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PostPosted: 24 Aug 2018, 11:28 
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Another thing brought to my attention recently was that I often try to loop on the backhand against very awkward and difficult balls. Instead I should play counterhits more and loop only when I have time to play a loop. Now I wonder how to develop this kind of decision making, as previously I thought I would just loop everything. Any thoughts?

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2018, 09:26 
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Fastmover what about the kick block video i10-kick-blocking? You get more topspin so for me it is a safer stroke than the counter hit? You need a lot less time to set up too.


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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2018, 13:00 
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fastmover wrote:
Another thing brought to my attention recently was that I often try to loop on the backhand against very awkward and difficult balls. Instead I should play counterhits more and loop only when I have time to play a loop. Now I wonder how to develop this kind of decision making, as previously I thought I would just loop everything. Any thoughts?


There is nothing wrong with throwing in a counterhit when don't have time or whatever. Top pros loop almost everything these days, but that's not really relevant. It just shows how the game has involved at that level. There is definitely nothing wrong with hitting some backhands if you play <2500 which almost everyone.

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 2018, 22:13 
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fastmover wrote:
Now I wonder how to develop this kind of decision making, as previously I thought I would just loop everything. Any thoughts?


This starts with multiball, right? You need experience making this decision 1000s of times until it becomes automatic. If you try to get the reps in practice matches it will take too long. Then from multiball go to a structured drill like coach serves short, you push short, coach gives you a 4th vall backhand either easy or impossible to loop, so you have to move and decide.

I'm doing a similar thing with balls to my elbow, starting with multiball.

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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2018, 03:11 
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maurice101 wrote:
Fastmover what about the kick block video i10-kick-blocking? You get more topspin so for me it is a safer stroke than the counter hit? You need a lot less time to set up too.


Kick blocking (like regular blocking) is useful against a high energy shot that is too risky to counterattack. I am referring to a situation when you hold the initiative, but suddenly can't make a high quality attack. For example, you played an opener, your opponent blocks back into your backhand or middle, and you are late to the ball. I used to try to loop these balls no matter what, which leads to many unforced errors.

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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2018, 06:27 
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Fastmover, I feel for you as I have the same issue. My anticipation and footwork let me down again and again. I have been focusing on not being on my heals and my weight forward. Another exercise one coach suggested is the backhand stroke and a little hop in between. Then make 2 little hops in between then 3 with the robot feed at slow. This seems to be making my footwork much more lighter and faster. Very tiring though.


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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2018, 06:52 
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The thing is that everybody gets caught out of position or off guard in the matchplay, especially against higher level players. Being able to stay in the point is a very important skill. I think that missing this skill is an important factor why my performance in competition lags way, way behind the practice volume I've done.

I was in Russia for three weeks and table tennis wise, it was a very eyeopening experience. I think my service return improved a bit due to exposure to different serves. I even won a weekly tournament there, and better serve return played an important there. I also realized that there are many subtle skills beyond just playing against standard balls, like a block or a straight push, that matter a lot in matchplay. The issue I brought above is just one of them.

I also realized (with a help of a coach) that my third ball against "non-standard" returns often sucks because I rush too much and try to "get rid off the ball too early". For example, suppose that I serve some backspin and expect a long push that I am preparing to loop. If my opponent suddenly flips, I often enter the panic mode and try to attack that ball too early off the bounce and miss. Instead, it is better to wait a split of a second, look at the spin, let the ball rise and play a reasonable shot, at least keep it on the table. A similar thing applies to serve return. This small mental adjustment helped me a lot, and it has nothing to with my technique. I still "panic" sometimes when things go off the rails, but at least I am aware of the solution.

I wonder how many such things are holding me back that I am totally unaware of.

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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2018, 00:52 
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fastmover wrote:
The thing is that everybody gets caught out of position or off guard in the matchplay, especially against higher level players. Being able to stay in the point is a very important skill. I think that missing this skill is an important factor why my performance in competition lags way, way behind the practice volume I've done.

I was in Russia for three weeks and table tennis wise, it was a very eyeopening experience. I think my service return improved a bit due to exposure to different serves. I even won a weekly tournament there, and better serve return played an important there. I also realized that there are many subtle skills beyond just playing against standard balls, like a block or a straight push, that matter a lot in matchplay. The issue I brought above is just one of them.

I also realized (with a help of a coach) that my third ball against "non-standard" returns often sucks because I rush too much and try to "get rid off the ball too early". For example, suppose that I serve some backspin and expect a long push that I am preparing to loop. If my opponent suddenly flips, I often enter the panic mode and try to attack that ball too early off the bounce and miss. Instead, it is better to wait a split of a second, look at the spin, let the ball rise and play a reasonable shot, at least keep it on the table. A similar thing applies to serve return. This small mental adjustment helped me a lot, and it has nothing to with my technique. I still "panic" sometimes when things go off the rails, but at least I am aware of the solution.

I wonder how many such things are holding me back that I am totally unaware of.
:up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up: :up:

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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2018, 01:22 
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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2018, 04:13 
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How can one contact the ball near the chest, while having a legal toss: high enough, and vertical? If I toss the ball near my body, it will hit my jaw. Almost all pros throw the ball into their body, but I don't know if we should copy that.

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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2018, 09:01 
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fastmover wrote:
How can one contact the ball near the chest, while having a legal toss: high enough, and vertical? If I toss the ball near my body, it will hit my jaw. Almost all pros throw the ball into their body, but I don't know if we should copy that.


All I can say is that is how everyone serves. Below is a video is a video of Zhang Jike serving. You be the judge of whether or not you feel it's legal, but that's his serve that won the World Championships and an Olympic Gold. Look at how close the ball is to his chest on contact.


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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2018, 11:34 
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Yeah, we are entering a grey zone here. I guess I have to change my toss to gain more control. I hit the ball way too far off my body as well. Maybe it will help me to deal with my eternal struggle to serve low.

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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2018, 11:38 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
How can one contact the ball near the chest, while having a legal toss: high enough, and vertical? If I toss the ball near my body, it will hit my jaw. Almost all pros throw the ball into their body, but I don't know if we should copy that.






How much effort do you think really goes into that serve? I sometimes feel like these pros are just doing the motion


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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2018, 11:51 
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big d wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
How can one contact the ball near the chest, while having a legal toss: high enough, and vertical? If I toss the ball near my body, it will hit my jaw. Almost all pros throw the ball into their body, but I don't know if we should copy that.

How much effort do you think really goes into that serve? I sometimes feel like these pros are just doing the motion


I think a lot (whatever that means). But I wonder what Brett would say about it.

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PostPosted: 04 Sep 2018, 12:09 
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big d wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
fastmover wrote:
How can one contact the ball near the chest, while having a legal toss: high enough, and vertical? If I toss the ball near my body, it will hit my jaw. Almost all pros throw the ball into their body, but I don't know if we should copy that.


How much effort do you think really goes into that serve? I sometimes feel like these pros are just doing the motion


It's more about doing the right thing than effort. How much effort do you put into walking? Don't underestimate technique. I watch players using a lot of effort and they still get no momentum because everything isn't linked correctly.

If you move everything in the right way, you gain a certain efficiency and flow. I try to put a lot of effort into my serve, though it's mostly through the legs and core these days.

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