15 Dec 2020 - TTVIB

Table Tennis Vibration
Go to content

How to hit the ball more effectively

One of the most frequent reasons for wrong shots during the match is the lack of motor coordination, generically understood as the altered correlation between several parts of the player's body. From the scientific point of view, we distinguish 2 types of motor coordination, the one with basic coordination skills and the one with specific coordination skills. Among the basic coordination skills, we have, for example, that of "controlling and regulating the movement" or "knowing how to adopt and transform movements as needed".

This type of ability is of great use to the tennis player since table tennis is not a cyclic sport: it is not characterized by a single technical gesture that is repeated continuously but by a series of skills that must be contextualized in the various phases of the game. The forehand top spin, for example, can be performed early or at a medium distance. Apparently it is the same shot but in reality it is not. The anticipated Top spin has a reduced gestural trajectory and a greater speed of execution while the one from medium distance has a greater long arm movement to impart more power. Similarly, the rotations of the ball are also different.

These basic coordination skills are not enough for the high-level tennis player who, in addition to mastering them, must also possess the specific skills of table tennis. The ability, for example, of "Coupling and combination of standard movements" is essential to be able to make the lower part (the legs) work in sync with the upper part (the trunk or arm). As well as the "Rhythm Ability", that is to execute the stroke in the most fluid and harmonious way in the right time and at the appropriate intensity.

Another specific coordination capacity is that of "static, dynamic and in-flight balance", which is very useful in many phases of the match, also in consideration of the high speed of play of modern table tennis. But equally of primary importance is the "Reaction Ability" as it allows you to perform the Top spin, for example, better and faster than the game circumstances. Or also the "Orientation Capacity" which allows the body to know how to move in the most functional way possible in space and time.

Or the "Transformation Capacity", that is, the ability to change a predetermined action.All these skills allow you to perform any movement or, in our case, any stroke effectively. It is a function strictly connected to the activity of the Central Nervous System as regards the programming of the stroke. The finer this function, the more effective the shot will be. More specifically, motor coordination is related to proprioception, also called proprioceptive sensitivity. That is the ability to perceive and recognize the position of one's body in space and the state of contraction of one's muscles, without the support of sight.

In a "situation" sport like table tennis, and which requires the use of the whole body at high intensity, having particularly developed this ability can really make the difference between high-level tennis players. It is like having a sixth sense that constantly guides the body and its technique in every phase of the game. A fine proprioception allows the player to be perfectly aware, moment by moment, of how the various parts of the body work and therefore to have optimal control of the stroke. This ability is realized through a complex nervous mechanism by means of sensory feedback neurons.
Proprioceptive sensitivity is made possible by the activation of specific receptors including, at the muscle level, the neuromuscular spindle. Various studies have shown that the spindle is faster in transmitting sensory feedback and is more effective for motion programming than joint or skin sensors.
The function of the Spindle is twofold:
• record the speed at which a muscle shortens and stretches during contraction
• record the variations in muscle-tendon tension
These receptors send their signals to the corresponding cortical areas depending on the muscle they belong to. The activity of these receptors is fundamental in the development of the motor project because they regulate the muscle tone in an optimal way. Muscle tone which is defined as the basal contraction for making a stroke. But it can also be understood as the reflex and constant muscle activity that maintains the body's postural structure. TTVib acts in a particular way in the optimization of the programming of the stroke because, through the activation of the sensory neurons at the level of the neuromuscular spindle, it causes the brain to process the motor project providing the necessary basic and specific coordination skills to the stroke.
In fact, the first skill that tennis players stimulated with TTVib perceive is, for example, a more fluid and harmonious forehand Top spin (Rhythm Capacity), immediately after a global compact Top spin movement where all the lower and upper parts of the body are they move together (Coupling Ability and combination of standard movements), and then arriving a moment earlier on the ball (Reaction Ability).
Other feedbacks have come from the players regarding a more regular Top spin ("Ability to control and adjust the stroke") or more powerful ("Transformation Ability") or a better hip opening in the step-turn ( "Orientation ability" of the body in space / time). The first tests performed at the table (Pre and post stimulation with TTVib) gave us confirmation of a greater resistance in the Top spin by right ("Ability to know how to adapt and transform the shots according to need").
However, it remains to evaluate the impact of TTVib on the static, dynamic and in-flight "Balance Capacity" which has not yet been identified by the tested players. Probably it too could benefit from TTVib stimulation but, both at an internal perceptual level and at an external visual level, it is more difficult to detect. In this regard, however, it is possible to make an interpretative consideration. If the "Reaction Capacity", that is the ability to execute a quick and better shot than the game circumstances, increases, it means that there has probably also been an increase in body balance.
The fact remains that, as previously mentioned, the motor coordination of a technical shot remains an exquisitely neurophysiological characteristic as it is regulated by the function of the sensory nerve sensors. Attempting to enhance motor coordination through muscular work, albeit with adequate methods, represents in any case an indirect way of accessing the coordination optimization mechanism itself. It takes a long time and requires a continuous, tiring and unrewarding psychomotor commitment, as the results, in terms of performance, are always disproportionate to the effort made.
Conversely, however, as is possible with TTVib, by intervening directly on the enabled nerve sensors, a quick, effortless and overloaded and quality result is obtained. And of course very rewarding for the tennis player.
Rino Monetta
+39 3394244068
Daniele Spadola
+39 3713029170
Back to content