Some random notes & observations

Updated March 2020 by :-  Srini Jana (Please clear your browser cache to get latest updates on this page)

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  1. “Ping-Pong” is a sad derogatory misnomer for the modern athletic “sport” of “Table-Tennis”
  2.  Ping-Pong refers to a silly mindless basement “game” (played in North American basements / bars) whereas Table-Tennis is an athletic Olympic sport, indisputably (for better or worse) the most complex individual sport due to very high technology rackets, very individual playing styles due to orthodox & unorthodox stroke mechanics all happening at obscene spins at insane speeds.
  3. Informed people will not use the phrase “Ping-Pong” in the context of Table-Tennis & look clueless.
  4. Is it “table tennis” or “TableTennis” or  “Table-Tennis”  ?  Is it “short pips” or short-pips” or “shortpips”  ? Suggested Phrase conventions:- Due to Internet search engines returning inconsistent search results (such as returning Lawn Tennis related items) , the following format for Table-Tennis is suggested :-  Please use phrases such as Table-Tennis or Long-Pips etc instead of “long pips” or table-tennis or short-pips etc. This would help everyone to retrieve accurate Table-Tennis related search results. Yes internet search is case insensitive by default but I am suggesting phrases like Table-Tennis & Long-Pips & not Table-Tennis or Long-Pips just for visual ease of identification of phrase with two words in the phrase. (of course please have your brain surgeon wipeout the phrase Ping-Pong or Ping-Pong etc from every cell in your brain if you are a Table-Tennis athlete).If there is a method please email  so this error can be corrected here
  5. Table-Tennis was played with rackets with pips out rubber without sponge before 1952. These bats (or paddles) or now known as hardbat. HardBat is still legal in tournament play but it is almost like coming to a fight with a knife where your opponent has laser weapons
  6. SandPaper was NEVER EVER legal in ITTF tournament play. Children should never start playing the proper sport of Table-Tennis using SandPaper or HardBat.
  7. Basement “Ping-Pong” may be played just using your backhand but “Table-Tennis” is primarily a forehand dominant sport. Yes backhand is equally important as you get better Table-Tennis but backhand in itself nowhere close to a sufficient & necessary condition to get to be decent Table-Tennis player. You are highly unlikely to walk into a LawnTennis club & ask the coach just to teach you backhand only. Likewise thinking that you can dominate in Table-Tennis just with your backhand is just an absurd mentality of what I would refer to as Backhand buffoons of Ping-Pong. Even if you happen to be maybe 5% to 10% of the humans who have a better backhand than forehand, you are not going to get anywhere in Table-Tennis just with your backhand ONLY.
  8. Modern Table-Tennis is mostly played with rackets that have smooth TopSheet with & sponge underneath.
  9. Since almost every player in Table-Tennis (more like in basement Ping-Pong) is somehow a professional Table-Tennis athlete & a legend in their own mind ( or champion of their state or old country etc) , we will use the definition of a player as being over USATT rating of about 2600 for men & about 2300 for women & classify the rest as amateur TTathletes, when references to professional & amateur TTathletes are made going forward below . Note that rating is not the same ranking (Ranking is sort of inverse of rating). The higher the ranking, the lower your rating number & vice-versa. The World ranked #1 is rated about 2950 (about 3000 being perfect) & on the inverse, a non-player is rated 0 & a beginner about 200. The higher your USATT rating the more skilled you are. just as lower your ranking number, the more skilled you are.  
  10. There are three types of pips (or pimples) .  Using two pre-dominant defining parameters,  Short-Pips are the oldest type that existed before arrival of sponge in 1952. Short-Pips are so known obviously because they are also the shortest of all 3 pip types. But Short-Pips are also the stiffest of all three pip types. The Short-Pips are for all out attacking type hitting TTathletes known as the block & smash style almost extinct now on men’s side. The Long-Pips were the next to arrive in 70s. They have pips that are the longest of all pip types & also the least stiff (or most flexible) of all pip types. The Long-Pips have 2 subtypes. The chopping Long-Pips (or cLong-Pips) are for away from the table chop defense type play. The blocking Long-Pips (or bLong-Pips) are for close to the table blocking type play.  The third type of pips are the Medium-Pips which have characteristics in between Long-Pips & Short-Pips. There are many many other parameters that define the behavior of pips rubbers and explored in detail in another article at this website
  11. Smooth surface rubbers (relatively new & recently purchased & not the rubber on your racket “cooked” in your attic for 30 years LOL which is now actually anti-spin rubber) create lot more spin than pips-out rubbers
