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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2016, 23:51 
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Lately I have been climbing up the ranks and now get to play many matches against USATT 2000+/- players. These folks are fast, have very powerful loops, consistent serve flicks, etc. I am having trouble getting into chopping rallies. The kind of loops you see pros play against on youtube (high arc and slow) are not the kind of loops I play against at my level. One of my theories is I don’t produce enough backspin on my pushes and chops and I should get a thicker sponge (I play with an 0.5 now) but then I feel like I will have even less control returning fast loops.

Any ideas and advice on how to get into chopping rallies are welcome.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 00:26 
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People at the skill level and especially higher will never just let you chop them down....even if you manage to put heavy spin on your chop or push enough to make someone net it....they won't do it again. They will push it back and now you are in the same place as before.

The reason you see pros just backing up and chopping for the whole rally is that

a) if their opponent pushes they are opening themselves to the attack.

B) they are pros. Their loops are VERY good and they will practically never miss a chop from the LP side, so why would they push?

Around the 2000 level people start to have an OK grasp of the game. They are capable of making all types of shots in all scenarios, however, when confronted with a difficult shot (such as your chop) their consistency generally goes to 50%, and nobody would choose that as an option so they resort to a more consistent choice.

More spin on your chops is not the answer.

The answer is either
a) attack their pushes so they don't want to push.
B) if you don't want to attack make sure your pushes are LONG FIRST then low. Spin has very little to do with it at that
level contrary to popular belief.








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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 01:02 
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Thanks... To rephrase my question a bit:

when my opponents get me into playing pushes, I do attack and that does not concern me much. What does concern me is their first loop which is usually very powerful and fast and very difficult to chop (especially if they aim to your FH). This is unlike what you see when pros open up by looping high and soft. So I guess by asking about getting into rallies I am really asking for advice on how to best handle this first powerloop.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 01:07 
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notfound123 wrote:
Lately I have been climbing up the ranks and now get to play many matches against USATT 2000+/- players. These folks are fast, have very powerful loops, consistent serve flicks, etc. I am having trouble getting into chopping rallies. The kind of loops you see pros play against on youtube (high arc and slow) are not the kind of loops I play against at my level. One of my theories is I don’t produce enough backspin on my pushes and chops and I should get a thicker sponge (I play with an 0.5 now) but then I feel like I will have even less control returning fast loops.

Any ideas and advice on how to get into chopping rallies are welcome.


My perspective is slightly different from 'leatherback's, but then it probably applies more to ~1900 level opponents, who sometimes still attempt to loop my second chop :devil:

* I find that I need to back up in a smart way against better attackers after my serve, otherwise I just don't have time to react. Probably need better serves too

* High arching loops are probably there in pro game because they are lifting massive backspin. Most of my opponents don't do that - they either net it or push it back.

* I don't think my LP pushes with DG OX will ever produce enough backspin for them to net it - instead they usually send it long, since ball is mostly dead or has slight backspin. I get quite a few points that way if they decide to push my chop back - probably stops working at 2000+ level

I feel like lately I was able to get into more loop/chop rallies, which I liked a lot - suspect that managing distance from the table was key in my case.

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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 01:20 
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This is all good stuff and exactly the info I was looking for.

The other two key factors I need to decide for myself:
1) learning how to best position yourself after serve... i.e. distance from the table after serving
2) whether or not to chop w/FH; obviously by not chopping one would not get into chopping rallies :) I do chop on occasion but mostly to disturb the rhythm... also, T05 max is not exactly easy to chop with consistently.


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 02:25 
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What happens instead? What do the points look like? Presumably these players do loop to you - do you get a chance to chop, but they don't loop back? Does your chop go long or fail to reach the net? Or does it land high and mid-table, where it's promptly killed? Or do your opponents loop one and then push the next?

I suspect it's the latter. If it's the former, then obviously you need to work on footwork and chopping technique. But if it's the latter, you've got two (compatible) approaches.

The first is to discourage the push. If you get in and attack that push, effectively, they'll be scared to push. Easier if the push is to middle or forehand. I'm trying to generate the courage to attack pushed balls with my LP. It's coming along in training, but in a match situation I'm not confident enough.

The second is to work on your in/out footwork. I do drills every week based on loop/chop/push and then either push, flick, or aggressive push in response. I do this in various combinations to train going in and out forwards and backwards in both diagonal directions.

The result is that in a match where thus happens (a common tactic used against defenders) I'm prepared physically and tactically. It comes back to the mantra I'm developing - as a defender, I'm in no hurry. I put in the training, physically and on the table to be sure that if I need to go in and out from the table twenty times, that's fine. The 21st will result in a ball I can attack or a point-losing mistake from the opponent. Of course it's more likely to be two or three times, but it's the mindset that is important.

I think it's rare that you'll find players willing to take you on in a chop v loop rally. The longer it goes on, the better your chances. A cleverer player will try to tire you or get you out of position.

Just seen your follow-up about their first loop, which answers my first question.

Your opponent can only power loop to your fh if they get a ball the can power loop. So, keep the ball low and long, or very short, and if you aren't comfortable with an attack to your fh, try to keep the ball in the middle of on their bh. Of course you can't do this forever, and as my beloved chess teacher used to say: your opponent also gets a move...

For me, I'm happy with a first attack to my fh because I'll block it and then stand a good chance of counter hitting the next shot. Are you uncomfortable blocking on the fh?


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 02:34 
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notfound123 wrote:
Thanks... To rephrase my question a bit:

when my opponents get me into playing pushes, I do attack and that does not concern me much. What does concern me is their first loop which is usually very powerful and fast and very difficult to chop (especially if they aim to your FH). This is unlike what you see when pros open up by looping high and soft. So I guess by asking about getting into rallies I am really asking for advice on how to best
handle this first powerloop.


