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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2018, 23:17 
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Dr. Chop-Blogger
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Had a bit more fun with anti practice yesterday, this time against a different opponent. Since he hits more, I guess it was easier to put ball back on the table, because the pace was already there. Saw plenty of mistakes on his part, even on rather high balls - at least against him it was not necessary to keep blocks low.

The rest of the day was mostly practice with my normal Sword setup - BH with some FH chops thrown in (T05fx is not bad at this...).

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 25 Mar 2018, 10:43 
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Several of somewhat disconnected TT tips finally clicked for me:

* You have more time than you think
* Wait for the ball/have a 'pause' in your stroke
* Let the ball drop
* Spin the ball

The way it works (for me) - if you wait AND let the ball drop, you a) have more time to get yourself in position, b) have time to do actual backswing (don't just wait with paddle in front of you), and c) once the ball is lower, simply smacking it is no longer an option, so you better spin it. I'm sure it means some other things too.

Today finally managed to force myself to play 'practice' matches, i.e. only play defense, only push etc. It's hard to stick with only pushing when you are in the 5th game and losing to someone you usually beat quite easily, but I did it (and lost).

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Last edited by pgpg on 27 Mar 2018, 06:37, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 25 Mar 2018, 22:29 
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pgpg wrote:
Several of somewhat disconnected TT tips finally clicked for me:

* You have more time than you think
* Wait for the ball/have a 'pause' in your stroke'
* Let the ball drop
* Spin the ball

The way it works (for me) - if you wait AND let the ball drop, you a) have more time to get yourself in position, b) have time to do actual backswing (don't just wait with paddle in front of you), and c) once the ball is lower, simply smacking it is no longer an option, so you better spin it. I'm sure it means some other things too.

Today finally managed to force myself to play 'practice' matches, i.e. only play defense, only push etc. It's hard to stick with only pushing when you are in the 5th game and losing to someone you usually beat quite easily, but I did it (and lost).


Yes, that clicked for me too this year. It's ingrained in my training sessions, but in a game I sometimes still revert to old me with time issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 02:33 
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pgpg wrote:
Several of somewhat disconnected TT tips finally clicked for me:

* You have more time than you think
* Wait for the ball/have a 'pause' in your stroke'
* Let the ball drop
* Spin the ball



You've just described everything that's required for a quality BH LP push. I am slowly grasping the concept of gripping/spinning the ball when pushing .. when the ball is not really spinning that much. Many of my pushes are now netted outright because people don't expect ANY spin to be on the ball.


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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 03:03 
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notfound123 wrote:
pgpg wrote:
Several of somewhat disconnected TT tips finally clicked for me:

* You have more time than you think
* Wait for the ball/have a 'pause' in your stroke'
* Let the ball drop
* Spin the ball



You've just described everything that's required for a quality BH LP push. I am slowly grasping the concept of gripping/spinning the ball when pushing .. when the ball is not really spinning that much. Many of my pushes are now netted outright because people don't expect ANY spin to be on the ball.


Funny - I was mostly talking about FH topspin here... ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2018, 06:27 
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pgpg wrote:
notfound123 wrote:
pgpg wrote:
Several of somewhat disconnected TT tips finally clicked for me:

* You have more time than you think
* Wait for the ball/have a 'pause' in your stroke'
* Let the ball drop
* Spin the ball



You've just described everything that's required for a quality BH LP push. I am slowly grasping the concept of gripping/spinning the ball when pushing .. when the ball is not really spinning that much. Many of my pushes are now netted outright because people don't expect ANY spin to be on the ball.


Funny - I was mostly talking about FH topspin here... ;)

Definitely going to be trying this out next time I play

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2018, 11:39 
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Had a good league night (finally! :party: ) - went 4:0 and beat a couple of folks above 2000 (league rating). 3 out of 4 matches went to 5 games, so I guess it could've been easily 1:3. But it was 4:0 :rock: .

Mostly played a bit smarter, dropping back when needed and in general moving around a bit more. Had plenty of nets and edges, but to be fair my opponents did as well, so don't think I was the main offender. Managed to exploit a couple of opponent's weaknesses, I thought, but let's see if it carries on.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2018, 14:26 
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Great effort pgpg, sounds like the wokr is starting to pay off! :up: :up: :up:

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 01 Apr 2018, 09:41 
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As expected, winning streak did not carry into Friday/Saturday (tough crowd on Friday...). Somehow FH now feels 'dead' and inconsistent. Weird.

Club today was emptier than usual - there is an unsanctioned tournament at one of the local universities, I would typically try to make it, but most of my events would start later in the day and my wife did not approve :P. Spent couple of hours playing practice matches and hitting, mostly working on my defense. You can make a game out of it, silently keeping score of the rallies (I 'won' 3:2 ;) ), helps with concentration.

Going to NYC tomorrow, will try to stop at a TT club or two on Sunday late afternoon/evening - don't have anything specific arranged so far, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 02 Apr 2018, 01:49 
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pgpg wrote:
Several of somewhat disconnected TT tips finally clicked for me:

* You have more time than you think
* Wait for the ball/have a 'pause' in your stroke'
* Let the ball drop
* Spin the ball



Good tips for looping. Will try these against tougher opponents. I need to stand back a little than I usually do

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 02 Apr 2018, 11:55 
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So, since my planning and coordination skills are apparently crap, visit to NYC TT clubs turned into a 'solo mission', as Der_Echte would say. I hopped on a 7 train from Manhattan into Queens and made my way to Robert Chen's club in Flushing, Queens NY :

http://aacct.org/ny/index.php

It's only ~7 minutes walk from the last stop of 7 subway line, approximately 30 min ride from Grand Central station in Manhattan, which is really close, as far as I am concerned. Club has ~8 tables, and while pictures on the website imply that there are wooden floors, they actually have green sports floors. Tables are a bit too close to each other, but everyone was a good sport with all balls getting from one court to another.

