High balls over the table

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Willis
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Joined: 01/24/2011

Larry

I have LPs on my bh and manage to force a lot of weak returns and popups (which is my goal) that IF I could consistently put them away I would win a lot more games. I do pretty well with normal fh counterhits and blocks and can do a reasonable counterloop away from the table. But it's those "easy" balls over the table that for some reason I just can't hit winners consistently. Suggestions or advice? My rating is 1378.

Willis

 

 

Larry Hodges
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Joined: 11/19/2010
Re: High balls over the table

Hi Willis,

I can't say for sure without seeing you play, but I can tell you what the most common reason is for players to have trouble smashing weak balls and pop-ups - the backswing. If you bring the racket directly up to smash, you pretty much commit very early on to where your forward swing will start from. You'll also likely be slightly unbalanced. Every stroke will be slightly different. Result? Little control. 

Instead, always backswing exactly the same - pretty much straight back, even against a high ball. (Make sure to turn sideways.) Then raise the racket to the appropriate height. This gives you more time to judge and time the ball, keeps you better balanced, and gives you a consistent backswing to start from. Then throw the upper body into the ball and snap the arm for extra power. You can think of the swing as three parts - back, up, and forward, sort of a triangle. 

You might want to work with a coach on this. First have him feed these balls to you multiball style. Then, when you feel comfortable that way, do live play, where the coach intentionally pops balls up off your serve, etc., and you smash. 

Hope this helps!

Willis
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Joined: 01/24/2011
Re: High balls over the table

Yes, from your description it seems I'm raising my arm straight up rather than taking a proper backswing. That explains why I tend to hit the ball too far in front of my body and then have no control over where it lands. Thanks, I'll work on that!