New Trend In Table Tennis: Harimoto Tomokazu

New Trend In Table Tennis: Harimoto Tomokazu

Welcome back! The weekend is coming. And PingSunday is back. Today, we will talk
about the “New Trend in Table Tennis”, part 2. The success of Harimoto Tomokazu. And, as a table tennis player, have you well
prepared for this new trend? Last week, I’ve talked about the Zhang Jike’s
playing style. In my opinion, his style
is not very adapted for this trend. But many fans didn’t agree with me. In the Hong Kong
Open, Zhang Jike lost at Round 32, which is rather disappointing. And recently, in China Open, Zhang Jike lost
to Harimoto Tomokazu 0-4. So my
observation is not totally wrong, right? But today, we won’t focus on Zhang Jike, but
we talk about you! Have you well prepared for this trend in table
tennis. Well, this trend is not very new. People were talking about since 2016, I think. Since the
old ball has been replaced with the new ball, players and coaches have realized the
“trend”, the “tendency” of the modern table tennis. But until now, after more than 2 years that
I talk about this. Because, we need to wait
about 2-3 years, when the new, young generation player has learn this new trend. So now,
is the right moment to explain about this. Many young players in China, in Japan have
also trained and modify their style to adapt to this new trend. And the coaches have also notified about this. You can
clearly observe the difference right now, in the international competition. Let’s me explain to you “what is exactly the
trend in table tennis right now”. This is what happens to the old ball. It’s much more easier to spin the old ball. The old
ball is the first generation of 40mm ball, or even 38mm ball. With the spin, it will
bounce lower, and faster on the 1st bounce. And this is for the new ball. The new ball is the “40+ non celluliod ball”. It has the size
about 40 to 40.6 mm. While the old 40 ball is about from 39.5 to
40.5 mm. But the problem
is not only the size of the ball. The new 40+ ball is a thicker, and harder
also. It has less spin, and will bounce higher,
and shorter compared to the old ball, like this. Why this changes the trend of table tennis? There are 3 things here. 1st, the ball will
bounce higher, so player does not care much about spin of the ball. Player now can hit
it very soon. They can’t do easily on the old ball, because
the old ball bounce really fast, and spin dependant. Bounce lower if the ball has topspin, and
bounce higher if the ball has underspin. That means, it’s much harder to play close
the table, with the old ball. But now, it is easier with the new ball. 2nd. The new ball is slower. It gives player more time to react, about
1/3 of a second, not too much but which is enough for the good
players to hit the ball easier. The new ball bounces
higher, and slower. That’s why now every player return the ball
“agressively” with the backhand chiquita flick. It’s much easier now. And the 3rd change. Because the ball is bigger, and harder. So it requires more hitting
power, or physical strength of the player, to gain the same amount of speed, and spin. So look at here, this is the optimal timing
hitting position of Zhang JIke, this timing is
good for the old ball. But not good for the new ball. Because by doing this, Zhang Jike
can not make the same quality ball like before. He can not finish the point, with the
new ball. If Zhang Jike continues to use the same timing,
by hitting the ball here. It’s too late, and
his shots have less power. That’s why I said that “Zhang Jike playing
style is out-dated to this new trend of table tennis, last week”. But you know, when you played table tennis
for more than 20 years, it’s really hard to change your style, change the timing. You have made the “muscle memory”. Zhang Jike did know that, but each time,
he forces himself, he made unforced error. It’s not his natural. That’s why you have
the feeling that Zhang Jike is always “too slow” in the rally. Look at here, and feel what I say. The new trend, is player will hit the ball
sooner, to “borrow the own speed of the opponent’s ball” to hit, to gain speed. And Harimoto Tomokazu is the one who knows
and apply this trend the most successful. This is the optimal timing by Harimoto. The new 40+ ball: – Thicker skin
– Larger dimension – Harder
– Bounce higher – Less Spin
– Less speed – Bounce shorter (same force) The new trend which profits, well adapted
to the new ball: – Hit sooner
– Hit faster, quicker – Stay closer to the table
– Focus on speed – Agressive attack all of the serve (because
the ball is less spin dependant, and bounces higher). – Borrow the opponent speed
– Hit on the bounce, on the table – And counter attack every ball Just at only 14 years old, and already the
top 10 in the World. Win some top Chinese
players, and including Timo Boll, which is the dream of every table tennis players. So how can he do that? It’s no doubt that his talent, his father,
and his training methods. He dedicated his time,
his ambition, his love to table tennis. And of course, there are many players who
has the same amount of love, but won’t success
like Harimoto. Because in table tennis, or in any sport,
the the “quality of training will decide your level,
but not the quantity of training”. You can train 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years,
but your level will go to only a certain level. But Harimoto trains for 8 years, and go to
top level. And it’s due to his parents. Ex-pro chinese player, who has the deep understanding
in the game. And his father, who has trained Harimoto style,
to get this trend, to modify his game, and tune it to this trend. His father is a really good coach. Not only good in tactical during matches,
but good in how to train his son, training methods. You can see that, Harimoto backhand is his
main weapon. He has used his backhand
to destroy many top players. His backhand is fast, consistent, and high
quality. He
hits the ball very soon, no matter the incoming spin of the ball. His forehand is also good, but not as good
as his backhand. Chinese forehand technique
is much more better. If he can improve his forehand, no doubt,
in the near future, he can pose a huge threat to the top Chinese
player. And this is Zhang Jike’s backhand technique,
in the area of the old ball. Zhang Jike
backhand is one of the best, with the old ball. But can you see the “optimal timing”
is different compared to Harimoto? Zhang Jike’s backhand is much more spinnier
than Harimoto Tomokazu. His timing is
1/3 second later. But with the new ball, he has many disadvantages. Less spin, less speed,
less powerfull attack. Have you prepared to change? To adapt to this trend? Not only to modify the
technique! But also you need to think about your equipment. Harder rubber, faster
blade? bigger blade? or smaller pimple? That’s it for today. Don’t forget to comment below, and share the
video. See you next time 🙂 EmRatThich.

