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PostPosted: 14 Aug 2020, 10:23 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
BRS wrote:
I like your post wilkinru!

Even more exciting, both my aliexpress boondoggles cleared customs in the US of A! One is in ATL and the other is in New Jersey or smth.


Lucky you!

For me, giving money to Aliexpress is like giving it to an international airline in 2020...that's the last you every hear of it.


My 2 sheets of Big Dipper turned up in Melbourne yesterday. Better late than never!

I boosted the sponge of Big Dipper a few days ago and it reacted very quickly. This indicates that the sponge is more like ESN or Tenergy. Chinese sponge normally takes hours to react. Without trying it, I'd say that Big Dipper is a really good rubber to boost.

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PostPosted: 14 Aug 2020, 21:30 
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Boosted with a neighbor's baby oil again? Yesterday must have been International AliExpress Delivers Stuff Day. My 49° Battle II arrived too. PF4 is still in the mail and I have run out of blades. I could put it on the log from the forest, but that would give it an unfair advantage over the three rubbers on the acoustic carbons. One of them may have to die.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 00:00 
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Just one rally but I've been thinking about the backswing after the discussion we had here kind of recently. Seeing Brett's video with the circle and semi circle backswing and forward swing helped visualise it a lot better.

I feel a little rushed for time with the shots but I am taking them relatively early. I think I'm losing some spin and gaining some speed. But I think I just need more practice since I'm consciously trying to take a short backswing path and adjust the swing path before swinging forward (if that makes sense).

What do you guys see? Am I getting towards what I'm trying to do with this? If I was to evaluate my shots, I think I need to contact the ball a little further from my body to get a more comfortable forehand in, but maybe that's not possible close to the table.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEApzLFol5Y


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 06:21 
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mickd wrote:


As usual your shot looks fine to me. I'll give a thought because you like to hear feedback and who knows what tangent you will go off on with it. :rofl:

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Backswing is smallish, but you finish pretty far past your face, from what I can see. Sometimes I think you are trying to do a self choke on those forehands. Do you ever lose sight of the ball because of your arm blocking your eyes?

What if you did a slightly bigger backswing and finished slightly sooner? In the end it'd pretty much be the same time savings in multiball but perhaps even higher quality. This BTW I think is how the backhand is going. Everyone is doing more backswing and less forward motion after the hit. In fact it's all sort of like Brett's serve - backswing and then no need to do this follow-through much past the contact point.


Quick pics of Ma Long hitting a similar ball (in a match!). More backswing, possibly less finish, but I do notice the finish is more forward with his arm.
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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 08:57 
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Thanks wilkinru. I haven't had any problems with my arm blocking my eyes but I like that idea so I'll try it out next session. Bigger back swing, smaller forward swing. Easy enough to think about and see what happens :D

Looks like Ma Long also has a lot more torso rotation and better free arm usage. So that's something I want to try put a little more effort into too. The first shot I do always has my free arm working into the shot... but every other shot doesn't.


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 09:33 
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I think that everyone must find the balancing point with rubber on the fh. You need to find the slowest rubber you feel happy with, if that makes sense?

I'll give you an example. I messed around and bought DHS PF4, as per earlier in this thread. It's really just some type of H3, minus the marketing. I tried it yesterday and it was super slow, even though I boosted it. It was really cold in the hall and the ball didn't go anywhere. My body had softened up in lock down too, so PF4 was really ugly and boring. Then I put some Big Dipper on the fh and it felt fine. I was able to twist into the ball and get some real snap on the contact. I think it's the slowest rubber that I can enjoy in training whilst getting decent benefits on serve and return.

Here's the catch though. I finished the session with some serving and my serve was the best it has ever been...using the PF4. The hard, slow and tacky rubber meant that I could get great spin without worrying about accidentally serving long, even though it was the first time I've served in 5 months. I'm sure if I did some pushing and short returning, I'd enjoy exactly the same benefits with this DHS PF4.

If I started coaching a 8 year old for my life, I'd be fine putting PF4 on their forehand and I'd back myself to teach them how to use it. It's a "professional" rubber for $7 and I guarantee you'll hate it. It's worth spending the $7 to find out how good the Chinese really are.

There is a pro player I work with who is trying to change from Tenergy/Dignics to H3. I asked him if he can get the National version and he said he'd rather just stay with Provincial. He said the National version is just too hard and unusable for him.

One of two top Europeans tried H3 National a couple of years back. They lost some real matches and blamed the hard slow rubber and ended the experiment. Now they are on the Dignics09c train and it will be interesting to see what happens there. They are going to sacrifice some speed and they'll be forced to make some decisions if there are important losses. Maybe it's the slowest rubber they can live with.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 10:06 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
You need to find the slowest rubber you feel happy with


I know H3 neo isn't the slowest thing ever...but it's remarkable how much power can be had and I'm very happy with it on the forehand. I'm at the point where I have to scrap my other bouncy rubbers to practice serve as the tacky top sheet is just so different.

