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Variation vs control for serving...

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obesechopper View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09/30/2020 at 1:11am
In general, what do you think is more valuable... being able to do heavy spins with lots of variations, but no real precision or having great accuracy (put the ball where you want it, good height and speed) with lackluster spin variations? 

Say you can only do a moderate back spin. But someone can pick a spot on the table and you'll nail it! Half long, short, double bounce whatever. Always the same spin, though always under control.

Or you have a bunch of spinny serves, yet cant always keep the ball low or pick how many bounces. You can pick one half the table and try to aim for it!
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mjamja View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/30/2020 at 2:05am
At lower levels (< US 1600 heavy spin and variation is likely to be more effective.  Receivers do not read or deal with spin well and generally do  not have strong attacking returns to take advantage of poorer serves.  Also s do not have strong 3rd ball attacks so they need really bad returns or outright misses in order to win the point. 

Mid levels (around US 2000) control is more important because players read and deal with spin better and have developed attacking serve returns.  Also servers do not need pop-ups to attack.  They just want to be able to get in the first attacking shot.  You do need some simple variation like under/dead or side-under/side-top to keep them from getting too zeroed in by the 2nd or 3rd game.

At higher levels (> US 2300) you better have it all.  That includes heavy spin, lots of variation, and some disguise.

At world class levels it seems to me that they have all the variations, but will often only use one or two depending on what they find an opponent is having difficulty in returning.  By difficulty I mean not being able to keep server from 3rd ball attacking strongly.  I think I read somewhere that a very high percentage of world class serves where just sidespin.  Idea was not giving opponent any top or under that he could amplify in a flip or push.

Mark -  Waiting for someone who really knows what they are talking about to answer the OP correctly.



Edited by mjamja - 09/30/2020 at 10:23am
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blahness View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote blahness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/30/2020 at 2:31am
I always have both in my pocket haha. Low spin serves are ideal for 3rd ball attack, but heavy spin serves can get a lot of direct points, especially when well disguised. 

I always try to get direct points first with well disguised heavy spin variations, if that fails then I switch back to lower spin serves to help my 3rd ball attack. 

Regardless of both, you should aim to develop good enough control for both sequences. Very important to make your shots reliable (especially on the serve). 


Edited by blahness - 09/30/2020 at 2:32am
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Baal View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/30/2020 at 4:30pm
The best serves are not what they appear to be.  Find a way to accomplish that.  A starting point is serves that are low. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smackman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/30/2020 at 8:54pm
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

The best serves are not what they appear to be.  Find a way to accomplish that.  A starting point is serves that are low. 
Honestly not spinning the ball as much can cause a good pop up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/30/2020 at 9:01pm
Originally posted by smackman smackman wrote:

Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

The best serves are not what they appear to be.  Find a way to accomplish that.  A starting point is serves that are low. 

Honestly not spinning the ball as much can cause a good pop up

What he meant (the way I perceived it) is anything too high will be punished. From there good things can happen, it's a mandatory starting point.
GOOD START MASTER BAAL!!!! I like your answer very much because it causes me to take it from there and build my own picture of the serve thing and your contribution is as solid as it gets, kind of dogma.
What next?
I enjoy the way the definition of the serve this thread evolves, like a slow motion teaching of an essential piece of the game.

Edited by stiltt - 09/30/2020 at 9:04pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/01/2020 at 8:58am
Originally posted by smackman smackman wrote:

Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

The best serves are not what they appear to be.  Find a way to accomplish that.  A starting point is serves that are low. 
Honestly not spinning the ball as much can cause a good pop up

Of course!  Clap  When the opponent thinks it has morecspin.  In other words, not what it appears to be.
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