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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 03:00 
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Hi everyone,

I recently hurt my back playing vs an unorthodox penhold player with inverted fh and long pips backhand--went for a loop vs a dead LP shot of his and pulled the lower back. Haven't done anything TT related for 2 weeks now (well actually, i tested the waters one week after the injury and reinjured myself a bit so I am gonna wait a bit longer this time...)

I've been trying to loosen up my lower back a bit with some yoga and stretches, but it seems like it will be a long process. My hamstrings are also really tight and I have been working on those as well. The lower back doesn't hurt anymore (it didn't hurt after the 1 week mark from injury either...), but I don't want this to be a chronic injury so I am gonna wait a bit longer before testing the waters again and am continuing with the stretching routines and yoga... I hate not being able to play though so I am jogging on the treadmill a bit these days to incorporate some cardio.

Anyways... here's my most recent tournament matches from a month or so ago. I've posted on other forums and have gotten advice already, but I figure why not post here as well... :)

edit: removed all matches except last one

https://youtu.be/oRVxqhSV6sM


With the help of OOAK, my USATT rating will become... OVER NINE THOUSAND!!!!! (https://youtu.be/SiMHTK15Pik)

or a modest over two thousand would do too... ;)


Last edited by aerial on 03 Feb 2016, 01:47, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 03:50 
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What is your rating in the videos?


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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 04:33 
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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 13:42 
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You have a good service action for your level and you need to keep refining that,but it would pay you to incorporate some other serves into your game for variation. Something from the BH possibly, or a tomahawk serve. Unfortunately after your serve your game goes downhill from there mostly from what I see. Your shots are brimming with potential, but there is no consistency in them and no great thought in shot selection. You need to relax a little and take more time on your shots. Don't be quite so eager to get rid of the ball. As the ball comes to you relish that its your turn to impart your game and strategy and not just get rid of it, hoping it will land first, and second that your opponent will be troubled by it. Your loop has great potential, but you need to ensure you get the right touch on the ball. At the moment one time you hit it too thick and it goes long, then you hit too thin and you leave the ball falling off your bat.Aim to take the ball more slowly onto your bat and hit it with consistent roll. Speed with the loops will come once you really develop and groove your ball contact. For now, just aim to contact it much the same each time and get the loop to land. If your opponent kills it, doesn't matter, so long as you develop the shot more and more.

Oh and your injury is not the fault of your pips opponent, it comes back to you over-trying in your shots. If you relax with it and build things slowly, you're less likely to injure yourself. Good luck with the injury and getting back into the game.

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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 14:09 
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In a few of the hard drive that you are performing it looks as you are throwing your hips forward into the stroke. A sharp motion like that could stress the lower back and could possibly be the cause of the injury.

If you haven't already, it would be good to see a massage therapist to get some remedial and recovery work done, also to work on strengthening the areas of the core that help support the torso and therefore reduce the strain on the muscles in the lower back.

As for the technique I would suggest getting some coaching in that area so you can remove that positional flaw from the forehand, this should also reduce the risk of injury here as the body position is corrected in that area. The coaching will also reduce the time it takes to correct the stroke compared to doing it yourself.

I hope the recovery goes well and that you are able to get back to the game injury free.

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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 14:14 
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I really like that you try to attack shots persistant, and not giving up because you missed some early on.
What you need to concentrate on is getting these balls on the table, as it seems too many are going over the end. Perhaps you're concentrating too much on hitting a winner, rather than placing it well. If you try and focus more on spinning the ball rather than getting speed, I think you're find you'll get a lot more balls on the table, and your opponents at this level probably have just as much trouble with spin as with speed.

Great to see you posting videos though! :up: :up: :up:

PS I have embedded your videos so it's easier for us to see them. Edit your own post to see how it's done. ;)

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PostPosted: 11 Nov 2015, 23:31 
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thanks everyone!

I never imagined I would injure myself off of my forehand loop... does it really look like I throw my back into it like a chicken-wing type loop? I always felt I tried to incorporate more legs and weight transfer instead of throwing myself into the ball.

