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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 11:38 
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NextLevel said:

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Coach, people will ask you questions all the time based on things they know or do, and how you answer keeps things in context. I'm asking honestly. Of course, as a coach, you are free to give up on your players. I have seen it happen all the time. I am asking honestly - is it bad to turbo serve an older player who is lower rated than myself? One of my usual strengths vs. other adult players is being able to play during points at a pace that they find exhausting because of all the kids I practice with.M


I am not worthy etc, etc, but I will butt in here.

So how many students who pay their coaches dismiss their coaching without even trying what has been suggested, or only do it in a halfhearted way to prove that it can't work, for them.

Carry on.


Agreed, receiver. It would be pointless for me to direct you to Marcos Freitas who wished he had stopped listening to his coaches in his podcast on TT because that would just be further evidence of my recalcitrance.

Let's just have fun with the thread. Coaching in matches is largely about a discussion between coach and player in my experience and I am saying the kinds of things in response to people that I say to my coach that sometimes drive him nuts. All the comments, including wilkinru's, are spot on and insightful. Wilkinru just took my response more personally than others did. Cheers.

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 11:46 
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NextLevel wrote:
... I am saying the kinds of things in response to people that I say to my coach that sometimes drive him nuts. All the comments, including wilkinru's, are spot on and insightful. Wilkinru just took my response more personally than others did. Cheers.


Since nuance does not really travel well on the internet, perhaps it's best to put your response in quotes, to indicate that they are 'in character', mimicking a player who stubbornly refuses to take coach's advise, or something like that. I know you spelled out the premise in the first post, but its easy to lose it for someone who only reads the last post. Now, going back to watch the actual video.

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 11:50 
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pgpg wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
... I am saying the kinds of things in response to people that I say to my coach that sometimes drive him nuts. All the comments, including wilkinru's, are spot on and insightful. Wilkinru just took my response more personally than others did. Cheers.


Since nuance does not really travel well on the internet, perhaps it's best to put your response in quotes, to indicate that they are 'in character', mimicking a player who stubbornly refuses to take coach's advise, or something like that. I know you spelled out the premise in the first post, but its easy to lose it for someone who only reads the last post. Now, going back to watch the actual video.



Noted - thanks.

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 12:03 
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NextLevel wrote:
pgpg wrote:
NextLevel wrote:
... I am saying the kinds of things in response to people that I say to my coach that sometimes drive him nuts. All the comments, including wilkinru's, are spot on and insightful. Wilkinru just took my response more personally than others did. Cheers.


Since nuance does not really travel well on the internet, perhaps it's best to put your response in quotes, to indicate that they are 'in character', mimicking a player who stubbornly refuses to take coach's advise, or something like that. I know you spelled out the premise in the first post, but its easy to lose it for someone who only reads the last post. Now, going back to watch the actual video.



Noted - thanks.


I'm horrible at TT analysis of tactics, coaching etc. - so take it with a grain of salt. It looks to me as if you are trying to beat him a certain way, mostly via BH-BH exchanges, perhaps to practice a certain thing or make it more competitive. He seems to be much more comfortable with BH and his serves are aimed to get into BH-BH rallies: they are long and are always going to your BH. You seem to do the same, thus my comment in the second sentence. I would ask you to vary your serves a bit, getting your opponent out of his BH comfort zone - serve short to FH etc. Also, going down the line with your BH once in a while to return the favor (don't remember if you have this shot).

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 12:19 
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Thanks wilkinru, great stills again too. He actually has a pretty good FH loop, but his BH is stronger so he prefers it. Moving him around is key as he tends to still go for a huge shot even if he is off-balance. I didn't do that in this match, but you are right that is the thing to do.

NL, yes, I was giving up the fourth ball attack (and that is horrible) because I completely lost confidence in my loops on either side. Unfortunately I also couldn't block. Usually I am able to block him down pretty well, but either his shot quality was higher or my block was worse, or both. As far as serving no-spin or light backspin, I did think of that, but not at this 1-1 moment. I was kind of shell-shocked by losing the second set 11-2 or so. I just tried to ignore that and start over. I'll post sets 3 & 4 tomorrow.


