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PostPosted: 19 Aug 2019, 02:00 
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I personally think that deep knee bend lead to less use of the back muscles and drove some of Harimoto's forehand issues with some of the upper arm instability that we are discussing here. But I don't know that much about stroke technology and learn as I watch more and more. I suspect that as Harimoto gets older and stronger, you will see that deep knee bend and large backswing less and less and he will play the forehand with more back muscles like most pros do.

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PostPosted: 19 Aug 2019, 10:52 
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Here is a video on footwork that I think is good in turns of the jump move to forehand drive. You can see on her backhand her feet leave the ground giving a bounce motion at 9 33. Do other members think that this footwork pattern is good to copy. I hope Brett posts a video about the backhand footwork soon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcF9J4_WAyU


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 00:11 
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It's been a year for me now on TTEdge and thanks to you guys I've moved out of the beginner divisions :) I'm playing more experienced players now - but they are crushing me -I guess that's part of the deal. Here's an average match where I did not play badly but had no chance:



I believe my slow, plodding feet are my #1 issue and I'm committed to working on that ever day.

Any advice for my #2 area of focus?

PS: A local coach told me after watching this match, "You don't have to loop every push to your backhand. He's just sitting there waiting to jump on it. You can mix in some return pushes too". I guess this makes sense, but it goes against the "serve and third ball attack every time if possible" mentality that I've heard so much. Any opinions?


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 01:53 
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@ freakinjitsu

You look great and have improved so much! You are playing a good player with tons of experience. The big guy on the next table is another very experienced player with a difficult game to work around.

It's going to take you some time to get past these types of guys, they are good and if they win it's not all about you.

Your footwork looks good to me. And I would ignore the guy who says to push some backhands back. All I would say is you still look to be playing your bh topspin on some balls that could/should be fhs. Your fh topspin is good, so you probably don't want to be giving up table position to play a backhand.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 04:40 
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Freakinjitsu,

Everyone has a view of why someone won or lost a match or how table tennis should be played. Usually people don't like the ball being hit at them and most of us prefer to be in control and on the offense. The first opportunity to seize control usually comes when the ball comes long and therefore you are asked to attack all long balls, especially when playing players at roughly the same attacking level.

I am that lazy player who will give you chances to attack against me hopefully by avoiding popups and pushing long because my first coach couldn't teach me how to loop so I started out as a blocker as he looped to my block (note: don't waste time with a coach who can't teach what you need to learn and uses you to work on his game and trivially on yours at your expense).

In the end, as an amateur, play the style you enjoy playing. Unless you think winning is so bound up with that that you need to add in some changes when your style is not working so that you actually win points when you need to rather than losing trying to play a "proper way". In the end, you hide your weaknesses by making your strengths dominating. The problem for me is that the coach never taught me serve return so I return serves like an idiot and end up giving up opportunities to my opponents that my defence cannot hold up against. So better coached taught me to attack and to do more than push serves (which you will make me do if you overwhelm my defenses).

The guy telling you to push was just asking you to be tactically aware, I am not sure his advice makes sense watching the match. For playing only 2 years and being rated 1500, you are doing really well. Some people like to focus on the results without putting such things in perspective. Sometimes I play some players who complain about my attacks or serves or some other part of my game as a blocker just to prove a point - if you can read the ball and read the game, the experience translates and it is a waste of time thinking that it is one thing or the other that makes me much better than they are. Table tennis is first and foremost about reading the game and them being able to produce quality balls based on those reads and inexperienced players can focus on the quality balls because they don't see the reads. But the reads are critical as well as developing weapons to take advantage of them. You seem slow when you don't read the play ahead of time, that is what I am trying to say.

It is when you are close to your opponent in level or they have a severe deficiency that advice like you were given can make a difference. And no, I didn't get the impression that pushing long balls would have put you in a better place than what you did.

Your game looks good, you probably should focus on adding more spin to the ball given that you have quick hands. Also consider adding sidespin sometimes, I tell people that they will be surprised how many players look stupid if they serve to their short forehand and put the ball to the wide backhand or if they serve into the backhand and go wide to the forehand. Tempt someone to go down the line and going wide crosscourt on your return is often bad for their health.

