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PostPosted: 26 Feb 2016, 16:51 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Keeping it friendly guys....oh and NL, with your bad knees I suggest you change to long pips :P :lol:

Ok, that was something of a joke, but in all seriousness, if your knees are really that bad then they will only get worse over time and a good pip game (which will allow good short drops) would support you well into the future. Looping and counter looping wont keep you playing in the mid to late 60's.



Not a big deal, Reb. Ringer is just trying to help. I wish he was helping, but that is what it is.

On the pips thing, I wish I was that logical. I just want to play the way I enjoy playing - I am still winning matches and getting better, even if not as quickly as some would like. I could play 2 sided short pips hitting as well and could probably beat a decent number of players playing that way. If I am playing 5 years from now, that would be great. IF not, that is okay too, as it means that I am doing something else that is good too.

Lots of things about my goals and style switching, including my regular serve practice, have exposed me to a lot of criticism from people who wanted my game and practice to take a different direction. I achieved my main goal (USATT 2000), have sustained it for a year through style changes, enjoy coaching now at least as much as playing and am happy on net with my game as is. Reading serves is now my biggest obstacle. If I fix that, a lot will change rapidly.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 01:57 
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See, I was being serious, and now you said the same thing right at the end of that last post.

The best easiest fastest way to improve your counterlooping is to get weaker opens from your opponents. Your self-described weakness is reading spin. So put more energy and your OCD to work on receive quality and less on countering. Do multiball receive, where you play out the points but use an entire box of balls so 99.5% of time is play and virtually none picking up. You can get hundreds more receive reps that way than playing matches. If you, or more likely your opponent, wants to keep score, still let him serve every point. You get plenty of work on your serves already, try to get as many reps on receive. Then after your receives are at least as good as your serves maybe counterloop will be the best opportunity remaining. But it doesn't sound from your posts like that is really the case now.


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 02:21 
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BRS wrote:
See, I was being serious, and now you said the same thing right at the end of that last post.

The best easiest fastest way to improve your counterlooping is to get weaker opens from your opponents. Your self-described weakness is reading spin. So put more energy and your OCD to work on receive quality and less on countering. Do multiball receive, where you play out the points but use an entire box of balls so 99.5% of time is play and virtually none picking up. You can get hundreds more receive reps that way than playing matches. If you, or more likely your opponent, wants to keep score, still let him serve every point. You get plenty of work on your serves already, try to get as many reps on receive. Then after your receives are at least as good as your serves maybe counterloop will be the best opportunity remaining. But it doesn't sound from your posts like that is really the case now.


You are correct, BRS. The limitation is partly a result of the lack of practice partner. Maybe I will try to get Big D during his spring break and we will do a massive intensive week of serve and serve return. Most people in the club think I am wasting my time with serve practice. But the one thing I will say is that I haven't really practiced my long push either and I think that is probably where I should spend more of my time.

Here is an example of the short push:
https://youtu.be/IYdY25qCeoA?t=1109

Of course, still waiting on Brett's video which hasn't come out but I do the best I can. Dropping serves with sidespin short is not easy and you need to read the spin correctly.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 03:43 
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I find it odd that I 100 percent agree with everything that BRS wrote in his post, yet NL agrees with BRS but thinks I'm trolling. Essentially I was trying to say the exact same thing as BRS - your receive is not good enough or varied enough yet to invest significant time into counterlooping nor to envision yourself as a counterlooper. I guess where NL and I disagree is that I think if NL could improve his short push, it would make his already strong deep pushes even more effective. I can't see the video of your short push from my phone, but will check it out later.


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 04:01 
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birchamboi wrote:
A couple of comments based on the work you've been doing with Brett. First, note the difference between the effectiveness of your serves when you do it Brett's way and when you just serve a half long backhand into his hitting zone. Second, on service return, note the difference between the effectiveness of your topspin backhand rather than just pushing long (and often high). Didn't you have a thread about improving your short game?


