop the swing and look at our opponent dejected. Haha...at least I do.

Could all be semantics.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2018, 01:10 
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Ma_Xin wrote:
Interesting. Does the coach teach an all-around style of play? I never thought of chops as a proper penhold move (except for emergencies). :) And I noticed you play Jpen. Must take insane touch? (I like very hard Chinese rubbers. I got a G-max/05 but it was uncontrollable, story for another thread.)

That said, it's not bad for these half long balls. I agree it's a matter of placing the right bat angle. I don't do it well sometimes against weak backspins either and the ball pops up.

These half-long balls probably land around the edge on second bounce. I'm decent at over-the-table loops actually...I don't flip a lot like they do on TV. For me I tend to have only one reaction, to loop, keeping the decision simple. The issue of popping up the ball probably comes down to mentality...if I'm in a more passive mode trying to block etc. it will happen, but not when I'm prepared to FH anything. (Granted, I may loop kill it into the net. :) )

When my coach said chop she means "Push" and not chopping in the long distance defense sense. And no, my Jpen touch is terrible compared to my shakehand...which is mediocre hahahaha. (I saw your other thread too btw).

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2018, 01:15 
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Danthespearton HQ wrote:
Oh, I didn't see the "half long" part. Even so, how is it possible for a flat hit to bounce like that? Wouldn't it bounce pretty high? I eagerly await the reply of the Holy Chtet.


It happens, usually on passive shots like blocks, or serve returns. For example, you serve no spin, they return no-spin but half long. Or some folks block with a technique that sends back no spin or sidespin, and these are "flat" in trajectory. In fact, if Ma Xin is playing vs. another penhold that does a lot of TBP, TBP blocks often have flat trajectories, sometimes side (to deal with the spin). Even some shakehanders do a downward motion on blocks to add some chop...these will come back flat, especially if they have a good loose grip.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2018, 08:06 
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Ma_Xin wrote:
Interesting. Does the coach teach an all-around style of play? I never thought of chops as a proper penhold move (except for emergencies). :) And I noticed you play Jpen. Must take insane touch? (I like very hard Chinese rubbers. I got a G-max/05 but it was uncontrollable, story for another thread.)

That said, it's not bad for these half long balls. I agree it's a matter of placing the right bat angle. I don't do it well sometimes against weak backspins either and the ball pops up.

These half-long balls probably land around the edge on second bounce. I'm decent at over-the-table loops actually...I don't flip a lot like they do on TV. For me I tend to have only one reaction, to loop, keeping the decision simple. The issue of popping up the ball probably comes down to mentality...if I'm in a more passive mode trying to block etc. it will happen, but not when I'm prepared to FH anything. (Granted, I may loop kill it into the net. :) )


May be you can try pushing it more actively, put as much backspin on it as possible; it should make it more difficult for your opponent to attack even if your push is slightly high.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2018, 09:20 
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Japsican wrote:
Danthespearton HQ wrote:
Oh, I didn't see the "half long" part. Even so, how is it possible for a flat hit to bounce like that? Wouldn't it bounce pretty high? I eagerly await the reply of the Holy Chtet.


It happens, usually on passive shots like blocks, or serve returns. For example, you serve no spin, they return no-spin but half long. Or some folks block with a technique that sends back no spin or sidespin, and these are "flat" in trajectory. In fact, if Ma Xin is playing vs. another penhold that does a lot of TBP, TBP blocks often have flat trajectories, sometimes side (to deal with the spin). Even some shakehanders do a downward motion on blocks to add some chop...these will come back flat, especially if they have a good loose grip.

Ooooh. Thanks for clearing things up; with those kind of balls, as hcinnkhg said, I try to push very actively and put as much backspin as I can while trying to place it as deep as I can, regardless of height (although preferably the ball would be low). It works more than it fails, so I'm pretty happy :P

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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 10:47 
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Japsican wrote:
LordCope wrote:
Half-long balls can always be looped, and should be looped, if your game style is to attack first.

Set up a robot to deliver a half-long ball, and practice looping close to the table, watching the ball. It's nerve-wracking because you are very close to the table, and fear you might damage your equipment or your hand.

Better still, find someone skilled at multiball, and get them to feed you short, half-long and long balls, randomly. I've done this drill a number of times - it starts out very very hard, but after a few hours (not straight, obviously!) you will start learning to spot half-long balls and attack them. This is particularly valuable for service return, as most people's short serves really aren't very short and often stray to half-long, and can be attacked.

I agree that they should be attacked if you are comfortable, but because they are at their highest point 3/4 on your side of the table, and he described these as "Low" and "No spin." To me it is probably better to flick them shortly after the bounce...but we could be splitting hairs here. If it's going to bounce just after the edge, I tend to loop those because your bat trajectory usually starts below the table. Just short, I tend to flick those because you bat trajectory starts above the height of the table (or else you'll hit the edge). Deciding which one they are is difficult because you have to act before it gets to the edge. And we've all done it, we decide we're going to loop a half-long ball thinking it's going to just go past the edge, only to find out that it bounces twice on the edge...and we either wiff or stop the swing and look at our opponent dejected. Haha...at least I do.

Could all be semantics.


I agree they should be looped based on my style. Would rather make a few mistakes sometimes but keep up the aggression. I'll multi-ball once I have a stable partner.

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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2018, 10:51 
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Danthespearton HQ wrote:
Japsican wrote:
Danthespearton HQ wrote:
Oh, I didn't see the "half long" part. Even so, how is it possible for a flat hit to bounce like that? Wouldn't it bounce pretty high? I eagerly await the reply of the Holy Chtet.


It happens, usually on passive shots like blocks, or serve returns. For example, you serve no spin, they return no-spin but half long. Or some folks block with a technique that sends back no spin or sidespin, and these are "flat" in trajectory. In fact, if Ma Xin is playing vs. another penhold that does a lot of TBP, TBP blocks often have flat trajectories, sometimes side (to deal with the spin). Even some shakehanders do a downward motion on blocks to add some chop...these will come back flat, especially if they have a good loose grip.

Ooooh. Thanks for clearing things up; with those kind of balls, as hcinnkhg said, I try to push very actively and put as much backspin as I can while trying to place it as deep as I can, regardless of height (although preferably the ball would be low). It works more than it fails, so I'm pretty happy :P


This works very well sometimes against the right people. I'd have trouble myself on receiving end.

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PostPosted: 23 Jan 2018, 10:43 
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Ma_Xin wrote:
Danthespearton HQ wrote:
Japsican wrote:
It happens, usually on passive shots like blocks, or serve returns. For example, you serve no spin, they return no-spin but half long. Or some folks block with a technique that sends back no spin or sidespin, and these are "flat" in trajectory. In fact, if Ma Xin is playing vs. another penhold that does a lot of TBP, TBP blocks often have flat trajectories, sometimes side (to deal with the spin). Even some shakehanders do a downward motion on blocks to add some chop...these will come back flat, especially if they have a good loose grip.

Ooooh. Thanks for clearing things up; with those kind of balls, as hcinnkhg said, I try to push very actively and put as much backspin as I can while trying to place it as deep as I can, regardless of height (although preferably the ball would be low). It works more than it fails, so I'm pretty happy :P


This works very well sometimes against the right people. I'd have trouble myself on receiving end.

Haha, I'm a defender (albeit a bad one) so for me, I almost always push close to the table. Honestly though, I dunno what my style really is.

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PostPosted: 23 Jan 2018, 23:42 
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Danthespearton HQ wrote:
Haha, I'm a defender (albeit a bad one) so for me, I almost always push close to the table. Honestly though, I dunno what my style really is.

You and me both. :P

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