February 20, 2020
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you cat ping-pong helped me learn tennis will racquetball hurt my tennis game can’t badminton helped me play better table tennis these kinds of questions about the transference of skills between brackets sports come up all the time the author has some unique credentials to help answer these questions we will examine some of the mechanical similarities and differences between racket sports to help answer some of these questions to best compare the mechanics of tennis table tennis or other racket sports requires a bit of basic kinesiology if you are standing relaxed with your hands at your sides palms facing forward you are in what is called the anatomic position if you hangul your fingertips away from your thighs the max being about 45 degrees that movement is called wrist abduction reversing that small movement is called wrist abduction kinesiology students remember a difference by visualizing that this body part is being added toward the midline or long axis of the body and like to capitalize the first three letters for clarity wrist posture is one very important difference between table tennis tetanus racquetball squash badminton and even fencing picture a fencer with a saber or foil in their hand thrusting toward the opponent in order to make the foil tip reach as far as possible the wrist must be fully adopted wrist posture for Table Tennis is nearly the same but used for another purpose not just for extending the reach in table tennis the wrist is adopted to allow it to express whip during forward motion and contact the legs torso shoulder and arm start the movement and transmit momentum in what is called a kinetic chain that chain of movement snaps the table tennis racquet like a bullwhip at the ball this kid netic chain of momentum from the ground up through the body then culminating at contact is actually common to most if not all contact flash the legends sports such as football and baseball in contrast to table tennis the wrist in tennis is usually AB ducted with the brief exceptions of reaching defensively to get to a ball or reaching upward for a serve or smash the wrist posture in tennis is more like holding a hammer much more abducted this posture dished several things for a tennis player first it makes bearing the extra weight and lengths of a tennis racket easier by it being above the hand vertically second an abducted wrist is a stronger more controllable wrist posture it is more able to resist the high impact forces of a tennis ball and also more able to resist the high twisting forces of Aude Center impacts obviously these kinds of impact forces do not exist in table tennis and learning this posture requires a great deal of practice and discipline unfortunately as the author has found that fame abducted wrists discipline painstakingly learning to play better tennis is difficult to set aside when one tries to play ping-pong with its abducted wrists this is the main complaint of table tennis coaches when teaching those who have come from tennis that they must constantly remind them to drop or abduct the wrists the author’s own ping-pong coaches just smile and point now in the author’s theoretical and practical opinion that appears fed among racket sports tennis requires the most discipline in terms of rest abduction tetanus and perhaps ping-pong may also require more discipline in its strokes in general again some additional basic kinesiology is useful from the anatomic position described above if you bend your wrists so that your palms face upward you are flexing your wrists when you return your hands to the position in which your fingers point toward the floor you are extending your wrists when you rotate your father arms so that your thumbs are next to your thighs and your palms face behind you urg Rona being your father arms the opposite movement is called supination both pronation and supination are defined by the two bones in the fore are rotating around each other movements which are distinct but often confused with flexing the wrist because the target for badminton squash and racquetball is so large acceleration of the rapid and contact speed is usually top priority to do that both flexion and pronation is used in the forearm to obtain the highest velocity the target in tennis and table tennis is smaller than the other sports and maximum racket velocity is less often desired the notable exceptions are the tennis serve and smash but even those strokes generate racket velocity by almost exclusively using pronation not flexion of the wrist pronation is also the dominant forearm movement in throwing a fast baseball what does this tell us about transferring skills from one sport to another does this make one racket sport easier to learn if you are already familiar with another these are obviously difficult and complex questions even for a biomechanical specialist in racket sports but if we isolate just the differences just here one path to the answers can be found when it comes to the wrist and forearm discipline described above we can assume that it is more difficult to acquire discipline than to suspend it for that reason it follows that it is easier to learn racquetball badminton and squashed after learning tennis or table tennis conversely it is more difficult to acquire the forearm discipline required in tennis and table tennis after learning the other sports which emphasize laxity of both for our emotions described here beyond its biomechanical logic this principle is born out in the author’s personal experience in racquet sports and over thirty years of coaching his tournament experience in bracket ball followed that of tennis and it always seemed easy to relax the discipline of tennis to snap at maximum velocity at a racquet ball over these years many students struggled to learn the additional discipline of tennis after the other sports in short the author recommends learning tennis and /or table tennis before branching out into the other sports that are dominated by Withey arm swings

David Frank