Welcome back. Today is Sunday, and we come back to the Ping Sunday free coaching table tennis. I’m EmRatThich, and we continue with the “New Trend in Table Tennis Series” – Part 3. Miu Hirano.
I’ve talked about Zhang Jike (part 1), Harimoto Tomokazu (part 2), and this is part 3: Miu Hirano. She is considered the first female table tennis player who was successful with this new “style” in table tennis. For me, Miu Hirano is phenomenal, exceptional because she is the first female player who invented many “attacking weapons” with the new ball.
Training Camp in China
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But first of all, a player from Germany has emailed me.
“Dear coach, I owe you more than a thank. By reading your blog (pingsunday), I know about the China Training Camp. And I’ve been selected this summer at Shanghai University of Sport.”
Congratulation! I’m very happy for you.
It’s great! Because this China Training Camp 2018 has covered the tuition fee and lodging during the summer. I hope you enjoy your training with the Chinese coach in Shanghai.
Origin of the new trend in table tennis
ITTF has an initial idea to “slow down the game” and to “stop the dominance of China”. So they change the ball’s size. But it works in another way. The new ball has made a new trend which relies on “speed”. Now top players hit even faster, and stay closer to the table (Harimoto style). This style has many advantages with the new ball. So the game is not as balanced and varied as before.
Miu Hirano is the first player that applied successfully the “new trend of table tennis”.
I’ve explained the principle of this trend in my previous video. This trend will affect how young players train, tactics, and playing-style in table tennis. In the near future, you will see more young players with a similar style like Harimoto or Miu Hirano.
Here is a research article “Effect of changing table tennis ball from Celluloid to Plastic” by the Japanese researcher, Yuki Inaba.
They have confirmed my observation about the new ball: The Y-axis is the vertical position or the height of the bounce, the X-axis is the distance after the bounce. You can clearly see that, the Plastic ball will bounce higher, and advance shorter, slower.
The red curve is for the Plastic ball. The blue one is for the Celluloid ball (old ball). Even for a smash, or a drive with spin, the new ball will bounce higher, and advance slower. This will give the player more time to “counter-hit”. This is the reason for the new trend.
That’s is one of the reasons that the Japanese national coaching staff has modified Miu Hirano’s techniques. They want a new generation who can compete with the top Chinese players. A war is just beginning!
After only 1 year, Miu Hirano has changed completely. I remember watching Miu Hirano in the interview on TV Tokyo Channel.
Miu Hirano said,
“My forehand has completely changed. Instead of looping, as usual, I hit the ball off the bounce”.
So that means, Miu Hirano’s playing style is more like “counter-hit”, or “counter-attack” style now. She will use more shoulder to hit and hit the ball before the highest bounce. It’s rather risky because you can miss the ball, but higher reward because you dominate the rally with your speed.
What is the “Counter hit” style?
Maybe some player will wonder, what is the “counter-hit” or “counter-attack” style? OK!
So let’s see some examples of Harimoto, and you will understand what I meant.
Have you seen that? Counter hit style is hitting the ball very soon, on the bounce. Aggressive attack all the ball close the table. Focus on the speed. The racket position is high. It’s more like hitting than topspinning.
Counter hit all the long ball. Risky but high reward shot.
Miu Hirano’s success
In 2017, Miu Hirano is the biggest phenomenon in table tennis. She was the first player who brought the new trend in table tennis. She has also changed her equipment for this new trend.
Asian championships 2017 was a real breakthrough tournament for Japan’s young Miu Hirano. She turned just 17 on the same day when she won the women’s singles final and took the gold medal!
Miu Hirano has won against Ding Nìng. It was a big surprise. Because at this time, players and coaches are not very familiar with this aggressive hitting style. Miu Hirano played a lot of long balls, and then attack to the wide corner. It’s so pressured to play with this style.
And then, Miu Hirano has won 4-0 against Zhu Yu Ling.
And in the final, she won Chen Meng to become the youngest Asian Champion in history.
Liu Guoliang has analyzed this defeat of the Chinese Women Team. And he confirmed that Miu Hirano is a real talent.
He proposed that the team should “learn” from this defeat, and asked the team to study this “trend” in table tennis.
So now you understand that this new trend in table tennis is originally developed in Japan. This trend fits well Japanese table tennis players because they are smaller, and less physical strength, less power than Chinese players. So to compete with the full power-horse of Chinese player, they (Japanese) will rely on the speed and the aggressiveness.
What should I do with the new trend?
So if you are the female table tennis player? Or your daughter, your friend wants to adapt to this new trend? What should you do?
Here is my quick advice:
- Focus more on the counter-attack, and counter hit on the bounce.
- With the new trend, you don’t need to serve short. But can learn a high risk fast, or long serve. And then counter-attack the next ball.
- Put the opponent under pressure. Each time they serve, you attack the serve with the flick or the aggressive long push. It’s easier to attack the serve with the new ball now.
- If you are a coach, you can incorporate some “fast rallies” counter-hit training for your players. And ask the player to attack at the wide-angle on both sides.
- Use backhand to hit the ball close to the table. This gives some advantages: Like using the own speed of the ball to win, making the opponent less time to react, and don’t block but counter-hit every ball.
I hope that this video can help you understand more the recent trend in table tennis, which focuses a lot on speed, reaction time, aggressiveness in service, and service return.
Watch video above ☝.
The trend is shifted more from “steady and powerful attack” at mid-distance (domination the scene during 2010-2016) to “quick attack and counter hit close to the table” (from 2016-now).
That’s it for today. See you 🙂
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