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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2016, 07:14 
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Wow. ;(

I've somehow partly torn/injured my Achilles tendon on my left foot. I'm out of commission for a while. I'm not sure how long but I'm in a boot brace and all.

Time to find a swimming forum obviously. Every time I make progress I :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2016, 09:57 
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wilkinru wrote:
Wow. ;(

I've somehow partly torn/injured my Achilles tendon on my left foot. I'm out of commission for a while. I'm not sure how long but I'm in a boot brace and all.

Time to find a swimming forum obviously. Every time I make progress I :headbang: :headbang: :headbang:



Very sad to hear - sorry. How long do the doctors say?

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2016, 10:10 
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How did you do it, playing tt or something else?

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2016, 12:16 
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NextLevel wrote:

Very sad to hear - sorry. How long do the doctors say?


Anywhere between 3 and 10 weeks.

Cobalt wrote:
How did you do it, playing tt or something else?

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Yeah...keeping on my toes! Just too much effort too quickly.


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PostPosted: 08 Jul 2016, 11:55 
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Nationals 2016 update: I did not play! However I am off crutches and was able to limp in and watch some TT.

I did get to coach a couple of people and that's always great fun. Sadly I did get flipped off once, I believe some net ball occurred and I clapped around then - but I think I was clapping for the amazing point on the other table.

It's always good to go to these events. I feel energized to improve my diet, lose some more weight and get back into TT practice as soon as possible. One thing I can work on right away: getting my serve lower.

Ugh how am I going to do that?! My guess is Step 1: get the toss more reliable.


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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2016, 12:53 
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New diet going well - the secret is nuts, err is the nuts. They seem to fill me up. Ive decreased my carbs by around 40% while increasing my protein by 20% or so. It's a few small tweaks in my diet but hey, the scale abides. I'm still in my foot boot and the healing is going quite slowly. With that knowledge my goal is to do my next tourney on Oct 29/30th. That seems realistic.

At the US Nationals I recorded lots of players from a bunch of tourneys - mostly U1700, U1900 and U2200.

I've noticed some pretty obvious differences at the different levels of play.

U1700 (Adult) observations - Rarely did I see a short serve. Sometimes a dead ball short serve but that would be the extent of it. I did see players with deep fast spinny serves having lots of success. Most players struggled with the 3rd ball attack and most had flawed technique all around.
On the kids side I saw lots of better strokes and shorter serves along with lots of errors.
I'd say that long spinny serves would have lots of success here along with a solid return game should be able to beat a majority of players.

U1900 (adult) - Again longer serves and often higher too. Didn't see much short at all still but they did have a lot of spin and sometimes even some deception. Returning was better - the ball went on the table much more. The top of the group player generally had a good forehand when given time. I would have to say many players had a forehand that was decent but backhand was very much lacking here.
I didn't watch the kids in this one.

U2200 (mixed) - Players were certainly better here. They played points with much more purpose, everyone used spin in one way or another. Serves were much lower and plenty of short serves. Rallys tended to last longer as many players could block and some could even counter loop here and there.

I've come to the conclusion that playing in the U2200 is out of my realm right now. U1900 would be difficult but I could get out of the group stage with some luck. U1700 looks like I could have some success.

So with all of that information I have come up with a cheat sheet for the future:
1. Work on returning long serves (all types of spin and penhold) - this is mostly what I will see.
2. Allow myself to mix in more long serves - they work quite well to a point and should enhance the shorter serves - really deep on the white line serves look amazing here.
3. Don't worry about short pushing much - not needed just yet.
4. Do work on the forehand and backhand flick but against lower spin balls - I did see some dead ball serves and I think they could be attacked for pretty easy points.
5. Continue to work on more brushing of the ball on both wings - I suspect lots of spin wont come back on the table very often.
6. Watch and play against penhold serves - a huge weakness for me still.

It'll come down to being able to do those above things with consistency.

I'm conflicted with a couple of things - I'd like for my strokes to be 2200+ but it is so much work to get them consistent. Seems like it would be nice to have a bit of a plan B ;)


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PostPosted: 14 Sep 2016, 04:02 
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It's been a few months and it's time for a update. I had a ton of setbacks with my Achilles injury but I think I'm at the point where I'm pretty much healed and feel the leg is around 60% strength wise right now.

Losing weight playing table tennis seems to not be a solid plan. With a walking boot and 60 days I've lost 6 pounds. This was 90% diet and 10% exercise.
A video which explains why is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXTiiz99p9o
It's not that you can't lose weight playing TT but diet is by far more important.