Your openers could be a tad bit more athletic and technical, but your putaways are quite fine. Try to make your first attack count more and more until you hit a wall with that, anticipating weak returns and trying to hit more powerful shots against them is a huge part of rapid improvement (and continually expanding weak return until in one extreme scenario, you can serve fast and long to an player 100 pts lower rated than you are knowing they will loop and you will kill the return with a counterloop). The plastic ball has ended the era where soft opening always counted, we are now in an era where it needs some more quality.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 05:42 
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freakinjstu wrote:
It's been a year for me now on TTEdge and thanks to you guys I've moved out of the beginner divisions :) I'm playing more experienced players now - but they are crushing me -I guess that's part of the deal. Here's an average match where I did not play badly but had no chance:

I believe my slow, plodding feet are my #1 issue and I'm committed to working on that ever day.

Any advice for my #2 area of focus?

PS: A local coach told me after watching this match, "You don't have to loop every push to your backhand. He's just sitting there waiting to jump on it. You can mix in some return pushes too". I guess this makes sense, but it goes against the "serve and third ball attack every time if possible" mentality that I've heard so much. Any opinions?


There's a lot of good advice above and it's nice to see how well you can spin the ball now. I think a lot of people can't grasp that concept as an adult learner (and they can be pretty good still).
at 1:40 - I do this very thing all the time. For some reason it's very difficult to adjust when the ball is close to the corner of the table. Do I go for lots of spin? Flies in the air. Do I go over the ball more? into the net. Just have to get more comfortable with the corner. Not easy.

Good reading of serves too.

NL is also right about being able to serve long and just let people hit it(or if you want to call it a loop) back to you...then you can counter attack and win the point. This can work against lower level players. I've been messing around with it and yeah, takes away a lot of awkward 3rd ball attacks from backspin and makes a easier game plan on serving (or balanced with short serves too). I'm not terribly proud of the tactic but if your top spin game is better it can work really well.


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 06:13 
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wilkinru wrote:
at 1:40 - I do this very thing all the time. For some reason it's very difficult to adjust when the ball is close to the corner of the table. Do I go for lots of spin? Flies in the air. Do I go over the ball more? into the net. Just have to get more comfortable with the corner. Not easy.

You could try letting the ball go lower a little bit, below the table surface, and top spinning it from there - that'd eliminate the risk of hitting the table and also hide the contact point from your opponent which might confuse them to some degree.


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 06:26 
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ziv wrote:
wilkinru wrote:
at 1:40 - I do this very thing all the time. For some reason it's very difficult to adjust when the ball is close to the corner of the table. Do I go for lots of spin? Flies in the air. Do I go over the ball more? into the net. Just have to get more comfortable with the corner. Not easy.

You could try letting the ball go lower a little bit, below the table surface, and top spinning it from there - that'd eliminate the risk of hitting the table and also hide the contact point from your opponent which might confuse them to some degree.


No need to let the ball drop per se unless you want to hide your contact from the opponent or you find it easier to loop the ball with more distance and the ball is going to come forward for sure. Just come around the side of the ball and shape it with mild hook and thin brush. Learning to hit balls with different contact points to produce different ball trajectories is a great skill for serve return and looping half long bals. Trust your rubber to pick up the ball if you accelerate the racket and create sufficient friction. The key is to play a loop but mostly with forearm snap. You hit the table in the beginning because you don't trust your stroke but over time it gets better as long as you have grippy rubber and you trust the rubber.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 06:27 
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ziv wrote:
wilkinru wrote:
at 1:40 - I do this very thing all the time. For some reason it's very difficult to adjust when the ball is close to the corner of the table. Do I go for lots of spin? Flies in the air. Do I go over the ball more? into the net. Just have to get more comfortable with the corner. Not easy.

You could try letting the ball go lower a little bit, below the table surface, and top spinning it from there - that'd eliminate the risk of hitting the table and also hide the contact point from your opponent which might confuse them to some degree.


