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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2017, 04:37 
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Japsican wrote:
I’m sure this has been posted before, but I’ve never seen it. Not the full version.

Koji Matsushita vs Jan Ove Waldner. Arguably my 2 favorite players along with Chtchet.
27:17 is where they start. Kong v Persson is he first match...




As far as I can remember this was never posted. Do you mind to post it in the video section (both of Chtchetinine and Matsushita)?

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 03:27 
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Joola NA Teams diary in one single post.

What an experience. Some of it good, some of it terrible, but totally worth it. That being said, this will likely be the first and last time I do this.

First off, this tournament was far more grueling than I realized. Concrete flooring sucks and is rough on the back and feet. We were scheduled for 4 matches Friday, 4 Saturday, and 3 on Sunday. I was not in shape for the volume as nearly all of our matches when the distance for a total of 9 games (3 for each player). It’s like a giant round robin 2 days in a row and then a normal sized round robin on the 3rd. I had some big wins against players that I love playing (spinny loopers) and some terrible losses against players I practice less against (spinless players, other defenders). Likely I will lose a lot of points.

This is not meant as excuse for my poor play, but I was sick all tournament, and on the 3rd day ended up in urgent care with pneumonia. I was out of breath often, coughing, lung congestion, but I thought my lack of breath was more due to my being in poor shape. I literally left the tournament, and drove to urgent care before heading home! Haha.

I had some big highs, and big lows as with any tournament. In this tournament, I would say more lows than normal. My best game came against a very spinny looper which was the decider for the match. I lost, but played my best match by far. My low came against his teammate, a fellow chopper, where I lost in 4. And it wasn’t until I looked at the score sheet to discover his official rating was 753! OMG! He had wins over 1500 players, so he was underrated. I suck against other defenders, and took too many stupid risks.

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I met other OOAK members. Happy to finally meet my “brother from another mother,” Pgpg, who shares many of the same experiences as I do. Of course, next to him I look like a hobbit…tall dude! We were in the same division but different groups so never ended up playing each other. We planned on getting food, but the schedule just did not comply as games were running late causing my team to not have any food breaks.

I also got to chat again with Next Level briefly. He played several of my club mates, and looked in top form from what I saw. Such a good guy.

Saw Pushblocker but didn’t get to introduce myself.

Said hello to Bogeyhunter as he was playing. He was comfortable enough in his game that he paused to wave hello in between points…also looked like he was playing well. I watched long enough to see a funny incident where he and the other guy were arguing about an edge ball. BTW, it was NOT an edge ball, BH was correct…it was a side ball. Can’t believe he tried to put up his hand as if to say “I’m sorry for the edge ball” when it was so clearly on the side. Not even close.

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I got to watch the Bundesliga and the Levallois French league guys. Wow, seeing that level is astonishing. Watching video does NOT ever do it justice! There is a chopper named Mathieu de Saintilan on the Levallois team that was just amazing! He reminded me of Ruwen Filus. I’m pretty sure he was chopping with SPs, but not 100%. Given his matches against Bundesliga I’d say his rating is north of 2700.

I saw Jian Li roaming around coaching but he wasn’t playing.

Wang Wei was hitting, not sure if he actually played in a match. But watching him is amazing. Such confidence in his movements.

Saw Achanta in couple of matches. Very unique style and his consistency and deadliness on serve return is evident.

I learned a lot, but I came away feeling like I definitely played bad overall. I sound like a broken record, but it is hard to maintain one's level, much less improve, when you cannot practice more than 2 times a week. I just do not have the bandwidth these days and really need to make a change. Maybe that means a style change, or moving away from TT altogether…not sure. As soon as I recover, we’ll see if I can get back to the club and bring myself to practice with any sort of motivation. I seem to have far more fun these days playing double-Inverted, Jpen, or short pips even if that means jumping back to a very low level.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 04:21 
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You sound a little depressed. Just let your brain rest for a few days and it'll be ok!


