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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 01:03 
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Hi folks,

It occurs to me that I don't really have a drive/flat-hit stroke. Every forehand I play is a loop - either a slow, spinny loop or a powerloop.

At what point should I be trying to "slap" the ball past my opponent? And what's the correct technique for doing so?

I know I can't slap heavy topspin or backspin, and I know that I need to hit the ball at the top of the bounce to utilise the maximum height on the ball.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 01:20 
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During warmup. And during a safe high ball and you are hitting to someone's long pip side. :lol: if you can control the amount of spin in your loop you don't really have to slap the ball unless you want to smack it with no spin. At least that's my mentality

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 01:31 
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Yeah, I control everything with spin. I just think that maybe it would be more effective to flat-hit? These days I find a flat-hit ball harder to return than a loop.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 02:16 
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It's more of a philosophical question. If you can do it then do it. At higher levels looping is king currently. That being said we aren't going to be playing any ittf pro events any time soon so do what feels good. It's more fun that way.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 03:29 
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With inverted, make more solid contact hitting the middle of the ball more to make a flatter hit.

It is a wicked player who can spin real heavy first topspin, then hit a very fast flat hit to finish the point.

So, that or a fast power loop kill to finish the point is a good combination stroke series.

Just remember to keep your bat up chest height after recovery to make you use forward weight transfer and square/swing your shoulders into the shot.

The mistake most players do when trying to hit second shot hard off a block from your heavy topspin, is that the players tend to dip their shoulder low and bend back backwards like they are looping vs underspin again. The timing is different too and if you are making that small step forward to step into the shot, you will be in a better position, have better weight transfer, and you will see the ball better so you can time it better. That makes a worlds of difference - recover to keep bat hand up and step to the ball.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 03:45 
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Thanks Echte, that's great advice. Do you know of any videos with "good technique" for playing such a shot?

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 05:19 
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dunc wrote:
Thanks Echte, that's great advice. Do you know of any videos with "good technique" for playing such a shot?


Look for anything on "smashing". A flathit is just a smash/punch - the motion is back to front flat through the ball or side of the ball, not down to up or around the ball. The problem of course is that it is less consistent than a topspin. I tend to flathit more than topspin, though I would call it a light topspin and not a completely flat ball. It's hard to do consistently against backspin but everything else is fair game as long as I read the ball and get to it on time.

The key is to know when your opponent loves spin. There are opponents like that who just love it when you loop (and a flat hitter like me just might be one of them, as may be a long pips chopper). Against such players, the dead ball can be a powerful variation.

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PostPosted: 09 Jan 2015, 09:45 
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dunc wrote:
Yeah, I control everything with spin. I just think that maybe it would be more effective to flat-hit? These days I find a flat-hit ball harder to return than a loop.


+1.. I too find it difficult to flat hit rather than loop particularly on higher bouncing balls, the reason I find for this is muscle memory, when you're looping almost constantly and making that "one" fluid arcing motion contacting the botton third of the back of the ball its a difficult habit to break because imo a flat-hit requires a "dual" movement shot, iow there are two parts to the stroke, the first is raising the bat straight up vertically to get above the ball, the second is punching down through the middle of the ball with a linear angled stroke and correct flat bat angle, so rather than an arc that is formed with a loop, this shot requires more of a "triangle" shaped stroke. It is difficult to identify and then perform this shot quickly enough when you're moving around and your body wants to set itself for its go to shot, the loop. Practice and training to develop "muscle memory" for this shot is all that is required and should come fairly easily with a little time and effort.

My 2 cents, hope this helps.

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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2015, 14:03 
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I think the pure flat hit is overrated. Even a little topspin will greatly increase your margin of error, and the stroke may feel more natural to you if you already have a solid loop.

