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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 04:38 
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Location: Oregon, USA
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FH: KTL Pro XP
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Last Tuesday at my university's table tennis club I actually won a game. It was against a lower ranked player in the club who had beaten me in the past. I'm very excited. Its my first real win against anyone.

Why am I so excited about this? Well, many reasons. First is that I am a beginner and so far all I have done is lose. Second, I am the president of my table tennis club (how I became that is a funny story) and actually winning for once alleviates some embarrassment there. Third, I guess I don't have that good of a head game and so I miss a lot of points that I should have got because I'm also fighting myself. Fourth, when I go against recreational players all they do is spin the ball like crazy and I just don't know how to handle that well. As you might see, i have thought a lot of what I need to improve.

I've been toying with starting a blog ever since I joined. Since I won once, I felt like it would be a good time to start the blog now, covering both my development as a player and a club president. Although I won once, I haven't forgotten that I have a long way to go. I would like to post videos for critique but we will see how far I get with that. I welcome external comments from others, I will certainly be asking a lot of questions. xD

I have two setups:
- (Blade) Yasaka Sweden Classic straight handle, (FH rubber) Mark V 1.8 red, (BH rubber) Mark V 1.8 black
- (Blade) Stiga Active flared, (FH rubber) Dawei 2008XP 1.8 black, (BH rubber) Air Defenders 1.8 red

I actually won the match with the second setup, as someone else was trying out my sweden classic setup at the time. Sometimes I feel that the handle is too thin on the sweden classic. I will try the active today at the club and see my performance. I actually got the active from a player at the club who had it lying around.

I have no idea what style I play.

~NotCras


Last edited by notcras on 30 Nov 2018, 07:27, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 06:13 
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Joined: 25 Jan 2012, 01:53
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Blade: dr neubauer firewall +
FH: DHS skyline 3 neo 2.15 mm
BH: Dr. Neubauer Agressor 1.5
first, how did you learn to play ? Any training ? When did you start to play ping ? Any rating ? Difficult to say if the equipment fit you as we don't know what are you able to do ?

can you exchange fh to fh for more than 3 times ? How many ?
BH to Bh ? How many

What about your serves. Just put it on the table or do you have variation of spin. Long, short serves ?

That's it for now.


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 06:48 
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Your description of recreation players spinning like crazy is interesting if you are a club player. Usually recreation players are playing almost spinless, or at worst ex or current tennis players with minimal top or back spin, and it is they who complain of club players spinning them off.

Tell us the story of how you became president of your club.

I agree that video of you game would help immensely.

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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 08:11 
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Joined: 12 Sep 2018, 16:11
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I had meant the first post to be a general opening with less details and I would fill in the gaps as I post. I guess I was more gauging interest, I guess. I will provide a lot of those details now.

maddrag wrote:
first, how did you learn to play ? Any training ? When did you start to play ping ? Any rating ? Difficult to say if the equipment fit you as we don't know what are you able to do ? can you exchange fh to fh for more than 3 times ? How many ? BH to Bh ? How many? What about your serves. Just put it on the table or do you have variation of spin. Long, short serves ?


(condensed the quote for space) I learned to play by getting advice from the senior members and watching videos. No formal training, the nearest coach is relatively far and I don't have much money to spend on lessons. No rating, I've only played in the club (more comments on that below). I can exchange both FH and BH more than 3 times, but I still need to work on my consistency.

Serves are what I worked on the most: I can do a backspin serve moderately well (not as consistent as I would like), and I can also do a backspin serve with a lot of sidespin to have the ball come off the side of the table (left hand side of table, also needs more consistency). I can serve short and long but still working on control. When I mess around I have also been able to do a windshield wiper serve, but I have never used it competitively and I don't plan on making it competitive either (I learned it because it cracks me up).

Retriever wrote:
Your description of recreation players spinning like crazy is interesting if you are a club player. Usually recreation players are playing almost spinless, or at worst ex or current tennis players with minimal top or back spin, and it is they who complain of club players spinning them off. Tell us the story of how you became president of your club. I agree that video of you game would help immensely.


(quote condensed for space) I certainly understand that its strange, but it seems the recreational players in Oregon love to put spin on the ball. Mainly side spin.