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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 04:55 
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Zhaoyang wrote:
You sound a little depressed. Just let your brain rest for a few days and it'll be ok!

I'm heavily medicated, but not depressed. Haha. ;) This pneumonia has me very fatigued... My down tone is not related to the tournament for the most part I promise. I was SO done with the tournament on the last day....was not having any fun, and really just wanted to go home, rest and be with family.

My thoughts toward the bottom of that post about style changes or quitting have been going on for several months. I have not been happy with the game for quite a while, and part of the reason I have not made wholesale changes to it is because I have a team that relies on me not to suck (as bad). My level drops considerably when I'm not chopping.

The backstory to this to which I've spared you all is that my wife is essentially disabled and having to care for my autistic son. He's the best thing to happen to us, but he can be a handful and she only has so much energy to put to things. So, I have to be home to care for them. This means, no practice, no coaching. Which makes things tough. I have flirted with giving up on defense in the past, but inevitably I have to perform for our league team.

This time, at the end of the tournament, I found myself thinking "Why the hell am I doing this, this sucks." That has never happened before.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 05:18 
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Sorry to hear, boss. Thanks for the kind words. I was in better form than I have been in recent months but definitely not the top of my game as I know it.

I felt bad because I couldn't get around. For someone like you ( who was really feeling like me a month or 2 ago), you should play on a 5 man team. That way, you get to sit out more matches as long as no one flakes or skips a whole day. This was my plan and I wanted to get around and meet and hit with more people, but then one of my teammates gets injured after day 1 and stops playing. The rest of my team is over 55 with one person over 80 and another two over 60 so I ended up having to play every single match except the last and the first.

As for table tennis, the main thing to realize is that it is always fun, whether you are playing well or not. I see this when I watch players who are rated USATT 250 having as much of a blast as players rated USATT 2500. And I was reminded by it when my rating fell from 2108 to 1899 and I Still enjoyed playing, even when I was losing close matches to players I would usually beat.

IT's good to care for your team and as long as everyone remembers this is not a profession, I am sure they understand your situation. In the end, it is just table tennis.

Good luck with everything and may you find a reasonable solution to this.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 05:24 
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NextLevel wrote:
Sorry to hear, boss. Thanks for the kind words. I was in better form than I have been in recent months but definitely not the top of my game as I know it.

I felt bad because I couldn't get around. For someone like you ( who was really feeling like me a month or 2 ago), you should play on a 5 man team. That way, you get to sit out more matches as long as no one flakes or skips a whole day. This was my plan and I wanted to get around and meet and hit with more people, but then one of my teammates gets injured after day 1 and stops playing. The rest of my team is over 55 with one person over 80 and another two over 60 so I ended up having to play every single match except the last and the first.

As for table tennis, the main thing to realize is that it is always fun, whether you are playing well or not. I see this when I watch players who are rated USATT 250 having as much of a blast as players rated USATT 2500. And I was reminded by it when my rating fell from 2108 to 1899 and I Still enjoyed playing, even when I was losing close matches to players I would usually beat.

IT's good to care for your team and as long as everyone remembers this is not a profession, I am sure they understand your situation. In the end, it is just table tennis.

Good luck with everything and may you find a reasonable solution to this.


Thanks! It was nice seeing you albeit briefly. We contemplated having 5 but thought the scheduling would be difficult. And one of our 4 was a bit flakey and kept having reasons to come late and leave early, which put pressure on the rest of us.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 05:51 
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Sorry to hear about your pneumonia - for what it's worth, you looked quite quick when I saw you playing :). Yes, this tournament does feel like a marathon (and I ran a few...).

I don't think you are going to lose a bunch of points, at least from the example you listed, that person is going to get adjusted for sure. I had several losses I'd like to take back too, but then I also feel that I 'deserved' them, mostly because I was outplayed tactically or otherwise.