  12. Smooth rubbers are for (mostly) “spinning” the ball; pips-out rubbers are mostly for “hitting”.  Unfortunately more than 60 to 70% of TTathletes are forcing the issue by using the wrong rubber for wrong irrational reasons (such as hero worshipping fantasies or intense robotNazi peer pressure to use only smooth rubber regardless of reason),  such as mostly trying to “hit” the ball using smooth rubber.   & conversely, yes, there are a few TTathletes (but far fewer cases) who use PipsOut rubbers for spinning the ball but these are usually TTathletes not on the Table-Tennis club / tournament scene & are not are aware of the fact that better spinning rubbers such as smooth rubbers exist.(Usually the robotNazis convert them the same day to smooth rubber in a hurry as soon as they show up at a club LOL)
  13. A professional player using smooth rubber instinctively knows when to hit instead of spinning (& a professional player using Short-Pips instinctively knows when to spin instead of hitting). But from a transference viewpoint , a low level TTathletes obsessed with a specific professional player assumes the pro is hitting the ball most of the time whereas the pro is really not (the ball travels with both so much speed & spin but only the speed is visible to the amateur) .Therefore a lower level smooth rubber player must initially sacrifice hitting & must focus almost exclusively on spinning, as this is the simply nature of smooth rubber by design.(Conversely however, even lower level pips-out hitters should spend significant amount of time learning to TopSpin (loop) the ball, since “hitting” (or in more crass Ping-Pong terminology “smashing” or “slamming”) the ball is more natural at first for more humans until they learn to (top)spin the ball. the  Biggest mistakes that lower level TTathletes using spinny rubbers make, is to go for speed (watching professional TTathletes) .Smooth spinny rubber is mostly for “spinning” just as Short-Pips rubbers are mostly “hitting” or chopping type Long-Pips are for “chopping” or blocking type Long-Pips or Medium-Pips rubbers are for “blocking” or chopping type AntiSpin rubbers are for chopping or blocking type AntiSpin rubbers are for blocking) . When you start learning to play with smooth rubber, goal should be to maximize spin at minimum speed. You speed will improve as your level improve but don’t push it but let it come to you as improve.
  14. On the flip-side, once you have reached closed to your saturation consistency, you may want to revert back to learning to flat-hitting using smooth rubber or spinning (looping) with pips. This is extremely effective because one subconsciously expects heavier incoming (top)spin from smooth spinny rubber or expects no spin or little spin from (short)pips.
  15. Going forward blocking type Long-Pips will be referred to bLong-Pips & chopping type Long-Pips will be referred to as cLong-Pips whenever needed. bLong-Pips are usually used by close to the table blockers (almost exclusively on backhand) & is an unintended somewhat by product of original intended invention of cLong-Pips used by away from the table classic chop defenders. The cLong-Pips usually have very rough pip tops & lot more friction compared to bLong-Pips which have lot less friction possible pip tops as allowed by 2008 rule change (which drastically limited the minimum friction allowed).
  16. Medium-Pips rubbers are great for blocking at the table but also for attacking. Medium-Pips rubbers are far more effective for attacking with maximum thickness sponge rather than OX (no sponge) since spin is not the dominant factor as much as speed. It is always far better to use a thick sponge Medium-Pips rubber if it is the secondary rubber rather than Short-Pips with sponge (usually the primary rubber is the forehand rubber which is mostly smooth rubber & very few cases attacking Short-Pips rubber) .  A extremely rare case of using Medium-Pips on forehand & smooth spinny rubber on backhand  was 10 time US women’s Champion InSook Bhushan; but in this the smooth rubber on backhand was chopping almost exclusively but on the forehand she both chopped & attacked with Medium-Pips. The Medium-Pips rubber she used was Butterfly Magnitude (probably the best all around defensive / attacking rubber in the 38 mm ball era) & though listed as ITTF LARC legal, is not available in USA. More interesting  story about Butterfly Magnitude was that it was used on backhand with smooth rubber forehand  by 1985 World Women’s Singles Finalist Geng Lijuan.
  17.  Smooth rubbers provide more control (better error margins) via spin
  18. Most of the time the contact angle with the ball is near orthogonal for Short-Pips (with sponge) for hitting. However for TopSpin loops the racket is more open & upward (90 degrees to 60 degrees up from the table) using short-pips but more closed & forward (45 degrees to 5 degrees up from table) using smooth rubbers.
  19. Most of the time the contact angle with the ball is closed tangential for smooth rubbers
  20. Most of the time the contact angle with the ball is open tangential with Long-Pips rubbers
