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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2014, 18:37 
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With the plastic ball coming and the sport basically being in a holding pattern for much of this year, I've decided to use this "lame duck" period to take a break from competing in celluloid tournaments and work on the hitting game that many predict the sport will become. So, lately I've been playing double short pips with 802-1 on my backhand.

Until recently, I have no experience playing SP full time. Against topspin I mostly block and I'm getting quite consistent. I can push pretty well with my backhand. I'm decent at rolling backspin with my forehand. I can hit with both wings. That's pretty much my repertoire at the moment.

I'm comfortable against conventional attacking players and defenders. But what gives me headaches are opponents who mostly poke squirrelly balls around the table. I guess these are like light to medium side/under balls with not much pace.

These kinds of balls never bothered me with long pips as I'd just poke them right back. I'm not sure how to handle them with short pips. I don't really have a backhand rolling shot in my arsenal (yet), but I assume that's the correct response? I don't have a punch shot either. Should I be punching these? I need some kind of consistent and hopefully aggressive way to deal with these balls.

How do you handle squirrelly balls?

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2014, 23:30 
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I have more trouble with defensive players and retrievers who give weird balls than people who try to loop balls past me all day. Pushes with varying degrees of underspin and especially weird lobs throw me off, while I can just do my hitting game against your normal offensive players.

The best way I've found of dealing with it is safely pushing the weird balls back until I see a more obvious avenue of attack, and the lobs really don't give me much of a choice but to improve my accuracy at finding the table when smashing them.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2014, 23:53 
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While I am no SP expert, I would think the answer is the same as always "Hit through the ball". The whole purpose of SP is to hit!! :rofl: :rofl:


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2014, 23:55 
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i`m not quite sure what the term "squirrelly ball" refers to... :) :^)

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2014, 00:06 
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By "squirrelly" I mean a ball without much pace with some element of side/under. I can hit it if it's high, but if it's low a hit goes in the net.

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2014, 00:15 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
With the plastic ball coming and the sport basically being in a holding pattern for much of this year, I've decided to use this "lame duck" period to take a break from competing in celluloid tournaments and work on the hitting game that many predict the sport will become. So, lately I've been playing double short pips with 802-1 on my backhand.

Until recently, I have no experience playing SP full time. Against topspin I mostly block and I'm getting quite consistent. I can push pretty well with my backhand. I'm decent at rolling backspin with my forehand. I can hit with both wings. That's pretty much my repertoire at the moment.

I'm comfortable against conventional attacking players and defenders. But what gives me headaches are opponents who mostly poke squirrelly balls around the table. I guess these are like light to medium side/under balls with not much pace.

These kinds of balls never bothered me with long pips as I'd just poke them right back. I'm not sure how to handle them with short pips. I don't really have a backhand rolling shot in my arsenal (yet), but I assume that's the correct response? I don't have a punch shot either. Should I be punching these? I need some kind of consistent and hopefully aggressive way to deal with these balls.

How do you handle squirrelly balls?


Any kind of slow ball that can't be hit for a winner is a bit tricky with SP, unless you're really fast. The best/aggressive way to deal with them is flicking them, when they are still on the rise, with lots of wrist to where the opponent can't comfortably reach them. You can do this with any kind of ball provided you make a lot of spin yourself (that's where the wrist-action is for) thus cancelling/overruling the spin that is already on the ball. But if you're not that fast, you'd better go for dealing with them in a conservative way. If you take a look at Wang Tao receiving rather short services, you'll see he is making side/under spin, lots of it, but without a lot of forward speed. It's basically bringing the bat towards the ball slightly open and tip mostly down, and on contact flick the wrist very quickly: a side-spin push. Make sure you pick up the ball early and with the tip of the bat, where you'll produce the best spin. With half-long balls this is more difficult, and it's generally far better to roll them, again making lots of spin, top-spin this time, making contact as far towards the top of the ball as possible in order to avoid the sidespin on it. Still, try to hit the first one, for you might be surprised how many balls you are actually able to hit even when they don't look like it.
As a rule, playing the short game, over the table, with SP you have to be patient as you lack the possibilities offered by inverted to pick the ball up more aggressively, as well as the insensitivity of LP or longer MP that would allow you to press balls back. Playing against "fumbling" opponents, with SP it is often best, alas, to "fumble" the ball back until it comes to you in such a way that you can really attack it.

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2014, 06:23 
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As someone who probably hits a lot of "squirrelly" balls, I find that if a player makes me have to rush, doesn't give me a lot of time to play my shot, then the squirrel factor goes down. So you play such players by not letting them do so in the first place.

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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2014, 02:36 
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Use the top spin drive shot instead of a flat hit-this stroke on the backhand is 1/2 counter drive-1/2 loop: How I do it:

With my paddle held almost like a lolly pop (pointing between 10 and 11 o'clock)-I take the paddle down to about naval height.
When the ball makes contact with my paddle, I forcefully pivot at the elbow in about a 45 degree angle (more angle for chop-less angle for loop). I make sure that the ball sinks into the wood of my paddle allowing the 802 or 802-40 pips to "bite."
With 802 (orange/red sponge) the ball is a very low -modest top spin; with the 802-40 is has much more spin but higher throw angle.

This stroke allows you to put "some" top spin on the ball, and allows you to move the ball about the table until 1) you can hit your forehand or 2) he chokes it up enough to your back hand that you can flat hit it away.

a proviso- Keep this shot away from strong loopers forehand or high to a pips out hitter as it will get eaten (by you); however, placed well, this shot can cause your opponent all kinds of misery... :devil:

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PostPosted: 30 Oct 2014, 08:23 
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Also like you with the new ball coming into play I have dusted off a couple of my older paddles - A Yong Fan with Juic 999 Elite inverted in 2.0 red and 802-40 1.7 in black or my other pro Alfa 729-40 cream in 2.0 red and 802 in 1.5 black. These have good control; the Alfa is a medium fast blade probably ALL +, Yong Fan Ex Off-so not much different-I have this fear that the powers that be are not completely done mucking about with the game....especially long pips and anti.... :n:

Ian

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