My exercise has been a steady diet of pushups, situps, pullups (ok inverted rows) and a $100 exercise bike. I loathe exercise bikes but it is a good cardio option at the moment.

I've started walking again without a boot. Strength has been improving almost daily. I am not willing to play TT without the boot yet but I have purchased a flexible brace that's designed to support my Achilles during athletics. I'll try it soon and see what happens.

TT wise I think I've learned a lot. With the boot on it's hard to move to the ball like I should and as a result a lot of leaning is happening. I'd like to say this is creating a bad habit of not moving but truthfully I think the habit was there long before the boot. It's kind of amazing how I notice it more with the boot (specifically with weaker returns that I need to move up on the table to put away). Footwork is going to be a focus for 2017 for sure. My forehand feels stronger than my backhand at the moment which is a pretty big switch for me. This isn't surprising as I've worked quite a bit on it against the robot.

My current target for the next TT tourney is on Nov 13th. 2 months out. I'm hoping to lose another 6 pounds by then and injury free!


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2017, 05:12 
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Another major US tourney is over for me. Time to evaluate 2016 and focus for 2017.

Successes in 2016:
Better forehand in looping and counter-hitting and blocking
New pendulum serves
Weight loss - 12 pounds or so!
Fully recovered from torn Achilles
Developed a beginner forehand flick

Issues with 2016:
Injuries as mentioned above
Serves did not progress to the level I had hoped
All shots still lack consistency
Lost desire in the game for 3 months or so
Only played in one tourney the whole year

While I had some success I feel like 2016 was a pretty tough TT year. I think one of the biggest issues is that TT continues to make my body hurt! Back problems persist and this limits my training. I don't feel like I'm making much progress in my game. All of this into not wanting to play TT a whole lot.

During the US Open I did find my motivation. Being down 1-2 against a lower rated player and coming up with a 'B' game to win probably got me motivated finally. Just takes one moment to get it back.

Against players slightly above my ranking(200-400 points) I ran into a few reoccurring issues.
1. Forehand flick. While I have one, it is very weak and was used against me over and over. I think over 10 matches or so I was behind well over 100 points to this. It seemed that just about everyone decided to go to my forehand short for a serve.
2. Looping consistency and general effectiveness. If a point went over 3 touches by me I would almost always lose the point. I would be moved around by blocks until I would make an error.
3. Serve and 3rd ball. I would rarely ever get a free point on my serve and too often was attacked on my serve, even if I did not get attacked I would not 'hold serve' very well.
4. Nerves. I played far too many points nervous and not playing my game like I want. I was able to fix this issue by forcing myself to play my game early on and some mental focus between points.
5. Being beat to the forehand corner. Over and over this was a go to place for players. Moving with my left foot first and keeping balanced seems to be a near impossibility for me right now.

There were some bright spots in the US Open for me: first being my ability to read serves has improved. Sometimes I'm too slow to react to the serve to attack but below 1900 level players I was able to read the serve fairly well (this shows in the TT edge game too!).
I realized that the rubber I was using was pretty dead. My game really improved after switching to my backup equipment specifically on the serve and backhand side which both use thin brushing more and benefit from the top sheet grip.
I won lots of points against higher level competition and did not look out of place. My losses were similar against 1600 and 1900 level players. I'm turning this into a positive. If I can improve some aspects of my game I feel like I will be able to move up quite a bit in terms of points. I didn't feel a massive difference between 1600 and 1900 players and my results showed that.


So for 2017 I'm going to put down some goals:
Fitness wise - these shouldn't directly improve my game but hopefully allow for more practice.
1. Lose another 12 pounds minimum, 24 would be ideal
2. Focus on being more balanced in my legs when playing and not playing. I tend to put too much weight on the outside of my feet.
3. Improve cardio through other exercises.

TT specifics:
1. Practice footwork moving to the forehand side correctly. This without a doubt might be the single toughest challenge.
2. Play closer to the table at the start of a point. Since my return of serve has improved and I'm seeing a little more shorter serves. I need to take the 6 inch step closer to the table which should help my....
3. ...forehand flick! 2016 I developed one, 2017 needs to make it more of a weapon.
4. Practice more. Quite honestly I feel lucky with the online training Brett and the crew here offer as I can beat many players who practice considerably more than me. I still miss too many balls to really rely on my strokes. I mean sometimes miss the ball entirely.
5. Continue to work on my serve. A couple months off really made my serves a lot weaker but already I'm feeling them comeback to a higher level. Height of the serve is the first thing to go and first thing I need to work on.
6. 3rd ball attack mentality. I was given a tip by a guy at the club - just loop it into the corner at 60% power/speed. This seems like a really good idea for someone who is making just too many errors on the 3rd ball. I need to be more calm and go for a little better placement/spin and 'less end the point now' mentality.
7. Play in more tourneys. I'm hoping to do 4 this year. Should help the nerves out.

