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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2016, 20:28 
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Hello everyone!

I finally decided to start a blog since I have been procrastinating a bit lately on filming my practice sessions and being more active/ mindful in my training in general and hopefully this blog will help me keep on track more.

I am a table tennis fanatic who rediscovered the passion for this sport two years ago and it is currently one of my greatest joys in life and I am hoping to learn and improve as much as I can.

My table tennis circumstances are almost ideal now: I am taking lessons from a brilliant coach, I am a proud member of ttedge (currently on hold due to my paypal problems sigh, hopefully resolved soon...), learning a lot from members here and I also have a team and compete in an amateur league so I am playing/training at least 3-4 times a week.

Here I will post some videos of my practice sessions and track progress and will also post some questions, latest breakthroughs in my understanding of the sport and I would like to thank everyone who will follow me and help me in my journey.


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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2016, 21:02 
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Ok, here is the first video:

https://youtu.be/V2tF0-aPO2o

In this exercise I was serving, pushing the serve return and then opening the fourth ball with a backhand spin followed by a free random play.

My third ball attack rate, especially with backhand topspin is pretty low percentage (I am still too slow in serve recovery and get rushed and choked, also returns of my backspin serve are often low and loaded with spin and too difficult for me to lift) so my coach recommended that I simply push the third ball and attack the fourth for the time being until my skill and speed improves.

What worries me in this video is mostly my forehand topspin, it seems that I am always late, hitting the ball on the side of my body and also I still use too much upper arm with elbow finishing above my shoulder and bat above the had, something Brett Clarke warned me about and what I am trying to fix.

Btw, I have very little filming experience so not sure if I picked the right angle and if this footage is of any use for review so all comments and tips are welcome

Of course, any advice and critique of my technique is super appreciated, thanks


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PostPosted: 12 Sep 2016, 23:02 
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Another video:

https://youtu.be/MzS7vij-p9c

First 40 seconds is mostly backhand topspin warming up and then random, trying to topspin everything drill.

A lot more topspin shots attempted here so it it is probably easier to spot where my technique shortcomings are then in the first video, again thanks for all the feedback, take care


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PostPosted: 14 Sep 2016, 05:33 
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Barfly, I do not think your recovery is too slow. What is happening to you is what happens to me. You play too close to the table after you serve and you don't adjust to the depth of the coming ball to play the first topspin. If you are a backhand player, recovering close to the table is bad for you as you need time play your topspin. Forehand player needs to pivot and turn shoulders so they can stay closer. Backhand player needs to stay back a little and then come in if the ball is short as it is easy to get jammed on the backhand side. It's one of the reasons I pivot a lot on third ball because it makes it easier not to read the incoming ball depth.

A lot of table tennis is not speed - it is really more about preparation.

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PostPosted: 14 Sep 2016, 05:50 
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your form and leg movements is excellente! Maybe you can work on turning that third ball into a killshot if there's any advice i can give. ( im a noob tho)

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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2016, 20:57 
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NextLevel wrote:
Barfly, I do not think your recovery is too slow. What is happening to you is what happens to me. You play too close to the table after you serve and you don't adjust to the depth of the coming ball to play the first topspin. If you are a backhand player, recovering close to the table is bad for you as you need time play your topspin. Forehand player needs to pivot and turn shoulders so they can stay closer. Backhand player needs to stay back a little and then come in if the ball is short as it is easy to get jammed on the backhand side. It's one of the reasons I pivot a lot on third ball because it makes it easier not to read the incoming ball depth.

A lot of table tennis is not speed - it is really more about preparation.


Thank you for the feedback and advice, really kind of you, for starters, I will try serving with wider stance, staying low and recovering with a larger step back further away from table and give myself more space.

kim biceps wrote:
your form and leg movements is excellente! Maybe you can work on turning that third ball into a killshot if there's any advice i can give. ( im a noob tho)


Thanks!

Regarding the killshot, maybe some day, right now I am just trying to develop a safe, reliable opening loop and in fact, one of my issues is swinging all out like a madman and getting tense and inaccurate in the process so I am actually trying to tone down everything and aim for relaxed full swings at 60-70% of my maximum.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2016, 21:16 
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Had a series of friendly matches yesterday as amateur league is about to start and some thoughts and observations that came to mind:

1. I often play in an unfocused, blurred manner simply reacting to incoming balls without any real plan. I think this is the main reason why all my practice sessions are way better than my matches, I have a clear intent in my training of pushing only tough, short balls and topspinning everything else so my whole mind and body is prepared for an attack.

On the other hand, during matches I serve and go completely blank and braindead, watching the return without any plan and then usually just do a panic push because I am not prepared for anything else.

My action plan for this problem is doing shadow work where I will serve, recover as soon as possible, add an element of watching the ball with 100% focus and then the moment I realize where the ball is going start the fh or bh backswing and try to topspin it, recover, repeat the process in my mind and do this daily until such "mental muscle" becomes automatic and I rarely go blank

2. I miss ton of balls outright and hit edge of the racket absurdly often - not sure about this, will probably need to do and film an extended fh loop only drill to see if something about my swing angle and path is off.

But I have a dilemma about what constitutes the safest and most consistent possible loop and maybe will start a thread about it to get some answers.

