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Non-playing hand practice?

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    Posted: 04/16/2019 at 12:50pm
Does anybody ever practice using their non-playing hand? For right-hand players, using the left hand for practice sessions once in a while? I am thinking that if the playing hand ever needs a rest (due to over use), switching hands for some time to give it a rest might be a good idea. Any thoughts?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mhnh007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 1:14pm
How many hours per week do you already spend playing with your dominant hand? If it's already over 30 hours\week, and you still have time on your hand, then I say go for it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Slowhand Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 2:20pm
If you can avoid overuse injuries by playing lefty once in a while then go for it. But I don't think it will help much with your right handed play. If you do it too often it might even cause some confusion/hesitation with reflex actions. On the other hand it definitely helps to recall what it feels like to be a beginner, so it can make you a better coach.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote P&H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 3:52pm
Originally posted by mhnh007 mhnh007 wrote:

How many hours per week do you already spend playing with your dominant hand?.

In my case it is not really about the number of hours at the table tennis table, the hand strain is a cumulative effect of other sports I am active with too (kayaking mostly). But, yes, I will try and use my left hand when I feel that the right hand needs a break. Besides, it would be cool to be able to switch hand during an intensive rally to end a ball (like a deep loop from backhand which would then be forehand).Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote P&H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 4:08pm
Originally posted by Slowhand Slowhand wrote:

On the other hand it definitely helps to recall what it feels like to be a beginner, so it can make you a better coach.

Excellent point! I am trying to coach our sons now so that is important to me too.


Edited by P&H - 04/16/2019 at 4:08pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mhnh007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 4:16pm
Originally posted by P&H P&H wrote:

Originally posted by mhnh007 mhnh007 wrote:

How many hours per week do you already spend playing with your dominant hand?.

In my case it is not really about the number of hours at the table tennis table, the hand strain is a cumulative effect of other sports I am active with too (kayaking mostly). But, yes, I will try and use my left hand when I feel that the right hand needs a break. Besides, it would be cool to be able to switch hand during an intensive rally to end a ball (like a deep loop from backhand which would then be forehand).Smile
What I mean is it's a waste of time, unless your main playing hand has enough of practicing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote P&H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 4:44pm

Yes, it is not about becoming better. The alternative is not to play at all. I figured it is better than nothing for a few days at a time.
 




Edited by P&H - 04/16/2019 at 4:44pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tt Gold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 6:44pm
Originally posted by P&H P&H wrote:


Yes, it is not about becoming better. The alternative is not to play at all. I figured it is better than nothing for a few days at a time.
 


there are some positives and negatives when it comes to playing with your weaker hand. Negatives would be that the time could be spend on other things non-table tennis related, or table tennis related like doing some exercises to prevent injuries. Positive aspects would be that you train your brain as well as the muscles that you usually wouldn't use. Table tennis is a pretty unhealthy sport if you play a lot and don't train anything in addition. You'll get muscle imbalances and eventually injuries. Using your other half for the stroke balances it out slightly. And it's fun of course
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 6:55pm
Playing left handed will mess with the brain. It's possible to practice and when we know where the ball comes, we can adapt quickly, an 1800 player will look like 1200 in a few hours on their non playing hand, thanks to technique knowledge. When it's about playing matches, it's all going downhill, the footwork gets mangled and frustration rises. Maybe it's just me and I am not wired right for this.
Using left handed is great to practice for fun against weaker players but it's disrespectful to them, they will feel belittled and/or angry because they hoped they would play a "high" level player so it's mean to impose that to them, and quite arrogant when we find out that they don't like it and we still do it.
So it develops a weaker game and frustrated partners? there is not much up to it, unless you have a frozen shoulder, a mysterious injury that may last between 6 and 10 months, it hurts like @#$% and it's invisible in a MRI. In that case there is no choice if we need to play and so it's ok.



Edited by fatt - 04/16/2019 at 6:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote pgpg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/16/2019 at 9:48pm
I'd probably focus first on the issue with your right hand - it should not hurt if your technique is OK. If your strokes are all arm, then eventually your left one will be an issue as well. Try to engage your body more. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Basquests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2019 at 5:11am
Originally posted by mhnh007 mhnh007 wrote:

How many hours per week do you already spend playing with your dominant hand? If it's already over 30 hours\week, and you still have time on your hand, then I say go for it.

If you are playing anywhere near 20 hours a week, let alone 30, you could avoid playing with your left hand, in order to save the rest of your body.

Your legs etc. As well as general performance will suffer, even if you ate a pill that guaranteed your right hand would become indestructible. 

Practice smarter not necessarily harder. Professional soccer / footballers, as in man utd etc,  dont practice that much. Legs and cardio can only take so much. Overtraining ruins any explosiveness, as well as desire to think. 

I played 9 matches over 3 hours last night, and my service return, and every shot was much poorer qt the end. Every shot lavked %s, so the optimal way to win at that point was to play passive and block rather than open up regularly 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2019 at 5:21am
Why not do another activity other than TT?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Tt Gold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2019 at 10:15am
Originally posted by Basquests Basquests wrote:

Originally posted by mhnh007 mhnh007 wrote:

How many hours per week do you already spend playing with your dominant hand? If it's already over 30 hours\week, and you still have time on your hand, then I say go for it.

If you are playing anywhere near 20 hours a week, let alone 30, you could avoid playing with your left hand, in order to save the rest of your body.

Your legs etc. As well as general performance will suffer, even if you ate a pill that guaranteed your right hand would become indestructible. 

Practice smarter not necessarily harder. Professional soccer / footballers, as in man utd etc,  dont practice that much. Legs and cardio can only take so much. Overtraining ruins any explosiveness, as well as desire to think. 

I played 9 matches over 3 hours last night, and my service return, and every shot was much poorer qt the end. Every shot lavked %s, so the optimal way to win at that point was to play passive and block rather than open up regularly 


table tennis is a sport that requires a lot of training. Professionals train up to 40+ hours a week

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote P&H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2019 at 3:15pm
Thanks for all the input!

Just for clarification, the benefit I am after is the relief. But, hand-switching during a rally, like Timo Boll and many other professionals are capable of, would also be a benefit perhaps. Here is a good video of some great moments:


I know, my technique is not perfect and I am working on improving it. I am probably going to use a camera once in a while so I can see myself play (I don't have a coach). Also, the practice I am talking about is not against a partner, it is against a robot. So no feelings hurt there (I hope...).

As far as how many hours the professionals put into the sport, while interesting in itself, is irrelevant to me. My goal is to have fun with friends (and my robot). Not competitive play.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2019 at 6:13pm
I find opposite arm movement not hard to do. What's difficult is the opposite weight transfer. It's like playing with opposite body, not hand.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote pitigoi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2019 at 9:29am
I play with both hands, alas in different style.
For fun and fitness with the non-dominant hand, I recommend playing slower players who enjoy drilling, and avoiding matches. You could also build better technique as you start from scratch.

I do not see it helping the dominant-hand play, except maybe for staying low and tracking the ball.

Edited by pitigoi - 04/18/2019 at 9:31am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote P&H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2019 at 10:29am
Originally posted by pitigoi pitigoi wrote:


You could also build better technique as you start from scratch.

Good point!
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