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how do you increase FH power?

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    Posted: 05/05/2012 at 10:18am
I'm just wondering how do I increase my FH power.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ninglei23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 11:33am
Practice some drills in time you will just feel that you already improve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote frogger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 11:41am
It starts at your feet with correct positioning then your legs must be bent..like a spring. Rotation of the back and hips is crucial to generate power. It's not how much muscle is used it is about form and technique. Arm speed and racket angle is like icing on a cake. With great technique great power can be generated with even a DEF class blade. Hitting or looping through the ball with good recovery, balance is key to setting up your next shot with power. World class players never look like they are in a muscle match with the ball but rather like a powerful fluid current. Technique, timing, generates power and a darn good coach helps a ton. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pondus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 11:59am
Frogger is spot on with "Rotation of the back and hips is crucial to generate power" - the torque.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hurrican2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 12:06pm
Hmm... we did it like multiball partner gives you up spinballs pretty slowly so you can take your form and hit the ball first 10 times normal then our coach sayed hit the ball as hard you can! like  allways kill shot and use your hole body legs and middle body. Then my form just went up and the power of my forehand... because i was probaly never hitted the ball as hard as i can then you just noticed how hard you can hit it!
But you have to had good lower body controll and middle body controll
and you need some abs and good back muscles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 1:07pm
A lot of factors and moving pieces, but it all comes down to racket accelleration resulting in high racket speed at impact and TIMING.
 
Many players wonder how to get more power out of their shots as they seem to lack power. There is usually one or more things fundementally wrong with a swing. It could be not using enough legs, not enough rotation, moving elblow/upper arm too soon, bad balance, bad grip, bad TIMING, bad accelleration, hitting the ball out of the optimal strike zone, bad positioning, not using the wrist, not using arm and wrist snap, it could be playing too upright, it could be not getting down enough, it could be being way too tense and gripping the bat with a death chokehold resulting in poor accelleration, it could be one or a number of things.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krantz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/05/2012 at 4:51pm
I would say that two methods of reasoning might be valid if you want most powerful shot: kinetic energy approach or power in circular movement approach. Kinetic energy results from mass times the square of the speed, while power of movement is an applied force times rotational speed.  Point is that in my quick opinion in both approaches you can only control your speed because the mass of the ball (and your rocket) is given so you cannot change it (in first approach) – and your applied force is irrelevant in second approach because the mass of the ball is very small when compared to the mass of your racket+arm. So – the only way to increase your power is by increasing the speed of your swing. 

I think that a good exercise in maximizing your racket speed would be trying to smash the ball as hard as you can (or as far as you can) and noting that most probably you need a relaxed whip-like movement starting from the center of your body with a very loose wrist. Now, when you change your racket angle and start looping you will notice that with the same stroke mechanics your ball’s speed will be slower, but imo it just shouldn’t discourage you, because part of your power is simply converted to the ball’s spin - but you are still exerting the most your body can give – the rest depends on your chosen equipment’s properties. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raphyelrosby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 1:52am
Good posts!!! As frogger said, your legs and waist can really produce a lot of power, just look at when a boxer KOs someone, the punch starts at his legs amplified with waist torsion, and finally transferred via arm snap. One thing that also helps and I still find myself missing out on this is swinging forward rather than upwards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 8:12am
You are an experienced poster. You know the drill. Post vid with description of exactly what you seem to be having a problem with. This has been gone over ad nauseam. If you already understand and are doing all of the above then you will have to hit the weights in order to increase your ability to generate explosive power.

The only other things not mentioned above are the jumping/hoping weight transfer from back leg to front leg and straightening the arm.

The jumping/hoping weight transfer is ubiquitous among higher level players. You always see them doing this when they are hitting their hardest/fastest shots.

I am not try to reinvigorate the straight arm vs the bent arm debate but generally speaking for any given swing speed/acceleration the straighter the arm, the more angular momentum, the more KE at ball contact. This is why WLQ has such a fast fh.




Edited by V-Griper - 05/06/2012 at 8:13am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 8:34pm
Ive seen 12 year old girls weighing 38 kgs with good forehand power its not a bulked up muscle thing its timing  technique, weight transfer,  training and action follow thru 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote power7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 8:45pm
I've been training recently with a coach from China on the Chinese FH.  Switch to a Chinese rubber on my forehand, and it smashing wasn't really there for about 2 weeks during of multi-ball training.

Well today, I went to training slightly pissed about something not related to table tennis. Correction: I was really pissed. 

So when it was time to train FH.  I started looping and loop driving to let out my frustration.   Coach kept egging me on with "Good" and "Beautiful"

During multi-ball smashing drills, I just cut loose.  Coach and everyone stepped back because I was a beast today.  Returns hurt when they hit, even after bouncing off the table.

