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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 00:58 
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BRS wrote:
fastmover wrote:
My pre-routine is all mental, not physical. I only imagine things and don't do them. After a lot of practice I can do this very quickly so it does not cause a concern from my opponents. Speaking about placement, I actually do struggle a bit to vary it on the reverse. My serve cross-court is a little worse than the same down the line.


Do you do the pre-routine before every serve or only reverse? How about when you receive, do you have a mental routine for that?

This is important and an area of free, low-effort improvement that I'm passing up out of laziness now. Really curious what works for other peeps.


I mostly do this for the reverse as it is the only way for my to get the serve right. I should visualize more as it seems to work.

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 02:21 
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fastmover wrote:
Prepare for a long journey.


We got a TT approved room at work...so will be doing considerably more serve practice :D

I don't think I would have bothered if the table wasn't so convenient. It makes me wonder if I should be working on the reverse pen or a different serve tho.

My logic on the reverse pen is that it is similar to my backhand serve in terms of spin but is certainly a different look. It pairs up well with the slow spin forehand loop that we are encouraged to do on the 3rd ball.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 02:51 
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[quote="wilkinru"][quote="fastmover"]Prepare for a long journey.[/quote]

We got a TT approved room at work...so will be doing considerably more serve practice :D

I don't think I would have bothered if the table wasn't so convenient. It makes me wonder if I should be working on the reverse pen or a different serve tho.

My logic on the reverse pen is that it is similar to my backhand serve in terms of spin but is certainly a different look. It pairs up well with the slow spin forehand loop that we are encouraged to do on the 3rd ball.[/quote]

I tried a lot, really a lot lot lot, to do reverse pendulum serves. I have a table in the garage and work from home, so plenty of practice reps. Result: it's way too hard for me. In matches I use a tomahawk serve that I learned mainly from YangYangtabletennis youtube channel. I can make sidetop, sideside, and sideunder with the same short motion just a different bat angle. It's easier to place, and sometimes even stays short. For some reason people hardly ever seem to read the bat angle at contact, maybe because from their perspective the edge of my bat should be facing directly at them.

By all means learn a reverse if you can, they are super inpressive and effective too. But if you want the same spins with an easier method, I recommend the tomahawk. If I can do it anyone can, I'm rubbish at learning serves.

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Last edited by BRS on 18 Jan 2019, 06:26, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 03:09 
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I have sort of given up on the reverse pendulum and now using a Henzell like tomohawk/punch almost exclusively, with a backhand serve thrown in the odd time.

There is really no benefit to learning more variations than that is there? If one has more quality than the other.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 03:10 
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Part of my motivation on the reverse pen is because it is hard. I wouldn't expect to be able to use it in a competitive match for months. I'm going to also try and do little videos showing my progress or lack of.

It may not be the BEST use of my practice time for winning matches. Then again maybe I'll find the serve fantastic. The regular pendulum serve I've pretty much abandoned because it just has a natural way of putting me in bad positions (wide backhands). This serve may also end up being put in the bin.

Tomahawk serve....maybe I'll try that in a few weeks.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 03:56 
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wilkinru wrote:
Part of my motivation on the reverse pen is because it is hard. I wouldn't expect to be able to use it in a competitive match for months. I'm going to also try and do little videos showing my progress or lack of.

It may not be the BEST use of my practice time for winning matches. Then again maybe I'll find the serve fantastic. The regular pendulum serve I've pretty much abandoned because it just has a natural way of putting me in bad positions (wide backhands). This serve may also end up being put in the bin.

Tomahawk serve....maybe I'll try that in a few weeks.


Best use of practice time is whatever makes you happy.

About reg pendulum serves, i think what gives opponents an angle to your wide bh is if you serve to their bh half. If you serve in the middle or fh half it's very hard for them to return off your bh corner.

I found it almost impossible to serve to the fh half standing with my right foot behind the left as in ttedge videos. A coach saw my problems and said "Why don't you try standing with you feet more in a line?" And that made it easier. I know I should accomplish the same effect by rotating my torso, but for now the result is what I'm after.

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 10:04 
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Once again I'm coming back from a league match disappointed with my mental state while playing.

I played in the 4th division in the south of Sweden today. Usually I play in the 3rd but our coach thinks it's good for me to get as much playing experience as possible. First match I lost 2-3 to a guy ranked 100 points below me. I thought I played well overall but missed some easy shots and received poorly. Bit disappointed considering how active I was while the other guy was for the most part blocking me around. But it just shows my placement needs to improve.. or that I need a bit more spin on my open ups.

Second match I went 0-2 down to a guy about 900 points below me.. I was just missing everything. When it goes this poorly it's as if I stop playing, it's ridiculous.. my energy just vanishes. Despite the horrific first two sets I managed to win the next two and struggled a bit in the fifth but took it 11-7. It just shows how unstable my game can be.. it's quite a common occurrence that I lose the first set to much weaker players and I don't know how to overcome it. I'll just randomly snap out of it and play how I "should" be playing. My opponent was loving it, and tried to capitalize on my poor mental state. It's a shame I have to let it get to me, in these moments I just want to stop playing and give the game away. I feel guilty for just saying that, sadly that's how it feels in the moment.
I play to have fun and this isn't fun, even if I end up winning in the end. Of course there's no hard feelings, he's just having fun trying to win. Either way, I need to figure out a way to get myself out of this mental grave I'm digging for myself in these moments. Or perhaps it's just a part of my play style and I'll have to accept that I'm still not that steady. Nevertheless, this was an unusually poor performance.