Wei Wang did play ('Team 2020', I think) - I saw few of his points. There was also a pretty strong chopper on one of Shaanxi teams, wish I saw more of him and that French dude.

As far as feeling down - yup, I totally know what you are describing (well, not pneumonia part). In fact I really sucked in the league just before the Teams, and in general it feels like I am spinning my wheels (pardon the pun) all last year, at least rating-wise. Perhaps I should start telling myself that everyone else got much better at playing me :).

One of the things that I sort of realized at Teams (and NL pointed it out as well) - you win more by going for more controlled shots and putting ball on the table one more time. It's a bit of a change in attitude, since everyone likes spectacular shots, but is probably better in the long term. I was also surprisingly calm through the tournament, even in losses. I never had to play game 9, though. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 14:26 
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Japs,

I was in a similar “nothing works” situation about two years ago when I came back after a loong break. I returned with a rating of 1500 or 1600 and back then I only had one decent shot – a backhand loop/block. I lost to everyone and then some … My local rating went down to 1100 or something crazy like that and absolutely nothing was working.

I made the best decision back then – I switched to pips. My thinking wasn’t to switch to pips because it was easier to beat people, rather I wanted to eliminate my strong backhand and force myself to play more forehands. I still BH loop for fun sometimes and people keep telling me that I am an idiot for using pips and not taking advantage of my strong BH loop. My answer is always the same – I do it because I really enjoy playing long rallies and I just like being a defender :)

My advice to you is this: look at your game from 30,000 feet, try to figure out what you do and do not do well. Focus on your weaknesses, for two, three, six months, as long as it takes. If you rely heavily on your pips side and have a strong chop, eliminate it. Maybe switch to a double inverted setup and really get the basics worked on, maybe penhold – whatever you think makes sense.

Don’t give up.


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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 15:11 
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pgpg wrote:
Sorry to hear about your pneumonia - for what it's worth, you looked quite quick when I saw you playing :). Yes, this tournament does feel like a marathon (and I ran a few...).

I don't think you are going to lose a bunch of points, at least from the example you listed, that person is going to get adjusted for sure. I had several losses I'd like to take back too, but then I also feel that I 'deserved' them, mostly because I was outplayed tactically or otherwise.

Wei Wang did play ('Team 2020', I think) - I saw few of his points. There was also a pretty strong chopper on one of Shaanxi teams, wish I saw more of him and that French dude.

As far as feeling down - yup, I totally know what you are describing (well, not pneumonia part). In fact I really sucked in the league just before the Teams, and in general it feels like I am spinning my wheels (pardon the pun) all last year, at least rating-wise. Perhaps I should start telling myself that everyone else got much better at playing me :).

One of the things that I sort of realized at Teams (and NL pointed it out as well) - you win more by going for more controlled shots and putting ball on the table one more time. It's a bit of a change in attitude, since everyone likes spectacular shots, but is probably better in the long term. I was also surprisingly calm through the tournament, even in losses. I never had to play game 9, though. ;)



You are a defender, so you need to win with variation or focusing on something that makes your opponent uncomfortable. You have to continue to figure out what the opponent doesn't like, and what you should always remember is that under 1800 (and even 2000), everyone can't practice everything so everyone has holes in their game - the holes just get fewer as people get better or they are hidden behind tougher strategies like good serve and return and third ball.

When you hit the ball at someone and the ball is coming back faster, it means the person is well practiced against pace. You were losing more than your fair share of points where you were hitting the ball hard at him while he was back off the table so he knew how to use your power from back there. Then you have to try something else - usually, the simplest adjustment is to play with spin and see if he has the timing to make the shot from off the table since it will arc and drop much shorter and he will have to generate the pace himself with exquisitely timed counterloops.

I fall for the trap myself often, but I have to remember that some players like to be back there, while I am lost back there. IF you were winning those points, my advice would have been different. And it is to your credit that you had the versatility to implement it. Some people get given the advice but can't change even once.

