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Teaching relaxation

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maur1010 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02/14/2022 at 4:14pm
I was wondering how you teach an adult learner who is not relaxed in the arm and shoulder?
Their muscle memory is to tighten up to hit every ball and they have been doing this for years.
They serve with a fixed wrist etc etc

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/14/2022 at 11:00pm
Imo, a lot of the "stiffness" is actually due to a lack of understanding of blade angles and force direction to use against various spins, so for e.g. they're using a closed angle against underspin which would necessitate a "brute force" spinning action from the arm/shoulder which becomes highly ineffective. So for me, the requirements are 1) understanding of blade angles (or where on the ball to hit) to counteract various spins and 2) use of the body (extremely important)

I like this video from Ti Long which illustrates both. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kindof99 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/14/2022 at 11:29pm
Being tense in hand, arm, and shoulder is usually due to not using the legs to create power and not being ready to hit the ball when the ball comes.

 So to really solve the problem, I think the first step is to teach them to not use upper body only to play. There is no way to relax if one plays with his hand and arm only without using legs and body.

Secondly, timing and footwork. If you feed a slow ball to a player, I think it is the best way for him to play with relax.

I think most players think being relaxed is a mind set. But I think it is more of a result of techniques. Proper techniques and muscle memory lead to playing with relaxation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maur1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/15/2022 at 4:05pm
Thanks for the great replies. What I am trying lately is to teach a relaxed shadow swing using the body effectively. Sometimes the shadow swing has to be very slow for them to get the feeling of relaxation if they have never felt this before. For some students it is not easy at all.


Edited by maur1010 - 02/15/2022 at 7:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote aerial Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/15/2022 at 6:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maur1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/15/2022 at 7:15pm
That is an interesting video. I will try what he suggests at my next practice session. Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote maur1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/18/2022 at 4:15pm
I talked to my coach. He said you need to teach the correct body mechanics first before you can be relaxed in the arm. Makes a lot of sense.


Edited by maur1010 - 02/18/2022 at 4:16pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TYBB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/23/2022 at 7:26pm
IMO, it is all about reaction against the incoming ball. Focus too much about technics will slow you down. Learn a lot after read Inner Game of Tennis (self 1 and self 2).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote maur1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/23/2022 at 8:40pm
Have to totally disagree. I just wish it was as easy as it is all about reaction against the incoming ball.

Learn the correct technique from a good coach and then commit it to muscle memory with a lot of repetitions. When you play you do not focus on technique at all  but use a total focus on the ball to try to get into the zone of effortless play.

Table tennis is much more complex compared to tennis. I do use some things from the inner game of tennis in my coaching.

Having sub optimal technique will limit your potential highest level of table tennis even if you play 5 times a week. It also makes you open to injury.

Pro coaches suggest 90% training and 10% matches.

It takes 12 years of training 5 times a week to get to pro level.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ejprinz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02/23/2022 at 11:40pm
For me the first point was to hold the racket relaxed as shown in Coach Lin's tutorial.
Then do exercises like spinning a ball onto the table from 5 feet away, using the entire body to accelerate the racket (as shown by my coach).
Then hopefully the game will become more relaxed.
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