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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2016, 04:01 
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BRS wrote:
aerial wrote:

NL, thanks for all the good links-- what do you mean by your statement "spin up the ball technique"



In wilkinru's slo-mo video the very first shot is what NL means by spin up the ball. The ball is hit with heavy topspin and little pace. ML absolutely destroys that ball. Your opponents are not ML and will not handle it so well until you get far beyond 2000, if the topspin is truly heavy.


This is correct in the context of openers and is probably the most common use of the term. I just refer to spinny looping as spinning the ball or spinning up the ball so you can take the ball relatively late rather than try to drive it all the time. Some people play with more drive and depending on their footwork, opposition or level, that can work as well. But once you have confidence in your spin, you stop feeling the need to take every ball extremely early and you can take advantage of your sound strokes and focus on getting into the right position as you can adapt to the late ball as well as early ball. For example, most of the looping I do in the first 12 mins of this video I would refer to as spinning up the ball. I could take the ball earlier and drive it through the table more consistently but being able to take balls at this height and pace keeps me in the groove and makes sure I don't feel the world is coming to an end if I cannot get to the ball on time to drive it. Sometimes, you can play a better stroke if you take the ball later in its flight as you can spend more time generating a decent backswing (it is not the same thing as backing up from the table, BTW, though for heavy topspin which tends to kick towards you, it is easier to do if you take the ball further from the table -I play a lot of my third ball vs balls after the top of the bounce even close to the table).



IF you look at players in NY like Jerry Vazquez, this is still their most dominant stroke. He has been as high as 2300, I think, but definitely 2200+. IF you look at the warm up about 3 minutes in and even the match below, he doesn't take wild or large cuts at the ball. This is both a good thing and a bad thing obviously, depending on the opponent and the need to adapt, but of course, he can drive the ball a little more if he needs to. He outrates his opponent about 200 pts here but I have seen him play better players similarly.


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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2016, 04:39 
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aerial wrote:

NL, that video of Dewitt and McPherson kind of reminds me of my matches with Mike... it seems like McPherson had a rough time handling Dewitt's no-spin serves and no-spin blocks. I hate losing to soft-touch players but I must say Dewitt's touch looks very, very good...so just curious, when you look at this video, what would you say is going on and what are you trying to understand?


DeWitt is an interesting player to say the least, but yes, his topsheets are pretty worn and they enable him to get even more deception with his grip pressure and touch. But on paper, given age, strokes and physical fitness, DeWitt should not be able to compete at all. So how is he doing it? Just because he looks good? Just because of good touch?

Placement is critical - when McPherson is close to the table, many balls go to his middle or to the wide forehand and sometimes to the wide backhand. Driving the high ball through the table is critical (it is easier to predict the bounce height of a ball that arcs, even though it is harder to know its precise trajectory). The varying degrees of grip pressure to change spin and placement depth and because of that, the willingness to lose points in some scenarios to keep the opponent guessing (not smart IMO, but sometimes necessary depending on the opponent). The problems we all have reading DeWitt's unfamiliar strokes/technique.

Giving your opponent less time to react is important, but it is not the only way to slow him down. I lost to a touch player who plays off the table this weekend. Similar to DeWitt with dead rubbers but different style because of table distance. I blame the balls they use and the fact they turned off the AC early but we were both playing in the same conditions.

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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2016, 14:08 
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He was taking out his angst vs you, because of me from Apr... that dude can get it back in a way that warps time and you are off time attacking.

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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2016, 14:10 
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Like you, I also hate on the Joola 40+ poly ball something fierce. How the f the got by it to inspection and any standard of qc is astounding.

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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2016, 12:42 
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alright, well, all I have to say is my spin-loop is really lacking, and I get impatient and end up loop-driving the ball to oblivion and it feels a lot more satisfying.

when i spin loop, my placement is still not good and a lot of times it gets blocked back fast while i'm out of position still recovering from my shot.

i mean, it's still nice when i land that nice deep spin-loop and they get spun out, but i must admit it's a lot less satisfying then drive-looping and over-powering the opponent... the philosophy of the "spin protecting me" is still not clear in my mind's eye because I always think that my opponent can "punch through" my spin--sometimes on a spinny backhand they do get spun out but sometimes they can punch-through. are you saying that if my spin level rises, they won't be able to punch through it and will have to wait for the ball to drop a bit and spin it back?

after watching the vid of vasquez i can definitely see the benefits of having a strong spin-loop game.

i mean... i think i just need some more patience both literally and figuratively to beef up my spin-loop. i liken my current dilemma to my roots, in that I had always tried to take the ball at the top of the bounce--from what it seems like from watching videos and thinking about it the whole time at club today, it's best to take it a little below the highest point.. thoughts?


