Ma Long Backhand

September 18, 2014

Ma Long's Backhand

Here's video (47 sec) of the regular backhand topspin drive of China's Ma Long, currently world #3 but #1 for much of 2010-2014. It's pretty basic; that's key in all shots, keeping it simple. What can we learn from him?

  1. He starts with a wide stance to give a stable base for this and other shots. (You can only see this at the start.)
  2. He watches ball intently nearly until contact, but not quite all the way. (See my Tip on this.)
  3. At the start of the stroke he lowers his racket and racket tip below the ball so he can create topspin.
  4. He lowers the racket by both bending at the waist and lowering his arm.
  5. Forward swing starts with waist, then shoulder (note how right shoulder moves forward, left shoulder moves back), then arm (rotating on elbow), then wrist.
  6. Contact is relatively quick off the bounce as the ball rises.
  7. He contacts the ball with an upward and forward motion, sinking the ball into the sponge at an angle and creating topspin.
  8. Follow through is short and in the direction the ball is going. It ends as soon as the racket tip is pointed in direction ball is going, and goes no further.
  9. Quick return to ready position.
  10. Throughout the stroke the non-playing arm is held up as a counterweight to his playing arm to maintain balance.
  11. When the ball is hit slightly to his left, he steps over slightly with his left leg. This happens 41 seconds in, but is obscured by someone walking in front of the camera, but from before and after you can see his left leg has moved over some.
  12. No wasted motion. This is key. 

179.6

Yes, I finally broke the 180 pound barrier this morning. Next stop: 175. Final goal: 170. (Two months ago I weighed 196.)

Active Blocking

Here's the video (4:37) by Canadian Olympia Pierre-Luc Hinse.

Strawberry Flip

I've blogged about the backhand banana flip, and have mentioned the much rarer strawberry flip in passing in past blogs - but I've never had video until now. Here's video of the shot (57 sec), done by a penholder. (A shakehander would do it the same way). The first shot is a banana flip; the second shot (11 seconds in) is the strawberry flip. (He then does two more, and then it is shown in slow motion.) So what is a backhand strawberry flip? It is the opposite of a banana flip, where your racket goes from left to right instead of right to left as with a banana flip (for righties). Many players have learned to sidespin this way, but more as a change-of-pace sidespin. A few players, such as Stefan Feth (and the penholder in the video above), can do a serious drive this way, so that the ball literally jumps away from you if he backhand flips it to your forehand (assuming both are righties).

Nathan Hsu in China

Nathan's been training in China since early July. He's put together a series of videos on the trip, where he talks about his training as well as featuring off-table activities, i.e. life in China. The videos starts with Day 4. (I'm mentioned at 5:27 in the first video.)

Sally Green Prouty, Dec. 23, 1922 - Sept. 7, 2014

Here's the USATT obit of the USATT Hall of Famer and five-time U.S. Open Women's Champion (1940-44).

Minnesota Player and Coach Duo Hope to Challenge the Best at 2014 Butterfly Badger Open

Here's the article by Barbara Wei.

Ping Pong 4 Purpose

The charity event was held at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 4, hosted by Clayton Kershaw, Chris Paul, and other celebrities. Here's video (6:26), and here's an article with lots of photos.

Ariel Hsing Teaches Makeup 101 to Chinese Players

Here's the article!

Buried in Ping-Pong Balls

So who is this buried in balls? Yeah, it's Wally Green!

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