I became president through an initial understanding. When I joined there wasn't much to the club - it was actually in danger of being disbanded. When the end of the year came around, the old officers were looking for new officers. One of the senior members (who is a foreigner) asked me if I was interested in becoming an officer. I replied that I was interested but I wanted to learn more about how much work it was first. He told the officers that I was interested but nothing else (technically, I was). Before I knew it I was in the system as an officer (the treasurer).

I guess I thought I would get a chance to see how much work it entailed at the training and it didn't seem like much so I stayed. Turns out the other officers were no-shows and I ended up running the club on my own. I got the chance to stage a benevolent coup - I got some new blood in that did some work - but it mainly falls on me to delegate and make the final decisions. Once that year ended, I became president (but as I write this it seems more like dictator... I digress) and I am moving ahead with actually improving the club this year. Last year was more like scrambling to do everything to just keep the club afloat. This year I can actually do stuff and we got some enthusiastic new members this year. I have gotten an advanced player of ours to host beginner lessons later this month - I'm excited about that.

In the club we host a singles and doubles tournament. It is open to everyone. This year we also held a tryout tournament for the NCTTA Northwest divisionals tournament on November 10th. I also hope that we can go to a tournament hosted at the Paddle Palace club in Portland. The club has barely participated in official tournaments, so very few of us have ratings. Because I have only played in this club - I have no rating.

I will try to get a video at practice today. If not today, then Tuesday should work out.

Thanks for responding, guys!

~NotCras


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 10:49 
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Joined: 11 May 2013, 18:01
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Location: Podunk Pongville USA MALE
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Blade: XVT Balsa Carbon 10mm all
FH: Xiom Sigma Pro 2 2.0
BH: Globe 979 OX
A lot of good info here. Read the lengthy Intro, 5-10 minutes, well worth your time. Then you can come back here and make a better decision.

https://m.facebook.com/NorthLittleRockTableTennisGroup/

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Panda Drive / 4H Xiom Sigma Pro 2 2.0 / BH Xiom Omega IV Elite Max / Play right-handed
XVT balsa carbon 10mm / 4H Xiom Sigma Pro 2 2.0 / BH Globe 979 Long Pips OX / Play Left-handed shakehand
Stiga Def Wood / 4H Xiom Sigma Pro 2 2.0 / BH GD CC LP OX .. Play Left-handed
Cpen SOS Wood / 4H 729 802-40 2.0 / BH GD Talon use righthanded shakehand grip
HARDBAT / Shakehand Hock 3 ply / Friendship Dr Evil OX .. Play Right-handed


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PostPosted: 26 Oct 2018, 10:54 
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Joined: 15 Sep 2011, 12:25
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Blade: OldNittaku Carbon
FH: Evolution FX-P max
BH: Tenergy 05 max
Thanks for that. It seems that these days not many people want to do such voluntary work - then they complain if the voluntary worker does not do things perfectly or the way they want things done. They just want to be able to play table tennis without having to bother with anything else.

Kudos to you for doing it.

Also, the title of your blog comes over as being a little plaintive. Why not "The only way is up" or "On the up and up" or something to reflect things in a slightly more positive light.

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PostPosted: 28 Oct 2018, 10:17 
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If you really want to win more then post a video. I have done this on forums and got great advice . The best online coaching in my opinion is ttedge.com. You can spend years working on this material. It costs a little each month but worth every cent.


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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 09:01 
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Joined: 12 Sep 2018, 16:11
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Location: Oregon, USA
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Blade: Donic Appelgren Excl. AR
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Lots of updates! Got bogged down with work. Videos should be coming soon. I have taken several but I haven't had the chance to process/upload them yet.

I changed the title of the blog to 'You may serve now, Mr. President'. Thanks to Retriever for pointing out that the title had come off as plaintive (although it was not the intent). Changed it to something that I feel reflects both the blog as a training journal and as a president's log/journal. I will also ask questions, so please feel free to reply!

