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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2016, 02:51 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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Just as a quick follow up to the British Grand Prix event held at Blackpool. LordCope took part in Bands 5 and 6 on Saturday. Matthew Fields who plays in our league also took part in Band 6 and won it. Matthew Fields is a Premier Div player in our league who is in his early 20's. He is averaging 76.19% win rate in our top division. A few years ago he was one of the top ranked Lancashire juniors. No disrespect to LordCope but when he told me who was entering from Lancashire I had a little smile to myself when I learnt that Matthew Fields was there and only ranked in Band 6. This is the type of problem LordCope faces, and organisors of these types of events. Local players, good local players who don't travel around the country competing so don't collect ranking points but who will occasionally show up when a big tournement is on their door step. Matthew is too good for Band 6 but because he has little ranking points that's the band he finds himself in. Ironically he'll be playing against my mates (our A Team) this week in our leage.

Another Preston player, Andrea Harrison took part in the Band 3 Womens event and finished runner up. She also plays in our Premier Division but this year is having a difficult season and is averaging 33.33% win rate. In some respects I suspect it's easier to take part in the higher banded events because there are no surprises waiting in the draw as players will have had to compete at various events to collect the ranking points needed to compete in those bands and so will be known to everyone.

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PostPosted: 06 Feb 2017, 09:06 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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Blade: Magic: Wand
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Well, after health issues recurred in November, playing league matches or any competitive match was pretty much put on hold except as team emergency cover. And in mid January, part way through a team match, I switched from double inverted (the bat I used against v02man in the videos from September) back to inverted FH, SP's BH. Reason – simple. I wasn't having fun playing double inverted. Oh, and I kept loosing. Mmm, connection? Maybe. Double inverted had given me the option to play away from the table and more time which I needed but I found myself being drawn back to playing up to the table, like a moth to the flame. I also like playing with SP's on my backhand. So I switched to the second bat I had with me. My Andro Super Core Carbon Light Off+ still with a sheet of Hallmark Magic Pips 1mm on my backhand and xiom vega pro on my forehand. After the match off came the Magic Pips and on went an old sheet of Joola Tango Ultra and the Rakza 7 soft 1.8mm from the TSP. I played the Divisional singles competition a couple of weeks ago with that set up. The Ultra felt sooooo soft and spongy, almost soggy. The Rakza 7 felt springy and lively even at 1.8mm. Probably bottoming out on the hard blade. But whilst playing the Divisional's it finally hit me. I'm playing scared of hurting myself again. And scared to use my forehand and boy did I miss some simple forehands – lots of them – and you can't play scared and expect to do well.

So, one self-reassessment later and for the first time since November I asked to play a league match again. And I went back to my favourite setup. Same blade, but as I don't have a sheet of Xiom Zeta Asia and I'm not sure how a new sheet of Rakza 7 max would play on the blade, I matched my blade up with the first fitting used black sheet of rubber I had which had reasonably hard sponge – DHS Hurricane 8 MH 2.15mm thickness (I prefer a harder sponge on my forehand). I'd like the Hurricane 8 when I'd used it on a blade Peter Freundlieb made for me (sadly I think health means Peter doesn't make blades anymore) and on the TSP Balsa 6.5 it gave me good control, reasonable speed and spin and when I committed to the shot I got enough power.

On the backhand it was a toss up between 1.5mm Challenger Attack or 1.8mm 802-40 supersoft. The 802-40 fitted the blade better. The 802-40 is an old friend I keep revisiting.

So off it was to the match last week. Setup sorted. It was now a case of approaching the match with two thoughts. Use my forehand. Trust my body. Nearly a year of being backhand dominant protecting my back has built in and on many bad habits. My forehand used to be my weapon. I need to be able to trust my forehand. I'm a counter “hitter”, not a looper, top spinner, pusher, defender.

I also wanted to baseline my play in general. I've videos of me playing on my old blog. One of the players it turned out I played in this match is also one of the players I filmed back then. And, I needed to watch how I moved and in particular how I played my forehand. I want to move the bar in what I'd try and do. I've watched lots of people playing the past two years. Helped people. But I know so little about my own game, I mean really know. Time to face reality. Time to forget the past and look forward again.

So, for anyone who at some time in the future fancies meeting up for a fun hit, this is me circa 2017. Inverted FH, SP's backhand. Counter hitter by choice. Play with a smile. Aim to never give in.

