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 Post subject: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2015, 14:12 
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Hey everyone! Some of you may have already seen my improvement thread over at MYTT here:

http://mytabletennis.net/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=68145&title=ringers-improvement-thread-video


Since this is an actual blog section, I thought I would start posting any updates (which are few and far between) over here instead of at MYTT. Lately, I've been working more on my backhand:

https://youtu.be/7GgukBSUB9Y


I feel that use of the wrist, overall relaxation, and technical understanding of the stroke has improved. I still have trouble coordinating the backswing and foreward swing at times, and it still looks like I'm hitting the ball instead of spinning it. Overall, I'm surprised at how much ball speed one can generate out of this technique. Pretty crazy that when I time them properly my fastest backhands are faster than my fastest forehands.


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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2015, 19:08 
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Good on you for starting a blog Ringer84 :up:

I think you backhand stroke looks very good!

Something you might want to incorporate in your practice, is to go back to a neutral position after each stroke, so that you can be ready for any return. This takes little effort after your stroke, and it's vital to train your brain to do this automatically.

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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 30 Aug 2015, 19:31 
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Yep, very nice, i think that's the next step for me, you make it look quite simple, good job.

Do you have a rating?

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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2015, 00:09 
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Hey, my good friend. Wanted to come play Columbia and hit with you but some guys in NY want to meet. May be able to do Sunday tho.

I like the video but IMO, you are going too fast. But maybe It's because I play like an old spin based player in practice. Brush for more spin. My experience is that driving easy balls is easy but spinning tricky balls is harder but everyone likes to practice easy stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2015, 08:42 
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haggisv wrote:
Good on you for starting a blog Ringer84 :up:

I think you backhand stroke looks very good!

Something you might want to incorporate in your practice, is to go back to a neutral position after each stroke, so that you can be ready for any return. This takes little effort after your stroke, and it's vital to train your brain to do this automatically.

Thanks haggis. That's always sound advice! Lately I've been adding in some random and half-random FH/BH transition drills to help with my recovery between shots. It's on these static type block drills where I always seem to forget about recovery. Hopefully as I improve, i'll be doing more game type and random drills that force me to recover properly.

Cobalt, thanks for stopping by. My USATT rating is a little below 1800.


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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2015, 08:47 
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NextLevel wrote:
Hey, my good friend. Wanted to come play Columbia and hit with you but some guys in NY want to meet. May be able to do Sunday tho.

I like the video but IMO, you are going too fast. But maybe It's because I play like an old spin based player in practice. Brush for more spin. My experience is that driving easy balls is easy but spinning tricky balls is harder but everyone likes to practice easy stuff.

NL,

No problem about Colombia. I'm still not 100 porcent sure I'll even be there, but I'm planning on it. I'll be doing something in WV on Sunday.

Agreed that I need to spin the ball more. Would you recommend that I take a step off the table to do this? Or continue to hit the ball off the bounce? I seem to have alot of trouble generating good spin when the ball is still on the rise, coming upwards into the racket.

Thanks guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 31 Aug 2015, 21:33 
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Yeah, it's not easy to generate brush off the bounce but it's about the timing and touch, not how far you are off the table. Remember, one of the best ways to build your stroke is to drop the ball on the table and just do it. The key close to the table is to play your stroke forward and over the ball. You really aren't that close to the table here. What I am saying is that for the most part, you seem to be trying to rip the ball, while you really should be trying to brush the ball with varying degrees of arc (or really, spin, not so much arc). You have a few good spin shots in there, but not enough. Don't let Brett's speed and timing seduce you - pro level timing takes years to develop and is built through hours most people don't have.

I think your feeder tells you the same thing. The fact that some of your balls were going into the net or off the table in a straight line is a sign that you are not generating enough spin. Remember that spin comes from swinging at the right speed to let the ball sink into the rubber, stretch it and shoot out. When the ball is high, we need less spin and more pace to create trouble as a general rule. When the ball is lower, we need more spin for safety.