  21. Smooth spinny rubber is ONLY for younger TTathletes (who loop like mad from both wings)
  22. Smooth spinny rubber is a huge liability for older TTathletes (who don’t loop). You are wasting your time in Table-Tennis. Huh ! Why is that ?  Because  almost everyone knows how to play against smooth rubbers, as it is the most used rubber type (in most cases for wrong reasons). Therefore unless you topspin (loop) like mad most of the time, your other strokes using smooth rubber, such as your pushes or lobs or blocks or smashes etc etc (any stroke other than topspin loops) will be handled easily or in most cases responded with a merciless attack leaving you wondering why your fantasies of being a Waldner or Ma Long etc are sadly psychotic. If you are using smooth rubber for irrational reasons such just because it is fashionable & every one else who uses it says you also must use it, then you are just “attempting” to play the sport for all the wrong reasons.
  23. Older TTathletes are much better off using short & (medium or long) pips (ideally long or medium pips on backhand & Short-Pips on the forehand).   
  24. Pips-out rubbers provide more control via pip design.
  25. Peer pressure (& bullying) to use just smooth spinny rubbers (half out of sheer ignorance & half out of calculated bigotry)  regardless of individual style is the biggest disease infesting Table-Tennis due to lack of diversity education (needed from ITTF).
  26. For most TTathletes forehand is very different from backhand for many parameters such as consistency, style. Player A may have a great forehand loop but a hitting backhand. Player B may have a chopping forehand & looping / lobbing backhand Player C may have slow looping forehand & power looping backhand. Player D may have looping forehand & a blocking forehand . etc etc etc. Every single player in Table-Tennis is unique. (Try for example playing with your wrong hand (even if you are ambidextrous) & you will see how different your forehands & backhands are for different strokes, it is like two people in your body). If you cannot identify your style & match your racket design (forehand & backhand rubber types which will be most likely for most TTathletes) you are wasting your time playing Table-Tennis unless you are just playing for pure exercise & mindless fun rather than to play to your maximum potential.  
  27. Don’t choose your grip (penhold or shakehand or American style grip etc) just because everyone thinks this grip is superior to that grip or whatever today’s fad is. You are born, cursed or blessed with your grip. Generally most shakehanders cannot switch to penhold but most penholders can also play decent shakehand.
  28. In some parts of Asia, the shakehand grip is referred to as the horizontal grip & the penhold grip as the vertical grip. Some others also refer to the shakehand grip as European grip & the penhold grip as Asian grip
  29. With the development of reverse penhold technique, Chinese Penhold (or cPen) is clearly the superior grip if you are lucky to have been born with it.  (Reasons discussed in another paper at this website).  If you are a c-pen player you may want to consider switching to reverse penhold style if you are now using traditional old school c-pen grip (This is not to suggest everyone switch to c-pen because unless you are born with it it is not going to work for you.
  30. Every player is blessed (or cursed) with their unique style. Don’t try to imitate a professional player unless you are a fun & exercise player. To realize your maximum potential you need to identify the best racket design that matched your style that you are born with & there is no way around it. This means that your backhand is most likely very different from your forehand. Only a small percentage of TTathletes at the lower levels are capable of being two-winged loopers yet most of them not only fantasize about being one but also irrationally try to pressure their peers into a carbon copy of them.  Here is a glaring example from (lawn)tennis. Imagine if (lawn)tennis had ever passed a rule that two-handed backhands are illegal ……more than 80% of TTathletes (may be like 90% +) theses days use two-handed backhands. Why ? Only a handful like Federer, Sampras, Becker & McEnroe are blessed with the skill to be able to play one-handed backhand. 
  31. It is psychotic to believe that Table-Tennis will return to days of hardbat Table-Tennis as most rational TTathletes understand that sponge domain Table-Tennis accommodates better to individual styles by choosing almost exact racket design to match a unique style given that every single player is unique in Table-Tennis. Time has come for older TTathletes living in the past & worse interfering with the development of children & let children move on.
