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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2017, 03:06 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
I find in general though that people find stroke development boring and need to layer something else onto it to keep them involved. My students would rather kill the ball or move and hit the ball than to take their time to understand the nuances of their swings through trial and error with the basic swing.


Ask those players to show you the footwork from LTT42 and see how they go. 99% of players don't know how to move correctly to make slightly wider balls and it's a serious process to teach them. The last thing you want is to be teaching the stroke and footwork concurrently.

Watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHVFj0TG59k . There is absolutely no chance of using this side step footwork (falkenburg) in a match as you won't know where the ball is going whilst moving relatively long distances. The player in the video is clearly moving before the ball is even fired and the ball speed is much slower than game speed. LTT42 would be your only real option and you'd still be scrabbling like a hamster. When you pivot (forehand from backhand side), you have no idea where the next ball is going. You'd also hit the pivot shot hard. The rebound speed and randomness of the return would require you to use cross footwork to get to the wide forehand. Same with the pivot unless you anticipated very early and took a risk moving around the corner. You'd be praying that the opponent doesn't decide to go down-the-line to your forehand and totally embarrass you.

Training the wrong footwork and timing in set drills is a serious problem. Knowledge of where the ball is going allows you to use bad footwork and wrong time whilst assuming you are on the right track.


I get your point and it makes perfect sense. Thank you for bringing this up. I am pretty sure that my pivot footwork is messed up in the way you described. Although I get away with it at may level as players often have very predictable placements, better players exploit that. Hopefully my "small" footwork is not as bad, but I need some fresh footage.

I have one question though: does the same thing applies to the guy in the video below? To me it looks like he starts to step around the corner right after the ball leaves his racket. Also, his pivot looks very different from LTT29, though I can't explain what is exactly the difference.
PS: the reason I ask is to find out whether one should do Falkenberg this way, looks like not and it is better to stay away from this famous drill :)



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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2017, 06:59 
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Do falkenberg with the footwork Brett teaches. It is what most Pros really do. It is still the same sequence, you just use a cross step to get the wide forehand and you don't over commit on the pivot.

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PostPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 07:39 
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Okay, here is an attempt to loop against block with a straighter arm.



The arm is not quite straight neither at the backswing nor at the contact, but is straighter than before.


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PostPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 12:19 
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Say hi to Hank. It looks more fluid than you did in prior videos with your old loop, If you experiment with it a little to see what happens when you change stuff while keeping the swing mostly intact, you will learn a lot.

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PostPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 13:47 
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Well, I don't quite know what else I can change apart from staying lower to the ground and trying to take the ball a bit further to straighten the arm more at the contact. By the way, with the changes I made already the timing and consistency went out of the window and I want them back...


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PostPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 14:38 
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fastmover wrote:
Well, I don't quite know what else I can change apart from staying lower to the ground and trying to take the ball a bit further to straighten the arm more at the contact. By the way, with the changes I made already the timing and consistency went out of the window and I want them back...


1. Practice more.
2. Learn to when backswinging to mentally line up where your racket ends to the expected contact point for the ball. I don't try to backswing behind my body when looping against block - of course I do, but I try to make sure in my mind, I can see a line from my backswing to where I am going to hit the ball.
3. Learn to line up your forearm snap over a range that gives you a higher chance of hitting the ball.

You seem to be doing some of these things already so keep going at it.

As for changes, try to vary the arc on the ball - loop the ball as low as you can and as high as you can while still keeping it on the table. Loop the ball directly into the table. Loop it into the net. Loop it as far as you can with proper technique to go as far as as possible without bouncing. Vary the thickness and thinness of the contact. The contact point for more hook or less hook, more topspin or less topspin, more fade or less fade. LEarning to use the stroke to hit the ball in different ways lets you understand it better.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 07:35 
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fastmover wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
I find in general though that people find stroke development boring and need to layer something else onto it to keep them involved. My students would rather kill the ball or move and hit the ball than to take their time to understand the nuances of their swings through trial and error with the basic swing.


Ask those players to show you the footwork from LTT42 and see how they go. 99% of players don't know how to move correctly to make slightly wider balls and it's a serious process to teach them. The last thing you want is to be teaching the stroke and footwork concurrently.

Watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHVFj0TG59k . There is absolutely no chance of using this side step footwork (falkenburg) in a match as you won't know where the ball is going whilst moving relatively long distances. The player in the video is clearly moving before the ball is even fired and the ball speed is much slower than game speed. LTT42 would be your only real option and you'd still be scrabbling like a hamster. When you pivot (forehand from backhand side), you have no idea where the next ball is going. You'd also hit the pivot shot hard. The rebound speed and randomness of the return would require you to use cross footwork to get to the wide forehand. Same with the pivot unless you anticipated very early and took a risk moving around the corner. You'd be praying that the opponent doesn't decide to go down-the-line to your forehand and totally embarrass you.

Training the wrong footwork and timing in set drills is a serious problem. Knowledge of where the ball is going allows you to use bad footwork and wrong time whilst assuming you are on the right track.


I get your point and it makes perfect sense. Thank you for bringing this up. I am pretty sure that my pivot footwork is messed up in the way you described. Although I get away with it at may level as players often have very predictable placements, better players exploit that. Hopefully my "small" footwork is not as bad, but I need some fresh footage.

I have one question though: does the same thing applies to the guy in the video below? To me it looks like he starts to step around the corner right after the ball leaves his racket. Also, his pivot looks very different from LTT29, though I can't explain what is exactly the difference.
PS: the reason I ask is to find out whether one should do Falkenberg this way, looks like not and it is better to stay away from this famous drill :)



Exactly the same thing applies to the footwork in this video. It can't possibly work in a real situation.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 07:45 
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fastmover wrote:
Okay, here is an attempt to loop against block with a straighter arm.



The arm is not quite straight neither at the backswing nor at the contact, but is straighter than before.


It's a reasonable shot and you should be happy with it. The sound is good.

I'm not thrilled about the backswing though. I think the arm is too bent and it's too close to your back. It's okay to come around your back, but not so close to your body with a bent arm and wrist

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 07:54 
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NextLevel wrote:
fastmover wrote:
Well, I don't quite know what else I can change apart from staying lower to the ground and trying to take the ball a bit further to straighten the arm more at the contact. By the way, with the changes I made already the timing and consistency went out of the window and I want them back...


1. Practice more.
2. Learn to when backswinging to mentally line up where your racket ends to the expected contact point for the ball. I don't try to backswing behind my body when looping against block - of course I do, but I try to make sure in my mind, I can see a line from my backswing to where I am going to hit the ball.
3. Learn to line up your forearm snap over a range that gives you a higher chance of hitting the ball.

You seem to be doing some of these things already so keep going at it.

As for changes, try to vary the arc on the ball - loop the ball as low as you can and as high as you can while still keeping it on the table. Loop the ball directly into the table. Loop it into the net. Loop it as far as you can with proper technique to go as far as as possible without bouncing. Vary the thickness and thinness of the contact. The contact point for more hook or less hook, more topspin or less topspin, more fade or less fade. LEarning to use the stroke to hit the ball in different ways lets you understand it better.


This is all good stuff. NextLevel understands the value of experience.

If I was coaching Fastmover live, I'd teach him how to fade the ball. His natural tendency is to play a "hook", so I'd teach him a fade. Then I'd get him doing one fade, one hook type training.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 10:15 
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Brett Clarke wrote:

I'm not thrilled about the backswing though. I think the arm is too bent and it's too close to your back. It's okay to come around your back, but not so close to your body with a bent arm and wrist



1) About unbending my arm more -- it took me several months of shadowplay to unbend it to the angle in the screenshot you made. And it still requires conscious effort to take it that far back when practicing with a human. Unbending it further should be even more difficult. I have no idea how to achieve that... And I don't know if it is worth it, after all Zhang Jike has quite a bent arm when swining against a block:



Not arguing here, just not sure about the benefits of unbending it more...

2) I am not sure what you mean by saying that my arm is too close to my body. Is my elbow too close to the body? Or the elbow goes behind the back too far? How should I change my shot?

Brett Clarke wrote:

If I was coaching Fastmover live, I'd teach him how to fade the ball. His natural tendency is to play a "hook", so I'd teach him a fade.


The tendency to hook is the result of naive and premature attempt to learn the wrist snap. When I practice I try to slightly fade the ball to compensate for that.

Brett Clarke wrote:
Then I'd get him doing one fade, one hook type training.


How would the drill look like if played with a human partner? One hook cross-court, one fade down the line? That is probably best done with a robot or multiball, but my access to the robot is limited nowadays.


