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Backhand topspin attack - Amateur vs Pro (Tom Lodziak on YouTube)

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Here’s a lovely slow-mo comparison of Liam Pitchford’s backhand technique versus that of an amateur.

The main things I take from it are:

  • his posture – really low with weight forward
  • how far in front of his body he strikes the ball – it’s way in front of his head and even in front of his non-playing hand, with impact at the back edge of the table
  • the bat angle at the start (forehand side facing ceiling like you’re holding a frying pan)
  • as he prepares, the bat’s left edge tilts up a bit and he gets slightly lower
  • elbow moves forward (helping him rotate wrist back) but only as far as to create a virtual parallel horizontal line with the table’s back edge. This is the perfect stopping point for wrist pivoting (whereas I’ve let the elbow go further forward which is unnatural)
  • uses wrist to bring bat tip way back to point back at his belly button – I think this greater “travel distance” might be crucial versus an amateur’s version of a wristy backhand
  • then there’s a little forearm forward movement and a lot of wrist rotation to get the bat to the impact point
  • stays low and on follow-through the bat only gets as high as his chin
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