Coach CornerTechniquesPenhold RPB strokes
oliverlim asked 1 month ago

I started playing TT again 3 months after a long 30 year hiatus. I decided to stick with penhold and learn RPB with the intention of only doing RPB for my backhand instead of going with shakehand. I guess I love a challenge!  Could you critique on my RPB?  It took me a while to feel comfortable with my rpb to able able to feel the ball and also get the ball back on the table comfortably. Mainly due to a mixture of the new ball, slight change of grip to facilitate rpb and a totally new unfamiliar back stroke with minimal advice due to not many RPB penholders around me. Its a question of more wrist or more “rotation/pivot” of the elbow. As well as how high should the elbow be. I believe I am more consistent when I “lift” my elbow in front and higher somewhat like what I am doing now which results in a smoother swing. With a lower elbow, I get a very different bat angle at the start vs end of the stroke. Sort of like my wrist/elbow gets stuck midway. Thanks in advice on any advice you can give!

1 Answers
TomTom Academy Coach answered 1 month ago

Hey Oliver, Yes I feel a high elbow that you mentioned is very key to getting a relaxed and consistent shot. It’s definitely a combination of this pivot feeling from the elbow and the feeling of brushing through and forward with the wrist to generate the direction in the shot and also help get more spin.

I would say here your shot looks pretty good but maybe you don’t quite have the full confidence with it yet as some of the shots look a bit careful or tentative. This will improve with time and training but I do feel you can focus on the backswing and getting the bat back to the stomach each time when recovering, this will help you have a fuller stroke and release the energy into the ball more. Don’t be afraid to accelerate through the ball just a little bit quicker as well. As long as you brush over the ball well with a fairly closed bat angle it won’t be a problem to add a touch more speed through the movement.

Lastly I would say try to get the energy of the shot coming from your elbow mainly and the lower part of the arm, the wrist should come in at the end of the shot and point in front to help the direction and spin.

I hope this helps and any questions, just let me know 🙂


replied 1 month ago

Thanks Tom for your detailed explanation.

Yes, I have been told I am careful/tentative in my backhand. I do see it in my videos as well but I somehow do not feel so when I am actually playing. It almost feel that if I do try to “release” my movements more that I will lose control of my stroke/blade. But I will try to be more relaxed. I was worse when I was gripping the blade more but have since found that I can have a relaxed grip and nothing will fly :-p

Good point on the elbow and lower part of the arm for the main strength of the shot. I will keep that in mind. I will assume that the wrist/blade should be straight to maybe slightly more but next fully extended and open at the end of the stroke?

Would you say that at my current backhand level that I would benefit from going with a softer rubber the the R45 Andro rubber? Is strange but it almost seems like I get more confidence and accuracy but less feel when I tried a even harder 47.5 degree rubber like the Victas V11 Extra on my friends blade. Not sure if its mainly the rubber difference as the R45 is known to have a soft rubber sheet?

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