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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 10:37 
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A couple of quick comments.

1. Brett is not focusing on just the bent backswing, but more on the arm folding behind you. It probably means you are not getting enough core rotation on the backswing. It also doesn't let you whip into the ball with good leverage. Zhang Jike is not going behind the back.

Sometimes people go behind the back especially against backspin but you need a straighter arm for the full benefits and you risk mistiming a fast ball.

Hooks and fades are partly about the racket angle at the end of the backswing. If you point your racket downwards at the end of the backswing and do not flatten it out before coming forward, you are going to hook the ball.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 11:56 
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NextLevel wrote:
A couple of quick comments.

1. Brett is not focusing on just the bent backswing, but more on the arm folding behind you. It probably means you are not getting enough core rotation on the backswing. It also doesn't let you whip into the ball with good leverage. Zhang Jike is not going behind the back.

Sometimes people go behind the back especially against backspin but you need a straighter arm for the full benefits and you risk mistiming a fast ball.
.


Folding my arm behind the back is an old issue and occurs when I take the ball too close to my body. There is a simple explanation for it. Try to shadoswing a forehand loop, but imagine taking ball at 10cm in front of you. As you line up the racket to hit the ball, you will naturally fold your arm behind your back at the backswing as it will be the only physical way to accommodate it and hit the ball with the racket. You can have the excellent body and legs rotation but it will not affect anything.


Last edited by fastmover on 03 Apr 2017, 12:08, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 12:05 
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fastmover wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:

I'm not thrilled about the backswing though. I think the arm is too bent and it's too close to your back. It's okay to come around your back, but not so close to your body with a bent arm and wrist



1) About unbending my arm more -- it took me several months of shadowplay to unbend it to the angle in the screenshot you made. And it still requires conscious effort to take it that far back when practicing with a human. Unbending it further should be even more difficult. I have no idea how to achieve that... And I don't know if it is worth it, after all Zhang Jike has quite a bent arm when swining against a block:



Not arguing here, just not sure about the benefits of unbending it more...

2) I am not sure what you mean by saying that my arm is too close to my body. Is my elbow too close to the body? Or the elbow goes behind the back too far? How should I change my shot?

Brett Clarke wrote:

If I was coaching Fastmover live, I'd teach him how to fade the ball. His natural tendency is to play a "hook", so I'd teach him a fade.


The tendency to hook is the result of naive and premature attempt to learn the wrist snap. When I practice I try to slightly fade the ball to compensate for that.

Brett Clarke wrote:
Then I'd get him doing one fade, one hook type training.


How would the drill look like if played with a human partner? One hook cross-court, one fade down the line? That is probably best done with a robot or multiball, but my access to the robot is limited nowadays.


When I posted the screen shot of your forehand, I thought about the fact that Zhang Jike sometimes does something similar. I was actually hoping that no one would bring it up. Anyway, I think you need to see his forehand in matches and not his relatively poor swing in training. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdzSnYf-l04 . His forehand is obviously fantastic and that should be the aim.

Learning to fade is a tricky topic and I can't just write about it. I'll need to make a video.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 12:15 
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Brett Clarke wrote:

When I posted the screen shot of your forehand, I thought about the fact that Zhang Jike sometimes does something similar. I was actually hoping that no one would bring it up. Anyway, I think you need to see his forehand in matches and not his relatively poor swing in training. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdzSnYf-l04 . His forehand is obviously fantastic and that should be the aim.

Learning to fade is a tricky topic and I can't just write about it. I'll need to make a video.


Yes, I am aware that Zhang Jike swings with the full arm against "easy balls" or just when he has a change to put the ball away. Probably, looping with a slightly bent arm against not so easy balls and with the straight one against easy ones is a good compromise. But going from dreams to the ground, I currently have troubles replicating the shot I posted when hitting down the line and cross-court from backhand corner, not even speaking about moving in random and even fixed footwork drills. Most of the time I fail to maintain the correct distance to the ball and lose power. IMHO, I have to improve on this before doing more advanced things. Fixing this is going to take a loooooooong time... If anybody has creative ideas on how make this process easier, I am open to hear.


Last edited by fastmover on 03 Apr 2017, 12:35, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 12:19 
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Speaking about the fades, I have an idea how to do it, I think I hit it sometimes in matches when I have time. I will probably make a video at some moment in the next week.


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