I'm too young to be too old to play this sport :|


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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2015, 00:41 
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You play with a lot of energy and motion, so I can see how you might throw your back out a little. You may not be too old to play this sport, but still be old enough to need a good warmup away from the table before you start, if you aren't already doing that.

I only watched the last match with Dimitriy. We don't have any 1400s where I live who play as well as you. Your BH open vs underspin is awesome. I know you play it from all over the table, but maybe work on bringing your FH opener up to the same level. You pushed some long underspins to your FH. Also he started serving those tomahawk top/sidespins to your BH and it took a long time to adjust. So practice against those spins too, not exclusively underspin.

Your movement is so much better than mine I shouldn't say anything. One thing that stood out in longer points was you step back to your comfortable looping distance right away, and then on each hit you step back again. In some long points you ended up way far back from the table. Try to set your distance and hold there.


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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2015, 01:39 
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Hmm, I actually thought your BH was much more error prone compared to FH. You seem to favor it though, several times moving to receive with BH, only to lose point immediately.

You definitely had trouble with Dmitry's serve throughout the match (and I thought his toss was on the low side...). He also won most of pushing rallies when he decided to be more conservative, and you netted quite a few balls when you tried to loop his underspin on FH.

As others mentioned, you looked rushed, perhaps slowing down a bit and going for placement (into the body!) instead of speed would be helpful.

Overall, I think it could've been easily 3:1 win for you.

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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2015, 13:24 
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Only had a quick flick through the videos, firstly you're bouncing around on your feet when you have time to set up, and finishing your bouncing around too late. This is causing you to move your body to adjust for the shot last minute, most obvious in a ducking movement (esp on your fh) or post-contact movement bounce to compensate for leaning. The bounce is destabilising your upper body (due to up/down movement), lowering your accuracy and sapping power from your shot.

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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2015, 22:45 
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Aerial, I gave you my comments at TTD, but I would like you to read what HaggisV said as well. Too often, people are trying to hit the ball hard or softly. Whenever I teach or learn to do a stroke, I like to start slow and start with feeling but with solid contact. I try to spin the ball as short as possible rather than with pace and off the table. I use a very relaxed grip on my racket and swing to get full contact but not hard. I can raise the pressure of my grip and increase it over time or I can stay where I am. I can also increase the swing speed but I make sure all my body parts are in sync as I raise the speed. I find that in matches, I will naturally grip the racket tighter so playing relaxed and with some margin is extremely helpful as one of many elements of practice. IT's range training and you do need to learn to have good technique at various stroke speeds.

Over time, you learn that you impart more spin on the ball by exposing a greater surface area of your racket to the ball through your spin stroke, all other things being equal. This is why it is fairly sad that lower rated players are trying to get rid of the ball as quickly as possible or trying to touch it as softly as possible when the key to learning to control it so simple loop it with a good stroke with various degrees of contact and speed.

One of my favorite parts of the funniest match of all time is this one at 5 mins 8 secs in:

https://youtu.be/ZS3O0OOn0a0?t=308

You don't have to go that slow, but I think it makes the point that those guys could play TT at Taichi speeds and still play pretty well.

In fact, watching the video and looking at how controlled all their shots are once they go into exhibition mode gives you a idea of how much range those guys have and how easily they could beat you without playing a single power loop as they could simply put the ball at points on the table that make it hard for you to play any strokes. Of course, these are pros, and I usually don't like pointing to pros, but the point is that power is not the only thing that wins points and when I say you should stop love-tapping the ball, I am saying you should do a good spin stroke, not that you should kill the ball as hard as you can.

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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2015, 00:07 
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so to cap off this year, I went on a relatively impromptu road-trip with the girlfriend to philadelphia--of course I wanted to get some TT action along the way and I ended up in none other than NextLevel's home-club!

I had seen this club on video from this site http://www.csnphilly.com/video_content_ ... ennis-club earlier this year and it looked like a great club--and it was.

a big thanks to NL for even hosting me as I did not have any cash on me...!