  32. Most amateurs spend most of their training working on their strengths. This is a HUGE mistake. An amateur in NEVER going to reach the consistency level of a professional (this is a pipe-dream). Amateur TTathletes must still spend some time trying to improve on their stronger strokes but bigger focus should be on diversity of stroke production. Learn as many strokes & serves as possible, which is not only beneficial but also makes playing the sport more enjoyable, even if you are playing only for exercise & fun. Every human has a saturation point of consistency and for the amateurs it is never going to be anywhere close to a talented gifted professional athlete. So identify *YOUR* saturation point for each stroke and don’t try to push it beyond unrealistic limits. Instead work on reaching *YOUR* saturation point  for each specific stroke on backhand & forehand, which is different for each human. It is more fun learning & improving on new strokes (& more importantly) new serves ANYWAY
  33. Obsessing over what racket a professional player uses &/or trying to imitate their playing style is borderline psychotic, mostly because in most case your natural playing style may be totally different. Also, you are not going to find the same exact racket that a professional player uses because in most cases it is probably highly customized though it looks like stock equipment for sponsorship purposes.  So find a racket that matches your own playing style not a professional player.
  34. If using smooth (spinny) rubber, your primary mindset should be all about spinning the ball (by “brushing” the ball) like mad , not “hitting” the ball.  If you don’t loop & use smooth spinny rubber it is a huge liability especially if you are older. Yes you can definitely ALSO hit using smooth rubber but that is not the primary purpose. If you mostly hit, switch to Short-Pips.
  35. Basement game of “Ping-Pong” may be played just using  your backhand  but “Table-Tennis” is primarily a forehand dominant sport. Yes backhand is equally important as you get better Table-Tennis but backhand in itself nowhere close to a sufficient & necessary condition to get to be decent Table-Tennis player. You are highly unlikely to walk into a tennis club & ask the coach just to teach you backhand only. Likewise thinking that you can dominate in Table-Tennis just with your backhand is just as absurd. Even if you happen to be maybe 5% to 10% of the human who have a better backhand than forehand, you are not going to get anywhere in Table-Tennis just with your backhand ONLY
  36. If a ball crosses your end-line, the error margin gets worse & worse if you are using smooth rubber. So unless the ball is VERY high, you want to loop (TopSpin) your return.
  37. If the incoming ball is very high & you can reach it inside your end-line, you may want to chop-kill the ball rather than straight-kill. This makes it harder for your opponent to counter-kill.
  38. If you are learning to loop first, you will initially miss 90% to 95% of your tries. This is normal as this is the nature of the stroke, since the contact angle for “brushing” the ball the ball is very acute & tangential  (as opposed to “hitting” the ball where the contact angle is vertical. Even the professional TTathletes miss up to 5% of their loops, which can be identified by them hitting the ball straight up with the racket edge, 30 to 40 feet straight up into the air (in tennis 50 to 60 feet).
  39. It may not make too much sense to go very wide against tall shakehand TTathletes, their weakness is towards middle inside of forehand near the body. On the other hand, penhold TTathletes maybe stronger in the middle & weaker wide to the sides especially if they are not playing reverse penhold    
  40.  If you are using (short or medium) pips your primary mindset is all about “hitting” the ball , not spinning it
  41. Any (smooth) rubber that produces more spin will also react more just as equally to more incoming spin
  42. There is no universally perfect rubber that can provide everything : spin, speed & control
  43. Control is very relative concept. It means different for a professional compared to an amateur
  44. No such thing as the best rubber for all styles. No rubber can do it all as marketing gimmicks claim
  45. You racket is mostly open if you use pips or anti ; mostly closed if you use smooth rubber
  46. In terms of Table-Tennis speed, closing back & forth forehand to backhand is a major consideration
  47. Lighter rackets allow for quick hand movements but less speed
  48. Heavier rackets give more speed & better control
  49. Carbon (or composite) rackets have bigger sweet spots & more speed but produce less spin
  50. With other things equal all wood blades provide more spin & less speed
  51. Control is provided by different mechanisms in all wood or composite blades
  52. All wood blades provide better control by feel & more spin (with other factors being equal)
  53. Composite blades provide better control via material design & larger sweet spots
  54. If your rubber & blade) does not closely match your playing style, quit playing Table-Tennis
  55. Don’t use a rubber (especially smooth) just because everyone else is using it or says so
  56. Start with smooth rubber if you are young & then move to pips if your style dictates
  57. Start with (short or medium) pips out rubber if you are much older & move to smooth if your style dictates
  58. If you are older & don’t loop , smooth rubber is a HUGE liability
