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PostPosted: 22 Sep 2017, 12:57 
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Not a question, just a progress report. This is the first time during a regular practice I was able to hit forehand with (almost) straight arm many times in a row. Yes, I am massively ahead of schedule here, this particular push is not heavy, hip rotation is probably not there yet (I feel like I definitely can do much more). But I feel like something good had happened.



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PostPosted: 23 Sep 2017, 07:14 
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fastmover wrote:
Not a question, just a progress report. This is the first time during a regular practice I was able to hit forehand with (almost) straight arm many times in a row. Yes, I am massively ahead of schedule here, this particular push is not heavy, hip rotation is probably not there yet (I feel like I definitely can do much more). But I feel like something good had happened.



It's progress! Have you tried going down the line? I find I end up with more power/spin because it forces me to rotate and use my legs more. I've been trying to get more rotation on the cross court shot because it's easy to be lazy with it.


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PostPosted: 23 Sep 2017, 14:12 
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At this moment I don't practice down the line much. I mostly try to place it wide cross court, without little success though.


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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 06:46 
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LTT84 and DTT18 are now available on ttEDGE.com

LTT84 is a extremely important video about serving and DTT17 is another exercise I use daily.

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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 12:41 
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Maybe I'm playing devils advocate here, but looking back at LTT60 it seems making the correct pattern with the arm was identified as the key to spinny serving. Now with the explanation given in LTT84, as with all the other strokes, it is the hip/lower body that is responsible for fast racket head speed, which equals more spin. Aren't these two explanations somewhat contradictory ?


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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 13:20 
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goodtechnique wrote:
Maybe I'm playing devils advocate here, but looking back at LTT60 it seems making the correct pattern with the arm was identified as the key to spinny serving. Now with the explanation given in LTT84, as with all the other strokes, it is the hip/lower body that is responsible for fast racket head speed, which equals more spin. Aren't these two explanations somewhat contradictory ?


They are mutually reinforcing. Good technique is complex. Focusing on any one thing will not give you good technique. But when you understand some of the elements, you can use them to diagnose issues and resolve problems.

You can use more or less muscle groups to activate the whip pattern shown in LTT60 or any other table tennis stroke. The largest muscle groups are in the hips. Therefore, they can do the most heavy lifting on many strokes. Efficient transmission of any work done by the muscles needs a relaxed arm.

When teaching a student you can't focus on everything at the same time. Some people just pick up on things by subconsciously copying others. But learning is a physical activity and you still need to build the muscle groups and neural pathways to support table tennis strokes. It is why it takes people time to learn to loop efficiently even when they understand the theory. Same with serves. These things take many hours probably years to refine and master. Looking for "gotcha " contradictions is not going to make a practical contribution to the learning process.

Even back before this video, I have always talked about being able to activate the whip of your strokes with other parts of your body. The degree to which you can do so makes the whip more powerful. But you can also activate the whip with less. I do it all the time as do people who play arm only topspin. Over time though, good hip work can become almost invisible on short strokes or blocks or even some serves. That can make them deceptive.

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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 18:46 
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NextLevel wrote:
goodtechnique wrote:
Maybe I'm playing devils advocate here, but looking back at LTT60 it seems making the correct pattern with the arm was identified as the key to spinny serving. Now with the explanation given in LTT84, as with all the other strokes, it is the hip/lower body that is responsible for fast racket head speed, which equals more spin. Aren't these two explanations somewhat contradictory ?


They are mutually reinforcing. Good technique is complex. Focusing on any one thing will not give you good technique. But when you understand some of the elements, you can use them to diagnose issues and resolve problems.

You can use more or less muscle groups to activate the whip pattern shown in LTT60 or any other table tennis stroke. The largest muscle groups are in the hips. Therefore, they can do the most heavy lifting on many strokes. Efficient transmission of any work done by the muscles needs a relaxed arm.

When teaching a student you can't focus on everything at the same time. Some people just pick up on things by subconsciously copying others. But learning is a physical activity and you still need to build the muscle groups and neural pathways to support table tennis strokes. It is why it takes people time to learn to loop efficiently even when they understand the theory. Same with serves. These things take many hours probably years to refine and master. Looking for "gotcha " contradictions is not going to make a practical contribution to the learning process.

Even back before this video, I have always talked about being able to activate the whip of your strokes with other parts of your body. The degree to which you can do so makes the whip more powerful. But you can also activate the whip with less. I do it all the time as do people who play arm only topspin. Over time though, good hip work can become almost invisible on short strokes or blocks or even some serves. That can make them deceptive.


NextLevel's response is very impressive! I can't beat it.

I do think that goodtechnique's question is legit though and I expected it from a member. How does one make an advanced pattern whilst driving momentum from the hip in order to minimize complex arm muscle contractions? Solve the riddle during training and you'll have an excellent serve.

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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 18:53 
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fastmover wrote:
Not a question, just a progress report. This is the first time during a regular practice I was able to hit forehand with (almost) straight arm many times in a row. Yes, I am massively ahead of schedule here, this particular push is not heavy, hip rotation is probably not there yet (I feel like I definitely can do much more). But I feel like something good had happened.



