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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2017, 15:40 
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Debater wrote:
LordCope 20 February wrote:
Played in the Hampshire Closed yesterday - Veterans, Singles and Doubles...

I recorded all 6 of my matches, which I will edit and post.


^_^ :?


Takes a while to do! Fear not! They shall appear!


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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2017, 11:49 
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BRS wrote:
LordCope wrote:
- I have a habit of taking the ball slightly too far back - I need to be taking the ball in front of me, not to my side


Assuming this is on the fh. FWIW, Larry Hodges says the opposite. Google tabletenniscoaching.com easy power if you are curious to see his take.

Also this serms like too many things to think about at once. Did they give you any ranking of inportance, or different drills to work on theae individually?


Here's where I blogged about Contact Point on the Forehand, with pictures of the best players in the world as they contact their forehand, and a video of Ma Long. Judge for yourself.
http://tabletenniscoaching.com/node/2415
-Larry Hodges

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Last edited by Larry Hodges on 21 Aug 2017, 05:39, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2017, 20:44 
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Larry Hodges wrote:
Here's where I blogged about Contact Point on the Forehand, with pictures of the best players in the world as they contact their forehand, and a video of Ma Long. Judge for yourself.
http://tabletenniscoaching.com/node/2415
-Larry Hodges

yeah I agree entirely with this. you can't generate power when you don't give your arm any room to swing

if I take the ball too close to my body - e.g. if I've not moved my feet well enough to get into position to loop the ball - I reckon I lose ~50% power almost immediately. also significantly more error-prone

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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2017, 21:12 
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All these pictures show the ball being hit where Paul was saying it should be hit. Where I sometimes take the ball is *behind* this point, often because I am too close to the table.

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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2017, 23:54 
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LordCope wrote:
All these pictures show the ball being hit where Paul was saying it should be hit. Where I sometimes take the ball is *behind* this point, often because I am too close to the table.


Or put another way your swing is too long (or you start it too late) to support playing at your preferred distance from the table. IMO, order of preference for correcting this is

1. React earlier and take full swing from close
2. Shorten swing while maintaining good mechanics
3. Move back

Because moving back will change your backhand too. You will have to chop, I assume, blocking with LP only works close, doesn't it?


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PostPosted: 04 Mar 2017, 23:55 
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Please post some video, the suspense is too much already. You can post one at a time, you know, don't have to edit all six first.


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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 02:00 
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I guess an update is long overdue....

I never bothered to post the videos because they bear so little relation to me now, they'd be purely for historical value. In that tournament in FebI played my first three matches with my SP/OX LP combo, winning 1/3 against tough opposition. I then managed to lose my bag, and had nothing to play with, so ended up borrowing something from a friend - inverted and sponged LP. I played ok against tougher opposition, for 0/3.

However, that kinda swung it for me - I'd already made the decision to switch to inverted on my FH and develop my ability to spin the ball and read spin. It's now six months later, and I think I've made good progress.

The main news is a change of coach / approach. I went to Portugal for a week in June to train full time. We recorded a lot of what I worked on, and when I looked at it and compared it to my videos from the start of last year, I was shocked - many of the the exact same flaws where still there. I was still not properly brushing the ball, despite supposedly working on this for 3 months. My footwork and position remained laboursome, and I still looked like a robot, trying to generate racket speed purely with my (upper) arm. I was very upset - how could I have been training with my coach once or twice a week for so long and have made so little progress? I felt that a radical change was needed. A different perspective, and instead of weekly (or twice weekly) sessions, I'd go for a longer session, once a month. To be clear - I have definitely improved, and learned a lot, but in the key areas that were most important to me, I was stuck.

We started again from scratch - working on mechanics of generating spin, and reading spin. I made good progress in a week - and felt I was going in the right direction.

The change of approach is down to my footwork. I'm not too bad from side-to-side, but in and out I struggle, which means that when I try to chop away from the table I'm often in entirely the wrong position. The recommendation was to go back to playing near the table, and work on in/out footwork to open up the option of chopping away from the table. This means more active chop/blocking.

When I got home, I looked up a coach that was recommended to me, and had two days of intensive training, again on FH topspin, and spin-reading. Again, good progress was made.

I've just got back from a week's training camp, working on more of the same (amongst other things), and am feeling pretty positive.

I met up with a friend of pgpg, from Boston, who was also at the camp. He's a good player - ~2000 USATT. Was interesting to see him compete against UK and European players. He'd be a decent UK band 3 player. We played a couple of practice, and one competitive match. He won 3-1, but it was close. He estimates my current rating to be about 1800-1900, but with my style could upset a lot of people.

The other news is that I had a bit of a club/league saga....

So my team was relegated from division 2/4 to division 3/4 last season, but I was top player. I really didn't want to play in division 3, and my (then) coach suggested I play for his club, where I'd get a team in divison 2 (at least). However as the summer wore on it started to look vanishingly unlikely that that would work out, and that I'd likely have to play in division 3 anyway. If that were the case, I wasn't sure why I would change clubs. My main concern, though, was to be in a team and a club with long-term potential. In my (then current) club, our team was the top team in the club, and I was the top player in the team. The chances of us going up again to division 2 was reasonable, but then of going on to division 1, negligible. The team I'd end up playing for in the proposed new club would be very unlikely to win division 3. I was feeling pretty frustrated, when a friend from a third club suggested I might like to play for them. They have a team in division 3 and a team in division 1. The division 3 team would be strong contenders for promotion. I agreed to do so.

