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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2015, 11:46 
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Very informative and comprehensive Brett! :clap: :up: :up: :up:

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2015, 00:33 
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The new ETTS08 on shoulder rotation during the FH topspin is timely, as that's what I have been messing up for the past two weeks or so. TTedge member Evan's stroke looks excellent. But I would love to see him using a random feed that changes up the location or the spin a bit. I do very well in static drills too, but when movement or spin reading comes into play it's not so good. Probably I should stop doing static drills altogether and always have some degree of randomness built in.

Thanks for another good video Brett, keep them coming. You didn't give an exercise for this, except to just do it. Would you recommend shadow swings?


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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2015, 02:52 
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One thing I have personally found helpful is locking the upper arm mentally to the body. Therefore, I pull my stroke back on the backswing with the elbow but make sure I am activating my core when doing so.

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2015, 19:05 
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BRS wrote:
The new ETTS08 on shoulder rotation during the FH topspin is timely, as that's what I have been messing up for the past two weeks or so. TTedge member Evan's stroke looks excellent. But I would love to see him using a random feed that changes up the location or the spin a bit. I do very well in static drills too, but when movement or spin reading comes into play it's not so good. Probably I should stop doing static drills altogether and always have some degree of randomness built in.

Thanks for another good video Brett, keep them coming. You didn't give an exercise for this, except to just do it. Would you recommend shadow swings?


BRS, Evan plays his forehand very well against the robot and, like you, he isn't as good off random balls in a match.

Learning Table Tennis isn't easy and it's one step at a time. Once you have good technique, you need to do more random drills for sure. It's my understanding that Evan has worked hard recently to get his forehand to the point where it is. His backhand needs lots of work and I'll be making a video about it soon.

Shadow swinging is certainly a good idea to get your shoulders turning as well as doing some of the random exercise in LTT34. Perhaps I need to add some actions plans for some of the ETTS stuff. What do you think?

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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2015, 00:25 
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I think full scale action plans may be too much work if overly tailored. Developing lessons that you can reference for ways people can address such problems would be helpful. Reading and looping long serves is still waiting for a lesson whose video has been filmed but not been put together ;) .

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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2015, 00:39 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
BRS wrote:
The new ETTS08 on shoulder rotation during the FH topspin is timely, as that's what I have been messing up for the past two weeks or so. TTedge member Evan's stroke looks excellent. But I would love to see him using a random feed that changes up the location or the spin a bit. I do very well in static drills too, but when movement or spin reading comes into play it's not so good. Probably I should stop doing static drills altogether and always have some degree of randomness built in.

Thanks for another good video Brett, keep them coming. You didn't give an exercise for this, except to just do it. Would you recommend shadow swings?


BRS, Evan plays his forehand very well against the robot and, like you, he isn't as good off random balls in a match.

Learning Table Tennis isn't easy and it's one step at a time. Once you have good technique, you need to do more random drills for sure. It's my understanding that Evan has worked hard recently to get his forehand to the point where it is. His backhand needs lots of work and I'll be making a video about it soon.

Shadow swinging is certainly a good idea to get your shoulders turning as well as doing some of the random exercise in LTT34. Perhaps I need to add some actions plans for some of the ETTS stuff. What do you think?


If the person wants to do them then I think the more action plans the better. You have them in Andy's ETTS videos. It would be really cool to see if Kiran does that drill and is looping half-long serves to his FH after two months or whatever.

A full on action plan may be too much, and some people may not want to do follow-up video. But at least I was thinking of a drill, like the advanced one in ETTS07. Just saying if your FH is bad, try to rotate more like Evan does, it's true, but not as helpful as a drill or training technique.


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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 02:16 
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ETTS 10 is out, on Evan's backhand. Brett has really been working hard. This one is about backhands that work great in training or against the robot, but aren't really usable in match play. I have one of those backhands, and it often degenerates into a stiff stroke from the shoulder out of fear of missing an easy shot.

Brett puts it down to the wrist and the technique, but I wonder if even before that it isn't just the fear. How can you use relaxed technique if you are scared of missing? Maybe playing with a bunch of ten year olds yesterday has put this in the front of my mind again, but they aren't worried about missing, or anything else, they just have fun. But as an adult who is used to worrying about lots of stuff most of the time, who paid your own tournament entry fees or coaching bills, how do you achieve that relaxed state? Maybe we need a Brett video on transcendental meditation as applied to table tennis. The first technique to learn is acceptance.


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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 09:07 
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I think fear is part of it, but it's technical as well. Evan doesn't use any wrist on his backswing and then holds it all back during the stroke. Good technique reduces fear. I'm working on some different ideas to help transfer skills into a match.

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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 10:14 
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I haven't seen the video yet, but I have strong independent opinions about this that I may post when I do.

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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 10:38 
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In my low but strong opinion, one issue is that many players who practice these strokes at home on robots don't think about the amount of risk involved in their contact points. I have found that most players don't contact the top of the ball as their initial contact point on most strokes in marches but somewhere more on the side while still finishing forward. The main reason is that you need to catch the ball somewhere in the middle of your stroke and doing it with a racket angle that exposes a large area of the ball is less risky. Yet when practicing strokes with robots, many players want to contact the top of the ball with a racket angle that is too risky as their initial contact point.

So imo, if you practice a stroke, always think about how much surface area of your racket you are exposing to the ball. That will prevent you from doing certain things that will definitely not work in matches.

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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2015, 17:10 
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NextLevel, I'd like to see you make an instructional style video for some of the things you like to talk about. Eg. Contact points, surface area etc. These aren't things I talk about and I'd be interested to see how you go. I may even learn something.

