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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2014, 08:04 
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iskandar taib wrote:
As far as deception goes, I find what gives people (at my level, anyway) a lot of trouble is topspin+sidespin serves that LOOK like backspin+sidespin. I first encountered this at the first tournament I ever entered - can't remember why, but I had to play someone rated 1700 (I was probably 1000 at the time). He was doing these serves that LOOKED, to a beginner, like backspin (because he was contacting the bottom of the ball), but had a strong topspin component. After the game (I don't think I even got one serve back) a friend explained to me what was going on, and since then I've been doing the same, except that instead of the huge arm movements people used back then I flick my wrist like people say to do these days. I mix the side-top with side-backspin and players around my level find it hard to tell the difference, so I win a disproportionate number of points from returns that go in the net or returns that sail past the end of the table. Better players can better see what I'm doing (varying the contact point but using the same swing), but even then I'll get the occasional return sailing over the end of the table, and the better the opponent the more satisfying it is when it happens! The better players attack the topspin serves when they can see them, so that makes me limit its use against better players.

I can do this easily with the regular pendulum, it feels quite natural, but I haven't tried it with the reverse pendulum,mainly because it feels so awkward. I'll try practicing it and see if I can make use of it. Once I learn it with backspin I'd like to be able to put topspin on the ball as well using the same motion.

Iskandar


Much of the technicality with serves isn't necessary the motion/mechanics but how to string together deception.

For example, assume an opponent who loves to topspin anything to their backhand (over the table, whatever). You can first serve a soft backspin to "prime" this tendency. Then you give more backspin with same motion to dump it into the net (but not so obviously much that they'll resort to pushing). Then they'll try increasingly harder to lift the ball, and you serve a no-spin. If you feel they're fixated on the BH return, maybe go fast down the line.

The mechanics for a basic backspin are IMO pretty simple though precise, but you can do a lot with it. The tricky axial/corkscrew type (left-right brush under the ball) deceptions are the ones to practice if you want a good technical serve in itself. Seemingly small shifts in contact point and angle behind the ball can produce changes. They're not easy to judge bounce and contact on.


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PostPosted: 13 Nov 2014, 14:19 
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Also if you play with the same people regularly don't use the same tricky serves on them all the time, they'll get used to it. Or at least, don't use your full suite of serves on them all the time.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 09:28 
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agenthex wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
When I started out, my first coach told me I needed to get more spin on my serves. I thought I had good spin but it wasn't until I started practicing floor and bed serves in a bigger apartment and doing drills like slicing and catching the ball that my spin went up.

There is very little high level instruction on serves out there. Look for anyone who is giving tips on how to build a serve (as opposed to just demonstrating it). Let's use this opportunity to ask questions and get knowledge, as opposed to pretending that we know things we do not.


It's not hard to see what the underlying problem is with recreational TT. Most people are largely interested in acquiring some gear which supposedly improves their ability, and persisting interest in this suggests they believe it's working. The same problem exists on the only slightly less insidious training side where "technique/strategy junkies" barter with same zeal as their EJ brethren to marginally better effect.

So this problem clearly has more to do with understanding the learning process than any particular lesson itself. I fail to see how it's hard to assess the spin on your own shot when you're using it to effect on a regular basis. If this is truly problematic, then surely the immediate reaction should be OMG I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO ASSESS SPIN IN A SPORT WHERE SPIN IS CRITICAL, and prioritize that first.

You might recall that I insisted on the importance of developing fundamentals in some thread at MyTT and was dogpiled by "experienced coaches" (yourself included) who're rather win the match instead. Honestly I don't see much hope for that mentality because it's not something which can be corrected with a tip here and there.

---
Also btw, make sure the toss is identical every time, so the fast but precise stroke can be identical every time. I have no idea why service instructions don't emphasize this enough. Unfortunately doing it right after doing it wrong will lead to missing a LOT at first, and therefore not conducive to immediate reward.

There's no "trick" to mechanically serving well. The potential to generate substantial spin naturally leads to deception through giving less of it for contrast.



1. One of things that came out was that the many experienced coaches, including Larry Hodges, who know more about the practical elements of this sport than you do and are more experienced than you are, disagreed with you on using competition to train good strokes rather than to win. This will hopefully help some people understand how much of the story you might be not making clear when you say we "dogpiled" on you.

2. My coach's recommendation came in my first month of playing club level table tennis. This was a player once ranked a high as 2390 speaking to a player whose official rating was around 500. Nothing to do with recreational TT issues - sometimes, we just do not know what we do not know.

In this case, we have an ex-Olympian and former Australian national coach (Brett Clarke) giving us his time and attention and you keep explaining what you think is wrong with his approach to teaching, rather than asking the questions you want answered to improve your game. This is puzzling to me.

Why not just post your serve and then ask him to evaluate it? You seem to have a good one with a grip that I can't quite make sense of - it would be much easier to see with a picture at least.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 15:27 
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agenthex wrote:
Also btw, make sure the toss is identical every time, so the fast but precise stroke can be identical every time. I have no idea why service instructions don't emphasize this enough.


Is this really what you meant? Watch videos of Ma Long, Xu Xin, Fan Zhendong, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Jun Mizutani, etc., and you'll see they regularly vary the height of their toss with the same serving motion. The ones that don't vary the height of the toss much - Zhang Jike and Timo Boll, for example - do so because they generally are going for the shortest possible toss, either for maximum control (since ball is moving slower) or to rush the opponent. Most do have a favored height that they use most often, but they do vary it regularly.

It also depends on the opponent. For example, Ma Long gives Fan Zhendong a steady diet of high-toss serves, while against Zhang Jike he throws in some lower tosses. Fan likes short tosses, but throws in higher ones. Xu Xin also likes high tosses, but then throws in lower ones. Here, as one example, is Ma Long vs. Xu Xin. Note how Xu's first two serves are high tosses of about the same height, while his next one is much shorter. He varies the height throughout the match, as does Ma Long (though his variation is less than Xu's).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfhuy5Logcw
-Larry Hodges

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 15:42 
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NextLevel wrote:
agenthex wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
When I started out, my first coach told me I needed to get more spin on my serves. I thought I had good spin but it wasn't until I started practicing floor and bed serves in a bigger apartment and doing drills like slicing and catching the ball that my spin went up.

There is very little high level instruction on serves out there. Look for anyone who is giving tips on how to build a serve (as opposed to just demonstrating it). Let's use this opportunity to ask questions and get knowledge, as opposed to pretending that we know things we do not.


It's not hard to see what the underlying problem is with recreational TT. Most people are largely interested in acquiring some gear which supposedly improves their ability, and persisting interest in this suggests they believe it's working. The same problem exists on the only slightly less insidious training side where "technique/strategy junkies" barter with same zeal as their EJ brethren to marginally better effect.

So this problem clearly has more to do with understanding the learning process than any particular lesson itself. I fail to see how it's hard to assess the spin on your own shot when you're using it to effect on a regular basis. If this is truly problematic, then surely the immediate reaction should be OMG I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO ASSESS SPIN IN A SPORT WHERE SPIN IS CRITICAL, and prioritize that first.

You might recall that I insisted on the importance of developing fundamentals in some thread at MyTT and was dogpiled by "experienced coaches" (yourself included) who're rather win the match instead. Honestly I don't see much hope for that mentality because it's not something which can be corrected with a tip here and there.

---
Also btw, make sure the toss is identical every time, so the fast but precise stroke can be identical every time. I have no idea why service instructions don't emphasize this enough. Unfortunately doing it right after doing it wrong will lead to missing a LOT at first, and therefore not conducive to immediate reward.

There's no "trick" to mechanically serving well. The potential to generate substantial spin naturally leads to deception through giving less of it for contrast.



1. One of things that came out was that the many experienced coaches, including Larry Hodges, who know more about the practical elements of this sport than you do and are more experienced than you are, disagreed with you on using competition to train good strokes rather than to win. This will hopefully help some people understand how much of the story you might be not making clear when you say we "dogpiled" on you.

2. My coach's recommendation came in my first month of playing club level table tennis. This was a player once ranked a high as 2390 speaking to a player whose official rating was around 500. Nothing to do with recreational TT issues - sometimes, we just do not know what we do not know.

In this case, we have an ex-Olympian and former Australian national coach (Brett Clarke) giving us his time and attention and you keep explaining what you think is wrong with his approach to teaching, rather than asking the questions you want answered to improve your game. This is puzzling to me.

Why not just post your serve and then ask him to evaluate it? You seem to have a good one with a grip that I can't quite make sense of - it would be much easier to see with a picture at least.


My one previous interaction with Hodges consisted of him denying <1ms dwell time, a simple matter of physical reality, despite the cornucopia of clear unimpeachable evidence. I recall his argument was also the "wealth of experience" from other "high level players" purportedly guiding the ball while on the racket.