Match 1: First up I played MP, a player who inflicted on me my worst ever defeat. Not in terms of score but mental scars. I lost to him in the Divisional Singles semi-finals a few years back. I was tired from a long day at work, got to the venue late, struggled through my group and found myself in the semi-finals against him – a player I was 50-50 with. I lost. Basically I bottled it. It was easier not to fight hard and blame fatigue than admit that you know what, maybe my best simply wasn't good enough to win, after all, what do you do when you're best isn't good enough to give you the win you want. Bottom line, I bottled it. He played better and deserved to win. He was stronger mentally. He wasn't scared of loosing. And in the world of table tennis, I'd hated myself for doing that – for taking the easy option.

MP plays a top spin attack game if you let him. And if that happens, MP will blow me off the table. If he starts to loose confidence he'll start to push and that's when I know I have my chance. Part way through the match, after having struggled with his serves to my forehand side (something that's dogged me all season) I finally figured out my tactics. Ugly but they gave me a chance. Keep it tight, draw him into a pushing game. In, and out, in and out, short and long. Try and avoid letting him open with a loop / drive off his forehand unless I wanted him to, keep him off balance.



Match 2: MM's a hitter. Hit's off his forehand and has a strange skiddy backhand. Best way to play MM is with spin and not a lot of pace. Lot's of spin, especially top spin or side and top. Problem is I'm a hitter not a spinner. But I can generate backspin, especially off serves and I can mix things up to keep him off balance – that is, if he doesn't get on a roll and hit me off the table first.



Match 3: I like SA. We used to enjoy some friendly knocks at our Friday social sessions a few years ago. SA is a pusher. SA pushes mainly off his backhand although he can get by pushing off his forehand too. Like MM, SA doesn't like heavy spin (top / side) – have you tried pushing side and top. Bad things happen. But spin is not my strength, and if I slow roll the ball to get out of a pushing game, especially with my SP's, out of nowhere and with no real pattern, SA's prone to smacking the ball – hard. Not always. Just sometimes. Enough times to create doubt.

Even worse SA's type of game looks bad, makes you look bad – especially when you miss. He's the type of player everyone looks at and thinks they will beat easily or at least they should beat. But when he's on his game he can be very effective at my level. This match would be one of patience and try and win ugly (Cert 18 rating). Give him no pace to work with and move him about. As it happens, part way through the match it clicked. He's a big lad. He could easily reach to the left and right side of the table without having to move his feet but what he didn't like was the short push and then the deep ball and then the short push and maybe another short ball – similar tactic to playing choppers only with no top spin involved.



So what did I get out of the night.

1. Well technically it's the next day, but a lot more confidence in my ability to move and compete mentally.
2. I seem to have stopped bobbing up and down as Desmond Douglas once described me as doing when I got chance to have a short session with him. “Keep still. You know where the ball is going – back to you, so what are you bobbing up and down for?” he said – or words to that effect.
3. Forehand technique is woeful but occasionally effective. I can see why I've been called a slapper!
Elbow comes up too high
Shoulders turn too much
Lean over to the left too much after shot compromising recovery.
3. Pretty comfortable serving, with reasonable success
4. Return of serve needs a lot of work
5. Ability to change pace of the ball and mix depth short and long was a pleasant surprise.
6. Backhand blocking woeful. Bat angle is still tuned in to inverted as is technique. Needs work.
7. Keep my bat hand too close to my body when playing backhands despite being determined to keep it a good forearm length away.
8. Attitude. Actually stayed calm – for me – and focused. Didn't pay attention to the score once. Just focused on each point.
9. Tactically – managed to recognise what was happening (with help on occasion from team mates). Usually play in a daze and miss things.
10. Tendency to slip in to “lollypop” mode at times with the tip of the bat pointing up to the ceiling at point of contact at times – especially on the backhand side which surprised me.
11. Oh yes, and I enjoyed my matches.

As for my setup.

The Hurricane 8 played much slower and felt much harder on the carbon Andro Off+ blade than it did on the balsa TSP 6.5 – and it seems to play flatter too with less spin. I'm not too keen on how flat it all is now, but certainly the control is nice. And if you hit hard you get your rewards. I'll persevere. The 802-40 supersoft felt anything but soft. The Tango Ultra felt much softer to me, almost mushy by comparison. Whilst the sponge may be soft, the pimpled rubber certainly feels hard, almost dead by comparison. I'm not sure if the 802-40 will survive. Maybe I've been corrupted by soft inverted rubbers on my backhand. Maybe I'll try the challenger attack on this blade. Maybe I'll shut up and stick with what until the end of the season at least. Can't blame the equipment all my life for my failings!

