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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 01:57 
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vanjr wrote:
You do not need to improve racket speed (imo) you just need to learn how to hit the ball at different parts of the racket to VARY THE SPEED (and thus the spin)!!! (I can't believe no one has suggested this).

Simple underspin serve-Learn to hit the ball close to the handle, middle of the rubber and end of rubber away from the handle. This will work for anyone who practices it. It will allow enough spin variation that it does not really matter that your serves are not really spinny.

Work the same principle with topspin and side spin variations.

I agree - you don't need to improve racket speed. Keep the elbow of your racket arm pinned to your body and only move your forearm forward and flick your wrist as the ball makes contact with the racket. That and contacting the ball using different parts of your racket helps make your serves deceptive. I tried this technique last time I played and noticed my opponents returning the balls into the net or off the end of the table more than usual. Amazing! :clap:

Here's a video that shows the technique. Although his serves are a little on the high side, with practice, you should be able to get them lower.



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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 01:59 
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iskandar taib wrote:
rodderz wrote:
just thinking about this and bat angle is also important, living the hard life inside a table tennis shop , I show people every day the ghost serve
and most just don't get the blade angle needed
Explain? This is something I want to learn to do.
To do the ghost serve, you need a very open blade angle: open as in horizontal (perfectly flat) or even slanting slightly backwards.

What most people find difficult to grasp is the fact that you can make a ball move forward when the striking face points backwards.

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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 05:01 
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Old-Man-Southpaw's at the level where upwardly mobile opponents are starting to get much better at attacking weak serves. Not being able to do heavy/short back going to become a liability.


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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 15:13 
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I'm already serving with the blade perfectly horizontal, I'm already getting a good snap with the wrist and forearm, but I'm still not able to get the ball to land close to the net and dribble back towards me like I see people doing in the videos. The best I'm able to achieve is having the ball bounce twice or three times on the table. and maybe once every 10 tries it'll stop at the end of the table and roll back towards me. My rec-level opponents aren't flummoxed by this amount of backspin, though I can confuse them by giving them varying amounts of spin.

I'll try angling the racket backwards next, and try to generate even more racket speed.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 18:02 
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If you can't feel the ball push against the rubber then it's either:

1. not fast enough. You really need to loosen and swing quite fast akin to a whip.

2. not displaced into the rubber enough. This is more nuanced and not discussed much for some reason, but the ball does need to dig into the rubber a tad. So for very low or no toss the racket face has to be swung very slightly into the ball to get a solid grip, and less so for a higher toss. The nuance to grasp is that the angle of the blade is independent of the angle of the swing.

Bouncing X times isn't a good metric. A serve can vary significantly in spin and land the same number of times depending on its forward momentum. So something that rolls back isn't necessarily strong, it just has little forward momentum.


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PostPosted: 13 Oct 2014, 20:45 
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From what I can see, these short, spinny serves require two opposing things: 1) To generate a lot of spin, racket speed in the direction of intended ball travel has to be high. However, high racket speed in the direction of ball travel is in opposition to the need to keep BALL speed down, in order to 2) keep the ball short. For this reason, everyone here's saying to hit the ball in a very fine manner (which I take to mean brushing the ball). Hitting the ball so that the ball digs into the sponge is counter-intuitive, with high racket speed it would mean imparting more speed to the ball, making for a long serve.

The reason I mention the number of times the ball bounces (before it goes over the end of the table) is that it's a measure of how short the serve is. We want a SHORT serve. In fact, I want a ghost serve - something that never proceeds more than a foot and a half beyond the net before dribbling back towards the net. There's some secret to it that I haven't figured out yet, I suspect it's this hitting the ball on it's front thing.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 00:50 
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GMan4911 wrote:
vanjr wrote:
You do not need to improve racket speed (imo) you just need to learn how to hit the ball at different parts of the racket to VARY THE SPEED (and thus the spin)!!! (I can't believe no one has suggested this).

