Hi guys – thanks for joining me. In this video I want to talk about the number one mistake that I think players, especially intermediate level players, make when they are using long pips, when they are using antispin.
The number one mistake I think that they tend to make is that they tend to try and do too much with the long pips or with the antispin.
They try to do miracles instead of just good shots.
I think that when you are using the long pips or antispin (but I’ll probably stick with long pips for the purpose of this video), the long pips are designed to work very well within a narrow range of operating conditions, and outside that range they don’t work very well at all.
They are very good at certain things and pretty bad at other things.
Now if you model your game, your playing style, if you model that using mainly the things that the long pips find tough to do, you’ll probably going to find that you make a lot more mistakes than you really should, and your level of play will be lower due to these mistakes. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to play well using the things that long pips aren’t very good at, it is possible to do, but it does require an awful lot of training to be able to work and use the tough techniques successfully, and most intermediate level players don’t have that level of training to make that happen. Whereas when you work within the narrower range of where the long pips work well, what you are going to find is that your level of play will be a lot higher because you are not making a lot of simple mistakes.
The long pips (and to a certain extent antispin) are generally very good at controlling the ball and taking the spin and adding to that spin that’s already on the ball. They are not so good at killing the spin or changing the spin. The typical example is that when somebody loops the ball at me with a lot of heavy topspin, it’s reasonably easy for me to chop on the ball and increase the topspin that they have put on it, so that when it goes back to the opponent, it’s even heavier backspin. It’s not so easy for me to take their topspin loop and try to topspin it back myself and actually kill their topspin and put my own topspin, change the spin back.
OK – so that’s what we are talking about. They (long pips and antispin) are good at one thing, but not so good at the other.
What are Long Pips & Antispin Good For?
Now for an example, the sort of things that the long pips are good for, if you are using mainly these in your game, you’ll have a lot more success.
- If you are using them for chopping against topspin loops.
- If you are using them for a steady block with not too much pace against topspin balls.
- If you are using it for the shovel push against backspin where you take their backspin and turn it into a little bit of topspin and use it to place the ball around.
- If someone chops the ball, if you use it to topspin, it can do a fairly good job of that,
- And of course against the sidespin/backspin and those sort of things, the sidespin swipes they are quite good at.
So if you are using a lot of those techniques you’ll probably find that you don’t make too many mistakes, you’ll have a lot of success.
What are Long Pips & Antispin Not Good At?
If however, in your game you are using a lot of these type of techniques, you’re gonna find that unless you play a lot, you’re probably making too many mistakes, and the examples are:
- You trying to topspin against a topspin loop – that’s difficult, not impossible, but generally difficult.
- If someone is chopping the ball and you’re trying to chop it heavily back – difficult.
- If someone loops the ball and you’re trying to fast block with the pimples, block very very quickly – difficult because the topspin turns into backspin off your block, and tends to make the ball float, and float off the end of the table, it doesn’t dip.
- Trying to float against a loop and actually kill the spin on a loop is not an easy shot to play – it’s hard to actually do that variation, especially up at the table, it’s not easy to do.
- And against a float ball coming at you, a fast hit, hitting the ball very quickly, that’s also not that easy unless the ball is very high and you can hit the ball down onto the table.
So if your game revolves around using those tough techniques, at the intermediate level, if you are not playing a lot, you are probably making too many mistakes. You are trying to make the rubber do something it’s not really designed to do, you are working outside the correct zone for it, making your life harder.
Example – Long Range Defender
As an example, for myself as a long range defender, I work mainly within the stuff that my long pips can do, and I only occasionally use some of the tougher techniques for a variation. So as a long range defender, I’ll use the chop vs a loop from a long distance, I’ll use the block, a steady block against a topspin when I’m caught up at the table. When someone pushes at me I don’t mind using the shovel push. If someone does push I will occasionally roll the ball and use the topspin vs a chop – not necessarily trying to get a loop effect but just change up, give a different look, and that’s a pretty steady shot for me because I’m not trying to hit it too fast or hit it too powerfully, I’m just using the change of pace. The sidespin swipe I don’t use a lot personally, it’s just not in my arsenal of shots. But other people could do that.
Out of the tough shots that I could play, the main ones I’ll usually use is trying to float the ball against a loop and kill the spin, and even if I get that wrong it just means that I don’t necessarily miss the shot, I just don’t kill the spin very much, so it’s still safe. The heavy chop vs a chop – I’ll use that technique – not so much to really try and spin the ball, but to kill the spin and get some variation. I’m not really trying to turn it into a heavy chop of my own which some people try and do with the long pips.
The other stuff in the tough area I don’t generally try and do. I don’t loop against a loop, I’ll block, I’ll play safe or chop. So I working within my zone. Although there are techniques there that some intermediate players could play much better than I could play, I’m playing at a better level because I’m working much more within what my rubber can do, therefore I’m making less mistakes, I have more consistency and I’m finding it a lot easier.
All false modesty aside, I’m one of the best long pip players in Australia still, and I’m not attempting to try and do miracles with this stuff. There’s not a lot of people I’ve seen in Australia who can really do incredible things with long pips consistently at a high level because the restrictions of the material make it very very tough to do successfully unless you are playing a lot.
For me I think probably the number one mistake for you guys who are at an intermediate level using long pips, using antispin and trying to improve, have a look at your game, analyse what you are doing, and see how often you are trying to attempt shots that are on the tough list, versus the shots that are on the good list, that are easy to work with with the long pips. If you find you are using the tough ones too often, either you need to practice them more, or you need to be thinking a bit more about your game and start cutting out some of those tough ones, use them less often, use them as an occasional variation, use them in slightly easier situations. If you can do that I think you’ll find that your game will improve a lot. OK? Thanks.