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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2017, 11:51 
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Thanks NL, wilkinru, Retriever, pgpg. Those are all good suggestions and I appreciate your input. Developing more/better set plays makes sense to me. And per wilkinru's suggestion I'm going to test some changes to my practice routines.

I'll write a year in review post in December, that should be enough time to evaluate the results.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 15 Jun 2017, 19:52 
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pgpg wrote:
* Tactical combos, on the other hand - 'serve short to FH, push return long to deep BH' are more useful than purely technical 'swing thoughts'. These do not need to be on the instinctive level, since you have more time, I suspect. They also win points. IIRC both Der_Echte and NextLevel at some point tried to show me a couple of simple combos that help if not win point outright then at least take control of it. I wish I paid more attention - I think this is what separates better players from good ones, once you can put ball on the table reasonably well.


I mean, you don't get to 1800 USATT without learning and absorbing some patterns, even if subconsciously.

But to ram home the point, rather than write on endlessly, I will post a video of Larry Bavly's analysis of a match he played with Rich DeWitt. In it, you see the kind of thing that many players refuse to work on for a variety of reasons. But the problem is that if you don't start early as an adult learner, it is hard to get there as patterns become ingrained. But you just try your best to do what you can and against certain players, always work on your touch. I have been playing more games/matches as a dead ball/slow spin/pick looping player when facing lower rated players to work on my versatility and ball control, especially away from the table.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLmlUbZewC4

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 16 Jun 2017, 01:34 
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One thing not on your list is 'forcing your opponent to move'. Players under 1900 level tend to be too obvious when it comes to rally exchanges. Perhaps it's because a large part of training tends to be copious amounts of FH-FH and BH-BH drills in an attempt to develop consistency. It becomes ingrained to hit the ball into your opponent's power zones. So you're basically giving your opponent a ball that he's been trained to return consistently. So what can we do about that? Drill and/or play practice matches where the focus is to force your opponent to move. Forcing your opponent to move increases the chances of you getting a loose ball, which you can then put away for a winner. It's not as easy as it sounds and it takes a long time to develop the ability to do it subconsciously. But once you develop that ability, it can raise your game a level or more.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 16 Jun 2017, 02:13 
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GMan4911 wrote:
One thing not on your list is 'forcing your opponent to move'. Players under 1900 level tend to be too obvious when it comes to rally exchanges. Perhaps it's because a large part of training tends to be copious amounts of FH-FH and BH-BH drills in an attempt to develop consistency. It becomes ingrained to hit the ball into your opponent's power zones. So you're basically giving your opponent a ball that he's been trained to return consistently. So what can we do about that? Drill and/or play practice matches where the focus is to force your opponent to move. Forcing your opponent to move increases the chances of you getting a loose ball, which you can then put away for a winner. It's not as easy as it sounds and it takes a long time to develop the ability to do it subconsciously. But once you develop that ability, it can raise your game a level or more.


Brilliant. In fact, one underappreciated aspect of what you wrote is that hitting the ball as hard as you can (which is largely what BRS does if you play him) is not necessarily the best way to move the opponent. Forcing in and out movement by dropping the ball short or getting wider angles with more side spin or lower paced topspins or flat hits directed at the short parts of the table (letting the ball break the sidelines) are often more effective. Sometimes playing balls that force the opponent to get into position and then generate pace is better than hitting a ball that will come back if they touch it properly.

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2017, 09:20 
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HI BRS, I watched the video that you posted on the TT Edge thread but didn't want to comment there as not a platinum member. I have a similar problem to you when the ball is hit wide to my forehand, I find myself jumping then being a sitting duck for the next shot.

As I suffer from the same, I'm wondering if its as much as wide forehand issue as what it is a serve recovery issue. If you had all the time in the world and were settled, would you have played the shot any different and had better recovery? Note that its not really even that wide, just down the sideline.

Also it appears as though both times you hit the ball right in his blocking sweet spot so also wondering where would be the best place to hit the ball if out of position or off balance to give the best chance of staying in the point. I'm guessing that down the line might be best if can hit the winner otherwise crosscourt breaking the sideline to reduce the options of the return and likely have it coming back towards us?? Not sure.

Hope you don't mind me posting here. All the best.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 22 Jan 2018, 07:42 
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I missed writing an end of the year post, so this is a 2018 goals post instead.

This year my goal is all about balance and footwork -- to put some matches on video where I reset my feet after every shot, and *before* my opponent hits the ball. If I see that I will be happy, no matter what my rating says. I've changed my physical training with that goal in mind - less endurance cardio and more strength/intensity.

Also in the plans for 2018 is to move house, out of the tt poverty zone I've lived in since I started playing six years ago. Obviously there are a lot of things that have to be done to make that happen and it's probably six months away. But by 2019 I hope to have gone even further south, where I can join the gorgeous Broward Table Tennis Club. That would be quite a big step up from training in my garage or a community center racquetball court. It's just gotten too frustrating to go to camps and get all excited, only to come back home and there is nobody to train with for a couple weeks. Three is already too many times for that to happen.

Oh, and I definitely want to go back to either the B75, TTPor, or both this year. I love them both.

So that's it, three simple goals for 2018:
1. Move like Liu Shiwen, if she were a 50 year old man with back problems
2. Live somewhere within an hour of Broward TTC
3. Train in europe for at least two weeks

That's it, should be easy right?


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2018, 14:25 
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I got a new toy. This is what I really wanted when I bought those stupid robots. It arrived today, I set it up around 9:30, and I had to drag myself away to stop looping at it around 11:30. I love this thing.

Here's a minute of video. This is the most basic setup. I also bought a little tripod to rest one end on the table. If this thing can push serves back short it will be ten times as good as my old amicus that cost eight times as much.

.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 02:28 
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Watching your video there reminded me of my first training tool and how much fun I had with it.
I had a table and just put a piece of wood at the end, it would bounce back as backspin given a top spin ball.

I built a better one a couple of years ago and used it but it had some flaws and in the end I wasn't very happy with it. Your setup looks pretty good. Obviously it looks like one could DIY it. However I'm not against just buying one. I just bought another blade (so now i have 2x of them) for $160 so spending $250 or so for that isn't out of the realm of possibility.

My big question is: what rubber does it use? Is it glued on hard or can it be taken off and replaced "easily"?

I'm interested in seeing other drills you are doing too.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 03:28 
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I have always wanted the return board. You really like it better than the robot? why? More randomness? Does it force you to control your shots differently?

Please explain. :up:

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 03:45 
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I think return board better emulates the rhythm of the rally, together with more realistic 'ball tracking' scenarios. You are forced to pay attention where your shot is going and immediately react to rebound, which is a decent equivalent of your opponent response.

Contrast this with robot scenario, where you are focused on watching the robot's head and more or less take timing out of equation. You can also ignore your own shot trajectory, since your next ball has nothing to do with it.

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 03:52 
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Japsican wrote:
I have always wanted the return board. You really like it better than the robot? why? More randomness? Does it force you to control your shots differently?

Please explain. :up:


I can answer a bit of this.

If you miss your spot, you don't get the ball to come back. In fact if you make the shot but with the wrong spin the ball wont come back. It has a outcome that is positive if you do well and negative if you do poorly. Consistency can really be drilled with it. You can adjust the angle just a little bit and it will require more (or less) spin and speed. The robot no care. Next ball coming.

It looks to me like BRS is getting a realistic-ish block return but it seems a little slower than a match situation which is why I am curious about the rubber on it. The drill looks really fun tho!

What pgpg said too :D


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2018, 11:14 
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It's some chinese stuff. Milky Way 9000? I can't really read the brand logo, it's in a big cursive script.

They said the rubber and the glue soften up after a little time and get bouncier. It's fairly slow now which is good for me learning to use it.

I really do like this better than a robot, pretty much for the reasons the others said. It's a real ball coming back. The timing, the height, distance, all directly responding to my last shot. So I get feedback. A robot ball is tied to nothing, whatever you programmed. You don't practice reading body language either way, obviously, but the rebounder does train my eye to follow one ball continuously. Robots train you to watch your shot and then turn away to the next feed.

I recorded some match video last weekend visiting a new club. Outside of serve and receive, a lot of the errors I made were from losing body position and missing, after I had taken control of the rally. The first time using the returnboard, I felt like it was working that exact problem. We'll see.

It's fun as hell anyway. I love to loop.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 04:11 
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Your backhand looks cleaner. A smoother circle orientation.

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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 07:21 
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Thanks NL! I was really happy with those backhands.

I've had to take two days off from the returnboard because I'm playing a tournament tomorrow at Broward TTC. I was sore after the two hour unboxing-euphoria-induced looping orgy Wednesday night. I'll get back to it next week.

Besides the bh-fh transitions and footwork, I want to try some simple down the line consistency training, mostly on fh.


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 Post subject: Re: a BRS blog
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2018, 07:27 
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Looks fun. I attempted to make one unsuccessfully.

Which brand of return board did you buy? I think there are a few on the market.

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