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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2015, 18:51 
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NextLevel wrote:
"Flat hit" is a term applied to many strokes but in this context, smashing is implied.

I see a smash as a different stroke entirely. To me, that's a downward motion from a high ball where you start with the bat at almost head height (and, if you're professional, often incorporates a jump!).

That might just be semantics though, the contact from bat->ball is the same as the stroke I'm referring to.

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PostPosted: 12 Jan 2015, 20:02 
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A "smash" would be what they call a "kill" in books ("smash" being - or at least it was - more of a tennis term). Yes, it's hit flatter than a loop or a normal drive but even those, mostly, have some degree of topspin. Even when killing the really high lobs (if you want them to consistently hit the table, that is). Good lobs have topspin, which will cause you to miss the table unless you perform the kill by stroking over the top of the ball instead of straight down.

I think, if you watch Boll closely, even those "flat" hits will have a fair amount of topspin on them, just a great deal less than a loop would have. The trajectory is a lot flatter than a loop's but the ball isn't wandering off in odd directions (like a knuckleball pitch would) because there's some topspin on it.

Regardless of the amount of spin, when to use this stroke is a non-brainer. Anything popped high is a candidate. Especially something popped up short AND high. Wham!

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 00:25 
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iskandar taib wrote:
A "smash" would be what they call a "kill" in books ("smash" being - or at least it was - more of a tennis term). Yes, it's hit flatter than a loop or a normal drive but even those, mostly, have some degree of topspin.

My table tennis English is not that suberb, but I understand "smash" like you, as a lightly topspinned kill stroke. The topspin is usually result from the spin in the coming ball.

Then there is flat hits and (forgotten) underspin kills. For a flat hit it is usually required a flat ball or spinless equipment.


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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 03:03 
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Flat hit means that the stroke is not intended to impart topspin. With inverted, it is hard to stroke without imparting some spin.

Yes, the flat hit is overrated at the higher levels unless you use pips. But at the level I play, the flat hit is underrated as the lack of topspin throws off most blockers and young loopers, who are topspin trained to the tee. People watch me play loopers and are sometimes puzzled by how I play them, but I tell them I can only loop to someone when I am a better looper than he is. I will flathit and punch block because I can't compete by by running down all those topspins.

We have a player in the USA who uses extremely worn Mark V to play and plays at a 2200-2300 level. He blocks and flat hits extremely well and rarely topspins. He rarely loses to loopers unless they have extreme power and extreme mobility. He is in his late 40s and overweight and unathletic. Very smart but it gives you an idea of what the deadball can do when people are too spin oriented.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 08:54 
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NextLevel wrote:
Flat hit means that the stroke is not intended to impart topspin. With inverted, it is hard to stroke without imparting some spin.

Yes, the flat hit is overrated at the higher levels unless you use pips. But at the level I play, the flat hit is underrated as the lack of topspin throws off most blockers and young loopers, who are topspin trained to the tee. People watch me play loopers and are sometimes puzzled by how I play them, but I tell them I can only loop to someone when I am a better looper than he is. I will flathit and punch block because I can't compete by by running down all those topspins.

We have a player in the USA who uses extremely worn Mark V to play and plays at a 2200-2300 level. He blocks and flat hits extremely well and rarely topspins. He rarely loses to loopers unless they have extreme power and extreme mobility. He is in his late 40s and overweight and unathletic. Very smart but it gives you an idea of what the deadball can do when people are too spin oriented.


I know the gent and his worn out Mark V rubber isn't what kills me... or you. Dude simply has touch and control of placement... and you just cannot read and anticipate where he will send the ball, he doesn't miss a lot, so you gotta be real patient with him and go for the shot when it is there, heavy spin helps, but he gives you lanes on FH to get it by him too.

When he goes on attack, you are usually surprised and/or you have no idea where he intends to hit it, so even a medium paced ball is a winner for him, spin or no spin.

Dude is serious good at "killing" spin on impact with wrist pressure... hmmm.. I think they call that TOUCH and dude got it,, I can't even SPELL touch yet.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 12:00 
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I'm pretty sure the guy you are describing who is 2200-2300 would win despite having mark V, Sriver, flextra, or a premade bat. Some people are just good blockers. They can manipulate spin, they can hit flat, and when you don't expect it give you just enough spin to miss. I believe that's what you call skill.

I bet there are several long pip players around the same level that would still kill 2000 and below players without having an off surface. A thing I learned about playing tournaments is that the equipment isn't beating you. It's your opponent.

