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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 14:26 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
ttEDGE.com is now working properly again. Sorry for the inconvenience caused.

LTT86 and DTT20 are now online.

LTT86 is the way I teach forehand topspin these days. There is no new material and it's really just a change of language from previous videos. I've started learning the forehand topspin with my non-playing hand using the 3 simple steps and I was able to create a little lag immediately.

The racket finishes over the eyes as the arm is slowing down and that's where it naturally stops. If you take your foot off the gas, your car will keep going for a while before stopping. It's the same thing that happens with your TT shots. I'm writing this because someone who truly understands table tennis mechanics may think that I don't understand things after hearing the instruction in LTT86. I still stand by LTT86 because it works as a tool.

DTT20 is a drill I use for students who aren't really ready to play against continuous random block.

Not sure why anyone will think you don't understand things - I just find that as a teacher/coach, changing language is inevitable to make fundamentals sound fresh. Otherwise, its hard to get people to revisit them when necessary. Also, the strokes are so complicated that you never know which teaching approach gets through to someone.

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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 16:25 
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I found LTT86 incredibly useful, and actually think it's the most lucid explanation of whip mechanics as it applies to the forehand so far. For me it manages to sidestep (to some extent) the issue of having to be aware of where you are in the backswing, as you should only initiate the forward swing when the right hip has finished turning. Being aware of the turn of the right hip requires less mental effort, and so is easier to apply in real time. The lag feels like a store of kinetic energy that's released on the forward swing.

Now I think I understand what NL was talking about when he said good mechanics are a balance between the speed produced by the lower body and minimal muscle contractions in the arm.

When Brett said 'there is no arm' in the forehand, he was emphasising the fact that the arm doesn't produce speed on the shot at all. Of course some muscle contractions in the arm are necessary to ensure the power is focussed and there is an accurate contact.

Will there be lag videos for the other shots ?


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 19:39 
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goodtechnique wrote:
I found LTT86 incredibly useful, and actually think it's the most lucid explanation of whip mechanics as it applies to the forehand so far. For me it manages to sidestep (to some extent) the issue of having to be aware of where you are in the backswing, as you should only initiate the forward swing when the right hip has finished turning. Being aware of the turn of the right hip requires less mental effort, and so is easier to apply in real time. The lag feels like a store of kinetic energy that's released on the forward swing.

Now I think I understand what NL was talking about when he said good mechanics are a balance between the speed produced by the lower body and minimal muscle contractions in the arm.

When Brett said 'there is no arm' in the forehand, he was emphasising the fact that the arm doesn't produce speed on the shot at all. Of course some muscle contractions in the arm are necessary to ensure the power is focussed and there is an accurate contact.

Will there be lag videos for the other shots ?


I'm glad that it has made a difference. I know that it has helped me a lot in my coaching and that's the real aim. If i get better at coaching, everyone profits.

And in relation to your point about arm muscles, it's a very interesting topic. Here's a few thoughts I have and on the topic and I'm not 100% confident about any of them. They are all just hunches.

- Once the swing starts, a player can't suddenly change the angle of the racket. It's all an illusion.
- A fast swing is over in an incredibly short period of time.
- The arm swings mostly from the shoulder joint.
- I think you could chart the flight of the racket and mostly prove that the arm just continues in line with the ball and socket shoulder joint.
- There are probably more muscle contractions used to slow the arm than to speed it up.
- Racket angle is set extremely early.
- My Teddy Bear makes a beautiful swing with no arm muscles.
- The arm should swing and it shouldn't be pushed, pulled or manipulated.
- Torso rotation is close to 100% of a big forehand topspin.

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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 21:10 
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fastmover wrote:
Okay, you asked for a real match. Here is my toughest opponent in the local league. He is very smart: once I play a close match with him, he adjusts his strategy. This one I lost 0:3 with first two games slipping away too quickly, but the third one was close with some nice rallies. I decided to put my pivot on hold and play more backhands. I will keep practicing the pivot, but a bit later. Yes, I am fully aware that my FH flick is really, really awful.


You made some beautiful shots in this match and your backhand is really consistent with quality. It looked like you were off-balance a lot, and got knocked back off the table, or were unable to follow up a good first fh sometimes when you had the advantage.


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 22:21 
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wilkinru wrote:
fastmover wrote:
Okay, you asked for a real match. Here is my toughest opponent in the local league. He is very smart: once I play a close match with him, he adjusts his strategy. This one I lost 0:3 with first two games slipping away too quickly, but the third one was close with some nice rallies. I decided to put my pivot on hold and play more backhands. I will keep practicing the pivot, but a bit later. Yes, I am fully aware that my FH flick is really, really awful.



I really like your serve + recovery. The match started off a little poor but you really stepped up later in the match and you had a few really nice points! Lots of good from the backhand for sure. The forehand looks a little awkward still and like me probably a little too much up motion and arm motion. I think you have the nice beginnings of a forehand flick too - the timing looks good and it's better than my efforts. Mine is that bad in matches.

At 2:00 was my favorite point. You handled a backspin and then a block and put it out wide with sidespin. Well done.

