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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 15:24 
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Hi, all.

In my opinion the most common mistake for the forehand loop (and frankly all amateur forehand strokes in general) is hitting the ball too far in front of the body. By this I mean that instead of waiting for the ball to get to a point roughly even with one's shoulder joint, many amateurs hit the ball up to two feet in front of this point thereby destroying their swing plane and the angle of their paddle. Normally this results in balls that fly far higher than the player is anticipating or are over compensated for by an extremely flat swing plane and result in a spray pattern that either is into the net/clips the net or still manages to not hit the table despite a low flight path for the ball. I'm wondering why there aren't more instructional videos on youtube pointing this problem out as I feel it could save a lot of beginning players a lot of heartache. What does OOAK think?

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2018, 16:51 
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Contacting the ball at the "sweet spot" is probably different for each person. A tall lanky person with long arms is going to find the sweet spot somewhere waaay out compared to say a shorter reach person.

A very heavy overweight player may not have same level of mobility to say a USATT 2000+ player. Not everyone plays TT with the same skill levels or ability or agility.

Sweet spot, hitting in the box, optimal contact is something that can vary drastically from player to player.

You have to play and get the "feel" of where you can optimally play the stroke. Its incremental or sometimes downright mystical .... suddenly one fine day your strokes are marvellous and you are the TT king :-) .... then you forget it all in the euphoria and forgot to record and remember what made it possible. The rest of your life chasing to find that ultimate form :-D

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PostPosted: 15 Jun 2018, 15:26 
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Well, I don't disagree that the perfect contact zone on a forehand differs from person to person, but even the tallest pro table tennis player, Omar Assar, hits the ball from directly next to his shoulder joint for shots down the line and a few inches in front of the shoulder for a cross court shot.

As for the vertical dimension of the ideal contact point (between, say, hip and shoulder in height), this largely depends on two or three factors depending on how complicated one wants to make their explanation. The first factor is how extended the arm is—the more extended one's arm is the closer to the height of the shoulder the ideal contact point is. The second major factor is actually two factors with one result—the angle of the blade in relation to the primary biomechanical instruments of the wrist and elbow. The elbow is a major target because in order to keep one's swing on plane one must manage the elbow— a task that is a bit easier with the shakehand grip than the penhold and easier with the penhold grip than other alternative grips… at least initially. Each of these grips is easy to swing on a a plane with the corresponding blade angle; however one has to put the elbow in the correct position to execute the stroke and this position varies GREATLY depending on just how alternative you want to make your grip… take it from the king of unique grips, yours truly.

The other major factor is the type of grip one uses and how it effects the blade angle in relation to the swing plane. To keep it simple let's just compare a forehand and a backhand variant of the shakehand grip. Each of these varies the angle of the blade: the forehand variant closes the angle of the blade on the forehand, the backhand variant opens the angle of the blade on the forehand. Therefore to achieve the same blade face angle with the backhand variant that one does with the forehand variant one would have to "raise the elbow" relative to the wrist which affects the placement of the ideal contact zone. In achieving the right blade angle one now has to swing with slightly different biomechanics in order to achieve the same swing plane and the ability to stay on plane and not trace a marginally to extremely upwards arc or any of the myriad other swing path related mistakes.

Anyway, there are ways to place the hitting zone more in front of the body, but that's for another reply, I suppose, hah.

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PostPosted: 16 Jun 2018, 03:45 
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QuibblesNBits wrote:
Hi, all.

In my opinion the most common mistake for the forehand loop (and frankly all amateur forehand strokes in general) is hitting the ball too far in front of the body. By this I mean that instead of waiting for the ball to get to a point roughly even with one's shoulder joint, many amateurs hit the ball up to two feet in front of this point thereby destroying their swing plane and the angle of their paddle. Normally this results in balls that fly far higher than the player is anticipating or are over compensated for by an extremely flat swing plane and result in a spray pattern that either is into the net/clips the net or still manages to not hit the table despite a low flight path for the ball. I'm wondering why there aren't more instructional videos on youtube pointing this problem out as I feel it could save a lot of beginning players a lot of heartache. What does OOAK think?


This is probably why it can be surprisingly difficult to hit forehand winners against short above net height balls as you have to go forward to meet the ball leading to a flatter stroke as you suggest. Also reaching forwarder tends to open the blade. When topspin rallying against stronger players I find I get best results when I am turned a bit sideways and hitting the ball level with my head, which then helps keep the ball down using a more closed blade angle.


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