Third match I played a guy ranked higher than the last one but probably a few hundred points below me. I had a much easier time against him and beat him fairly comfortably 3-0. It's strange how things go.. even stranger that I'm so concerned about it, just play and have fun and accept that it can't go my way always.. it's not like I'm playing to make a living or anything.

I really should start recording all of my matches so I can look back to see if my thoughts after each match really are accurately portraying each match. I don't like having a camera on me while playing but it's a silly hurdle to get over and could only benefit me in the long run.

I apologize for this sounding like a personal blog post lol. What have your guys experiences been like playing much weaker opponents and suffering losses or near losses?


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 10:36 
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Richfs wrote:
I really should start recording all of my matches so I can look back to see if my thoughts after each match really are accurately portraying each match. I don't like having a camera on me while playing but it's a silly hurdle to get over and could only benefit me in the long run.


This is HUGE. I used to be lazy about it but no longer.

I can't tell you how many bad losses I've had where I walked off the court thinking I played the worst match of my life. Then watched the video and saw that I played decently, maybe even well, but the other guy was much better (or just more effective) than I thought. Or he got the breaks at the right times.

The downside: I've also had some nice wins where I walked off the court thinking I played like gold - only to watch the video and see how many breaks I got, gimme shots he missed, etc.

It goes both ways, but I've learned to never trust my post-match feeling.


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 11:55 
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FruitLoop wrote:
Had a training session at club today.

also too much verticality in the stroke, not rotating to finish with proper weight transfer, both against backspin and topspin.

Best way to drill this? I feel both of these are things I have been doing poorly for quite a long time. I'm lifting the ball when there is nothing to lift very often and I think it's more from the same rotation/weight transfer problem than anything else.


I'm new so take this for what it's worth - but I have been struggling with the same problem since day 1. I am Mr Vertical FH with-zero-hip-turn. The video Wilkinru remembers is surely mine. And I spent the last year doing LTT22 and LTT34 robot drills with no detectable match improvement.

But just recently, I somehow tried (made up) a drill that has actually worked! Real progress - I've made more in-match FH hip turns in the last month than my previous career total. But it's so ridiculous I'm a bit embarrassed to describe it.

I've been doing 3 drills: DTT7, LTT106, and a basic serve/recovery/3rd ball loop - all with No racket, no ball, no opponent, and NO ARMS.

I started with DTT7 (imagining a training partner and ball :) with arms close in, elbow in golden point - I do the footwork landing with right foot and hips open, then do a fast hard loop with legs/hips/shoulders only. then back to the left another fast hard FH using only legs/hips/ shoulders

I've discovered a coiling/whip action in the hip turn that's required to get a strong no-arms loop. I can't believe Brett hasn't mentioned it in an LTT video (maybe I missed it). but the legs and hips lead the acceleration with the shoulders trailing a bit - until exploding at contact. Turns out it's not just a generic open hips then close hips action - there's a definite whip.

Same thing with LTT106 (with an ipad in my office) - the FH does loop with hip whip action, and the BH a basic bow. Also I've been doing serve, recovery, opening loop-with-no-arms shadow points.

I have no idea why this has worked for me, if it will continue to work, or if it will work for anyone else. But the improvement thus far has been so startling (and after much failure) that I wanted to tell you about it :)


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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 12:05 
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freakinjstu wrote:
all with No racket, no ball, no opponent, and NO ARMS.


LOL! I've been trying to get this guy to whip the ball that I'm teaching and you should see me running around trying to do the motions with my arms behind my back. I must look like I'm insane.
I also explain to that I'm the weakest player in the club. Everyone could beat me at arm wrestling.

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 13:05 
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freakinjstu wrote:
FruitLoop wrote:
Had a training session at club today.

also too much verticality in the stroke, not rotating to finish with proper weight transfer, both against backspin and topspin.

Best way to drill this? I feel both of these are things I have been doing poorly for quite a long time. I'm lifting the ball when there is nothing to lift very often and I think it's more from the same rotation/weight transfer problem than anything else.


I'm new so take this for what it's worth - but I have been struggling with the same problem since day 1. I am Mr Vertical FH with-zero-hip-turn. The video Wilkinru remembers is surely mine. And I spent the last year doing LTT22 and LTT34 robot drills with no detectable match improvement.

But just recently, I somehow tried (made up) a drill that has actually worked! Real progress - I've made more in-match FH hip turns in the last month than my previous career total. But it's so ridiculous I'm a bit embarrassed to describe it.

I've been doing 3 drills: DTT7, LTT106, and a basic serve/recovery/3rd ball loop - all with No racket, no ball, no opponent, and NO ARMS.