In the other competition, my team last year came second in the premier division (with me a solid player 3), however, two players had to drop out of the squad, and logistics made it look unlikely that the team was viable, so I offered my services as a player to the large club close to my home, where I have trained on-and-off since I started playing, but for whom I have never played. They accepted, and I started going back there to train. Whilst there, the head coach asked me what my plans were in the other league (the one described in the paragraph above). I explained my situation, and he said: why not just play for us? Guaranteed place in division 2, two more teams in division 1, a team in the even stronger league, 15 miles away, a team in senior british league, plans for a second, and plans for a team in veterans british league. Basically, we can provide an environment for you to develop and play at whatever level you wish, we're 5 mins away, you know us all, and you're not going to find yourself constrained by club size, fixed 'mates teams' etc etc. I went away and thought about it, and it all made complete sense. With a very heavy heart, I withdrew from the 'new' division 3 team, and agreed to commit to the local, large club long-term. Now, a few weeks later, I am entirely sure this was the right decision, and I feel at ease about it.

So that brings us up to date. I'll write a separate entry with some notes from the camp and recent training sessions, describing exercises we did, areas I'm working on, and so forth. I also have some things to say about physical training, diet, and the mental side of the game.

For those of you who care about equipment - I only have one setup. All my other blades have been sold or given away. I have a diminishing pile of rubbers which are for sale / free to a good home. Ping me if you are in need of an EJ fix.

Blade is a Nittaku Barwell Fleet. It's just a very nice blade - ALL+/OFF-, huge sweet spot, and lots of feeling. Very nice in the hand.

FH rubber is Nittaku FastArc G1 2.0mm. Simply because the person I bought the blade from sells Xiom and Nittaku rubbers, and I'd used the FastArc before. Seriously though, in the last few months I've become even more convinced that although there are certain differences between FH inverted rubbers, within general classes (ie modern attacking inverted rubbers, made in germany) they're pretty much drop-in replacements. I had a chance to play with a bunch of other rubbers and blades at the camp, and nothing really stood out. FastArc does exactly what I need it to, so I'm perfectly happy.

BH rubber is Hellfire OX. This took a bit of experimenting/thought. I used DtecS almost exclusively last season, mostly OX, but a little while with 0.5. I went back to OX under advice, especially given the focus on playing close to the table on my BH. DtecS is great, but against better players it really isn't the easiest to control. Dornenglanz is lovely to control, and has good effect, but poor durability. I tried the DMS Elimination, but didn't think it was anything special. I didn't want to spend weeks trying dozens of other LPs, so I just made the decision to go with Hellfire, after speaking to a few players I know and trust. It seems to be a good choice. It's easier to control than DtecS, and has a good effect. It'll do nicely.

So, there you are. Season starts in earnest for me in a few weeks, with a Veterans Ratings tournament. I'll keep you posted.

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 04:24 
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LC, I was starting to worry you gave up on TT for good, since you did not post in a while. :) Hope you have good luck with a new coach/approach, although things like 'starting from scratch' give me a bit of a pause. We're not spring chickens anymore and some habits/traits are really hard to change.

Curious who's this club mate of mine you ran into - nobody comes to mind right away. PM if you don't want to share in public.

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 05:33 
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Any recent videos to show LC? 1800/1900 would be a big improvement from last time I saw you play. Sounds positive.

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 09:00 
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pgpg wrote:
Curious who's this club mate of mine you ran into - nobody comes to mind right away. PM if you don't want to share in public.


AS - left-handed, two-winged attacker, T05 / T05FX

He took a picture!

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 09:12 
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dunc wrote:
Any recent videos to show LC? 1800/1900 would be a big improvement from last time I saw you play. Sounds positive.


Not really, no. Will certainly record my matches at my tournament in a few weeks though.

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 09:21 
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LordCope wrote:
pgpg wrote:
Curious who's this club mate of mine you ran into - nobody comes to mind right away. PM if you don't want to share in public.


AS - left-handed, two-winged attacker, T05 / T05FX

He took a picture!


Yes, figured it out from your FB post (found him in the picture). I think he should be 2000+ USATT (he is comfortably above that in our club league, but these ratings are a bit inflated). The thing is - he does not have one, USATT rating that is, since he never played sanctioned tournament ;). He's a very nice guy, by the way - and one of my best tournament wins was against him in a local unsanctioned team tournament. I came back to win it in 5th I believe, and after that he started playing club league to get more competitive matches in.

Which brings me to my next point: rating estimates are fine, and I trust his judgement, but: huge component of your actual tournament rating is your mental toughness and ability to win matches under stress against unfamiliar opponents. If you fall behind against lower rated opponent and start to freeze up, it does not matter how good your shots looked in warmup.

Anyway, glad to hear that you are making progress, keep us updated.

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 09:44 
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Was very interesting to meet him, and to see him playing against people whose strength I understand / recognise. He played well under pressure as well as in competition. He'd be around top 250 senior men, at least, and has the capacity to be a lot better. Incidentally that's not just my assessment, but the assessment of the coaches we trained with.

I completely agree about the need to close out wins - that's what I didn't do well last season - so many matches where I was 2-0 up or had a match point, but didn't get over the line. And times when my mental approach let me down badly. I do feel much tougher now, in myself.

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 11:37 
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Welcome back LC and good to hear you are just as keen as you ever was. Was also thinking you were MIA.

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PostPosted: 21 Aug 2017, 13:00 
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I'm curious to hear more about the camp in Portugal. It sounds like you got a lot out of it, or maybe a lot of things that happened over months were compressed in your write-up.


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