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 12:38 
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You actually blocked him.down pretty well but you didn't move the ball around and tried to rely purely on consistency. It's okay. Everyone has bad days and there is a tendency to read more into practice matches than what is actually happening. That's why I will use tournaments going forward unless a unique opportunity or lesson is inherent.

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 13:48 
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pgpg wrote:

I'm horrible at TT analysis of tactics, coaching etc. - so take it with a grain of salt. It looks to me as if you are trying to beat him a certain way, mostly via BH-BH exchanges, perhaps to practice a certain thing or make it more competitive. He seems to be much more comfortable with BH and his serves are aimed to get into BH-BH rallies: they are long and are always going to your BH. You seem to do the same, thus my comment in the second sentence. I would ask you to vary your serves a bit, getting your opponent out of his BH comfort zone - serve short to FH etc. Also, going down the line with your BH once in a while to return the favor (don't remember if you have this shot).


I am not great either. You learn on the job and since you are a defensive and older player, I doubt you are as bad as you think you are.

You pretty much nailed the way I play and noted that I am matching up my strength with his and struggling when I would do better to match up my relative forehand weakness with his severe forehand weakness. It is hard to overprogram years of beating up on weak backhands to rally with a forehand that I am only beginning to trust but I have to so it more often and build the footwork to support it.

I posted the second set so people can decide whether I followed their instructions or not.

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 16:58 
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NL,

I am going to pose this as a question rather than a recommendation, since I'm not entirely confident in my advice. But what are your thoughts on attacking Malench's elbow? I am specifically looking at the points that begin at 2:30 and the shot you hit at 2:45 in set 1. In both of these of points you get a weak response by attacking his elbow, although at 2:30 he (probably accidently) brings the ball back to your own middle and catches you off guard.

So how about a play that looks like this: no-spin backspin serve to the middle, followed by an opening loop at his elbow, and then trying to finish the point to the wide forhand?

The reason I am mentioning attacking the middle with your opener is that I have found that blockers that stand square to the table with a shakehand grip (like this guy) are often weak in that area. It is possible that you were aiming at his middle but just couldn't find it, so discard this advice if that's the case. Or is there some other reason why attacking his middle wouldn't work that im not seeing?

Edit: I have not watched set 2 yet


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 20:33 
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Ringer,

Attacking and defending the elbow are the biggest gaps in ny TT education. It's one of the things I expect to fix using the target practice drills from TTEdge and more practice. I have no doubt it would work. In fact I play a guy in my club against whom this would be a key weakness but I hardly exploit it.

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 22:23 
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Just watched the second set of NL's match and you killed him. That suggests he was playing above himself and you just needed to stay calm and wait it out, which you clearly did. Nice.flicks on all three of his serves to your short fh, especially the first.one down the line. And you did get your fh more.involved wih predictably good results.


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 22:56 
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BRS wrote:
Just watched the second set of NL's match and you killed him. That suggests he was playing above himself and you just needed to stay calm and wait it out, which you clearly did. Nice.flicks on all three of his serves to your short fh, especially the first.one down the line. And you did get your fh more.involved wih predictably good results.


Why was he playing above himself? I was feeding his strengths. The placement of the first serve I made in that set was very deliberate. I also tried to go wider in the BH to BH rallies to prevent him from having easy angles down the line. Sometimes strategy is about how you are playing, sometimes it is about how the opponent is playing.

Part of the reason I chose this match (other than that it was the only match where I lost the first game and came back to win in the tournament) was because I wanted to show an example of what happens when you feed the game of a lower rated opponent who has certain high level skills. My opponent had excellent touch and blocking/hitting skills. He has upset quite a few players in the 1900-2100 bracket with his blocking over his TT career and plays with higher level players on a fairly regular basis. Of course his limitations generating his own spin and speed show up vs lower rated opposition (especially if they have smart coaches) and blocking has a control threshold. I could do fairly well pushing to him and picking my spots but I really didn't want to play that way (it sometimes affects your other matches and this was my first match).

