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Where do your eyes go after you serve?

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Simon_plays View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02/23/2020 at 6:34am
Was recently suggested to me that after my serve my eyes should not follow the ball but instead directly seek out my opponent's bat. Tried it a few times and it did seem to help my reactions but it takes a lot of conscious effort to stop habitual ball tracking. 

What is the common consensus on this issue? Eyes on the ball or eyes on opponents bat? Or don't overthink it?

(Tom Lodziak has also covered this issue (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JucyvMWXJmQ) and argues for a 'eyes to the bat' approach') 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kolev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/23/2020 at 7:06am
BTW, I saw the same video. Wish I have seen it long ago....or at least someone might have suggested me the concept. I find it useful and helpful when manage to keep me focused on the opponent's blade and body. Not easy though 😒
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BRS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/23/2020 at 8:22am
I follow the ball. The opponent and hus bat usually end up where the ball is.  Funny how that happens.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vik2000 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/23/2020 at 10:00am
You should know where you are serving so I don't really see the need of following ball. Focus on your opponent's footwork and positioning as well as how he might return the serve and with what bat angle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon_plays Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/25/2020 at 6:14am
Originally posted by vik2000 vik2000 wrote:

You should know where you are serving so I don't really see the need of following ball. Focus on your opponent's footwork and positioning as well as how he might return the serve and with what bat angle.

Yup, I agree. I feel like I've got an extra split second now to move for my third ball,  makes a big difference. I reckon this was the missing link and my game can now shoot up!Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/02/2020 at 5:31am
Straight to the opponents bat, as soon as the ball has left your bat, not just in service but in general play also.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfolsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/02/2020 at 9:35am
To the opponent. Is he dropping his racket to attack? Is he keeping it high to push? Is he stepping around?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charlie Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/02/2020 at 10:31am
depends who i am playing male or female Tongue
*sigh*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/02/2020 at 10:42am
Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

Straight to the opponents bat, as soon as the ball has left your bat, not just in service but in general play also.

How did/do you train your reactions to what you see the opponent's bat doing?  Any specific drills for this, or is it just a general part of llevery TT drill?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/02/2020 at 3:14pm
if you dont see their paddle you cant see where the ball is going. along with the timing of contact. being ahead of your opponent mentally is all that matters.

do 1 serve for a month+. and you will start to anticipate more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/05/2020 at 9:27am
Originally posted by BRS BRS wrote:

Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

Straight to the opponents bat, as soon as the ball has left your bat, not just in service but in general play also.

How did/do you train your reactions to what you see the opponent's bat doing?  Any specific drills for this, or is it just a general part of llevery TT drill?

It is something that is naturally learned as a step up in standard once a player is proficient at stroke play and footwork, at this point, a player will be able toplay with a quicker tempo in matches. It is why when you play a high end player, they know where you are going before you hit the ball. It is also why Waldner is so good and had a long career.
The Older I get, The better I was.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2020 at 2:20pm
A player needs quality information as soon as possible so tracking your own ball is, generally, a waste of valuable milliseconds. As the other player is preparing for the shot there is a lot valuable information there before they hit the ball. 

General visual tracking sequencing starting from the moment after the paddle makes contact with the ball looks something like this-
  • Central focus of the eyes goes directly to the opponents paddle. Note, however, that even though the paddle is the center of focus the peripheral vision takes in other information such as the opponents position and body orientation. This information contributes to a background estimation about what kind of shot the opponent is likely to do and where it's going to go.
  • As ball contact is made the ball is acquired as the central point of focus at that point you track the ball all the way up to and including making contact with the paddle. A relatively higher level player still keeps track of what the other players position with their peripheral vision which yields information about what shot to hit and where to place it. 
This applies to any shot sequence not just the serve.

Some players have to explicitly train this while others have a "talent" for it or have developed it with some other activity and transferred it to the table tennis. 

I personally do an "eye tracking warm up" while I am doing my counter hits. But where I really train this is during random multi-ball feed with the feeder trying to trick me with where they are hitting the ball. 

Side note: This is one of the main reasons why I never use a robot, if I can help it, because looking at the point at which the ball comes out doesn't give me any relevant information that helps me better predict where an actual human would hit the ball. 
YE JTTAA
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