Forehand forward Loop (off no spin or top spin) (Guide From
the Chinese National Team):
This is a stroke that can't be seen on video to determine how to do. However, if you understand how to do the stroke, the video will make much more sense to you. The reason being that players are very quick and the video can't catch the right moment. If you get this stroke right, I guarantee your looping level will go at least 2 notches higher.
- Be sure you are loose and relaxed. Not only your shoulder and wrist should be loose, but also your torso.
- Use your waist. This does not mean your shoulders. Many people use their upper body instead of their lower abdomens. Try and think of shifting your weight from one leg to the other while twisting your waist.
- When you do the stroke, wind back, this includes your waist and your forearm. Use your waist to bring your big arm back and bring back only your forearm, not your big arm.
- Accelerate to the ball while keeping loose. When you make contact with the ball, your muscles should be a little more tight. The moment after you hit the ball as your following through, you should be loose again.
- Make sure your body moves with the arm
Those were the basics, here are some things that I have learned from Top Chinese coaches.
- If you watch a player like Wang Liqin, you can see him using his whole arm when they forehand loop. Many coaches tell you that you should only snap your forearm. This was the old way of looping. If you tell them to loop with their whole arm, they will continue to say its wrong. However, this is the new technique and i ensure you it is not only more powerful, but more accurate.
- When using the whole arm, you still have to snap your forearm, but you also use your big arm.
- It is very important to hit the ball into the foam of the rubber. Not the rubber sheet nor so deep it reaches into the blade. When you make contact with the ball, your paddle should be 80-90 degrees (Perpendicular to the ground). If the ball goes off the table, DO NOT solve the problem by closing your paddle on contact. Instead keep it at 80-90 degrees and follow through more
forward or down, however you choose after hitting the ball. This is one quick motion and remember keep loose. If it goes into the net, follow through up more. REMEMBER JUST BECAUSE YOU SHOULD NOT CLOSE THE PADDLE ON CONTACT DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD NOT CLOSE IT AFTER YOU HIT IT. WHAT I MEAN BY THIS IS AS SOON AS THE BALL TOUCHES THE RUBBER, YOU CAN CLOSE THE PADDLE TO KEEP THE PADDLE QUICK BUT INTO THE FOAM OF THE RUBBER.
- Turn your wrist when the ball makes contact with the rubber as to keep it in the foam. You do not have to turn it a whole lot, but just to give the ball some "encouragement". The usage of wrist varies from situation to situation.
- Also remember: when you wind back to prepare for the stroke, the paddle should start at the ball's current height.
- When looping more away from the ball, your opposite foot of your paddle arm should be parallel to the back of the table. (if your right-handed it your left foot and visa versa)
- If it seems inaccurate, make sure you are making contact with the ball at 80-90 degrees and into the foam.
- Because you are using your whole arm to loop, you can follow through as much as you want. What i mean by this, is that lots of coaches in North America say you should follow through to your nose. This again, is the old style of looping with just snapping the forearm.
- Do not be afraid that the ball will go off the end of the table, you can accelerate as fast as you want as long as you direct the ball in the follow through while keeping it in the foam.
- Also remember, when you are looping closer to the table, you don't use your big arm as much, but you still do to add some power.
- When practicing, sometimes when you don't get it, remember that the paddle has to be perpendicular to the ground. Sometimes it may feel like your doing it, but your actually not. To resolve this, try slowing down and make sure you hit the ball into the foam.
- One of the principles is that when the ball is in the foam, you can control it as it "sticks" to your rubber as you turn your wrist. The longer it stays, the more control you have.
- When looping this way, you use the whole arm. However, you don't always use it completely. When you are close to the table, you may use half effort of the big arm. As you are more away from the table you should now fully use the big arm. As you get more advanced, you can use more usage of the big arm when closer to the table. You can start by using a little bit of your big arm when looping. And as you get more "feeling" for the ball, you can start to put a little more big arm power in.