Now on the backhand - does Tenergy make sense? Or perhaps a tacky top sheet with a softer sponge make sense? I've ordered a couple of items to experiment with.

Truth be told, practice partners look at my blade daily, shocked at the 'power' I'm getting. They try it for a minute and hand it back like it's poison - "too slow".


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 10:29 
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mickd wrote:
Just one rally but I've been thinking about the backswing after the discussion we had here kind of recently. Seeing Brett's video with the circle and semi circle backswing and forward swing helped visualise it a lot better.

I feel a little rushed for time with the shots but I am taking them relatively early. I think I'm losing some spin and gaining some speed. But I think I just need more practice since I'm consciously trying to take a short backswing path and adjust the swing path before swinging forward (if that makes sense).

What do you guys see? Am I getting towards what I'm trying to do with this? If I was to evaluate my shots, I think I need to contact the ball a little further from my body to get a more comfortable forehand in, but maybe that's not possible close to the table.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEApzLFol5Y


The leg work is phenomenal Mick. I'm considering adding this to my video collection to show students how to use the legs. You'll be in there with Ma Long and Fan Zhendong.

I think that Russ is probably right about the swing thing. I'm certainly getting too old and tired to argue about it. 5 months of Indian lockdown changes a man, you know. I invited Xu Xin onto the forum to help, but he politely declined.

Mick, the thing is, your leg/body work is the world's best, but it's not having the maximum kinetic impact on your arm. If you twist like god, but lock your arm, then you're not going to have the momentum you've earned. Your follow through is longer than your backswing because you are trying to pull your arm up through the ball. The arm lacks "swing" from kinetic energy. A follow through (which is a misnomer) should be your arm slowing down from all of the early momentum. We finish somewhere above the eyes because that's how long it takes for a swinging racket to slow down, on average,. We don't finish above the eyes because that makes it a correct shot. That would be a fake swing, which can result in hefty fines or imprisonment.

This is a TJ post btw. I'm pretty happy with the shot already. If someone posts "you are the world's biggest TJ", I'm just going to take it on the chin. If Russ hadn't posted, I probably would have said "top forehand man". If an Indian junior came to a national camp with that forehand, I doubt I would have said a word. I'd probably have used him/her to demonstrate how to use the legs on the fh.

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Last edited by Brett Clarke on 20 Aug 2020, 11:20, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 10:46 
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wilkinru wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
You need to find the slowest rubber you feel happy with


.

Now on the backhand - does Tenergy make sense? Or perhaps a tacky top sheet with a softer sponge make sense? I've ordered a couple of items to experiment with.


I personally like boosted (baby oil of course) Mercury 2 on my backhand. Yep, that's a $5 rubber and I like it on my backhand.

Perhaps this is the backhand rule - Use the fastest rubber you can without consistently blocking loops off the end off the end of the table in a match.

If Ma Long can block and counter with T05, that's what he should use...maybe

For me, this is a pretty slow rubber. I have blocked over 10 million loops off the end of the table over a 32 year period. I believe this is a world record and my $5 rubber is the result. Good blocking technique is an important factor too. I also need good body work to generate enough speed on my own attacks, which is doable.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 10:57 
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wilkinru wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
You need to find the slowest rubber you feel happy with


Truth be told, practice partners look at my blade daily, shocked at the 'power' I'm getting. They try it for a minute and hand it back like it's poison - "too slow".


This is how it really works. I did the same with some Chinese players at an international camp. I was excited to try their rackets and then felt really disappointed at how slow they were. I was expecting something awesome and it felt like hard slow junk.

The truth is...I was the hard slow junk.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 11:17 
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If you only shadow swing every day for 5 months, you can absolutely change your technique. It's not perfect though and you have to take the good with the bad. I hit my first 10 non-virtual backhand topspins into the bottom half of the net because of the real changes that I made to my backhand during lock down.

I'll write more about this when I have time. Freedom = less time.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 12:05 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
You need to find the slowest rubber you feel happy with


Timely post, my PF4 arrived today! I will not boost it though. Tbh I loved the 61° sponge on Aibiss. It just isn't tacky enough. The 49° Battle II is too soft a sponge but waaaay tackier. It loops so strong by the second session it broke my robot!

I hope the pf4 is a stupid-hard sponge plus a stupid-tacky topsheet, that will fit my fh perfectly. But I won't get to do more than serve with it until spare robot parts arrive from Ukraine.

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 12:09 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
If you only shadow swing every day for 5 months, you can absolutely change your technique.
...


