Alex Table Tennis - MyTableTennis.NET Homepage
  Help Desk Help Desk  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Is reading service just a matter of practice?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Is reading service just a matter of practice?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
FierceTable View Drop Down
Beginner
Beginner


Joined: 09/26/2020
Location: Dragon Palace
Status: Offline
Points: 7
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FierceTable Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Is reading service just a matter of practice?
    Posted: 10/17/2020 at 6:13am
I have a quick video (less than a minute) showcasing my difficulties reading serves. These examples aren't the highest quality of spin, but they're good enough to cause me trouble. My go to return of service has always been a late push (almost like an over the table chop or aggressive push) because I could watch how the ball moved longer (as opposed to taking it immediately off the bounce). This extra time is useful if I can't discern the spin from the service motion itself which allows me to chop harder and slightly change the angle if I read topspin. While this style of return has kept me in more points and perhaps it is the way I should continue to return until I've had more practice reading serves I don't like the linearity of my play when my opponent knows I'm not going to attack hardly any serves.  Any tips for what I should be focusing my attention on when receiving service?

Gambler Black Whirlwind, FH 2.0mm 729 Super FX-C, BH 2.15mm Cream Transcend
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
Baal View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator


Joined: 01/21/2010
Location: unknown
Status: Offline
Points: 14006
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/17/2020 at 8:52am
Yes.  It takes a long time to learn to see the really subtle visual clues.  The higher the level, the better people's serves get, the better the returns get, all the way up to world elite.  The only way to improve is to see lots of really good serves.  One thing really good servers do is vary the amount of spin from the same motion.  They get you to over-compensate for the spin.  The ball looks the same as it's coming at you, because it is spinning the same direction as the last one, only a lot less.  This can cause receiver to pop the ball up or otherwise make a weak return.  How to deal with that?  You have to learn to see the amount of spin from how the ball behaves in the air, and also sound of the ball on server's racket, and the movement of server's racket at EXACT moment the ball hits the blade, not before, not after..... not to mention the height of the toss.

Then of course, good servers can hit really nasty long serves that hit right st the line without anything that leads you to think it's coming.  

Only experience will teach you this.  I wish there was a secret trick.  Or a decoder ring.  But there isn't.

As your game improves, your return will improve.  The problem is, the people at the next level up will have that much more deceptive serves!  The arms race is never ending


Edited by Baal - 10/17/2020 at 8:57am
Back to Top
bes View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 04/26/2014
Location: Oklahoma
Status: Offline
Points: 171
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/17/2020 at 12:23pm
Return of serve is one of, if not the toughest things to learn in TT.

I found that many of my students make quicker progress when they spend a lot of time working on their own serves.  Especially when they work on serves that they struggle to return.  It isn't a magic bullet, but if you know how to do a serve and some of its variations, you naturally will have a better idea of what is possible, and what was done when you see it.

One common thing I see is that many (most?) lower level players don't focus on the serve enough or EARLY enough.  I see lots that only try to figure out the spin AFTER contact, which is really tough.  Good players often learn a lot about the upcomming serve by watching the service stance and stance location (at least know it is a FH or BH serve, and be aware of the angles created), toss (some players adjust the toss height and location a lot for different serves), and contact point location (topspin serves are often contacted a bit further forward  and lower for many).  Paying attention to the blade accelleration and movement direction before, then at contact is super important.  With high level servers this is hard to pick up, but usually is pretty simple at lower levels.

bes
Back to Top
icontek View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar
This is FPS Doug

Joined: 10/31/2006
Location: Maine, US
Status: Offline
Points: 5160
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote icontek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/17/2020 at 2:10pm
Originally posted by FierceTable FierceTable wrote:

I have a quick video (less than a minute) showcasing my difficulties reading serves. These examples aren't the highest quality of spin, but they're good enough to cause me trouble. My go to return of service has always been a late push (almost like an over the table chop or aggressive push) because I could watch how the ball moved longer (as opposed to taking it immediately off the bounce). This extra time is useful if I can't discern the spin from the service motion itself which allows me to chop harder and slightly change the angle if I read topspin. While this style of return has kept me in more points and perhaps it is the way I should continue to return until I've had more practice reading serves I don't like the linearity of my play when my opponent knows I'm not going to attack hardly any serves.  Any tips for what I should be focusing my attention on when receiving service?




