Coaching Forum Article


ROBO-COACH
KILL THAT CHOP!

By: Richard McAfee, USATT Certified National Coach

Hitting against the under spin ball is rapidly becoming a lost art in this country. During the last 30 years the loop-drive has become the stroke of choice in attacking under spin. The result is that you often see loopers who have no ability to "kill" a high chop. While the loop-drive is a safer shot as the ball travels higher over the net and lands in a shorter distance; it does have its weaknesses when dealing with the under spin ball.

First, speed is always a superior weapon over spin. While any spin has the potential of being returned (often being used against you), you can produce speed that your opponent cannot physically return. No matter what your style, everyone should be able to make a kill against an under spin return. Here's how!

1. Make contact with the ball at the top of its, bounce. Once the ball begins to fall it cannot be hit. It must be spun.

2. The contact point on the ball is the center or slightly below the center of the ball. The heavier the under spin, the lower the contact point.

3. Make "force", not friction, when you contact the ball.

4. The direction of the racket is forward and up (push up at contact).

5. The heavier the under spin the more you should accelerate your racket through the ball.

6. Stroke towards your target.

(Editor's Note: You may view an animated GIF of this stroke by going to http://www.newgy.com/TTCommunity/Archive/lesson75.html or a stroboscopic picture of the stroke by going to http://www.newgy.com/TTCommunity/Archive/lesson57.html.)

Practice Drills

Your Newgy Robot is the perfect practice partner for learning to kill a chop. First set your Newgy to produce a medium high chop to your forehand (no oscillation). Start off by pushing a few balls to get the feel of the spin. Now begin to hit against the under spin using the technique described above.

When you feel comfortable hitting against under spin, try mixing looping and hitting together. Finally, set your Newgy to oscillate under spin over ? of the table. Try to loop several balls in a row and then finish with a forehand kill.

By practicing these basics with your Newgy Robot, you too will know the satisfaction that comes when you "Kill That Chop".

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