I tried to contact the club few days in advance using their website but it did not work for me (probably would be best to call or email club owner Robert Chen directly). Fortunately for me, as I walked in, Robert was actually in there and had time for a lesson, so I simply signed up on a spot for 1-hour lesson for 60$ (which turned into more like 2 hours, or 1.5 hours at the minimum, so I'm not complaining). Same price what I'd pay in Boston, by the way.

Turns out Robert trained as a chopper himself, so that was awesome right there. He also apparently believes in multi-ball as a main training tool, so I am quite sore right now :sweat: . We spent most of the time with him 'torturing' me with 'side-to-side' and 'in-and-out' footwork (I suck at both...) and a bit of time devoted to both BH/FH pushing and FH loop/attack. Few tips I've heard, but not sure fully absorbed or understood yet:

* Start both FH and BH chops high, with paddle high next to your ear (duh!)
* Focus less on sideways chopping motion and more of a forward going one.
* Don't be too loud (hit into the ball) on FH in particular
* When pushing with LP on BH don't be too wristy and don't change the angle of the paddle, just go forward to place it where you want
* Surprisingly effective tip on FH loop/drive: firm up your grip, do not let your wrist to be too limp (mine was). Once I've done that, I could not miss looping backspin :o .

To be honest I was pretty wiped after the lesson (Robert also asked one of the guys from the club to practice loop against chop with me during the lesson, so it was not all him), so did not stick around to play more, but would definitely be back the next time I'm in NYC. Saw and chatted with one of the guys (MB) I ran into at Westchester tournaments before.

Being wiped out and disorganized as usual - I totally forgot to take any pictures while at the club. :@

After 2+ hours of TT, before heading back to Manhattan, I stopped at the local Chinese restaurant (Joe's Shanghai) for some delicious soup dumplings. Never had them before, but loved it.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2018, 02:21 
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Last night at the league was not as glorious as the previous one :lol: , I went 1:4, but still played reasonably well. Blew a match against another strong player (USATT ~2060) by being up 10:7 in the fourth and promptly wasting 3 match points and losing in the 5th. Also had a lead against USATT ~2180 and lost a close one in 4 (losing at least 2 games at deuce) - failed tactically there, he had problems with chops and I just did not create enough chopping opportunities for myself.

Interestingly both of these guys have their league rating ~100 points below their tournament one (mine is way off in another direction...). Still sore from multiball on Sunday, by the way.

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Last edited by pgpg on 05 Apr 2018, 22:07, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2018, 20:29 
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pgpg wrote:
Last night at the league was not as glorious as the previous one :lol: , I went 1:4, but still played reasonably well. Blew a match against another strong player (USATT 2060) by being up 10:7 in the forth and promptly wasting 3 match points and losing in the 5th. Also had a lead against USATT ~2180 and lost a close one in 4 (losing at least 2 games at deuce) - failed tactically there, he had problems with chops and I just did not create enough chopping opportunities for myself.

Interestingly both of these guys have their league rating ~100 points below their tournament one (mine is way off in another direction...). Still sore from multiball on Sunday, by the way.


This happened to me once (the opponent was rusty but had a peak USATT 2200 rating). Eventually, I scored my win in later matches when she was not as rusty. So take heart, you are headed in the right direction!

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2018, 21:40 
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NextLevel wrote:
pgpg wrote:
Last night at the league was not as glorious as the previous one :lol: , I went 1:4, but still played reasonably well. Blew a match against another strong player (USATT 2060) by being up 10:7 in the forth and promptly wasting 3 match points and losing in the 5th. Also had a lead against USATT ~2180 and lost a close one in 4 (losing at least 2 games at deuce) - failed tactically there, he had problems with chops and I just did not create enough chopping opportunities for myself.

Interestingly both of these guys have their league rating ~100 points below their tournament one (mine is way off in another direction...). Still sore from multiball on Sunday, by the way.


This happened to me once (the opponent was rusty but had a peak USATT 2200 rating). Eventually, I scored my win in later matches when she was not as rusty. So take heart, you are headed in the right direction!


Yes, not that concerned with a mere fact that I lost, match was pretty good overall - the one thing I noticed is a recurring habit of losing mental focus in these situations, it's as if my lazy mind tells me "no worries, you have it in a bag!". And then you lose, either by being sloppy, becoming more passive, or in general moving away from what was working.

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 Post subject: Re: Zen of chopping
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2018, 10:10 
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Had a bit of a scare at the club this afternoon: in the middle of the rally (second match, so not entirely cold), suddenly felt a strong back pain, which pretty much forced me to immediately stop the play and sit down. Don't think I was doing anything unusual really, but it is what it is - feeling a bit better now, but for a while it felt quite scary, as if the simplest action of straightening up or turning became quite painful.

Took a couple of Ibuprofens, put on a hot/cold patch or whatever these are called, mixed a few stiff drinks too just to be sure :). Feels somewhat better now, but tomorrow will be the key, I guess. Probably will take it easy for the next week at the minimum.

Bummer. Was planning to go to a tournament in 2 weeks, and World Veterans Championship is in 2 months too...

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