He was a good player so if you had lost to him, there was no shame. The sad thing about ratings is that people get obsessed about them to the point that they almost never focus on the quality of play of their opponent. On the other hand, it takes getting to a consistent rating like 1700 to realize that losses are rarely by accident, and that for someone to beat you, they have to outplay you. And if they outplay you, they are good players, rating be damned. Almost everyone I have lost to in a tournament in the last 2 years has broken 1950 or 2000 after I lost to them if they were rated under 1850.

I can see that your game is solid enough that you don't lose to people because you play badly. I suspect you lose to people because you don't pick up on the patterns early enough to frustrate them and you need to expand your understanding of ball sequences and shot quality to create things that let you use your weapons.

One of the interesting things I learned - while playing a pips player I lost to, after the first game, a legendary chopper on my team told me that if I Waited a bit more, I would get better balls to loop to my backhand. Before this I was trying to attack the first long ball. But I pushed the first long ball and attacked the second one and I won that game easily. IT's noticing such things over time that make you a better defender since that is the game style you chose - you have to continue to pick on player's weaknesses. Picking on backhands is one of your major tools as people struggle to track floating balls and backspin balls with the backhand if they come over long distances. Trying to get someone to use his backhand is the usual strategy if the forehand is too solid.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 22:46 
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Thanks NF123.

notfound123 wrote:
My advice to you is this: look at your game from 30,000 feet, try to figure out what you do and do not do well. Focus on your weaknesses, for two, three, six months, as long as it takes.

I have been doing that, but again my issue is bandwidth. I just don't have the time and patience these days. I feel like at 1-2 times practice per week, one cannot really improve if at all. I don't know about you all, but I feel like if I don't at LEAST twice a week my play and technique starts to drop off.

notfound123 wrote:
If you rely heavily on your pips side and have a strong chop, eliminate it. Maybe switch to a double inverted setup and really get the basics worked on, maybe penhold – whatever you think makes sense.

This is exactly what where my head is at. Either a complete breakdown of the game (back to basics) or a complete style and equipment change.


notfound123 wrote:
Don’t give up.

This will depend largely on how much fun I have, and how much time I can dedicate to TT. I doubt I'll give up, but I'll know more when I get back on the horse. Getting back to basics only makes sense if I can practice.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 01 Dec 2017, 23:35 
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pgpg wrote:
As far as feeling down - yup, I totally know what you are describing (well, not pneumonia part). In fact I really sucked in the league just before the Teams, and in general it feels like I am spinning my wheels (pardon the pun) all last year, at least rating-wise. Perhaps I should start telling myself that everyone else got much better at playing me :).

One of the things that I sort of realized at Teams (and NL pointed it out as well) - you win more by going for more controlled shots and putting ball on the table one more time. It's a bit of a change in attitude, since everyone likes spectacular shots, but is probably better in the long term. I was also surprisingly calm through the tournament, even in losses. I never had to play game 9, though. ;)


This is true. I think for me it wasn't the pneumonia (perhaps that played more into things day 3). I played a lot of styles that bother me, far more than I ever play in league or a tournament. The 3 styles are:
-Other Defenders
-Short Pips Hitters
-Soft safe blocker types

I've gotten far better playing other defenders, however this is an area I still need to focus on because I shouldn't have lost to the other LP chopper. I almost beat a good chopper at my club FN (Der and NL know him) in our last league, and it was the 2nd time I had gone 5 games with him. I'm less worried about the losses to the choppers as I know why I messed up and this is an easy fix.

Short pips hitters, as a defender, is another story. It didn't seem like it mattered how low and far back I chopped the ball. They hit through all of my spins both heavy and float. Because they have so much time, they can really set things up. And if it is low enough that they need to play a lifting stroke and not hit, it was easy for them to place to the opposite side or do a drop shot. I had particular trouble with a hitter who had SPs on her FH (which is one of the styles I'm thinking of changing to).

