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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2017, 17:00 
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On the inverted rubber saga, I'm minded to stick with the T05 2.1. It does everything I tried to do very well. It doesn't seem too fast, and I can block very strong topspin and counterloop. Service return will be the real test.

However, I've also ordered some Stiga Mantra M 1.9 (per NL recommendation) and some Sriver L Max (because I liked it on Sunday). I've bought some spare Primorac blades, as their cheap, and I've been told they may be discontinued. However, I'm less than enthusuastic about messing about with FH when I've already started to make progress with the rubber that ES gave me.

We'll see. I'll see my coach on Wed and we can talk it through.

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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2017, 22:12 
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Went to Tuesday practice. Found it really really frustrating. Been practicing with and playing touraments with strong players, and going to play with division 4, 3 and 2 players just felt so incredibly alien - they're just so.... unpredictable!

Played a lot of doubles - tried to force myself to use my FH to receive serve, and to spin every ball. Failed miserably. Service return was utterly hopeless, and I hit every ball long. Note: HIT every ball long. Total failure to spin. Finally started spinning the ball in the last game of the session.

Played some practice games with RA - very good person to play. Very spinny serves into my FH and a good retriever. I lost all the games 11-9. Made tonnes of mistakes, but the point was to persist with trying to get to grips with a spinny FH rubber.

At the time I felt really frustrated, but on reflection it was a worthwhile session.

Evening was the Veterans Couples Quarter Final. We won easily. Opposition was pretty weak. One fellow was really a beginner. The other was not bad - chopped the ball consistently but couldn't return my serves. Useful practice for me spinning against push and chop, but his shots weren't very loaded. Still, I won 22-1 and 22-2.

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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2017, 00:22 
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Pretty much everyone feels like they played better when the competition was stronger, win or lose. And you probably need to be a bit patient with your FH if you're really changing from SP to T05. It's a big difference. Give it two or three weeks.


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PostPosted: 23 Feb 2017, 01:59 
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1-2-1 with Adam this morning. We looked at the video of my first match on Sunday (v RM... video has been edited, need to upload shortly). Took some positives and some actions from it - specifically to have a mindset of blocking on the FH.

Worked on service return - verses side spin and chop. Simplistic guidelines:

- vs short side spin - flick
- vs long side spin - topspin
- vs short chop - push/touch
- vs long chop - topspin / push

The important rule is that we shouldn't try to push or touch sidespin.

Bear in mind that while the rest of my game is fairly well-developed, my service return with inverted is very very weak, so I'm effectively learning this as a near-beginner.

Worked on topspin FH - generating spin not pace. I've been *hitting* the ball, as I would with SP, when I need to *brush* the ball. Realised that in both short game and general strokes, I can ease a long way off the "power" and still play a full shot with plenty of spin. When I can *feel* the ball, that's a good sign.

On this point, Adam is in agreement with Dunc... he thinks there may be value in using something a little slower and a little less reactive than T05 for a few months, to ensure I am playing with confidence, in both short and full strokes. He suggests Sriver or Bryce or Roundell, but isn't prescriptive. He'd want me to graduate to T05 or even a more modern equivalent, but is of the view that a stepping stone might not be a bad idea. I will give the Sriver and Mantra a go in comparison to the T05, to see how they feel.

On the blade change, Adam was very pleased. He used the Primorac for many many years, and thinks it's superb. He agreed that my BH was much more controlled.

Also worked on FH vs push, which is the most critical shot in my reportoire. The whole purpose of the LP tactics is to get the opponent to push, which I then topspin, and continue to attack. If necessary, reset with a LP push/block, look for a push, open up, attack.

Also worked on staples of defence - block over the table, and just behind the table on FH and BH, and chopping from further back. Looking at counter attack on the FH side, block, or topspin.

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PostPosted: 24 Feb 2017, 21:54 
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Another 1-2-1 yesterday. Working almost entirely on spin up / spin forward. I really struggled. My "spin" shots were too thick or too hitty, most of the time. I know this feeling, and it will pass as I get better.

Then went to the club for training in the evening. Three drills, all of which allowed me to work on the same thing. I played much better, probably because the amount of spin Adam was giving me was greater than my practice partners.

Then played a lot of top table. Had really excellent results against Prem-level players.

Going to rest today and tomorrow, maybe work on fitness, then 1 day training camp on Sunday.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2017, 05:22 
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I attended a one day training camp today, run by Paul and Jo Drinkhall. I've been to these before, and found them to be very useful. I went with two things that I wanted help with - spinning the ball (brushing) and returning FH service.

Here are the key takeaways from the session, for my development:

- 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
- My main challenge at present is balance - I move quickly, but once I get there I'm not necessarily in a good position to make a shot, my upper body is tight and tucked up, and my centre of balance is all over the place. This makes it very hard to hit a good shot.
- The feet should move first, but keep the head central, and stay low. Good practice - side step 4-5 metres left to right, but stay low, keep head central; 30 seconds; Break.
- Leaning and reaching makes it hard to move - keep weight even, and move feet instead, then you'll stay balanced.
- Balance is a habit - when you develop the instinct of staying low, with a good triangle between feet and head, then recovery and catching nets and edges becomes second nature. If you lunge and reach, you'll always be off balance.
- On my FH smashes I follow through and go off balance, so a block will be a problem; better to keep the shot less compact and more accurate, and recover in a balanced way.
- I generally play too close to the table - I need to give myself more space and time. Paul suggested putting a barrier in the way so I can't go too close.
- My FH shots need to focus on weight transfer from right to left leg - propel through the toes, calves, and thighs - but don't let the weight go too far.
- Upper body needs to be really really relaxed - super floppy relaxed, so it's quick. I tend to be very jerky and stiff.

