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 Post subject: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 08:37 
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First off, I'd like to establish that this blog will mainly deal with my experiences and thoughts about table tennis. Occasionally, I may be tempted to write about other things.

Each new entry will have a title that helps to indicate this fact. I'll use colour-coding, so, for instance, table tennis postings will have blue titles and all other postings will have red titles.

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Blog: A Naked Bear


Last edited by Oskar on 21 Nov 2011, 11:52, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 09:03 
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Blowing my own trumpet

It's been a great year. I joined the Ballarat Table Tennis Association (http://www.btta.com.au/) and formed a team in the B1 division called the Fireblades. So far, we're the only unbeaten team in the division and, as captain, I've managed to win 20 of my 21 singles games.

Last week was our toughest night. We were up against the second ranked team, Triffids, but we managed to beat them. On top of this, I played and won against the only player who had previously beaten me. The last time we met the game went all the way to five sets and teetered on the edge of a deuce. Although I lost that match, I was able last week to win in four sets - and quite convincingly.

Tonight is the last round before the finals. As I now share equal status with my friendly nemisis on the single's aggregate leader board, I'm hoping that I can continue my winning streak to clinch the trophy. Regardless of my own personal victory, my team the Fireblades is assured of entering the finals and we're definitely favourites for the team trophy.

Like I said, it's been a great year and a large reason I feel this way is because I've only been playing table tennis for two years. Before that, I dabbled a bit with my brother over a few beers, but we really didn't know what we were doing.

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 09:09 
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Oskar wrote:
Blowing my own trumpet
Tonight is the last round before the finals. As I now share equal status with my friendly nemisis on the single's aggregate leader board, I'm hoping that I can continue my winning streak to clinch the trophy. Regardless of my own personal victory, my team the Fireblades is assured of entering the finals and we're definitely favourites for the team trophy.

It's good to hear how well you're doing. And I hope you "clinch the trophy" but...

You must realise there is a downside to this. Given how Australians feel about "tall poppies", we're now going to have cheer for the other guy! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 09:14 
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Good to see another blog popping up :up: Sounds like you have had a very solid season so far, well done. Might need to move up a couple of grades next season to make things a bit more challenging :P

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 09:23 
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@ Tassie - root for the underdog all you like. I suspect he'll need the encouragement! :P

@ Dan - the next logical move is to join the A3 group. This has been my intention since halfway through the competition, but when I spoke with one of the organisers about this he said that our team represented what he considered a good, solid B1 team. He kind of shrugged off the idea of me joining a higher grade. I can only think of three reasons why he might have responded like that: 1) he wants our team to set the benchmark for the following season, 2) there's not enough room to accomodate me or my team in the A3 group, or 3) he doesn't think I'd handle the A3 competition.

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 09:31 
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Oskar wrote:
@ Dan - the next logical move is to join the A3 group. This has been my intention since halfway through the competition, but when I spoke with one of the organisers about this he said that our team represented what he considered a good, solid B1 team. He kind of shrugged off the idea of me joining a higher grade. I can only think of three reasons why he might have responded like that: 1) he wants our team to set the benchmark for the following season, 2) there's not enough room to accomodate me or my team in the A3 group, or 3) he doesn't think I'd handle the A3 competition.

Isn't there a promotion/relegation system? Surely, if you're good enough to win B1, then you deserve to replace the worst in A3.

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 09:34 
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I assumed that they would force you to move up a grade, that's how it works in our competitions. If you are good enough to only lose one for the season, then you are obviously too good for that grade. I think it would be great for your improvement as well if you could play in a higher grade. I imagine it might get a bit stale if you go through the competition again barely losing.

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 09:41 
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Good on you for starting this blog Oskar! :clap: Love the title! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 11:33 
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Good of you to "Bear All" a double pun intended :lol:
Never have a issue of where an official puts your team as its just his (thier ) best guess effort, and it really up to you and your team to move up or down from this starting point, In my blog I asked our organisor to put our team in A because we won the B grade at the end of the Winter season, but because there was premier grade he was unsure of the entry level of the higher level players so we had to wait untill all entries were in before we were put in the A grade.
How many players in each team and how is it run?

Do you have a system where the the top B1 goes up and the bottom A3 goes down? or do you have to play a promotion relegation game?

Another issue is are you way better than your current team mates? Im just saying that because although its always great to be in a team that is moving forward, sometimes its because of 1 player who wins 98% of thier singles and nearly always win thier doubles so ensuring a big head start if you know what I mean

So if you are held back more than your other team members, then a natural thing to do is to play in a higher level team especially in the fact that you have only been playing a short time and might not be playing at your own level yet (or potential level) on the other hand if your team as a whole can hang it in a higher level then thats the best first step but your could think about my other suggestions latter

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 11:42 
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Thanks, haggisv, it's been a long time brewing - and I've kind of started at the end of the season, which is the way it works, sometimes.

Regarding moving up in the ranks, I strongly feel this is essential for me. As we all know, the only way to improve our game is to continue to play better opponents. I'll just have to wait and see how the organisers organise things. I would appreciate them giving me a good push in that direction, but, alas, I'm rarely one to 'upset the apple-cart'.

