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PostPosted: 08 Oct 2018, 05:02 
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One of Australia's top ranked players told me that the close to the hip takeback on the forehand is better to cover a fast into the elbow shot as the bat is closer to the body during the takeback. Makes sense I think.


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PostPosted: 08 Oct 2018, 08:07 
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Serving backspin and waiting for a long push to spin up heavy used to be the only thing I'd ever do, I find it particularly effective against junior players and female players. Many seem to practice with speed, so it's not surprising they struggle with slow, heavy spin.

I've never thought about the height, only about getting as much spin as I possibly could. If you can you should of course practice to get the height that you want and to be able to place the ball well. But until you start to play the types of opponents who can deal with slow heavy spin consistently, I don't think it's something to worry about.

I recorded a few more attempts of the kick serve last week Brett, but I'm not happy with them yet. I don't think I'm getting heavy spin and many are drifting long. I still tend to fold on most of them and need to focus on unfolding more next time I practice. It looks like my backswing is bigger than yours, do you think I should shorten it? My elbow also seems quite high prior to contact. Do you think there's anything else I need to change or keep in mind?

Here's an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZDFTjGzd_Q


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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2018, 11:36 
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Richfs wrote:
Serving backspin and waiting for a long push to spin up heavy used to be the only thing I'd ever do, I find it particularly effective against junior players and female players. Many seem to practice with speed, so it's not surprising they struggle with slow, heavy spin.

I've never thought about the height, only about getting as much spin as I possibly could. If you can you should of course practice to get the height that you want and to be able to place the ball well. But until you start to play the types of opponents who can deal with slow heavy spin consistently, I don't think it's something to worry about.

I recorded a few more attempts of the kick serve last week Brett, but I'm not happy with them yet. I don't think I'm getting heavy spin and many are drifting long. I still tend to fold on most of them and need to focus on unfolding more next time I practice. It looks like my backswing is bigger than yours, do you think I should shorten it? My elbow also seems quite high prior to contact. Do you think there's anything else I need to change or keep in mind?

Here's an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZDFTjGzd_Q


Hey Rich, I was the same. I'd play short and just trying to spin the forehand. You can watch a young Jun Mizutani blocking me around the court whilst I tried to spin through his block in German league (a long time ago when I had some hair!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZnwZ6HhX6g

In relation to your kick serve, there still isn't upward movement in your body or arm. It's still a slight fold and there isn't a violent thrust up. I'm sure your serve has topspin and someone would push it up, but it's not heavy kicking topspin at this stage. Try lifting your right hip on the forward swing, as per William in PTTP01.

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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2018, 12:27 
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Fantastic video Brett! And belated congratulations on a good win. Your double fist-pump was a bit lacking in Harimoto-ness, but those were different times I suppose. More old BC competition video please, highly enjoyable.

Btw, it looked like you were using a close-to-the-hip takeback on all those loops vs Mizutani's block.


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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2018, 13:15 
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BRS wrote:
Fantastic video Brett! And belated congratulations on a good win. Your double fist-pump was a bit lacking in Harimoto-ness, but those were different times I suppose. More old BC competition video please, highly enjoyable.

Btw, it looked like you were using a close-to-the-hip takeback on all those loops vs Mizutani's block.


I remember walking into the hall for the league match and Mizutani was setting up the tables and barriers by himself. It's always easy to be negative about table tennis and one of my team mates made some funny comments about the state of table tennis when the best junior in the world is responsible for the club setup. Next time you have to set up tables, don't feel so bad.

Fortunately I didn't keep a lot of my matches. I've always thought of myself as a coach and not a player. From the age of 18 or 19 yrs, I made money from coaching and not so much from playing. I stopped training by the age of 21 or so even though I continued playing competition for many years after.

Yes, it looked like I was using "Method 3" from LTT103. He was blocking into the body and I was probably struggling by that stage of the match. He is one of the most consistent players ever to play table tennis and he makes opponents work for every point.

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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2018, 13:55 
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That's interesting. You did it because you were a little jammed?

I find the close to body back swing to feel natural. I even feel like it helps with the body motion. When I know where the ball will be it feels amazing but it comes apart during a match but I'm only 24 hours in. Just takes time. I am also thinking that the location of the incoming ball currently changes where my back swing is right now.

I suppose it's one of those rare strokes that you can just improve over time with little downside. Even if you only do it on 10% of your forehands it's better than 0%.

I had found that entire video vs Mizutani on youtube before...years ago.