Comments (93)

  1. So one could say: ITTF wanted to decrease spin in order to make TT easier with longer exchanges, but in fact they achieved the opposite. Less spin means easier to attack, more aggressive play and even shorter exchanges. So even less people will watch Tabletennis, which means less advertising, which means less money for players.

    The only ones profiting are the tt-companies, because players are testing new rubbers and blades to adapt to new ball.

    Good job ITTF!

    And I already know what ITTF will do next: increase the size of balls even more! Anyone dare to bet against me?

    Another aspect: topspin curves the ball so that it will hit the table. With less spin, more balls will go out.

    If ITTF would be logical, they had to increase the size of the table to make up for the loss of spin, because players will make more mistakes due to less spin!

  2. your explaining skills and english is on point. The pen-paper presentation covers up the topic perfectly.
    One think I'd suggest is to listen to oftenly used english words and apply the proper pronounciations to make your content even more pleasing to watch

  3. Great points! ZJK footage at the end showed him practicing against backspin, so it's hard to compare with Harimoto practicing counterspin.
    Do you think the trend will ever be reversed and ITTF will make the ball smaller and softer again or will we end up with tennis size balls "for the viewing public"?

  4. No..i think ZJK stops taking his Drugs…thats all

  5. Exactly! You get the point! 🙂
    In the beginning, ITTF wants to reduce the speed in table tennis by increasing the ball size. And they think that the international scene is more balance (reduce the dominance of Chinese player). But in reality, the trend is shifted to much more even faster style!

  6. Zhang, jike drops his upper arm to do the backhand shots, too slow for the new ball game.

  7. can you make a video for the modern defensive players? techniques, training methods. how is the new ball affecting the defensive player? for example Ma Te from china

  8. There are other very bad consequences of the new ball. As it is less spinny, it offers less control – don't forget that it is the spin that permits to control the ball trajectory, at present the flight of the ball is less predictable as the air flow around the ball has moved a bit from laminar to turbulent (the flight of a non-spin ball is totally turbulent, this is why it wobbles like when you block with long pips). The players that want to regain that control are forced to make much more effort to achieve the same effect as with the previous ball. RESULT: FREQUENT INJURIES, recently I watched a video from a closed training of the China national team – an unusual number of player were subject to kinesio treatment, ice packs on their shoulders and elbows and so on, and what is visible on the matches – even younger players already wear knee bands. And the first team is composed of the healthiest players with most resistant organisms ! how many less gifted players have their health ruined in the training process ?

