Trying to improve my forehand loop

Submitted by James
(Chicago, IL, USA)

I play table tennis for years with friends.
I have been trying to improve my forehand loop.
I watched many videos on YouTube to learn it correctly.
Still people are saying my forehand is weaker (than backhand).
The ball served from robot does not have much down spin.
Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Here are my two videos - Practice against ping pong robot...



----- Martin's Reply -----


Thanks for your request for help and for submitting your two videos.

Your forehand and backhand strokes generally look OK, so you have a good foundation on which to improve your game.

You just need to practice as much as possible.

However, here are my thoughts and comments...

When you're demonstrating your forehand strokes using shadow play at the start of the video, you're playing a long stroke with good body rotation.

However, when you are actually at the table hitting the ball, you do not always have as much body rotation or as long a stroke.

You start well, but tend to have less rotation and play shorter strokes the more you play the stroke.

The stroke you are playing against the robot is often more of a drive than a loop, because the ball (as you say) has little downspin / backspin.

When the ball has more backspin, you will need to play more of an upward stroke, rather than a flat stroke across your body. So remember to start your racket slightly lower and finish slightly higher to get more topspin.

When you take your racket back at the start of the stroke, you straighten your arm, but you should try to keep it slightly more bent at the elbow, although this is not critical.

Try to relax your muscles a little bit more. At times you appear to be a little bit stiff as you play your strokes. Let your racket arm flow backwards and forwards.

Even though the robot is feeding the ball to the same position on the table, you still need to move your feet and stay balanced.
You are mostly standing in one place and hardly moving your feet.

Your left arm should also be used as a counter-balance and should be moving in tandem with your right arm and body, whereas your left arm is very static in front of your body.

On your backhand, keep your left forearm and hand slightly higher with your hand pointing towards your target.

You can see this in the demonstration videos on my web site.
The backhand and forehand loop strokes are demonstrated here...

Also, remember that you need to practice against real people wherever possible, rather than just using a robot.

When you play against a real person you will have to move more and adapt your strokes.

This will also help you to improve.

I hope that helps you.


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