There are plenty of specific stroke mechanics that can be improved too but I think the overall issue is the pain that I experience after playing. More practice is the key to me improving.

Just a little note...most players at my level and a little above are all pretty impressed with my technique. It doesn't win me points but I feel like I'm on the right path, even if it's a little slower than most.


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2017, 06:12 
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wilkinru wrote:
...

4. Nerves. I played far too many points nervous and not playing my game like I want. I was able to fix this issue by forcing myself to play my game early on and some mental focus between points.
...


You need to play more tournament/league matches to address this. Basically any match scenario where something is on the line.

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PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 05:29 
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Well a little over mid-way into 2017 and let's see what's been happening...

I had a list of goals for 2017 so let's review!

Fitness
1. Lose another 12 pounds minimum, 24 would be ideal
This has not gone very well. I stopped weighing myself and gained back 12 pounds! Last month I got a little strict on the diet and have dropped a few pounds again. Sadly I'm pretty much in the same spot as last year. I've learned from my mistakes and will not entirely go off the wagon this time around the moment Halloween hits (candy....yummy candy is bad). I've got a goal of losing another 10 before the Open in Dec. D- (only because I didn't gain even more)

2. Focus on being more balanced in my legs when playing and not playing. I tend to put too much weight on the outside of my feet.
This is happening for sure. Much of my solution is to get a bi-weekly massage. My body can handle much more TT than previously. I'm working hard on trying to put more weight on the inside of the feet while walking and standing. B

3. Improve cardio through other exercises.
Pretty limited so far. I need to find time to add more in - I mean does footwork exercises around the table count? It might... D

TT specifics:
1. Practice footwork moving to the forehand side correctly. This without a doubt might be the single toughest challenge.
This is very much on the list and I'm seeing some progress. I'm able to do a much better crosscourt return off a fast serve than before. It's still not natural and I still lean after a couple of rally shots. B+

2. Play closer to the table at the start of a point. Since my return of serve has improved and I'm seeing a little more shorter serves. I need to take the 6 inch step closer to the table which should help my....
This I can do but I have mixed results. I'm starting to think that keeping active feet during the start of the point can be more flexible. Also kind of depends on the opponent. I think I'm going to discontinue this as an active goal. N/A

3. ...forehand flick! 2016 I developed one, 2017 needs to make it more of a weapon.
New TTedge videos just came out on how to improve this shot. It's there but moving my right leg under the table is not natural still. C-

4. Practice more. Quite honestly I feel lucky with the online training Brett and the crew here offer as I can beat many players who practice considerably more than me. I still miss too many balls to really rely on my strokes. I mean sometimes miss the ball entirely.
Yes this is happening. I'm now doing Saturday morning practice 2-3 hours. Along with a weekly Wednesday night tourney. No pressure on each and I get to work on things. My TT hours for 2016 and early 2017 were as low as 3/week. I'm now doing 6-9/week and getting more table time with other players. This probably still isn't enough to really improve. We'll find out. A-

5. Continue to work on my serve. A couple months off really made my serves a lot weaker but already I'm feeling them comeback to a higher level. Height of the serve is the first thing to go and first thing I need to work on.
Added a new serve recently. I'm not exactly happy with my serves still but I have seen a nice amount of progress, mostly due to 1 tip in a TTedge video. B

6. 3rd ball attack mentality. I was given a tip by a guy at the club - just loop it into the corner at 60% power/speed. This seems like a really good idea for someone who is making just too many errors on the 3rd ball. I need to be more calm and go for a little better placement/spin and 'less end the point now' mentality.
Off the charts better. My 3rd ball attack is seemingly works on everyone I've played. Assuming my serve is good enough, I'm getting good looks and putting away a ton of balls lately. A+

7. Play in more tourneys. I'm hoping to do 4 this year. Should help the nerves out.
I injured myself in early June with a good ankle sprain and could not even play in the nationals. I'm hoping for 2 for the rest of the year. F


So adding 1 more goal to the table tennis side of things for the rest of the year:
8. Figure out the backhand again. I've seemingly turned myself into a forehand only player in many ways. I've developed a hammer and only seeing nails. I'm always looking for the forehand and the backhand has suffered. If given time the backhand feels good(against backspin), but against faster shots it has really fallen apart.