This is one solution. However - is it really going to make it past the corner? Will it make it far enough out to be able to loop it up? Being close enough and reading the situation is a skill. It is one of those many skills that stops me from getting to 2000 :)

It's likely I'm better at it than I was a year ago and will likely improve at it over time. Having someone return a short backspin serve to the forehand ends up with enough randomness to work on it.

Edit: NL has some good advice above too. His solutions are appropriate much of the time. It's a skill and it's one of those things that improve over time.


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2019, 09:14 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
ETTS63 is now available on ttEDGE.com


Sorry for the late reply and thank you so much for the video. I've definitely been thinking more about just bending over the table and staying in that same position as I contact the ball. I'll give it a go :)

It's going to be a long road before I'll be quick enough (able to anticipate short serves fast enough as well) to move into position quicker than in the video ha. In that particular video, I asked my friend to serve to the same location and I was still a little late!

That said, I really want to slowly add this to my game, so thanks!!


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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2019, 08:48 
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I lack the body control to jump into the backhand fold and come out. Applying the ideas to the backhand is pretty difficult. If anything it really tests one's ability to read the game. The forehand is much easier for various reasons, but mostly because reaching is easier.


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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2019, 20:42 
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wilkinru wrote:
I lack the body control to jump into the backhand fold and come out. Applying the ideas to the backhand is pretty difficult. If anything it really tests one's ability to read the game. The forehand is much easier for various reasons, but mostly because reaching is easier.


It would be interesting to see why. But Brett's video may shed lig hgt on the subject.

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PostPosted: 22 Aug 2019, 02:06 
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NextLevel wrote:
I personally think that deep knee bend lead to less use of the back muscles and drove some of Harimoto's forehand issues with some of the upper arm instability that we are discussing here. But I don't know that much about stroke technology and learn as I watch more and more. I suspect that as Harimoto gets older and stronger, you will see that deep knee bend and large backswing less and less and he will play the forehand with more back muscles like most pros do.


I'm watching him train live as I write and he's still doing the same thing. Biggest twist in the hall still

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PostPosted: 22 Aug 2019, 02:16 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
I personally think that deep knee bend lead to less use of the back muscles and drove some of Harimoto's forehand issues with some of the upper arm instability that we are discussing here. But I don't know that much about stroke technology and learn as I watch more and more. I suspect that as Harimoto gets older and stronger, you will see that deep knee bend and large backswing less and less and he will play the forehand with more back muscles like most pros do.


I'm watching him train live as I write and he's still doing the same thing. Biggest twist in the hall still


Form follows function. When he trains he has all the time in the world. In matches you don't.

More relevant to this discussion: He also used to swing with his arm far away from his body, which is the exact issue we are talking about here and he would sometimes lose control of his stroke because of excessive upper arm movement. In recent matches, he seems to be working harder on tightening his backswing and keeping it closer to his body. And in matches he seems more willing to roll his back muscles to cover the ball than he used to.

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PostPosted: 22 Aug 2019, 05:18 
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The concept in LTT117 has given me a new level of consistency in my forehand loop vs backspin. I think against block/top spin I was already doing this somewhat so it harder to tell. Against backspin it's more obvious because typically one has more time. Once you accept the pain required to do LTT117 then the stroke itself can become more automatic. I'm even getting better at the next ball because I get my forehand in so often.

However post camp there has been one thing earning me more points than anything else: returning short. NL mentioned once about returning long serves with two bounces. Sometimes I can make this happen but at the 1400-1700 level one doesn't need to even do that. It just needs to be half long but with good backspin. There have been serves I have returned with 3 bounces in actual rated matches. These have been huge point earners. I see far far too many long serves to really commit to returning short backspin balls but learning the concept of 3 bounces and having 'touch' can really can make a huge difference in the score lines.

I have put blood sweat and tears into TT the last few months and honestly this backspin touch yields the most. So balance out the 200 pound gorilla forehands with some touch too!


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