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Different Looping Technique

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    Posted: 06/09/2019 at 5:00pm
Over the last couple of months I have seen  several good players using a different technique for looping.  The backswing is short and waist high or a little higher.  The racket angle is neutral.  It looks like they are going to flat hit or counter.  In fact it looks almost identical to what they do when countering in warmup.

The forward swing starts very horizontal.  Right at ball contact there is a lot of upward motion added.  I think it is from wrist snap, closing of forearm angle, and lifting of the upper arm.  The finish looks pretty standard.  Maybe a little shorter follow through and blade angle not as closed as in more standard form.  I am amazed at how much spin they can get with what looks like flat contact.  I know they are brushing, but until the last instant it looks like they are going to hit flat.  They also get a great deal of forward speed even though they have lots of topspin.

Most of the players doing this are older, but were formally trained at a young age.  Is this an "old school" looping technique that has been supplanted by the closed racket angle and approximate 45 deg swing plane technique?  What are the disadvantages of this technique?  Might it be advantageous for amateur players to use this technique?  It seems like hit, counter, and loop strokes are more alike in this technique and amateurs generally face less spin than at high levels so it might be good for them.  Would it have advantages for close to table play because of the compact nature of the stroke?

Mark 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/09/2019 at 5:57pm
Hi,

The question is awesome and central to all things fh looping. It's one of the most interesting aspects of fh looping

This is the easiest way to loop, the arm backswing is almost zero because the main backswing is built in the weight transfer to the playing foot. From ready position (right handed player) the paddle will point to the right, a bit further behind than perpendicular to the length of the table at the end of that legs and torso based backswing. The shoulder didn't do anything apart what it did on its own because we let it free. The elbow stays close to the body. This looping offers maximum control and builds the best foundation. 

A possibility to go the next level from there is to let the elbow go away from the body if time permits and the arm backswing will go further back in proportion, the loading in the playing foot will be higher etc...

Another possibility to evolve from that basic solid looping is to action the wrist snap after enhancing the stone throwing forearm motion typical to that style. Timo is the king there. The elbow still stays close to the body. To illustrate That wrist snap, Harimoto does something very close at 1-1 5-4 v. LGY in the final of the 2019 HK open: https://tv.ittf.com/video/lin-gaoyuan-harimoto-tomokazu/1583719 at 22m10s. Then at 22m20s the slomo shows a side view to better appreciate the wrist snap that offers that incredible ball kick.

One day a Vietnamese player over 2200 told me to loop that way in warm up after he said I was wasteful. I immediately gained tons of additional control spending less energy. Let's note that it's easy to go back to those basics only by forcing the elbow close to the body during the whole stroke. The rest comes naturally, it's one of the sweet sides of the technique, a lot of things are forced if we force the elbow close to the torso. So it's easier to teach and from there any high level looping can evolve.

Ariel Hsing used to attach a device to herself for that; it was hard to find that video again... it is at 2m48s https://vimeo.com/51504119#t=2m48s

Here a clip of those 2 seconds.

There is so much insight in that video btw: "Every like inch of a second counts.
j/k, facing a camera and being interviewed is not an easy task.



Edited by stiltt - 06/10/2019 at 6:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/10/2019 at 3:24pm
In those videos he is still taking the racket back much lower than the guys I am talking about and is using a more closed blade at contact than they do.

Maybe I can find some late 60/early 70 videos to look for a comparison to their technique.  That would have been about the time they were being trained I think.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/10/2019 at 4:01pm
I was pointing at Harimoto's wrist. TH is a bad example anyway, it feels to me he has an hybrid fh or he did not really choose his definite path re. fh technique.

What about that point at 27 seconds in, Primorac is one of the best top level fh when it's about getting the elbow close to the body and using the wrist snap:


Is it closer to what you had in mind?



Edited by stiltt - 06/10/2019 at 4:59pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote racquetsforsale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/10/2019 at 4:04pm
Something like this?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/10/2019 at 4:41pm
Originally posted by racquetsforsale racquetsforsale wrote:

Something like this?


Yes that is very similar. Maybe a little less backswing.  He is still closing his blade angle more than the guys I was talking about.  Maybe I just did not see their angle adjustment correctly.