I started with DTT7 (imagining a training partner and ball :) with arms close in, elbow in golden point - I do the footwork landing with right foot and hips open, then do a fast hard loop with legs/hips/shoulders only. then back to the left another fast hard FH using only legs/hips/ shoulders

I've discovered a coiling/whip action in the hip turn that's required to get a strong no-arms loop. I can't believe Brett hasn't mentioned it in an LTT video (maybe I missed it). but the legs and hips lead the acceleration with the shoulders trailing a bit - until exploding at contact. Turns out it's not just a generic open hips then close hips action - there's a definite whip.

Same thing with LTT106 (with an ipad in my office) - the FH does loop with hip whip action, and the BH a basic bow. Also I've been doing serve, recovery, opening loop-with-no-arms shadow points.

I have no idea why this has worked for me, if it will continue to work, or if it will work for anyone else. But the improvement thus far has been so startling (and after much failure) that I wanted to tell you about it :)


You've just described my life!

Last night I went down to the club in Bangkok and did shadow play without using my arms. Using my arms distracts me from what I want to do. I was doing the serve, recovery and 3rd ball thing with no arms too. I was doing forehand from all over the table (semi-cross footwork) with no arms.

People in Bangkok must think that I'm crazy. I'll go to the club and practice my serve and do crazy shadow play, and then leave. If anyone approaches my court, I get semi angry with them. People think that I'm inviting them to play against me or something. People <1300 walk onto my court and want to play me because of the socialist environment in Thai TT. In one Bangkok club, the owner will ask you to leave if you refuse to play another club member. It's a rule of the club that you must play with anyone who makes a request, even though you pay to play there.

If LTT106 is helping you, anticipation was a big part of your problem. I have a bunch of videos in the pipeline which are going to keep you so busy in your office. I don't know what work you do, but you'll never deliver another project again.

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 13:30 
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fastmover wrote:
I've actually been messing with my reverse serve lately. As I wrote before, I decided to use my reverse serve a lot more in matches, so I tried to improve it a bit, especially the use of my body. What I found out is that the only way for me to generate any backspin on this serve is the extensive use of visualization. When I intend to serve backspin, the first thing I imagine is a straight line that goes underneath the ball lying in my hand that points towards the intended direction of the flight path. So if I want to serve cross-court, I imagine a diagonal line. Then I stick my elbow to the side and imagine the torso rotation that will move my hand along the imaginary line underneath the ball. And finally I turn my body according to the plan making sure that my chest at the end of the motion is aligned with the intended flight path. It feels like I am wrapping my body around the ball, though it definitely looks different. This may sound like am totally crazy, but unless I follow this complicated procedure, I only generate varying amount of sidespin no matter what else I do.


Is that it? That's all you have to do between points?

Here's a list I things that I do, in order:
- Correct the shot I just missed by imagining myself doing the correct movement and result (LTT57)
- I then hear the words "sinking deeper and deeper". These words are my trigger to induce relaxation. These are the words from a progressive relaxation routine I've spent hundreds of hours practicing (LTT56)
- Visualize the correct body more for my serve, as per fastmover above. Mine is less complicated.
- Visualize the opponent flicking my backspin serve into his own side of the table or lobbing my topspin serve (LTT65)
- Visualize a 3rd ball attack possibility, based on the opponent's patterns and tendencies.
- Repeat LTT65 again and serve with that image occupying my whole mind. I immerse myself with the result for the entire serve.

This all takes a few seconds and no one would ever know that it's happening.

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 13:40 
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wilkinru wrote:
freakinjstu wrote:
all with No racket, no ball, no opponent, and NO ARMS.


LOL! I've been trying to get this guy to whip the ball that I'm teaching and you should see me running around trying to do the motions with my arms behind my back. I must look like I'm insane.
I also explain to that I'm the weakest player in the club. Everyone could beat me at arm wrestling.

Image


Hilarious gif :D

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 13:46 
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BRS wrote:
My fh sucked a lot yesterday though, even though I played well otherwise. And if you asked me why, before reading this thread, I would have told you because I didn't transfer my weight. Maybe that means the same to me as what you mean by the hip rotation thing.


This is almost certainly true. When you think about transferring your weight, you probably push your right hip in the process. This starts the chain reaction.

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PostPosted: 18 Jan 2019, 13:55 
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fastmover wrote:
My pre-routine is all mental, not physical. I only imagine things and don't do them. After a lot of practice I can do this very quickly so it does not cause a concern from my opponents. Speaking about placement, I actually do struggle a bit to vary it on the reverse. My serve cross-court is a little worse than the same down the line.


Imagining things and not doing them is a good start. The imagining is more important than the doing.

Let me explain. Say you played a really bad game and you had 3 minutes before the next one. If you sat down and tried to vividly imagine a ball (football, table tennis ball, tennis ball, whatever), you'd probably play better in the next game. Imagining a football has absolutely nothing to do with TT, however you'd benefit immensely by putting yourself into this state.

Now if you sat down and imagined yourself looping and the player blocking 3 feet off the end of the table for 3 minutes, that would be even more powerful. See video LTT58.

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