This video is what I should be aiming for:



- Paul emphasised the need to move the arm back ready to play the shot *as you are moving* - this saves a lot of time - IIRC there's a ttedge video about this
- Jo emphasised (as has Hannah) that if you're going to continue to chop, keep the bat high - no need to bring it down only to bring it back up again; if the ball comes back and you want to hit it instead, it's still no big deal to have the bat high
- When generating spin, the feeling I am looking for is of extreme speed and aggression with the wrist and hand, but a very soft touch; the ball shouldn't go fast, but should be loaded with spin.
- For now, in training, I should be aiming for an exaggerated spin - the ball should go high and then drop with spin - like a mini loop. If I can do this against push or chop, it means I am brushing the ball
- On service return, esp. v long fast serves, remember not to try to do too much with the ball - there's already a lot of speed and maybe spin - it's a delicate shot, adding a little spin, not a power shot

A good exercise for my FH:

- Short serve -> push -> topspin -> block -> chop -> push -> topspin -> block -> chop (repeat)

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2017, 07:43 
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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?


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2017, 18:07 
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I think it's hard to put into words I think what I'm taking about is a form of Brett's golden point. I don't mean taking the ball literally in front of my, just not taking the ball when it's nearly past me!

Yes - on the FH.

I guess what I wrote is more of a brain dump.

The top priority is balance with a relaxed upper body.


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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2017, 05:12 
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You are saying something related to the Golden Triangle.

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PostPosted: 28 Feb 2017, 05:12 
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You are saying something related to the Golden Triangle.

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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2017, 03:17 
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LordCope wrote:
- For now, in training, I should be aiming for an exaggerated spin - the ball should go high and then drop with spin - like a mini loop. If I can do this against push or chop, it means I am brushing the ball

one small caveat here dude. my playing partner used to do this and thought he was looping. he wasn't - he was what I'd call "rolling". he didn't realise he was doing it but he was essentially cupping his bat under the ball and kinda "throwing" it over the net

I've seen a few new loopers make this same mistake. if your bat is pointing straight up or over the net and the above is still the case, then yeah, you're brushing. if it's pointing back towards you.. perhaps you aren't

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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2017, 04:15 
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Excellent point. Yes, I'm mindful of bat angle. AF spent some time with me yesterday showing me how he can do a ball drop and hit, with really ludicrous hand/arm/racket speed, but produce a ball that hardly moves forward but is absolutely loaded with spin. This is what I need to be able to do.


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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2017, 00:38 
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Played a match on Tuesday night. Same three opponents as the previous fixture - PF, SL, GL.

Lost in 5 to PF - too many unforced errors and lazy service return errors, but was pretty close.

Should have gone through GL like a hot knife through butter. Won the first 11-3. But somehow lost it in the next two, losing 11-9 each time. Just every ball I hit I missed. Got really furious. Managed to claw back the 4th 12-10. Team mates wisely advised me just to calm the heck down, and be patient. I did - just blocked and waited and hit easy balls. Easy win in the fifth.

Played well against SL. Lost 3-1, but two of three I lost were deuce. I dropped back and chopped mostly, first time I've been able to try that.

I recorded the game against PF and GL. I thought I'd recorded the SL match, but I must have made a mistake.

My "spare" blades have arrived. One has Sriver L Max on it, the other Stiga Mantra M (1.8). I wasn't planning to use either, and just get used to the Tenergy, but when I saw Adam, he asked if the "alternative" rubbers had arrived, and asked to look at them. He asked me to try using the Sriver for our session, as he suspected it would help me, as I'd play a full and committed stroke without worrying about the ball going too long / fast. He also suspected that my touch game would be better with a slower rubber.

Gave it a try, and have to report very favourable impressions. Adam's asked me to use the Sriver for a few months, and then consider moving up to the Stiga, or perhaps back to T05 or to M1.

Played a practice match with TP, where he could only push. I had to try to spin everything. I did get better at it, and started to feel as if I was generating some real spin, but it's still very counter-intuitive.

Played a practice match with my team mate, where I chopped mostly. He played very well! However, the few occasions when I chopped with the Sriver, it was very nice - slower and more controlled than the Tenergy.

Training tonight....

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2017, 04:20 
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LordCope wrote:

NL: I looked up the rubbers you suggested. I remember reading a review about the Regalis, and it sounded good. I've obviously seen good comments about the Nexy, and the Mantra M sounds promising too. I get 40% discount on Stiga, so I might give that a try!

+1 for the regalis. It's on my double inverted setup. So good...so linear...still spinny and powerful. I am keen to try the Nexy Karis next, but $50 is still a lot.

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PostPosted: 03 Mar 2017, 10:00 
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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.


^_^ :?

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