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PostPosted: 11 Dec 2015, 02:40 
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Agreed with NL that Evan's issue has more to do with the elbow than the wrist. To be honest, my stroke still looks a lot like Evans' in virtually every situation except when I practice against the robot. To me, Evan looks like he is "waving" at the ball and his stroke does not look sharp and snappy like Henzells.

Although I think relaxation of the wrist is important, you have to "reach for the sword" aggressively on the backswing in order to give the wrist the potential to reach it's maximum degree of rotation. When you play a backhand the way Evan is playing it, the stroke feels smooth and relaxed, but a bit floppy. I believe you need that agressive pronation of the elbow to make the stroke feel crisp and sharp.

Brett is asking for Evan to relax a bit more on the backswing,but it wouldn't surprise me if Evan said that his wrist was relaxed in that video. So I don't think that's part of the problem. This is coming from a 1700 player with a terrible backhand under match conditions, however, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I'm just speaking from my own personal experience.


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PostPosted: 11 Dec 2015, 06:50 
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Hey, Ringer. IMO, once you have had the right feeling for using the elbow on the BH topspin, it influences a lot of your strokes so even if they look the same, they aren't quite.

For some people, relaxing the wrist does make the elbow turn properly. But seeing the FZD backhand flip video helped cut down the time I take to teach the BH loop in half. I don't teach the grip switch that the Chinese use but thatay change - I still don't find it necessary.

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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2015, 18:52 
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In relation to Evan's backhand, I think you guys all have valid points (wrist, elbow etc). There's quite a lot wrong with it in a match. It will be really interesting to see if he can reconstruct it though with some shadow swinging and robot play.

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PostPosted: 12 Dec 2015, 19:02 
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ETTS 11 is out and it's available for Standard Members as well. BRS, I think you have a similar problem to the one in the video and you mix it up with some jumping around as well.

Here is a photo from Palau

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2015, 02:26 
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Yes I do. These ETTS videos are so practical. But I don't get what change Evan is going to carry over from robot training to match play? It seems like that would have already happened if it were going to. Based on doing the same thing i think it may be a reaction to the long ball to shift weight up and back. It's a false sensory impression that the ball is too close. I'm not sure the training you recommended will fix that, but it will be very interesting to see. Maybe just setting up a few inches further back might help to maintain his weight forward. Or learning to take the ball earlier? Obviously if I knew i wouldn't make the same common mistake, so take my ideas for what they are worth.

Also, is Evan on this forum? It would be really interesting to hear from him.

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2015, 07:00 
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BRS wrote:
Yes I do. These ETTS videos are so practical. But I don't get what change Evan is going to carry over from robot training to match play? It seems like that would have already happened if it were going to. Based on doing the same thing i think it may be a reaction to the long ball to shift weight up and back. It's a false sensory impression that the ball is too close. I'm not sure the training you recommended will fix that, but it will be very interesting to see. Maybe just setting up a few inches further back might help to maintain his weight forward. Or learning to take the ball earlier? Obviously if I knew i wouldn't make the same common mistake, so take my ideas for what they are worth.

Also, is Evan on this forum? It would be really interesting to hear from him.


You make a great point, BRS. Very often, we are scared of actually offering the ball the full face of the bat because we believe we are going to hit the ball off the table and hit it too hard. So we pull backwards to avoid solid contact or something like that.

Would like to hear Brett's thoughts on this - should be largely trying to hit the ball one way and let the mind adjust to the misses over time and accepting the misses for what they are? Or are ad hoc adjustments in real time like the one BRS is describing legitimate?

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2015, 09:28 
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Evan is making the mistake off pushes and half long balls. His fh topspin in general rally play isn't the same and he hits some nice balls. I think the video wasn't clear as I skipped to his robot training off topspin balls, without really mentioning the difference.

I've given Evan the link to the forum however he hasn't appeared yet. Time to see where he's at.

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2015, 10:49 
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Ah, okay - this is the fear of backspin syndrome.

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2015, 10:58 
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Right NL! Same with half-long balls. People are worried about coming forward or they may hit the table...at least in their minds. That's why I asked Evan to start training off half long-balls.

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2015, 11:28 
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I hit the table recently though and it hurt. I did notice after that the balls were high enough to attack/ flick them.over the table but the trajectory for looping them.half-long was just tricky. Judging balls is anooying.