BTW. back to subject. My brother is 100-200 pts lower than me and is a hitter... Loves when I play with long pips...I can still beat him half the time, but it's a struggle. When I play inverted or short pips on the backhand then I win most of the games. So there is a benefit to hitting flat. I just don't want to unless I'm hitting with my lp.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 12:10 
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Roy wrote:
Then there is flat hits and (forgotten) underspin kills. For a flat hit it is usually required a flat ball or spinless equipment.


The backspin kill is usually referred to as a "chop-kill". Not very often used, hard to do if the ball is too high. Best used on those REALLY popped up short balls with backspin. There's also the loop-kill - a very fast loop done with a very horizontal stroke and very closed bat on a high ball.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 12:19 
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NextLevel wrote:
Flat hit means that the stroke is not intended to impart topspin. With inverted, it is hard to stroke without imparting some spin.

Yes, the flat hit is overrated at the higher levels unless you use pips. But at the level I play, the flat hit is underrated as the lack of topspin throws off most blockers and young loopers, who are topspin trained to the tee. People watch me play loopers and are sometimes puzzled by how I play them, but I tell them I can only loop to someone when I am a better looper than he is. I will flathit and punch block because I can't compete by by running down all those topspins.

We have a player in the USA who uses extremely worn Mark V to play and plays at a 2200-2300 level. He blocks and flat hits extremely well and rarely topspins. He rarely loses to loopers unless they have extreme power and extreme mobility. He is in his late 40s and overweight and unathletic. Very smart but it gives you an idea of what the deadball can do when people are too spin oriented.


The thing is, these shots are not totally spin-free, though they do have less topspin (FAR less topspin) than a loop. It seems to me that there now seems to be a dichotomy - a shot is either a "loop" or a "flat hit", when in the past there used to be "loops" and "topspin drives". These days the bottom end of what people call "loops" are what used to be topspin drives (the old "loops" were the really, really spinny brush shots against backspin, though later the very, very spinny shots against topspin were called "fast loops"), and anything that's not a loop are called hits but are also what used to be topspin drives. The term "topspin drive" seems to have been squeezed out in between, despite the fact that people still use them a lot, it's just the names that have changed.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 14:29 
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iskandar taib wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
Flat hit means that the stroke is not intended to impart topspin. With inverted, it is hard to stroke without imparting some spin.

Yes, the flat hit is overrated at the higher levels unless you use pips. But at the level I play, the flat hit is underrated as the lack of topspin throws off most blockers and young loopers, who are topspin trained to the tee. People watch me play loopers and are sometimes puzzled by how I play them, but I tell them I can only loop to someone when I am a better looper than he is. I will flathit and punch block because I can't compete by by running down all those topspins.

We have a player in the USA who uses extremely worn Mark V to play and plays at a 2200-2300 level. He blocks and flat hits extremely well and rarely topspins. He rarely loses to loopers unless they have extreme power and extreme mobility. He is in his late 40s and overweight and unathletic. Very smart but it gives you an idea of what the deadball can do when people are too spin oriented.


The thing is, these shots are not totally spin-free, though they do have less topspin (FAR less topspin) than a loop. It seems to me that there now seems to be a dichotomy - a shot is either a "loop" or a "flat hit", when in the past there used to be "loops" and "topspin drives". These days the bottom end of what people call "loops" are what used to be topspin drives (the old "loops" were the really, really spinny brush shots against backspin, though later the very, very spinny shots against topspin were called "fast loops"), and anything that's not a loop are called hits but are also what used to be topspin drives. The term "topspin drive" seems to have been squeezed out in between, despite the fact that people still use them a lot, it's just the names that have changed.

Iskandar


A flat hit is closer to a smash than a loop (in fact, flat hits are mostly smashes, but I digress). A loop/topspin drive is closer to a loop than a smash. Nothing has been squeezed out, though the larger balls have placed more emphasis on pace over spin.

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 16:07 
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NextLevel wrote:
A flat hit is closer to a smash than a loop (in fact, flat hits are mostly smashes, but I digress). A loop/topspin drive is closer to a loop than a smash. Nothing has been squeezed out, though the larger balls have placed more emphasis on pace over spin.


Of course a flat hit is closer to a smash (or kill) than a loop. And a loop IS a loop, while a topspin drive is a topspin drive, and both are closer to (or IS) a loop than a smash. I don't quite follow... :lol:

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PostPosted: 13 Jan 2015, 21:13 
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iskandar taib wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
A flat hit is closer to a smash than a loop (in fact, flat hits are mostly smashes, but I digress). A loop/topspin drive is closer to a loop than a smash. Nothing has been squeezed out, though the larger balls have placed more emphasis on pace over spin.


