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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2016, 21:12 
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Self-knowledge is more than half the battle. Even amongst the strong players with whom I train, more than half of them couldn't tell you exactly what areas need work. When we are asked to work on an exercise that fits what we're working on in our game, more often than not I am the only one (out of the two) who has a specific objective in mind.

I continue to be amazed at the difference between good players and really good players. I played last night against the top three players in one of the leagues I played in. It was a handicap match, and I won, but I wouldn't have won from scratch. These players are just too powerful with their loops, and their serves are too hard for me to control. I might get an end, if I play out of my skin, but I am nowhere near winning. They're just much too good.

My coach played against them last week - the same three players. Beat them all 3-0, without breaking a sweat. Literally wasn't even trying. I asked them about it - they said it was like playing someone who was just dicking around.

Interesting I asked my coach about playing them too. His answer: he pretty much beat them just by moving the ball around with his LP. Just being able to vary the length, pace, and spin, and place the ball in a difficult area was all he needed to do...

Incidentally, of your list, having soft hands is something my coach goes on and on about. Especially when chopping, pushing, touching, and returning serve.

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2016, 21:50 
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You play much better. More bending through you knees when chopping.

Maybe a good tip against good servers: listen to the serve. You can differentiate the sound between a brush and a fuller contact.

Playing in a new hall?
You still train with the same coach (the bald guy)?


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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2016, 21:58 
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LordCope wrote:
Self-knowledge is more than half the battle. Even amongst the strong players with whom I train, more than half of them couldn't tell you exactly what areas need work. When we are asked to work on an exercise that fits what we're working on in our game, more often than not I am the only one (out of the two) who has a specific objective in mind.

I continue to be amazed at the difference between good players and really good players. I played last night against the top three players in one of the leagues I played in. It was a handicap match, and I won, but I wouldn't have won from scratch. These players are just too powerful with their loops, and their serves are too hard for me to control. I might get an end, if I play out of my skin, but I am nowhere near winning. They're just much too good.

My coach played against them last week - the same three players. Beat them all 3-0, without breaking a sweat. Literally wasn't even trying. I asked them about it - they said it was like playing someone who was just dicking around.

Interesting I asked my coach about playing them too. His answer: he pretty much beat them just by moving the ball around with his LP. Just being able to vary the length, pace, and spin, and place the ball in a difficult area was all he needed to do...

Incidentally, of your list, having soft hands is something my coach goes on and on about. Especially when chopping, pushing, touching, and returning serve.

He's spot on in both regards in my opinion.

Short game is... just massive. The difference between me and these guys who beat me 3-0 feels like <------- miles -------> at the moment. Realistically though, I know that if I can return their serves deep with some placement (wide-ish backhand or into their crossover... or potentially wide forehand if they look like they're ready to move round their backhand) then I know that I'd be in with a significantly better chance of returning their 3rd ball attack.

The same applies with top players. When I watched Darius Knight against Liu Song for example, Liu Song made it look easy because he didn't struggle one tiny bit with Darius' serves. Darius never really had the opportunity to get in and lash a 3rd ball past Liu Song which meant Liu Song was consistently able to get into the rally off Darius' serve. The difference in that game was partially Liu Song's ability to loop every ball but it was at least equally due to the fact that Liu Song had absolutely no problem controlling Darius' serves.

Soft hands is becoming so important to me. For chopping and pushing it's almost mandatory I reckon. I can get away with a bit more tension when looping but for dealing with any kind of heavy spin, I'm finding it absolutely vital that I have soft hands.

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PostPosted: 13 Dec 2016, 22:00 
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Lorre wrote:
You play much better. More bending through you knees when chopping.

Maybe a good tip against good servers: listen to the serve. You can differentiate the sound between a brush and a fuller contact.

Playing in a new hall?
You still train with the same coach (the bald guy)?

Thank you Lorre. My technique has improved but my results haven't yet caught up with the improvement... :)

Listening to serves definitely does help and this is something I try to do at our home (single table) venue. However at the main venue, it's far too noisy - you can barely hear the contact of the ball at all.

I play at a few different venues, this is the one where I do most of my filming though as I play there every Friday. The last videos you saw from me were probably at a different venue because I played for a different team last season.

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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 06:17 
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I might've just gone back to short pimples :oops: :oops: :oops: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 08:02 
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dunc wrote:
I might've just gone back to short pimples :oops: :oops: :oops: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

On B/H?.


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 08:14 
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dunc wrote:
I might've just gone back to short pimples :oops: :oops: :oops: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:


Crikey. What on earth for?


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PostPosted: 25 Jan 2017, 18:08 
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peterpong wrote:
dunc wrote:
I might've just gone back to short pimples :oops: :oops: :oops: :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:

On B/H?.

Oh yeah, of course. The inverted forehand is never in doubt, I'm absolutely useless without serves and loop :D

LordCope wrote:
Crikey. What on earth for?

I just got sick (again). This happens every so often. I'm sick of giving away cheap points because I'm sooo bad at the basics* with LPs. I'm also sick of players being able to dictate the kind of game I play.

So I've gone to a much slower blade, with my T64 on forehand and the "Old Faithful" on my backhand - basic Spectol max sponge.

* By basics I guess I mostly mean pushing. I just can't "feel" LPs the way I do with inverted/SPs and I end up making horrible bat angle errors. Same applies when I'm out of position with the LPs, I have no "block" function at all which means "out of position" = "lost point" 9 times out of 10. There's also the hitting, though. So many times I get pop-ups from my serves which just need to a backhand drive applied to them to win the point, but I can't do it consistently with LPs.