I like that in the video conclusion you resolved some of the service mystery yourself. 

But here are some things I noticed from the video:

Don't focus on the followthrough, (it's usually deception or at least neutral past a certain level of play), but rather watch his similar setup for serve so you can start to really hone in on and gauge the actual contact timing. 

I find that it's easier to watch contact timing if you get used to using your knees to adjust your view height with the toss (you can make the ball still, relative to your view, and then see the paddle more clearly). If you are crouching as the ball is falling, you can often get a better look at rubber contact.

And most importantly look for the moment of contact as the position it touches rubber and the angle of force... and then after contact watch the pace of the ball and the arc shape incoming.

Your opponent's underspin ball was contacted below the ball, and the service speed lags a little as the ball comes to you; also, the bounces will tend higher on these serves.

Your opponent's topspin ball has featured a pulling motion by your opponent over the top of the ball- and the serve is much crisper, the trajectory is lower and the ball has some zip.

Also, your opponent has a tell.
Watch his service thumb before, during and after contact. 

Hope this helps; I'm a low level player, but I use variations of these two services to stump higher level players on the regular.  


Edited by icontek - 10/17/2020 at 2:16pm
US1260.RC1042 . AVX P500 : 007pro + rasant
Back to Top
bars View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member
Avatar

Joined: 04/07/2017
Location: EZ
Status: Offline
Points: 151
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bars Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/17/2020 at 3:34pm
the first service was long. but you step in to flip it over the table. let it come off the table then you can lift it more?

both of them you can give yourself more time to see whats on it.

try starting further from the table and letting it travel

dont return it too good though he has swords

Back to Top
blahness View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 10/18/2009
Location: Melbourne
Status: Online
Points: 3798
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/17/2020 at 4:42pm
Lol OP hasn't encountered a good hook server, the sidetopspin and sideunderspin variants look almost exactly the same with identical racket angles and followthrough.... 

BH serves are a lot easier, just look at where the acceleration is towards, one had the wrist accelerating downwards and the other had the acceleration sideways. The direction of acceleration doesn't lie, it tells you most of what you need to know...
-------
Hurricane Long 5

FH: Dignics 09c
BH: Dignics 09c
Back to Top
Baal View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator


Joined: 01/21/2010
Location: unknown
Status: Offline
Points: 14006
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/17/2020 at 5:38pm
Originally posted by bes bes wrote:

Return of serve is one of, if not the toughest things to learn in TT.

I found that many of my students make quicker progress when they spend a lot of time working on their own serves.  Especially when they work on serves that they struggle to return.  It isn't a magic bullet, but if you know how to do a serve and some of its variations, you naturally will have a better idea of what is possible, and what was done when you see it.

One common thing I see is that many (most?) lower level players don't focus on the serve enough or EARLY enough.  I see lots that only try to figure out the spin AFTER contact, which is really tough.  Good players often learn a lot about the upcomming serve by watching the service stance and stance location (at least know it is a FH or BH serve, and be aware of the angles created), toss (some players adjust the toss height and location a lot for different serves), and contact point location (topspin serves are often contacted a bit further forward  and lower for many).  Paying attention to the blade accelleration and movement direction before, then at contact is super important.  With high level servers this is hard to pick up, but usually is pretty simple at lower levels.

bes

This is a great post.  The concept of looking to see where on the blade the server strikes the ball is super important.  Good servers use that to vary both the amount and sometimes even the direction of spin on the ball. But everything mentioned here is part of returning. 
Back to Top
smackman View Drop Down
Assistant Moderator
Assistant Moderator
Avatar

Joined: 07/20/2009
Location: New Zealand
Status: Offline
Points: 3199
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/17/2020 at 5:39pm
Ill give you one trick and please don't share, when the server does backspin/sidespin to your forehand
return it with a straight up and down bat and slide the ball towards his backhand corner
the swipe of the ball gets rid of the down spin and the location fixes the sidespin

The other thing is as someone said try and loop all longer serves

One last thing aiming a service return is a positive thing, rather than a reactive thing

Two last last thing try some other rubbers 

Three last last last thing I didn't think your serve return was too bad for the 2nd serve , just just didn't fight out the point

