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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 19:25 
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Think of the following senario;
Two students of similar level and talent both need to learn to return serves safely by pushing low and short.
Student 1 uses an allround blade, with a safe and forgiving rubber that's not too sensitive to spin (read NOT Tenergy :lol: )
Student 2 uses an OFF+ blade with a fast and max thickness rubber
Both students practice pushing back serves against the same group of skilled players, where the opponent serves all the points, the student pushes the ball back, and the point is played out.

Initially Student 1 does much better, because even though he struggles to read the spin and pace of the ball, his equipment is much more forgiving, so the ball still lands on the table, and even when it's high, he has a chance to still win the point.

Student 2 really struggles at the start, because if he misreads the ball, he will either lose the point outright, or it's a easy put-away for the opponent.
However he's forced to focus much harder to read the opponent's serve, so that he can read it well enough so that it at least lands on the table, and he has a chance to win the point. Eventually his results are almost as good as Student 1.

After a few sessions of practice, they go back to their original equipment, and repeat the same exercise.
Student 2 has learned to focus much harder on reading the ball compared to Student 1, so now armed with his original equipment, his returns are lower and shorter, as he's learned to control the ball better. Student 2 has benefited from using equipment too fast for him. 8)

Is it possible you think?

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 20:34 
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Loaded question. :^)

Yes it's possible. But then if student 2 is capable of reading and adapting to the spin on the ball the chances are they aren't a beginner. I've lent fast powerful rubbers to kids in the past, kids just starting out. They love it at first because they only see the speed. Then the reality quickly sets in - they can't control it, their "friend" at the end of the table gets fed up of picking up the ball off the floor, they get no rallies. These kids who are beginners quickly pass the bat back and use their own because they get demorlised and fed up. Few people like the reality of realising they aren't as good as they think they are.

Kids need to learn the correct technique. They need to learn that equipment should compliment their style and ability, not replace it. You give any kid a brand new sheet of rubber and they will be excited - it doesn't have to be a super fast tensor, or tenergy or whatever, it just needs to be "new". That gets them excited. When they start to want to use tenergy by name, it's usually because they're developing players with an interest in the sport rather than casual social players.

I think it's also important to recognise too that even with "starter bats", if a kid can't read spin, judge the depth of the ball, recognise what the correct contact point should be, move to the ball, then the results will not be good. Faster spinnier rubbers and bats will exagerate the "problem" in some cases and hide the problem in others. For example a faster rubber can hide poor body rotation whereas the slower rubber requires the player to perform the correct technique to generate power. A grippier rubber might cause problems when returning serve, but when actually serving it could mask poor use of the wrist, too much tension in the arm etc.

Bottom line, I don't think it's as straight forward to assume that using "better rubbers" earlier in development will be better for a players development. In some respects it will be in others it won't.


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 21:07 
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I'm also not sure that "faster" = "more advanced" or vice versa. So, the difference between a learner using a good all-round bat with high potential, and a learner with a really cheap and nasty starter bat would be more instructive perhaps.

I am a born-again beginner. My coach often tells me, although has pretty much given up now, that I should be using a slower setup than I am, but frankly, I get bored with that. I just love going all out for shots. Eventually, I may be able to win by doing that :oops: . I now have reasonable control with my HL3. Recently, I picked up a friend's kiddie bat; ie, a bat like those totally dead ones supplied with tables, but much smaller, and was able, after a couple of shots, to hard drive the ball past his defence, with a lot of effort I should add. However, if I had learned with one of those bats, I suspect that picking up my HL3 would have been a terrible shock, and I would have had no control at all.

The problem for most beginners is that they often not only have no choice of bats, but also no frame of reference for making a choice.

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 22:47 
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darucla wrote:
My coach often tells me, although has pretty much given up now, that I should be using a slower setup than I am, but frankly, I get bored with that. I just love going all out for shots.


Why do you need an OFF++ blade to go all out for shots? Why can't you go all out with an OFF- or an ALL+ blade? You can hit just as spectacular shots with an OFF- or ALL+ blade than you can with an OFF++ blade - I cant see how you would get bored. Why does your coach tell you to get a slower set-up?


Last edited by carbonman on 01 Apr 2017, 23:39, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 22:48 
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Debater wrote:
But then if student 2 is capable of reading and adapting to the spin on the ball the chances are they aren't a beginner.

