The Technical Development of the Forehand Loop is as straight forward as you can get, but there are 2 distinct aspects of development that the forehand loop must go through, and the first phase is stroke mechanics. The mechanics of any shot is referring to the major components that make up a shot like the forehand loop. Without those major components, you don’t even have a shot that is technically sound. How well your stroke mechanics are executed will allow you to have a forehand loop that is proficient. Your forehand loop reaching its peak technical execution is grounded in how much natural ability that you have, meaning how much potential is handed down to you from your parents. This aspect of executing your shot fits inside of a box, and at some point the components will become involuntary.
But there is another phase of development for your forehand loop, and it can have a huge impact on the quality of your forehand. If you want your loop to reach its maximum tactical impact, then you have to start to develop some advanced skills. The advanced skills you develop have everything to do with being able to perfectly execute the minor components. These are advanced skills, but are considered minor components, because you don’t have to do them perfect to still have a proficient forehand loop.
Advanced Skill 1: Anchor Foot
The best way to ensure that the stroke mechanics for your forehand loop is executed perfectly is making sure that your anchor foot is lined up to the ball when the ball hits the table. This will ensure that you are able to execute a loop with the maximum amount of effort that you can create. Observe the position in this clip.
Even if you make a backhand attack first, the theme of getting the anchor foot down first is how you can play the best possible forehand loop even if you are pivoting the corner. In this clip you see that the process of lining up the anchor foot is not involuntary. It is deliberate, and to maximize the potential of the forehand loop you have to navigate the anchor foot with the ball.
Getting the anchor foot down is what stabilizes the forehand loop, and it allow you to have the most leverage. What is overlooked in many forehand loop attempts is what you see here and that is navigating to each loop using the anchor foot to lead the forehand loop. This is a skill that must be assessed and executed each shot that you play because it optimizes your loop.
Advanced Skill 2: Shifting Weight
The next skill that must be implemented to ensure the highest quality forehand loop, is shifting your weight. This is one of the most overlooked skills for the forehand loop, because it must be coordinated perfectly. If look at this clip, you will see that at the point of contact, both feet are off the ground in between starting on the anchor foot and finishing on the landing foot.
If you are a right-handed player then you need to start shifting weight on your right pinky toe, and the weight should shift to your left pinky toes. Where you make contact with the ball is when your body is suspended between those two shifting points. This is how all the weight that you have generated is going into the ball.
If you are starting from a neutral position, the goal is to watch where your opponent racket is angled, because that dictates exactly where their return will go. You will see in this clip that even with implementing footwork to reach the ball, the weight shifted from right foot to left foot, as well as both feet being off the ground at ball contact.
Both feet being off the ground is something that can’t always happen, and to secure your position there are 2 thing you can do. The first thing is to make sure if your feet can’t be off the ground at contact, then you should be pushing back off to neutral position. The second thing is to make sure you place the ball on the table in a position that requires your opponent to move. Watching this clip you will see that the position was too extreme, but I implemented those two aspects to still make the loop a strong tactical play.
In this clip you will see that when the ball has landing on the table the same 2 aspects where executed. The ball was out of range, and there was a return back to neutral position.
Being able to develop these two aspects of the forehand loop will ensure that you are maximizing the execution of your Forehand Loop. This is an aspect that you have to make a concerted effort to develop during your training and matches. Now, get out there and loop.
I’m Brian, and I’ll see you on the table.