Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 5 years ago

Duane Millslagle

Duane Millslagle Asked 5 years ago


Viewed your video on anticipation.  I have researched and published on coincidence-anticipation which is the underlying ability of hitting and catching and dynamic visual acuity which is one ability to track a moving object.  Your video has the learner cue on track the ball.  Thought I might provide you some interesting research about tracking the ball.  The human visual system cannot track a moving object continuously over the ball's flight in speeds that exceed 9-11 mph.  So how do we really track?  Well, the answer is if the path of the ball is long, we make snap shots at different ball path points during it flight.  If it is a slow ball that is in arch, tracking is a little better.  The hardest ball to track is ball the is hit fast and horizontal.  

But in the game of table tennis, when the ball is traveling fast to us one eyes cannot track it continuously to the bat.  So, the key cue is the ball coming off the opponents bade and initial direction of the ball's path.  We only need a few milliseconds to decide how fast and the direction of the ball. We attempt to determine with the use of TAU, an initiate visual ability that is automatic, the time it takes for the ball to come to us. Since hitting in table tennis is a open ballistic skill, anticipation of the ball is achieved by:

1) preparation, that is, the right preparatory body position.  One needs to be ready.  Being ready improves your reaction and give you just enough time to perform your stroke.

and  2)experience gained through practice and competition.    As I mentioned, hitting the ball is a dynamic open skill.  Therefore, your stoke is determined by initial information of opponent.  One stroke at the ball is a all or none situation.  Visual and kinetic feedback does not have enough time to reach us to provide us with information to correct our errors while performing the stroke. Therefore, experience and practice where the initial cues are present will improve one's anticipation.   

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 5 years ago

Hi Duane,

Very insightful.

Thanks for sharing that with us.

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Phillip Simmons

Phillip Simmons Posted 5 years ago

I think Duane has really hit on something that can be very helpful.  I have been researching "tracking the ball etc."  I have not found anything that helpful. I would like to learn more about his research and publications.  I plan on exploring his ideas to help my students.

Can you put me in touch with him so I can review his work and hopefully expand on it.




Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Hi Phil,

I will let Duane contact you directly if he would like.

Phillip Simmons

Phillip Simmons Posted 5 years ago

OK, Thanks Coach.

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