The other thing to remember is that you have to learn to manipulate incoming speed and spin at all distances and to be able to produce vary degrees of spin and speed at all distances. Just give the ball a bit more arc. Spin it more slowly rather than hitting it so fast. Don't swing fast at fast balls. Use the incoming pace to spin the ball.

As a general rule, start slow. Feel the ball. Then ramp up as your timing improves. Or you can have one set out of 5-10 where you go at max pace, but the rest should be at a slower, controllable pace. Unless you are facing weak opponents, you aren't going to be wiping out high balls. You are going to be spinning to stay consistent.

Look at this match - how many balls were wiped out at the speed you are swinging at? In general, because of the wrist movement, the backhand topspin for most people should be fundamentally a spin stroke and then you build up from there. Your goal should be extreme spin. Even if the ball is snail paced. Because even your fastest shots should be fizzing with spin unless your timing is so good you don't need the spin any way.


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Last edited by NextLevel on 03 Sep 2015, 01:59, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2015, 10:25 
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Hey Ringer, I'm the one squirreling up everyone's plans. I am trying to get an epic gathering in NYC, since I have an important Korean TT tourney there Labor Day.

I will look at your vid and comment, you saw I'm back in business from this weekend's results and I credit an improved close to the table BH off the bounce or on the rise without a lot of wrist for this. I will look at the vid and explain some of the bio-mechanics about it later.

Kim Jung Hoon (the name of the Korean pro whose blade I use) made some vids form Nexy Korea (Tak9.com) that I gisted mostly on TTD but also one or two on MyTT. I credit thinking about KJH's no-nonsense move direct to ball and impact inside zone and his soft BH defense for a lot of my improvement lose to the table.

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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 01 Sep 2015, 11:00 
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Saw Ringer's Bh clip a few times and toss out a disclaimer or three.

There are many different BH shots and each one depends on the ball given, one's position, one's intent, one's balance, one's transfer of power, and the ability to continue the rally. This leads to many possible BH shots and there is NOT a single BH shot that is the RIGHT shot all the time.

There are some general things though, like... HIT if ball is higher, and spin it if it is lower than net, take off bounce if possible, use less wrist vs incoming fast ball if close to table (isn't much time to use full wrist - too inconsistent)...

I think Next Level made the number one point in that one should start with slower pace and use progression to build consistency, good timing, balance, use of body, balance and the like.

My overall opinion is the shot shown in this vid is appropriate for finishing on BH wing a loose ball that comes without much spin or pace, but is kinda deep or only half depth. In this vid, Ringer doesn't have to move a whole lot and that is good for the early stages of developing the basic stroke. This kind of BH shot he is showing in the vid might be better for when he is a couple feet or so off the table and has more time to recover.

I think Ringer is using WAY too much arm to generate the nice pace he is making. I think he is relying on his good upper body and arm to make the arm move. I think in a real bang bang BH to BH rally close to the table Ringer would land one, maybe two max of these shots. maybe at 1800 level that is all it would take, so not bad, but even some 1500 level players can block well. I think the excessive long arm movement to impact (and the long follow through) is causing the stroke to take too much time to recover. maybe he doesn't need to recover if the shot he is developing wins the point. I think there is a way for him to greatly shorten the stroke and produce even MORE power.

it is all a matter if creating some kind of kinetic energy... a mini step forward to the ball, a short explosive hip and or short shoulder turn, a small rise from a crouch... all of these are ways to start the energy needed for an efficient TRANSFER of power. TRANSFER of power is important. Ringer is making power, but it takes a gad-aweful long time to do so and it is not repeatable too much in a fast rally close to the table.