Here's a video of the training session NL gave me, I wanted to originally include subtitles however I am using a new camcorder I recently bought and my computer's processing speed can no longer keep up and it takes literally 2 minutes to even make a cut in the video... so I just uploaded it raw and did some annotations via youtube comments.

https://youtu.be/axGW2C0l02o


after this session I have come to realize that I really still play like a junior player would that recently learned how to attack--all I do is want to hit the ball hard and the gears that I can play well in seem to all be on the high-end in terms of putting pace on the ball. When I try to slow down it feels completely wrong and I feel like I will miss but with NL's guidance on spin and control I think I will improve my level. I am glad I took a video of this because I feel like a lot of my problems--maybe even all of them were highlighted in the video.

moving forward, I think I have a good idea on improving the forehand, but I still feel pretty lost on the backhand. the technique NL was showing me with the circular motion around the elbow makes me feel weird in my shoulder, like I would possibly pull something there if I continued doing the stroke like that. For the backhand side do you guys extend out your shoulder or is it relatively neutral? I feel like I need to bring my shoulder out to bring my elbow out but then it feels tense easily after a couple of shots and I can sense the tightness which is not a good thing...

Looking at my older videos my backhand flick seems to be close to the technique NL was teaching me but then when I try to loop or drive it looks like i extend my arm more straight--I think NL was saying that that technique would cause tennis elbow in the future but in all honesty I feel better making the arm straight... I must be doing something wrong in the shoulder to make me feel this way.

One last thing for the backhand... so should a drive shot also be like that? A circular looping motion but the contact is just more direct instead of brushing?

Backhand is hard. Thanks again NL.

I hope to break 2000 by next year around this time... :)


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PostPosted: 31 Dec 2015, 03:25 
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aerial wrote:
so to cap off this year, I went on a relatively impromptu road-trip with the girlfriend to philadelphia--of course I wanted to get some TT action along the way and I ended up in none other than NextLevel's home-club!

I had seen this club on video from this site http://www.csnphilly.com/video_content_ ... ennis-club earlier this year and it looked like a great club--and it was.

a big thanks to NL for even hosting me as I did not have any cash on me...!

Here's a video of the training session NL gave me, I wanted to originally include subtitles however I am using a new camcorder I recently bought and my computer's processing speed can no longer keep up and it takes literally 2 minutes to even make a cut in the video... so I just uploaded it raw and did some annotations via youtube comments.

https://youtu.be/axGW2C0l02o


after this session I have come to realize that I really still play like a junior player would that recently learned how to attack--all I do is want to hit the ball hard and the gears that I can play well in seem to all be on the high-end in terms of putting pace on the ball. When I try to slow down it feels completely wrong and I feel like I will miss but with NL's guidance on spin and control I think I will improve my level. I am glad I took a video of this because I feel like a lot of my problems--maybe even all of them were highlighted in the video.

moving forward, I think I have a good idea on improving the forehand, but I still feel pretty lost on the backhand. the technique NL was showing me with the circular motion around the elbow makes me feel weird in my shoulder, like I would possibly pull something there if I continued doing the stroke like that. For the backhand side do you guys extend out your shoulder or is it relatively neutral? I feel like I need to bring my shoulder out to bring my elbow out but then it feels tense easily after a couple of shots and I can sense the tightness which is not a good thing...

Looking at my older videos my backhand flick seems to be close to the technique NL was teaching me but then when I try to loop or drive it looks like i extend my arm more straight--I think NL was saying that that technique would cause tennis elbow in the future but in all honesty I feel better making the arm straight... I must be doing something wrong in the shoulder to make me feel this way.

One last thing for the backhand... so should a drive shot also be like that? A circular looping motion but the contact is just more direct instead of brushing?

Backhand is hard. Thanks again NL.

I hope to break 2000 by next year around this time... :)


Thanks, aerial.

If you yank the elbow too hard (and it seems you have a tendency to get your wrist snap by yanking your elbow/upper arm), sometimes, the over rotation of the lower arm will cause you to hurt something. So I tend to recommend that people not do it. But everyone is different and learns what is possible or not possible on the BH in their own way.

