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PostPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 20:59 
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We advertised a "club championship" tournament for last saturday, but there were only 3 enlisted by deadline, so we called it off. FAILURE
Decided to play proper games anyway, no pre-enlist and no prizes. Something of an unofficial championship
It may also be the starting point of an internal ranking ladder. We'll just see about that.

I had gotten some signals of possible "international participation" (high level), so because my footwork is still below par I didn't plan to play. The turnout was not what I hoped for, with only five adults including me, and five below 15. No point in bringing chairs out for the spectators (there were none).

I thought of the recent Yotovski revelations and that perhaps footwork is overrated. With that inspiration, and tournament administration manageable in parallel, there was nothing really stopping me (wife was back home :lol:). With only one female player there was no point in gender split, so we had two roundrobins: "Adult" and "Below 15". Best of 5 sets.

I did some of the paperwork while the first matches were played, but I hear there was some good action. I had brought my camera, but alas didn't have time to make any footage. My first game was against H. Tried to keep everything low and deep, so I wouldn't need to run around. She still beat me easily first set, second I made it to 9-11, third was quite clear again (won 3 or 4 points).
As expected (she is a better player, and routinely beats me), 0-3 and one match down.

My son was losing too. I had a look over at their matches His serves were not hitting home, and neither were his other strokes. He knows that he can do better. Still, he played a set to deuce in the first match, so his defensive work must be improving.

Next game against FS, one of the younger players who is really getting his game together. He plays with the big guys now :) .
He took the first set comfortably, but his serves were all long, so by adjusting my position I could give stronger returns. Also I could tell that my ever changing serves bothered him. Two sets each, we played the fifth evenly, and I eventually won 15-13. He didn't seem too dissatisfied at the outcome, but I guess he would have won if he had exploited my weakened BH side more.
Somewhat unexpected, 3-2, match breakeven.

My next match was against L, another player who routinely beats me. Again the first set is one of adjustment and defeat. Second set to deuce, but lost. Third set looked like breakdown, I was down 0-9, but got my act somewhat together and managed 5-11.
Again as expected, 0-3, one match down.

Umpired one of my son's matches. My previous impression was correct. He'd given up on spinny strokes. His serves were flat hits with high bounce and most returns were just placement, little speed and little spin. He still managed to win rallies, which was a relief. He was a lot quicker on his feet than usual, to return balls I'd think he wouldn't have reached. Just one of those days, putting in full effort and then some, and still not quite making it.

In the end he was quite satisfied after all. Losing every match 0-3, but against players who normally beat him anyway (the others are two to five years older), and with a few sets pretty close. Tomorrow is tuesday and training again, and he's eager to go.


Last match, playing FW. We are about the same level, so I'd guess we have about 50-50 wins each. We were both tired (and dinner was waiting), so focus was not always on the game, it seemed. I can't recall the details of it, but it went to a fifth set, and that set went to deuce, so it must have been a thriller :rock:
Again a bit unexpected, 3-2, breakeven. :whew:

I played better than expected. Ending up third of five, which is what I'd expect with full mobility against the same players.
However, it's shifting rapidly: Judging by current progress, FS is going to beat me soon now.
Also, a few of the top players were missing, so I guess we'd be hard pressed to call this a club championship. I'll post it on the page and see what happens...

Managed to avoid further injury too, though a couple of times it was a close call. When I need to let out some steam over an error I made, I sometimes do a 360 turn ending in a stomp. Normally that's a toe spin (more or less), but I managed to change them to heel spins at the last moment.
Never seen it captured on video, but when I try to visualize it I know I must look ridiculous: Medium height, middle aged, overweight male attempting a pirouette, then landing clumsily on the wrong foot. I guess the others are laughing at me behind my back.

Evidence indicates that footwork really is overrated. Playing without shoes tomorrow, to prove the point :P


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2012, 07:49 
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Not getting any better from that rupture in the calf muscle, I went to the doctor again. It turned out that the rupture was gone and a blood clot (DVT) had developed. Explains a lot. I'm getting rat poison now (warfarin), so I'll be better soon. ;)

Just got a 729 W-1 defensive blade to try, that broken-in G4 superspin must be coming from UK any day, and so should the YinHe T-11 balsa blade from Eacheng, and I can't play. EJ without a game, that's my current situation. A couple of weeks only, so it's not the end of the world (or so I keep telling myself). Plenty of time to decide what covering to put on which blade. Superspin has been tried and deemed unsuitable on the T-11. Would try it on a softer blade, but I guess it's been cut way too small for that slightly oversize W-1. I have a few other blades lying around, so I guess the G4 will go on some all wood ALL-, with some known entity on the other side.

563 Mystery III on that DEF+ blade? Hurricane 3 on the balsa? Kokutaku 119 fitting in somewhere? Advice anyone?

EJ vibes getting worse with all this non-playing. Somebody help me!


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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2012, 08:02 
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keme wrote:
EJ vibes getting worse with all this non-playing. Somebody help me!


