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Returning slow heavy topspins

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    Posted: 09/07/2018 at 6:25am
I often base my game on ball placing, blocking and countering attack.
A few weeks ago, I played with a both wing looper and he started attacking my chops with heavy long topspins, but I managed to overcome it with my blocks. Then he started to attack with a more slow topspins, with a lot of spin, that make the ball staying near the net or in the middle of the table, with heavy rotation on it.
I couldn't handle it. Both my blocks or my smashes (if the ball was high enough and close to the net), went out.
How do you deal with these balls?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vvk1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 6:35am
Keep the bat face more parallel to the table. When smashing, aim at the table end!

Edited by vvk1 - 09/07/2018 at 6:36am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 9:10am
Practice against the balls, try to put the balls into the net or on your side of the table and you will see the kind of bat angle you need, which is not something you will be used to unless your brain adjusts.
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AndySmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 9:39am
+100

Practice is vital to build confidence against these balls.  The danger is hesitating and being forced to play passively.  I think it's technically harder to play passive blocks against these balls than being active and hitting through them, but you have to get into the mindset that hitting through is the right thing to do.  You need to see these balls as weak - an opportunity to punish the opponent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 9:53am
Lots of great advice already. I just want to stress once again the bat angle. You need to close the angle a lot more than what feels natural, at least at first. Only way is to practice against it.

I was really bad against it 2 years ago. Luckily one of my practice partners likes those type of balls. So now I do quite well against them. I still misjudge the super slow ones sometimes and end up hitting them out, but the good news is that basically everyone else's top spin balls are now really easy to attack.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kakapo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 12:19pm
I used to do this kind of havy and short topspins . It worked extremely well with the celluloid balls. Now it’s easier to attack it. You have to block it just after the rebound then the opponent is often surprised and don’t adjust for next loop.

Edited by kakapo - 09/08/2018 at 2:38am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 12:32pm
If you have trouble blocking or attacking against a slow, spinny loop, then the answer isn't to do a drill where your opponent loops to your block, which is how most players practice their block. A loop against a block comes out differently than one that comes against backspin. Instead, get a coach or practice partner, and a bucket of balls, and do this drill. Your partner serves backspin, you push, partner loops slow and spinny, and you block or counter-attack. Do not continue the rally; as soon as your partner loops, he reaches for the next ball and does it again. This is a modified multiball drill that allows you lots and lots of practice against a low, spinny loop in a short period of time. And your partner gets lots and lots of practice looping against backspin. So it's a win-win drill for both. 

As to how to return or attack them, if the ball is going off the end, aim lower. That sounds simple, but isn't as easy to execute without practice as your reflexes are probably not used to aiming that low. Also, take the ball somewhat quickly off the bounce, without hesitation. Many players hesitate for a split second against slow, spinny loops, and that's all it takes to miss or pop it up. With practice, you'll find that these slow, spinny loops are easy to attack. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon_plays Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 12:33pm
For me what helped with these was practicing against them and focusing on taking them as early as possible and driving forward with your forearm.

Edited by Simon_plays - 09/07/2018 at 12:33pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Egghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 12:46pm
here is a video showing three methods to return slow heavy topspins, Wink

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChichoFicho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 4:34pm
Chop block from left to right or vice versa.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mykonos96 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 4:57pm
Originally posted by ChichoFicho ChichoFicho wrote:

Chop block from left to right or vice versa.


The problem is when the ball lands close to the net the ball rise to high by the time you block it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2018 at 5:30pm
Originally posted by mykonos96 mykonos96 wrote:

Originally posted by ChichoFicho ChichoFicho wrote:

Chop block from left to right or vice versa.


The problem is when the ball lands close to the net the ball rise to high by the time you block it

Then you are either standing too far from the table, or hesitating. Loops against backspin tend to land shorter on the table than those against block, with more spin, and so you have to practice against them specifically. See the type of training I posted about earlier, and focus on taking the ball as quickly off the bounce as you can. If you exaggerate the quickness aspect in practice, then you'll find it much easier in a real rally to react and take the ball quickly enough. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kakapo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2018 at 2:37am
Originally posted by ChichoFicho ChichoFicho wrote:

Chop block from left to right or vice versa.

Come on :)) Chop block is quite difficult to do, even against a normal loop.
An amateur player won't be very succesful doing it and with the stress of a compétition match, he won't surely do it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kakapo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2018 at 2:49am
By the way, your problem reminds me a very good friend who died from cancer a few years ago.

He was able to do this kind of slow and heavy loops much better than me or...doing nearly the same move...a non spin ball.
He took the ball under the level of the table so you were not able to see the contact.
It was so funny watching the opponents being bambouzled, trying to block non spin ball with a very closed angle or....to attack a loaded ball with a bad timing. 
 This was with the 38mm balls :))
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dabookerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2018 at 4:00pm
The video is good. I used to struggle more against these and I’ve found that my preferred approach would best be described as a hybrid of 2 & 3 from the video. It helps to be an agressive player, but if they are slow, spinny, and relatively high then “make them eat it”. A couple winning balls smacking them in the chest usually ends this tactic pretty quickly.