At first I think my swing was way to shallow and forward, more of a drive than loop with ton off balls flying in the net.

Then I opened my bat and moved to brush looping which got me a lot of safety over the net with beautiful arcs but I often miss the ball completely, hit the edge or the ball just slips from the rubber so I am thinking that I maybe took it too far and that I lack forward motion and engaging the sponge, don't know, will experiment a bit with angles and post some videos.


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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2016, 09:52 
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I watched your vid, you look nice! Better than me obviously, since ive only been playing for 5-6 months at a 4-5 hour per week average (I daresay that I have vastly improved and maybe even that my bh chop looks 80% like JSH! :lol: :oops: :P ) for that last post on where you said you play braindead with no strategy and you just watch the return and panic, I totally feel you. I think that its helpful to know your strengths, develop a strategy, get tips from watching the professionals play and from forums online, and if you can, you could try to do practice matches with people so you can develop a game against certain people. Anyways, I can understand that you're aspiring to be a pretty good player, that desire is in me too! :D good luck on your path to GLORY.


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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2016, 20:28 
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Hi Dan, thank you for your kind words and support!

I also wish you all the best in your tt journey and who knows, if we keep training hard maybe we will meet in the Olympics someday :P


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2016, 10:27 
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Barfly wrote:
Hi Dan, thank you for your kind words and support!

I also wish you all the best in your tt journey and who knows, if we keep training hard maybe we will meet in the Olympics someday :P

Thanks! I noticed that you have Reactor Cyklin, how is it?


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2016, 12:04 
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Hi Barfly, I watched the video and was going to write a comment but then read the rest of your post. I'm still to respond as though I hadn't read it.

You backhand looks good but to your forehand is too vertical when returning a topspin shot. You finish at your ear and still appear to be in an open position when you finish the shot. Id like to see you finish say 10 cm in front of your forehead and during the strike rotate your hips and body more to finish in a square position. Try moving your weight forward rather than up. I'm guilty of the same.
Check with your coach though in case I'm off the mark.

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PostPosted: 19 Sep 2016, 19:45 
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[/quote]
Thanks! I noticed that you have Reactor Cyklin, how is it?[/quote]

Pretty good actually, my fav Chinese rubber so far but before I used mostly really hard sponged older generation stuff (729 Higher, KTL Rapid speed etc) and I realized I prefer softer euro/japanese type rubbers much more.

Iskandar seemed pretty disappointed with its speed but speed is the least of my worries right now; its soft, very forgiving on blocks and easy to create nice arc on topspins.

It is also pretty grippy and I never experienced ball slippage that sometimes happens with my Rakza, however its spin is a lot less then Rakza which is especially evident on serves.

All in all, very solid, easy to use beginner/developing player rubber and great value at 10$ IMO


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PostPosted: 19 Sep 2016, 19:49 
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Cobalt wrote:
Hi Barfly, I watched the video and was going to write a comment but then read the rest of your post. I'm still to respond as though I hadn't read it.

You backhand looks good but to your forehand is too vertical when returning a topspin shot. You finish at your ear and still appear to be in an open position when you finish the shot. Id like to see you finish say 10 cm in front of your forehead and during the strike rotate your hips and body more to finish in a square position. Try moving your weight forward rather than up. I'm guilty of the same.
Check with your coach though in case I'm off the mark.


Thank you Cobalt for your feedback, you have confirmed what I was afraid of.

I will ask my coach to focus on my FH topspin in our next session and will play a bit with various swing angles and try more forward movement swings, even against backspin balls and see what happens and if my consistency and ball quality improves.


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PostPosted: 19 Sep 2016, 20:05 
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Palio Ak-min.JPG [ 980.59 KiB | Viewed 679 times ]


New rubber has arrived!

This is supposed be one of the most successful Chinese attempts at creating a modern euro/japanese type rubber.

So far my first impressions are very good, it is 10+ grams lighter uncut than my Reactor Ckylin, very soft modern looking sponge which I like and topsheet seems super grippy, perhaps the grippiest rubber I have ever encountered so far.

Can't wait to try this thing but will have to ask my coach to glue it on since I have very little experience in that sort of thing and I am afraid of screwing something up.


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PostPosted: 22 Sep 2016, 02:34 
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Latest FH loop struggle:

Basic topspin vs block drill:

https://youtu.be/-ati-mYIcIw

Topspin vs long serves (random underspin or no spin/topsin) followed by free play:

https://youtu.be/79EX7QBjZPY

Third ball loop followed by free play:

https://youtu.be/nPFYv_9kaiQ



In short - not looking good except some swings vs block :(

I keep using my upper arm too much and my bat finishes way too high over my head and sometimes behind my head even, with weird finishing position (face of the bat facing the opposite wall instead of floor), tons of completely missed balls, not sure I get any forearm snap...

And funny thing is that I was actually trying to swing more forward consciously and finishing in front of my head as Cobalt advised me but my body is simply doing its thing.

A bit disheartening as I was sure I am close to cracking it and that I will be a loop machine any time now and that was probably the biggest reason why I still suck so much - I convinced myself that I must be solid and slacked off with filming myself and checking my form diligently :@

Back to careful shadow swings and ball drops, this will probably take ages to fix so I better arm myself with ton of patience and low expectations.

Again, any feedback is super appreciated, take care


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