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2016, 12:50 
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would switching to a low-throw chinese rubber help with my taking the ball somewhat early for a spin-loop?

i feel like bluefire does have a pretty high throw... maybe i need to wait more for the ball to drop...


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PostPosted: 07 Jul 2016, 21:39 
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also, correct my mindset if it's wrong--when I serve top-spin or no-spin I am thinking of loop-driving, but when I serve backspin I am thinking of spin-looping...

are you saying I should be spin-looping everything instead?

I remember when I went to NL's club he was giving me high balls and I was driving them and he shook his head saying "I didn't have to do that"


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PostPosted: 08 Jul 2016, 02:05 
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aerial,

Lots of good questions. Let's get the easy ones sorted out.

1. No, equipment will not fix the problem.
2. Learning to spin is both an end and means to an end.
As part of a process, if you want to hit the ball harder with consistency, learning to hit the ball with spin builds the timing to hit the ball harder more consistently. It also lets you know that you don't have to get to the ball extremely early to play a decent shot.
As an end, heavy topspin bothers opponents and lets you open when the ball is tricky (below net neight or lacking spin to borrow) so it can be used to play shots that can win points or set up shots to win points.
3. Better players know how to adjust to the levels of spin weaker players give them if the weaker players are going for max spin and speed or max spin (unless the weaker player is especially talented at spin). But sometimes, it pays for a weaker player to put everything into max spin to produce a quality of ball that they would not be able to produce if they went with both max speed and spin. As a general rule, the better the player, the higher the levels of spin he can manipulate safely.
4. There will always be a level of player who can punch through your spin. The question is whether you are able to recover and respin consistently or you are a one shot wonder. And if they can punch it, is it because you are putting it in their strike zone or they are just moving and reading it well enough to counter it?
5. Developing good spin strokes lets you play at your own pace. When I said you didn't need to drive the high ball, I don't mean you should not drive the high ball. What I mean is that the high ball is a ball that gives you many angles into the table and lots of locations to put it and you should not be attacking it as if you are the one under pressure. You should get into position and be thinking about where you want to put it, The fact that the opponent is in trouble will make them commit to defending and then you can decide what you want to do with the ball. You can drive it hard, but you can spin it wide, you can sometimes even carve it to play it short etc.

Also, your high ball drive was too flat. You can play spin drives vs high balls. It is a technique Brett talks about and which I like to use a lot (probably much more than I should).

If you get into the habit of playing as if you are under pressure during the point (which a drive mentality forces on lower rated players), you will continue to take shots at points where it might not be in your best interest to do so. One key to spinning is that you learn that you can hit the ball when you want to hit it, not because you feel you have to hit it. This might help you play further back from the table on third ball for example if you know your opponent is forced to return your serve long, or you might take more time to attack, because you don't have to rush to get the ball at its peak. One of the biggest adjustments I made as my loop improved was that I could loop more half long serves because I didn't have to take them at the top of the bounce. I could wait and let them come off the table, even if they were dropping after they came long and loop them from there.

But by all means, if you want to, feel free to loop drive all the time. You might get luck and figure out how to loop drive and get good spin but that has not been my experience at all.

When you serve you should be ready for the topspin and backspin return but should prepare more aggressively for what you expect your opponent to return. I believe there is a lot to be learned by learning to spin the topspin ball and drive the backspin ball, though the norm is the other way around. And you should master the norm. But after a serve, it should really be based on what you anticipate your opponent to return. I tend to loop on both sides unless the ball is high. But again, a high ball doesn't have to be killed. It just means you have more angles into the table to play a faster and harder to read return. One of the things that big D did very well when he started beating me was that he started patiently taking short high balls toi his forehand with sidespin balls to my wide forehand. Being able to do that is patience. Smashing the ball is not.

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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2016, 00:46 
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thanks nl, you write the best essays for me to read :)

so there's this new guy at the syracuse club and I was giving him some pointers on loose grip and spinning the ball--so I was thinking in terms of the one blocking, how does grip tightness affect my blocking ability? from when I am thinking about it in my mind's eye--I would think I want a loose-grip on spinny shots and a tighter one on driving shots.


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PostPosted: 09 Jul 2016, 02:23 
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Blocking is all about what the ball needs. If it is a spinny (Slow) shot, the most important thing is your racket angle and keeping it fairly stable or over the ball. A covering motion or a whip into the ball helps. IT could be with soft hards or with relatively firm grip. But if you get the angle completely wrong, you had better have a precise whip into the ball.