  59. If you are young & don’t hit , (short / medium) pips is a HUGE liability
  60. Forehand & backhand skills are VERY VERY different for almost all humans. This is where sponge domain Table-Tennis enhances human skills by allowing proper choice of rubbers for your backhand & forehand. & yet 60 to 70% Table-Tennis TTathletes waste away their whole lift sheepishly choosing the same (or worse same type) rubber for both backhand & forehand & 90% coaches never bother to fix this issue either
  61. You can (MUST) use VERY different rubbers on your backhand & forehand if your style dictates so.
  62. To loop you need smooth rubber ; to hit you need short/medium pips rubber; to chop you need Long-Pips
  63. It is psychotic to think you can chop with smooth rubber both sides in modern Table-Tennis. The last great spinny smooth rubber chopper was Norio Takashima in the 70’s when cLong-Pips was invented to handle the heavy TopSpin loops Oddly, just before Takashima, another great spinny smooth rubber chopper was European Champion Zolan Berczik, who went on create the greatest trio of TopSpin loopers (Jonyer, Gergley & Klamapar) in the late 70’s.
  64. There are 100s if not 1000s of TTathletes on this planet who can beat a (long) pips player of more or less equal rating . So if you lose to a (long) pips player of more or less your equal rating, you only have yourself (or your technique, your wrong racket not matching your style, you paranoia etc) to blame.  So if you think a Long-Pips player at your level (whom 1000s of TTathletes in this at your level can beat) is pathetic , I guess that makes you even more pathetic
  65. Learning all types of blocking is essential : simple touch blocks,  muff clocks, power punch blocks & SideSpin blocks
  66. If you have trouble keeping heavy TopSpin returns on the table (& they shoot off the end), switching to American grip just to block may be a solution.
  67. The shape of your handle (straight, flared, conic, anatomic etc) and the size (diameter etc) are far more extremely critical than you think for playing at your best. One can write a book on various grips etc.   
  68. Almost every player (even at professional level) has a problem style that is his / her nightmare
  69.  If everyone can just win using (long) pips, everyone would be using Long-Pips but it is just not for everyone.
  70. Table-Tennis is not figure-skating. No style points for your pretending to be a two-winged looper.
  71. Consistency is probably the biggest myth for an amateur player (hacker) .
  72. Long-Pips have a virtual “amplification” effect when returning (but only when returning) a looped ball.  The total spin is the reversed spin of the opponent’s TopSpin added with the choppers’ s backspin but most importantly the amplified (back)spin created by the storage of energy due to long dwell time of the ball due to bending of the Long-Pips. This heavy spin can seem very deceptive to a new looper who has no prior experience playing against Long-Pips which in most cases may be due consciously avoiding practicing against Long-Pips ending up clueless in a tournament.  
  73. The heavier the TopSpin of the incoming loop, lot lot more heavier is the returned BackSpin from a long-pip chop (as compared to a return from smooth rubber), because this is the nature of Long-Pips by design (there is a actually a virtual spin “amplification” due to the Long-Pips getting bent (actually sort of crushed) & then straightening releasing the stored energy in the form very heavy BackSpin. If you can twiddle your racket & chop with the two different sides (Smooth & cLong-Pips) from either forehand & backhand, that would make the attacker extremely tentative because of excessive differences in amounts of BackSpin. At amateur level this has not been fully achieved because the defenders (using Long-Pips) usually do not have enough attacking skills. Curiously at the professional level this is not happening much especially in men’s side because of the very high speed 
  74. When using a combination racket with cLong-Pips & smooth spinny rubber, the returned BackSpin is much less from the spinny rubber side (usually forehand in most cases) compared to from Long-Pips side (usually from backhand). Maximizing the effectiveness of a combination racket to achieve this effect is exceedingly difficult & has rarely been seen at any level.
  75. Returning a loop with Long-Pips with even slight wrist action creates lot more amplified BackSpin compared to wrist action
  76. Thin slicing of the chop with (0 degree to floor racket angle) can produce tremendous BackSpin even with non-Long-Pips rubbers but requires a perfect stroke & foot-work & positioning. If you observe closely you can note this difference chopping techniques between the top 2 choppers Joo Sehyuk & Chen Weixing. Then again every chopper is different as is any Table-Tennis player compared to another.