I work in fields where being right often matters and considerable effort is expended to ensure this, and the result of these efforts rarely suggest being right is a matter of authority or social standing but rather careful thinking and verification. IME TT coaching is not akin to these fields, and if anything the basic standard of analysis is commonly poor. The behavior arguments above are illustrative of a system of tribal-knowledge which have been superseded by developments in the last few centuries of human thought.

This doesn't imply that there's nothing of use held by those who are genuinely good at the sport, and it's certainly better than the usual worse than useless EJ garbage, but outside of certain exceptional pockets it's a mixed bag often no better than measured guessing. In any case, I'd expect exemplary coaches & advisers to have no trouble demonstrating the value of their craft without resort to petty autocratic BS.

Btw, serves is the one area I have little trouble with (must be of one those with "God-given talent" :lol:). It probably helped to verify the spinny ones are actually spinny.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 15:50 
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Larry Hodges wrote:
agenthex wrote:
Also btw, make sure the toss is identical every time, so the fast but precise stroke can be identical every time. I have no idea why service instructions don't emphasize this enough.


Is this really what you meant? Watch videos of Ma Long, Xu Xin, Fan Zhendong, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Jun Mizutani, etc., and you'll see they regularly vary the height of their toss with the same serving motion. The ones that don't vary the height of the toss much - Zhang Jike and Timo Boll, for example - do so because they generally are going for the shortest possible toss, either for maximum control (since ball is moving slower) or to rush the opponent. Most do have a favored height that they use most often, but they do vary it regularly.

It also depends on the opponent. For example, Ma Long gives Fan Zhendong a steady diet of high-toss serves, while against Zhang Jike he throws in some lower tosses. Fan likes short tosses, but throws in higher ones. Xu Xin also likes high tosses, but then throws in lower ones. Here, as one example, is Ma Long vs. Xu Xin. Note how Xu's first two serves are high tosses of about the same height, while his next one is much shorter. He varies the height throughout the match, as does Ma Long (though his variation is less than Xu's).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfhuy5Logcw
-Larry Hodges


No, I meant those trying to improve rec level serves should first ensure the toss is very consistent so they're not correcting for imprecise timing/placement using the stroke. The short high spin serve's contact is quite thin and difficult enough as is at first without chasing the ball.

An "experienced coach" should be the last person confused by the value of this basic advice.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 16:01 
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agenthex wrote:
Larry Hodges wrote:
agenthex wrote:
Also btw, make sure the toss is identical every time, so the fast but precise stroke can be identical every time. I have no idea why service instructions don't emphasize this enough.


Is this really what you meant? Watch videos of Ma Long, Xu Xin, Fan Zhendong, Dimitrij Ovtcharov, Jun Mizutani, etc., and you'll see they regularly vary the height of their toss with the same serving motion. The ones that don't vary the height of the toss much - Zhang Jike and Timo Boll, for example - do so because they generally are going for the shortest possible toss, either for maximum control (since ball is moving slower) or to rush the opponent. Most do have a favored height that they use most often, but they do vary it regularly.

It also depends on the opponent. For example, Ma Long gives Fan Zhendong a steady diet of high-toss serves, while against Zhang Jike he throws in some lower tosses. Fan likes short tosses, but throws in higher ones. Xu Xin also likes high tosses, but then throws in lower ones. Here, as one example, is Ma Long vs. Xu Xin. Note how Xu's first two serves are high tosses of about the same height, while his next one is much shorter. He varies the height throughout the match, as does Ma Long (though his variation is less than Xu's).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfhuy5Logcw
-Larry Hodges


No, I meant those trying to improve rec level serves should first ensure the toss is very consistent so they're not correcting for imprecise timing/placement using the stroke. The short high spin serve's contact is quite thin and difficult enough as is at first without chasing the ball.

An "experienced coach" should be the last person confused by the value of this basic advice.


Once again, another dig by Agenthex. Yes, I'm an "experienced coach," and I wasn't in the least confused. I politely responded to what you wrote, not what was in your head and now clarified, which is mostly correct. It's a pity that you keep throwing these digs at me and others or we could actually discuss this.
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Last edited by Larry Hodges on 14 Nov 2014, 16:19, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 16:04 
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agenthex wrote:
My one previous interaction with Hodges consisted of him denying <1ms dwell time, a simple matter of physical reality, despite the cornucopia of clear unimpeachable evidence. I recall his argument was also the "wealth of experience" from other "high level players" purportedly guiding the ball while on the racket.

