February 23, 2015

Tip of the Week

Shadow Practice When You Miss.

Forehand Topspin Against Backspin, and Proper Forehand Technique

Here's the new video (3:36) from PingSkills. You should study it to learn to loop against backspin. However, it's also a chance for many of you to fix up your forehands in general by fixing your contact point. While this video features looping against backspin, many of the principles apply to all forehands.

Note in the video how he basically rotates his body around an imaginary vertical rod going through the top of his head, and how he contacts the ball almost directly to the side of this? Most players violate one of these principles, either moving the body forward too much as they do the shot, or (even more common) contacting the ball too far in front.

There are times when you should move the body forward on a shot, such as against an easy high ball or when you are rushed in stepping around the backhand corner, but normally you should go more in a circle. This both gives you great centripetal force as you rotate around, but also leaves you in position for the next shot, balanced and ready, which is how top players can play power shots over and over in quick succession.

But as noted above, the more common problem is that players tend to contact the ball too far in front. This either keeps them from rotating backwards fully (and so losing power), or forces them to reach for the ball (thereby dissipating power and putting you off balance).

Also note how the legs (and especially the knees) are used to rotate into the shot. The legs aren't just for standing; they are the primary start to every shot, and give you the pivot into your shots. (An expanded version of this will likely become a Tip of the Week.)

In the segment below on Japanese junior sensation Tomokazu Harimoto there's a 13-second video of him knocking balls off a table. Note the same principle - he rotates in a circle and contacts the ball directly to the side of that imaginary rod going through his head. You can see the same principles in this 46-second video of Wang Liqin demonstrating "The shot that owned a decade."

The Amazing Serve of Jun Mizutani

Here's the video (2:02). It's in Japanese, but you can learn just by watching, since much of it is shown in slow motion.

Ask the Coach (Werner Schlager Academy version)

Episode #6 - Practice Champions (German with English Subtitles). "Richard Prause talks about world champions in practice who cannot transfer their skills into the match. Listen to his advices and tips to become a match champion."

Ask The Coach (PingSkills version)

Episode #81 (21:33) - How Does Speed Affect Spin?

  • Previous #PQOTD  - 0:46: Who is hungriest for the World Championships 2015?
  • #PQOTD  - 1:59: Should the ITTF put in place stricter rules to stop ex Chinese players playing for different countries?
  • Discussion - 2:24: Safir Open and Qatar Open
  • Crying player - 9:43: Nigel: I was umpiring a junior match between a boy and a girl about 10-13 years old. The girl won the first game and the boy the second after that the girl came out crying, this seemed to put the lad off . How should you handle this sort of situation?
  • Counter long spin serve - 11:23: Ernest: Is a topspin stroke the most effective way to counter a long serve? Are there any strokes to return long serve? Maybe you can suggest to me another way to return long serve effectively.
  • Speed and Spin - 13:27: Kaustubh: How does speed affect spin and vice versa?
  • Blocking a Sidespin Loop - 16:07: Brock: How can I block a loop with backspin and sidespin on it? The tall guy started doing this last time. How can I block it? I can block normal loops.
  • Improving Balance - 18:42: Bhaswar: What are the exercises that we can do to improve our movement and balance while playing table tennis?
  • Counter Heavy Topspin - 19:30: Lukas: What's the best way to counter a really heavy topspin?
  • Best Ever - 20:47: Bhaswar: Who is the best table tennis player ever?

Swedish Junior and Cadet Championships

USA did pretty well there this past weekend. Here's the home page, and here's an article on USA results. Kanak Jha won Cadet Boys' Singles. Ishana Deb made the semifinals of Cadet Girls' Singles, including an upset over top seed Adriana Diaz of Puerto Rico in the round of 16. Nikhil Kumar made the final of Minicadet Boys' Singles.

Pan American Games Team Leader Position Opening

Here's how you can apply for the position.

Table Tennis Champ Revives Career After Battling Muscle Condition

Here's the article on 44-year-old U.S. Men's Champion Jim Butler. (To see entire article you'll need to sign up as a digital subscriber to the Houston Chronicle.)

Texas Wesleyan Team Dominates

Here's the video (1:45, after an irritating 33 sec ad).

Cross Train Your Brain. Play PingPongforCHARITY.com

Here's the video (1:59).

11-Year-Old Japanese Sensation

There's a new wunderkind in town - Tomokazu Harimoto of Japan. He made it all the way to the final of the Safir Open, defeating world #43 Omar Assar (EGY) in the quarterfinals and world #71 Jens Lundqvist (SWE) in the semifinals before losing in the final to Xu Hui (CHN). Here's a video of his match with Lundqvist (5:07, with time between points removed). Here's a video of the final with Xu Hui (4:46). And here's a fun video (13 sec) of him smacking three balls off the table in multiball - no idea how many takes it took to get this! (Perhaps only one?) I read he's originally from China and immigrated to Japan. His original Chinese name was Zhang Zihe, but he took on a Japanese name. His parents are professional players from the Sichuan Province of China, with the mom, and possibly the dad, former members of the Chinese National Team.

Zhang Jike Forehand Training

Here's the video (77 sec).

Qatar Open Final - Samsonov vs. Ovtcharov

Here's the video (7:46, with time between points removed). Yep, Samsonov's still got it! (He'll be 39 on April 17.) Here's the home page for the event which finished yesterday. Here's a great point (50 sec, including slow motion replay) between Ovtcharov and Jung Youngsick in the quarterfinals.

How to Hit a Backhand

Here's video (47 sec, including replay) of Marcos Freitas of Portugal (world #10) at the Qatar Open showing us how to hit the backhand.

Jean-Philippe Gatien - He's Still Got It!

Here's 15 seconds of him doing multiball - 22 years after he won Men's Singles at the Worlds!

Behind-the-Back Shots of the Day

Here's the video (54 sec). Here's another one from a week ago (25 sec).

The Most Amazing Nets You Will Ever See

Here's the video (61 sec, including slow motion replay).

Roller Coaster Pong

Here's the picture!


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