@ rodderz - the monday comp. is groups of three players. This season our B1 division had five teams, which meant the occasional bye. I'm not sure about automatic promotion, but it does seem reasonable. I'll just have to wait and see. As the captain of my team, I am a very strong player, but my team mates do their bit, i.e. winning enough games to see us ladder leaders. I suppose, in all fairness, I do consider myself an A3 player amongst fairly solid B1 players. I will add that my team mates are happy to follow me into the A3 division. Also, the captain of the second strongest B1 team is similar in skill to me, but would not consider going to A3 unless forced - and then, he might give it up.

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 12:05 
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Seems to me if you win a division and are not strong enough to go to the next division, then they don't have enough divisions. :P

Seriously though, if all the teams in A3 really are too strong to relegate to B1, then they need to put you into A3 and have a "bye" situation there. And if you get you bear-hide tanned :lol: all season, then either send you back to B1 or leave you in A3 another season to see if you are better next time around having had the experience.

Anyway, perhaps the decision will come down to more than just this one individual. Do you enter a team, or do they form teams based in individual entries? If its the latter then they may look at your results and put you in an A3 team next season. If its the former, perhaps just apply for A3 anyway.

Good to see you start the blog anyway Oskar. I expect more comments in my blog now :devil: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 22 Nov 2011, 08:24 
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The final round

I had a lot of pressure last night knowing that I shared equal first place on the singles aggregates list and that if I didn't win all my singles I'd fall below the line. The team we had to face were the Panthers, third on the ladder, and made up of solid defensive players who were crafty positioners of the ball. Admittedly, players like that don't suit my game, because it feels like chipping away at a wall. I knew I was capable of defeating them, but I knew I had to be patient and wait for opportunities to break through. On top of this, I had a bit of a form slump. Very hard to describe, but, in retrospect, it had a lot to do with having too much on my mind - I was simple distracted by this and that, and nothing in particular.

I lost the first set, mainly because I uncharacteristically made a number of service errors. If there's anything in table tennis that can erode your confidence it's making three service errors in a row. I was able to brush it off by telling myself that it wasn't normal and I certainly wasn't going to be making anymore! I wound myself back in and won the next three sets. Phew!

Our team, Fireblades, went from strength to strength. I managed to win my three singles and both doubles, and the final result was 9/2 in our favour.

It never ceases to surprise me that each and every night brings up new thoughts and issues. For instance, last night's issue was form. I have thought about it before, but in the heat of competition things like that are made all the more prominent. Even though I was a little nervous and anxious last night because I had the personal burden of having to win my three singles, I wasn't aware that my form was an issue. I suppose, looking back, there were some indicators in the pre-warm up - I just wasn't hitting the ball as smoothly as normal. Going into that first game it was blindingly obvious that something was amiss. I'm normally a very consistent server and to make so many service errors was a real wake up call. Admittedly, I've been neglecting my service practice of late, but now I know that's got to change.

So, next week the finals round begins and we're going in with plenty of confidence. I still have to pinch myself (metaphorically) that I've managed to do so well this year. If all goes to plan I'll soon be taking home a swag of awards: a team trophy, a singles aggregate trophy and best doubles player award. Yipee! It does make all the hard work and commitment worth it!

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 22 Nov 2011, 08:29 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Do you enter a team, or do they form teams based in individual entries? If its the latter then they may look at your results and put you in an A3 team next season. If its the former, perhaps just apply for A3 anyway.


I spoke with the administrators and now I know how it works. There is an automatic promotion system in place and, because I'm at the top of the B1 leaderboard, I'll be going to the A3 division next season.

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 22 Nov 2011, 08:49 
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You talk about your 'form'. I see 'form' as a long term condition that slowly improves as you practice more and play more matches. What you describe sounds more like the ups and downs of competition nights... some nights you'll play better, some you'll play worse... it can be due to many factors but we all have them. A poor night sleep or a busy day can be a huge factor.... so even thought you're in good 'form', you can still have a 'bad' night.
Just terminology I know :oops: :oops: :oops:

I think the more you practice and prepare for competition (a luxury that we don't always have), the difference between good and bad nights becomes less and less...

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 Post subject: Re: A Naked Bear
PostPosted: 22 Nov 2011, 11:39 
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Oskar wrote:
RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Do you enter a team, or do they form teams based in individual entries? If its the latter then they may look at your results and put you in an A3 team next season. If its the former, perhaps just apply for A3 anyway.


I spoke with the administrators and now I know how it works. There is an automatic promotion system in place and, because I'm at the top of the B1 leaderboard, I'll be going to the A3 division next season.


So will you be with the same team or a new team? It sounds like your teammates won't be promoted. Do you get to choose teammates or get allocated them?

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S/U 1: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Andro Rasant 2.1 . BH Red Tibhar Grass Dtecs
S/U 2: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Hexer+ 2.1 . BH Red GD Talon
S/U 3: Blade: Bty Gergely . No rubbers...thinking of adding Red Dtecs and Black Rasant
Aussie Table Tennis Shop / Aussie Table Tennis Facebook Page / Equipment Review Index / Read my Reb Report Blog: click here.


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