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PostPosted: 04 May 2017, 12:23 
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Inspired by the turn the TTEdge Executing Table Tennis Shots Series! thread has taken, particularly pages 120 & 121:
http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=28641&start=1785

where mention is made of bad training where the player knows ahead of time where the ball is going so moves there "15 minutes early" and / or starts their back-swing "15 minutes early".

I personally find very little in doing drills with robots, multiball or live drills with another player. Directed play however is of some use as it does replicate game conditions in some way.

Admittedly I am a mature player and largely self-taught. My game is as per my handle, so largely consists of reacting to and getting back whatever is thrown at me, although having said that I try to make sure that it is not the kitchen sink. I attempt not to get caught in set plays, and have made scrambling my strength. So for me to practice it is to practice where I am scrambling. When I have not been playing against loopers for a while, I find retrieving loops difficult until through practice games I have gotten back that skill.

Things are very different if you are a developing or improving player, and I suppose that if you are a "structured player" you will want to practice setting up that structure, whatever it may be.

Thoughts?

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PostPosted: 04 May 2017, 12:45 
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I can see your point regarding retrieving but if you identify a particular area that you want to improve eg lobbing back from the table you won't get much practice in games. By doing drills you can eradicate all the serve / return error and just get straight to the point. Multiball and drills can still be somewhat random, for me it's more about the type of balls I want to practice. Last night I identified I need to practice backhand returns to topspin serves. If playing matches I might get say one in 6 of the types of serves to practice. By drilling then I can get a much higher volume. At first maybe drill 100% of serves as topspin to backhand to get a feel for the stroke but then when got that, reduce the frequency to say 60% to still get a good practice but not know whats coming up.

The other benefit I see of drills is you have a box of balls so you don't need to waste a lot of time chasing thereby fitting in more play.

People go back to what they know in any match situation so I think set plays and drills are important to break that habit and put people in a situation that feels different and allow them to do something new.

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Last edited by Cobalt on 04 May 2017, 17:14, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 04 May 2017, 12:53 
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Robot/Multiball/Drilling in my personal experience is highly important, but it needs context.

If you are doing multiball/drills/robot without a specific purpose/video/somebody to watch you, it's not going to get its maximum effect.

I used it and I see it is most useful tool in correcting technique issues through Muscle Memory, in training correct footwork, and in training game "Patterns" that come back automatically.

The key thing here being muscle memory -the forced repetition (even though the student already knows roughly where the ball is going) forces the student to be able to appropriately react to situations in real match play. The footwork drills personally helped me more than anything - Through drills, it was discovered that I was effectively taking an extra step when moving in/out of the table, so we drilled the "correct" movement until my body did it automatically.

However there is no way that this is the only way a player can train and improve - if you cannot implement the drills in real world situations, it's not going to be of much use to you.

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PostPosted: 04 May 2017, 17:18 
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A couple extra points as I ran out of time before.

Agree there's little point spending time on the robot if you are not doing correct technique or at least being critiqued after your session. If you are just repeatedly hitting balls over and over with bad technique you will still gain some improvement but will be limited.

I also find that if I'm practicing a new shot - backhand flick for example, and I'm not very good at it, my opponent in match play may be fed up with me doing shots which appear to be stupid and pointless as I keep missing. Even if my partner doesn't think that, I'm conscious that he might think like that. When doing multiball you don't feel like that as your partner is going to feed the same 100 balls regardless of where you hit them. 10 consecutive misses in mulitball doesn't matter. 10 consecutive misses in match play can wear a bit thin, especially if off serves.

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PostPosted: 04 May 2017, 17:44 
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There's something else multiball is useful for - if the drill includes footwork, it's the hardest workout you've ever had, sort of like sprinting 200 meters. After about 30-40 balls you're about ready to drop. Probably good for building endurance.

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PostPosted: 05 May 2017, 13:27 
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Iskandar, you are 100% Correct. the most strenuous workout i've ever had (INCLUDING Gym Personal Training) was in a 2 person multiball session - Left/right combination hitting. We had to hit "Opposite" corners then move out of the way for the other player to hit in our corner. If we didn't move, we got whacked.

Suffice to say I nearly vomited. Great stuff.

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PostPosted: 05 May 2017, 20:24 
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It's just another part of the jigsaw - if you were to put together a training plan to improve, these are tools you would use, how much depends, when depends....you can use multi ball for irregular footwork too - just because it's its a regular controlled feed, you can be feed to different parts of table, unpredictably to replicate how an attacked may play a defender (in and out footwork as well as side to side footwork, change pace etc).

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PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 02:41 
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3rd ball attack development the drilling is critical. I'm much better at it now that I've done many drills.

For me I want to capitalize on points that I am winning. A return goes a little high/long - put that ball in a good spot to likely win the point. Drills make these types of plays automatic and instead of winning the point 50% of the time now I'm winning 80%+ of the time. Getting a 80%+ chance at winning 6 points throughout a game is the difference between winning and losing.


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PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 14:32 
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I'm doing some drills tomorrow, any specific suggestions?

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PostPosted: 08 May 2017, 14:41 
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Hmmmm...

Check out Zhang Jike doing random placement drills. Almost looks as though the video's been speeded up.. :lol:



10,000 hours. Whew.

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PostPosted: 15 May 2017, 00:34 
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Also on top of endurance, footwork and drilling strokes, today I configured the robot for osciallation and BH-only drills with "low-return" with 4-4-4 setting and somehow got consistent net-balls every 5 or 10 balls :lol: Soooooo :headbang: &^%#@%#@# hard to return the net-ball and play the next ball placement ##*^*#&^#$#@ :punch:

Tough as nails to drill 40 - 50 balls that too with roughly 10 - 15 net-balls randomly thrown in the mix. Did that with 5 min breaks in-between for 1 hour. Almost fainted from exhaustion :sweat:

It felt good to still be able to play for another 1 hour with a regular player and not totally surrender to the heat and tiredness :clap:

Finally, after drilling extreme spin with robot, normal players and opponents dont feel like they spin as much compared to other times.

But I did notice that you have to start slow with players after doing robot practice, like as if you are re-learning to return the ball correctly. Players are a lot more varied than a robot and it takes 2 - 3 mins of basic counter-hit and counter-loop to get back to normal human :lol:


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PostPosted: 15 May 2017, 08:41 
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Once you have your technique down, I think robot and multiball have limited value. It's not helpful when you know where the ball is going. Free play drills are much better in honing your anticipation and game instincts.

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