Simple underspin serve-Learn to hit the ball close to the handle, middle of the rubber and end of rubber away from the handle. This will work for anyone who practices it. It will allow enough spin variation that it does not really matter that your serves are not really spinny.

Work the same principle with topspin and side spin variations.

I agree - you don't need to improve racket speed. Keep the elbow of your racket arm pinned to your body and only move your forearm forward and flick your wrist as the ball makes contact with the racket. That and contacting the ball using different parts of your racket helps make your serves deceptive. I tried this technique last time I played and noticed my opponents returning the balls into the net or off the end of the table more than usual. Amazing! :clap:

Here's a video that shows the technique. Although his serves are a little on the high side, with practice, you should be able to get them lower.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmQDjFfxrGM


I spent an hour last night trying to serve that way. Attempting the same serves, I am not able to generate anywhere near the spin as the guy in the video. I didn't play at all other than serving yesterday, and my arm is quite sore. Since I play 2 or 3 hrs a day everyday, and my arm isn't usually sore, I suspect that means I was using muscles that I don't normally use, because I don't think I have been using my wrist much when I serve, which I am guessing is large part of why my serves don't have enough spin. I guess I need to work on building up some strength in the wrist and getting it into my serves.

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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 01:08 
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agenthex wrote:
Old-Man-Southpaw's at the level where upwardly mobile opponents are starting to get much better at attacking weak serves. Not being able to do heavy/short back going to become a liability.


Yes, they attack almost EVERYTHING, lol. I had some success doing short serves last night by limiting arm motion to the forearm and wrist, and will keep working at it. I will need to practice it more and try them on some lower level attackers when I get a chance.

Lacking good short serves, the only thing I've found effective against attackers like that is to use their 100% attack mentality against them and INTENTIONALLY give them serves they will attack by reflex, and use my chopping reflexes to give them back chops with ridiculous amounts of spin as a result. But yes, the better ones, over about 2050 are just too good to even give those, and the only reasonable option seems to be to try to cause failed attacks and pushing battles with a high percentage of short, well placed serves. Against the under 1800 people I win a lot of points outright with my serves or 3rd ball, but the better players just don't make anywhere near as many mistakes. That is to be expected, and I just need to play better...

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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 01:45 
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How to maximize backspin. Notice how he keeps his elbow pinned to his body, uses forearm and wrist only, and makes contact with the tip of the racket. Also notice how he grips the racket which allows the wrist to move more freely.



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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 04:45 
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iskandar taib wrote:
For this reason, everyone here's saying to hit the ball in a very fine manner (which I take to mean brushing the ball). Hitting the ball so that the ball digs into the sponge is counter-intuitive, with high racket speed it would mean imparting more speed to the ball, making for a long serve.


Yes, the technically challenging part is the very high ratio of spin on the ball in relation to its speed, and the need to control for that very fine slice of ball-speed/momentum so it takes the correct path. What I mean is that even though you swing fast/hard for the spin, the tiny "touch" part that provides for the forward momentum is what keeps the ball in.

IMO it's better to first practice the swing part so you understand what it takes, and then move on to practicing the touch with the same racket-speed. I believe that's also carbonman's advice above: don't even try to keep it on the table, that will come when you get better. This can be difficult when you're already at a decent standard and have pressure to keep it low/short.


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PostPosted: 14 Oct 2014, 04:50 
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Old-Man-Southpaw wrote:
. I didn't play at all other than serving yesterday, and my arm is quite sore.


You're likely muscling the motion. It's counter-intuitive but the more you loosen the faster the motion is.

It might help to start with a decent grip on the blade (I use the 3rd/4th finger to press the handle against the big muscle at the base of my thumb). It's not so much that you need it since the hands will automatically grip tighter if it starts slipping out, but I get the impression that sometimes folks don't swing as fast as they can because they feel the racket'll go flying off.


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