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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2008, 02:14 
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When I practice serves, I pick ONE serve to work on. I am thinking about placement, height, length, etc. I also concentrate on a spot on MY SIDE of the table for the first bounce of the serve.
One of the indicators of how well I am doing is how small a group the balls make on the floor. I play on a rug surface so they don't roll forever. I am real happy when most are in a 5 foot circle. This also gives you an idea of the amount of spin by how it reacts when it hits the floor.
I also start each serve (most serves) with the edge of my hand resting on the edge of the table. I decide WHICH SERVE I am going to do before I serve. I am sure many people don't know what serve they will do untill the ball is falling.
I agree with the lower body position.
If you use the upper body (rotate) you will feel what I mean by it dragging or pulling the leg/foot around to the ready position.
Like all sports, follow through is an important part, golf, bowling, etc. If you don't do it in practice, you are practicing a bad habit. :D

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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2008, 03:31 
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hookshot wrote:
When I practice serves, I pick ONE serve to work on. I am thinking about placement, height, length, etc. I also concentrate on a spot on MY SIDE of the table for the first bounce of the serve.

I also start each serve (most serves) with the edge of my hand resting on the edge of the table. I decide WHICH SERVE I am going to do before I serve. I am sure many people don't know what serve they will do untill the ball is falling.
:D


Good advice IMO.

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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2008, 05:42 
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haggisv wrote:
I think you just need to work on getting more spin, so that you can have wider variation of spin. Really snap the wrist at the point of contact to get more spin... you should be able to stop the backspin ones from reaching the end of the table, and the sidespin ones kicking wide to the side.


At this point I am just trying to get basic variations of about eight or 10 different serves down. Increasing spin will definitely be the next step. However, one of the things that I'm not really working on to emphasize is underspin serves.

I realized that, being a fairly aggressive topspin type player, I really don't want to get into a pushing game right after the service and service returns. Therefore I don't really want to have a whole lot of underspin serves. I certainly do want to mix some in now and again -- but for the most part no spin, side spin and topspin serves is really what I am looking for.

haggisv wrote:
I know you're only practicing here, but it would be good to practice from a real live game stance, as you don't look ready for a return. :wink:


Great point! I will have to look at doing this, because one of the things that I am noticing is that, while I have no problem with service returns to my forehand or to my middle -- I am missing the majority of serves to my backhand side. Clearly an indication that I'm just not getting around fast enough and getting ready for the service return.

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PostPosted: 24 Nov 2008, 05:47 
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Silver wrote:
Not bad!
But your serves are illegal :P

Next time try mounting the camera lower. You should not only interested in the spin and length, but the bounce height. I can't really tell from your videos, but they're bouncing reasonably high.


I assume that you are referring to the fact that I never stopped moving. I just pull the ball out of the bucket, It against my rubber, catch it and immediately begin the service toss. I never do this in a game. I always stop, and then began the service toss when I'm playing in a match.

But again, the lesson comes across: I should practice like I play in a game.

And I thought about mounting the camera lower, but thought that that meant that I would have to remove the robot to practice my serves. I'm just too lazy to do that! Perhaps the camera will see through the netting of the robot without any trouble and I should just lower it anyway. I'll give it a try!

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2008, 07:00 
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I was mostly referring to cupping the ball in your hand actually.

What if you put the camera off to the side of the net?

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2008, 07:32 
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Silver wrote:
I was mostly referring to cupping the ball in your hand actually.

What if you put the camera off to the side of the net?


Cupping the ball is probably the foul serve that more people do than any other but it is rarely picked up at most levels. It seems a bit of a relic from the past to me as any spin (usually slight) you can put on the ball when tossing will be either taken off or completely changed when hit with most rubbers.


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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2008, 09:32 
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This, like the unobscured service contact point rule, is another virtually unenforceable rule. I have yet to see a player at ANY level called for not serving from a flat palm.

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2008, 16:19 
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It would be enforceable if it were a rule.

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PostPosted: 25 Nov 2008, 20:58 
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kagin wrote:
It would be enforceable if it were a rule.


I thought that the palm of the hand had to be 'stationary, open and flat' ?

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2008, 05:54 
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Maybe you should check the rules again?

http://www.ittf.com/ittf_handbook/hb.asp?s_number=2.06

Quote:
2.06.01 Service shall start with the ball resting freely on the open palm of the server's stationary free hand.

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2008, 06:07 
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Vindicated! 8)

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2008, 08:06 
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Closed vs open cupping, neither one flat:
Image

However if you cup that much you probably break a few other rules: umpire can't tell if the serve is legal because he can't see the ball; obstruction of the ball after the ball leaves the palm; spin imparted on the toss. "Flat" used to be in the rules, but it was removed about five years ago.

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PostPosted: 26 Nov 2008, 20:52 
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Another example of this 'omitting' rules by the ITTF.

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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2008, 10:47 
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I have just placed a new video (mostly to play around with and learn Windows movie maker) but thought I would let you guys see it as well. I changed a couple of things from the last video: I changed the camera position to be more like where a right-handed player would be receiving the serve, removed the robot, and added a beginning and ending onto each one of my serves such that they're hopefully now legal and at the end of every serve I am practicing being ready for the service return.

Obviously, I still need to work on getting the ball a bit lower (especially on the Tomahawk/reverse pendulum serves) but the serves aren't too high to begin with...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DWiQe5vLtE

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