Thanks

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote racquetsforsale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/10/2019 at 6:43pm
You have to swing low to high or close the blade, or both to actively impart topspin on the ball.
Our eyes are slow, so either something about the motion was missed or the shots didn't have as much topspin.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2019 at 12:41am
Originally posted by racquetsforsale racquetsforsale wrote:

You have to swing low to high or close the blade, or both to actively impart topspin on the ball.
Our eyes are slow, so either something about the motion was missed or the shots didn't have as much topspin.

What it looks like to me is that they are brushing straight up the back of the ball (with neutral blade angle) just like you might do against heavy underspin.  But since it is against topspin the swing plane is actually slightly down
 The combination of down initial swing plane, with the sudden up from the wrist and forearm produces a path right at contact that is slightly up and brushing.  

I will try to get some slow motion of the one player here is doing what I am talking about.  That way I can see what is really happening instead of guessing.

Thanks for the help guys.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2019 at 12:41am
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Egghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2019 at 1:58am
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

In those videos he is still taking the racket back much lower than the guys I am talking about and is using a more closed blade at contact than they do.

Maybe I can find some late 60/early 70 videos to look for a comparison to their technique.  That would have been about the time they were being trained I think.

Mark
may be you are right, we need to look at the old video
start from 2:34 Embarrassed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote racquetsforsale Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2019 at 2:17am
Video title says for long pips.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Egghead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/11/2019 at 11:07am
Originally posted by racquetsforsale racquetsforsale wrote:

Video title says for long pips.
That technique is "rubber independent"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitigoi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2019 at 6:54pm
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Over the last couple of months I have seen  several good players using a different technique for looping.  The backswing is short and waist high or a little higher.  The racket angle is neutral.  It looks like they are going to flat hit or counter.  In fact it looks almost identical to what they do when countering in warmup.

The forward swing starts very horizontal.  Right at ball contact there is a lot of upward motion added.  I think it is from wrist snap, closing of forearm angle, and lifting of the upper arm.  The finish looks pretty standard.  Maybe a little shorter follow through and blade angle not as closed as in more standard form.  I am amazed at how much spin they can get with what looks like flat contact.  I know they are brushing, but until the last instant it looks like they are going to hit flat.  They also get a great deal of forward speed even though they have lots of topspin.

Most of the players doing this are older, but were formally trained at a young age.  Is this an "old school" looping technique that has been supplanted by the closed racket angle and approximate 45 deg swing plane technique?  What are the disadvantages of this technique?  Might it be advantageous for amateur players to use this technique?  It seems like hit, counter, and loop strokes are more alike in this technique and amateurs generally face less spin than at high levels so it might be good for them.  Would it have advantages for close to table play because of the compact nature of the stroke?

Mark 


I can think of only reason to make this shot against topspin: you have a BH grip and cannot close the paddle on FH. Most seniors are BH dominant and some maybe cannot pronate at the elbow so they do what they can.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2019 at 7:39pm
Sounds like a stroke you would make with pips, or thin sponge inverted which are not so sensitive to spin... With thick sponge inverted you can get so much more control by wrapping over the ball to create strong topspin (forearm pronation)...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2019 at 8:10pm
Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:


One day a Vietnamese player over 2200 told me to loop that way in warm up after he said I was wasteful. I immediately gained tons of additional control spending less energy. Let's note that it's easy to go back to those basics only by forcing the elbow close to the body during the whole stroke. The rest comes naturally, it's one of the sweet sides of the technique, a lot of things are forced if we force the elbow close to the torso. So it's easier to teach and from there any high level looping can evolve.

Ariel Hsing used to attach a device to herself for that; it was hard to find that video again... it is at 2m48s https://vimeo.com/51504119#t=2m48s

Here a clip of those 2 seconds.

There is so much insight in that video btw: "Every like inch of a second counts.
j/k, facing a camera and being interviewed is not an easy task.


I completely agree here... However I think it's important to let the elbow go forward during the stroke, it is the only way that the power from the upper arm can be activated. Even with Ariel Hsing's stroke her elbow is moving  forward relative to the body..... 

However, during the backswing I feel it is very important to have the elbow very close to the torso.For me, a very good reminder is to actually feel the elbow touching the torso during the backswing.With this I feel I gain a lot of speed and control over the stroke like what you mentioned. 
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