As for the shoulder feeling, you might be overusing your upper arm/shoulder to get power. You should always try to keep the upper arm/shoulder movement tied to the movement of the upper body/core as much as possible in table tennis except for a few shots. You don't make enough money from this sport to do other wise. When you need power, use your core more on any stroke. Leave larger upper arm movements to the pros. Adhere to the general rule that if my upper arm moves, my core must have made it move or must move with it.

And in all things TT, relax. Tension is always a sign that something is wrong.

Hopefully, others will comment. It will help if you point them to specific points in the video for discussion.

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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2016, 00:29 
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what are your thoughts on first developing a high-percentage backhand drive (a shot I would define as one that has relatively little spin) instead of going straight into backhand looping?

Is the movement the same just with a more direct contact?

After looking at a couple of videos it seems like people may have varying definitions with a drive being a shot that carries light topspin versus a shot that is more of a flat-hit. In my head I always thought of it to be more flat.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoDTUlBznFo


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1jQOEaxTgA


At 0:30:25 when we switched over to the backhand side of things--I felt like the shot I was making was sort of neither here nor there in terms of drive vs loop. I try to differentiate them as much as possible since i consider them different shots, however I think that the two shots definitely feed off each other, sort of like if you have a good backhand loop you will also have a good backhand drive and possibly vice versa (once technique is locked down...)

At the very beginning of the video when we were doing forehand counters/forehand drives at 0:00:00 I felt like I spent a LOT of time during my early stages JUST drilling this over and over and over making sure I keep it on the table... I think perhaps if I follow a similar pattern for my backhand it might also help me with learning to loop, in the future... thoughts?


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PostPosted: 01 Jan 2016, 02:21 
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aerial wrote:
what are your thoughts on first developing a high-percentage backhand drive (a shot I would define as one that has relatively little spin) instead of going straight into backhand looping?

Is the movement the same just with a more direct contact?

After looking at a couple of videos it seems like people may have varying definitions with a drive being a shot that carries light topspin versus a shot that is more of a flat-hit. In my head I always thought of it to be more flat.


I don't think the difference is significant enough to worry about as long as your goal is not to brush/create topspin with your drive.

Quote:

At 0:30:25 when we switched over to the backhand side of things--I felt like the shot I was making was sort of neither here nor there in terms of drive vs loop. I try to differentiate them as much as possible since i consider them different shots, however I think that the two shots definitely feed off each other, sort of like if you have a good backhand loop you will also have a good backhand drive and possibly vice versa (once technique is locked down...)



Because you kept trying to put the ball on the table with your old technique and finish forward rather than emphasize the generation of spin. The ball quality was different enough that I accepted the result. I would have tried to work a bit more on the internal feeling were you conflicted.

In the end, you need the backhand drive to feed your flat backhand block. The reason you see Georgina Pota in that video is that she has some of the best allround backhand play in the world and she plays a drive game at the highest level with a few backhand topspins mixed in.

Drives are back to front with flat contact and limited vertical motion and shorter backswings. Topspins are brushes/slices with more vertical motion and larger backswings. This is all relative to the same incoming ball and to generate the same amount of speed (if we don't keep the incoming ball the same, then one will argue that certain counterloops/topspin blocks are not vertical or large, but they are always more vertical and larger than the drive/flat block that would produce a similar speed and put the ball on the table).

Quote:
At the very beginning of the video when we were doing forehand counters/forehand drives at 0:00:00 I felt like I spent a LOT of time during my early stages JUST drilling this over and over and over making sure I keep it on the table... I think perhaps if I follow a similar pattern for my backhand it might also help me with learning to loop, in the future... thoughts?


I believe so, with a focus on spin over speed in the beginning and then building up the pace over time with power and timing. Your forehand was sufficiently advanced that there was really nothing to fix anymore other than your understanding of how to use it on tricky balls and to understand you can vary the level of speed and spin based on how you read the ball. Your backhand is OKAY, but it's not going to evolve into a killer backhand as currently constructed because you can't do the same things with it that your forehand does. The goal is to do so, just with less power and range but more versatility over the table, and that is the goal for most people.

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