The key is to start the movement and allow it to flow (wide base proper crouch and balance required) to lower arm and make a very short movement of lower arm with a direct path to ball with solid impact. The whole stroke requires zero backswing and uses a very short path with very quick and smooth acceleration. The wrist and arm are loose at the start and firm up right before and during impact. This firmness of grip before and at impact is important. The result is a very well struck BANG impact ball that moves out very smartly and allows you a very quick reset. The wrist is not locked up at any point and you are actually using a bit of it, but it is only at the very end and just a little. The firming up of the grip just before impact stops you from using too much wrist and that is OK. The intent is not to make a super spinny shot, you are going for speed and time pressure. Not too many people will be able to hang vs you in BH to BH bang bang rallies if you can keep on banging it to their BH over and over at that pace at will. There is a variation where you use a waist pivot and a small reduction in pace to re-direct the ball down the opponent's FH line for a winner if he can hang for 3 of your fast hits.

This kind of BH fast shot can be employed very quickly, intuitively, is repeatable, and very flexible in the position in which you find yourself. if the ball is a little high and short, step in and BANG short arm it and it can be faster than some people's FH smash! If you are already up to the table is at its height halfway over table, you can extend your hitting zone to the front by moving shoulder and elbow forward into position, stabilize them quickly and use that kinetic energy to activate the lower arm snap for the hit. You have an additional 12-15 inch zone of possibility in front of your normal optimal impact zone without taking a step, and much more if you take a step forward to the ball.

That is my quick breakdown of a fast BH close to the table.

If your goal is making more spin when you are closer to the table, then I would say use the same kind of power transfer, but take it off the bounce or soon on the rise with LOOSER wrist and use a couple inches of wrist at impact and make only a medium to medium fast loop at first to allow you to recover. Aim for good depth and decent spin.

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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 02 Sep 2015, 07:55 
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Here is one of the videos I believe is inspiring Ringer84 - notice the amount of visible spin Brett is getting.


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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2015, 00:59 
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NL and Der_Echte,

Thanks to both of you for your suggestions as always. I should probably post some video of me playing an actual match, since in an actual match I tend to brush the ball more often. I'm not sure why I try to murder the ball in training - just a bad habit I've developed over the years I suppose.

It's interesting to me that you are both BH masters (WHO WAS THE ORIGINAL BH-MAN?!?!), but technique wise there are some differences between you two. I've watched the Kim Jung Hoon video and the way that he plays his close to the table BH is quite different to what is taught by Henzell/Brett Clarke on TTedge. To be honest, I find it almost impossible to fully utilize my wrist and get it all the way through without also using a decent bit of upper arm.

It's true that I'm going for too much ball speed here, but is my stroke significantly larger than what henzell is doing?

http://youtubedoubler.com/glYc

I once asked Brett Clarke about Henzell's large swing and whether or not he felt that inhibited his ability to recover or play a follow-up forehand, and his response was that "No, because Henzell's racket speed is so fast and he is so relaxed that he naturally snaps back into position." I'm not sure if my swing is larger than Henzell's, but I do not appear to snap back into position quite the way he does.


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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2015, 01:52 
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My personal view of TT technique is avoid obsessing over details unless something is seriously flawed in the beginning. As a British coach who I strongly agree with said, just set out the parameters and eventually, within those parameters, people will develop individual technique. So going into the detail of this stroke vs. that stroke is interesting, but to me is a waste of time given how many technically correct approaches there are within the parameters. But let me do my best attempt.

I for one consider KJH's stroke very wristy and whippy and it's the more Asian/compact backhand, which is different from the more European backhand that Henzell uses. Both are good strokes (the European one tends to *feel* more like a whip and the Asian one *feels* more like a punch, and I mean this for both their loops and drives/punch blocks) and I tend to go back and forth between both of them because of my mixed backhand development and sometimes unconsciously too.