I felt better afterwards.  Coach was concerned that I was being too hard on myself.  

Anyways.  The key to power besides good technique, is simmering anger.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pnachtwey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 9:03pm
I don't understand this thread at all.  Smackman makes a good point.  Also,  I have posted links in the past showing that high school softball pitchers can pitch balls at speeds that are more than fast enough to loop very spinny chopped balls or smash a ball.

I also agree that bulking up is definitely not the answer.  You need flexibility.

Do this.  Swing your paddle arm from your side to across the front of your body.   At some point when your arm is in front of your body,  you will feel the outside of your shoulder start to resist your swing.  At this point your arm will not accelerate past this more when swinging at high speed.   Stretching may increase your range of motion before you start feeling this resistance.   If you don't have the range of motion with your arms then then obvious answer is to rotate your upper body.   You should have an idea where in your swing your maximum paddle speed will be.  If your flexibility is low it may not be directly in front of your body.

Are any of you good at martial arts?  If so then you know you can't kick high with any speed if you aren't flexible enough to do it.  Your own body will resist the motion.  The same goes for punching or swinging at ping pong balls.

Speed is the key, actually controlled speed.  Yes, power is required to accelerate the paddle but the power required to move the paddle is insignificant compared to that required to move your body and you can't have your body resisting the motion you want to make.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote power7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 10:53pm

Unless one has serious shoulder injuries in the past, I believe most people have the proper range of motion to do a FH technique properly without needing the flexibility training to do modern or traditional martial art high kicks.

The Chinese FH style requires the arm to go over the head and not across the body as much, since the eyes are kept at net level with the torso tilted forward.   So if you can pose like your smelling your armpits, you're ready to go.
 
I also have to disagree with 'bulking up' statement.  Depends how serious you are about the sport.  With no weight class sports, size will matter.  For example professional pitcher in MLB 'bulk up' on purpose with fat to throw the ball faster.  But of course TT requires stamina, speed, and power, so just increasing one's mass is not going to be that helpful.
 
Since it is a no weight class sport I would reccommend for the serious altheles aim for 5% body fat by weight.  And gain as much muscle mass as you're genetically able to without resorting illegal performance enhancing drug.
 
If you're just casual about TT, just focus on developing good fundimental strokes, and be able to do them at higher speeds.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 11:12pm
I don't know about other people, but I get the best power when I am relaxed, time the ball perfectly, and get my body to rotate (doesn't need a lot, just a little).  Of course, those things only happen when I am in the right place.  Of the three, the most important is timing.  One thing for sure, is if you are really trying to hit hard, you will probably not relax.  So if you are mentally saying GRRRRRRRR! when you hit the ball, it's probably holding you back.  I recommend Brad Gilbert's book "Winning Ugly".  A lot of what he says about tennis applies to TT also, and he talks about this.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 11:19pm
I always find myself stiffening up b4 the loop, and sometimes my body is in the way, sometimes it feels like my left arm is blocking the whole motion...

I'm quite sure in terms of the arm motion mine should be fine...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote power7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 11:27pm

It's kind of hard to explain but hitting hard in TT is not like other sports.  The actual tensing up, accelerating, and transfer of force occurs only at the point of contact. 

So even though there is a 'wind up' and 'follow through' the actual effort in the stroke is in the middle when you make contact with the ball.
 
So it is not like tennis, baseball, or boxing where you are tensing up to absorb the sudden shock when you make contact.
 
It's more like you're totally relax until you make contact and then you tense up and accelerate.  It how you 'feel' the ball.  Since if you swing hard through the ball from begin of the wind up to end of the follow through, you'll barely even notice you made contact with the table tennis ball let alone get it on the table.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pnachtwey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 11:38pm
Originally posted by power7 power7 wrote:

Unless one has serious shoulder injuries in the past, I believe most people have the proper range of motion to do a FH technique properly without needing the flexibility training to do modern or traditional martial art high kicks.

So no one feels the pull as they swing across their body?  I know I have had a shoulder injury but I though I was healed and normal.

Quote

The Chinese FH style requires the arm to go over the head and not across the body as much, since the eyes are kept at net level with the torso tilted forward.   So if you can pose like your smelling your armpits, you're ready to go.

Does that apply to all strokes or just loops?   What about when they want to flat for a kill?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote power7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/06/2012 at 11:51pm
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

I always find myself stiffening up b4 the loop, and sometimes my body is in the way, sometimes it feels like my left arm is blocking the whole motion...