They’ve given you more margin for error because of the height of the ball so just close your paddle to compensate for the spin. Make sure to swing relatively hard to power through (i.e. overpower) whatever your opponent has put on the ball. A bonus too is that it sounds like the placement will allow you to move to your preferred wing. I prefer FH myself but Persson was famous for his backhand swat kills.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dabookerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2018 at 4:04pm
Think of it like “slapping the fool out of someone” because technically you are
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lawson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 3:49pm
Thank you all for you wise advices.
The most difficult part is to find a partner skilled enough to practice this specific drill. I need players one or to steps above my level, who would be able to do these top spins consistently.
Anyway I will try everything you told me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/12/2018 at 9:12pm
I don't think you can simply slap kill a heavy spin opening loop like that... If you can do that consistently then it just means it's not a high quality opening loop.

The stroke that gave me the best confidence against slow topspins is use an active counter stroke with a focus on borrowing power. I find passive blocks actually less consistent and harder to keep on the table...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dabookerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/03/2018 at 3:11pm
I would normally agree, except that it does not sound like a high-quality opening loop to me. The OP indicated that the loops were slower, spinnier, and either middle of the table or close to the net.

As long as he closes his angle and accelerates quickly down through the ball, then the balls should not come back.

Back to the OP, you can also practice these easily with any robot. Just play around with the placement of the robot (even try putting it below the table level to shoot upward). You may have to dial up the speed to produce enough spin, but once you learn to handle faster and really spinny then you can certainly handle slower and really spinny.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ericd937 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/03/2018 at 8:17pm
In the video, his second option is the punch. I prefer that option. Usually those slow spinny loops are at least a little bit high. Punching is really effective. I do this with my short pips and my inverted rubber. 

In his first option, he blocked it super softly. I find that quite difficult against slow spinny loops, especially if the opponent varies the level of spin from loop to loop. When its done successfully, its also too easy for the opponent to attack again. Its just not that effective. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lestat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/03/2018 at 8:52pm
If the loops are loaded, close to the net and low, you don't counter those. Very difficult. Consider it a success if you made the table with a (very) soft block. Your setup is important too, with some rubber/blade combos it's either in the net, or over the table - no matter how soft you block.

Much easier not to let the rally get to that point. Make sure he has to work for those loops, and you will find he won't be looping low and close to the net so much.





Edited by Lestat - 11/03/2018 at 8:55pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChichoFicho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/04/2018 at 2:32am
Brush the ball from left to right or right to left, right after the bounce.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ericd937 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/04/2018 at 6:58am
Originally posted by Lestat Lestat wrote:

If the loops are loaded, close to the net and low, you don't counter those. Very difficult. Consider it a success if you made the table with a (very) soft block. Your setup is important too, with some rubber/blade combos it's either in the net, or over the table - no matter how soft you block.

Much easier not to let the rally get to that point. Make sure he has to work for those loops, and you will find he won't be looping low and close to the net so much.




I think its quite rare to receive a loaded loop close to the net and low. I think hes talking about high arching loops with super heavy spin. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ranger-man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/05/2018 at 3:46am
A guy I play with puts way more spin on his slow spinny loops than the guy in the video. He also puts a lot of wrist in it so there is a lot of sidepsin mixed in as well. The ball really takes off at an angle and if you are not careful you will be caught out of position. Depending on my position, I either punch-block it back or I just hit through the higher ones and smash them at the top of the bounce. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dabookerman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2018 at 12:57pm
Originally posted by ericd937 ericd937 wrote:

In the video, his second option is the punch. I prefer that option. Usually those slow spinny loops are at least a little bit high. Punching is really effective. I do this with my short pips and my inverted rubber. 

In his first option, he blocked it super softly. I find that quite difficult against slow spinny loops, especially if the opponent varies the level of spin from loop to loop. When its done successfully, its also too easy for the opponent to attack again. Its just not that effective. 


+1 to the punch, especially with short pips

I also find it hard to do the super soft blocks too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lula Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2018 at 1:14pm
I find it interesting that you have more trouble with shorter topspins compared to long topspins. I would consider the short ones not as good as the long ones, since it is easier for a good player to block them hard or do a counter topspin. 

Some things to think about: 
You should never do the same mistake several times, that is just stupid :) you always need to change something if you miss. 
If you block out you need to close the angle of the bat and try to find the right angle. 
If you return backspin and know that he will topspin the ball with the same amount of spin everytime, then you have the advantage! You know what is coming! You are ready for these kinds of balls. Heavy topspins, even more close to the net is good to flat hit/punch hit back with the backhand. 
If you do non spin returns, he will not be able to get as much spin on the ball and it might be easier to block ball that proably will be faster but with less spin. 
Try to serve short and return short, so you get to topspin first and then you do not need to block. 

Good luck!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2018 at 10:47pm
Anyone not wanting Lula's advice, because he has only 6 posts is a fool. He knows hiz business, even if that no-good Der_Echte at TTD says otherwise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11/12/2018 at 11:37pm
+ 1 on adjusting by tricking the mind: looping hard aiming at the bottom of the net. It's a similar approach to learning how to receive a regular right handed fh tomahawk side topspin serve: aim outside of the table way on your right over there! see? sometimes those tricks are useful because they give immediate results, later can come the thinking of why.
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