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Grip on BH loops thoughts

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    Posted: 03/13/2020 at 6:10am
Recently I solved a huge problem with inconsistency in my BH, which is my tendency to loosen the grip too much during the stroke.... Actually the grip should be tight so that you're controlling the ball, and the ball doesn't control your stroke. You only loosen the grip well after you hit the ball not during haha. It was such a simple change but made a world of difference in consistency. It increased my landing percentages from something like 50% to 70-80%...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Simon_plays Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2020 at 9:47am
I would think that with a lot of this type of advice concerning loosening or tightening it is relative to what you're already doing. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2020 at 6:49pm
Originally posted by acpoulos acpoulos wrote:

Interesting. I try to grip loosely and then tighten on impact. But my coach cautions against getting to wristy; mainly use forearm and finish stroke wide (swing with a wiping motion rather than directly towards the target).

I think we're on the same page. My problem was premature loosening of the grip. Now I believe you should reach the followthrough position and then loosen the grip again, not before. Premature loosening of the grip was probably what caused the inconsistency and lack of control in my stroke previously. 

I also don't use all that much "wrist", it's all in the forearm action (straightening arm + supination) which is also the approach I have for the FH loop. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mon22 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/13/2020 at 8:24pm
there was a YouTube video,

I don’t recall who but it helped me a lot getting back into the game. I have a wrist injury/surgery and my shots have been really spinny since I tried what was explained (it was a Japanese video, with subs)

Something about gripping the racket with the last three fingers. I applied stabilizing the racket head with the thumb (like ma long) and it’s helped
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2020 at 1:18pm
I had something similar on my FH and I developed a similar relax/squeeze/relax sequence. Now though it depends on my swing speed/power output such that the faster i swing the more firmly I grip the blade. Same thing applies to my BH but there is a limit as too much grip pressure inhibits my wrist mobility.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/14/2020 at 2:32pm
Holding the racquet tightly before you strike the ball will limit wrist and more importantly overall racquet head speed which will limit your quality by quite a bit.

Quality equals level and ability to improve. It's a bit like a boxer throwing shots all tense they lose speed of the shot and ability to change direction.  Lose of balance is also a byproduct. Body mechanics 101. 

Having said that I get totally what are you saying that a floppy over relaxed preperation can decrease production,quality,  and control of the stroke.Its a juggling act definitely. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/17/2020 at 6:30pm
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

Holding the racquet tightly before you strike the ball will limit wrist and more importantly overall racquet head speed which will limit your quality by quite a bit.

Quality equals level and ability to improve. It's a bit like a boxer throwing shots all tense they lose speed of the shot and ability to change direction.  Lose of balance is also a byproduct. Body mechanics 101. 

Having said that I get totally what are you saying that a floppy over relaxed preperation can decrease production,quality,  and control of the stroke.Its a juggling act definitely. 

It's a very very fine balance to thread i feel. You can't be too loose or too tight. There's an ideal amount of grip tightness to adopt in general. The timing is always the key...

I feel like as you go higher in level you find the timing much better and as a result you can generate a lot of power even if you're out of position and still land it on the table. I feel it with my FH but not so much with my BH Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 9:28am
It's tricky 100% on that. Staying relaxed before any stroke is key i think and then speed of stroke and control of stroke + angel of the blade. When you hit a higher level everyone has strong strokes and it's more about finding the holes where you can so you play your strong strokes more of the time of the time whatever that strong stroke might be

If you can make a 80%+  stroke most of the time you are doing v v well.At this level the margins for error are tiny when you are under massive stress. Thats why the stroke has to be so balanced.


Edited by ghostzen - 03/18/2020 at 10:16am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 7:11pm
I think ghosten makes too much sense in his last two posts.

blahness, when you are out of position (and therefore out of the best part of the strike zone), the number one and number two and number three adjustments are to:

- keep grip loose at impact
- shorten stroke, make a more direct path to the ball with stroke
- go for less power, but still go through the ball

Going for broke, or trying for too much when not in optimal position is just asking for it.

Loose muscles accelerate. Easier to accelerate a mass when it is already in motion, so there is a way to create a movement and amplify it. Tightening up the wrong place too early saps power and consistency.

So many USA males on FH start so good energy, but by the time it reaches the shoulder, that shoulder is tight (energy gets stopped there) and they try to re-generate the energy with the muscles in the back of shoulders.

It is always a fail.

Everyone's body is different and there is more than one way to generate energy, transmit, amplify and deliver it. Still, getting tight is a sure way to failure.

We all can learn a couple ways start and move along and deliver energy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 7:14pm
I have a lot of different BH shots and different ways to get the smack on the ball for a different result.