  9. FUUUUCK. I don't want to play close to the table, it's so hard for me… Maybe I'm outdated for table tennis too

  10. Awesome points and keep up the great teaching…..Best coach on your tube

  11. really not a good idea to use a player who is only 20% of his peak form to prove that his playing style is old. Maybe you have a correct technical point to make, but using ZJK is just too convenient. How about you use another player who is not obviously retiring from the sport to make your point?

    aside from this, i like this video, esp the drawing of the trajectory and the explanation of 1st bounce and optimal hitting. Good job there.

  12. So should i switch from my donic waldner allplay to donic persson power allround or to stiga infinity ? dont know which is better for the new ball because you need more power
    i play with xiom vega asia 2,0 on both sides

  13. Regarding ZJ, he tends to contact the ball in mid-descent which is a later timing then someone like ML who tends to loop drive the ball in the early descent phase after the top of bounce so he tends to hit the ball late regardless. LGL and others tried to get him to contact the ball earlier. I think his forehand timing was more because his game was much more oriented around his backhand than his forehand which led him to not change his grip to a neutral grip for the forehand. Hitting a forehand with a backhand biased grip is difficult to do, from a biomechanical point of view, unless you let the ball fall closer to mid-descent. The only time he changes his grip is when he is hitting his forehand from the backhand side of the table. It also makes it difficult to have a fast counterhit exchange due to the paddle being inherently open. If he is even a little bit late the ball will go high and out. I would argue that his play has more to do with his overall health and his level of competitive fitness rather than an extreme style difference. He also has somewhat of a sleeping dragon mental disposition which means that he responds very well to high pressure situations that he cares about. If he gets engaged I’m not sure there is anybody who can deal with him except maybe ML.

    Regarding HT-
    First, the two video examples you used weren’t apples to apples. HT was doing table drills with a fast counter-drive exchange, whereas ZJ was doing a multiball loop drill vs an underspin feed. Not the same thing at all so there will, of course, be a timing difference. I understand you wanted to emphasize the timing differences but using very different training shots was not a good method imo.
    My pet theory on HTs early success is simply that he was smaller and lighter which means he was intrinsically a lot quicker. As he gets bigger and his mass is more similar to other players he will not be as quick so things will even out more. His recent losses would not fit into the theory that his playing style alone is a significant factor either. Especially the loss to Pitchford. I am in no way implying that he is not a competitive player just that I'm not sure his play style is particularly unique in this context.

  14. Great explanation coach !

  15. While you have some good points and seem to provide a consistent overall picture I don't think it is all that easy.
    What you put depict as the "Horimoto style" has it not always been the Korean's? So why are they not already dominating? – Also the Women's game is like that for some time. So you are telling us LGL was wrong when he tried to teach women the men's game, he should have begung teaching men the women's way?
    Serously though. If what you describe is true, then the days of Ma Long's and Fan Zhendong's dominance are also counted, shouldn't they? – maybe,… we'll see, but I don't think so, yet.

  16. Excellent analysis and beautiful handwriting by the way 🙂

  17. Effect of new ball on pimple size??

  18. I don't like this trend or the modern playing styles.

  19. Zika is hitting underspin in this video and harimoto topspin very bad comparison

  20. I wonder, his father/ coach is ex-professional Chinese table tennis player. Why harimoto forehand technique is not chinese style?

  21. I jus Play two years So i mist the change

  22. Great video, the paper/pen, and topic explanation together with the videos are something we dont have here, very instructional, thanks

  23. What ball did they use in Rio? He was a silver medalist in Rio.

  24. wrong, zhang jike started training with 38mm ball when he was kid and become world champion with new ball, playing style can change, that's not his challenge. It's just ZJK is out of shape and does not have that footwork to produce powerful shot any more

  25. Nice analysis. Fully agree with you.

  26. Coach how does Lin Gaoyuan spin so much?

  27. Coach do you know why ma long isn't affected that much with new ball? Did he always hit ball soon before?

  28. The heavier, larger, different material, higher bounce and less spiny ball once again changed the way of modern Table Tennis once again. So like the coach said, the emphasis is dramatically changed in certain ways:

    1. The tactics will be now staying close to the table. This changes the Men's game of distance loop to loop to the hybrid of the Modern Women's game but with power on both sides. In retrospect, the 1970s and the 1980s style, especially with the C-Pen and the J-Pen players, staying relatively close to the table to make the game even faster.