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2015, 11:30 
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NextLevel wrote:
BRS wrote:
Yes I do. These ETTS videos are so practical. But I don't get what change Evan is going to carry over from robot training to match play? It seems like that would have already happened if it were going to. Based on doing the same thing i think it may be a reaction to the long ball to shift weight up and back. It's a false sensory impression that the ball is too close. I'm not sure the training you recommended will fix that, but it will be very interesting to see. Maybe just setting up a few inches further back might help to maintain his weight forward. Or learning to take the ball earlier? Obviously if I knew i wouldn't make the same common mistake, so take my ideas for what they are worth.

Also, is Evan on this forum? It would be really interesting to hear from him.


You make a great point, BRS. Very often, we are scared of actually offering the ball the full face of the bat because we believe we are going to hit the ball off the table and hit it too hard. So we pull backwards to avoid solid contact or something like that.

Would like to hear Brett's thoughts on this - should be largely trying to hit the ball one way and let the mind adjust to the misses over time and accepting the misses for what they are? Or are ad hoc adjustments in real time like the one BRS is describing legitimate?


Letting the brain adjust is the only way. Making changes in real time is a figment of the imagination. The conscious mind thinks it can do stuff, but has no idea what it's doing. You may decide to open the face of the racket and it may work once or twice, but there isn't real change through neuroplasticity. You may decide to aim for the roof off heavy backspin and you may actually hit the ball on the table, but that's not where good players are aiming. They are always aiming for the table and don't consciously consider spin. A pro golfer will also aim straight for the hole, regardless of the green. Their brain will adjust for all the variations.

Visualizing is very powerful and can lead to real change, especially when you are visualizing the outcome of the ball or you have a very clear and holistic image of how the stroke should feel. This doesn't include adjusting to backspin/spin though. Adjusting to backspin can only happen through experience, regardless of what your logic is now screaming. Once you have a lot of experience, you can then use visualization to cement the stroke against backspin as your brain already has an understanding of how spin feels and the right way to cope with it.

With kids, I feed multiball and just randomly start giving them backspin without instruction. Yeah, they hit the first few into the table, then the next few into the net, but their brains will make the necessary adjustments eventually. Then I give them topspin/flat and they hit the ball way off the end of the table as a result of the "real" changes that occurred. Then you have to mix up topspin and backspin to make new pathways so they can oscillate between the 2 spins without conscious thought. The brain choose the racket angle, contact, path etc...not the 8 year old kid's conscious mind as he/she's not yet "smart" enough to do all that.

I actually learned all this by messing with robots. When I get back to the Philippines, we will do a Ben's Bookshelf session together and I'll prove it with some basic examples. We'll mess with Ben's brain again and watch it make adjustments.

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2015, 00:33 
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I thought about this while playing yesterday and I have a much better idea of what I think you are looking at now. So after you get your strokes right and keep the stroke coming forward on the ball, then you can keep your recovery and finishing position optimal after the shot no matter what kind of shot you played. Also makes your technique more consistently similar.

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2015, 11:42 
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Brett Clarke wrote:

I actually learned all this by messing with robots. When I get back to the Philippines, we will do a Ben's Bookshelf session together and I'll prove it with some basic examples. We'll mess with Ben's brain again and watch it make adjustments.


Super, let's do that. Whenever you have time for a bookshelf I'm up for it.

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2015, 13:56 
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NextLevel wrote:
I thought about this while playing yesterday and I have a much better idea of what I think you are looking at now. So after you get your strokes right and keep the stroke coming forward on the ball, then you can keep your recovery and finishing position optimal after the shot no matter what kind of shot you played. Also makes your technique more consistently similar.


Right NL. The difference between lifting backspin or looping block isn't as much as one may think. The angle of the racket will change along with the flight path, but not a lot else. The conscious mind is horrible at working this stuff out on-the-fly. Your right about the recovery etc too.

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PostPosted: 15 Dec 2015, 23:33 
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Sometimes the subconscious mind is horrible at worling it out too. Junk rubbers is one case where you react to what you see, but have to consciously think about the surface. Or maybe it would be better to ignore the contact and only read the ball in those matches. I don't find that adjustments happen automatically in matches, they often don't happen at all. I have had full days where i looped 80%+ of forehands vs backspin off the table without learning to close the stupid bat. I put that on robot practice with constant, too-heavy spin, and age-related hardening of the brain.

My point is learning that happens in a practice session does not generally happen in a match.

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