One way will never apply to every shot, except the way that being in position, on balance on time commanding the strike zone with an idea of what to do greatly helps the chances and quality of every shot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 7:43pm
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

It's tricky 100% on that. Staying relaxed before any stroke is key i think and then speed of stroke and control of stroke + angel of the blade. When you hit a higher level everyone has strong strokes and it's more about finding the holes where you can so you play your strong strokes more of the time of the time whatever that strong stroke might be

If you can make a 80%+  stroke most of the time you are doing v v well.At this level the margins for error are tiny when you are under massive stress. Thats why the stroke has to be so balanced.

I can only make it a 80% stroke against worse players who don't vary the spin all that much. Against penholders who have huge amounts of spin variation on serves/pushes the percentages drop fast.... Dead
But I guess it's still a huge improvement over what I had previously (when I was prematurely loosening the grip while hitting the ball which is wrong). 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 7:50pm
Originally posted by BH-Man BH-Man wrote:

I have a lot of different BH shots and different ways to get the smack on the ball for a different result.

One way will never apply to every shot, except the way that being in position, on balance on time commanding the strike zone with an idea of what to do greatly helps the chances and quality of every shot.

Yes there's a lot of BH shots to learn. The weird thing is that I actually have quite good (and nasty) blocks, and chiquita which I use against most short balls to the BH and middle. I even learnt a sidespin chopblock which gives people a lot of trouble usually. 

But my full BH loop is just a bit lacking at this point which is a major hole in my game (I try to plug it by pivoting, but that gets punished by good players almost all the time). If I can open consistently with a spinny dangerous BH loop off long serves / pushes I would gain so much in level. The weird thing is that in opening loop practice I do OK, but in a match situation where the opponent is varying the spin/speed/placement all the time I struggle badly. 

I agree that positioning is really key. One thing I found is that the BH loop is a lot more unforgiving in terms of positioning, the strike zone is quite narrow and if you're in a bad position it's a lot harder. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 8:01pm
It's always learning and working on improving things trying to get that little more out of the tank so to speak. Thats why I love the game so much and have since i started playing. It's like a never ending puzzle where you sometimes get the title or the win and sometimes it's right back to the drawing board.

Sure with the graft you put in improvement will come if you have the right hitting partners..thinking of it....actually at the moment any hitting partners is a god send! Smile



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 8:08pm
irregular footwork/movement and multiball can be a good way of trying to solve this. It gives you a bit more chance to adapt to things on the fly which you can face in a match. It also puts you under that uncertainty stress which hopefully means you become more comfy with unloading when things aren't going straight to your fixed position. If that makes sense!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 8:10pm
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

It's always learning and working on improving things trying to get that little more out of the tank so to speak. Thats why I love the game so much and have since i started playing. It's like a never ending puzzle where you sometimes get the title or the win and sometimes it's right back to the drawing board.

Sure with the graft you put in improvement will come if you have the right hitting partners..thinking of it....actually at the moment any hitting partners is a god send! Smile




Yes, there's infinite amount of stuff to learn in this game which makes it so interesting xD. It's just plugging holes in the game one by one... But now with COVID i think i'm probably gonna take a break and do a bit more theorycrafting of my game. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 8:13pm
Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

irregular footwork/movement and multiball can be a good way of trying to solve this. It gives you a bit more chance to adapt to things on the fly which you can face in a match. It also puts you under that uncertainty stress which hopefully means you become more comfy with unloading when things aren't going straight to your fixed position. If that makes sense!

I think potentially I just need to accept temporary losses and go loop all the long balls I get on the BH side while playing matches so that I get a lot more experience handling different balls. 

I don't have the luxury of multiball especially not these days...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 8:16pm
Hopefully might still be able to sneak a few sessions in on the wind if i can a couple times a week in a closed area as long as things keep ok but wont take chances to be honest. The whole of the TT leagues and all of the British league has been closed in the UK as well as I guess everywhere else. Going to work on fitness and movement if its extended. Also might take a leaf our of Marks book and start random shadow practice.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ghostzen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 8:20pm
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

Originally posted by ghostzen ghostzen wrote:

irregular footwork/movement and multiball can be a good way of trying to solve this. It gives you a bit more chance to adapt to things on the fly which you can face in a match. It also puts you under that uncertainty stress which hopefully means you become more comfy with unloading when things aren't going straight to your fixed position. If that makes sense!

I think potentially I just need to accept temporary losses and go loop all the long balls I get on the BH side while playing matches so that I get a lot more experience handling different balls. 

I don't have the luxury of multiball especially not these days...


