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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2016, 02:46 
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Well that guy sure has an odd ball serve.

I'm done with you NL but I can't help myself I love in game coaching so much. :D

If you came back to me my advice would be:
Try serving to his forehand and then attacking the backhand.
Keep him guessing on return, the returns to the forehand have been working.
His forehand loop is only going to your forehand.
Stay low! (this is general advice that I always want to get and hand out)

I think that might be too much advice. I could give more but I think the key here is serve to the forehand short -> attack backhand. I'd tell you this twice.

From my coaching standpoint I'm really not sure what happened at around 3:48 with the serve - why did it get popped up? I'd want much more of that. Also I haven't seen much of this guy's backhand - so missing some critical information still. I also feel like this guy might have some tricky and odd ball serves which concerns me as a coach, knowing my player tends to have issues with this. Being up 1-0 is good, no need to call time out in the middle of game two. I think it's a massive mistake to not call a timeout before you are down 0-2.

Also I need feedback from you. When you come back I want a little bit of information that you want to relay. You saying "I felt I got lucky" might be fine here.


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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2016, 03:38 
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NextLevel wrote:
Thanks, BRS. I will post the second set later this evening. Others can comment as well. I think this match is an example of how missing your bread and butter shot can distort your whole view of what is going on and one of the reasons why it can be helpful to get a friend to coach you sometimes.

As an aside, my opponent was 2000+ a while ago and played his first tournament in many many years last November. He is notorious for having (co-)authored a largely unreadable TT book.

Ha, he is actually my first coach from when I switched over from JPEN to Shakehand...interesting guy. Very cerebral. He's a member on this forum actually.
But that was a long time ago, and I needed a defensive coach... so on the rare occasion that I did decide to pay for coaching it was for Wang Qing Liang (chopper up at MDTTC). Plus, you know Bojun, my buddy who helps me quite a bit.

He hasn't competed in matchplay since the 90s I believe. He was above 2000, and then retired from competition to coach full time. He's probably very rusty with regards to tournament-play I imagine, but I've seen him beat players above 2000 recently at the club so he should be respected at that level even with the lower rating and rust.

If I had to coach you, a player far above me level-wise, would be to exploit his lateral movement. Did I see you serving primarily to the center of the table? It seemed to me that movement to the FH was slow for him (which I know to be true) and therefore trying to exploit him laterally to the FH side with serves and pushes would be a good idea. You did do that during play I noticed. To the BH, he's got a very good block, and you probably knew that, so looping there might not have been the best idea.

He's also a driver more than a looper although he can do both, not sure if that could play in to your strategy.

Maybe he'll chime in here and coach you to beat him himself. ;)

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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2016, 10:17 
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Some of you asked me why I consider this a weird match - I guess it will make more sense when it is all over.

Here is the next set.



After it is over, I come over to you and say that I feel like a piece of sh*t, pushing and can't make my backhand. What do you tell me?

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PostPosted: 09 Mar 2016, 11:31 
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So we're talking about winning here...keep this in mind.

"You are up 2-0 and it was a sloppy game for him too. Keep mixing up the serves.
Keep balanced and low as possible and do a couple of shadow strokes with the forehand. Get some energy going! Look alive out there! (I'd get a little more intense here, try to bring your energy level up a bit)
He's making a lot of mistakes on your pushes, might want to continue to return with good pushes, move your feet!"

So from the coaches perspective: has learned he's very much a hitter on the backhand. No fear of him looping from that side. Serve and return strategies are being formulated if things get ugly, but so far so good.

From a practice/development point of view much of this advice isn't very good, but your pushes on return were daggers, so it's hard to fault that!


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 02:38 
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Here is the final game of the match. How do you interpret what happened as a coach? Is there any technical advice you would give me? What drove the choice of serve at 10-9?


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 03:00 
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At 10-7, with him serving I'm calling a timeout and we're discussing upcoming serves. Finish this match off now. I'd likely want a deep backspin ball to his backhand and then something deep to his shoulder area. I'd also discuss the return and focus on keeping it low and going wide to one side to another. Move your feet, stay low, relax, all of that. Mostly just want to setup the upcoming serves if needed and break the momentum.

So in a match that gets to 10-4 - you finally opened up trying to do some 3rd ball attacks, didn't go so well either. At 10-8 you tried the punch serve and he returned it - which seemed to surprise you. At 10-9 you did a topspin ball deep to the shoulder area and he went long with it. It's a good choice as he's not really seen that all match and went a little long with it.

I don't think you did much of what you really want to do to improve your game. You beat this guy because he made mistakes in attacking (and other places really). I see lots of the mistakes this guy makes in my own game. I don't think he cared about winning too much, I think he really just wanted to execute his game.