111Iceman111 wrote:
you need to mix the placement of the serves more...you are serving just to serve, without a plan behind it...you have a good set of different serves and you are not using them enough...
and dont try to attack every ball from every position...when the game opens up, i think he have the upper edge...you need to close the game more, with short serves, strong underspin pushes to his weaker side or the elbow, and a good block...
because of you weak knees, you also need to preemptively move little quicker around the table (ie when u push with BH to his FH, move to the middle of the table before he even touches the ball in the anticipation of a spin to your FH)


Ringer84 wrote:
To be perfectly honest, I've never totally understood why you have this desire to develop a counterlooping game. If I were in your position and I had limited mobility, my entire game would revolve around strong serves and third ball attacks, consistent drop shots against short backspin serves, a strong ability to read spin and place my receive to difficult areas, etc. Virtually everything about my game would center around the idea of preventing my opponent from attacking strongly and always giving me the opportunity to attack first. Counterlooping, by it's very nature, implies that you are at least content with allowing your opponent to attack first. And regardless of how good you become at reading the game, I think the idea that you are going to allow 2200-2300 loopers to open up against you consistently and still win to be very unlikely.


BRS wrote:
Make better returns.


Maybe if Ringer84 reviews this long of comments, he can see what is happening here.

I didn't find BRS particularly insightful initallly (hence my initial response), and the main reason I agree with him is that I haven't had serve return practice in a while other than the BH looping session to take long serves to my BH down the line.

If there are opportunities to push short or return serves better that I am passing up before the fact, feel free to mention them. To give an example, I beat PtP on Wednesday night in part because I pushed less serves and looped more of them on my BH side. This was straight out of birchamboi's advice. I used more serve variation and then I discovered that I had a good enough backspin-nospin serve that enabled me to get more pushes to loop (out of 111Iceman111's advice).

My point is that if you watch the matches and accept the players for what they are within their limits, there are things you can find to improve the results. You don't have to look for new skill sets per se. You mostly have to look at things they do well and use those things to to make them play better. If none of the point patterns seem to yield an advantage, then you can suggest opportunities for strategic growth.

I may not be as fast as these players. But the key is to look for point patterns that you like or matchups that you like. BRS's comment about me always playing towards the backhand was very instructive. This is the kind of thing you need to look for. And whatever comments you make, try to keep them in the context of the matches unless you think my game just sucks, which is fine too, but more for my development.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 07:10 
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Okay NL, I will try to make sure all of my comments fall within the specific context of the match from now on, even though I believe this entire thread is typical "How Do I Beat This Guy?!?!" non-sensical thinking usually seen in Tactics Junkies that does essentially nothing but stunt our development. I'm sorry you did not find my advice to be particularly useful. I find you to be one of the most generous and insightful posters here, but believe it or not I do not find every single one of your posts to be always useful or even relevant either. So I would appreciate it if you would not respond to my advice with "No sh*t, Sherlock" and accuse me of trolling when all I was doing was trying to help.

Honestly, you are not good enough at table tennis to talk down to other players like that. You're just not.


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 08:30 
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Ringer84 wrote:
Okay NL, I will try to make sure all of my comments fall within the specific context of the match from now on, even though I believe this entire thread is typical "How Do I Beat This Guy?!?!" non-sensical thinking usually seen in Tactics Junkies that does essentially nothing but stunt our development. I'm sorry you did not find my advice to be particularly useful. I find you to be one of the most generous and insightful posters here, but believe it or not I do not find every single one of your posts to be always useful or even relevant either. So I would appreciate it if you would not respond to my advice with "No sh*t, Sherlock" and accuse me of trolling when all I was doing was trying to help.

Honestly, you are not good enough at table tennis to talk down to other players like that. You're just not.


Thanks for the kind words, and I will say that I found your original post that I quoted largely a put down of how I play with no acknowledgement or serious understanding of how I play or why I play that way - maybe you were trying to help, but it rubbed me the wrong way completely. I was just showing you the same amount of respect you showed me in your comments.

It's okay to believe that match specific strategy is completely unhelpful and keeps people down. And you don't have to participate if you feel that way. IMO, TT is about competing as much as it is about technique, especially at the lower levels. The original structure of this blog was supposed to be that you don't get the full match upfront and you look at just the first game and try to make recommendations for how the player should play to improve - it's something I plan to run after I play some matches this weekend.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 09:49 
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NextLevel wrote:
Thanks for the kind words, and I will say that I found your original post that I quoted largely a put down of how I play with no acknowledgement or serious understanding of how I play or why I play that way - maybe you were trying to help, but it rubbed me the wrong way completely. I was just showing you the same amount of respect you showed me in your comments.