If there's aren't any leagues going on a friendly loss is nothing in a practice as long as you are nailing the quality or trying to. Hope it goes well Thumbs Up Cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mickd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 9:12pm
Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

I can only make it a 80% stroke against worse players who don't vary the spin all that much. Against penholders who have huge amounts of spin variation on serves/pushes the percentages drop fast.... Dead
But I guess it's still a huge improvement over what I had previously (when I was prematurely loosening the grip while hitting the ball which is wrong). 

I feel like I have a higher percentage in actual matches because in practice I try to go for more power. I usually play a little softer and open safely with a spinnier ball in matches.

I used to overrelax as well. But what I found for me was that overrelaxing lead to inconsistency because I was relying too much on my arm and wrist.

Recently I've been inspired by this multiball video of Ma Long. The backhand against underspin starts at 4:30.

I've been concentrating on my legs and hips a lot more, trying to thrust forward like Ma Long. This results in a little more forward momentum with the arm, and I feel my consistency has gone up a lot. I don't think about the arm, but I do try my best to relax my body before the stroke and apply power through my legs and hips like he does. It's still a work in progress haha.

I only started practicing it like 2 months ago, and I don't do multiball so it's all during single ball drills. Here's where I'm at now. I feel compared to my old backhand opening, which was very wristy, this method is much more reliable. Sorry about my form being all over the place. We mortals will never get to Ma Long's standards haha.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 10:05pm
Originally posted by mickd mickd wrote:

Originally posted by blahness blahness wrote:

I can only make it a 80% stroke against worse players who don't vary the spin all that much. Against penholders who have huge amounts of spin variation on serves/pushes the percentages drop fast.... Dead
But I guess it's still a huge improvement over what I had previously (when I was prematurely loosening the grip while hitting the ball which is wrong). 

I feel like I have a higher percentage in actual matches because in practice I try to go for more power. I usually play a little softer and open safely with a spinnier ball in matches.

I used to overrelax as well. But what I found for me was that overrelaxing lead to inconsistency because I was relying too much on my arm and wrist.

Recently I've been inspired by this multiball video of Ma Long. The backhand against underspin starts at 4:30.

I've been concentrating on my legs and hips a lot more, trying to thrust forward like Ma Long. This results in a little more forward momentum with the arm, and I feel my consistency has gone up a lot. I don't think about the arm, but I do try my best to relax my body before the stroke and apply power through my legs and hips like he does. It's still a work in progress haha.

I only started practicing it like 2 months ago, and I don't do multiball so it's all during single ball drills. Here's where I'm at now. I feel compared to my old backhand opening, which was very wristy, this method is much more reliable. Sorry about my form being all over the place. We mortals will never get to Ma Long's standards haha.


Wow that looks super spinny Clap I have quite different BH mechanics but that is definitely super solid
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 10:10pm
For the best roi from the bh loop wrist snap close to the table, a loose grip is better. Further away it becomes more of a tennis stroke and a firmer grip is required.

A trick to better learn a powerful bh loop is to go the way of ML, LYJ and LGY: exaggerate to the extreme the bh grip to the point the thumb is in the middle of the base of the fh rubber and from the abs to the ball, swing hard and flat forward to the ball without trying to brush --> the brushing is kinda built-in because even if we want to go forward, the trajectory from the belly button to the ball is ascending and the wanted flat stroke will brush. That trick of the mind allows to not go too tangential and use enough wood for speed. That extreme bh grip also allows learning the chiquita faster.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 10:25pm
Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

For the best roi from the bh loop wrist snap close to the table, a loose grip is better. Further away it becomes more of a tennis stroke and a firmer grip is required.

A trick to better learn a powerful bh loop is to go the way of ML, LYJ and LGY: exaggerate to the extreme the bh grip to the point the thumb is in the middle of the base of the fh rubber and from the abs to the ball, swing hard and flat forward to the ball without trying to brush --> the brushing is kinda built-in because even if we want to go forward, the trajectory from the belly button to the ball is ascending and the wanted flat stroke will brush. That trick of the mind allows to not go too tangential and use enough wood for speed. That extreme bh grip also allows learning the chiquita faster.

Hmm, I think most modern players have the thumb on the FH rubber during the BH these days. 

I think there's a lot of variety in the stroke even with all 3 players mentioned, in particular the elbow position and body movement. Some players have the elbow more to the side and some are a lot closer to the body during the backswing. And some drop the bat such that it's pointed towards the ground, some go directly backwards (bat pointed towards your the left hip). Not to mention the different methods of transferring power from the ground. And it's a spectrum to all of them. 

Personally I like Liang Jingkun's BH loop stroke the most out of all the pro players (probably because I'm also of similar build, more of a slower but powerful player), but that's probably just me xD. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/18/2020 at 11:24pm
We  can have the thumb on the fh rubber without really rotating the handle all the way to a hammer like grip. Going towards that hammer grip is what I meant to help in the learning curve.
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