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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2018, 22:14 
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Wow, I'm amazed you can just change your backswing on the fh like that. I am completely technique illiterate compared to you guys. If I try to think about fundamentals my level drops about 400 points.

I'm trying to use my body more to drive a (much) shorter swing vs topspin and block. It may be working because I played and drilled about 7 hours over the weekend, and on Monday my obliques were really sore. That never happens, so maybe I actually did something different. Or it could just be from the massive ethiopian food pig-out after training. The shorter swing may keep me from turning my right foot parallel to the endline, which many coaches have said is wrong, so very very wrong.

But even then I can't think about changing anything during a rally, or the whole stroke falls apart. The only way I can consciously think about technique with a ball in flight and have any success is doing multiball. No wonder my progress is slow.


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PostPosted: 09 Oct 2018, 22:22 
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BRS wrote:
Wow, I'm amazed you can just change your backswing on the fh like that. I am completely technique illiterate compared to you guys. If I try to think about fundamentals my level drops about 400 points.

I'm trying to use my body more to drive a (much) shorter swing vs topspin and block. It may be working because I played and drilled about 7 hours over the weekend, and on Monday my obliques were really sore. That never happens, so maybe I actually did something different. Or it could just be from the massive ethiopian food pig-out after training. The shorter swing may keep me from turning my right foot parallel to the endline, which many coaches have said is wrong, so very very wrong.

But even then I can't think about changing anything during a rally, or the whole stroke falls apart. The only way I can consciously think about technique with a ball in flight and have any success is doing multiball. No wonder my progress is slow.


It's very difficult to change technique and it takes a long time.

The foot should go parallel to the table and then pivot forward when you swing forward. Almost everyone in the top 1000 in the world does the same. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiARkUO6aEE

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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2018, 01:26 
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Maybe splitting hairs, but ML's foot goes exactly parallel to the end line on the pivots, but in his normal fh position it looks like maybe 30° forward. But maybe that doesn't matter and my real problem is I don't transfer my weight forward like ML and every other good player does. It could be that my weight isn't transferred because it's on my heels and not the ball of the foot. But in another forum zeio just posted a video of some semi-official chinese coach ssying the weight shouldn't be on the balls of the feet at all. Oh my, now I'm all in a muddle.

This is what always happens when I start thinking about technique, which is why I am seriously impressed and amazed when everybody else posts here about doing just that. Don't know how you guys do it. I will go back to trying to make my sp bh hits go fast.


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2018, 04:41 
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BRS wrote:
Wow, I'm amazed you can just change your backswing on the fh like that. I am completely technique illiterate compared to you guys. If I try to think about fundamentals my level drops about 400 points.


Like I said in a match it does seem to fall apart against even level opposition right now. Plus you are ahead of me in skill BRS and wayyyy ahead in practice time.

I don't know why but when Brett comes up with a technique it seems to work for me pretty much every time. I'm probably not even doing the skills correctly all of the way but I tend to get something out of it.

With this technique: Bringing the arm down and back forces me to turn my torso more than when I bring my arm back the old way. Mental trick I think because I'm thinking about my technique again.


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2018, 05:26 
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Brett Clarke wrote:

It's very difficult to change technique and it takes a long time.


I am really curious what your action plan is for grooving new technique with adult learners these days, have your action plans changed since the early videos of ttedge?

On some tennis forums I have seen statement thrown around that new technique starts showing up automatically after 5-6000 technically correct repetitions but I couldn't find that number verified in any studies and seems a bit optimistic - with spin device shadow swings, ball drops and multi ball training I can get such volume in 2 weeks easily but wouldn't expect improved technique to be grooved so fast so really curious on your take on this- how to structure acquiring of new technique elements and what is reasonable to expect regarding time/repetitions needed to see new technique in matches?

Love the new video series btw


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2018, 06:19 
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BRS wrote:
It could be that my weight isn't transferred because it's on my heels and not the ball of the foot. But in another forum zeio just posted a video of some semi-official chinese coach ssying the weight shouldn't be on the balls of the feet at all. Oh my, now I'm all in a muddle.

This is what always happens when I start thinking about technique, which is why I am seriously impressed and amazed when everybody else posts here about doing just that. Don't know how you guys do it. I will go back to trying to make my sp bh hits go fast.


Are these the videos you're referring to? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIvqQw3 ... e=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... i-h_d8QGmg

I think his point is that you shouldn't be standing on your toes with your heels completely off the ground when doing the weight transfer. Perhaps some people take standing on the balls of your feet too literally? I've thought of it like this: if you lean forward with your knees bent, your weight will automatically be mostly on the balls of your feet. I have a habit of standing up straight after some shots and I'll notice that my weight has shifted more towards my heels, I can't see how having your weight here could be a good thing.