Try watching just your feet and legs once. I think you'll see some things to work on there. I have similar issues with little jumps and straight legs.

Do you use the robot a lot? Or practice cross-court shots a lot? I don't think you went down the line on any shot the entire match. That's something for you to focus on right away and lets you continue to groove your shots.


I practice with the robot once a week (right before this league). But I almost always practice different placements with it and in my regular training as well. I tend to go down the line when I have some extra time to think, otherwise I go for a no-brainer placement (cross-court). I don't know how to fix it. Note that my opponent pushes & punches quickly, which puts me under pressure, hence the placement decisions. I made a down the line shot at 02:40 and there were a few flicks attempts as well.

The forehand is the way it is due to years of playing without proper guidance. One cannot simply undo the damage.


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 22:23 
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BRS wrote:
fastmover wrote:
Okay, you asked for a real match. Here is my toughest opponent in the local league. He is very smart: once I play a close match with him, he adjusts his strategy. This one I lost 0:3 with first two games slipping away too quickly, but the third one was close with some nice rallies. I decided to put my pivot on hold and play more backhands. I will keep practicing the pivot, but a bit later. Yes, I am fully aware that my FH flick is really, really awful.


You made some beautiful shots in this match and your backhand is really consistent with quality. It looked like you were off-balance a lot, and got knocked back off the table, or were unable to follow up a good first fh sometimes when you had the advantage.


Thanks, BRS. I am often off balance because my opponent pushes and punches quickly. He is not easy to play. But I am actually worried by my tendency to take a step back after a BH opener, probably I should be closer to the table.


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 22:28 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
Okay, you asked for a real match. Here is my toughest opponent in the local league. He is very smart: once I play a close match with him, he adjusts his strategy. This one I lost 0:3 with first two games slipping away too quickly, but the third one was close with some nice rallies. I decided to put my pivot on hold and play more backhands. I will keep practicing the pivot, but a bit later. Yes, I am fully aware that my FH flick is really, really awful.



You actually won that match because your opponent served a fault every serve. I'm half kidding, of course. This type of guy is very common and there's normally at least one at every club. They have played for 30+ years and you need to pass a certain threshold before you can easily beat them every time. They are good resistance training.

I liked almost everything you did. Your forehand flick needs immediate attention as is the case with 97% of learning adults. You are just putting the racket out and praying at this stage. There is no LTT83 whatsoever. This is exactly the type of spot where private coaching is handy, providing the coach understands the shot.

Your backhand topspin against backspin is probably your best shot. You still have a way to go with your forehand although you've made significant steps forward in training. Your serving is okay.

There were times in the last set when you looked really good. There were a few points like this where things started to come together. Most learning adults never get to play a point that looks exactly like this. https://youtu.be/0iya0p0PAB8?t=236


As there is no pro coach around, I will just do some practice with the flick and film it...

There is funny thing about the backhand opener. Nearly two months ago it was wildly inconsistent, like only 30% went on the table. Then I gave up on it and practiced the pivot like a madman. I played the BH in matches only if I was surprised. Then at some point I noticed that it became consistent, and I didn't practice it at all. Magic.


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 23:03 
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goodtechnique wrote:
I found LTT86 incredibly useful, and actually think it's the most lucid explanation of whip mechanics as it applies to the forehand so far. For me it manages to sidestep (to some extent) the issue of having to be aware of where you are in the backswing, as you should only initiate the forward swing when the right hip has finished turning. Being aware of the turn of the right hip requires less mental effort, and so is easier to apply in real time. The lag feels like a store of kinetic energy that's released on the forward swing.

Now I think I understand what NL was talking about when he said good mechanics are a balance between the speed produced by the lower body and minimal muscle contractions in the arm.

When Brett said 'there is no arm' in the forehand, he was emphasising the fact that the arm doesn't produce speed on the shot at all. Of course some muscle contractions in the arm are necessary to ensure the power is focussed and there is an accurate contact.

Will there be lag videos for the other shots ?


Good to to see it makes sense. For me it is more a feeling. I would say speed produced by the core, as some players get whip mechanics right and have no lower bodies to really help. It's just that for healthy people, the most powerful and stable parts of the core are the thighs/hips - the more powerful the muscles you use to throw a relaxed arm, the more whip you get. That's why most baseball pitchers, tennis and table tennis players don't have bulky upper bodies. They do however do lots of lower body work and have relatively massive trunks.

Obviously, you still have to time and control the racket, and that's where the balancing act comes in. I also do a lot of finger work for my loops but it is not something I usually teach as I have no idea whether it is correct or not - it just works for me.