  77. OX rubbers (or no sponge rubbers) give lot more control at lower levels. OX Long-Pips can also be more deceptive. However OX rubbers may not of much help at levels above about 2100 level (master level), because the incoming loops carry such heavy TopSpin that the ball will dig in deep past the rubber & may bounce off the wood uncontrollably & this is also why higher level TTathletes use maximum sponge under their Long-Pips….. even then the ball may sometimes dig deep past the even heavy sponge & bounce off the wood due to the excessive glued & boosted up illegal TopSpins of incoming loops     
  78. Diversity of strokes & serves (not consistency) is the only salvation for an amateur player (hacker).
  79. An amateur must recognize their saturation point of consistency for each of their best strokes & spend least time on those strokes & move on to maximizing consistency on other strokes that they are not as good  as much as possible because attempting to maximize your consistency on your best strokes is an exercise in futility if you are an amateur player, because you will never ever achieve the consistency of a professional player, however hard you try & that is reality……so move on to diversifying wide arsenal of strokes in Table-Tennis & have fun learning. A sad & glaring example of failure in this context is when two TTathletes spending hours mindlessly counter-driving for hours, fantasizing to be professionals. If you are an amateur player it is ok to do this for a few minutes but then move on to learning or improving (your consistency) of your less consistent strokes.     
  80. Playing for fun (& exercise) is great but is not the same as playing to your potential which is far more complicated.
  81. It’s ok to play for fun (& exercise) with wrong racket / rubber mismatched to your style but don’t whine about losing.
  82. More than 50% tournament TTathletes are using rackets / rackets mismatched to their style but whine
  83. If you are a coach & allow to a young player to start with pips (first) , that is coaching malpractice
  84. If you recommend a smooth rubber for an older player who cannot loop, that is coaching malpractice
  85. If a coach recommends to a classic chop defender to use smooth spinny rubber both sides, that is coaching malpractice
  86. Pips with rough tops / sides create more spin & least deceptive
  87. Pips with smoothest (as legal) top & sides create less spin & are more deceptive
  88. Pip rubber deception is based on a combination of several factors not just one though one may dominate
  89. Professional defenders prefer the least deceptive (meaning most controllable) Long-Pips not most deceptive (meaning least controllable)
  90. Two amateur TTathletes with Long-Pips don’t play against each other to pleasure your royal highness, that is the job of professional defenders
  91. Racket acceleration is the key to achieving maximum spin for smooth rubber loops or long-pip chops or for maximizing your speed for any flat-kills (known crudely as smash or slam) with short-pips (any rubber for that matter). You want to accelerate your stroke and reach maximum acceleration of you racket-hand at contact. If you approach the ball with same hand velocity (meaning no acceleration), you will probably look graceful & stylish but your stroke effectiveness will be far from optimal.
  92. The highest probability of an exciting match for spectators is when a professional defender plays an attacker
  93. Highest probability of a dull match with fewest rallies is when 2 loopers face each other, more so at lower levels.
  94. A match between 2 loopers at lower levels is more error prone & dull than a match between 2 long-pip athletes.
  95. A professional player can beat a top amateur with any rubber or a shoe but that does not prove a professional player can beat another professional player (at about same level) with any rubber. Point being, every player can play their best only with rubber / racket that best matches their TOTAL playing style (backhand & forehand)
  96.  Short-Pips is NOT designed to be a chopping rubber. Short-pips is a block & smash style rubber. Smooth rubber is a looping rubber NOT a chopping rubber. Simply because it is possible to chop with smooth or short-pips rubbers, it does not mean they are the best for chopping. IT JUST is not possible to have any one rubber surface to do everything (except that manufacturers will advertise that each of their rubbers can execute all strokes perfectly LOL)
  97. To maximize your potential, 60 to 70% of TTathletes need to use synergistic combination of two different type rubbers that matches their exact & total playing style.
  98. For a shakehander (who has what is known as the shakehander disease) the cross-over decision point whether to play a forehand or shakehand against incoming balls close to your body is a gray area. Faster players can get out of their body (like a cat falling from a tree always making a perfect landing !!)  and execute their powerful forehand in most cases (or backhand if that is your strength). In general to be safe, you want to learn to play the backhand against balls close to your body.
  99. RobotNazis, who cannot play using pips do NOT want you to use pips either because most of them cannot play against pips or have developed a mental block over time due to endless brainwashing by other robotNazis.