Damn it, as expected, I wasted all this lockdown time...

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 13:00 
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Brett Clarke wrote:
The leg work is phenomenal Mick. I'm considering adding this to my video collection to show students how to use the legs. You'll be in there with Ma Long and Fan Zhendong.

I think that Russ is probably right about the swing thing. I'm certainly getting too old and tired to argue about it. 5 months of Indian lockdown changes a man, you know. I invited Xu Xin onto the forum to help, but he politely declined.

Mick, the thing is, your leg/body work is the world's best, but it's not having the maximum kinetic impact on your arm. If you twist like god, but lock your arm, then you're not going to have the momentum you've earned. Your follow through is longer than your backswing because you are trying to pull your arm up through the ball. The arm lacks "swing" from kinetic energy. A follow through (which is a misnomer) should be your arm slowing down from all of the early momentum. We finish somewhere above the eyes because that's how long it takes for a swinging racket to slow down, on average,. We don't finish above the eyes because that makes it a correct shot. That would be a fake swing, which can result in hefty fines or imprisonment.

This is a TJ post btw. I'm pretty happy with the shot already. If someone posts "you are the world's biggest TJ", I'm just going to take it on the chin. If Russ hadn't posted, I probably would have said "top forehand man". If an Indian junior came to a national camp with that forehand, I doubt I would have said a word. I'd probably have used him/her to demonstrate how to use the legs on the fh.


Thanks Brett. I think that's the main problem I've had since forever. The kinetic chain doesn't flow smoothly so I lose power in my strokes. To be honest, I think that's why my legs are doing a lot of the work. I have never been able to fix the stiff arm problem, so to get it better, I had to get the legs more into it.

I'll work a lot more on figuring out the arm now. I've always had problems with relaxing the arm and letting it swing freely because I feel like I lose all control of hitting the ball and creating spin. But I'm confident I'll eventually get it right :) There have been some shots where everything flowed and the ball has been a monster. I really like your analogy with the follow through. I never thought of it that way before and I think this might be the mindset I need to get it right. But I'll need time and practice for it!

I'm happy with Russ' reply for the same reason. I know there's something missing in the arm in allowing the power to flow.


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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2020, 13:09 
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mickd wrote:
Brett Clarke wrote:
The leg work is phenomenal Mick. I'm considering adding this to my video collection to show students how to use the legs. You'll be in there with Ma Long and Fan Zhendong.

I think that Russ is probably right about the swing thing. I'm certainly getting too old and tired to argue about it. 5 months of Indian lockdown changes a man, you know. I invited Xu Xin onto the forum to help, but he politely declined.

Mick, the thing is, your leg/body work is the world's best, but it's not having the maximum kinetic impact on your arm. If you twist like god, but lock your arm, then you're not going to have the momentum you've earned. Your follow through is longer than your backswing because you are trying to pull your arm up through the ball. The arm lacks "swing" from kinetic energy. A follow through (which is a misnomer) should be your arm slowing down from all of the early momentum. We finish somewhere above the eyes because that's how long it takes for a swinging racket to slow down, on average,. We don't finish above the eyes because that makes it a correct shot. That would be a fake swing, which can result in hefty fines or imprisonment.

This is a TJ post btw. I'm pretty happy with the shot already. If someone posts "you are the world's biggest TJ", I'm just going to take it on the chin. If Russ hadn't posted, I probably would have said "top forehand man". If an Indian junior came to a national camp with that forehand, I doubt I would have said a word. I'd probably have used him/her to demonstrate how to use the legs on the fh.


Thanks Brett. I think that's the main problem I've had since forever. The kinetic chain doesn't flow smoothly so I lose power in my strokes. To be honest, I think that's why my legs are doing a lot of the work. I have never been able to fix the stiff arm problem, so to get it better, I had to get the legs more into it.

I'll work a lot more on figuring out the arm now. I've always had problems with relaxing the arm and letting it swing freely because I feel like I lose all control of hitting the ball and creating spin. But I'm confident I'll eventually get it right :) There have been some shots where everything flowed and the ball has been a monster. I really like your analogy with the follow through. I never thought of it that way before and I think this might be the mindset I need to get it right. But I'll need time and practice for it!

I'm happy with Russ' reply for the same reason. I know there's something missing in the arm in allowing the power to flow.


Think of it as snapping into the ball. You kinda of snap past the ball in reality, but it feels like you snapped at the ball.

Don't worry about the loss of control - that just means you need to fix your contact point and that will adapt over time until you find a point on the ball that lets you keep the ball on the table. I often get mocked for looking for more power in my swing, but I tell people all the time that you can turn power into spin by contacting a higher point on the ball. But if you can't generate the speed, there is nothing to convert.

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