Coach CornerTechniquesmuscle-memory
JohnnyD asked 3 weeks ago

After 7 weeks of not playing I was able to play 14 games up to 21 in 90 minutes , so a good work. I do prefer playing to 11 however but thats another story. I have not been playing properly for 2 years so am new to the sport and my standard is league 3 but I aiming to get to league 1 level in 2 more years if possible. 
In league and players in my club they seem to play a lot of back spin and you get caught up in a lot of push rallies. This was an area that I needed to improve so during my 7 weeks of not being able to play anyone I have been able to play on my own table with my Robot. I have had around 6 x 40 minute sessions hitting 500 to 600 balls each session. During these sessions I have just been hitting back spin balls to get better at it and aim to achieve some muscle memory. I have done some service practice to and watched several of videos on the subject which have been incredibly helpful. So I hit at least 3000 back spin balls using forehand , backhand , chop ,hitting the ball early , top of the bounce and letting it drop beyond the table as well as trying to open up with topspin against heavy backspin.Its been good and I can see a huge improvement.
However the problem I had when playing my 14 games was I seemed to constantly be playing backspin shots and found it hard to get into my normal game where I use a lot of topspin. I am attacking player and this practice seemed to have changed my game which was not my objective. I was however playing a very attacking top spinning player.
I lost 8-6 but my opponent does usually  beat and has a 60% win rate against me . He too is constantly improving so its hard to gauge playing against him. Any advice you have is most welcome.

1 Answers
Dan Academy Coach answered 3 weeks ago

Hey Johnny, Yes I can be quite difficult sometimes to transfer what you feel is going well and has improved in practice and put this into play in matches, it does take time for sure. Sometimes it also means that areas you have practiced a lot tend to happen more in matches. One of the key things to not getting stuck in pushing rallies and getting in the first attack is the mindset and always looking for the balls that are drifting off the end of the table and preparing to topspin them, even if this is a slow heavy topspin it’s often better than pushing. I would also suggest starting the rallies sometimes with long fast serves to get straight into the open rallies and avoid pushing completely, even more so if your game is best when attacking and playing topspin shots. Last thing I would say is that there is nothing wrong if you are consistent enough and the opponents aren’t topspining it past you, to pay a few pushes in the rally and take your time to pick the one you feel comfortable to topspin when you are totally set in position. Try those tips next time you get a chance and let us know how it goes, of course feel free to send us in videos of you playing and we can give you feedback too. Dan 🙂

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