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 Post subject: Heavy Underspin Serves?
PostPosted: 30 May 2012, 15:57 
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I have some issues with heavy underspin serves. My serves arent the best but their decent for being self taught at my level (Very much beginner). My biggest issue is the underspin serve because I can never get enough spin on it for it to not be dead by the time it reaches the opponent. I finally took a coaching lesson though and now I realized that instead of chopping down or straight forward like when in a rally, I have to cut more upwards to the front of the ball to really get that heavy underspin. But i've been having issues because if I cut to high the ball has no power and doesn't even get close the the net and if I cut too low it will go forward just fine but it will not give any spin what so ever. Sometimes I get it just right and I get fair spin and the ball goes forward (usually very gently) but it's not as much spin as I would like it to have (a beginner my level can easily block the serve, which can be to my advantage but that not really what i'm going for).

I might be able to post a video if I have time later but what can I do with this meanwhile?

I have scirocco air rubber (SF) and a galaxy W6 blade, both only 2 weeks old. (if that makes any difference :P)

Thank you very much ahead of time and sorry for my detail XD


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PostPosted: 30 May 2012, 16:08 
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Racket speed at impact is the key along with striking the bottom, or even a touch in front of the ball. You get the racket speed from being relaxed, use the who body, use the arm and wrist with good timing. That takes a while to develop.

You can practice it sitting down on a chair, or standing up over a floor trying to impact bottom of ball and make it come back to you.

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PostPosted: 30 May 2012, 16:08 
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A few things which might help:

- be very relaxed and use plenty of wrist.
- aim to hit the South Pole of the ball (for now) fast and fine
- hit the ball into the air, not into the table. the ball should skid - much like a pebble skimming water
- hit the ball with the leading edge of your bat
- in the beginning aim to get as much spin as possible and only later worry about getting the serve in.
- don't throw the ball up into the bat. rather let your bat attack the ball.
- have a generous enough backswing so that you have good bat-speed by the time you make contact.
- try to get a 'fffufff' sound on contact


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PostPosted: 30 May 2012, 18:37 
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some good advice there, practice is the key, when I try and help players its the ones who move the arm as a whole get the worst results

so practice anywhere slicing the bottom of the ball , also find the right spot close to the (your-side of the net) that allows the ball to bounce twice on their side

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PostPosted: 30 May 2012, 23:01 
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All good advice, the only thing I would add, is try doing it from both FH and BH sides. You may find one more comfortable than the other to develop. Or you may find different abilities with either, which would aid the variation of serve you can make.

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PostPosted: 30 May 2012, 23:30 
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Hit the ball with the leading edge of the bat?
Why?


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PostPosted: 31 May 2012, 00:06 
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hookshot wrote:
Hit the ball with the leading edge of the bat?
Why?

The simple answer is to get a lot of spin. I'm not a physicist so I can't provide a scientific explanation but I always hit with the leading edge for spin and the trailing edge for float (I do the same with chopping). I have seen people try to explain this in terms of mass behind the ball and/or bat-speed but I don't know if these accounts were correct. btw - I also aim to hit relatively close to the leading edge when I am heavy looping.

I'm not saying this is definitive but there is a discussion about this topic here: http://www.tabletennisforum.gr/forum_po ... -this-work


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PostPosted: 31 May 2012, 18:42 
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What we assume is the leading edge is perhaps not leading...

The shakehand grip does not point the bat handle through the axis of rotation (wrist), so the top of the bat head will not be the point with greatest rotation radius. A deep grip may move that point towards the side (the assumed "leading edge"), while a looser grip (pendulum serve grip) moves it towards the top. So what we assume is the leading edge may actually be just as far out as the top of the bat head.

By the same geometry, the assumed trailing edge may be closer to the axis of bat rotation.

The roll-across stroke, as described in that linked thread, sounds interesting though. Think I'll practice that on one of my slower blades and see how far I can take it. Have to find a rubber with a soft sponge and a surface that takes markings from the ball. Got a few in the bag...


Last edited by keme on 31 May 2012, 20:54, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 31 May 2012, 20:22 
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hookshot wrote:
Hit the ball with the leading edge of the bat?
Why?

My understanding is that if you contact ball with leading edge the ball can contact the maximum amount of rubber
on the blade therefore more spin.

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PostPosted: 31 May 2012, 23:21 
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If you think the ball rolls accross the rubber, I will prove you wrong. It is an old wives tale. The ball does NOT roll on the rubber.


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PostPosted: 01 Jun 2012, 00:47 
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Shouldn't we be saying the tip (or top) or the blade face, rather than the leading edge? With the wrist snap this part of the bat travels faster (think of a pendulum in a clock, the weight travels further than the 'string' in the same time, and hence moves quicker).