    2. The focus now is not on the serve but the serve 'receive' itself. As you can see, most of the short serves do not have a lot of 'bite' and bounces higher than ever. Often the serve is longer than half way line, which is the no man's zone where straight banana or strawberry flips will be the way to getting ahead on your opponents, as keeping your services would be exceedingly difficult. Also on the long serves, the fraction of the second more and the higher bounces will have players teeing off their loops for straight scoring. Therefore, for the servers. Now the focus are even more on the location and the placement of the second bounce which would be crucial. I strongly suggested that more and more players should be doing the wide serve out swerving away from the table to instantly have an open table to score on the third ball.

    3. Also the Men's traditional power loop-to-loop backhand counters are the thing of the past. You will see much shorter rallies as the focus is on straight scoring right away. So instead, you will see players trying to see the slightest opening of the court of the opponent and exploit on it quickly. The ball will be going from forehand to backhand more frequently as they will mixing up the diagonal and down the line play, rather than just overpowering or waiting for the slightest error.

    4. In the new game, players like Harimoto would be countering at every chance. So all out attack would be expected as the game will be even faster playing up close. I am expecting players would be staying close at the table all the time, even with quick blocks/chop blocks instantly trying to getting back to the rallies. With that in mind, you will see a few up and coming players going to C-Pen or even J-Pen so that they can use their banana and strawberry pushes to devastating effect.

    5. With that in mind, players in this modern game must be adaptable to all situations. That means learning all the shots and especially sound 'footwork' is a must. As well as quick feet to get to all kinds of wide shots as players will quickly trying to move their opponents off the table.

    6. Those with sound and efficient strategies will win outright by a large margin. Brilliant players like a Waldner and Schlarger who never allowed themselves out of positions, quick thinking, often have several gears during the match, will be winning most of the matches by simply out-thinking their opponents by the way of surprise.

    7. I also will see different style of equipment which will have advanced materials on the blade and rubber to give it a much softer feel on the serve. Yet are light and quick to hit the ball as early as possible. Definitely, the short serves will get better once again. The focus will be more on a much 'lower' toss, which will have less potential momentum with the great emphasis of generating even more spins to compensate for the loss of the 'bite'.

    Coaches are very smart to adapt. I think that the best teams with the most comprehensive preparation with the new ball will be coming out ahead. Don't be surprised if the ranking order still stays the same. Players will probably have to change their techniques, timing in their hitting. Most of all, there will be a great change to a low 'throw' blades rather than the traditional high 'throw' ones they have been using.

  29. Give Zhang Jike some time. I'd think getting into round of 32 is very good given the conditions that he has had to go through.

  30. I played in a tournament with this ball and tried serve, spin, smash. Initially 2500s couldn't block my spin 50% of the time. However, now we have 1900s just dominating my spin with this new ball, equivalent of giving me the middle finger and saying, "Oh your loop is irrelevant now," I'm better off just serving long no-spin and pivoting the entire game than serving short.

  31. With the new ball, you don't need much skill.

  32. What about table tennis esthetic whit the new ball? Now the rallies are shorter.

  33. The new plastic balls do not jump higher than old celluloid balls. I don't know why he said they jump higher since they are heavier and less resistant to the gravity. The lighter celluloid balls obviously have stronger resistance to the gravity therefore jump higher and further away from the table.

  34. this seems like quite a bit of a stretch tbh

  35. Thanks Coach for sharing such valuable points on the new ball and the technique to play it.

  36. Another good video liked it shared it thanks coach
    coach will you please tell me that is 40+ ball is only up to 2020tokyo olympics or will continue further

  37. make the ball smaller again perhaps?

