Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shenzhen Ping Pong: adding serve to the drills

This is a follow-up to the previous blog entry (here) about the two to the backhand, one to the forehand drill - aka the Falkenburg drill.

Most drills are just that: simply drills. In other words, doing a drill isn't like playing a point.

Performing a drill competently doesn't necessarily translate well into game play. Sometimes this can be rather frustrating: especially when what we practice doesn't work when we encounter the same situation during point play. For amateurs like myself, this can seem very discouraging and make the drills seem rather pointless.

To counteract this situation, one can simply integrate elements of point play into a drill. Here what follows is a two stage approach.

It looks rather complicated but stage 2 is just the same footwork drill as before: 2 to the backhand (to be taken with the backhand followed by the forehand, respectively), followed by 1 to the forehand.

Stage 1 will segue into Stage 2 but begins by
(1) you serving underspin.
(2) Your partner pushes the ball back to your backhand.
(3) you forehand loop it into his backhand.
(4) He blocks down the line into your forehand.
(5) You forehand loop down the line.
And (6) he blocks back to your backhand. And then Stage 2 ensues.

In stage 2:
(7) you backhand drive cross-court to his backhand.
(8) He blocks it straight back to you.
(9) You forehand loop from the backhand side.
(10) He blocks down the line.
(11) You forehand loop down the line. And repeat from step (7).

(Note it's not so complicated for the partner. All he has to do is simply repeatedly block two to the backhand, one to the forehand except for that initial push return of serve to the backhand.)

I think it's considerably easier to watch than to describe. Let's go to the video:

(Direct link here.)

This complication (stage 1) gives the footwork drill the flavor of playing points.

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