Slow top-spin loops - playing late

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ttc
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Sometimes (or rather most of the times) I am slow to block-off-the-bounce the slow-top spin loops. I then try my best to take them on the descent and try to send them back close to the net.

BUT, the top spin kicks in and the ball goes way out of the table.

  1. Is there a way to take these balls late (on the descent) and send them back? Heavy chop, perhaps?
  2. assuming that I don't want to block them off the bounce, how should I hit the ball?
    1. grazing motion on the top of the ball?
    2. hard smack to the middle of the ball?

thanks !

Larry Hodges
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

This week's Tip of the Week is on "Quick and Variable Blocks," and addresses the questions asked above. Hope it helps!

http://www.tabletenniscoaching.com/node/753

ttc
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

oh yes! thanks.....now gotta put them to practice.

Larry Hodges
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

Will practice moving into the table as soon as i realize that the top-spin shot of my opponent is a slow one.

If you have to move in to block most loops, then you are standing too far from the table. The only time you should have to step in is against a slow loop that lands short, and against that you should step in to attack it. 

ttc
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

Yes, it is the short loops which are troublesome.

ttc
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

so I guess the consensus is "step up to the table" ! Will practice moving into the table as soon as i realize that the top-spin shot of my opponent is a slow one.

mts288
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

How far away from the table do you stand?  It sounds like you're standing too far back.

ttc
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

forgot to mention that I was speaking particularly about the slow top-spins which land short and not anywhere close to the end line.

ttc
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

Pingskills has a video on this topic:

http://www.pingskills.com/table-tennis/counter-spinny-topspin.php

but again there is no mention on how to play it late.

In that video, it seems like Alois is performing the soft-block close to the table and the punch-through at the top of the bounce and the counter-topspin also at the top of the bounce (or perhaps just a little before the ball gets to the top of its bounce).

so if I were to play mts288 I guess I am doomed to loose against her/his loops when not rushing in.

 

mts288
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

If you're playing a spinny looper off the table, unless you're very very good at counterlooping or chopping you're going to lose.  The disantage of my loop is the big (too big) swing I take.  Many times a quick off the block placement shot will catch me out of position.  When you see me start my big swing, step up to the table and block it.  It doesn't have to be a punch block, just a nice soft block with placement.

Mike

Larry Hodges
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

but again there is no mention on how to play it late.

He's teaching how to block a loop, and blocking late is bad technique. 

so if I were to play mts288 I guess I am doomed to loose against her/his loops when not rushing in.

If you have to rush in to block off the bounce, you are standing too far from the table. I'm pretty sure your blocking problems are positioning, technique, or footwork related. 

Larry Hodges
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

doesn't taking it quick-off-the-bounce mean that my shot is going to be predictble?

There are all sorts of things you can do to make the shot more effective and unpredictable. And it'll be the subject of this Monday's Tip of the Week!

mts288
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

As a slow spinny looper, I agree with Larry's reply.  To get it right you should also have some idea about how much spin is on the ball. 

The most important thing you can do is get to it quick off the bounce.  Quick off the bounce and the advantage is with you.  The longer you wait, the more the advantage becomes mine.  The most common reason players fail to block my loop is that when they see my big spinny loop swing, they almost always take a step back.  Once you step back you're dead.

ttc
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

thanks.

doesn't taking it quick-off-the-bounce mean that my shot is going to be predictble? frown

sometimes I don't want to do that and so something different. But the longer I wait, the worse the situation becomes. no

As an alternative, I should try out the heavy chop and add more spin to the already spinning ball.

Or maybe I should top-spin so as to negate the spin - is that even possible ?????

Larry Hodges
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Re: Slow top-spin loops - playing late

Hi TTC - I've promoted you to CAPs! If you were having trouble blocking faster loops, then it could be refexes. Since it is against slow loops, it's almost for certain a technical problem. Against a slow, spinny loop, you really want to take the ball quick off the bounce, with a slightly closed racket, with no backswing, just a short forward motion. (Some coaches say no forward motion, but that leads to a very defensive block, and the spin takes more on the racket, so I advocate forward motion, just as nearly all top players do.) 

You probably are reaching for the ball rather than stepping to it. Or you aren't moving in against loops that land short. You likely are also backswinging, which slows down your reaction and throws off your timing. 

If you do take the ball late, you can chop it back, but that means becoming a chopper, and developing your whole game around that. You can also fish the ball back, but that's very defensive - but some players do play that game. 

You can smash a slow loop at the top of the bounce, but the timing is tricky, and there's no way you can learn this consistently unless you do a LOT of practice with a partner who lets you practice smashing his loop. (You'll probably need a coach to work on this.) 

Hope this helps!