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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 23:37 
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In the second set, you played a bit more to his FH and picked up a few points there. You also started hitting more wide shots forcing him to reach which resulted in weaker returns. I was right about him not attacking your serve - he always pushes. I would use that knowledge to set up your 3rd ball attack. Also saw an instance where you served wide to his FH then looped his return to his wide BH. :up:


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PostPosted: 07 Mar 2016, 23:46 
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Because he played much worse when you added a little variety to the game, even when you went back to his strength it wasn't as strong.

I've only ever seen two sets of this guy. The first one he could more than hold his own with you BH-to-BH, the second one he fell apart as soon as you made it less predictable. So I'm saying he played above himself in the first based on all of two sets. It's a limitation of this format, you will always know a lot more about the opponents than us.

But enough about you, back to my match with NN. When we left off it was 1-1. I tried topspin shots on 7 points in the first set, counting flicks, and was 3-4 on those points (not the shots, the points) after starting 1-4. I won the set 12-10. In the much shorter second set I also tried topspins on 7 points and lost every point, going down in flames 11-3.

So what should I do now? Here are sets 3 & 4.


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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2016, 00:14 
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BRS wrote:
Because he played much worse when you added a little variety to the game, even when you went back to his strength it wasn't as strong.

I've only ever seen two sets of this guy. The first one he could more than hold his own with you BH-to-BH, the second one he fell apart as soon as you made it less predictable. So I'm saying he played above himself in the first based on all of two sets. It's a limitation of this format, you will always know a lot more about the opponents than us.


Opponents playing much worse when you add variety to the game is common. It's one of the reasons why I stress to people who are struggling with the opponents serve to relax and focus on executing their serves as relaxed as possible and winning points. 11-8 should be the score when you struggle with an opponent's serve but are doing the right things. 11-3 is the score when you let it get into your head. 11-8 for him becomes 11-9 for you when he misses his serve or does a bad attack because you have started playing well behind yours.

In any case, I am partly using this thread to share some of my experiences so that you don't get the insight that when someone is beating you that they are actually just flat out better. Sometimes, you are unwittingly feeding their strengths.

For your opponent, nothing has really changed. Trying topspins is not the problem, but something I noticed is that you only know how to smack the mall. It's almost like your grip is always tight and you can't relax and play a soft topspin. It's like soft topspins with a focus on spin over speed are a sign of weakness to you.

I still think that you are pushing mostly to his backhand and are not setting him up by moving him. You need to move him a little, either with serves or pushes. Fast topspins feed his counter game. You want to avoid that unless it is for a clear winner.

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PostPosted: 08 Mar 2016, 01:31 
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NextLevel wrote:
For your opponent, nothing has really changed. Trying topspins is not the problem, but something I noticed is that you only know how to smack the mall. It's almost like your grip is always tight and you can't relax and play a soft topspin. It's like soft topspins with a focus on spin over speed are a sign of weakness to you.

I still think that you are pushing mostly to his backhand and are not setting him up by moving him. You need to move him a little, either with serves or pushes. Fast topspins feed his counter game. You want to avoid that unless it is for a clear winner.


Trying topspins is not the problem, trying them and being completely ineffective is the problem. Then what do I do, not try them? Maybe my grip was tight, maybe my eyes were crossed, I don't know what was wrong. Playing soft topspins was not even an issue, I couldn't put the ball near the table. My timing was so off. So what does that leave me with? His push is better than mine everywhere, so pushing to the FH is not a good pattern for me. Pushing anywhere isn't. I don't have any serves that could bail me out. And my return game completely depends on making BH topspins, which I couldn't. And I couldn't block his attacks with any placement or quality, which was the nasty surprise, because usually I can block at my level.

Still, we are going to set 5, chances are 50-50. At this point or early in the set I had the same brainwave NL had at 1-1, maybe I should serve lighter backspin, or no-spin, or topspin, and maybe I can loop off of that. Because I'm a looper, and I'm not going to win any tight matches doing anything else.



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