I'm quite sure in terms of the arm motion mine should be fine...
1.  relax when you wind up for the loop
 
2.  If you're right handed make sure you right leg is behind you left leg.  Right shoulder should be slight behind the left shoulder.  You should be standing like 10 to 20 degrees from the tables edge.
 
You should be boucing on your hit.  Time you bounce to the bounce of the ball.  On the top of your bounce you should make contact with the ball.  Your feet should be parallel the the edge of the table now.
 
-Repeat for next ball.
 
3.  Even though I hate playing people who do this.  Put your left hand in your pant pocket or put it in a sling.  It'll get you use to balancing your body with your left hand tucked away.  Also could mean you swing is too low or too much follow through. 
 
Swing should be higher, the paddle should end up above your eyebrow, like you're saluting.  You never let the paddle block your eyesight.
 
If you swing is below your neck line, you should not let the paddle cross your centerline.  Once you touched the ball, you don't need that much follow through.  The ball is aready at the other side of the net.  You're not transferring anymore energy into the ball anymore.  Bring the paddle back to ready position.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote power7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/07/2012 at 12:05am
Originally posted by pnachtwey pnachtwey wrote:

Originally posted by power7 power7 wrote:

Unless one has serious shoulder injuries in the past, I believe most people have the proper range of motion to do a FH technique properly without needing the flexibility training to do modern or traditional martial art high kicks.

So no one feels the pull as they swing across their body?  I know I have had a shoulder injury but I though I was healed and normal.

Quote

The Chinese FH style requires the arm to go over the head and not across the body as much, since the eyes are kept at net level with the torso tilted forward.   So if you can pose like your smelling your armpits, you're ready to go.

Does that apply to all strokes or just loops?   What about when they want to flat for a kill?

You can try this shoulder stretch to loosen up your shoulders.  Loosen the front and top of the shoulders.
 
Another exercise: hold your arms out and to try is to squeeze your shoulder blades together for 3 sets of 10 reps.  It will strengthen and loosen your back muscles.
 
The Chinese FH focuses on the shoulder being the pivot point and not the elbow as much.  It's almost like your arm is a whip.  First couple of training sessions the top of my shoulders were burning.   Even for drives and smashes, there's more forward motion, but the arm ends up high to ensure you never block your field of vision.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TTeveryday Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/07/2012 at 1:17am
Originally posted by frogger frogger wrote:

It starts at your feet with correct positioning then your legs must be bent..like a spring. Rotation of the back and hips is crucial to generate power. It's not how much muscle is used it is about form and technique. Arm speed and racket angle is like icing on a cake. With great technique great power can be generated with even a DEF class blade. Hitting or looping through the ball with good recovery, balance is key to setting up your next shot with power. World class players never look like they are in a muscle match with the ball but rather like a powerful fluid current. Technique, timing, generates power and a darn good coach helps a ton. Thumbs Up


+1! You are right!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/07/2012 at 5:54am
Originally posted by power7 power7 wrote:

It's kind of hard to explain but hitting hard in TT is not like other sports.  The actual tensing up, accelerating, and transfer of force occurs only at the point of contact. 

So even though there is a 'wind up' and 'follow through' the actual effort in the stroke is in the middle when you make contact with the ball.
 
So it is not like tennis, baseball, or boxing where you are tensing up to absorb the sudden shock when you make contact.
 
It's more like you're totally relax until you make contact and then you tense up and accelerate.  It how you 'feel' the ball.  Since if you swing hard through the ball from begin of the wind up to end of the follow through, you'll barely even notice you made contact with the table tennis ball let alone get it on the table.

I think it is exactly like hitting a tennis ball, cricket ball, squash ball or even boxing. The technique might be slightly different in that TT you need that extra wrist spin at contact. But the general rule as you said in the last para applies to all the sports.
Put another way, notice that a powerful tennis/squash/baseball player also tend to be powerful TT players.
You can see the effect of power in HB. The hardest hitters are invariably the most powerfully built. In fact, in my experience, tennis players tend to wack a HB TT ball harder than the normal sponge player.
BTW, nice video link. I'll definitely be trying that.


Edited by Tinykin - 05/07/2012 at 5:57am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote power7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/07/2012 at 11:17am
I only have experience with tennis and boxing.  TT is different because the mass of the ball is so small.  

In tennis you are torquing your waist more with a lot more effort, and the arm is kept a lot stiffer.  I remember playing tennis the first time as a teenager, almost broke my wrist trying to top spin the tennis ball with a tennis racket.  

In boxing, the shoulders are more tense since you raise them to protect the chin.  The wrist is held in place with a wrap and the force of the punch starts at the toes (like your squashing a bug, mashing it with a twist).  In TT the arm is more relaxed than a straight jab or flick jab, because you don't need to tense up for a parry, or hitting your opponent.