Agenthex, please show me where I said anything like the above. I didn't. Why would I possibly make such a statement? Do you think I have made such measurements when I coach at my club? It's just mind-boggling to read these anonymous statements claiming I said stuff I never said. And this is exactly what happened in my last few interactions with you, one of which got you banned for trolling.

At some point perhaps you'll go through the "Flex" thread and realize that my only postings there (other than one I posted an hour ago asking a separate question) were also in response to your claims that I'd made these statements that I've never made. I don't know if you are making these things up, have me confused with someone else, or what.

agenthex wrote:
I work in fields where being right often matters and considerable effort is expended to ensure this

There's a lot of irony here. :)

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 16:42 
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Larry Hodges wrote:
agenthex wrote:
My one previous interaction with Hodges consisted of him denying <1ms dwell time, a simple matter of physical reality, despite the cornucopia of clear unimpeachable evidence. I recall his argument was also the "wealth of experience" from other "high level players" purportedly guiding the ball while on the racket.

Agenthex, please show me where I said anything like the above. I didn't. Why would I possibly make such a statement? Do you think I have made such measurements when I coach at my club? It's just mind-boggling to read these anonymous statements claiming I said stuff I never said. And this is exactly what happened in my last few interactions with you, one of which got you banned for trolling.

agenthex wrote:
I work in fields where being right often matters and considerable effort is expended to ensure this

There's a lot of irony here. :)

-Larry Hodges


I really don't care what you choose to coach, certainly not enough to actually read any of it again.

Btw I was banned a for month not for any real rule violations but rather an "accumulation of minor things", ie they got sick of people like you complaining about me for their own petty grievances so it became more expedient to just get rid of me. Haggisv's ostensibly privy to those conversations and can verify this. Regardless the moderation at mytt can be judged by the quality of content it espouses.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 17:17 
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agenthex wrote:
I really don't care what you choose to coach, certainly not enough to actually read any of it again.

Just as you did before, you claimed I said things that I've never said, and when confronted with it, refuse to refer to any source. I don't think I've ever written about the flex in a racket, at least not in the way you claim I did, and so I am astonished that you keep making this false claim. Perhaps you have me mixed up with someone else, or are confused, or perhaps you are simply making it up, but it is trolling when you keep claiming someone said something they never said.

You can't even say where I said it - was it here, another forum, in my blog, in one of my Tips of the Week, in an article in USATT Magazine? But the answer is none of the above or anywhere else except in your head.

From someone who claims to work in a field where "being right matters," you should try to be right. You even wrote that "considerable effort is expended to ensure this," but then make no attempt to ensure this. If you are going to make public accusations, you should be ready to back them up.

agenthex wrote:
Btw I was banned a for month not for any real rule violations but rather an "accumulation of minor things", ie they got sick of people like you complaining about me for their own petty grievances so it became more expedient to just get rid of me. Haggisv's ostensibly privy to those conversations and can verify this. Regardless the moderation at mytt can be judged by the quality of content it espouses.

You were banned for the stuff you posted, not because of what others wrote about it. But perhaps you should ask yourself why you post so many bad things that they accumulate in such numbers that you get banned?

It sure would be nice to come to a forum where most of my responses weren't of the "I never said that" variety.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 17:32 
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I also distinctively recall that discussion ending in some desperate attempt to hide behind semantics and throwing around accusations of trolling while avoiding any semblance of substance. Only one of us does that, and it should be obvious by now who.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 17:52 
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agenthex wrote:
I also distinctively recall that discussion ending in some desperate attempt to hide behind semantics and throwing around accusations of trolling while avoiding any semblance of substance. Only one of us does that, and it should be obvious by now who.

You also distinctly remember me saying things I never said. :)

But yes, it is obvious. You keep making false claims about things you say I wrote, such as your claim about stuff I said about racket flex, but you can't even say where I said it. (Because I never said it!) Again, if you are going to make public accusations, be ready to back them up. As to the discussion you refer to above, a number of people accused you of trolling because you were trolling, and you got banned for trolling. Now, why don't you simply retract your most false statement you made about me, and we can all move on? Or do you really see nothing wrong with making public accusations that you can't back up? (Remember, you claim to work in a field where "being right matters.")

I keep making specific statements about things you said about me that were false, while you keep making vague responses without specifics while refusing to back up your assertions. Is this really the type of arguments you want to make, ones with absolutely no substance at all since you cannot back them up?