Soft safe blocker guy...I actually won all my matches against this type, but they gave me a lot of trouble as a defender, and when I play as an attacker I do not have this issue. It's not as simple as "staying close to the table" and attacking with my chopping setup. There's something inherently different in how *I* play. The tactics are all different and for me far easier as a 2 wing inverted or SP attacker.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 02 Dec 2017, 00:12 
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"A house divided against itself cannot stand".

I see some posts from you from you where you say something like "I have more success with double-inverted or FH SP...or, ... when I play as an attacker I do not have this issue...". Maybe you should pick one of those, and stick with it, for a good long time. Don't be playing radically different set-ups against different players, that way lies madness.

Easy to say...but maybe "you" are not a defender. I find some good old fashioned aggressive play cheers me up no end.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 02 Dec 2017, 00:41 
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darucla wrote:
Don't be playing radically different set-ups against different players, that way lies madness.
Easy to say...but maybe "you" are not a defender. I find some good old fashioned aggressive play cheers me up no end.


To be clear, I don't play different setups to match different players. I play different setups for fun. For training and actual competition, I only play with my chopping setup (LP/Inverted).

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 02 Dec 2017, 02:30 
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NextLevel wrote:
...

I can see that your game is solid enough that you don't lose to people because you play badly. I suspect you lose to people because you don't pick up on the patterns early enough to frustrate them and you need to expand your understanding of ball sequences and shot quality to create things that let you use your weapons.

...


That's probably right on the money - I am missing 'chess' aspect of TT, if you will. I am guilty of turning my brain off during the match, and not making necessary adjustments too often. Ideally by this time I should have enough 'preset plays' or 'tactical combos' in my arsenal to fall back on when running into issues. Der_Echte tried to teach me a couple long time ago, I should've listened then too.

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 Post subject: Re: Holy Chtchet!
PostPosted: 03 Dec 2017, 08:12 
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pgpg wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
...

I can see that your game is solid enough that you don't lose to people because you play badly. I suspect you lose to people because you don't pick up on the patterns early enough to frustrate them and you need to expand your understanding of ball sequences and shot quality to create things that let you use your weapons.

...


That's probably right on the money - I am missing 'chess' aspect of TT, if you will. I am guilty of turning my brain off during the match, and not making necessary adjustments too often. Ideally by this time I should have enough 'preset plays' or 'tactical combos' in my arsenal to fall back on when running into issues. Der_Echte tried to teach me a couple long time ago, I should've listened then too.


The simplest way to think about tactical table tennis is you want to set up patterns that win points. Which ends up meaning getting to take shots on your terms and getting the opponent to take shots on your terms or shots he hates period. IT's not always as easy at it can be and its why coaching or watching yourself can be valuable. You made some great statements - never coach technique during matches unless the person is your student who you know intimately well. Just focus on patterns and strategy and how the person should play.

The reason why patterns/sequences and not just basic weaknesses are important in tactics is that at higher levels, players have developed weapons and shields to hide their weaknesses. Therefore, you may not be able to expose them immediately. But if you play out a sequence, you might be able to force the person to expose their weakness. One of my favorite to get some one to use their backhand on my terms is to serve to the short or wide forehand and place any return in the backhand. It takes good training to learn to defend this weakness. And even players like me with strong backhands are extremely susceptible to it in a variety of ways because the movement disorients the body and I learned this strategy because I was a strong backhand player with a poor forehand who was frustrated when it was used against me - it still is, but I am better at defending against it.

There is a strong backhand anti player who people often complain to me about (you have played him a few times) and this is pretty much how I beat him - yes my shot quality is good, but I would struggle if I allowed him to play backhands while he was set and would probably even lose games to him.

You probably have read Larry Hodges book, and until someone else develops good material, it is the best way to go. At the highest levels, it gets as specific as knowing what the other player's precise shot placements and sequences are. You can hear CNT players sometimes describe their opponent's preferred response to a particular ball placement.

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