And the future:

This Friday I'll be working down in London for the day only. Unfortunately it'll be just a train in, meeting and train out again so no overnight stay and no chance to meet up with anyone, which is a pity.

But who knows what the future holds. “Have bat may travel” may be coming to a town near you one day, or maybe you might be paying us a visit up in the cold damp north west.

Regardless. I hope you all enjoy yourselves playing table tennis. Time for a rest.

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PostPosted: 07 Apr 2017, 21:36 
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I am sure that anyone coming to Norwich will be very welcome at my club, which meets on Monday evenings. Alternatively, I am a member of the Norwich CEYMS, which has a one table room, which may or may not be available on any given day. And also, I play at a social evening at a church on Thursday evenings. All welcome. No religious requirement.

In the near future, several of us are going to the Training Camp at Corby Smash on the the 13th April. If anyone else is there, it would be fun to meet you.

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PostPosted: 08 Apr 2017, 19:30 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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Draycott is about the furthest south I can travel. That's about a 225 mile round trip but I'm sure other members of the forum will be interested in meeting up with you Darucla. :)

All being well I will be meeting up with 1 or 2 forum members in the north east within the next few months. Should be interesting!

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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2017, 02:31 
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darucla wrote:
I am sure that anyone coming to Norwich will be very welcome at my club, which meets on Monday evenings. Alternatively, I am a member of the Norwich CEYMS, which has a one table room, which may or may not be available on any given day. And also, I play at a social evening at a church on Thursday evenings. All welcome. No religious requirement.

In the near future, several of us are going to the Training Camp at Corby Smash on the the 13th April. If anyone else is there, it would be fun to meet you.


Are you the three players booked in from Norfolk? (well one of them anyway)

I'm booked in on 13th provided nothing comes up at work.


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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2017, 10:25 
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I am indeed one of the three. As usual, the oldest one.

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PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 02:09 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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Well a visit has been penciled in to meet the man behind that blog who is peterpong. Actually I'm only going to have a walk with his dogs but, shhhhh, don't tell him that!

Maybe get chance to meet dunc too.

If you don't try, you never meet forum members :)

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PostPosted: 28 Jun 2017, 11:45 
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:lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 10 Jul 2017, 00:58 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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Meeting will take place 11 July somewhere in Durham. Assuming I don't get lost, eaten by Cerberus or worse by PeterPong himself! Trepidation mounts. First question has to be, how did you develop such an "interesting" taste in "music".

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PostPosted: 10 Jul 2017, 02:12 
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Debater wrote:
Meeting will take place 11 July somewhere in Durham. Assuming I don't get lost, eaten by Cerberus or worse by PeterPong himself! Trepidation mounts. First question has to be, how did you develop such an "interesting" taste in "music".

ill burn you off some cds for your journey home-you can have ambient,70s rock,black/death metal,punk or a selection of money box podcasts that im trying to catch up on :rofl:


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PostPosted: 12 Jul 2017, 04:14 
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u forgot ya black metal cd for your journey home :D
lottie is missing you-you are supposed to walk my puppy not carry her.
ps -i never got lost on that walk honest-it was just a test
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PostPosted: 12 Jul 2017, 18:44 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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peterpong wrote:
u forgot ya black metal cd for your journey home :D

Yes I did :devil: Have to give it me next time we play :D

peterpong wrote:
lottie is missing you-you are supposed to walk my puppy not carry her.

When a lady looks at you with soulful big eyes, a gentleman is obliged to offer his help. lottie has a lovely temperament, how could I refuse. Besides, unlike you who is 6ft 10 tall, her little legs don't go as far and yesterday we certainly went far on that walk, which brings me on to...
peterpong wrote:
ps -i never got lost on that walk honest-it was just a test

You failed! :lol:

Thanks for your hospitality peterpong :) . I'll send you a pm about the equipment you tried and liked. For anyone curious, peterpong is heavily in to matching equipment to style to maximise performance and results.

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PostPosted: 13 Jul 2017, 05:35 
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defo up for another hit mate.
i forgot to test your defence blade and short pips.
need about 7hrs .4hr walk inc lunch and 3hrs table tennis.just set off at 8am next time :D
i was forced to play tt and tennis today-its hard for some

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PostPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 02:18 
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Kim Is My Shadow
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peterpong wrote:
i was forced to play tt and tennis today-its hard for some

No doubt at the same time!

Yes, forgot about he Taico blade. Should be able to head back your way end of September, start of October. Pennine way should still be fine to drive at night that time of year.

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PostPosted: 14 Jul 2017, 06:22 
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excellent-see you soon :Defense:


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