For faster balls, you don;'t need pace so you need to cushion or reduce the ball speed unless you have line of sight to where you are blocking to or the ball is spiny and you can get the ball to dip using the incoming spin.

Those are my thoughts. For blocking, the most important thing is to have a good counterhit and to not lift upwards into the heavy topspin ball. Try to gauge the trajectory and height of the ball early. Grip tension is important, but I think having the right motion for the block is even more important.

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PostPosted: 10 Jul 2016, 02:15 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19xs0EqQpQo


all I gotta say after watching that is... spin is king...


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PostPosted: 10 Jul 2016, 13:09 
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What did you like about the matches?

You can play that way, its just that you can't do it all at once and you need to build up to it. As crappy as my game may look, it's just a lesser version of it.

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PostPosted: 10 Jul 2016, 13:38 
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For when I am at the table, my decision making process is real simple for deciding whether to spin real heavy/slow or look-kill Rambo style.

If I serve and get a long underspin that isn't bouncing real high, I try to spin the cover off the ball and place it at their body, to wide FH, or down their BH (assuming a ball coming to my FH.

If I serve a dead ball that looks like under, I usually get a dead ball bumped middle depth or kinda deep on my FH side. These are usually net high or a tad over the net. I will loop kill those down the BH line if it is open, or rip it cross-court.

If I serve a sneaky topspin, no matter what the return is, I am looking for the kill.

When opponent serves long underspin, I am trying to spin it real heavy. Goal is to land it real deep or real shallow. Both depths work well.

When opponent serves a half-long no-spin, I play it safe and try for 50 percent everything (graze-solid-power) to try for a medium arcing ball loaded with spin landing near endline. I usually get a block and look to kill it next ball.

If opponent serves topspin long and I see it in time, I drive it or loopdrive it.

Away from table is where what NL says makes good sense and can apply to your game to give you flexibility. You don't have to rush.

If opponent hits a fast loop right at my elbow, I bend to the side, loosen my wrist, and take hte ball on the side a little to make a corkscrew sidespin hookshot that hooks away to wide FH lands real shallow near sideline near net, then kicks away to even moar wide FH mission impossible zone.

A lot of the time, just loosening your grip at impact, staying loose, and taking your time to impact the ball with control... that can save your bacon a lot at mid distance and long distance.

Many high level amature Koreans, when away from table and faced with a soft incoming ball that is already falling a foot or more below table (a difficult ball to strongly attack and land when too far back) they will make a soft wrist and use reduced power to make a light to medium topspin ball that barely crosses over the net, lands, then kicks unpredictably. Often, opponent mis-reads the ball and tries to Rambo attack - often mistiming the ball or mis-reading the spin on their way to a failure. The key to that shot is touch, timing, and knowing at what height to impact the ball so the top os the arc is barely above net. It is kinda like a roller shot, but at net height.

Having a soft wrist and deciding to lightly spin the ball is a good decision often.

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PostPosted: 11 Jul 2016, 02:03 
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My thought process on killing the ball is very simple - most people do it with poor technique, myself included, and my high ball technique is above average.

Learning to spin the ball to place it on the table is a technical shot. The more you use good technical shots in table tennis, the better your game will get, no matter how slow or fast such technical shots are. The slow ones will get faster with time and practice, it just works that way. The fast ones tend to be poor when you do them fast before you have mastered them.

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PostPosted: 13 Jul 2016, 03:24 
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After I played all these matches this past Sunday I had to admit, it felt good not only winning them all, but winning them all while keeping the same mindset through all the matches--playing with heavy topspin, or trying to.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfSkKNL ... e=youtu.be


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgutoD9 ... e=youtu.be


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xzi9VC ... e=youtu.be


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRxPxUJ ... e=youtu.be


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gu9dDe ... e=youtu.be


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzPfUTv ... e=youtu.be


While i was playing these matches I felt good but after looking at the tape, it still looks like my main forehand stroke is one with bad technique (elbow raises above shoulder level)

I was able to secure a job offer back in the city so my last day at the Syracuse club will be this Sunday--it's going to be bittersweet, gonna miss some of these old dudes.

I have the possibility of buying a robot and a table back in the city--what are your thoughts on my doing that or should the abundance of players be enough for me to just train with people? I did tango with a robot during my early years and sad to say most of my bad habits are probably from my training with a robot with little or no guidance.


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