Watching Ball's Logo on Service Receive

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 5 years ago

Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Asked 7 years ago

Hi Alois,

Some players claim that they can judge the spin on service receive by watching the logo. Recently I tried to spot those annoying no-spin serves by watching if the logo is visible. But I found that staring at the logo takes too much focus and disrupts my shot & placement selection; and it barely improved my receive at all. So do you think that it is doable and should I keep practicing it?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 7 years ago

Hi Ilia,

I think watching the logo will help you to focus on the ball and then you will gain a whole lot of information without even knowing it.

The logo itself is difficult to spot and the lack of seeing the logo can tell you that the ball is spinning a lot and then if you do happen to see the logo you can tell that there is no spin. There are also lots of other cues that will help you such as the swing of the service action and the contact. 

For Premium members you can also watch the lessons in the Receiving Secrets section that will give you more handy hints.


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Dakota Castleberg

Dakota Castleberg Posted 7 years ago

Hey Alois,

Regarding service return, I'm curious what things you pay attention to? I've  heard of looking for the logo, watching contact point and stroke direction on contact, the speed of the ball, the sound of the bounce. I'm curious which of these, or if others you take into account?

I feel like after a while experience plays a ridiculously large role, as it seems your brain is able to take in the factors you use to look for almost subconsciously.

As well as what factors, could you try and rate them regarding what % they consist of towards gaining your knowledge of what spin is on the ball? Like 60% direction of stroke on contact, 20% sound of bounce, ect.


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 7 years ago

>For Premium members you can also watch the lessons in the Receiving Secrets section that will give you more handy hints.

Thank you Alois. I think that I watched every single video on the internet about service return, including yours :) I'm also trying to practice it as much as I can, but service return is still my weakest side and causes a lot of frustrating losses.

>
As well as what factors, could you try and rate them regarding what % they consist of towards gaining your knowledge of what spin is on the ball? Like 60% direction of stroke on contact, 20% sound of bounce, ect.

I don't think that you can quantify these factors, an experienced players judges the spin automatically by combination of them. And we yet don't know how our subconscious works...


Dakota Castleberg

Dakota Castleberg Posted 7 years ago

Hey Ilia,

an experienced players judges the spin automatically by combination of them

My point is that you don't magically take in the correct identifiers. When you first learn to return types of spin, there are things you have to pay attention to, correct? Most "basement" players don't ever consider what spin is on the ball because there is never any amount of backspin/sidespin involved. So when you first learn to receive club-level serves, you begin looking for different things to identify the spin. Over time, you are able to do this so quickly that it seems as if there isn't any thought involved - but this is AFTER you have learned to take multiple factors into account. I would agree that after a certain amount of experience these things blend together which makes it harder to identify which is most useful though, as you say. But, I was curious if this is the case at higher levels of play as Alois is accustomed to.


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 7 years ago

> When you first learn to return types of spin, there are things you have to pay attention to, correct?

Yes, but also keep in mind that almost every serve return is different. For example:

1) I clearly saw a very fine brushing contact underneath the ball -- here I am 100% sure it is heavy backspin. Instead of watching the flight or bounce, I focus on placement and quality of my shots, so in this scenario it was 100% of contact

2) The serve looks like brushing backspin, but I didn't see the contact well, so I smell a rat and watch the flight to differentiate between no-spin or backspin. Here it is 50% of contact and 50% of flight trajectory

3) I got a really really fast serve -- here I don't event care about the contact since such a fast serve can be only flat or slight topspin, here I got 100% information from the speed

4) I didn't see the contact, the trajectory is misleading, but my intuition says me that 9-9 in the fifth game my opponent always uses a short topspin serve. Here it is 100% of intuition and gut-feeling

So here what I found when I tried to analyze how my brain works during receive. But all happens very fast and my mind often "jumps" between different indicators, so usually it is not as logical as it may seem.  That is my experience, of course, very good players can have it different.


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 7 years ago

Hey Guys,

Interesting discussion.  For me it is definitely a combination of factors that I am seeing and reacting to.  As you say it is now a subconscious reaction but it takes into account all of the factors that you are speaking about.

The subconscious has learned through experience and through missing a lot of returns as well.


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 6 years ago

It works! After some practice, I started to pick-up no-spin serves, both long and short! The challenge is to make shot selection and start moving while watching it simultaneously, which is not easy at first.


Ilia Minkin

Ilia Minkin Posted 5 years ago

A quick question -- when practicing service, what is the optimal length of a timeslot? For example, is it worth to spend an hour practicing recieve, or it is more optimal to divide it into smaller chunks?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 5 years ago

Whatever time you are engaged and working on something specific.



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