My view is that the simplest way to be forced to shorten a stroke is to take on a faster multiball/feeder pace over many shots. Then you will find ways of shortening the stroke while getting power from sources similar to what you have with the larger stroke, and then if you have an injury issue or feel challenged, discuss the issue with a coach for technical details or review your tape. In fact, my close to the table backhand actually became more terrifying after I started developing my off the table backhand because I learned how to get more power into my close to the table backhand from doing it for my off the table backhand. What I find is that away from the table, my backhand begins to feel more like a punch, but close to the table, especially on serve return, it is more like a whip. I used the punch analogy for way too long for my backhand away from the table to go fully to the whip analogy but I try everyday. But I have seen Samsonov whip backhands from way off the table so I know that my approach is not the only one.

If you are using an OFF blade/setup, focus on spinning the ball and let the blade regulate the pace.

As for the snapping back, it does happen when you do the stroke you shadow - it's happens so fast that it is unconscious, but I can see it and if you look at it, you can too, though you don't always do the stroke you shadow. Moreover, your technique is not as similar to William's as you think it is, and even if it is partly because you are trying too hard to drive the ball, there is nothing wrong with that. You may be able to get more spin by incorporating the greater degrees of wrist rotation into your shot, but like all things, it takes time and relaxation. And I see enough in your current shot to get good spin if you focused on that. When you focus on spin, the timing for spin drives gets better as you build up to it, though you do have to build up to it. Too many learners think its the other way round, including a past version of myself. Don't join them in making that mistake. Practicing drives doesn't make your spin timing in matches better - it actually makes it worse on tricky balls. It makes more sense to practice them (spin vs drives on loops) in the proportion that is closer to what you may see in matches, which is where my 80-20 or 90-10 rule comes from, though your style may be different.

BTW, for quick countering, you can use a much shorter version of William's stroke which is what he uses during warmups (a backhand kick version of his stroke). Or you can use KJH's version. It all depends on what suits you. Just don't obsess over the details - learn the general parameters, avoid the big mistakes and do what comes naturally and injury free.

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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2015, 12:11 
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I'd agree with NL saying there are many effective ways to play a shot. KJH always says this somewhere in each vid. I really like how he applies his advice to each situation to keep it real.

I've been on the other end of KJH's BH loops and he can bring the spin when he wants to, he just prefers to leave the big stroke and big wrist movement out of the equation in fast BH close to table. KJH emphasizes a direct path to the ball and no wasted excess arm movement. You do not need to move the upper arm along with lower arm to generate pace and acceleration. The upper arm can be used to make a hitting zone more to the front if you want. Away from table is the time to engage the big arm using the upper arm with wide base. Close to table you really have to be short and repeatable under pressure. Resetting is real important.

Once you get the hang of how to make some kinetic energy you make turn into good power transfer, you can really make it powerful with a very short stroke requiring practically zero backswing. What I see Coach Clarke show in his TICK WHIP is essentially doing the same thing: starting a motion, then transferring kinetic energy at the right time with the different muscles working and accelerating rapidly. You gotta start out loose or it is now way city.

I also agree with NL that the spinnier BH close to the table required much more touch and position with looser wrist. That is some serious touch to go with that order of good balance position and timing.

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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2015, 17:19 
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Ringer, here is a video I made for you. IT's what I do to keep my spin going. Around the 3:30 mark or so, I rip a few harder but you can see the spin focus is still in the stroke, to the point that even when I hit the net, the ball rolls over when it bounces off. The balls are very light topspin/no spin from the robot so the spin is largely from my stroke.


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 Post subject: Re: Ringer's Blog
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2015, 00:08 
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Nextlevel,

Really appreciate you taking the time to make this for me. Thanks! Right now I can only watch the video on my phone. I'll take another look and comment later tonight when I get back to the house and can see a little better.

I was unable to make it out to the Colombia tournament today, but I did play in the Friday night league in Gaithersburg last night. Believe it or not, it was the first time I've ever played in a league in my life. I lost every match except one, so the results were not particularly good but still a great learning experience.

Will try to comment more later.


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