  38. How about harimoto vs xu xin?

  39. Here we go!! His got the pen and pad out!!

  40. Ma Long is my favourite player. Can't believe that Harimoto has defeated Ma Long today.. But, one thing I can assure that dictator Ma Long we'll come back soon. #TheDragonWarrior

  41. Bullshit about his forehand now you know

  42. The new trend is the KAMIKAZE style in pingpong .
    Hit the ball as fast as possible : in the upward phase before the highest point.!
    Hit with tremendous power , try to hit through the spinny shots with speed and
    not with counterspin shots !
    What you need : good reflexes ( thats why the younger player has more chance !)
    They have an advantage over older players because of their reaction time !
    As the polyball came they wanted to do the game more spectacular but
    just the OPPOSITE what happend . Less touch in a rally less spinny shots !
    Perhaps women's game has not become so unexciting because they are
    physically not able to hit the ball so powerfull.
    The new equipment for this KAMIKAZE style are hard & sticky rubbers on each side of the blade.
    At Tenergy rubbers the 05 is the hardest one . Good rubbers are Spinart and Ito Mima's
    NITTAKU HURRICANE PRO III TURBO and of course the national DHS Hurricane III rubbers (of course the hardest one !)
    but with a fast blade ! (TAMCA 5000 or 6-7mm thick carbon blade , Photino …etc)
    Viscaria can survive if rubbers become harder on this blade.

  43. Hi coach

    Could you also explain what is the material that best adapt to the new game? Differences between the old and the new material? thanks for your great videos!

  44. Please make an equipment video coach. Is it still the same as your old Chinese rubber recommendation?

  45. Wonderful video. Thank you coach. I loved the pen and paper explanation!

  46. coach I don't think showing zjk looping against heavy backspin is a fair comparison, as the timing of looping top/back spin is necessarily different

  47. I really like EmRatThich for quite a few things but I feel he really tries to undermine Harimoto. It's always like harimoto is good but nothing really special. Look at Japan open '18, he even beat ma long but I am sure EmRatThich will come up with a reason why ma long wasn't 100% or he dropped the game due to some strategy (he claimed the same thing in another video which felt like bs).

  48. Simply stunning and amazing. Thank you very much for your work and share it with us

  49. hanging tops-spin will disappear?

  50. Hello coach.. i totally agree what you said. Harimoto hits early and Zhang hits late. but in Japan open he almost won.. and I think in next meet he will win against Harimoto. What improvements did Zhang did this time?
    Also Ma Long and Timo lost on purpose to make Zhang ranking higher. is this true?

  51. players using short pips also will rise again , as wee see with mattias karlsson and in the china super league yan sheng

  52. Can you make a video on with rubber or blade we should use with new boll fast or slow

  53. Thank`s. I will use that style for training my sun too.

  54. This video (the drawing part, mainly) helped me understand why I too often miss the ball (by hitting above the ball): I wait just too much, just like you say zjk does…
    Another thing that was changed by the new ball, I think, are passive blocks : maybe due to the fact new balls tend to float more, they more often go too far. Maybe that could explain why I was better at passive blocking with the old ball…

  55. thanks for nice drawing on board
    which is very helpful
    from Auckland

  56. Your english got so much better!

  57. Nice that you like, and use, a picture from my camera, "Photo (c) BeA Nilsson."
    But why don´t give me cred for it?
    Or ask me if it´s OK?

  58. It reminds me on women tabel tennis informer days. stay on the table with short movements.. this only works with the bounce and less spin of the Polyball .-( RIP spinny TT wtih amazing Ralleys in the Halfdistance .-( .-(

  59. speed glue and spring sponge is same thing with different products, it's helping player without use their own capabilities, so all of legal

  60. Coach, i have a very important question. Before i used tenergy 05 on both sides and my game was based mostly on spin. Now i switched to a more powerful and fast game, but i still play with the same rubber and i think it is time to change. What do you think about using tenergy 05 fx on backhand and tenergy 64 on forehand.

  61. Marong, Janjiker, Harimoto, Mizutani..Top Player's are used the same ball..They have used the same balls. man! What the fuxx saying!

  62. So will Chinese players start using Tenergy on FH rather than tacky rubbers, since it becomes more of a smashing game than a looping one? Harimoto does..

  63. Thank you for the diagram on what the new trend is. You are a good coach!

  64. Hi coach any suggestions for harder rubber and bigger blade

  65. Wen ZJ was olympic and world champion the ball was the same,(offcourse all what u say in the video is true) he was playing must better than now…so i don't think harimoto will have any chance or any other player against ZJ at that moment…considering how is(harimoto) plyaing rigth now.