100.  Ball diameter increase was meant to speed up rallies but rallies now are actually faster due to far more powerful (composite hitech material) rackets.

101.  Lowered aspect ratio of pips, 40 mm ball & plastic ball had reduced BackSpin significantly for defenders while unenforceable glue & booster fake rules provide ever increasing spins for defenders.

102.  For long (& TopSpin) serves, the server must drop the ball on server’s side nearest to the server’s end-line

103.  For short (& BackSpin) serves, the server must drop the ball on server’s side nearest to the net (on server’s side)

104.  If you can read the logo on the incoming ball (especially incoming serves) , then the ball has minimal spin


105.  Good foot-speed with bad reflexes > you may be an away-from-the-table-style (lob, chop) player using smooth rubber &/or Long-Pips

106.  Good reflexes > You may be able to play at-the-table-block-&-smash-pips-out style rather the away from the table

107.  Coaching malpractice > Trying to coach every student to be your mirror image when not a single student will ever be your mirror image because every single player in Table-Tennis has their unique style

108.  Unless you are defensive player you may want to TopSpin each & every single serve or ball. Even if it is extremely short on your forehand, the new trend is to step around & banana loop it. This is because if you are an attacking player, you want to prevent the opponent from initiating the first (big) loop.

109.  Every return you make must have a purpose even if you are caught out of position. Don’t just try to lob the ball for instance. Try to lob deep . Try to lob with SideSpin. If you are blocking or chopping see if you can block with SideSpin.

110.  As the saying goes, not taking any risk at all may be the biggest risk you take. An example of this is when you see defensive TTathletes attack all out when it is deuce.

111.  Unless you are K-Pen (Korean penhold with extreme emphasis on forehand) player with ridiculous foot-speed+reflexes, everyone has moved on to using an equal backhand whether shakehand or C-Pen (with reverse penhold). Even at amateur levels it is no longer to play the K-pen style that even some top C-pen or even shakehand player played (stepping around to play like a penholder).

112.  TTathletes at the amateur level mostly play for their own exercise & fun & not to entertain any spectators, which is the job of professional TTathletes. So it is absurd to argue that it is boring to watch two amateur Long-Pips TTathletes. On the other hand at the professional level the likelihood of far more entertaining match is when a Long-Pips defender is involved , while more often than not.  a match between two third-ball attackers even at professional level is a comedy of errors  & boring to spectators.

113.  It is childish to argue that any player can use any rubber as long as they have the proper technique (they just can’t) just because a professional player can easily beat an amateur player with any rubber (or a shoe or frozen fish). That proves absolutely nothing because when you compare two TTathletes (of different styles) you need to compare them at more or less equal skill levels (not an amateur against a professional etc).  A professional player being able to beat a high level amateur player using a frozen fish for a racket does not prove the same professional player can beat ALL professional TTathletes using Long-Pips etc for example. Yet this is the childish & silly argument presented by robotNazi hatemongers to justify their disgust for any pips etc.  

114.  If I am an amateur player, learning all possible strokes (diversity) is my only salvation over making my dominant strokes more consistent but you also tell me I am born with my style. So how does it matter what rubbers (racket design) I use ? Very good question . My point is that you should FIRST choose a racket design that matches your dominant style & THEN learn all possible strokes & serves using that while also spending some time (but not a lot) maximizing your stronger strokes, if you are not already at saturation point of your consistency. As an example it is quite difficult to loop using Long-Pips ; however every time you do (a fake loop with minimum spin using Long-Pips, especially from the same side where you loop using your spinny smooth rubber) you will most likely win the point because the ball has little spin (dummy loop or fake loop) & all the table blockers will put the return in the bottom of the net. On the flip side, it is relatively harder to chop these days against a powerful loop using smooth rubber but if you can chop with variations using smooth rubber , the ball will float long. & yes you can loop with Short-Pips effectively or hit effectively with smooth rubber but you have to choose your racket design before you get to the issue of working on your diversity (of stroke production) over wasting minimal time striving in futile for consistency on your stronger strokes.

115.  You can also execute fake or dummy loops (loops with minimal spin) by contacting the ball just like you would do to execute a no spin serve, which is to contact the ball as close to racket handle as possible. The dummy loop is very effective against at the table blockers, who take every ball right off the bounce and redirect the ball to the opposite corner and torture you.    

116.  Don’t just throw the ball up there on the table hoping the opponent will somehow miss. Examples :- If you lob , lob deep . If you push or block , place the ball to points where the opponents cannot attack easily but feels awkward. Most important, add SideSpin to every stroke if possible such as a SideSpin push or side-block or fade-loops or hook-loops etc as straight spins are usually easy to handle even at lower levels but SideSpins are not.

117.  The types of spin & ball travel are very much identical to an ElectroMagnetic wave (EM wave) which form the basis television & other telecommunications etc . The EM wave is described by a 3 dimensional model of analytic geometry.

118.  The EM wave itself travels in the Z direction. The most fascinating fact about an EM waves is that (though they are all around you & everywhere),  it seems to contain neither an electric energy by itself such to electrocute someone nor contains magnetic energy such as in a strong magnet that can viciously pull certain elements like iron towards it…….& yet amazingly together they carry the EM energy to long distances & can be used to transmit information for all telecommunications). 