It would have been so easy for you to simply post something like, "Oops, I think I have you mixed up with someone else."

I wonder how many more rounds we'll have of you making vague insults while I respond each time by asking you to back up your assertions? It's too bad, because there's substance in much of your table tennis writing, but a stubbornness as well where you are absolutely set in your beliefs and nothing can change them, no matter the facts - and when cornered by facts (as here), you respond by lashing out.
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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 19:05 
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I only post this because of how absolutely hilarious it is:

Exhibit 1:
viewtopic.php?p=283239#p283239
"just as Larry Hodges being magically summoned whenever his name is mentioned"

Exhibit 2a:
viewtopic.php?p=285335#p285335
"One of things that came out was that the many experienced coaches, including Larry Hodges,"

Exhibit 2b (the very next post):
viewtopic.php?p=285351#p285351
Odd considering Hodges almost never uses this forum.

Exhibit 3 (reply to exhibit 1):
viewtopic.php?p=283251#p283251
"1) Someone emailed me that you'd posted another* nasty note about me. Email is not magic. "

It is quite the mystery if there's some sadist who emails this guy whenever anyone writes "nasty notes" or otherwise about him. Maybe it's NextLevel.

*to clarify, I've never mention Hodges anywhere else, and he should know this given he gets notified whenever anyone does.

I rest my case.

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Btw, since Hodges will obviously ignore any request to stop shitposting, I've decided to stop reading his comments about two posts ago. So please be advised this may or may not pertain to anything he's written.


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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2014, 23:42 
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agenthex wrote:
I only post this because of how absolutely hilarious it is:

Exhibit 1:
viewtopic.php?p=283239#p283239
"just as Larry Hodges being magically summoned whenever his name is mentioned"

Exhibit 2a:
viewtopic.php?p=285335#p285335
"One of things that came out was that the many experienced coaches, including Larry Hodges,"

Exhibit 2b (the very next post):
viewtopic.php?p=285351#p285351
Odd considering Hodges almost never uses this forum.

Exhibit 3 (reply to exhibit 1):
viewtopic.php?p=283251#p283251
"1) Someone emailed me that you'd posted another* nasty note about me. Email is not magic. "

It is quite the mystery if there's some sadist who emails this guy whenever anyone writes "nasty notes" or otherwise about him. Maybe it's NextLevel.

*to clarify, I've never mention Hodges anywhere else, and he should know this given he gets notified whenever anyone does.

I rest my case.

--
Btw, since Hodges will obviously ignore any request to stop shitposting, I've decided to stop reading his comments about two posts ago. So please be advised this may or may not pertain to anything he's written.


The only thing you've shown is you still haven't shown the source for multiple false claims you've made about me, both recently and in the links you posted above. I'm glad you aren't reading my postings anymore, I just wish you'd stop reading postings by others and falsely remembering them as me writing them! Your quotes above are all about what YOU wrote, and me saying I didn't write what you said I wrote with you unable to show where I wrote any of what you claim I wrote, so what exactly was your purpose in posting stuff that only re-enforce this? Oh, but you aren't reading this so can't answer. :)
-Larry Hodges

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PostPosted: 15 Nov 2014, 17:10 
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agenthex wrote:
I only post this because of how absolutely hilarious it is:

Exhibit 1:
viewtopic.php?p=283239#p283239
"just as Larry Hodges being magically summoned whenever his name is mentioned"

Exhibit 2a:
viewtopic.php?p=285335#p285335
"One of things that came out was that the many experienced coaches, including Larry Hodges,"

Exhibit 2b (the very next post):
viewtopic.php?p=285351#p285351
Odd considering Hodges almost never uses this forum.

Exhibit 3 (reply to exhibit 1):
viewtopic.php?p=283251#p283251
"1) Someone emailed me that you'd posted another* nasty note about me. Email is not magic. "

It is quite the mystery if there's some sadist who emails this guy whenever anyone writes "nasty notes" or otherwise about him. Maybe it's NextLevel.

*to clarify, I've never mention Hodges anywhere else, and he should know this given he gets notified whenever anyone does.

I rest my case.

--
Btw, since Hodges will obviously ignore any request to stop shitposting, I've decided to stop reading his comments about two posts ago. So please be advised this may or may not pertain to anything he's written.


If you can't substantiate the part in bold with any evidence, can you please retract it? I know I didn't do it, so gratuitous references are not welcome.

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