OOAK Table Tennis Forum

Question about the backswing on the pendulum serve
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Author:  Dave T [ 07 Dec 2015, 10:32 ]
Post subject:  Question about the backswing on the pendulum serve

I'm a beginning player, I've been playing seriously and taking lessons with a coach for about a year. My coach only "allowed" me recently to work on the pendulum serve, saying I wasn't ready and limiting me to the backhand serve.

So I've been practicing the pendulum for a few weeks now, and now have a fairly decent serve for my level - a fair amount of sidespin, and I can vary topspin and backspin. But I just re-watched Brett Clark's videos on the pendulum serve here:

And I'm seeing a major difference between how I've been doing it and Brett's way. Brett has you toss the ball up, and then wait until the ball is falling to take a rapid backswing and hit into the ball - saying that the whiplike rebound of the forward swing from the backswing is critical in getting maximum speed and spin. Conversely, I've been taking the paddle back just as I toss the ball up, pausing in my backswing, and then whipping the paddle through to hit the ball. Brett's way does seem to let you put more spin on it, and you can have a tighter and probably less readable. But I'm finding the timing of taking the paddle back and through during the decent of the ball very tough to do. I can do it reasonably well in practice, but when I play I really struggle.

So my question is - should I try to do it Brett's way, or the way I've been doing it (pause at end of backswing)? My coach does it more like I've been doing it and says I should just do it that way. He says lots of top pros pause in their backswing. I'm not sure one way or the other. I did look at a video of Timo Boll doing the pendulum, and he seems to do it similar to Brett.

I'm willing to put in a lot of practice on this, but I don't want to spend time trying to perfect something that will take years before I'm willing to do it in a match. Sometimes easier is better, and I don't want to make it harder than I need to.



- Dave

Author:  haggisv [ 08 Dec 2015, 20:10 ]
Post subject:  Re: Question about the backswing on the pendulum serve

My advice would be to listen to your coach, since he's actually there with you, and he can see what you're doing ring or wrong.
Serves always evolve over time anyway, and you can always add further serves once you progress in level.

Author:  NextLevel [ 08 Dec 2015, 23:08 ]
Post subject:  Re: Question about the backswing on the pendulum serve

If your coach is a good player, you aren't doing anything radically wrong so there is no reason to not listen to them specifically, more so because they are working on your whole game. I am also not sure whether you are just watching the one video that Brett has out on youtube or are watching the whole TTEdge series, where Brett builds out the whole serve.

There is also no reason why you can't categorize what Brett does and what your coach is teaching you as different serves and practice them separately. That's often the best way to change a serve - pretend it is a new one.

Author:  Dave T [ 09 Dec 2015, 00:46 ]
Post subject:  Re: Question about the backswing on the pendulum serve


I'm looking at the whole series.

Which way do you serve? How do you feel about a pause in the backswing, vs not?

Author:  NextLevel [ 09 Dec 2015, 02:21 ]
Post subject:  Re: Question about the backswing on the pendulum serve

Brett hates it but I have seen players at a far higher level than myself pause. Brett is a world class serving expert so know he is giving you top notch technique. But if you can't do it on day one, see it as something to aspire to. I think my best serves come with no pause on the backswing but I.have developed years of bad timing so I have to learn a new serve. My reverse pendulum doesn't have the backswing issue bit ny pendulum, which I had long before I met Brett does. So I need a new serve which I may call the Brett pendulum ;).

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