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PostPosted: 19 Jul 2017, 06:48 
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Losing weight is not easy.

I managed to lose 50lbs in about 9 months, but it really meant a change to lifestyle. Also, I got a fitness band (currently a Garmin VivoActive HR), and noted my calorie burn every day, and matched my intake accordingly. This requires keeping a strict account of what you are eating, which I started doing by using an online tracking aid (there are several, I'm sure all pretty much the same). I don't really eat different food, just less of it. By accident, this will probably make you eat more healthy food, as the amount of calories in bad snacks are immense, and you will be hungry if you eat too much sugar-laden stuff. Eat fruit instead of drinking juice. Do not reward high calorie burn by eating junk food. If you go over your calorie limits, do more exercise. For me, that has meant getting on my bike to do a quick 10 miles or so. Of course, I am currently recovering from a broken wrist incurred by falling off the bike, so this is not necessarily a great idea for everyone. But still, much better than a stationary bike (yawn), and really good cardio exercise, without straining joints.

And yes, weigh yourself often, under similar circumstances, but don't get discouraged if you seem to plateau, even if you have stuck by the plan, this can just happen. You may have to keep this up for the rest of your life, but the rewards are that you will feel better, injure less easily, look better and live longer (probably). For me as a diabetic, it has freed me from a cr*p-load of drugs every day. Also, I was able to get back to playing table tennis as a result. And because my system has now become accustomed to eating less, I can take the occasional bad food/drink, knowing that I just need to adjust the total calories for the day accordingly.

Not easy.

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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2017, 05:00 
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darucla wrote:
You may have to keep this up for the rest of your life



That sums it up. I had the plan on how to lose and it worked. Oct 31st hit, I woke up at the lowest weight of the project and met a major goal. Later that night I went trick-or-treating with my kid and we had tons of extra candy and I just chowed down...from then on I pretty much gave up on losing weight.

The problem is I hit my goal and had a nice excuse to reward myself. So the new plan is to be a little less hardcore about losing (but still losing) and hopefully wont fall off the boat so easily - aka more sustainable.


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PostPosted: 20 Jul 2017, 06:44 
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Loosing weight is hard. I have found something that I use to loose weight. Its called a fast mimicking diet. There is some good science around the benefits in terms of increased immune strength, decreased stress hormones etc etc. I do this diet for these reasons and the weight loss is just a nice benefit. One or twice I actually felt years younger after the diet.
I do this 5 day diet every 2 to 3 months and loose around 2.5 to 3kg. Its hard the first time but very easy after you have done it a few times. I get some hunger on the first day but then just a empty feeling on day 2 to 5. Energy level is lower, like 70% but I still play and train in table tennis.
If you are interested , a google search for ''fast mimicking diet'' .

There is a list of recipes on one link that I use each time.
http://agingadvice.org/FMD-Recipes.html


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PostPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 09:21 
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Hopefully I can do a monthly update.

Weight is going in the right direction and I think I'm in a good spot.

I've rediscovered my backhand, thanks to slightly harder sponge and lots of ball machine work.

I have worked on my forehand considerably and it is much better but my back is not very happy with me. I'm standing too much and leaning too much to the side for the forehand.

So beginning today I will work on my forehand to be more balanced and get a little lower. I think this will be a difficult adjustment but will pay off with less muscle soreness and pain and should lead to more practice. While I don't think I can change my forehand overnight or remove the back pain entirely I think I can reduce it and this is a realistic goal.


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PostPosted: 02 Sep 2017, 01:24 
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Sept 1 Monthly update:
Fitness:
Lost 11 pounds since trying to lose, which is an astonishing 1.5 months ahead of last year's effort. I'm 2 pounds away from hitting a multi-year low. Goal is another 4 before Oct 11th when I go to Japan!
Feet have been more on the toes ...which has turned into a new problem.

My hips are killing me! Forehand loops make them so sore it's crazy. I'm working on doing some strengthening exercises and very much massage ball torture.

TT specifics:
Moving to the forehand is being worked on and I think it's better. It's part of my practice time - which has increased considerably. I'm hitting my 6 hours a week or more.

I made a winner with a forehand flick the other day - I would say while it's still pretty crappy, it is starting to work.

The backhand is back thanks to Brett and NL. I still reach and shank a lot of balls but I think the quality is higher, plus my down the line shot is much better.

The only thing I've really dropped the ball on is playing more tourneys. Looks like I'll just be doing the US Open this year.


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