When he starts doing the shadow swings at 2.41 in the first video and mentions looping back to back and that your heel should then be on the ground, we can see that his heel still lifts slightly and that his weight is mostly on the front part of the foot. I'd be interested to hear what Brett has to say about this.

Btw, great video Brett! Did you ever play against Waldner? Did you get any inspiration from him when you were developing your serves? Did you have any aha moments when you were practicing them?


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2018, 11:32 
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Richfs wrote:

Btw, great video Brett! Did you ever play against Waldner? Did you get any inspiration from him when you were developing your serves? Did you have any aha moments when you were practicing them?


I played against Sweden when Waldner was in the team. He sat out for the match and he watched me get crushed by Peter Karlsson. I also trained at his club for a while. We were playing 'winner up, loser down' matches one day. I was moving up on a winning streak and he was losing, so we were set to play on a table in the middle. He just looked at me and quit for the day, which made me laugh. We sat down and talked instead and he asked me about my table tennis. I promptly told him that I was just another bad player. Henzell played in a league team with him for a season, which was amazing for him.

Watching Waldner play live was one of my biggest motivations for playing international table tennis, as strange as that may sound. Waldner was the table tennis God in the 90s. I watched Sweden beat China live in both 93 and 2000. I go to tournaments now and watch FZD and ML train and I can spend hours lurking around the court. The quality of their play is unmatched and they make everyone else in the training hall look bad. It's a joke that either of them ever lose a match. But watching Waldner play live was more a magical experience even though ML and FZD play at a higher level. Waldner was the most efficient and creative player ever. He made people fall in love with the sport.

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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2018, 11:49 
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Richfs wrote:
BRS wrote:
It could be that my weight isn't transferred because it's on my heels and not the ball of the foot. But in another forum zeio just posted a video of some semi-official chinese coach ssying the weight shouldn't be on the balls of the feet at all. Oh my, now I'm all in a muddle.

This is what always happens when I start thinking about technique, which is why I am seriously impressed and amazed when everybody else posts here about doing just that. Don't know how you guys do it. I will go back to trying to make my sp bh hits go fast.


Are these the videos you're referring to? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIvqQw3 ... e=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... i-h_d8QGmg

I think his point is that you shouldn't be standing on your toes with your heels completely off the ground when doing the weight transfer. Perhaps some people take standing on the balls of your feet too literally? I've thought of it like this: if you lean forward with your knees bent, your weight will automatically be mostly on the balls of your feet. I have a habit of standing up straight after some shots and I'll notice that my weight has shifted more towards my heels, I can't see how having your weight here could be a good thing.

When he starts doing the shadow swings at 2.41 in the first video and mentions looping back to back and that your heel should then be on the ground, we can see that his heel still lifts slightly and that his weight is mostly on the front part of the foot. I'd be interested to hear what Brett has to say about this.


I'm going to post a video and I don't like the presentation because the guy makes fun of people with less knowledge and that's unnecessary. Anyway, the presenter clearly understands that forehand is all about rotation and transferring weight isn't relevant although it's sometimes an incidental by-product. It's also okay to play on the ball of your foot sometimes, as long as it contributes to the torso rotation. There is almost no correlation between power and transferring ones weight or coming forward. This video is about rotation.


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PostPosted: 10 Oct 2018, 15:29 
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Disclaimer: This is EmRatThich's best video, because it's just slow motion of pros and none of his nonsense.

I've watched it many times in awe.

https://youtu.be/c78hvb1zD0M?list=PL5K1 ... fRFDx&t=99

On this shot Ma Long does take his momentum forward, but I think its to contact the ball at the right time as he hits it inside or near inside the table. The very next point he contacts the ball with a circular motion and does not move forward much. His massive rotation pretty much makes him come forward a little. His legs get entirely off the ground and do things that I simply cannot reproduce.

It's all there on the second shot (at 1:48). On first wind up he has all of his weight on his right leg and the left foot is actually only somewhat touching the floor. The arm coming back inside, his back pointed to the sky, his arm back as much as possible and straight, the little extra whip just before he explodes into the ball and his arm coming up above his head to create enough lift. Ma Long is so good he takes the triangle 2 steps further and not only his arm, but both of his legs are triangles at the end of the swing.

He does take the bat much further across is body than most of us do but he knows it's a kill shot that wont come back with quality and he fully commits to it.

We could probably spend the next few years discussing everything in the video.


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