Speed or Acceleration for more Spin

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 8 years ago

Marcus Hardung

Marcus Hardung Asked 8 years ago

I found some information about this topic here but is it just me thinking there is no contradiction in this? you need explosive acceleration first to brush the ball at the highest possible speed - rising the speed of the bat too slowly may result in ball contact before reaching the highest speed in your movement and there is a limit of how much speed you can build as well as you certainly don’t want to move your arm further than necessary so you need to get the bat stopped before hitting your head as well :-).

The movement of the bat is what 1meter?, maybe less through the full stroke (plus moving back to the ready position) so rising the speed at which you brush the ball can only be improved by higher acceleration rates.

Is it maybe not a question of speed only but more so of perfecting the movement with an explosive start -like a pretensioned rubber band and achieving maximum speed as early as possible so your time at constant max speed is maximised and you gain time to decelerate your movement and be able to get back to your ready position? 

This way around your consistency in creating spin should be also better as you are brushing the ball at constant, reproducible speed.

What’s your take on this theory?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Marcus,

I think the critical factor is how much time you have and therefore how long your swing can be.  The longer stroke allows for a bit more consistency as well.

Would be interested to hear others thoughts.

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Thoughts on this question

Mark Jung

Mark Jung Posted 8 years ago

The issue with that reasoning is that you basically have a maximum speed. Sure you could use explosive acceleration and get that max speed faster, but you could also just use a bigger swing, get the same speed, and not destroy your arms. It'll also be way more consistent, because while you're accelerating your speed is changing, so hitting earlier or later will give you a different shot. A wide swing where you accelerate near the beginning and then keep that speed through the whole middle of the swing will be a lot more forgiving. Basically the arm is works better as a trebuchet than a crossbow.

Marcus Hardung

Marcus Hardung Posted 8 years ago

coming from a technical background myself  this sets me thinking more about it ...the longer swing with less acceleration will due to the aw of physics inevitably cost more time ..first to make the stroke but also returning to the ready position ...So isn´t this long stroke approach limiting your potential reaction time for the next stroke already ? I see the potential for injuries of course witht the explosive approach but on the other side explosiveness is sure present in other sorts of sports  so you sure have to stay alert and keep in good shape to not risk damage .

Erriza Shalahuddin

Erriza Shalahuddin Posted 8 years ago

for the sake of science, shall we call in a physicist for help? I'm sure we all know how to generate spin in practical situation. but for further tiny little details, i think a physicist may satisfy us. does anyone here know someone with physics background? or maybe you do?

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