It's not an either-or situation in which you either have to hit a loop or hit a flat kill. There's a continuous spectrum in between. The rule of thumb should be loop it if it's too low to drive, taking the ball even with your rear leg, which would be your right leg if you're right-handed. If your topspin forces a higher return from your opponent, you can take the ball further out in front, closer to your front leg. But, again, there are infinite variations in between. But just remember to dip your shoulder and take your backswing low if you're looping and trying to maximize topspin, but take the racket back straighter if you're driving more and trying to put more speed into the mix. However, maintaining some topspin, even on your drive, is desirable by providing you with a trajectory that gives you some margin for error and that helps the ball cut through air resistance. The air tends to "pile up" in front of a very flat ball, which partially slows it, but which can often make its flight path somewhat erratic, kind of like a high-speed knuckle ball. It's why the spinning shots of the early rifles ultimately replaced the musket in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The shots flew straighter (more accurately) and that effect is even more pronounced with light TT balls, especially with the large 40+ balls, with their increased resistance.

That said, there are players out there with these great flat hits. But you don't necessarily have to emulate them. Xu Xin and Zhang Jike have these great forehands, but even their kills aren't what you would call flat.


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PostPosted: 10 Jan 2015, 18:38 
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Hi I am new to the site! I have a team mate that's really good in smashing the ball.
The ball that he normally smash are the balls near the net locking the elbows and really going forward to the ball.
Difference between Chop and block smash.
When he smashes a block with heavy top spin you need to aim top of the net same principle as punching a heavy top spin.
When it's heavy chop or push you can have the bat 90 to 100 degrees.

Long balls are more risky to smash I suggest you loop them again an wait for the right shortish ball to kill.

Hope this helps


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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2015, 02:28 
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Err, Dear Dunc,

most chopper blade, including your defense pro, designed for easy ‘slashing' but resist ‘fanning’, means easy chop and loop, stable block, but akward smashing.

Even worse for oversized blade like defense alpha.

So I vote for loop or chop them all. :)


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PostPosted: 11 Jan 2015, 04:53 
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Just as a lot of shots people call "loops" are actually what we used to call topspin drives, a lot of what people call "flat hits" are also topspin drives. Few attacking shots have no topspin at all, most "flat hits" actually have some topspin, just less than a loop. Assuming you're using inverted sandwich, you're going to have to close the bat somewhat because the incoming shot has topspin, and even if you hit it flat the incoming topspin will still get converted to topspin going the other way. If the incoming ball has backspin, you'd open the racket face more, but you'd have to stroke upwards to keep it from going into the net, and you'd thereby impart some topspin. Even when killing lobs I was taught to bring the racket over the ball rather than hit it flat down along its intended path. A truly spinless ball would tend to float and wander off in unpredictable directions.

Topspin drives (also called "counters" or "counter drives" when they're not being called "flat hits" or "loops") are bread-and-butter shots and are the first stroke usually taught to beginners. Should be lots of videos of people doing them, watch players warming up before a game, they're usually using topspin drives rather than looping.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2015, 08:59 
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I'm not sure I agree, iskander.

The shot I'm referring to has 0 brush on the ball. Granted, it may have topspin on if the incoming ball is a heavy loop, but there's no addition of topspin other than from the natural friction of the inverted rubber.

Boll is a good example. His loop, the quintessential European loop, relies a great deal on his forearm closing incredibly quickly and has an emphasis on brushing the ball. However, he also occasionally (rarely) uses an entirely different stroke for high-ish balls where he doesn't close his forearm, he basically just rotates his body and slaps the ball with a full, no-brush contact. He follows through all the way past his centre point too.

That's not what I'd call a counter-hit or topspin drive. It's a flat hit.

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2015, 09:39 
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"Flat hit" is a term applied to many strokes but in this context, smashing is implied.

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2015, 10:47 
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When I think of a "FLAT" hit (or a HIT in general) I think of a shot that has very little to no spin. I think the FLAT shot has significantly less spin than it appears or simply much less than a weak topspin.

The pace of the FLAT shot could be any speed. Often, it is a shot with a lot of pace (such as a HIT) but in some situations, you can make a FLAT shot without a lot of pace, such as a shot vs underspin where you are hitting thorugh the ball, but "killing" the spin to make a near no-spin return that often needs to be of only medium pace for it to safely land deep (hopefully at opponent's crosover)

I beleive the term "FLAT" comes from its trajectory. A shot with incresingly more topspin has a more pronounced dip at the end and a FLAT shot has very little such dip (since there isn't much spin and the pace is usually fast - no time for gravity to drop it a lot).

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