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PostPosted: 16 Jan 2017, 09:18 
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Small update on the development so far.

Material: I'll stay with Palio CJ8000 manually tuned and WP1013 on Palio TCT, I may set up a 2nd bat with CJ8000 and Yinhe Pluto on Stiga Graphite.

ELO/TTR Target is still a strength of a theoretical 1350 ELO-points this month and I'm confident to reach this goal. This would need about 200 points more from the point I think I actually am at. A safe and confident backhand is good for 100 points more or less so I don't need to cover that large of a chunk of the table with the forehand, unlike Trent Carter needs it to do.
Funny note: Some players at the club which are around that level seem somewhat scared after hitting a few balls, so they're not going to ask for a match. Another one took me lightly a few weeks back and suffered a loss he never thought possible.

Additionally, I guess I'm going to increase my speed, stamina and responsiveness significantly. My muscles seem to have accepted the stress from playing and somehow some switch in my head did go into 'on'-position - now I'm able to use muscles without other muscles holding them back (agonist and antagonist) and it feels like a brake that has been released. I've already tested some strokes with released brake at multiball last Thursday and it went astonishingly well.
I am also confident that medium-pips won't hinder my rise when used as a tool and for attacking mainly, and lesser for its weirdness while blocking or chopping. Therefore I won't test this rubber in ox but I've ordered it in 1.8mm, which isn't actually much thicker but harder; the well-known mauve 36-38° GP-sponge now sports the next WP1013 instead of the somewhat softer white sponge the 1.5mm version has.

I guess I also have found a way to get on temperature within 1 minute pre hitting.


To give my dear readers an idea about what +-1200 ELO does look like:
Both are quite nervous and the balls are relatively slow. A lot of the serves are illegal as well. I should win against both without too much trouble.

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PostPosted: 21 Jan 2017, 09:16 
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Week by week I'm gaining strength and I don't fear any of the 20+ opponents I'll meet in the competition-matches starting next week. Maybe they'll fear me after the first 3-4 matches, who knows?
Actually, I've seen myself on Youtube but just for a few seconds in the background, playing the semi-final at the tournament.

Now, let's see something different:


How would you - dear readers - rate the guy in red? He's playing a similar but definitely more defensive style and this vid is a couple of years old. I'm way more athletic and agile so I guess surpassing him is a viable option over time.
I ask because there's the chance to attend a workshop early in March with this guy and I guess he could give a boost to my overall game. What do you think even if you've never seen me playing a single ball yet?

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PostPosted: 24 Jan 2017, 18:02 
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On Saturday I've watched an Intercup-competition between an Austrian team playing in the 2. (Austrian) Bundesliga and a team of highest-class local players (#10, 21 and 44 nationwide).
The Austrians had a 50+ player of Slovakian origin, Kutis, and 2 other routined players and they showed us the limits of our young top-class players - and of our top-level league.
I tried to pick up some impressions and I guess the most noteworthy is Kutis solid backhand. He had an impressive backhand-flick which caused very serious trouble - which is astonishing since top-league players do know the banana-flick full well. Kutis does it with less elbow and a more open blade, and it is not restricted to over the table play - albeit the use of the elbow is quite varied.

Here's an older video which may give an impression. A longer video from last Saturdays match will come above water soon.


Yesterday I did a final training before competition starts and I tried to use a more loose grip. I also switched to 1.8mm on the backhand and both seem to fix some issues (backhand, short serves) but creates new ones. I then matched an 1100+- player and I was only on par, therefore I finished the day with a solo-session to test the influence of the grip, some serves and strokes.

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PostPosted: 26 Jan 2017, 19:47 
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Short update, first competition match (ABC vs XYZ-scheme).

At first I was thought to only play the double due to the opponent beeing considered as weak. At arrival my mate suggested that I should play fully because he didn't feel that well (and he saw the opponent hitting some balls, too).
I played very focussed and was able to find a suitable strategy in all 3 games, winning them all with just one (the very first) set against. The whole match is then won by 6:4, so my mate turned out to be quite wise not to play...

Today I put the Pluto on the TCT, the 1.8mm WP1013 is been nice but control on soft balls was less than the 1.5mm while the speed-curve between soft and hard balls played was significantly better.
Pluto seems to be the slowest mid-pip I used so far, let's see if it gives the extra in control I am looking for. Otherwise WP1013 1.5mm will be back on the blade for next weeks competition.

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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2017, 19:22 
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How many in your team? Do you have to share games?

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PostPosted: 27 Jan 2017, 20:43 
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Competitions are 3vs3 in ABC-XYZ style where you can have different players doing the double.
All 3 players match all 3 opponents, plus 1 double resulting in a total of 10 matches, so everything between 10:0 to 0:10 is possible.
The scoreboard then counts all games won, so winning all or winning nothing has a big influence on the position within the poule, making this match a +2. Winning all matches doesn't translate into beeing the top-team at the end.

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PostPosted: 28 Jan 2017, 09:36 
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Red,
So glad you are enjoying yourself.
And you are so open about yourself - good on you.

I too am enjoying myself tremendously over this great game - perhaps the greatest game for seniors! after a lapse of 35 years and I want to improve constantly - not for the sake of competitive play (I don't take part in competitions) but for the sake of a good whack, exercise and the pure enjoyment of being able to return strokes continuously (beats picking the ball up from the floor).


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PostPosted: 28 Jan 2017, 18:31 
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Thanks Lionto.

One member of my actual club also did a 35yrs delay in between. He's above 70 already and still quite fit.