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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2017, 23:44 
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My thoughts on the fastmover match in no random order:

1. The reason why your backhand topspin has improved is probably because your serve (control) has improved and your pivot work has made you more in tune with the kinds of shots that backhand works against. Usually, your serve needs to fit into the right box for you to get your backhand topspin the right kind of ball for it to function. People who complain about the backhand topspin being inconsistent are often not selecting the right kinds of shots for it. Big D can explain this to you in full detail if he ever wants to. So because you can pivot on the balls that make a backhand opener look stupid, it became more consistent because of improved shot selection.
2. Pivoting repeatedly against a better player is almost suicidal unless they are repeatedly returning your serve poorly.
3. Review your grip - forehand serve return issues have a lot to do with approaches to grips that don't let you swing the racket back and forth over the table and that don't let you adjust your racket angle with finesse when you get close to the ball.
4. You are going to need to play consistently with a lot more spin to beat that guy. Your height will make it a bit more challenging, but I suspect that simply having a decent opening loop vs backspin with heavy spin will leave you ahead in 80% of the points. So will putting 80% of heavy spin shots into his backhand side.
5. You are doing a lot of good stuff which will put you in a good place against topspin players. IT would help to see you play someone closer to your level.

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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2017, 00:05 
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Regarding LTT83, what is the correct timing of stepping in and hip backswing? Should it be: first turn the hip back and then step in simultaneously with the forward swing?


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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2017, 00:56 
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NextLevel wrote:
4. You are going to need to play consistently with a lot more spin to beat that guy. Your height will make it a bit more challenging, but I suspect that simply having a decent opening loop vs backspin with heavy spin will leave you ahead in 80% of the points. So will putting 80% of heavy spin shots into his backhand side.


Given that most openers in the match were from the BH side, I assume that you are talking about this shot. So how can I improve my BH opener and make it "decent"?


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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2017, 01:28 
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fastmover wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
4. You are going to need to play consistently with a lot more spin to beat that guy. Your height will make it a bit more challenging, but I suspect that simply having a decent opening loop vs backspin with heavy spin will leave you ahead in 80% of the points. So will putting 80% of heavy spin shots into his backhand side.


Given that most openers in the match were from the BH side, I assume that you are talking about this shot. So how can I improve my BH opener?


Not at all about the shot per se as it is probably your best shot. It's about setting up the point so that you play a ball with extremely heavy rotation. It's not always the shot, but sometimes the serve and the return and then the shot. Even the one time I remember you pivoting to play a heavy rotation forehand, he blocked it long. So it might just pay to focus on playing spinny balls against him. Play with more spin and less speed - let him punch but give yourself enough to loop and reloop.

Most people are going to put the ball into your backhand because they figure that the backhand is the weaker side in table tennis. IF you can spin to all points on the table with your backhand with heavy spin, after a while, they will stop playing to your backhand opener and start playing to your forehand. That's when the fun begins. So I would say just try to put the ball to different points on the table with spin. In the beginning, the blocks work but over time, as the spin gets higher and higher, the ball gets easier to kill or the blocks start going long. I often punch block against young loopers too but as they get older, it stops working because the spin level becomes harder to control if they are consistent.

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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2017, 01:35 
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fastmover wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
4. You are going to need to play consistently with a lot more spin to beat that guy. Your height will make it a bit more challenging, but I suspect that simply having a decent opening loop vs backspin with heavy spin will leave you ahead in 80% of the points. So will putting 80% of heavy spin shots into his backhand side.


Most people are going to put the ball into your backhand because they figure that the backhand is the weaker side in table tennis. IF you can spin to all points on the table with your backhand with heavy spin, after a while, they will stop playing to your backhand opener and start playing to your forehand. That's when the fun begins.


If you watch the match once more, you may notice that my opponent often pushes to my wide forehand. So what you described is already happening.


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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2017, 01:59 
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fastmover wrote:
fastmover wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
4. You are going to need to play consistently with a lot more spin to beat that guy. Your height will make it a bit more challenging, but I suspect that simply having a decent opening loop vs backspin with heavy spin will leave you ahead in 80% of the points. So will putting 80% of heavy spin shots into his backhand side.


Most people are going to put the ball into your backhand because they figure that the backhand is the weaker side in table tennis. IF you can spin to all points on the table with your backhand with heavy spin, after a while, they will stop playing to your backhand opener and start playing to your forehand. That's when the fun begins.


If you watch the match once more, you may notice that my opponent often pushes to my wide forehand. So what you described is already happening.


Okay. I'm not going to argue.

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PostPosted: 11 Oct 2017, 02:05 
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fastmover wrote:
BRS wrote:
fastmover wrote:
Okay, you asked for a real match. Here is my toughest opponent in the local league. He is very smart: once I play a close match with him, he adjusts his strategy. This one I lost 0:3 with first two games slipping away too quickly, but the third one was close with some nice rallies. I decided to put my pivot on hold and play more backhands. I will keep practicing the pivot, but a bit later. Yes, I am fully aware that my FH flick is really, really awful.


You made some beautiful shots in this match and your backhand is really consistent with quality. It looked like you were off-balance a lot, and got knocked back off the table, or were unable to follow up a good first fh sometimes when you had the advantage.


Thanks, BRS. I am often off balance because my opponent pushes and punches quickly. He is not easy to play. But I am actually worried by my tendency to take a step back after a BH opener, probably I should be closer to the table.


I think maintaining good balance against difficult receives to your fh is something you could work on. A lot of your errors result directly from that, imo. As good as your backhand is in this video, I would redirect all your pivot training time towards lateral movement to and from your wide forehand.

But it's only one match, so maybe I am drawing too much from it.


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