Stop the flat hit bad habit

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 4 years ago

Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Asked 4 years ago

Hihi Pingskills, 

Whenever I teach people how to Topspin on the forehand, I realised that many are already very used to flat hitting, and will still go ahead and flat contact before pretending to end very high such that it looks like Topspin. I recorded and realised that's the problem.

What is the optimal way of kicking that habit?

I thought of making them do "standing parade": means keeping their arm and racket at that fixed closed angle for muscle memory, then make them do the topspin action in slow motion, and slowly speed up. Then I hold the ball and simulate the projectile motion in slow motion as well. Is that a good idea?

Are there better ideas?

Thanks!


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 4 years ago

Hi Benzene,

The slow action can work for some players to get them to really feel the positions of the hand and arm.

Give it a try and see how you get on.

Also feedback for them during the normal stroke can help.  Get them to touch something lower and then complete the action to the finish position.  You can do this by putting an object at the right height for them to touch before playing the shot.

You can also get them to focus on the trajectory of the ball.  By placing a rod high above the net that they need to hit the ball over will force them to hit the ball with topspin to get it up and down in time.  This will give them the feel of the contact.  Once they have that, you can then remove the rod and get them to focus on the brushing contact.


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Thoughts on this question

Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Thanks coach! Will give it a try.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Will be interested in the outcomes and which approach if any works for you.


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

May I clarify the term touch? As in contacting the ball at a lower height like below table level? Is that what you meant?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

More the starting position of the bat in the lower position.  Put an object there.  Could be a low box that they need to go down and touch as the ball is coming towards them.


Aniketh Danam

Aniketh Danam Posted 4 years ago

Do u both play aggressively. 

My friebds suggested not to play aggressive.


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Thanks coach, I get what you're saying. I'll probably use a chair...


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

@Aniketh I'm teaching the basic forehand topspin. Not aggressive or anything yet.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Try the stick or rod over the net as well.  This works well.  Just need someone to hold it.  Or put a string over the net like in our Keeping The Ball Low tutorial.  Just hit the ball over the strong instead of under the string.  For best effect when learning though you need the string a lot higher... Even 1 metre above the net.

 


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Wow, that's high... If it's so high, will it be hard to correct the habit of Topspinning so High, if they are asked to hit low right above the net later on?

I'm just afraid that they may resort to hitting high instead of Topspinning high... Rather counterintuitive for those who are used to flat hitting. I'll give it a try...


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

You only do it for a minute or two till they get the feeling of the brushing contact then take it away.


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Ohhh thanks coach, will give it a try


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Attempted to teach by slow motion, did work when ball is high enough, but have difficulty lifting the ball, when it's low... So I guess it was a smash my mentee was doing?

Then I attempted the bounce on the floor and make my mentee loop the ball generating topspins, but she kept missing the ball when I bounce the ball on the floor... How to improve her accuracy? Same thing when I made her do the brushing action during rally, she keep missing the ball, or smashing it into the net when ball is low. How?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

The bounce on the floor is less realistic because the ball isn't moving towards the player.  Missing the ball isn't a terrible thing. Get her to change between the finer missing and the flatter contact and eventually she will find the happy medium.


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Flatter contact as in flat hit? What do you mean by finer missing?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 4 years ago

Yes flat as in what she is used you doing and missing... Trying to get that fine contact.  Eventually she will get the right balance.


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Ok, thanks coach!


John Croes

John Croes Posted 4 years ago

Benzene, are you letting your students watch the videos you recorded of them? I find that watching a video of them with them and pointing out what they should do differently or what they're doing that is not what you want can help. Several of my students tell me that the video of their errors helps them. 


Chandrachur Mukherjee

Chandrachur Mukherjee Posted 4 years ago

I used to always try to brush the ball, but now I realized that punching the topspin in a smash type action is much faster and difficult to defend than counter topspinning the ball. Now I only use the brushing topspin action for backspin balls.


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

@John, I would want to, but it's just my student and I, 2 people. I'm feeding the multi-ball and can't record at the same time...

@Chandrachur, that's what my student did automatically, but when I feed a very low ball over the net, she had problems returning. That's the main point here: needing to drive the ball up over the net when returning a long, low ball, is almost (correct me if I'm wrong) inevitable in a rally. As you mentioned, when I turned chopper mode, she has problems returning. Therefore, I still have to teach her the brushing action.


Rohan Keogh

Rohan Keogh Posted 4 years ago

Benzene, I had the same problem as your student when first learning to brush the ball.  I missed the ball entirely, a lot. I think it happens because 1) the timing is different to what you are used to when flat hitting, 2) the significantly smaller contact area, and 3) with a closed bat you no longer have direct sight of the contact since the bat now effectively 'hides' the ball from view at that moment.

2 things helped me overcome the missing (and frustration): 

I build a 'brushing practice' device - basically, a home-made version of this http://www.tabletennis11.com/other_eng/neottec-spin-ball

Because the ball isn't moving, you get to practice the brushing action and can focus on the stroke and contact.

The other thing was a drill where I stood close-in to the table at my BH corner in a FH ready position.  I then dropped a ball on the table so it bounced low - no higher than the net. The challenge was to lift the ball from just a few inches above the table. With virtually no back swing available, it requires brushing the ball with a short but rapid movement and also getting the timing right.  I don't miss top spins/loops anymore :)   Cheers.

 


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

@Rohan, coach Alois mentioned that doing the ball and brushing it upwards over the net is not realistic as the ball is not flying towards you...


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Regarding the device, people can get used to it when ball is stationary, they had no problem when I asked to to slow motion and showed them the ball projectile, but they panic when the ball is flying towards them...


Benzene Chiral

Benzene Chiral Posted 4 years ago

Miraculously, somehow or another, my student got it...



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