You can cross train on a heavy bag to develop your arms and back, but the motions are complete different.  The shovel hook and the crouching low hook body blows are the closest to a TT swing.

The bouncing is like taekwondo sparring, but not really since TT has a very wide stance and the purpose of the bounce is not to kick but to get the timing of the ball and to hit off the top of the bounce.  So the bounce is actually quite small. You can even bounce with 1 leg in TT.

You might need to get a coach to show you a couple of times.  It'll be worth it in my opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gatorling Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2012 at 10:45am
Forget weight training and excercises that focus on making your arms or body stronger. Unless you're horribly deficient in strength , this is not where you will find the biggest gains.

Proper technique is the key to generating terrifyingly fast forehands. That's why you can see 12-13 year old children in China blast a FH that is faster than a 20 year old in the U.S.

Correct coordination between hips, torso and arm while striking the ball is where you will find a powerful FH. It's all about timing and engaging your lower body to explosively rotate your torso while snapping  through with the arm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote power7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2012 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by gatorling gatorling wrote:

Forget weight training and excercises that focus on making your arms or body stronger. Unless you're horribly deficient in strength , this is not where you will find the biggest gains.

Proper technique is the key to generating terrifyingly fast forehands. That's why you can see 12-13 year old children in China blast a FH that is faster than a 20 year old in the U.S.

Correct coordination between hips, torso and arm while striking the ball is where you will find a powerful FH. It's all about timing and engaging your lower body to explosively rotate your torso while snapping  through with the arm.
But they've been doing the FH stroke for 3 years or more by the time they are 12 or 13.  The muscle strength training needed for a strong FH have already been developed by then.

If one wants to accelerate their development, especially if they have not been playing racquet sport is to do resistance and polymetric training.

I've seen some of the casual members play at various clubs and their form would improve is they did more thigh training, like sitting in horse stance, so they can maintain the lower stance when playing.  Some 12-13 kids are usually still short enough to get away without the thigh training.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leshxa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2012 at 12:43pm
Originally posted by smackman smackman wrote:

Ive seen 12 year old girls weighing 38 kgs with good forehand power its not a bulked up muscle thing its timing  technique, weight transfer,  training and action follow thru 


+1000000

Completely agree with smackman.

I think those who are really interested in where power comes from, should read this article:

http://protabletennis.net/content/power


Edited by Leshxa - 05/19/2012 at 12:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote power7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/19/2012 at 1:20pm
The article doesn't say much about increasing FH power.  It just talks about the evolution of the game that since the rallies are going so much faster that even the men have to adopt strategies that were reserved for women in the past...playing close to the table blocking.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/20/2012 at 1:26am
Ok. This is my fault for not being clear. 

The majority of strength training is in the legs and core. Sorry I assumed most people would understand this when I said "hit the weights", as it is a well established practice among higher level players. It is also necessary because most of the strength is needed to move ones body into position to stroke the ball in the first place. 

Please don't mistake the efficiency of energy transfer for power. The 12 yr old girl can hit hard because because she can consistently transfer a high percentage of the power she generates to the ball. We would say she has good technique. Most of us have poor technique and thus transfer a lower percentage of the power we generate to the ball. Most of the gains we can make involve better stroke mechanics, not power generation. However once you reach the point where your energy transfer efficiency is high, the only way to get more power is to be able to accelerate your body parts faster. To do that you need stronger muscles. Which is why the pro players do resistance training. 

So if his technique is ok then he needs to weight train to gain the ability to generate more power.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pnachtwey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/20/2012 at 2:48am
This question is really worded correctly.  The question should be "how do you increase your FH paddle speed?"   All the answers that are about using legs and twisting the body apply to this question because they help increase paddle speed. If blahness simply wants to hit the ball faster the only thing that matters to the speed after impact is the paddle speed at impact.

Power is simply the rate of converting energy.   A big person will naturally generate more power than a 12 year old girl because the big person must accelerate more mass.  It has little to do with technique unless the big person is moving more than he needs to to achieve the same paddle speed but most of the time we are not moving enough, not too much.  Power has to do with moving more mass quickly to achieve the same paddle speed as the little girl.

I am a big guy and play mostly for the exercise.   I burn a lot more calories ( energy ) than a little 12 year old girl.  I would do so even if my technique was perfect.  This fact pleases me because it helps keep my weight down.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beeray1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/20/2012 at 3:08am
I read an article by Massimono Constantini (sp?) in USATT mag about grip pressure and found it to be quite insightful and ended up being very helpful in my game. Not only is it detrimentally important in the short game, but also adds to the power in your shot. One of many things of course, but like the article said is very often over looked. 
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