Faster bat speed at contact with a fine contact = more spin :)

That's what I have been taught by some very high level coaches. Conversely to throw in a no / low spin serve contact point is nearer the hand and/or lock the wrist instead of giving the snap and/or get a fatter contact .....

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PostPosted: 01 Jun 2012, 01:15 
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Der has it correct. Spin is a function of bat speed.
What kind of spin is determined by "point of contact on the ball" and direction of the bat.
Speed of the ball is determined by how thin or thick the contact was.
What the bat does before or after contact time has no effect. The bat can only affect the ball during contact time.
Contact time is usually about 1ms to 4ms long. That is a very short time, 1/1000 to 4/1000 second. You do not have time to feel the ball contact the bat and then change the stroke.

If you do not get much spin on your serve and the ball travels slow, you did not have enough bat speed.
Yes, you will get more spin making contact near the TIP of the bat. The tip is moving faster.
If you get no spin and the ball travels fast, you did not contact the ball thin enough.

As far as the rolling ball, just try it. I have many times. A clean black rubber will show what the ball did on loops and chops. Clean the rubber, hit 25 balls and look for a mark from a rolling ball. NO ONE has shown me this. I have not been able to make one even trying on purpose. You will find oblong markes. That is from the rubber stretching. Watch high speed vids. The ball does NOT roll. :)

And I am not talking about rolling 1/8". Like the guy saying hit near the leading edge, they believe the ball rolls ALL THE WAY ACCTROSS THE BAT!


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PostPosted: 01 Jun 2012, 05:10 
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so_devo wrote:
Shouldn't we be saying the tip (or top) or the blade face, rather than the leading edge?

That "leading edge" (as opposed to tip) was one of the points made by Carbonman.
so_devo wrote:
With the wrist snap this part of the bat travels faster (think of a pendulum in a clock, the weight travels further than the 'string' in the same time, and hence moves quicker).

Not quite.
Read my previous post again if you will, then grab your bat and flick your wrist in the "spin direction". See which point of the bat travels the "long road". Most likely (if you're not a penholder) you will find that point somewhere between the top and side edge of the bat head (around 10-11 o'clock if you are right handed, 1-2 o'clock if you're a leftie like me).

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PostPosted: 01 Jun 2012, 08:47 
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keme wrote:
so_devo wrote:
Shouldn't we be saying the tip (or top) or the blade face, rather than the leading edge?

That "leading edge" (as opposed to tip) was one of the points made by Carbonman.

I always use the the term 'leading edge' as do others in the link I posted above. By using 'tip' or 'top' are you guys saying it matter not which side of the 'tip' or 'top' you hit with? ie are you also saying that you get the same amount of spin whether you contact the ball with the leading edge or towards the trailing edge? I do some of my chop serves near the leading edge closer to the middle of the bat rather than near the tip (and they are pretty heavy!). To do a float serve I use the trailing edge. Are you guys saying that I will get the same amount of spin hitting the trailing edge?

Does this extend to looping as well? Can I get the same amount of spin hitting near the trailing edge as I would near the leading edge? This would seem contrary to what players actually do.


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PostPosted: 01 Jun 2012, 21:38 
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I think this is a complicated subject; so everything that follows is very much "I.M.O" ......

Firstly, looping is quite different, here finding the sweet spot of the blade will add to the quility of the shot and much of the spin will some from the compression of the sponge and the extra dwell that is given there. So let's leave looping aside for now.

Service-wise I think we are all agreed that we are looking for maximum racket speed + finest contact to generate maximum spin. i.e. the energy of the racket is transformed into spin, not speed. So in this scenario we actually want to avoid the sweetspot of the blade and hit near the outer edges for more dwell and the ability to swing a bit quicker and still land the ball (or get the double-bounce on the opponents side or whatever).

Where I suggest it gets complicated is racket speed. This is obviously partially a function of wrist snap but is also added to or detracted from by other movements; waist, shoulder, elbow, arm. A pendulum serve may be almost entirely wrist only whereas a straightforward chop serve may be a lot of waist, arm and wrist. These different 'attack' angles, and whether you contact the ball early or late in your service motion, mean that different parts of the blade's perimiter are travelling fastest at different times.

Kerne, I think your analysis focusses a bit too much on a pendulum serve only. With a straightforward, arm out chop serve with a mid-point contact the tip is definitely the fastest part of the blade. (IMO!)

Personally I believe that the tip or trailing edge delivers best spin. Looking at an old youtube classic .....



.... it seems to me all of the spinniest serves are coming off tip or trailing edge. Sure, you can float off of this area of the bat, but that is more a function of lower head speed or hittling through the ball a little and losing that fine contact. But of course spinny serves are also possible off the leading edge, I don't dispute that at all.

I do agree with hookshot that there is little or no roll of the ball across the bat, except one notable exception; short pimples can achieve spinny underspin with this method (my doubles partner uses Dr Evil and can absolutely load his short chop serves).

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