In the end I think you need to be more brave in these practice matches and go for it - play like you did at 10-4 all the time. What's the point of all of the practice otherwise?


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 03:16 
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This is tournament match, coach - first elimination match of the U2200. You make quite a few good points and I would like to hear from others before responding.

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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 03:59 
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This is after set 2, will watch set 3 next.

I would say Yes, you are playing like crap. But this is a tournament and the only thing is to win, and you're winning. Now is not the time to fix your bh topspin. If he can't handle your push, push him right off the table. You get a fresh start in the next match. It's 2-0, don't eff it up by thinking, just do what works until he makes you stop.


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 04:13 
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Okay, now i would say 'Good win. Forget about that match now. You can think about it when you watch the video. Go out and play like you played all morning.'

About the serve at 10-9, maybe you wanted to serve long because you knew he would be keyed up to.complete the comeback. Also it sets you up to block instead of having to initiate, which you had struggled to do. And it is probably a serve you feel very safe and comfortabke executing where there's a lot of margin for error before anything too bad or unexpected happens.

Were you able to let that match go and play like yourself in the next round, or did it carry over?


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 04:30 
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For the serve at 10-9, you should always have a memory of how your oppoment returned your serves. I served that serve earlier in the same game and he pushed it off the table. I might also have served it in an earlier game but maybe not. The way he pushed it told me he completely misread it. At match point, you need to have a logic that guides your play, either the serve with the most reliable result or a serve in your repertoire you saved for those situations, or something you noted that the opponent had no clue what to do with - all have pros and cons. I was going to serve it earlier, but I needed to get into a more aggressive mindset and I took the risk of trying to acquire it in the match. I never really felt in danger, but I just didn't like the way I won the match.

I think what I did was fairly risky but to each his own I actually played the next two matches pretty well. I try to avoid letting a passive mindset infect my play if I win a match using it and I have lost some matches refusing to play in a way I knew would win. But in this case, the big.lead gave me the right blend and I am happy I tool the risk, as dumb as it could have ended up being.

After the match, an observer called my opponent's play wild and reckless. It made another point to me - it was in part the wildness and the reckless nature that took me out of my rhythm. Sometimes, you won't be able to win the way you want to and you may not be objective about what is happening. The observer really helped me get over the match really fast as it framed things in a way that I hadn't considered but which helped put the match in perspective.

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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 04:37 
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If you are curious, this is my next match.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2lGn9bxmS0

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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 04:46 
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I'm a little surprised it was a tourney match! Felt very practice match to me - the way he was playing. I mean it seemed like a pretty solid plan against a much stronger player or if you are working on your game but it did seem a little wild, so many errors on the serve too.

Sometimes people just give away the match. People like me!


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 05:39 
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wilkinru wrote:
I'm a little surprised it was a tourney match! Felt very practice match to me - the way he was playing. I mean it seemed like a pretty solid plan against a much stronger player or if you are working on your game but it did seem a little wild, so many errors on the serve too.

Sometimes people just give away the match. People like me!


Knowing it was a tournament match, does anything about your perspective or advice change?

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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 06:09 
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The advice for winning? Nope. That's how I went with it - you wanted to win.

Game 2 was just so ugly - you should post that on the "guess the rating" thread :) I'd have come out with 1200!

So winning table tennis matches has two different ways of thinking about it for me:
1. Winning with the current situation in the match itself right then. One can do timeouts and discuss serving patterns, etc. Game time adjustments.
2. Working on specific skills to help in the winning of points. Improve this stroke, work on moving to one side, fixing errors or even just a mindset change. These of course are done after the match.

So it seems this thread is all about #1 - in game adjustments given the current situation.

I've been coaching my friend in games at his tennis (and table tennis) matches for years, it took him a while to really believe in executing what I was saying. In one TT match a few years ago he had just won a close game like 14-12 and then I gave him 1 little piece of advice: go to the forehand with everything. He lost only 2 points over the final 2 games. That's about as dramatic of a change one can get. He was simply shocked and doesn't even question my advice anymore - just tries to execute.

I think my experience/knowledge dies out at around 5.0 tennis rating and ~1900 in TT. I hope my TT knowledge will grow over time as I seem to have a strong desire to coach.


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PostPosted: 10 Mar 2016, 08:19 
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Can someone please help me understand the point of this thread?

I thought NextLevel was asking for help, but the more I read the thread the less this seems to be the case. Now it seems as if NextLevel is the coach and is just trying to see if we're clever enough to agree with his opinions. I don't get it.


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