You need to push off hard from your right foot to get rotation.

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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 22:30 
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I do think that goodtechnique's question is legit though and I expected it from a member. How does one make an advanced pattern whilst driving momentum from the hip in order to minimize complex arm muscle contractions? Solve the riddle during training and you'll have an excellent serve


So then they are both an essential in developing a spinny serve ? The question arose because in my mind LTT60 and LTT84 seemed to be two different ways of achieving the same result.


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PostPosted: 25 Sep 2017, 22:58 
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goodtechnique wrote:
Quote:
I do think that goodtechnique's question is legit though and I expected it from a member. How does one make an advanced pattern whilst driving momentum from the hip in order to minimize complex arm muscle contractions? Solve the riddle during training and you'll have an excellent serve


So then they are both an essential in developing a spinny serve ? The question arose because in my mind LTT60 and LTT84 seemed to be two different ways of achieving the same result.


They definitely are not, and take this from a person with with a fairly heavy backspin serve. When you crack a whip, the whip has very little tension so the range of movement of the whip is fantastic in both directions. If you crack a whip just using your hand, the snap will be limited if even apparent. But when your throw your whole body into cracking a whip then you get a loud snap. You can see this if you try it with a wet hanky or a towel.

So there is a relaxation element that is apparent in the range of movement of the wrist that allows for great transmission from the body to the hand. I have seen many people try to use the wrist to get power in TT by actually trying to make the muscles in their hand around the wrist joint work harder. It often causes them injuries of various kinds and builds significant muscular tension in the stroke.

There is a balancing act between whippiness and motor control but it has to be found to get a good and powerful stroke that is timed at the ball. Some players find it but even some fairly advanced players complain about all kinds of shoulder injuries some of which result from trying to get too much power from muscles that cannot provide the power they are looking for.

When I serve, I try to let the racket go back and forth in my fingers. It's almost like I am tossing a frisbee on most of my serves with a serving grip. But if you try to get serving power holding the racket with just two fingers by making the hand work harder, rather than relaxing the hand s little more so that power from the hips can be transmitted to it, your serve will cap out quickly.

The good thing is that you don't need much from the hips to get a good serve and even in Brett's video, the serve he is criticizing is his best attempt not to use his hips but I assure you that there is more hip in that serve than Brett is letting on. You don't easily bypass years of training by pretending. I often try to mock my students and when I review my video, the bad strokes I am demonstrating make me understand why my students are confused by what I am trying to say because the strokes do not look as bad as they should. That no hip Brett serve is not as powerful as his main.serve but the thing about serves sometimes is that it can be more important once you can generate spin to make the serve look lighter or heavier thsnnit really is and that weak serve is probably heavier than it looks because Brett is probably using muscles unconsciously that you can't see.

Just remember, the larger the muscle groups you use to whip the arm, the more spin and speed you will get. You can get decent spin and speed with fewer muscle groups and you can make the use of the muscle groups invisible with smaller motions on your serve. That doesn't make the muscle groups disappear.

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Last edited by NextLevel on 27 Sep 2017, 00:07, edited 11 times in total.

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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2017, 00:38 
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"There is a balancing act between whippiness and motor control but it has to be found to get a good and powerful stroke that is timed at the ball. Some playees find it but even some fairly advanced players complain about all kinds of shoulder injuries some of which result from trying to get too much power from muscles that cannot provide the power they are looking for." (My italics).

Now I have a vision of someone (the playee) facing a very spinny serve which winds past them as they look on hopelessly, and a super server (the player) clutching his shoulder after the serve. Playee is actually a useful typo, I think.

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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2017, 00:58 
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You have to turn the hips into the serve anyway to have decent recovery for the 3rd ball. If you finish the serve still completely side-on your 3rd ball will not be pretty. I have tested this many times.


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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2017, 01:10 
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BRS wrote:
You have to turn the hips into the serve anyway to have decent recovery for the 3rd ball. If you finish the serve still completely side-on your 3rd ball will not be pretty. I have tested this many times.


Only if you are determined to two wing loop. You have to turn your hips only into your ready position. Being side on is a legitimate ready position for some all out forehand loopers. When some players receive serve, they stand side on at the backhand corner of the table because they are either going to use footwork to banana flick or receive just about every serve with their forehand. The same applies to their third ball decisions. I tend to recover more side on when I commit to playing forehands.

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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2017, 03:36 
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DTT18 is my favorite drill. I do it with the robot, though.


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PostPosted: 26 Sep 2017, 05:27 
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There are lots of valuable posts above. IMO, NextLevel's content is flawless, so I'd read it a few times. He's saving me lots of writing time, so many thanks to NL.

I actually can't demonstrate a serve without engaging my core in some way. Even when I did the arm serve in LTT84, I still felt significant contractions through my torso. I often comment about this 'problem' after filming common mistakes.

NL comments about recovery after the serve are all good. I almost added recovery to LTT84. I took the footage but decided not to confuse the lesson at this stage.

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