I'm in Palau at the moment (google it), developing TT in schools for ITTF and I'm heading to Guam on Wednesday to do the same stuff. Internet access isn't great, but I've made a few videos I'm happy with and I have some new ideas about serve return content and integration of training into match play through visualization. I haven't been on your channel, but post a link to anything you specifically want to me to watch whilst I'm in Guam.

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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 02:18 
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The original video I wanted to make before practice/tournaments/people etc. derailed me was a more detailed video on floor serving and reading the ball trajectory. I wanted to make something that people would find valuable if they didn't have a table to practice with. I will do something with my inchoate thoughts on this contact point as well.

On this BH issue, it is a debate that Matt and I have had repeatedly in the past but looking at the videos you just posted, I can see he is clearly right about what the Chinese are doing. What they do is that they put their thumb face down on the back of the blade as a grip they switch into and they then push/rotate through the stroke from closed to open barely using the wrist - because they are pronating the elbow, it may look like they are using the wrist to some people if you are used to the traditional backhand but they are not at all. I have always wondered why one needs to do this when one can get same effect (which is largely what I used to do) by simply bending the wrist backwards and pushing through to the same finish position by pronating the elbow (which was one of the many backhands I used to do - I have cycled through quite a few over the years trying to copy things I didn't understand). I guess the thumb on the face gives an additional feeling that might be missing with my stroke. But many players who tried to copy the CNT backhand and the European backhand like myself end up confused (well, I am not as confused anymore - I resolved the stability of my mid-distance backhand going through all of this). My stroke is still a hybrid of all kinds of things but to be honest, it works well for me and I think the things that you added and the things I picked up from Matt helped me understand the stroke much better and the importance of the elbow pronation, which is what I have always stressed (even naively) based on the influence of my coach. Whenever I meet someone with a backhand I find amazing, I always ask them to show me how they think through it so I can pick up something. Not everyone shares but many are willing. On the forehand, most people just tell me I need to use my knees so I have given up there. I have learned that I never know who has something valuable so I am humble - I just let them talk (and now I can record stuff) and hopefully figure it out myself later. But on a serious note, I doubt you would learn anything from my musings - it's more my internal attempt to make sense of technique.

In any case, the problem with my film is that I am usually at the club these days when people are around and their noises continually filter into my videos - the new camera also has a narrower zoom and this hurts my ability to move the camera around. People have been around just about every time I have tried/wanted to film something final for later editing. I will try a demo version of both this week today (bad sound) to send to you and do a formal filming late Saturday night or something. I really do expect to have a video by New Year as the club will be emptier and I will have more time with vacation etc.

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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 03:00 
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NL I just ordered a really cheap sony camcorder with wide angle 26.8 mm, compared to my less-cheap canon that is 38 mm. You will see if it works as soon as i post something.

About the backhand, NL's contact point concept is more advanced than my current issues. I just am not processing that fast to think about locations on the ball. I am still working at picking up that it is coming to my backhand and moving to where I can get the paddle on the ball with decent body position. I suspect Evan is closer to me than to NL, although that was a tiny sample and you obviously picked mistakes as examples.

I get what Brett is saying about good technique reducing fear, but i think it really means technique brings higher success rates which in turn build confidence, and trust in the strokes follows. But it is amazing how something completely different, say botching two forehand serve returns and a comfortable 9-5 lead is now a close 9-7, can change your backhand technique unconsciously *even when it has been working*.


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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 04:13 
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BRS wrote:
NL I just ordered a really cheap sony camcorder with wide angle 26.8 mm, compared to my less-cheap canon that is 38 mm. You will see if it works as soon as i post something.

About the backhand, NL's contact point concept is more advanced than my current issues. I just am not processing that fast to think about locations on the ball. I am still working at picking up that it is coming to my backhand and moving to where I can get the paddle on the ball with decent body position. I suspect Evan is closer to me than to NL, although that was a tiny sample and you obviously picked mistakes as examples.

I get what Brett is saying about good technique reducing fear, but i think it really means technique brings higher success rates which in turn build confidence, and trust in the strokes follows. But it is amazing how something completely different, say botching two forehand serve returns and a comfortable 9-5 lead is now a close 9-7, can change your backhand technique unconsciously *even when it has been working*.


The Sony's have a smaller MP4 format that uploads much faster - I bought the Canon I did because of the external mic feature, but I was naive about lens.

I think the contact point issue will help you as well - it's not an advanced concept per se - it's just something that makes it easier to offer a fuller face of the bat on more strokes (if I am right about it, of course). I think that sometimes, you don't feel confident swinging at the ball if it doesn't show up exactly where you like it and since I don't have great footwork, I think about that kind of stuff all the time. The issue is how to get to William's point at the end of the Backhand Topspin video where he goes that after a lot of practice, it doesn't matter where you swing at the ball from to make contact. If you aren't offering the full face of the bat on more of your backhand strokes, it's pretty hard to get there.

In a sense, remember when you said you didn't know how to loop with sidespin, but you knew how to loop with topspin not hitting the back of the ball? That's the concept in a nutshell.

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PostPosted: 08 Dec 2015, 04:43 
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BTW, having looked at it for the final time, Evan's biggest problem is that he is not pronating his elbow enough on the backswing (his stroke looks very similar to what Ringer84 was doing initially when he was ripping all those balls in practice). The simplest indicator of this when using the European backhand is how far back the wrist is turned in on the backswing, but the Chinese get the same elbow pronation, just with a different grip (hence their finishing position is usually different). That said, I know it is possible by choice to finish like William or the Chinese if you turn back your elbow sufficiently. But as Brett points out, his problem is on the backswing and is indicated by the wrist position, but is really contained in the elbow/upper arm rotation.

OK, enough talk. Work now and video tonight.

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