All of the above has been practised. For literally years now. But because I don't get a lot of feedback from the LPs, I often don't feel like I'm actually learning or improving. I can spend 3x 3 hour sessions practising pushing then go into a league match and make errors pushing. That's so frustrating and it's getting to a point where I'm not enjoying the game because I get soooo wound up losing points from entirely unforced errors.

The SP push/hit seems more natural to me, possibly because I can feel the spin (or lack of) on the ball. Last time I played SPs I found that against the better players I wasn't quite as effective (though I tend not to beat them with LPs anyway) but against similar-level players I was much more effective because I didn't throw points away.

We'll see how it goes for a while I guess. Probably be back to LP soon :D :headbang:

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2017, 02:06 
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If you can train pushing without errors, then couldn't it be that your body is too tense in a game so you make errors and rationalize it as having a better feeling with whatever is different at the moment, until the next time you're too tense and end up making pushing errors with inverted/SPs?


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2017, 02:48 
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Lorre wrote:
If you can train pushing without errors, then couldn't it be that your body is too tense in a game so you make errors and rationalize it as having a better feeling with whatever is different at the moment, until the next time you're too tense and end up making pushing errors with inverted/SPs?

It's definitely something to do with in-match conditions Lorre, yeah. I have a real different "feeling" between pushing in matches and pushing in drills. I think this is partially psychological, but partially because I have difficulty replicating (in practice) the exact kind of incoming spin that I receive in matches. My regular practice partner isn't a great pusher, he tends just to lift the ball over the net or try to touch the ball short, rather than the heavy digs that most of the Premier division players use.

The evidence for Inv/SP being easier for me on pushes does exist though. I don't have (m)any problems (excluding the odd stupid push long) pushing on my forehand with inverted, nor do I when I twiddle (but do sometimes get caught out twiddling) - even in matchplay situations. Also, when I pick SPs up for matchplay, I end up beating a different "set" of players. I start beating the players who can push well and start losing to the players who can loop well. At the moment, I'm sick of losing to the former, and sick of not being able to compete with players purely because I can't play basic shots... and as I say, I find it difficult to train this and improve on it. I promise I've been trying!

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2017, 04:43 
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Maybe you just have to focus more on adapting to new players pushes. You can't do the same shots you practice exactly if the ball coming is different.

Also, with your long pips cant you bump the pushes as well? I mean like Jian Li does with his. I learned that shot from watching his matches and I can use it well against backspin serves or pushes, it can throw off the opponent as well


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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2017, 05:03 
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Ah mate I've tried the bump and that's the shot that basically causes me all the problems!

If I get a proper inverted-like push with the pimples where the ball is really gripping into the sponge, I can push. It's the rest of the time that I can't - e.g. not enough energy coming into the sponge. I then try to adapt my bat angle to cater for a bump instead of a push and I consistently get it hideously wrong.

I couldn't play with OX at all because of this, I could never get my bat angles right. I've progressively moved up in sponge thickness levels until max P1-R and it has helped, but not enough that I'm not still getting frustrated with my ineptitude.

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2017, 01:14 
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First match tonight with SPs. I'll let you know how it goes. I don't have high expectations :) I'm playing against two players with hugely spinny loops (one forehand, one backhand), one of whom also has some of the most spinny serves in the league. If I can play well against him, I can drop any worries about playing against heavy spin with the SPs - which, at the moment, is my biggest concern.

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2017, 02:10 
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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2017, 19:11 
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Definitely went better than expected.

I beat a player 3-1 who I've never beaten before. He's a leftie pusher/hitter. Last time I played him he gave me no-spin serves into the pimples then lashed the ball past me with an almost pure drive stroke. I felt like I could have and should have beaten him at that point, but... didn't. In fact I think I may have lost 3-0.

I then went on to beat their best player 3-1. He's the heavy-spinning looper that I spoke about in my previous post. He has a pendulum serve which he really "bites" into and generates a lot of spin with his soft forehand tensor. I didn't struggle with his serves at all (apart from when he started throwing them down the line to my forehand, frustratingly!) and caused him a lot of problems with my SP chops. Early on he looped a couple of lower-spin chops off the end of the table and then lost confidence trying to read the spin. At one point he tried to drop what he thought was a low-spin chop just over the net, only for it to absolutely fly off his bat on to his own side of the table before even reaching the net.

Their third player is my old teammate whose game I know very well. He's very inconsistent, not often able to practice, so I didn't feel much pressure trying to beat him. He's got the most powerful loop in the division (when it goes on - which might only be 1 in every 3 attempts) and twice (out of 2 attempts) I was (fairly) comfortable in chopping it back. One time I had to float it because his pace was too much for me and it caught me out but the second time I managed to get an insane amount of spin on it and he dumped his push into the net.

Overall, the massively noticeable improvement was my pushing. So many rallies where players tried to push me off (I'm almost renowned for my inability to push now) and I came out on top. I didn't throw points away, and it made my opponents seem much easier to beat.

I expected to win at least 1 of those games, but I was only hoping for 3 - I couldn't convince myself that I'd be able to win all 3.

I was nervous, but that's purely down to not yet being able to rely on the equipment. That will come, with time.

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[Old Gear/Other Setups] DHS Power G7, Adidas P7, Galaxy Mars v2, TSP Curl P1-R, Friendship 802, Butterfly Innershield, Xiom Omega IV Elite, Stiga Chop n' Drive, Butterfly Tenergy 64, Butterfly Tenergy 80, Butterfly Tenergy 05, Stiga Calibra LT Sound, Stiga Calibra Tour S, Tibhar Grass D.TecS
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