Spinny Serves

December 8, 2011

Backup plans

On Monday I blogged about always having a backup attack plan if your main tactic doesn't work. In my case, I wrote about switching from forehand looping to forehand hitting because my opponent was blocking too quick and fast for me to keep looping aggressively. Someone asked me what I would have done if my forehand smash was missing - good question! But there are always options, though not all options work. (In fact, most do not, and the goal is to find the ones that do.) Here were my main rallying options against this quick-hitting penholder, roughly in order of preference.

  1. Aggressive forehand looping, steady backhand countering
  2. Aggressive forehand hitting, steady backhand countering
  3. Steady forehand looping and backhand countering
  4. Steady forehand and backhand counter-hitting
  5. Steady forehand counter-hitting and an aggressive backhand
  6. Quick-blocking and hitting from both sides with varied pace
  7. Chopping, fishing, lobbing, and pick-hitting

Spinny serves

So you want spinny serves? Then focus on two things: an extremely fast acceleration of the racket into the ball and an extremely fine grazing motion. After the arm gets the racket moving, the wrist should snap the racket into the ball like the tip of a whip. The grazing motion should be so fine, barely touching the rubber (and not sinking into the sponge) that you struggle to get the ball over the net. Focus on these two things, practice until you can control it (height, depth, direction), learn to vary the spin by contacting the ball at different parts of the swing (and so on different parts of the ball as the racket goes through a semi-circular motion), and you'll have good serves. (I just went through all this with a relatively new student yesterday, and while he paid for it, you all get this for free. But he got a live demonstration!)

Liu Guoliang's concerns for the "Fab Five"

Chinese Men's Coach Liu Guoliang gives his concerns for the Chinese men at the 2012 Olympics. Here's an excerpt from near the end, when Liu talks about their rivals.

"In the team events, the German and Korean teams are still star studded. They also have some rising stars. So, Liu Guoliang still considers them as their main rivals for the Olympics. As for the Singles, the sudden emergence of rookies from France and Russia obviously gave a certain level of concern for the Chinese team. However, Liu Guoliang thinks that Jun Mizutani, Joo Se Hyuk and their old rivals are still the threatening players."

Zachary Levi and Kaley Cuoco play table tennis

They did this on stage at the 2011 Teen Choice Awards (2:28).

North American Teams Championships Final

In case you missed it, here are the four matches in the Team Final:

Turtles playing table tennis

From the cover of the 1979 record "Pablo Cruise: Part of the Game." Here's the front (two turtles playing), and here's the back (a very crestfallen turtle - click to see why!).

***

Send us your own coaching news!

 

Syndicate content