119.  The Electric component of the EM wave is located in the Y direction & the Magnetic component in X direction. Using the same principle, the Table-Tennis ball travels in +z direction from striker to receiver. If the ball has TopSpin, both the ball travel & spin occur in Z direction (spinning towards the receiver). If the ball has BackSpin the ball is spinning in –Z direction (towards the striker) but travels in +Z direction towards the receiver. If the ball also has SideSpin it occurs in the X direction (about a plane parallel to the ground or table) . It can spin towards the left or right of striker (same as towards left or right of receiver). The third component is referred to as CorkScrew Spin which occurs on Y axis  (about a plane perpendicular to both the table or ground as well to direction of ball travel) . Looking from the striker CorkScrew Spin can occur in either clockwise or CounterClockwise direction. The ball cannot have both TopSpin & BackSpin or theoretically in other words if they do, it is the 5th type of spin or NoSpin situation where the ball simply travels from striker to receiver without spin of any three types whatsoever as in purely “hitting” at the ball with a pure vertical contact & imparting zero spin on the ball (in this case the ball travels the shortest distance at maximum speed from point A to B in a pure straight line trajectory, compared to a ball with any type of spin in which case it takes longer to travel the same distance equal to as in the hitting case above since the ball travels in a curved trajectory). Unfortunately however, what makes Table-Tennis such a complex sport for even master level TTathletes (exclusion being professional TTathletes …….mostly)  is the fact that either TopSpin or BackSpin can get combined with BOTH SideSpins & CorkScrew spins by various strokes & racket angles of strokes, because usually there is no such thing as pure SideSpin or pure CorkScrew spin & they seem to come as a package but of varying proportions & this usually gets combined with either TopSpin or BackSpin.

120.  The above 3 dimensional mostly linear model is not entirely valid at slow speeds (mostly serves & returns coming to you from Long-Pips) since in this case has little spin but “wobbles” or “vibrates”  about the direction of travel.  This sort of follows an n-dimensional non-linear model & this is what drives many paranoid robotNazis to mental institutions. When you try to attack these low speed returns or serves the ball wobbles off the axis of travel if Z direction & your returns are completely off from where you expected it to go. This effect is far less with cLong-Pips as compared to bLong-Pips. At higher speeds however, this low speed effect is very minimal & returns from cLong-Pips are normal chop returns (except that the returned BackSpin against your heavy loop TopSpins is amplified & extremely heavy) & smashes from bLong-Pips are just dead ball with no spins.

121.  If you brush the bottom of the ball by moving your racket from your right to left(or brush on top of the ball moving your racket left to right), you create clockwise CorkScrew spin

122.  If you brush the bottom of the ball by moving your racket from your left to right(or brush on top of the ball moving your racket right to left), you create CounerClockwise CorkScrew spin

123.  If you brush on the back of the ball (the side closest to your body & farthest away from receiver) moving your racket from your right to left you create SideSpin towards the receiver’s left; If you brush on the left-side of the ball (the side closest to your body & farthest away from receiver) moving your racket forward towards the receiver, it is the same as above,  you create SideSpin towards the receiver’s left;

124.  If you brush on the back of the ball (the side closest to your body & farthest away from receiver) moving your racket from your left to right you create SideSpin towards the receiver’s right; If you brush on the left-side of the ball (the side closest to your body & farthest away from receiver) moving your racket forward towards the receiver, it is the same as above,  you create SideSpin towards the receiver’s right

125.  Generally if the server ends FINAL contact with the ball with rackethead moving upwards, it is primarily (but not entirely) some sort of a TopSpin serve combined with either CorkScrew spin & SideSpin or both) . By FINAL contact it is meant that the server will likely move the hand downwards to create drama to confuse the receiver

126.  Generally if the server ends FINAL contact with the ball with rackethead moving downwards, it is primarily  (but not entirely) some sort of a BackSpin serve, combined with either CorkScrew spin  & SideSpin or both).

127.  To maximize spin during serve, ball contact should be made as close as possible to the tip of racket farthest away from the hand

128.  To minimize spin (as in no spin) contact should be made on the racket  closest to the hand

129.  While blocking against a heavy TopSpin loop, make initial contact of the ball closest to the hand as the ball will ride up the length of the racket for better control. If you contact the ball farthest away from hand at racket tip, the ball will most likely shoot off with minimal control

130.  Last but not least : - Is regluing illegal ?  No regluing is not at all illegal. Only certain solvents known as VOC are illegal. However ITTF would like to confuse & mislead the public & the IOC. This is a very complex issue way beyond scope here to explore & explain.


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