  66. My racket had broken how to fix it ?

  67. Eam Rat Thic– Actually this technique many player like Harimoto in amateur level..just simple play..wait at close table and waiting for spiny or loop ball then just tap or slap the ball..but in profesional, as an audience, we do not like to watch playing style like that because it really boring..harimoto just share and give back another player ball..if the ball is a lot of spiny or power drive we just tap/slap that bal..l but if the ball have variation or weak return ball this playing style was in trouble..maybe in professional is new trend but in amateur level many people playing like that, just wait at close the table and tapping the ball..the different harimoto and amateur level is he can do it better than we all..In amateur level playing like Ma Long is a bit, but in amateur we have a lot playing style like harimoto–wait at close table then push or slap that ball..

  68. Cool video, and your English is great!
    here's a suggestion how to make it better – make the introduction no longer than 30 sec (instead of 2:47 as in this video). In intro just tell what it is about and why it's important – then get straight to the point. Your subscribers will love it!

  69. What do you think about change of material in this new trend? Thanks

  70. I love your videos. Im in the west and while your accent is to not too hard to understand I do really appreciate the subtitles. Keep up the good stuff

  71. it is here now to stay but smaller ball made for better matches and forced players to have better overall skills imho. i have some new older celluloid balls since i don't really play anymore. i remember playing with the rose 40 mm when it first came out it was ok. i'll remember your advice on how to hit the 40+ balls though. thx so much.

    because i have a bad hip i will have to play closer to the table anyway. usually my came was close to mid distance attack anyway. very spiny loop on both sides and strong dangerous back hand drive too. I WILL ADAPT TO PLAY THE STYLE OF TAKING MY PADDLE STRAIGHT BACK MORE THAN MY NORMAL LOW DIPPING FOREHAND DRIVE/LOOP.

  72. Can you do a video on what specific things us amateurs should be doing to adapt? At the end of the video you mention something equipment changes but was us a suggestion or question?

  73. In summary. This new ball is not good move. The game is not pretty. Just today I watched FZD vs Liang. It was boring event. Two balls and error. What a shit. If the rubbers do not advance in their specs to make up for new ball hindrances it will not be such fun to watch.

  74. Have you noticed when audience cheers the most? It is when longer rallies happen and players show amazing skill. That is being removed. There was complaint about table tennis decline and we need more participation from public. Yeah we definitely want to have fun watching it. That has been effectively removed. An other half baked idea gone predictably wrong. Nobody bothered to test it and only now when in full swing we have game which is not pretty and seems too late to reverse. I wonder who made money of this one.

  75. Nice one ! Great analysis…

  76. so what is the best equipment set up now for the new trend?is it still flexible blade and harder rubber for the spin and kick effect?since the new ball according to this video we should focus on speed, we do need to change to a faster set up right?

  77. I'm more of a tennis player than table tennis player, but to me, it seems like a slower ball would actually make it easier for the old school, huge looping swing, hit every ball with the forehand type players.

    It's similar to what you see with clay court tennis actually. Slower balls/courts benefit players with longer swings who like to stand farther back and run around every ball and hit it with their forehand.

  78. Why Harimoto Tomokazu improved so fast?

    Read here:

  79. in many years to come , ittf goin to implement tennis ball on the table tennis table

  80. ZBZH is pretty good but pls stop screaming

  81. What kind of rubber and blade we need for this ball?

  82. Actually the new style started with Liu Shiwen. Harimoto is the first to almost match her reaction time. You'll also need lighter blades, and carbon, which feels unnatural.

  83. I m the boss, i m the boss. I very very sorry for your loss!!)))

  84. Well fuck me as a chopper I guess

  85. excellant analysis ! thanks emratthich coach~and plus…my opinion is everyone has different prime when i see Zangjike's eye he doent have much passion and will to win.because he achieved every carrer in table tennis history. he is a Harimoto will be a legend – love his passion eyes, roar, will to win.

  86. Please refer a good premade bat under 20dollars
    I am a penholder

  87. How we can adapt the equipment for the new trend like this? What kind of equipment we need? Is it harder n spinny rubber? Or we should change to softer one? Please your comment.

  88. Thanks a lot very useful

  89. Your are another time right. I say the same thing about stroke timing since many years and it's difficult to explain to people that a hard footwork is the only good way. your the boss! Thank . Wilfrid B.

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