Strawberry flip

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!

***
Send us your own coaching news!

December 27, 2011

Tip of the Week

Balance is a Habit.

Back from break

I've mostly been away the last two weeks, coaching at the USA Nationals in Virginia Beach and at Christmas with family in Santa Barbara, CA. I'm pretty much setting a policy that when I'm out of town, I take a vacation from blogging. But now I'm back, and so expect new blogs to go up every morning, Mon-Fri, normally by 9 or 10 AM. It won't be easy this week - I'm coaching at the Maryland Table Tennis Center Christmas Camp, and so have to get it all done before I leave each morning. (It's our 21st consecutive Christmas Camp - every year starting in 1991 - and roughly our 150th five-day camp overall.)

Coaching Seminar at the USA Nationals

At the recent USA Nationals Stefan Feth and Richard McAfee held a coaching seminar on behalf of the USATT coaching committee. I attended as did about twenty others. USA Men's Coach Stefan Feth went first, with a presentation on "Modern Trends in the Serve and Serve Return Game." Unfortunately, you had to be there to see the demos to really understand these techniques, but I'll cover them briefly.

Serve:

  • Ways to serve forehand backspin but fake topspin with an upward elbow follow-through.
  • Importance of focusing on one or two service motions.
  • Nine spots to serve to - short, half-long, and long to the forehand, middle, and backhand.
  • Inside-out hook serves

Receive - Banana and Strawberry flips. I'm not making this up!

  • Banana flips are becoming somewhat standard for top players. It is done with the backhand against a short ball (usually a serve, often against backspin) where you wrist the ball back with topspin and sidespin, with the sidespin coming from a right-to-left motion. Here's a video from PingSkills (4:09) where they teach the shot, though they call it a backhand sidespin flick.
  • The Strawberry flip (more commonly called a Reverse Banana Flip) is the rarer version where you create a backhand sidespin drive with a left-to-right motion. Many players can sort of do this as a simple sidespin receive, which can be effective as a change-up, but a Strawberry flip is an actual aggressive drive that jumps at you with lots of topspin and especially sidespin - with the ball jumping away from you if it goes to your forehand. Sorry, no video! (This shot was a specialty of Feth's when he was on the German team - not sure how many others use this shot regularly.)

Richard McAfee's presentation was on Half-Pattern Drills - I'll cover that in a later blog, perhaps tomorrow.

2012 US Olympic Table Tennis Trials

Here's a 31-second video promoting the U.S. and North American Olympic Table Tennis Trials. (I'll be there coaching.)

Barack Obama and David Cameron playing table tennis

A while back I posted pictures of Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron playing table tennis - see the Celebrities Playing Table Tennis page. Now we have video!!! (I don't think I posted this 2:10 video before.)

2011 Best of Table Tennis

Here's a collection of some of the best rallies of 2011 (7:38).

Liu Guoliang versus Ma Long - on the mini-table

Yes, these two are going at it like champions for 42 seconds! Ma is the current world #1, while Liu is the current Chinese Men's Coach and former World, Olympic, and World Cup Men's Singles Champion.

***

Send us your own coaching news!

Syndicate content