Apart from price and its look my reasons to choose a blade like the TCT were that it should give a kick into less springy (Chinese) rubbers, to increase the deceptiveness of the pips, to have enough blast for hits without becoming unstable above the table etc.
But like the Banda Dorada it's quite picky, rubbers mustn't be too thin nor too thick etc., CJ8000 works great for me at 36° and 1.8-2.00mm, WP1013 is average to good (1.8mm), Kokutaku 110 dangerous (I may try thicker) but very effective, Pluto is a no go (for me).
Stating that, I removed Pluto immediately after Thursdays training. It's simply no rubber for me, I felt almost nothing, it was slow, grippy and heavy - balance with forehand was also lost due to the differences in properties and weight.

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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2017, 05:56 
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When you can have a lapse of 35 yrs in between, you would be roughly in the same age group. I am 69 and think I am still fighting fit. Not my family though because each time I was fit I ended up with serious health issues. Hopefully not this time and I can enjoy my game, carefree and without stress.
Coming back to the TCT, I will play with it more often. When you do not own the blade, you can only play it for a few minutes. But I'll try to have it for at least 30 minutes next time.
The video's you posted are quite entertaining. Europe is much better organised than Australia and the game is much more popular there. The players in the last video are definitely of higher grade than me. I suppose I can whack with the guy in red (the second video). But then again, one cannot judge accurately by mere watching.


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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2017, 07:34 
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My timeout was just somewhat more than 10yrs so I'm still without any noticeable handicap due to age. Now, after 5 month of getting back into shape I must say I've surpassed that target clearly. My former self at his highest wouldn't stand a chance against the actual me.

Regarding the guy in the 2nd vid I'd like to mention rule number 1 (?): Never underestimate an opponent

Here's him 2 years later:


I'll see and speak him in March and I strongly expect him to give me a significant boost.

Nevertheless, this country is still lagging behind most of its neighbours. Getting to national level here would still restrict me to regional level somewhere else - for now. Table tennis is way underrated here compared to football, hockey and cycling.

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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2017, 09:40 
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Just in case I was misunderstood, when I said "I could give a whack to the guy in red" I did not mean I could beat him easily. It's an Aussie term meaning we can give each other a "hit" - that's about it. At our club we approach each other with "Let's have a hit"
I don't really know my level of play as I do not compete. The only reason why I would need to rate myself is probably to find similar grade players to play with (if I happen to walk into a new club, which would be rare). Therefore rating to me is not important. Then again, sometimes I am curious. And I do like to execute occasional great strokes , just for the thrill. That's my motivation for improving.
Table Tennis ranks behind many sports (not in China of course). In fact most schools here do not have any table tennis programs. And it's not organised and managed well here, due to lack of support.


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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2017, 17:50 
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Yesterday it happened...

I already felt somewhat weak at the weekend, like you'd feel with a mild flu with headaches and a slight increase in body-temperature, and I didn't feel well yesterday.
It's been the second match in competition and I did take an analgesic before I went to the club supressing the symptoms. The opponents were 3 ladies with lots of experience but lesser so technical abilities. One of them was a deadly pusher of the sort I still fear - almost immune against spin-variations and safe in what she does.
It was the second match and I missed to close the game in the 3rd, losing it 10:12 which added some discomfort and I failed to find a hole in the push-wall, losing the 4th and then the 5th as well. Tight, but still an unnecessary loss.
This match was my 2nd of 3 of the day, the 1st and 3rd were an easy 3:0 by the way. I've provided 2 of the 3 points we got this day. So, it's 5 out of 6 (17 vs 4 sets) which sounds good but it still leaves me unsatisfied - darn, it could have been 6:0, 18:1...

I guess I should have tried to shoot some of the pushes with the backhand but I did not dare much since I didn't feel that well and I feared to miss shots, giving away points I couldn't afford. Well, it's lost anyway and I'll train shots on pushes the days to come.
I'll replace the WP1013 1.5mm with the 1.8mm GP-sponge version today. Then there are 2 training-days to adapt to the few differences between the 2 rubbers.

Next week on Tuesday we'll face the strongest team of the poule, players which are, I guess, more technically versatile and advanced than the ones I faced yday. I don't think I have to fear them.
On Thursday I'll help(?) another team one leage above against their strongest opponent within their poule. So, I render the matches next week more important than yesterdays loss.

I placed an order for the Galaxy T-7 on the weekend which could add comfort due to more feel on the backhand-side. It may feel too soft with the CJ8000 I actually use but that remains to be seen.
The Galaxy blade should have a softer feel, more control and more flex. It may be more fitting but it also could turn out to be completely unusuable for my current setup.

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Last edited by Red on 02 Feb 2017, 10:36, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2017, 09:08 
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I am not a coach, I cannot tell exactly the mechanics of how to return pushes. Yesterday I played with someone who has a absolute deadly backhand push-block. It's executed in a flash, very fast and very low bounce. Instead of avoiding I played to his backhand time and again. After about 10 times I managed to return this stroke, solely on my natural reactions.

Continue enjoying the game. Tell us how you go next Tuesday and a review of the galaxy T-7


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PostPosted: 07 Feb 2017, 21:17 
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Today is the day I'm going to show my worth against the yet unbeaten No.1 of the group.
Last year he has lost against the same player I faced (and nearly beat) at the tournament early in January, so I have an idea of what style of players do cause problems to him.
The number 2 shouldn't be taken lightly also and I won't have any mercy with the number 3.
Once succesful, the new number one within the group will be me and the now number one could also lose against a player I easily took down 2 weeks ago.

Hmm... I'm quite offensive, am I?
Image


Afterwards I'll start thinking about Thursdays match. A clubmember of the team I am going to support as a substitute doubts that I could win a game, they've lost their last match against a slightly weaker team (compared to the now opponent) 0:10. Let's see. And smile.

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PostPosted: 09 Feb 2017, 07:27 
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I read your post only this morning.
How did you go?


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