Where is the forehand feeling

Table Tennis Training and Drills

Last updated 2 weeks ago

Lara Vandenberg

Lara Vandenberg Asked 2 weeks ago

Hi Alois,

watching pingskills has already helped me a lot but I still can't overcome my biggest obstacle. I've recently started playing again after a 15 years break and I face my old problem: the forehand. I can make fast strokes on high balls or even smash them but I lack the feeling for softer strokes. My arm doesn't feel loose and relaxed there seems a tension or blockage somewhere. So during a match I almost automatically avoid my forehand. 

I've done hours and hours of multiball-training with my colleagues during the last months (we don't have a trainer here in the countryside). Within these training sessions there have been moments when my arm suddenly felt relaxed and I could play softer topspins with various speed but I can't restore this feeling. Do you have an idea for a helpful exercise?

Thanks

Lara


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 2 weeks ago

Hi Lara,

This is a common thing for players.  The issue is the tension not your forehand stoke at all.  You know how to do the stroke but you are not trusting your ability to play the stroke.

I think the first step is to really connect with the feelings you have when you are playing the stroke. Start with multi ball at a very slow pace and really examine where exactly the tension is in the body and then try to think why.  It is usually because you are worried about making a mistake.  Try to let go of the wanting to get the ball on the table and only think about what is happening with your body and your stroke.  Forget about where the ball is going when you hit it.

Do this for a while and try to stay away from the judgement of where the ball is going.  This is very difficult to do to start with.  Once you feel comfortable with the stroke then you can move to hitting the ball with a training partner.  See if you can maintain the lower tension in your body while playing the stroke.

This will all take a bit of time to move through.  When you really understand what is happening with the body and why then you will start to make some changes to the stroke.

Let me know how you get on.


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Lara Vandenberg

Lara Vandenberg Posted 2 weeks ago

Thanks so much Alois. I´ve already felt that the answer lies in the body. I do like the approach for more awareness and feeling, it has almost something meditative. All I need now is a suitable training partner :-) I´ll be back when I´m stuck.



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