By Larry Hodges
When you push (backspin vs. backspin), you don’t think of yourself as “going for a shot.” It’s just an easy shot that you can normally do over and Over and OVER, with few mistakes. But when you learn to loop (topspin vs. backspin, forehand or backhand), at first it’s a tricky and erratic shot. Why is this? If you loop relatively slow, the shot isn’t that much faster than a push. Just as with a push, you are brushing the ball to create spin. There are few reasons why it should be any less consistent than a push. And yet, players often loop with the mentality that they are “going for a shot,” and so it’s acceptable to miss a lot of them.
Yes, there are certain aspects that make looping trickier than pushing, and I could write extensively about the differences. But that would be counter-productive – the point here is that many players, at least subconsciously, way over-estimate the difficulty of looping consistently against a push (or any other ball for that matter), and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Instead, why not tell yourself how easy it is, that it’s no harder than pushing? When you drop the “going for a shot” mentality and instead think of it as just another shot you can do over and Over and OVER, your consistently will go up quite a bit. The reality is that unless you are going for a huge loop kill, or have completely misread the spin, or are out of position, looping a push should be EASY and nearly 100% consistent. Think of it that way, and while you might not get to 100% consistency, we’ll settle for 90% and a huge increase in your level of play.
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