I'm sorry you feel that way and I apologize that what I wrote in my original post rubbed you the wrong way. The last thing I would want to do is insinuate that you need to completely revamp your game, because that would be foolish. I think that the way you constructed your game on the way to 2000 was essentially perfect given some of your limitations, so I would never want to put down your game. I was just trying to make some suggestions that I felt would allow some of the strengths in your game to flourish and present themselves more often in matches. I should not have said that everything about your game should be centered around the idea of finishing the point quickly, because that is not a good idea nor is it a good reflection of your philosphy on table tennis for amateur adult players. What I meant was that I would like to see improvements in your return of serve and short game play, which would give you more opportunities to initiate the first attack with a loop against backspin from either wing (one of your strengths) rather than being forced to make a decision between a low percentage counterloop or a blocking style. If you feel that is not good advice or demonstrates a poor understanding of your play, then that's fine. But again, I apologize if you saw my original post as a put down of your game or a suggestion to completely revamp everything, because that was not my intention.


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 14:14 
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Some saying about pot and kettle here...


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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 15:33 
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I tend to agree with Ringer and BRS here NL, you really should face your weaknesses head on. You fear pushing short in case it goes half-long...so up the ante on your pushing and short game (which is a way of totally controlling loopers if you are good at it). You struggle reading spin on serve, put your training efforts toward that more. If its your eyes causing problems, look into getting glasses to help. You've built a solid game, build on it further. Not saying what you're doing is useless, cos its all building...but don't ignore where your game has come from and filling the holes that developed along the way. Everyones game has holes, but if you are going to train as much as you seem to be doing you may as well improve your known weaknesses.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 21:45 
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Ringer84 wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
Thanks for the kind words, and I will say that I found your original post that I quoted largely a put down of how I play with no acknowledgement or serious understanding of how I play or why I play that way - maybe you were trying to help, but it rubbed me the wrong way completely. I was just showing you the same amount of respect you showed me in your comments.


I'm sorry you feel that way and I apologize that what I wrote in my original post rubbed you the wrong way. The last thing I would want to do is insinuate that you need to completely revamp your game, because that would be foolish. I think that the way you constructed your game on the way to 2000 was essentially perfect given some of your limitations, so I would never want to put down your game. I was just trying to make some suggestions that I felt would allow some of the strengths in your game to flourish and present themselves more often in matches. I should not have said that everything about your game should be centered around the idea of finishing the point quickly, because that is not a good idea nor is it a good reflection of your philosphy on table tennis for amateur adult players. What I meant was that I would like to see improvements in your return of serve and short game play, which would give you more opportunities to initiate the first attack with a loop against backspin from either wing (one of your strengths) rather than being forced to make a decision between a low percentage counterloop or a blocking style. If you feel that is not good advice or demonstrates a poor understanding of your play, then that's fine. But again, I apologize if you saw my original post as a put down of your game or a suggestion to completely revamp everything, because that was not my intention.


My apologies - I'm for being rude and will not use profanity to express myself to you again. I have gotten a lot of flack for different things I train so it just wasn't my annoyance with you at play.

I have a lot of stuff to work on. I ultimately have to make better choices. Whatever choice I make, there will always be something else to work on.

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PostPosted: 27 Feb 2016, 21:54 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
I tend to agree with Ringer and BRS here NL, you really should face your weaknesses head on. You fear pushing short in case it goes half-long...so up the ante on your pushing and short game (which is a way of totally controlling loopers if you are good at it). You struggle reading spin on serve, put your training efforts toward that more. If its your eyes causing problems, look into getting glasses to help. You've built a solid game, build on it further. Not saying what you're doing is useless, cos its all building...but don't ignore where your game has come from and filling the holes that developed along the way. Everyones game has holes, but if you are going to train as much as you seem to be doing you may as well improve your known weaknesses.