Only thing I can say to help is I had 6 months of that when I snapped my achilles 4 years ago. All I could do was read the forum...couldn't even get to TT.

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PostPosted: 25 Mar 2012, 13:15 
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Be careful with that dvt. You would much rather sit out till the whole thing resolves than getting the possible deadly consequences of not doing the right thing by your doctor. Rest up and get healthy. Maybe take time with that camera helping your son find ways to get better during your time off. That way you can still direct some energy towards table tennis. Good luck on a speedy recovery.

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PostPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 00:04 
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Good advice and great support. Thanks guys! I will be taking that camera next time I go (which at worst may be a few weeks ahead), leaving my playing gear safely behind. Don't know whether I'll be allowed to post any videos though, just have to see about that.

Cheers!


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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2012, 11:34 
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Equipment update, checking my bat bag now, what a mess...

... I may be using ...

Double inverted
Sweet spot: Friendship 729-08 2,1 | Yasaka Synergy | Hurricane 3 2,2 My current main setup. Straight handle like I prefer, but this one is a bit slim.
Hotspot: MilkyWay Mercury II 2,2 | Galaxy/YinHe T-2 | Friendship 729 General 1,8 Straight handle, a bit fatter than the Yasaka, so it suits me better, but a bit hard and rigid (and loud).
Test rig: LKT pro XP 2,2 | HRT 2076 | Giant Dragon Superspin G4 S/32 2,2 Good cheap allround blade, quite light. Slim flared handle is definitely not my favourite, but OK for test purposes.

pips+inverted
The revamped oldtimer: Reactor Corbor 2,2 | Stiga "Stellan Bengtsson" | Double Fish 1615 0,5 Straight handle, fat and fairly square profile (perfect thickness and shape for me) but a bit short.
Weird experiment: Friendship 563 Mystery III 1,8 | 729 W-1 | Kokutaku BLütenkirsche 868 2,2 Really nice straight handle. Not as fat as the Stiga and much rounder (elliptical profile), but the right length for me. Don't know if a DEF blade is optimal, but I'm trying it out.

... I still carry things I don't use ...

The old "Reference": Friendship 729 General 1,8 | Galaxy/YinHe Y-4 | Friendship 729 General 1,8 going into "active retirement", potentially for sale...
LKT combo: LKT pro XT 2,0 | LKT Instinct+ | LKT pro XP 2,2 going into "active retirement", potentially for sale...
Backup for the kid: Friendship 729 General 1,8 | Stiga Algol | Friendship 729 General 1,8 Blade from my son's old bat, equipped with rubbers similar to his current setup.
Toys for the other kids: 2 x Stiga Magic 1,2 | Stiga no-name | Stiga Magic 1,2

Ten bats in my bag, plus to training sessions I also carry the club bag with our loaners. Me & the kid carry a total of sixteen bats between us. Octopus personalities?


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 18:57 
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I was able to play a little more yesterday, and a few of the more consistent hitters turned up so I finally had a chance to try out the T-11+ balsa/carbon blade. A slight improvement over the T-2, so I guess that one is having a rest. Now I have an all chinese affordable (*) bat which performs extremely well.

(*) ~60$ including shipping, handling, and taxes, when bought from Eacheng.

Comparing Galaxy T-11+ to my Yasaka Synergy setup:
Blade seems to have a very similar response to the Yasaka. Different rubbers so I can't say for sure, but it seems to have a bit more flex and yield better control except on the hardest strokes.
FH: Mercury II similar power to the Hurricane, but more controlled.
BH: Bomb Bombard not as controlled as the 729-08 for pushing, but blocks and flicks much better. Loops OK, flatter trajectory (lower throw, higher bounce), so stronger attack strokes at/over the table, but I can't rely as much on spin to get the ball down on the table (have to lift more and hold back a little on the mid distance BH loops).
Overall: Less spinny, faster, good control. Nice attack weapon, but requires technically well performed strokes which is not my strong point right now (still a slow mover, so I am often too late into the stroke). When I fully recover, I'll be better able to determine which bat suits me best.

The pip bats will remain secondary choices to me for the time being. Not entirely dismissing them, though. A few of the good players at the club still mutter about how pip bats should be banned, so I guess if I could make them lose their temper, they may also lose their game...


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 18:57 
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Sorted out the mess in my bag of bats. Kid carrying his own backup and my own loaners left at home. Now I only need four hands...

