If you are trying to change or improve your stroke, sometimes it is difficult when the ball is coming toward you. Your muscle memory takes over and you easily revert back to how you had been previously stroking the ball. Also, as you are trying to make contact and must adjust to various placements, speeds, spins, heights, and depths, the strokes often becomes sloppy as you reach/lean for the ball.
Your imagination is your most powerful tool.
Are you using it?
Many club level players dream of becoming a world class players with awesome balance, positioning, timing, perfect strokes, ideal placement, and deceptive variations. However, when I ask them to do shadow strokes, they have no idea. I have sad sad news… If you can’t do it without the ball, you most certainly can’t do it with the ball!
“You can’t return that serve!” “I’m sorry!” “You can’t!” “I don’t care if you pay me $1000 for this secret 1-hour lesson. You can’t consistently return that deep spinny sidespin serve with 10 variations because you don’t have real strokes. You are trying to chisel and block back those serves that are 2000 rpms, and it isn’t going to happen.”
This is the conversation with many new students that I get on a daily basis.
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During tournaments, I hear many players commenting about various strokes…
“He has good strokes!”
“His strokes are wrong!”
“How does he have a 2000-rating with strokes like that?”
“His loop is very smooth!”
“He won the tournament, but he doesn’t have the best strokes.”
“His strokes are old-school!”
“Wow, his strokes flow nicely together!”
Modern table tennis is predominantly characterized by looping – looping backspin balls, looping topspin balls, looping serves, looping over-the-table, looping blocks, and re-looping loops. The Chinese national team did a study on various loops. The study showed that the spiniest loop against backspin tested had about 120 rotations per second. The spiniest loop against topspin tested had about 130 rotations per second.
Within the last year, there have been over 200 posted coaching articles at www.samsondubina.com. I realize that sometimes it can seem overwhelming to try to figure out which articles to read and which tips that you should be applying to your game. For this reason, I have written this summary article which will summarize many of the articles within 1 sentence.
When developing a good loop, focus on spin rather than speed.
When developing a good push, contact the ball early and keeping the ball low with spin.
Learn the important aspects of improving your strokes!
The students that I’m currently coaching range from about 100-2200 USATT rating. For each of these students they are at a different learning stage. In this blog posting, I will be giving the progressive order of the strokes and the order in which they should be learned. If you are having trouble with one of the strokes listed below, see if you have perfected these items in order of priority. Note: You might have missed one of the important aspects! J