I’ve figured out something major about generating power when looping in Table Tennis. I touched on it briefly in a previous post, but wanted to tighten my thoughts with a follow-up. The failure to generate true power when looping comes from a simple, catastrophic mistake — performing a loop motion rather than simply coiling and swinging.
This distinction cannot be overstated.
I have briefly been exposed to this fact a couple of times in the past, but I never “got it” for some reason. I never realized what people meant when they said “let go”. Now I do.
Essentially, a true power shot has no boundaries or form when being executed. It ends up having a form, but it doesn’t follow one.
That’s the key. When an expert looper executes a powerful spin attack, they are really just coiling their body and releasing that energy into the ball. They aren’t “doing” a loop stroke, which is what 95% of players do (including myself up until last week).
The moment you try and “do a motion” or “perform a stroke”, you completely confine yourself in terms of power. A person doing this is restricted, tight, and wholly lacking in spin and speed.
What you have to do is coil and swing, but in a disciplined, technical way. That seems like a contradiction, but it’s not; the trick is that none of the discipline or technique is actively applied during the shot; at that point it’s already muscle memory. So during the shot it’s simply a coil and uncoil; the loop form that so many strive for comes naturally.
On The Table
So the next time you want to practice looping, try this:
- Get a picture of a good loop stroke looks like, i.e. a Waldner or Liquin example with the excellent body turn and weight transfer. Let the image soak in, then put it out of your mind.
- Tell yourself that for the rest of the night you’re not going to “loop”, but instead just “swing” at the ball.
- For the swing , get low and coil the body fully. You want your shoulders roughly perpendicular to the end of the table. You really want to feel like you have a ton of energy stored in your legs and waist.
- When the ball comes, wait a little longer on it (let it fall a bit) and then just unload on it. Don’t “loop” — just uncoil on it at full speed. Whip your body all the way around (almost violently) while transferring your weight forward to your front foot and grazing the ball. Think raw. Think wild.
This will seem completely uncontrolled and very much different from your regular “loop motion”. That’s good. And you’ll probably miss a lot. That’s fine too.
Keep it up, and focus on keeping the raw feeling of not holding anything back. Within a few shots you’re going to land one of them, and when you do you’ll see the surprise on your opponent’s face. Your ball is going to have an extreme amount of spin on it compared to your normal shot, and it’s going to come at your opponent a whole lot faster as well.
True looping requires a relaxed, loose movement and feels completely different from “trying to follow a loop motion”. Once you experience it you’ll see a night and day difference between it and what you were doing before, and at that point you’ll be looping.
Good luck, and if you have any questions feel free to contact me.: