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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2018, 14:58 
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Thanks for your time Silver, much appreciated. :up: :up:

Despite saying a few months ago that i'd pretty much given up on practicing and improving, the weekend did give me a little bit of spark.

In response to your points: -
1) I'd never say no to new equipment but have lost a bit of interest here. Happy with the Appelgren and actually think if I changed a few things with technique then the speed would be there. As has been pointed out, my arm really isn't that relaxed, nor do I straighten it. I just tend to bring it back a small amount. Having said that, if I can't make the changes, maybe I do need intervention from equipment, but possibly at the expense of something else. Would you just be thinking something in the Off- range?

2) Correct. It was at 2:40 in the vid at 3-7 down in the 2nd. I remember it but I don't know why I did it. If you listen to the audio I say something, 'lazy' or 'pathetic' or something like that. Was really soft.

3) Yep, yep, yep. I think I generally have a tense upper body, you can see it when I walk around, sometimes I look like I have my shoulders half shrugged. I don't feel tense but the odd time I've visited the physio they have said 'relax', 'I am relaxed', 'Nooo, relax'..'I AM relaxed' etc etc etc

4) Weight forward is one of the usual recommendations and something I've tried to work on at different points and would really like to nail.

Despite the video still looking like me, I could actually spot some small improvements that other people probably couldn't due to the fact that i've watched hours of videos of myself over the years. Its just subtle things such as the odd spinny backhand loop, blocking to various parts of the table, multiple forehand loops, but I can see a few improvements even from say a year ago. They may all be worth barely a point here and there but sometimes thats all you need.

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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2018, 15:39 
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It's good that you've noticed improvements - I didn't mention anything because I don't actually recall what your game was like last time I watched one of your videos (and I didn't go back and have a look :P )

On good things that I noticed:

Your bh serve netted you quite a few points. I saw a number off your fh tomahawk as well but wasn't really counting as I thought your service game was reasonably solid and not worth commenting on.

I was also happy with your follow up fh looping. One of the big milestones in looping is when you switch from being able to just get that first loop on, to when you can get the first one on and follow it up with another one. I was just a bit disappointed with those two mentioned when you backed off on the 3rd - It's far more likely to see people get impatient on the 3rd and follow it with a hard drive or smash.

On equipment:
My coach had the philosophy of switching to the fastest blade you can handle and tweaking speed/control with rubber selection. I'm not sure what his justification was, but I feel that with a faster blade you can concentrate on technique without having to use extreme effort which can muck up the shot. Many of the top players at my club back then were older vets and had a relaxed - but fast hands - style of looping and playing (note: my coach didn't).

Around then, after 12 mths of coaching quite a lot of us ended up with off+ blades (kool) with 2mm tango. I toned my blade selection down after a couple of years of super fast blades but I still subscribe to the general gist of it - once you get your opening fh loop on solidly switch to faster blades.

I'm not much of a fan of off- blades - i feel they are too thin and vibrate too much (in general). I vastly prefer stiffer 5 ply blades in the OFF to OFF+ range with a thicker centre core for soft feel that don't vibrate as they tend to make rubbers feel softer and you get a sense of the ball in the rubber /crisper feel, rather than the blade vibrating like crazy and making some clipboard sounding noise.

If it was me, I'd keep your rubbers and switch to a korbel or similar/latest clone, or a 7ply hinoki like a septear or 7p2a (stiff but nice and soft feel).

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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2018, 22:03 
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Your forehand could do with some technique work but generally I think it's quite a useful tool for you.

Your backhand however... far too passive in my opinion. Countless times you soft-blocked into the net or just padded relatively weak balls back over. If you do continue training, have your partner block/pad/slow-loop/soft-loop everything into your backhand and just really psychologically force yourself to loop everything. Keep doing that for a while then be prepared to lose a few games while you do it too. Technique-wise, I think your BH loop is probably perfectly adequate for the level of play, but you need to actually play it!

In the interim, if you're lacking in confidence to do this, at least try to play a punch or a drive. Don't just pad the ball back to your opponent. Also make sure you point it somewhere difficult for them to return well, don't just keep padding it back to your opponent's forehand for them to eventually put the ball past you.

IMO you're not miles away from taking quite a big step up in your game. Gonna take a bit of work though, so it's up to you as to whether or not you can be bothered to do that.

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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2018, 08:57 
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I agree with dunc re backhand.
I also want to reinforce that a solid punch or drive on a LH backhand is far more useful than a weak loop.

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PostPosted: 21 Feb 2018, 18:51 
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In our league's top 5 players (all of whom are a decent national standard by the way - the #10 vet, the #1 O50, a guy that was once #12 men's, a player who was 2-0 up in the Band 1 Grand Prix finals recently etc), 3 of them have a wicked backhand punch which they use much more often than a backhand loop.

Generally they'll play a backhand loop against a long push, but otherwise they'll just punch 'til the cows come home. As Silver says, the leftie's backhand punch in particular is notoriously difficult to play against.

The other two loop everything. That's much harder to do. Perhaps it's no coincidence that they're the youngest by nearly 20 years :)

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[Other gear I've used]
Blades: Butterfly Defence 3, Butterfly Defence Pro, Butterfly Innerforce ZLC, Butterfly Innershield, Butterfly Joo Saehyuk, DHS Power G7, Stiga Offensive Classic Carbon
SPs: Friendship 802 (1.5), TSP Spectol (1.3, 2.1), TSP Spectol Speed (1.3), TSP Super Spinpips Chop Sponge 2 (0.5, 1.3)
LPs: Butterfly Feint Long II (1), Butterfly Feint Long III (0.5, 1.3), Tibhar Grass D.TecS (OX), TSP Curl P1-R (0.5, 1, 1.3), TSP Curl P4 (1.3)
Full list (PM me for price): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xNLwjz5uZq_FcCowBgZ4zk1NwU83xVyCRoo0zhphu3w/edit?usp=sharing
==================================================================================================================================================
My blog: "Learning to play: as a modern defender": http://ooakforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=22254
My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtazeX ... oICGS9bqNg


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PostPosted: 19 May 2018, 20:19 
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Took a video today of some practice. Hadn't done this type of practice for a while and it showed. Was pretty ugly I thought. Nearly wasn't going to post anything but thought that would be the soft option. The floor was pretty slippery which you can see in the forehand section. The main point I take out of it is that I'm not generating any torque through my hips and legs. In golf and cricket you tend to lead with your hips and I'm assuming table tennis is the same. To me it looks like my arm, or shoulder, leads my hips. I can recognise it but can't seem to do it.

Video is roughly 1min points off short serves, 1 min forehand, 1 min backhand.

Points I was just playing, trying to do good technique :?: FAIL !
Forehand was trying to staighten my arm
Backhand was trying to punch more through the ball and not chicken wing.


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PostPosted: 19 May 2018, 20:26 
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Haven't watched your video yet, but keep in mind that if a flooring is very slippery, you tend to use a reasonable amount of effort minimising how much you slip, so your hips and legs may move a fair bit less.

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PostPosted: 19 May 2018, 20:55 
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idk, both your strokes looked much improved to me comparex to the last video I remember seeing of you. Fh was especially good. About the floor, you aren't going to get much power from your legs if you are afraid to push off because you might do the splits. Putting a damp cloth down and wetting your shoes can help. But the shine off that floor was blinding, so it may be sealed with something that just won't give any traction. I wouldn't judge too much by that.


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PostPosted: 21 May 2018, 12:57 
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Looking forward to tonight's practice. Can clearly see that my hips follow my arm. In watching good loopers like Brian Pace, Yang Yang etc, I can see that their hips are nearly back square with the table when contact is made. I'm still around 45 degrees which I would think loses the whip and bat speed.

It's nice to have one thing to focus on, not 20.

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PostPosted: 21 May 2018, 13:10 
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A good person to watch is Timo - You can usually see his rotation and the clear whip of his shoulder/arm coming through at contact.

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PostPosted: 21 May 2018, 14:42 
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Yes I can see in your video that your hips do not come forward fully. This would mean that the front of the shoulder which is really the important part of the the reason that you move your hips forward does not come forward fully to do a good whip. I find that a focus on the hip forward in practice with differing speeds is really useful for me to get a lot faster ball with a more relaxed arm. (sometimes!) Also I was wondering if your opponent blocks to your backhand are you recovered enough in a square enough position to cover this shot?


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PostPosted: 21 May 2018, 14:46 
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maurice101 wrote:
Yes I can see in your video that your hips do not come forward fully. This would mean that the front of the shoulder which is really the important part of the the reason that you move your hips forward does not come forward fully to do a good whip. I find that a focus on the hip forward in practice with differing speeds is really useful for me to get a lot faster ball with a more relaxed arm. (sometimes!) Also I was wondering if your opponent blocks to your backhand are you recovered enough in a square enough position to cover this shot?


I do tend to recover to square but obviously later than I should and as I a consequence i think I tend to block the shot coming back to me which is also a block. My block already off a block results in a weaker shot back to the opponent who can then gain control and attack my block.

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PostPosted: 21 May 2018, 23:08 
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Was really happy with tonight's practice. Went in to only focus on hip rotation and although I could still be getting the hips through sooner, I noticed instant improvements. My loop appeared quicker and more consistent. In addition, overall I felt more balanced with better recovery. My weight felt forward more than normal and I felt my feet were moving better.
The following video is in 3 parts.
1 min of points. This was with the player 1 spot below me and that swaps around a little. We are about 50/50 in matches. We always have good games as he is a good blocker. If I'm on then I win, if I'm a bit off, he wins.
1 min of loop to block with our number 1.
1 min of 3rd ball drill - felt a lot more balanced for my second shot than I normally do though accept that I knew where the ball was going.

Overall really happy with the night, I hope you can also spot an improvement.


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PostPosted: 22 May 2018, 13:53 
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Wow that looks much better.
I found the following long video really good particularly the focus on the use of legs and the knee movement. I wonder if you used your legs more particularly with the topspin against backspin balls giving you a more 45 degree lean and lower bat position??? Brett Clark wanted me to have the back of the neck facing the ceiling in a lesson a while ago.
I saw a few topspin strokes that you seem to go across your body and loose your form. (Just like me!)
You need English subtitles on.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zykTbhp2mYs


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PostPosted: 31 May 2018, 20:21 
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Since that training session I've had a couple of interesting weeks. Normal I don't report my weekly results however last week I beat our number 2. It's the 3rd time this year but still a big scalp.

On the weekend just gone I ran my first marathon.

Last night I had my best result against our number 1. It's rare for him to lose, about once a year against the number 2 and the very rare other loss. I'd gone to 5 once before but this time earned a match point.

It was on my serve. Knowing he would be nervous I rolled the dice giving him a serve I knew he would have to try loop but given the circumstances thought it were a 50/50 and if he missed I have a career best win. To his credit he nailed the loop and soon after the match.

Unfortunately my practice didn't carry through into the match and the old technique came through. Was playing well though so just ran with it and didn't try change.

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