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PostPosted: 09 Nov 2016, 07:29 
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Say I train 5 days a week.
Is it best to focus on one aspect of the game for 5 days.
For example opening up on backspin balls.
Or is it best to focus on a different aspect of the game each day in the training session?
Which approach leads to better muscle memory for actual game play?


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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2016, 00:22 
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Set yourself a number of routines that address several skills you want to focus on/practice. Then rotate the routines each day. This way you will learn to switch from one thing to another and not be stuck in any of them, an you'll stop yourself from getting bored just doing one particular thing for too long. Boredom and over-repetition will tend to make you "go through the motions" on training and you won't think deeply enough about it to have it really sink into your psyche. If you focus hard for a short time n one thing, then another, and then another, you're more likely to perfect them over time. You have to select how long to do each one so that you strike a balance between enough and over repetition. You can draw yourself up a training chart to remind yourself what to work on in each session, and adjust it as time goes by, to improve it. When you find something is going smoother than something else, you put a little more time into the something else.

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PostPosted: 10 Nov 2016, 07:50 
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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2016, 19:04 
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maurice101 wrote:
Say I train 5 days a week.
Is it best to focus on one aspect of the game for 5 days.
For example opening up on backspin balls.
Or is it best to focus on a different aspect of the game each day in the training session?
Which approach leads to better muscle memory for actual game play?


The latter. Just like playing guitar, the muscle memory is better if you practice small chunks every day instead of a big marathon of practice on the weekend.

Practice all essential skills every training session, but leave time at the end to practice what you want or experiment.


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PostPosted: 12 Nov 2016, 21:31 
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Don't forget you can practice many aspects of table tennis at home, including the mental aspect and movment / fitness. Even if you're practcing technique, you don't need a table tennis table, or someone to hit the ball back to you. That means you can practice as often or as little as you want.

Often though, when it comes to training I find it's really my own desire or lack of which defines training for me. Ideally it would be a little bit of everything often. The fact I don't do that shows I'm a social player, not a competition player.

Are you a competition player? What do you want to get out of the game? What are your goals? Knowing that will deterimine the best way for you to train.

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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2016, 06:55 
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Thanks for the comments. My goal is to beat all the players at my local club in one session. Its a small club so the standard is not too high. I have been training for 3 years seriously and was a beginner at the start. One a week I have a private lesson and use a robot 3 times a week and most weeks have another training session with a friend. I train with good form on multiball but in a game if falls away to bad form. Frustrating.


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2016, 11:52 
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Would be good to see a video of how you play as this would affect my answer. You can't just focus on one thing otherwise your opponent is likely to keep the ball away from this strength bringing you back to the pack therefore you need to strengthen every part of your game. Having said that, in my view, you should also be looking at getting the biggest bang for your buck. At our club, the differences I see between the middle and higher levels is the looping of backspin and more specifically a high arm action.

If you look at the top 5 players in our club, they all loop the ball ending at head level, the rest come across their chest. It gives you an idea of the standard of our club. The other players are handy in their own right but often get stuck in push rallies or can't get the ball up and over if looping backspin. Give them a standard topspin though and they will punish it. They can also manipulate the ball to difficult areas, but, in my view they are stuck where they are as they can't take control of the point as much as someone who can loop backspin.

My personal improvement came from developing a loop off backspin on my forehand. I did multiball over and over working on this aspect and I would say it was the single biggest contributor in going from number 16 in the club to number 3 in 18 months or so.

I'd try get a mate on board, whether better or worse than yourself and do some multiball or robot but also some set plays of serve, push, loop etc so you learn to be comfortable in match type scenarios.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2016, 06:45 
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Thanks for the post cobalt. My club is similar to your club. Like you suggested, my coach is doing 1 hour multiball backspin for me looping on both backhand and forehand in each session. We start just all backspin to one side then she will block or multiball a block for the next ball. I get 95% in training with reasonable good placement but I loose that consistency in a real match to date. I figure it will take another year or so to become consistent in all strokes. I am over 60 with not much natural talent. I will see if I can get a video together.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2016, 11:45 
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I don't think it's your stroke mechanics that are letting you down. I think it may be that your training isn't realistic enough.

In training, you know where the ball is going and where to be. So you get there early. In a match, you don't know ahead of time where the ball is going to be, or the spin, so you get there much later and in a more 'panicked' state than in practice.

The balls in practice may often be very uniform and in an easy placement, especially if it's just multiball. Maybe ask your coach to start giving you harder balls - Each ball to have a greater variance in:

Spin - heavy, light, slight side
Placement - Some short, some long
Height - Some higher arcing, some lower
Position - Not just to your power zones, but to your middle, wide angles etc.

Also make sure you practice a lot of serve + attack during your sessions, the serve return will often be harder to loop than in multiball practice as it's a more 'real' situation.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2016, 12:40 
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Agree with the serve + attack, makes it more realistic. Doing it with a friend makes it fun too.

There's a thread somewhere on here that compares repetitive ball placement vs random ball placement ( I forget the actual terms used). What it shows is that by doing random ball placement, your practice looks and feels a lot worse however it converts to better retention in game situations.

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