Adding more forwards component into my topspins

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 1 year ago

Adam Lee

Adam Lee Asked 1 year ago

Hi coaches,

To start off, I want to tell you guys that you did a great job at the Australian open, I was so surprised to hear you commentating as well as seeing alois interviewing players.

My question today is that I have a very bad habit of having a upwards topspin stroke especially of the backspin ball. Yes, I know the vertical stroke is the way to do it against a backspin ball and by having that very upward stroke, I can reach 80% consistency and at the same time generating tremendous spin which even my coaches have difficulty blocking it.

But my biggest problem is that I have no speed on my topspin. Yes, my topspin have that high kicking bounce which make it awkward for the opponent but it does not have the forward force. My coaches tell me to improve the quality to more or less like Jeff which is fast and spinny.

I tried to hit more forwards with the stroke like my coaches advise me but whenever I do it the ball will land in the net and my consistency drops. How can I overcome this problem?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 1 year ago

Hi Adam,

Thanks for the kind words about the Australian Open.  It was a great thrill for us too.

Consistency will tend to drop if you are moving more forward and hitting the ball faster.  It is always a trade off between the faster flatter contact and the slower with more spin.  You don't need to do one or the other.  You can change it up depending on the shot you want to play each time and what your opponent is ready for.  To get the water focus on the flatter contact.  However, there still needs to be an element of spin on the ball as well.

If you think of it in percentages, the slower ball is 80% spin and 20% flat.  The faster ball may be the opposite but there are plenty of possibilities in between that as well.


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Adam Lee

Adam Lee Posted 1 year ago

I understand that variation is great for adding deception to my game. But that's not what i meant. What i really meant was my stroke contains TOO MUCH upwards force. On the forehand side it's not too obvious as i've been training it for years. But my backhand topspin contains nearly vertical with no horizontal movement at all and that causes the ball to go too high and very slow. Yes, it's spinnier than a lot of players in the club and can be very difficult to return. But my coaches would love me to add more horizontal movements on my stroke to balance out the speed and spin. I want to know how i can achieve this.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 1 year ago

Focus primarily on the contact.  If you feel that your stroke is too vertical think about the contact being much flatter.  You can also listen to the sounds the ball makes with the bat on contact.  It will be a louder sound when you hit the ball flatter.


Adam Lee

Adam Lee Posted 1 year ago

so do you mean hitting flatter with the vertical stroke?


Nigel C

Nigel C Posted 1 year ago

Adam,

If you are doing a near vertical stroke then I can't see how your finish position would be right for a faster topspin shot. Alois has video on here that will show the correct start and end position. Then it will be a matter of what happens in between. I'd suggest that you start slowish and keep the ball low, as you get faster you will add more topspin to keep the ball down on the table. Hopefully you will end up with a faster shot that still has lots of spin and keeps low.


D K

D K Posted 1 year ago

Wel..it does not have to be flatter....only closing the bat.....or am I wrong?


Nigel C

Nigel C Posted 1 year ago

I think it depends what was meant by 'flatter'. To use an upward motion with a closed bat would be very difficult. I.e. same action as lifting a back spin ball. 


Adam Lee

Adam Lee Posted 1 year ago

Yes guys, my main objective is against the backspin ball. Of the topspin or blocked ball, I have less problems but against the backspin, my stroke becomes too vertical with almost no forwards force.


Nigel C

Nigel C Posted 1 year ago

Adam, then I'm totally wrong as i thought you referring to top v top. So you still need an upward motion not forward one but at the moment you are brushing slightly too much.


Rohan I am

Rohan I am Posted 1 year ago

And what does your topspin against topspin stroke look like Adam?

I am breaking out of the same habit - a very vertical stroke against backspin. I think it stems from a lack of confidence that a forward stroke can lift the ball. To make matters worse, the vertical stroke started to creep into my topspin against topspin so I was getting high spin but slow loops there too.  A fellow club member spotted it and helped me correct. So I figured if a habit can creep one way then a different habit can creep the other so I have been focusing on using a topspin against topspin stroke against backspin too.  To start with I was putting all the balls into the net but have been making small adjustments - a slightly more vertical stroke and a slightly more open bat.  I'm getting close to the right combination for some reasonable consistency, just a little more tweaking and I will have a stroke I'm happy with. The upside is that I can still play that old shot when I want to.

I'd suggest completely putting aside your current stroke.  Think of it as a particular shot you have now perfected for when you want a high, high spin, slow loop as a surprise. Start from scratch to learn a new stroke - a low, fast loop against backspin.

Cheers


Nigel C

Nigel C Posted 1 year ago

Rohan spot on thats sort of what i was trying to explain but i didnt realise it was against backspin. The slow loop and fast loop are so different. The slow high topspin is my favourite weapon but its an occasional shot. 

Treating as a new shot is why i thought concentrating on the start and end positions to get a more forward stroke rather than the vertical shot of a slow topspin.

So Adam, Rohan is right learn fast topspin agaisnt backspin. Lots of practise, good luck.


Adam Lee

Adam Lee Posted 1 year ago

Thx nigel and rohan for providing me with so many good tips. I think I have the same problem with rohan, my vertical stroke habit has also  crept into my topspin to topspin stroke and thus I always over lift the ball. In my on the table forehand drills, I will never reach 30 easily because of this vertical stroke and it's affecting my improvement. I also have the lack of confidence like rohan because when I first trained and entered a competition, I lost because I was stubborn to take my coaches advice to spin the ball up and insisted to hit forwards for power and all topspins ended up in the net. From then onwards, I've been topspining vertically and spinnily for better consistency. It turned out to be my main strength and the reason why so many other players fear me. So it's weird my coaches want me to change it to a more forwards stroke for more power. But I trust my coaches.

Thx guys for helping me, I will practice and improve it.


Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 1 year ago

You don't have to change all your slow vertical spinny topspins into fast forward powertopspins. You have to be able to do both and use them when it's efficiant. Slow spinny topspin for opening shots, fast power topspins after.



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