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Forehand Drill with Robot

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mickd View Drop Down
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    Posted: 05/21/2017 at 6:07am
So I've been trying to work on using my body more to generate power.

Here are two short videos of the same drill.

The first one has me hitting the ball more like how I normally would.

1. Having the angle between my forearm at roughly 90 degrees on backswing.
2. Hitting the ball when my waist is half way between fully rotated to facing the side, and facing forward.



Initially, when I first learned the forehand and when doing shadow practice, I always thought that was the correct way to hit the ball.

However, over time, I realised that a big reason why I always use too much shoulder is because I'm not opening my forearm enough in the backswing.

Also, after watching a lot more professionals play in slow motion, I noticed that they often seem to finish their waist rotation while their arm is still swinging forward, and contacting the ball afterwards their upper body rotation is complete.

My new understanding is that by hitting the ball at that timing, you'll have a much faster arm swing speed.

So, in the second video (also taken much later so I was a lot more tired) I tried to open my forearm angle more. HOWEVER, you'll notice that only sometimes I remember, and open the angle much more (to the point of even having a straight arm backswing). Especially the ball that came a little shorter at 0:13. I don't think I hit the ball back onto the table, but for that particular shot (and a few others), you can see I finish my waist rotation while my arm is still swinging forward.



So my questions are, what do you think about the times when I hit the ball with an open angle instead? What do you guys think about my thoughts above? Should I continue to practice more like in the second video? Any other comments or general thoughts on the topic?

P.S. I know I was hitting the ball a lot more than spinning the ball. I still find it hard to use my body to generate speed AND spin the ball as well as just looping :(.

Thanks.
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JacekGM View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JacekGM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/21/2017 at 3:16pm
Great! You look like Maharu Yoshimura.
(1) Stiga Cipper Wood (ST, 92 g) with Focus 3 Snipe (red, 2.1 mm, 42 deg) on FH and 0.6mm Dr N. Desperado on BH (2) Juic SBA (Fl, 94 g) with Nimbus Soft (red max) on FH and 0.5mm Curl P1R on BH
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NextLevel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2017 at 2:57am
FWIW, IMHO, you are focusing on the wrong things like bat angle etc.  Both strokes have a decent turning effect because of the swing plane. though it could be better if you want to turn the ball more - opening the blade on the backswing might have given you a better turning effect on the stroke.    Drive looping vs. heavy spin looping is really about how much spin/arc you need for the effect you intend to create - you would turn the ball more with a different timing if you need more rotation on the ball.  The second stroke/video has better whip mechanics because of the delay between the racket and the body leading to a more powerful pulling effect of the body into the ball.  I think repeatedly swinging the way you are can build bad timing habits given that the ball is not randomized so I wouldn't do it other than maybe to build muscles, but even then, there are better ways.

I think with modern rubbers, it is better to focus on hitting the ball first.  You can improve your spin and speed by timing the turning better and better with the right kind of finishing position and contact point.  You seem to have the right finishing position.  Come round the side and top of the ball more while finishing forward for a larger turning effect.   


Edited by NextLevel - 05/22/2017 at 3:02am
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
Nexy Tibhar KJH FL
FH: Karis M B
BH: Karis M R
Lumberjack TT Exponent
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mickd View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2017 at 3:45am
Thanks Jacek. A compliment I'm nowhere worthy of receiving!!

Thanks NL. I recently had a chance to practice in China for a little over a week, and I really enjoyed the experience. They focused heavily on multiball, and I finally felt like I was being pushed. Having to stop half way through a bucket of balls because my legs were burning was a great feeling.

After returning to Japan and having to go back to the club style playing environment, I was really depressed. Maybe I'll leave that story to another day!

Anyway, I decided to try out the robot again (probably the first time in like half a year). It took an hour to setup some drills, and I spent another hour doing various drills with it. It felt great!

I was finally able to do what I wanted, which was do short drills, review the video, and do it again and again, slowly fixing things I didn't like. The first video was the first one I took for that particular drill. The second video was the 5th (and the last for the day).

I think you're familiar with the limitations of the Amicus robot. My plan was to practice until I could hit the ball, while using the body in a way I'm satisfied with. Then turn on the random placement mode. Once I get used to that, add a few balls to the forehand side with slightly different placements, and use both the random placement and random ball mode to get it more close to a real game.

In the drill above, I have it set to two balls to my forehand side. One to the middle of the forehand court, and one closer to the middle of the table. I did that because I want to get used to moving my feet to the ball, even if it's a small adjustment only. That was something they focused a lot on while I was in China (as well as various other things).

I don't think I'm fit enough to do a proper forehand forehand drill where the second ball goes into the backhand court, but I plan to practice that too, at a slower pace, of course.

My backhand was also atrocious. I found out everything about my backhand was wrong, and now I'm rebuilding it. Maybe I'll make another thread about that later :) The videos I took practicing on a single ball had me getting a decent stoke in sometimes, so I know with a little more practice I can engrave that into muscle memory.

Back to your comments about the whip mechanics, that's something I'm trying to achieve. Every time I take these videos, I feel like I'm seeing better and better whip mechanics. I've also never been able to hit the ball as fast as I can now.

For the people who have experience with robots, what do they think about my plan? I'm sure many people have intended to do it like this, and for various reasons stopped. Please share your stories so I don't make the same mistakes :)


Edited by mickd - 05/22/2017 at 3:48am
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