Can't recognize topspin vs backspin on pendulum serve.

Table Tennis Service Return

Last updated 8 years ago

John Bartolucci

John Bartolucci Asked 8 years ago

Hiya Pingskillers.

Well I had an interesting couple days of table tennis lately. First off, I got struck in the eye with a powerful backhand topspin loop.  The opponent was the hardest hitting player I'd ever rallied with. It wasn't so much the velocity (I'll admit it was a bit scary...) but rather the higher bounce that caught me off-guard.  I had the blade parallel to the table for my own backhand loop reply, but the ball bounced right over my blade and into my eye.  I didn't even have time to blink when I got hit.  My eye is OK now, but I can tell you that it was not an experience that anyone should ever have again.  If playing against a really heavy hitter, wear glasses or get a cheap pair of clear plastic safety glasses.  I'm 6'3" and 240lbs. Never in a million years did I ever think I could get struck in the eye by a backhand loop, unless it was a Ma Lin or Timo Bol on the other side of the table.

As for my question:  I won a first game, but then lost the next 3 games and scored very few points in them.  What happened was that I could no longer get my service returns over the net, or when I did, they would be too high and he'd smash them with ease.   Asked him what I was doing wrong.  He told me that once he figured out that I could not read spin, he just varied the backspin/topspin. 

He used a regular pendulum serve with a downward arm motion and from what i could tell, it was the same motion every time. He told me that it wasn't the same motion and that he was switching between topspin and backspin.  How can I tell the difference? 

Best Wishes for a successful and super fun trip to Thailand.  Hope you post some stories about it.

 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi John,

The key is to watch the contact first.  It takes a bit of time to get the understanding right but it will come.  There has to be a difference in contact to get a different result.  If he is coming slightly down on the actual contact then it will be backspin.  For the topspin the bat will need to come up slightly.

The bounce of the ball will also be a little different.  The topspin will bounce a little higher.

Unfortunately this will take time to develop the understanding fully.  We do have a lot of videos on this area in our Receiving Secrets lessons.

Thanks for the advice on the glasses.  Last year was the first time I was hit in the eye with a ball where I didn't have time to react.  It was pretty powerful and hurt for a few seconds.

Thanks for your wishes for Thailand.  Should be fun.


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John Bartolucci

John Bartolucci Posted 8 years ago

Thanks for the tips, Alois!  I did also find other threads in which you give some great service return advice.  Tonight I'm going to look for either a low skid or a higher bounce on the incoming service.  I've begun to have some success with side spin serves, but never realized how difficult it would be to deal with random top spin / back spin. 

 


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

No problems, let me know how it all goes.


Surapun Wongopasi

Surapun Wongopasi Posted 8 years ago

Hi Alois, 

Glad to hear that you are coming to Thailand.  Please give some detail on the dates and your hotel lodging.  Will you be playing at a club and what's the name of the club?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

Do you have any suggestions?


Surapun Wongopasi

Surapun Wongopasi Posted 8 years ago

Do you mean a good hotel and a TT club?


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

Mainly a good TT Club.


Surapun Wongopasi

Surapun Wongopasi Posted 8 years ago

Hi Alois,

Sorry for the late reply.  I've done some survey and contact before replying to you. 

How many of you are coming on this trip and where do you plan to stay in Bangkok?  I have just spoken to Mr. Prasong who just organized a friendly tournament at my TT club last week and he suggested 2 interesting TT clubs.  The first club is in the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and the second one is in the Police Department. (You can search the Google Map for their locations.)  Both clubs are located in the heart of Bangkok CBD and both have air-conditioning and regular players/members who can play with your delegates in a friendly tournament, perhaps a team and singles events.

You can write to me directly at my email address at apollon151@yahoo.com and I will be more than happy to liaise your trip.  Please reply urgently because I will be out of town during Sept.14-21.

Thanks Alois.


John Bartolucci

John Bartolucci Posted 8 years ago

 WoW!  I'm guessing there are some really good players within the Bangkok PD TT Club.

Do most people play with the shake hand or the pen hold grip over there?


Surapun Wongopasi

Surapun Wongopasi Posted 8 years ago

Hi John,

I heard from Mr. Prasong that some veteran TT players who used to be on the National Team play at the Police Hospital TT Club although they have past their prime time; most are over 40 years old.  Like most TT players in many countries around the world, the younger generations all play with shakehand style now.  Only players who are over 40 play with penhold grip and many of them use long pips rubber on one side.  I guess that's the fact of life.  As you grow old, you just can't keep up with the fast pace of modern TT which is accelerated by new rubber and blade technology to generate more speed and spin.  So they have to resort to long pips to slow down the pace and fool inexperienced players with weird spins.  I am also learning how to play with long pips, but I play with the Nittaku Wallest rubber which has 1.0 mm of sponge.  It gives me better control and I can even attack with this rubber which surprised even one player I played with the other day who used long pips OX (with no sponge).  He asked me what rubber I was using as he couldn't believe I could play backhand topspin with my long pips.



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