Yup, that's a problem - so you either need to be very quick and block it close to the table or be further away from it to chop/fish/guide it back. Are they attacking your serve or is it their 3rd ball? I guess in either case you do have some control in where you place your ball, be it your serve or return of theirs.

May be serving/returning to their deep BH will get you less powerful attack to deal with, and it is more likely to come to your BH as well, where you'd be waiting with LP to chop it 8) .

Placing your return into uncomfortable place (to make them move) and preferably deep will give you more time as well. Most of returns with LP are slow and are likely to have somewhat uncertain spin, so it will give your opponent some pause before launching their attack and might give you an extra time to get further back, perhaps.

As far as chopping on FH -I almost never get into chopping rallies on FH, since I'm not very good with chops there yet. I'm trying to go Gionis route ;)

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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 03:11 
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pgpg wrote:
notfound123 wrote:
Thanks... To rephrase my question a bit:

when my opponents get me into playing pushes, I do attack and that does not concern me much. What does concern me is their first loop which is usually very powerful and fast and very difficult to chop (especially if they aim to your FH). This is unlike what you see when pros open up by looping high and soft. So I guess by asking about getting into rallies I am really asking for advice on how to best
handle this first powerloop.


Yup, that's a problem - so you either need to be very quick and block it close to the table or be further away from it to chop/fish/guide it back. Are they attacking your serve or is it their 3rd ball? I guess in either case you do have some control in where you place your ball, be it your serve or return of theirs.

May be serving/returning to their deep BH will get you less powerful attack to deal with, and it is more likely to come to your BH as well, where you'd be waiting with LP to chop it 8) .

Placing your return into uncomfortable place (to make them move) and preferably deep will give you more time as well. Most of returns with LP are slow and are likely to have somewhat uncertain spin, so it will give your opponent some pause before launching their attack and might give you an extra time to get further back, perhaps.

As far as chopping on FH -I almost never get into chopping rallies on FH, since I'm not very good with chops there yet. I'm trying to go Gionis route ;)

I agree!

Serve return is why you are getting blasted off from the first loop. This is where LP has its biggest strength and biggest weakness.

You need to return long as you can where your opponent isn't waiting and give yourself time. LP allow you to do this by helping you control your opponents spin a bit.

However they can control the spin they get back to a certain extent so you must be aware of placement. It either has to very long and you are going back to chop. Or totally placed well or attacked and you need to stay on the attack in order for this to be effective.

Good responses here though! You aren't alone in the problem, it is the hardest part of any choppers game. We are the most vulnerable when we are drawn in close and then have to move back. I understand having good close to the table skills allows you to block when you are stuck out of position....but you still eventually need to move back and time is the only way you can achieve this.

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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 04:07 
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I don't think that you need to chop first to get into a chopping-rallye. You're aim should be to get your opponent to give you a long, not too aggressive but spinny ball to your chopping side. Take care of the angle which shouldn't be too extreme.
Therefore I think you should keep the ball low, not too long with some spin (may even be topspin) into the attackers forehand, as bait, or medium high and long but definitely not short into the backhand or low but directed at the person.

Thinking about it, when I get a chopped ball it will get higher after the bounce and my instinct would be to either shoot directly or to do an aggressive loop if the ball is within my attacking-zone.

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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 04:33 
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Red wrote:
I don't think that you need to chop first to get into a chopping-rallye. You're aim should be to get your opponent to give you a long, not too aggressive but spinny ball to your chopping side. Take care of the angle which shouldn't be too extreme.
Therefore I think you should keep the ball low, not too long with some spin (may even be topspin) into the attackers forehand, as bait, or medium high and long but not too short into the backhand or low but directed at the person.

Thinking about it, when I get a chopped ball it will get higher after the bounce and my instinct would be to either shoot directly or to do an aggressive loop if the ball is within my attacking-zone.

It has to be long. Without length we wouldn't have time to back up to a suitable distance and they also have an angle wide to the forehand.

A good player would crush a ball like you stated probably to the forehand side and then you are ready further away from a chopping rally especially if you don't chop on the forehand side.

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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 04:47 
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I often get into the chop rally's when someone blocks my forehand loop back towards my backhand. If I'm slow I chop.

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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 04:56 
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Where did I suggest not to play long? Length and angle shouldn't be extreme because more extreme balls will give more extreme returns. It should have some invitation to open the game with a comfortable loop like it was trained to the attacker in multiball- or robot-sessions.
If you give an invitation to loop you already can move into a suitable position before the ball has reached the other side.

If you won't have the return coming to your (extreme) forehand your ball should be on the opponents middle- to backhand-side (I suggest he's same-handed).

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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 05:22 
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Red wrote:
"Therefore I think you should keep the ball low, not too long with some spin (may even be topspin) into the attackers forehand.



Maybe you meant not off the table? Lol


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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 05:33 
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Let's read 'not too long' as a ball that's not going far after the baseline, about 15-20", maybe? It definitely doesn't describe a short ball.
Edit: It's never a good idea to panic when the opponent starts to prepare for an attack.

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PostPosted: 27 Oct 2016, 08:40 
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Red wrote:
Let's read 'not too long' as a ball that's not going far after the baseline, about 15-20", maybe? It definitely doesn't describe a short ball.
Edit: It's never a good idea to panic when the opponent starts to prepare for an attack.

There is my error. I didn't mean to suggest you said short. But I'm saying the further your push goes. The more time you have to move back and the harder it is for you to move back.

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