Training Journal Update
I sold my paddle and got a new one. The reason was because my hands are large, and although the paddle is nice it is really uncomfortable to me. Instead, I got the Donic Appelgren Exclusive AR (ST handle). I got it because I had the opportunity to try one out before buying and the handle fit better in my hand. For rubbers I am using KTL Pro XP rubbers on both sides. Blade is slower than the previous one, but I like that. One unexpected side effect from this however has been major EJ impulses. I that since I did some research and tried other people's paddles a bunch, I still have some residual EJ impulses after my purchase. Lately, I have been oogling over the Sanwei Fextra, mostly because of reports that the handle is a dream for those with big hands. Seems rather fast for my skillset right now. Anyone have experience with it?

I started to work seriously on improving my form. My forehand drive needs the most work - improving it has been my focus for now. I have receiving help from one of our senior players, and I already feel an improvement. I fear that I won't have enough practice over winter break (club won't have practices then) to keep it up. You will be able to see my form when I post my videos. I'm still unsure of my playing style, but I might have a hint. That senior member who helps me has said that when I try to do a drive, I naturally loop instead. The drive/loop that results is a poor loop, but I just have some tendency to want to brush the ball when I drive. I think it comes from me bringing my blade down too far when I drive and am working on doing the correct motion.

Recently I read a forum thread about building custom blades. It certainly inspires me to make a blade, but I have no equipment and currently no time. Might be fun to try one when things calm down, however.

Another thing that is interesting to me is making custom rubbers. I haven't read of many people doing this. Granted you need ITTF certification to use in tournaments, but many custom blade-crafters make blades that are illegal for fun and to develop an understanding of blade composition, so why not rubbers? In my graduate school work I have some experience with molding silicone (I'm not a chemist, however). I'm thinking that it might be fun to try making a rubber from the spare stock that I have lying around. For sponge I could buy some, but I'm unsure how to glue sponge to the rubber. Does anyone have any resources that might put me in the right direction? I guess in the meantime I could try some long pips rubbers without sponge.


President's Journal Update
Every year the school requires each club to submit a prospective budget for the next year. We just submitted ours. Main cost: travel to NCTTA tournaments and balls.

We use the Nittaku J-top practice balls for our practices because we can get them relatively cheap through our account with Paddle Palace. The problem is that the club goes through balls quite quickly. Earlier this year we tried Nittaku 2* superior balls. We got them because we read reports that they were as durable as the Nittaku 3* Premium balls. We did not experience the same durability. We bought about 4 dozen and about 90% were broken within 6 weeks (2 practices a week). The J-top practice balls break often, but we get 10 dozen. This lasted us a full year last year, but I'm not so sure about this year. Is this typical for ball durability, or are my club members especially rough with the balls?

On a positive note, I had bought a set of 6 seamless balls (Xushaofa) as an experiment sometime between we got the Nittaku 2* and the J-Top balls and every single one has survived so far. I'm certainly impressed regarding their durability.


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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 09:06 
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Joined: 12 Sep 2018, 16:11
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Retriever wrote:
Thanks for that. It seems that these days not many people want to do such voluntary work - then they complain if the voluntary worker does not do things perfectly or the way they want things done. They just want to be able to play table tennis without having to bother with anything else.

Kudos to you for doing it.



Thanks! I've been enjoying more than I thought. In a way, I kind of see all the players as a parent might see their kid: I view their successes as my successes as well. In that way, its been quite rewarding so far. And honestly, who doesn't just want to play table tennis without having to bother with anything else? I can't blame them!

maurice101 wrote:
If you really want to win more then post a video. I have done this on forums and got great advice . The best online coaching in my opinion is ttedge.com. You can spend years working on this material. It costs a little each month but worth every cent.


Thanks maurice101! You can expect videos here soon. I'll have to check out ttedge as well, thanks for the suggestion!


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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 10:27 
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Re custom blades/rubbers:
ITTF does not certify blades so you can play with a custom blade in a tournament provided it contains the required percentage of natural wood.
This is different for the rubbers: the top sheet must be certified with ITTF to be allowed for a tournament.


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PostPosted: 30 Nov 2018, 10:44 
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Nice title change! Reflects both playing and administrating.

Glad to hear that you are actively trying to improve. Keep on doing it.

I hope you are using Paddle One when you are serving, Mr. President!

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