Double inverted
Sweet spot: Friendship 729-08 2,1 | Yasaka Synergy | Hurricane 3 2,2 My current main setup. Straight handle like I prefer, but this one is a bit slim.
This one is a keeper, it seems.
Sweeter: MilkyWay Mercury II 2,2 | Galaxy/YinHe T-11 | Epoch Bomb Bombard Straight handle, a bit fatter than the Yasaka, so it suits me better.
A bit too bouncy. Fun to play with, but I'm changing to some less lively rubbers...

pips+inverted
The revamped oldtimer: Reactor Corbor 2,2 | Stiga "Stellan Bengtsson" | Double Fish 1615 0,5 Straight handle, fat and fairly square profile (perfect thickness and shape for me) but a bit short.
Hairline crack in the "neck area". Going out of service.
Weird experiment: Friendship 563 Mystery III 1,8 | 729 W-1 | Kokutaku BLütenkirsche 868 2,2 Really nice straight handle. Almost as fat as the Stiga and much rounder (elliptical profile), also the right length for me. Don't know if a DEF blade is optimal, but I'm trying it out.
Feels like the blade is way too slow. Perhaps the combination of blade and rubbers is not a good mix, or I'm not a good enough defense player. (563 Mystery/1,8 is not really for DEF, now is it...) Going out of service for now.


Last edited by keme on 06 Aug 2012, 20:18, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 19:05 
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That's certainly a wide variety of bats! :lol:

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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 19:11 
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haggisv wrote:
That's certainly a wide variety of bats! :lol:

I guess so.
Perhaps I also need split personalities to make full use of that roundup. :?:


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 19:23 
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Yes that should help... split it evenly 4 ways :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 19:33 
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keme wrote:
haggisv wrote:
That's certainly a wide variety of bats! :lol:

I guess so.
Perhaps I also need split personalities to make full use of that roundup. :?:


I would say you are more likely watering down the skill you are able to develop with any one style setup, unless you are focussing upon one, and just mucking around with the others. ;)

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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
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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 21:52 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
I would say you are more likely watering down the skill you are able to develop with any one style setup, unless you are focussing upon one, and just mucking around with the others. ;)
As mentioned in a previous post, for my own game the pips are going to be secondary (very much so).
I find I am definitely a dual inverted man. That's what I'm building my reflexes around. The two bats I have are fairly similar, and when I find out which one is best for me (in a month or so, if all turns out well), I'm giving the other one a rest...

I'm mainly keeping the pip varieties to try to find out how it feels from "the other side", and to give the "aspiring champions" some feel of how a pip player differs from what they are used to (while not a master, I believe I may be the best they have for that purpose at the moment).
Of course for the odd provocation against the "dual inverted purists" too, as also previously indicated.
I guess that would more or less constitute "mucking around", so I'm in the clear (almost). ;)


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2012, 07:12 
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I think I found it. This EJ may be cured.

Yesterday I went with the kid to start our training session, as usual. Turnout was not overwhelming: one - 1 - other player came. A bit of a put-down, but not all bad. I could monitor the drills very well, and correct mistakes immediately. That third boy is also one of the more agreeable of the young players. While he is clearly stronger than my son, there was no indication that he resented doing those drills (as I would expect a few of the others to have issues with).

Also, the one who came is one of our best young players, with a couple of good serves and a strong offensive game. (He is really challenging us adults now. Gives hope for the future.) This gave me my first opportunity to put that balsa blade to a proper test. Some revelation!

I've had the Bomb rubber on a few other blades, and felt it was fairly limited. Good for counterloops and flat hits, OK for blocking, but hard to control with soft and spinny strokes, and useless for serves. I also tried the Mercury on a T-2 (believed it would be similar to the T-11) and got a lot of speed but little feedback (feel). Those two rubbers were something else entirely on the T-11. Dropshots, short push, deep push, flick, loop over the table, short and mid distance looping, almost every stroke was better than ever. FH serves were good. BH serves with the Bomb perhaps not as stingy as with the 729-08, but if I need stronger BH serves I can probably twiddle. The only stroke that suffered was the chop. It seems that I always got some unexpected sidespin, nudging the ball off the table most of the time. I had similar issues when testing the GD superspin G4, so I guess I just need to polish that chopping technique (or go fishing instead :) ). Had a few hits with the Yasaka/Hurricane/729-08 in between, and it felt quite limp compared to the T-11. Have to check with a couple of other opponents before I'm sure about a new (and "final") primary setup, but I have good faith.

In return for his favors (sparring for me as well as for my son), that third boy got a good run through about reading and handling incoming spin. He would still counterspin everything, so I sent him some tomahawk serves that he was unable to return well. He consistently returned them wide or long. A few words about continuing spin instead of countering it, and hitting closer to the axis of spin, and he was suddenly attacking those serves (much to his own surprise). I'll remember the look on his face for a while (and also, he'll be beating me shortly unless I really improve my game).

After a while I changed to a pip bat and found that it was really a weird experiment (at least when going along with the T-11). I was able to focus well enough to get my returns on the table. The boy got some words about tactics against defenders, and what strokes to expect, and then some hitting to go with the theory. My right leg still won't help movement a lot, so I couldn't keep that kind of playing up for long, but I figure we got the basics covered.

All in all a good training session. I got a good workout, needed some rest in between, and found my new primary setup. My son needed some time alone at the table to improve his serves, and some time hitting with someone other than me. For the third one, one-on-one coaching was fruitful. We were all better off for being there.


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PostPosted: 16 Apr 2012, 08:34 
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you need to get some video asap

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