IT's not a fear of pushing short - I am trying to push short. The ball usually pops up or goes long. The problem is that I can't read spin - I don't think it is an eye problem, even if it might be - I have had it for 5 years now. It's gotten better, but it is not where it is supposed to be relative to my level. I have had people who watch my matches surprised by it. I pop up topspin serves that I don't read properly all the time.

No one is waiting for the serve training part of Brett's app more than I am. If it improves my serve reading, it will be night and day.

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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2016, 02:27 
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There were no really interesting matches in part because I didn't get to play my strongest event for certain reasons. That said, I think a couple of matches are informative from a strategic and tactical stand point even as badly as I played one of them and as exciting as the other was when it should not have been. This is to help people see why match coaching can be very important even if you have uncapped technique.

The first I have provided a link to. MY opponent is about 2250 and has been much higher (closer to 24/2500) - he has great serves and a great forehand loop vs underspin and high balls. He however only blocks topspin and doesn't counterloop. He has long pips on the backhand to set up his biggest weapon. Therefore, knowing this, my strategy was to keep topspin on the ball as much as possible. Unfortunately, I Was not consistent enough and I could not read his serves. My opponent said after the match that it was clearly just serves. In slow motion now, I can see the topspin contact more clearly so hopefully, this will help for next time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNHNiAwB6cw

Now is the final of the same event. I wish I could edit to let more people watch. You can see that the junior in my club is all over him and is up 2-0, 8-3. Then a comment takes him out of his flow and he starts pushing more and more and feeding the strength of his opponent, which makes the match far more interesting than it should have been.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy5gg7CL_Kw

It is things like this that make strategy important even at 2000+ levels, no matter how uncapped your technique is. Some people got to a high level by getting really good at doing certain things and you can score upsets if you can match up your skills with theirs properly. People like Wetzler take advantage of the fact that many higher rated players practice almost exclusively vs. topspin and can't loop or hit the pips ball. But if you do, you can comfortably loop that ball without hesitation and that shuts his primary attacking strength down.

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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2016, 02:57 
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I just watched most of your match. You were frustrated from the get-go and not competing well. That doesn't matter too much in a one-sided match like this, but could come back to haunt you if you let it be a habit.

Obviously his serves killed you. It looked like he did a great job of changing speeds, not just spins, and that left you swinging too soon, awkwardly, or hitting edges.

In a few matches I have seen you put the rubber out dead flat and let the serve react off it. Are you doing that deliberately to learn the spin, or is it a kind a surrender? Remember your own advice to use spin strokes vs spin serves, and judging by the action off your bat, this guy had spin on his.

The only path vs him is to cause as many errors with your serve as he does with his, or be able to get to the rally even 90% of the time. You did fine in the rallies despite missing sometimes more out of distraction with the overall playstyle as the difficulty of that particular ball.


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PostPosted: 01 Mar 2016, 03:21 
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BRS wrote:
I just watched most of your match. You were frustrated from the get-go and not competing well. That doesn't matter too much in a one-sided match like this, but could come back to haunt you if you let it be a habit.

Obviously his serves killed you. It looked like he did a great job of changing speeds, not just spins, and that left you swinging too soon, awkwardly, or hitting edges.

In a few matches I have seen you put the rubber out dead flat and let the serve react off it. Are you doing that deliberately to learn the spin, or is it a kind a surrender? Remember your own advice to use spin strokes vs spin serves, and judging by the action off your bat, this guy had spin on his.

The only path vs him is to cause as many errors with your serve as he does with his, or be able to get to the rally even 90% of the time. You did fine in the rallies despite missing sometimes more out of distraction with the overall playstyle as the difficulty of that particular ball.


I was functioning on low sleep but I thought I competed fine. The paddle out thing is the result of insufficient practice doing strokes against flash photography serves. Since I can't read spin from the ball flight, I have that cobra stare freeze from looking at something that my brain is struggling to process.

I am going to become a flash.photography server so that will help me. And I have to practice returning aggressively vs flash photography serving. I also am becoming better at seeing that because of my serving, I should actually be doing serve return with a subtle kick of the wrist. I experimented a little this weekend and I remembered something I learned a while back but forgot about using faster blades that is going to help me a lot again.

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