I agree, and I didn't say they were beginners :oops: , but I should have clarified this of course. I'm assuming the student knows the basics already, knows how to handle basic spin, but needs more practice at handling it and reading it. So I guess this narrows the group of students that it's applicable to, but I do believe it can benefit students in this category.

So do you think it can work?

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 22:50 
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Haggisv I think one of the issues with non-advanced or non-developed players using equipment that is too fast is that they frequently end up abbreviating their strokes and so their stroke development suffers.


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 23:00 
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carbonman wrote:
Haggisv I think one of the issues with non-advanced or non-developed players using equipment that is too fast is that they frequently end up abbreviating their strokes and so their stroke development suffers.

Yes a good point, I can certainly see that. I was really only thinking of using it in the situation in my example of a push.

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2017, 23:09 
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haggisv wrote:
Yes a good point, I can certainly see that. I was really only thinking of using it in the situation in my example of a push.


But even then a player using too fast equipment could well simply offer an abbreviated push or a dead bat whereas frequently you should 'attack' a push by taking it early and hitting it fast and fine. If they had a the knowledge (or a coach) to still strive for correct technique then perhaps your idea could have some merit.


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PostPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 00:07 
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haggisv wrote:
So do you think it can work?


Would make an interesting video test and not just with children.


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PostPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 00:21 
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Just for the rubber i think this is true. Off+ blades make it hard to learn. But the advice to start everyone with Mark V or Sriver and they will learn to make spin is false. For uncoached players starting with less-spinny rubber only teaches them to play with no spin. They end up as hitters in a loopers world. Starting with t05 or xve or baracuda forces beginners to deal with spin from the start, and I think there is more potential that way.


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PostPosted: 02 Apr 2017, 03:51 
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Haggisv,

If you coach someone properly, the blade doesn't matter as much as long as it is in a reasonable range. It is not so much about doing "better" as it is that the player needs to be exposed to a wide variety of spins and be asked to generate a wide variety of racket angles to understand the effects of spin and his racket angle.

Doing better is really about performance under pressure and this is where more forgiving equipment helps. But as carbonman pointed out, it is all dependent on context. What is more forgiving in one situation might be less so in another.

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 02:12 
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BRS wrote:
Just for the rubber i think this is true. Off+ blades make it hard to learn. But the advice to start everyone with Mark V or Sriver and they will learn to make spin is false. For uncoached players starting with less-spinny rubber only teaches them to play with no spin. They end up as hitters in a loopers world. Starting with t05 or xve or baracuda forces beginners to deal with spin from the start, and I think there is more potential that way.


Even with Sriver and Mark V, they have to deal with spin "right from the start". These rubbers were used at the highest levels of the game for looping and can still be used for looping. They're not exactly dead, and they're definitely not pips out, after all.. How about H3, or Batwings? :lol:

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PostPosted: 03 Apr 2017, 07:51 
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I think it's entirely possible. Learn better touch/soft hands due to the faster setup forcing you to.


The other area I think a faster setup can improve on is when the student is trying to put power into their shots. I've seen a few times technique completely break down because they are completely reefing the ball

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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2017, 17:59 
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I'm a beginner. And recently I tried out a racket that I know is too fast for me now.

I started moving further away from the table to effectively use the bat and ran out of space ( like a brick wall with power sockets and wiring ) and I couldn't control any of my pushes or returns. Totally ruined my game until I switched back to my beginner setup with 729-2 rubbers. Immediate difference in my close-to-the-table attacking and pushing.

Also the faster setup simply showed that I wasn't ready to move to a higher powered equipment anytime soon. And effectively I am stuck with beginner setup until I can improve my skills significantly.

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PostPosted: 24 Apr 2017, 18:28 
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man_iii wrote:
I'm a beginner. And recently I tried out a racket that I know is too fast for me now.

I started moving further away from the table to effectively use the bat and ran out of space ( like a brick wall with power sockets and wiring ) and I couldn't control any of my pushes or returns. Totally ruined my game until I switched back to my beginner setup with 729-2 rubbers. Immediate difference in my close-to-the-table attacking and pushing.

Also the faster setup simply showed that I wasn't ready to move to a higher powered equipment anytime soon. And effectively I am stuck with beginner setup until I can improve my skills significantly.

Well done, I think you will develop well. Most players would struggle to admit that. You are a realist and likely to take any suggestions or criticism from a coach or advanced player well.

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