Of course a flat hit is closer to a smash (or kill) than a loop. And a loop IS a loop, while a topspin drive is a topspin drive, and both are closer to (or IS) a loop than a smash. I don't quite follow... :lol:

Iskandar



OK, you're just being silly now. :devil:

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 01:07 
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Thinking more about this - if you really wanted to see what a spinless "flat hit" would be like, you'd have to get someone to feed you balls using anti (so that it's got no spin to begin with) and hit it back - hard and flat - with bare wood (or maybe OX long pips might work). You probably wouldn't be able to get it to connect with the other side unless the balls were pretty high. Anything low you'd have to lift and hit slowly, even something over net height won't connect if you hit hard.

Back to the original poster's question - he says he loops everything (which some people do, I've seen people play like that), so he's asking about whether it would be worth learning to "flat hit". In this context, it doesn't sound like he's referring to smashes or kills. He's taking about a non-loop attacking shot on a ball at normal height or slightly higher. Which would be a topspin drive hit flatter than he would normally hit the ball when he's looping. As I've said, kills are a no-brainer - get a high ball (especially a short one) and there's no doubt about what shot to use. Everyone's got to learn them.

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 01:19 
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I kinda think you're missing the point iskander... :)

I'm not specifically trying to achieve a spinless shot. If I was going to do that, I'd use my pimples more actively than my inverted!

I'm just trying to ask a question of technique, the difference between a "loop" stroke and a "flat-hit" stroke (not a counter-hit, not a topspin drive and not a smash).

Some choppers, usually the classical defence types, are incredibly good at "pick-hitting" which by my definition is flat-hitting balls above net height. I was essentially trying to find out how often I should be doing that and how exactly to play the stroke.

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 01:42 
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Pick-hits are mainly against backspin, I think - in the short game if you manage to force a popped-up push (which would be fairly short most of the time) you then use the stroke you're describing. I do it fairly often because at the level I play pushing duels happen a lot and the ability to attack a push is very, very useful. This and the flick (or flip), which is slower, which is used against lower, spinnier pushes.

I don't think there's anything too mysterious about them, as you note, the blade's either vertical or slightly closed and the stroke is forward, and it's best to try to take the ball on the rise or at the top of the bounce, the shorter the better. There's still a fair amount of topspin, and you have to hit the ball pretty hard or it's going to end up in the net. I miss maybe 25% of them on a good day, on a bad day, well, I go back to pushing.. :lol: I'll have to say I tend to hit against backspin more than I try to loop them these days. Loops against backspin only work when pushes are long, I can generally get them to work best when receiving serves, and the people I play with have learned to serve short (or they serve to my backhand when not playing doubles).

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PostPosted: 14 Jan 2015, 02:21 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Thinking more about this - if you really wanted to see what a spinless "flat hit" would be like, you'd have to get someone to feed you balls using anti (so that it's got no spin to begin with) and hit it back - hard and flat - with bare wood (or maybe OX long pips might work). You probably wouldn't be able to get it to connect with the other side unless the balls were pretty high. Anything low you'd have to lift and hit slowly, even something over net height won't connect if you hit hard.

Back to the original poster's question - he says he loops everything (which some people do, I've seen people play like that), so he's asking about whether it would be worth learning to "flat hit". In this context, it doesn't sound like he's referring to smashes or kills. He's taking about a non-loop attacking shot on a ball at normal height or slightly higher. Which would be a topspin drive hit flatter than he would normally hit the ball when he's looping. As I've said, kills are a no-brainer - get a high ball (especially a short one) and there's no doubt about what shot to use. Everyone's got to learn them.

Iskandar


I'm not referring to smashes or kills either. I am saying that the technique for a flat hit in the context of his request is similar to the technique for a smash or punch block and that is where to start if one wants to learn to flat hit during rallies. If you are not a hitter or haven't played a hitter (or a hitter who loops vs backspin and mostly smashes topspin like myself vs. better players), you may think that all smashes are kill shots vs. high balls but this is not the case. Sometimes, we just hit anyways because it is what we do. Sometimes, the hits are supposed to set up a better shot or a loop drive. For example, if you play a short pips player, you are better off flat hitting the first shot and then looping the high ball than vice versa because this is contrary to what they practice - they are usually good at blocking the first topspin and then blocking the follow-up smash or quality loop drive.

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