Ulmo Duality,Donic BlueGrip C2 red max ,Yinhe Super Kim Ox Black
NZ table tennis selector, third in the World (plate Doubles)I'm Listed on the ITTF website
Back to Top
blahness View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 10/18/2009
Location: Melbourne
Status: Online
Points: 3798
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/18/2020 at 1:41am
Originally posted by smackman smackman wrote:

Ill give you one trick and please don't share, when the server does backspin/sidespin to your forehand
return it with a straight up and down bat and slide the ball towards his backhand corner
the swipe of the ball gets rid of the down spin and the location fixes the sidespin

The other thing is as someone said try and loop all longer serves

One last thing aiming a service return is a positive thing, rather than a reactive thing

Two last last thing try some other rubbers 

Three last last last thing I didn't think your serve return was too bad for the 2nd serve , just just didn't fight out the point


I think your referring to the Waldner sideswipe which produces almost a pure sidespin ball which kicks sideways hard right? (the movement is a lot like the FH pendulum service action)...I use that a lot on both FH and BH and it induces a huge amounts of errors from people lol. You can produce both sideunder and sidetop with this and there's even a flick variation. I think it's actually a stroke with a lot of room for error, and you get to move your opponent deep into one corner (thanks to the sidespin) which allows you to open the other wide angle for blocks/counters/loops. 
-------
Hurricane Long 5

FH: Dignics 09c
BH: Dignics 09c
Back to Top
Egghead View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member
Avatar

Joined: 09/05/2009
Location: N.A.
Status: Offline
Points: 4039
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Egghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/18/2020 at 12:32pm
Originally posted by bes bes wrote:

Return of serve is one of, if not the toughest things to learn in TT.

I found that many of my students make quicker progress when they spend a lot of time working on their own serves.  Especially when they work on serves that they struggle to return.  It isn't a magic bullet, but if you know how to do a serve and some of its variations, you naturally will have a better idea of what is possible, and what was done when you see it.

..........

bes
You are damn right. By understand all the "machines" behind a serve, it is a lot easier to figure out the spin and to know how to return it. 
Aurora ST: Rhyzm / Talent OX
Back to Top
FierceTable View Drop Down
Beginner
Beginner


Joined: 09/26/2020
Location: Dragon Palace
Status: Offline
Points: 7
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FierceTable Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/19/2020 at 8:44pm
I appreciate all the feedback provided. Getting lower so that ball contact happens at eye level made a tremendous difference for me in my last session. It's strange, but it almost seemed like the less time I focused the easier time I had. I guess what was happening is I was sort of ignoring most of what was going on prior to contact and only focusing on that specific instant rather than the span of time the entire motion takes. (Clearly I don't mean ignoring everything, but watching the motion for information and only ACTING on the specific event at contact. This helped sort out the superfluous info I was trying to piece together previously.)

I tried taking most balls later than I normally do by looping anything long and found I have tremendous difficulty slow looping with my current setup. Specifically when the ball is half long or just barely coming off the end of the table I felt I needed to slow loop (since I was afraid of hitting my hand on the table with a more forward loop). My technique just isn't good enough for the rubbers I'm using. I can perform this style shot with something super soft like LKT XT Pro, but struggle to find consistency with my 729 FX-C.

Thank you for the tips. I recorded myself doing some different service motions in a head on camera view and it was enlightening to see some of the things I do that aren't deceptive at all, while other things I didn't think were tricky actually disguise direction or degree of spin more than expected. I would completely recommend that for anyone that hasn't ever watched their own serves in a direct to camera fashion.
Gambler Black Whirlwind, FH 2.0mm 729 Super FX-C, BH 2.15mm Cream Transcend
Back to Top
doraemon View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member


Joined: 05/14/2007
Location: USA
Status: Offline
Points: 1672
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote doraemon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/20/2020 at 12:20am
Clear comment



Edited by doraemon - 10/20/2020 at 12:22am
FPBE
Vega Pro / Mark-V
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.078 seconds.

Become a Fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Web Wiz News
Forum Home | Go to the Forums | Forum Help | Disclaimer

MyTableTennis.NET is the trading name of Alex Table Tennis Ltd.

Copyright ©2003-2020 Alex Table Tennis Ltd. All rights reserved.